In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] said:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّٲمِينَ بِٱلۡقِسۡطِ شُہَدَآءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَوِ ٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبِينَۚ إِن يَكُنۡ غَنِيًّا أَوۡ فَقِيرً۬ا فَٱللَّهُ أَوۡلَىٰ بِہِمَاۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ أَن تَعۡدِلُواْۚ وَإِن تَلۡوُ ۥۤاْ أَوۡ تُعۡرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا
O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever WellAcquainted with what you do. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayah 135]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: When a proof that supports the truth is manifested and the one who wants to repel it finds no way of doing so, he refrains from mentioning it and thus becomes a silent devil, and sometimes he distorts it. Distortion is of two types- distorting words and distorting meanings. Distorting words is when one utters a word in a context in which it does not establish the truth – either adding to the word or omitting something from it, or substituting it with something else- to the extent that the listener is made to believe something, whilst something else is intended by it, just as the Yahood [i.e. those Yahood who disbelieved in the Prophet and hated him] used to distort words when giving Salaam to the Prophet [i.e. saying As-Saamu Alayka (death be upon you), instead of saying Assalaamu alaykum)]. This is one type of distortion. The second type of distortion is related to meanings – distorting the wording; giving it an interpretation that is not intended by the one who uttered it and pretending not to know its unintended meaning; or dropping other meanings intended by it etc.
Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَإِن تَلۡوُ ۥۤاْ أَوۡ تُعۡرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا – and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do]. And when it is the case that a witness is required to bear witness based on what the affair should be [i.e. the complete truth], therefore neither should he hide nor change it. Turning away from the testimony is tantamount to concealment, and distortion is tantamount to alteration and substitution. (1)
Therefore, the affair of the specific individual or individuals at Markaz At-Tawheed – who stated that we are known for dropping scholars – can only be one of two: either they know why Faalih Al-Harbi was refuted and distanced, but they seek to hide the facts, or they do not know the affair and thus have spoken based on conjecture and falsehood. If they know in detail and conceal the facts, then indeed the above Aayah [An-Nisaa 135] is a reminder for them; but if they have spoken based on conjecture, then indeed we remind them of Allaah’s statement:
وَلَا تَقۡفُ مَا لَيۡسَ لَكَ بِهِۦ عِلۡمٌۚ إِنَّ ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَٱلۡبَصَرَ وَٱلۡفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ كَانَ عَنۡهُ مَسۡـُٔولاً۬
And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah). [Surah Al-Israa. Aayah 36]
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Indeed, we have been commanded to ask Him [The Most High] to guide us to the straight path and this necessitates knowledge of the truth and acting upon it, and the Qur’aan is the cure, guidance and light. The Muslims are agreed that doubt and confusion are unpraiseworthy, and it is expected – absolutely- that a person who does not possess knowledge of something is obligated to keep quiet and seek knowledge via its (sound) sources. (1.1)
Indeed, Faalih Al-Harbi toppled himself due to his own transgressions! Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi Al-Mad’khali [may Allaah protect him] stated, “When affairs escalated, and during this escalation that led to the splitting, I received some papers from a book that had been transcribed from his tapes titled Al-Musaara’ah [The Wrestle]. I read those papers and came across – in them – terrible insults, ignorance, destructive judgments and a corrupt premise. I discussed some of what is in those papers with the utmost kindness and care, asked him to return to the truth in the hope that Allaah might benefit him through it, so that the Salafi youth would be relieved of the causes of disunity and splitting. I sent the first advice to him in private (see footnote a), but he did not respond to this gentle request aimed at stopping the trial and uniting the Salafi youth. Then, after about a month and a half, I sent him and some of his friends the second advice- in private and not openly, despite the fact that he and those who supported him rebuked those who exercised patience and gave advice, and considered that to be tantamount to negligence and an act of weakening the (sound principles, stances). He and his clandestine group entered the dark tunnels, `presented their arguments in a particular way, weakening the (sound principles), defending (themselves) with lies, obscuring (affairs) and insulting – through gestures and open declaration – at everyone who spoke the truth; rather the insult (uttered) by some of them extended to belittling Imaams of Jarh Wat-Tadeel and their fundamental principles. Therefore, now it is necessary to clarify some of what I discussed in the two advices, which I had previously overlooked”. (2)
Read here one of the issues Faalih al-Harbi initiated:
InShaaAllaah, another post will be prepared with more examples of Faalih Al-Harbi’s calamities, so that the clear proofs are flung in the faces of those blazing hizbiyyoon at Markaz at-Tawheed who parrot the accusation that we have been dropping scholars- a statement that has become normal on the tongues of many of the hizbiyyoon, whilst hiding the reasons why those people have been dropped, such as Faalih Al-Harbi, Fawzi Al-Bahraini, Al-Halabi, Al-Hajuri and their ilk.
