In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] also said:
[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ – O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. [يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ – O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet..] [Surah Al-Hujuraat Aayaat 1 & 2]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
When it is the case that Allaah forbade us from giving precedence to (ourselves) over the Messenger, then which type of giving precedence to oneself over the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] can be more severe than giving precedence to one’s intellect over the revelation he was sent with? Many of the pious predecessors have stated (that this Ayah means), “Do not say anything [about the religion] until the Messenger speaks and do not act until he commands you”. The most disobedient person amongst the people and the most severe with regards to giving precedence to himself over the Messenger is that one who gives precedence to his intellect or the intellect of another person over the revelation (i.e. the Qur’an and Sunnah) the Messenger was sent with. And when it is the case that Allaah has indeed forbidden them from raising their voices above the voice of the Messenger, then how about raising their intellects above the statements of the Messenger and the revelation he came with?! (1)
Allaah (The Most High) said:
لَّا تَجۡعَلُواْ دُعَآءَ ٱلرَّسُولِ بَيۡنَڪُمۡ كَدُعَآءِ بَعۡضِكُم بَعۡضً۬اۚ قَدۡ يَعۡلَمُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنكُمۡ لِوَاذً۬اۚ فَلۡيَحۡذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦۤ أَن تُصِيبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ أَوۡ يُصِيبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Make not the calling of the Messenger [Muhammad] among you as your calling of one another. Allah knows those of you who slip away under shelter [of some excuse without taking the permission to leave, from the Messenger]. And let those who oppose the Messenger’s [Muhammad] commandment [i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.] [among the sects] beware, lest some Fitnah befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. [Surah An-Noor. Aayah 63]
Allaah said: [فَلۡيَحۡذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦۤ -And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah, orders, acts of worship, statements) beware]; [أَن تُصِيبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ – lest some Fitnah befall them]: Meaning: [Lest] misguidance, calamity in the worldly life or disbelief[Ref a] befall them. [أَوۡ يُصِيبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ – or a painful torment be inflicted on them]: Meaning: Killed [i.e. by enemies] in the worldly life or punished in the hell fire in the afterlife. (2)
Imaam Ahmad [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said about this Ayah [i.e. Surah An-Noor. Aayah 63]: Do you know what Al-Fitnah is? Al-Fitnah is Shirk. Perhaps if he [i.e. the person] rejects some of his [i.e. the Prophet’s] statements, then something of deviation enters his heart, so he is destroyed. (3)
Question to Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz: Shaikh, are the ones who depend on their intellects in understanding many of the affairs of the religion considered to be from those who are mistaken?
Answer: Yes; it is obligated on him not to depend on his intellect, rather he studies the texts and relies on the divine texts from the speech of Allaah and that of Allaah’s Messenger, because there is guidance in it and direction towards good. As for the intellect, it can be right or wrong. The sects that oppose Ahlus sunnah were destroyed due to their intellects. They thought that they had good intellects and that their intellects arrived at what is correct and thus they opposed the texts by way of their stagnant intellects which they thought were sound. What was that which made the Jahmiyyah negate the Perfect Names and Attributes of Allaah, except due to their corrupt intellects?!
What was it that led the Mutazilah to negate the attributes of Allaah and declared that the sinners [i.e. those who die whilst committing the major sins that are lesser that major kufr and major shirk] will remain in the fire forever, except due to their corrupt intellects?! Likewise, is the case of their followers who utter this same speech.
What led the Khawaarij to excommunicate the people due to committing sins – that the sinner is a disbeliever and that he will remain in the fire forever, except due to their corrupt intellects. Likewise. this is the case regarding other than them amongst the proponents of Bidah. The intellects which they depend upon is that which destroy them, because they think that their intellects are safe, sound, good and infallible, whereas that is not the case; rather it is not infallible – commits mistakes a lot; however they hold a good suspicion regarding their intellects and an evil suspicion regarding the texts and thus they are destroyed.
It is obligatory to harbour a good suspicion regarding the texts and an evil suspicion regarding the intellect, and to submit the intellects to the texts. The texts are infallible if their chain of transmission are established to be authentic. As for the intellects, they are fallible. A person susceptible to mistakes, shortcoming and desires. As for the Messenger, that which he conveyed from Allaah is infallible, and likewise the Qur’aan is infallible- the speech of Allaah. Therefore, it is obligatory that the Qur’aan and Sunnah passes a judgement on your intellect and that you give precedence to the Qur’aan and Sunnah over your intellect- over the intellect of the Shaikh, the Mashaayikh, your forefathers, ancestors and all the people. The texts are given precedence over all the intellects. (4)
Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
All praise is due to Allaah, who in every age and interval between the Prophets, raises up a group from the people of knowledge, who call the misguided to guidance, patiently bear ill-treatment and harm. With the Book of Allaah they give life to the dead and with the Light of Allaah they give sight to the blind. How many a person killed by Iblees (the Devil) they have revived, how beautiful their effect has been upon the people, and how vile the people have been towards them! They remove from Allaah’s Book the alterations of those going beyond bounds, the false claims of the liars and the false interpretations of the ignoramus- those who uphold the banner of innovation and let loose the trials and discords, who oppose the Book and agree upon opposing the Book. They speak about Allaah and his Book without knowledge, argue about what is ambiguous in the Book and deceive the ignorant ones with such ambiguities. We seek refuge in Allaah from the trials of the misguided ones. (5)
[Ref 1: Al-Waabil as-Sayyib page 21]
Ref 2: Zaadul Maseer Fee Ilmit Tafseer’ By Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [rahimahullaah]
[Ref 3: Reported by Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah Al-Kubraa 97]
[Ref 5: Ar-Radd Alal Jahmiyyah Waz-Zanaadiqah. p. 2]