In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
There are those who support, accompany and defend someone upon error in a particular affair, or they support a person who defends and accompanies someone who is upon error, and then you hear them saying, “We are not obliged to follow the verdict of a scholar who gives a verdict against our stance” or you hear them saying, “We are not going to blindly follow this or that Scholar”. These statements are being uttered after the refutations against Muhammad Bin Haadi and those who support him, and we also hear them saying – after Al-Allaamah Rabee warned against Dr Sulaymaan Ar-Ruhaylee for supporting Muhammad Bin Haadi- “This is just the Shaikh’s opinion. Other scholars say otherwise. No scholar’s opinion is obligated on anyone to follow”. Read here- reponse to Muhammad Bin Haadi’s allegations: https://abukhadeejah.com/muhammad-hadi-allegations-and-response-of-the-major-scholars/
Question to Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi Al-Madkhali [may Allaah preserve him]: Are the issues of Jarh Wat-Tadeel [the science of criticism and praise] based on Ijtihaad (1) [the independent effort of a scholar to reach a verdict on a matter after referring back to the divine text]? And how do we refute the one who says, “I am not obliged to accept the speech of such and such a Shaikh?!”
Response: A group from the schemers against the Salafi Methodology and those who wear a false garment of the Salafiyyah Methodology seek to place in the affair of Jarh Wat-Tadeel, (the false principle): “We rectify, but we do not disparage” (and the false principle): “We want a broad and extensive methodology that will accommodate all the Ummah”; (and the false principle): “We rectify but we do not destroy”- meaning, neither evil nor bidah is repelled; rather all the Ummah are accommodated in a board and extensive methodology to the extent that even the Raafidah (shia) are accommodated. So these people begin to make false accusations against the science of Jarh Wat-Tadeel and against those (i.e. the scholars) who establish it. Some of these false accusers have gone as far as saying that there is no proof in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah to establish the science of Jarh Wat-Tadeel!
Indeed, the Qur’aan is filled with the proofs of Jarh Wat Tadeel. The people of Pharaoh have been refuted and disparaged; the people of Prophet Nooh have been refuted and disparaged; the people of Prophet Hud have been refuted and disparaged; the people of Prophet Saaleh have been refuted and disparaged; the Quraish have been refuted and disparaged and Abu Lahab has been refuted and disparaged. The Sunnah and the methodology of the pious predecessors are filled with Jarh Wat Tadeel and it is a weapon against the proponents of innovation in religious affairs. The people promoting such false principles want to break this ‘Jarh Wat-Tadeel Weapon’ into pieces, and they want to deprive the Salafis of this ‘Jarh Wat-Tadeel Weapon’ which is traced back to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him].
So, a person comes along and wages war against the science of Jarh Wat-Tadeel, then a second person comes along and wages war against the science of Jarh Wat-Tadeel, then a third, a fourth one, ……..then a tenth person comes along and wages war against the science of Jarh Wat-Tadeel and they are all followed by crowds!! Therefore, be warned against these people, because they wear a false gown of Salafiyyah in order to split the Salafis through these false principles and precepts.
A person commits murder and was seen by two trustworthy witnesses; then these two witnesses are summoned in the presence of the ruler who applies the Islamic rulings, what will he judge by? He should judge by the law of Islam and if not he has opposed the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]. Allaah (The Most High) said: [وَأَشۡہِدُواْ ذَوَىۡ عَدۡلٍ۬ مِّنكُمۡ – And take for witness two just persons from among you (Muslims)].