Footonote a: Question to Al-Allaamah Muqbil Bin Haadi Al-Waadi’ee [may Allaah have mercy upon him]: What is the difference between Jarh (criticism) and Nush (advice)?
Response: The difference between criticism and advice is that advice can be in private, between the one advising and the one being advised, and it can be with gentleness and mildness. [فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ – And speak to him (i. Fir’awn) mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah]. [Surah Taa Haa. Aayah 44]
As for criticism, it can be recorded in books and mentioned in councils (sittings), and our predecessors [may Allaah have mercy on them] combined between the two (advice and criticism). Al-Imam Al-Dhahabi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Ratan- and who is Ratan (i.e. Ratan Bin Abdillah Al-Hindi)? A liar amongst the big liars who claimed Suhbah (i.e. that he accompanied the Prophet) after six years has elapsed”.
Imam Ash-Shafi’ee said, “The narration on the authority of Haram bin Othman is Haraam (forbidden)”, and he also says, “Whoever narrates on the authority of al-Bayaadee, may Allaah brighten his eyes”.
When Suwayd Bin Saeed narrated, “He who is infatuated, abstains, conceals (his infatuation) and then all dies, he dies as a martyr”, Yahya Bin Ma’een said, “If I had a horse and a spear, I would have carried out a military expedition against Suwayd”.
Abaan Bin Abee Ayyaash was a man who abstained from those unnecessary but lawful worldly pleasures, a devout worshipper and a virtuous person, but he used to mix up in his transmission of hadeeth; Shu’bah was asked to refrain from (speaking) about Abaan Bin Abee Ayyaash, so he said, “I will see (or wait)”. Then he advised him saying, “Indeed, (this affair is related to the) religion, (and) I can’t (do anything else) except to speak about Abaan Bin Abee Ayyaash (i.e. tell people the mistake he commits in the hadeeth transmission)”. (3)
Question to Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him]: When should advice be given in private or openly?
Response: The one giving advice does what is best. If he sees that it is more beneficial in secret, he advises secretly; if he sees that it is more beneficial to do so openly, he does so; but if the sin is committed in secret, the advice can only be given in secret. If he knows about his brother that he commits a sin in secret, he advises him in secret and does not expose him. But if the sin is committed openly, – seen by the people, for example a person starts drinking alcohol in a gathering, then one must openly disapprove of it; or if a person started calling (others) to drink alcohol or to fornicate, whilst one is present, he should say, “O my brother! This is not permissible”. (4)
Question to Imaam Al-Albaanee [may Allaah have mercy upon him]: The statement of some people or the stipulation of some of them is that it is more correct that advice must be given before refutations are printed- a copy must be sent to the one refuted so that it can be looked into. They say this is from the methodology of the pious predecessors.
Response: This is not a condition, but if it is possible and it is hoped that affinity will be attained from this approach – in order not to announce the affair amongst the people, then this is undoubtedly a good thing; but as for making it a condition first and foremost, and secondly, making it a general condition, there is no wisdom in this at all. People, as you all know, are like mines of gold and silver (footnote b), so whoever you know – about him – that he is with us on the path- upon the (sound) methodology and that he accepts advice, then you write to him without making his mistake known, and at least in your view this is good. But this is not a condition, and it would have been impossible (to implement fully) even if it were a condition. How would get his address and how would you be able to correspond with him? Also, will he send you a response or not? These are completely speculative affairs. This condition is very difficult to fulfill, and therefore the issue is not taken as a condition. (5)
Footnote b: Abu Hurairah [may Allaah be pleased with him] narrated that Allah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “People are like mines of gold and silver; those who were excellent in Jahiliya (during the days of ignorance) are excellent In Islam, when they have an understanding (in the religion), and the souls are troops collected together and those who had a mutual familiarity amongst themselves would have affinity amongst them, and those who opposed one of them, would be at variance with one another”. [Saheeh Muslim 2638]
To be continued InShaaAllaah.
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah). Vol 1. Page 300-303. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Al-Majmoo Al-Waadih Fee Raddi Manhaj Wa Usooli Faalih. page 123
[Ref 3: Ghaarah Al-Ashritah 1/ 71. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: Majallah Al-Islaah. (Number 17/241). Date: 23/6/1993]
[Ref 5: Silsilah Al-Hudaa Wan-Noor. Number 63]