In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Regarding the affair of refutation and who is worthy of carrying it out against a Mukhaalif, Dr Ibraaheem Ar-Ruhayli laid down conditions whose fulfilment would be impossible in many Muslim lands. He stated that refutation is to be carried out by a scholar who is firmly grounded in knowledge- the scholar who knows the subject matter of the refutation in detail, its legislated evidences, the statements of the scholars regarding it, the scale (extent or scope) of a disputant’s opposition against the truth, the origin (or basis) of the disputant’s Shubhah, the refutations of the scholars against the Shubhah and benefiting from the statements of the scholars in that regard. Also it is obligatory (or befitting) that the refuter clearly distinguishes (or makes the affair distinct) through strong evidences in order to establish (or clearly determine) the truth in order to remove the Shubhah, utilising precise expressions (or statements) so that nothing appears to the refuter or he understands something which the Mukhaalif (or disputant) does not intend. If this is not the case (i.e. if these conditions are not fulfilled according to Dr Ibraaheem Ar-Ruhayli), then great harm will occur through the one who embarks upon refuting, but did not fulfil these conditions.
Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadi responded and unveiled the realities behind this view of Dr Ibraaheem Ar-Ruhayli, saying that well done to Dr Ibraaheem Ar-Ruhayli for stating that refutation should be carried out by a scholar who is firmly grounded in knowledge, but the fulfilment of all those characteristics is neither found in every refuter nor in every refutation; therefore, if we were to make it a condition for every refuter and every refutation, corruption will appear and all the Ummah will be overcome except an odd number of people.
Then Shaikh Rabee went on to say:
It is ascertained that the fulfilment of these conditions cannot be achieved (i.e. in every refuter and refutation) because you cannot find Salafi scholars who are firmly grounded in knowledge in the majority of the Muslim lands, but there are students of knowledge. However, despite this, Allaah has indeed benefitted (the people and the lands) through these students with regards to the spread of Tawheed, refutations against the Shirkiyyaat (i.e. beliefs and practices of shirk), bidah and Khuraafaat (fictitious practices and beliefs).
Then Shaikh Rabee stated: And I ask Dr Ibraaheem: If there is a land or lands in which there is widespread bidah and evil deeds, the bidah of at-Ta’teel (negation of Allaah’s Attributes), the Bidah of the Qadariyyah, the bidah of Irjaa, the bidah of Shirk of the graves (i.e. by way of seeking intercession from the dead in the graves or calling upon them), consumption of alcohol and violating women’s honour; however there is no Salafi scholar or scholars (in those lands) who are firmly grounded in knowledge and do not fulfil those conditions (i.e. the conditions stated by Dr Ibraaheem), but there are students knowledge who have read Usool Ath-Thalaatha, Kashf Shubuhaat and Kitaab At-Tawheed of Imaam Muhammad Bin Abdil-Wahhaab, Al-Aqeedah Al-Waasitiyyah and Al-Hamawiyyah of Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, Umdatul Ahkaam of Imaam Abdul-Ghaniy Al-Maqdisiy or Buloogh Al-Maraam of Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr, then would it not be obligatory that they reject these evil affairs in accordance with the knowledge they possess, or is it obligated on them to keep quiet due to the fact that they are not firmly grounded in knowledge etc…..?
Then Shaikh Rabee said: I believe that indeed Dr Ibraaheem will answer that it is obligatory on them to reject these evils and put a stop to them in accordance with the knowledge and ability they possess, in fulfilment of Allaah’s (command):
وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful. [3:104]
And in fulfilment of the Messenger’s (command): ‘Whosoever of you sees an evil deed, then let him (stop) it with his hand. If he is unable to do so, then let him (stop it) with his tongue. If he is unable to do so, then with his heart (i.e. hate it, consider it to be wrong and keep away from it) and this is the weakest of Eemaan.
So whoever among them (i.e. those students of knowledge) has Sultaan (i.e. authority given to him by the law of the land or the authorities), then it is obligated on him to stop these evil affairs with his hand and tongue. The one who does not have Sultaan (i.e. authority given to him by the law of the land or the authorities), then it is obligated on him to stop these evils with his tongue, his pen (i.e. through writing) or his stature (amongst the people). Then Shaikh Rabee said: I do not think that either a scholar or a student of knowledge would be in opposition in this (affair).
Then Shaikh Rabee said: I believe that if those students of knowledge I have described (i.e. the ones who find themselves in those lands in which such evils are present) remain silent about stopping those evils, they would be included in the statement of Allaah:
لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَىٰ لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُوا يَعْتَدُونَ
كَانُوا لَا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud (David) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used not to forbid one another from the Munkar (wrong, evil-doing, sins, polytheism, disbelief, etc.) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do. [5:78-79]
[Source: Bayaan Maa Fee Naseehati Ibraaheem Ar-Ruhayli Minal Khalal Wal-Ikhlaal’ pages 48-50’ paraphrased and abridged]
To be continued…In-Shaa-Allaah