(January 22, 1263 – 1328 CE),
was an Islamic scholar (alim), theologian and born in Harran, Turkey.
He was a member of the school founded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and sought the return of Islam to earlier interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Ibn Taymiyya was born in 1263 at Harran into a well-known family of theologians and died in Damascus, Syria, outside of the Muslim cemetery. His grandfather, Abu al-Barkat Majd ad-deen ibn Taymiyyah al-Hanbali (d. 1255) was a reputable teacher of the Hanbali school of law. Likewise, the scholarly achievements of ibn Taymiyyah's father, Shihab al-deen 'Abd al-Haleem ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1284) were well known. Because of the Mongol invasion, ibn Taymiyyah's family moved to Damascus in 1268 , which was then ruled by the Mamluks of Egypt. It was here that his father delivered sermons from the pulpit of the Umayyad Mosque, and ibn Taymiyyah followed in his footsteps by studying with the scholars of his time.
Ibn Taymiyyah acquainted himself with the religious sciences of his time. He devoted attention to Arabic literature and lexicography as well as studying mathematics and calligraphy.
As for the religious sciences, he studied jurisprudence from his father and became a representative of the Hanbali school of thought. Though he remained faithful throughout his life to that school, whose doctrines he had mastered, he also acquired a knowledge of the Islamic disciplines of the Qur'an and the Hadith.
He also studied theology (kalam), philosophy, and Sufism.
He was known for his refutations of the excesses of many Sufis, the Shia and the Christians. His student Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya wrote the famous poem "O Christ-Worshipper" which examined the dogma of the Trinity propounded by many Christian sects.
His troubles with government began when he went with a delegation of ulama to talk to Ghazan Khan, the Khan of the Mongol Ilkhans in Iran, to stop his attack on the Muslims. It is reported that none of the ulama dared to say anything to the Khan except Ibn Taymiyyah who said:
"You claim that you are Muslim and you have with you Mu'adhdhins, Muftis, Imams and Shaykhs but you invaded us and reached our country for what? While your father and your grandfather, Hulagu were non-believers, they did not attack and they kept their promise. But you promised and broke your promise."
When he was ultimately banned from having any books, papers and pens during the latter stage of his final imprisonment, Ibn Taymiyyah devoted all of his time to worship and reciting the Qur'an. Ibn Taymiyyah died in prison on 22 Dhu al-Qi'dah, 728 AH (27 September 1328). Al-Bazzar says, 'Once the people had heard of his death, not a single person in Damascus who was able to attend the prayer and wanted to, remained until he appeared and took time out for it. As a result, the markets in Damascus were closed and all transactions of livelihood were stopped. Governors, heads, scholars, jurists came out.