The evidence for giving witnesses and the evidences for Jarh Wat-Tadeel are one and the same thing. As for the untrustworthy person, then his narration is not accepted. Likewise, the liar- the deceiver whose speech cannot be determined for its correctness, then his testimony is not accepted-neither his criticism against (a person) nor commendation is accepted (until verified). However, if one is a scholar who is precise and skilful, and he says about a person, “Such and such a person is a liar”, it is obligated on the people to accept his speech. The Salaf followed this methodology, (such as their saying), “Such and such is a liar”, “Such and such has a bad memory”, “Such and such is an innovator”, “Such and such is a Murji”, “Such and such is a khaariji”, “Such and such is a Mutazili” etc These statements have been made by Imaam Ahmad, Imaam Ibn Ma’een, Imaam Ibn Al-Madeenee, Imaam Bukhaaree etc. This the path followed by the Salaf; and why is that the case? That is because Allaah commanded us to accept the narration of the trustworthy narrators. Allaah (The Most High) said: [يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِن جَآءَكُمۡ فَاسِقُۢ بِنَبَإٍ۬ فَتَبَيَّنُوٓاْ – O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it].
Clarification and verification is to be sought when a rebellious evil person narrates. The narration of a rebellious evil person is not declared a lie straight away because it may be correct; but it is not accepted until it is verified. As for the narration of a trustworthy person–as long as he is trustworthy and precise in what he narrates from Allaah’s Messenger, then it is obligatory to accept his narration. The Books of the Sunnah are filled with the narrations of those truthful narrators—a truthful person who reports from another truthful person with a chain of transmission going back to Allaah’s Messenger. However, these people who are seeking to attack the science of Jarh Wat-Tadeel with their false principles want to abolish the sound principles upon which our Religion is established.
Many of the reports of Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], the transmissions from the companions [may Allaah be pleased with them] and the transmissions from the Imaams of the Sunnah were transmitted from one trustworthy person to another trustworthy person… and it obligatory to accept them, due to the saying of Allaah (The Most High): [[وَأَشۡہِدُواْ ذَوَىۡ عَدۡلٍ۬ مِّنكُمۡ – And take for witness two just persons from among you (Muslims)].
And with regards to transmission of information, then the information transmitted by one (trustworthy) person is sufficient because the Messenger used to send one person to Chosroes (i.e. the Emperor of Persia) to call him to Islaam and establish the proofs against him. He sent one person to Caesar the King of Rome to call him to Islaam and establish the proofs against him. The people used to enter Islam based on the message of this one trustworthy-truthful person sent by the Prophet. And if they rejected Islam and refused to follow Allaah’s Messenger based on the information transmitted by this one trustworthy-truthful person, the Prophet prepared an army against them. The Messenger prepared an army for the battle of Tabuk against the Romans based on the fact that they rejected the call to Islaam which was communicated to them by one person. He sent individuals to Bahrain, Oman and Yemen and their narrations were accepted; so how about in this present time of ours when there are ten or fifty Salafi (scholars) who are in agreement regarding a particular affair, but their narrations are rejected. And those who reject them, say, “There has to be a consensus of all the scholars”. And from the false principles of these people is that they say, “We neither accept criticism against a person nor a praise for him even if many of the contemporary scholars say that such a person is an innovator in religious affairs”.
Therefore be warned against these people, because they make a claim to Salafiyyah, whilst seeking to destroy the Salafi Methodology- its principles and foundations. How many false precepts do they have, such as their saying, “I am not obliged to accept the speech of such and such a Shaikh?!” You find a scholar quoting and refuting the misguidance found in the Book of such and such a person, in such and such page, yet you find these people saying, “I am not obliged to accept the speech of such and such a Shaikh”.
