In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Employ Careful Deliberation Before Transmitting or Making Judgements On Statements
Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah]
Verification is one of the most important affairs, if not the most important. Verifying what is transmitted from others is an important affair, because sometimes the transmitters harbour evil intentions, so they transmit – intentionally and deliberately – that which will tarnish the reputation of the one they transmit from. And sometimes they do not harbour an evil intention, but they understand something in a manner that is opposite to what is intended by it. Therefore, it is obligatory to verify. So, when the proof [sound source] of the transmission is established, then the one from whom the statement was transmitted is engaged in a discussion [or his statement is examined] before a judgement is passed as to whether it is a mistake or not. That is because it may become clear to you – by way of discussion [or observation] – that the one from whom the statement was transmitted is correct. And if not, then what is known is that if a person were to immediately pass a judgement merely based on what he hears, he will transmit things [i.e. statements, views, opinions etc] from some of the scholars – those considered to be the beacons of [Sharee’ah] knowledge – that which the souls will dislike; but when one verifies, contemplates and establishes contact with this Shaikh, the affair will become clarified [or clear to him]. [Excerpt from Sharh Hilyatil Taalibil Ilm Pages 75-76. By Shaikh Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah). Paraphrased]
Ask Questions to Understand, and Benefit Others, But Not For The Purpose of Fitna Or Merely Seeking to Hit One Statement of a Student Which You Do Not Agree With Against Another Statement!
Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah] said:
It is not a condition that a questioner can only ask about what he does not know, rather he can ask about something he knows but is not known to others; so he asks a question in order to facilitate understanding for others.
If you are in the presence of a scholar and you know that some of those present fall short in affairs related to the prayer- either lackadaisical or that they do not perform the prayer on time, or that they fall short in some of its Shuroot [conditions] and waajibaat [obligatory acts of the prayer] – so you ask a question regarding these affairs even though you know the answer; you ask in order to benefit those who are present and so that they are facilitated with understand in their religion. These types of questions are very beneficial as opposed to questions that are not correct – that is because some people ask questions in order to confuse those present and bring about doubts etc. A question cannot be beneficial unless the questioner intends to benefit himself and others.
When Jibreel [alayhis-salaam] came to the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] he did not appear as a teacher, rather he asked questions, even though the Messenger described him as one who came to teach the people their religion. This shows that the one who asks a scholar a question in order that the people can learn what they do not know is rewarded like one who teaches people their religion.
A scholar teaches people directly, but the one who asks the scholar a question becomes a means for the people to learn, for the one who guides to good is like one who does the good deed. For example if you ask a student of knowledge in your country to give lessons in your Masjid –to teach the forty hadeeth of An-Nawawi or other books of the scholars, and you inform him of the needs of the people, so he begins to teach, explain and revise etc you will receive all that reward. The one who guides to good is just like one who performs the good deed. The commoner can be a means to teaching others by asking a scholar, or by gathering other commoners to take them to the circles of knowledge, disseminating beneficial audio lectures etc. [An excerpt from ‘Sharh of the forty hadeeth of Imaam An-Nawawi (rahimahullaah)’. Lesson number 2]