In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Al-Allaamah Ubaid Bin Abdillaah Al-Jaabiri [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated: When the people of virtue and righteousness were faced with an adversity and an intricate affair, they would go to the Senior People of knowledge to ask them and seek a Jawaab Ash-Shaafee Al-Kaafee [i.e. an appropriate answer that would bring about rectification of the religious affairs and preservation of the well-being of the people based on the Qur’aan and the Sunnah]. This is a followed path –beginning since the era of Prophet’s companions, then the Imaams of the Taabi’een, and then after them, the people of knowledge, virtue, religion and Eemaan. And how beautiful is what Ibn Mas’ood said, “The people will not cease to be righteous and upright as long as knowledge comes to them from the companions of Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and their elders; but if knowledge comes to them from their young ones, they will be destroyed”. (1)
The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Indeed from the signs of the hour is that knowledge will be sought from the young ones”. Ibn Mas’ood [may Allaah be pleased with him] said, “The people will not cease to be upon good as long as they acquire knowledge from their elders, their trustworthy ones and their scholars, for if they acquire it from their young ones and evil ones, they will be destroyed”.
Shaikh Abdus Salaam Burgess [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated in Awaa’iq At-Talab (pages 29-35) that this ruling is not an absolute (or unrestricted) regarding the young ones, because indeed there were a group of the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een who taught and gave verdicts in their young age, whilst the elders were present. However, the likes of these people are hard to find amongst those who came after them. So, if they are found and are known for being upright- upon a sound (path), possess knowledge and their firmness is manifested, whilst there are no elders to be found, then knowledge of the Sharee’ah is acquired from them, if they are free from fitnah! So, the intent is not that the knowledge possessed by the young person is boycotted, whilst the elders are present; rather the intent is that the people are placed in their rightful positions. [See Footnote a]
Footnote a: NB: We do not speculate and make our own judgements regarding the levels of the scholars and the students of knowledge, rather the Tazkiyyaat given to them specifically by the senior scholars is well known, so we limit ourselves to that- neither exaggerating nor diminishing their status.
[Ref 1: الطيب الجني على شرح السنة للإمام المزني – page 19. Slightly paraphrased]