This statement of theirs is a principle by way of which they seek to shun and reject truth. It is a false principle by way of which they seek to reject the sound principles of Jarh Wat-Tadeel. Therefore, learn the sound principles of Jarh Wat-Tadeel and look to the methodology of the pious predecessors and leave alone these people who misguide. They bring turmoil upon the true religion of Allaah- upon the Methodology of the pious predecessors and its followers. (1)
Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee Al-Mad’khalee [may Allaah preserve him] also stated: Indeed, rejecting the statements of scholars [i.e. their sound verdicts] – by way of statements whose apparent meaning is sound, but those who utilise them intend falsehood and evil – has become widespread nowadays. [And this statement of truth by way of which falsehood and evil is intended is], “I do not blindly follow!!” Even though you find him [i.e. the utterer of this statement] to be ignorant, understands nothing [i.e. regarding some or many affairs] in the religion and is one of those who are greatly in need of the blindly following the (trustworthy) scholars as well as following them. There is (the necessity for) Taqleed and Ittibaa. There is a person who is ignorant and he needs to make Taqleed. Taqleed is a necessity for this person, therefore it is incumbent upon him to make Taqleed of the scholars. (see footnote a)
The student of knowledge can understand by way of the proofs that such and such scholar is correct and thus he follows the person with proof [i.e. Ittibaa]. This is a level above Taqleed and below the level of the Mujtahid. Some of them [i.e. the people] might say, “I do not make Taqleed”’, even though-in reality- he is a commoner or an evil doer, or a malicious person who desires to speak ill against the scholars and keep the people away from them through these cunning ways. Therefore, let the youth be careful lest they fall into the trap of these fools – those who speak ill of the scholars in such a heedless manner.
“I do not make Taqleed of such and such (person)”. We say to him [i.e. the one who utters this statement], “Who commands you to make Taqleed if you are a student of knowledge?! However, if that scholar about whom you say, ‘I do not make Taqleed of him’ has truth with him, then is it permissible to reject the truth through this illusion which you call Taqleed and intend falsehood by way of it?!'” I warn the youth against this despicable behaviour. It has become rife amongst the common people and prevents them from good manners, (sound) religion and character. (2)
Finally, there is no room for argument to defend Dr Sulaymaan ar-Ruhaylee after Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi warned against him for supporting and defending reckless Muhammad Bin Haadi. See here: https://twitter.com/IslamStoke/status/1546118439517011969
What do these people expect to be said about Dr Sulaymaan ar-Ruhaylee after he has persisted in his defence of reckless Muhammad Bin Haadi, rather he openly allies with Muhammad’s Bin Haadi’s staunch UK supporters at Markazumar?!
The poet said, “Do not ask about a man, but ask about his companion, because every person guides himself by his companion”. [Al-Ibaanah 2/439] Translated by Spubs
Ibn Mas’ood said, “Indeed, a person walks along & accompanies the one whom he loves & who is like him”. [Al-Ibaanah 2/476] Translated by Spubs
Abu Dardaa said, “It is from the Fiqh (understanding of a person) that he (chooses) those whom he walks with, whom he enters upon (visits) & whom he sits with”. [Al-Ibaanah 2/477] Translated by Spubs
Al-A’mash said, “The Salaf did not used to ask anything more about a person after having asked three affairs: Who he walks with, who he enters upon (visits) & who he associates with amongst the people”. [al-Ibaanah 2/478] Translated by Spubs
Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood said, “Make consideration of the (regions of the) earth by the names given to them & make consideration of a person by his companion”. [al-Ibaanah 2/479] Translated by Spubs
Mu’aadh Bin Mu’aadh said to Yahyah Bin Sa’eed, O Abu Sa’eed! A person may hide his viewpoint from us, but will not be able to hide that in his son, or his friend or in one whom he sits with”. [Al-Ibaanah 2/437] Translated by Spubs
Read here the clarification of Al-Allaamah Ubaid Bin Abdillah Al-Jaabiri [may Allaah preserve him] regarding those who hide behind Shaikh: https://salaficentre.com/2013/08/21/2-an-eye-opener-for-the-seeker-of-truth-alallaamah-ubaid-bin-abdillaah-al-jaabiri-answers/
We ask Allaah to show us truth in reality and distance us from error and falsehood Aameen
Footnote a: The Prohibited and Permissible Forms of Taqlid:
The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Ijtihad and Taqlid
The following PDF https://www.troid.org/media/pdf/areturntothesunnah.pdf discusses the subject matter of Taqleed -from page 59 onward- based on the clarifications of the scholars, such as Imaam Albaani [rahimahullaah], Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] and others. The reader is asked to read carefully to acquire a holistic understanding of the affair.
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from a lecture of the Shaikh delivered on Yawm Al-Khaamis 28 Shawaal 1431. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Source: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 61-62. Slightly paraphrased]