If we look to the purpose of the message of Islam, we find that it can be summed up in the purifying and nourishing of the soul, and this takes place by knowing and worshipping Allâh, as well as strengthening the ties of brotherhood to spread justice between the slaves of Allâh. The means of doing so is by implementing the teachings of our truthful Messenger (S), which he gathered for us in the treasures and jewels of his Sunnah, his deep words, and what we call Islamic law (Shari'ah, or Fiqh).
And the Companions (R) exerted their efforts (Ijtihad) in deriving rulings in regards to certain matters after the death of our noble Prophet (S). Some of them were correct, and others did not arrive at the correct rulings. These attempts at Ijtihad went on, and differing opinions were derived in the name of raising the word of truth and arriving at the highest possible level of perfection (and for Allâh is all perfection). So, the madhahib were many, and the goal was one.
The result of all this was the authoring of the thousands of books and collections that now fill Islamic libraries, the raising of the word of truth, and the empowering of the Ummah by its sticking to the religion of truth, Islam. Because of this, all of the powers of the world gathered against the Muslims in order to weaken them. So, the scholars of Islam rose to the occasion and defended Allâh's Religion.
From these scholars who raised the banner of truth and the honor of defending Islam was Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, with the many brave stances he took in his time, and with the countless books and fatawa of his that now fill the Islamic library.
In order to better know this brave, pious imam known as Ibn Taymiyyah, we present to the reader this biography that was written by the pen of a scholar who saw, lived with, and befriended Ibn Taymiyyah. He is none other than al-Imam al-Hafidh Abu Hafs 'Umar bin 'Ali al-Bazzar – and he called this book 'al-A'lam al-'Aliyyah fi Manaqib Ibn Taymiyyah,' and he is the most qualified to write about him.
It is hoped that as opposed to the typical biography that is filled with mere facts and figures, this book will serve to provide the reader with a first-hand account of the human side of one of the greatest Islamic personalities to have ever lived – one that can be taken as an example in formulating a lifestyle and conducting day to day affairs.