A Brief Acquaintance with the Affair of Those Who Deviated Due To Their Erroneous Understanding of the Arabic Language and the Sharee’ah Terms
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah] said:
The one who does not know the language of the Sahaabah- the language they used when speaking to [one another]; the [language] used by the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] when he spoke to them and the manner in which they spoke in general- he will change words from their right places. For indeed many people are nurtured upon the idioms of their people and their customary usage of words; so he finds those words in Allaah’s Speech, or the speech of Messenger, or that of the Sahaabah and thinks that what Allaah intends or what His Messenger [intend], or what the Sahaabah [intend] is what is intended by the people of his custom and their oral expressions, even though what Allaah and His Messenger intend is the opposite of that.
This occurred from a group of people- the people of philosophical rhetoric, the people who spoke about Fiqh, the people who spoke about the Arabic language, the common people and other than them. And there are others who deliberately devised other meanings for the words of the Prophets and that of their [true] followers-meanings that are in opposition to their [true] ones. Then they spoke with those words whilst intending to aid themselves, saying: ‘’Indeed, we are in agreement with the Prophets.’’ This is found in abundance in the speech of the heretical philosophers, the Ismaa’eeliyyah [Rawaafid] and those similar to them amongst the heretical philosophers, rhetoricians and the soofees. The one who [truly] knows the Prophets and what they intend [by their speech], he will know by necessity that the [speech of those heretics] is not what is intended by the Prophets.
[Majmoo Fataawaa 1/175. Abridged and slightly paraphrased]