When Can One Manifest Stern Disapproval In Issues of Khilaaf?

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “There is no excuse in the presence of Allaah – on the day of judgement – for the one that the (authentic) Prophetic reports and narrations reached in a subject matter of the religion- which are not opposed by any other texts – if he turns away from them”. [I’laam Al-Muwaqqi’een 3/300-301]

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The loftiest ambition in seeking knowledge is to acquire knowledge of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah- to be granted understanding by Allaah [i.e. granted Tawfeeq to acquire sound knowledge] and through the Sunnah of the Messenger, and acquaint oneself with the boundaries of the revelation [i.e. neither going into excess nor being lackadaisical]. And the most baseless ambition of the students of knowledge is to confine their ambitions in following the bizarre affairs and that which has neither occurred nor has it been revealed, or acquainting (oneself) with the differences of opinion and pursuing the statements of the scholars, whilst having no ambition to acquaint oneself with what is correct among those statements. Little is there to benefit from the knowledge of these people”. [An Excerpt from Al-Fawaa’id. page: 99. Slightly paraphrased]

Imaam Ash-Shawkaanee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The statement “there is no Inkaar (i.e. manifesting one’s disapproval in a stern manner) in the issues of Khilaaf (differing)” has indeed become the greatest means to blocking the path to enjoining good and forbidding evil”. [As-Sayl Al-Jarraar. 4/588]

Imaam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhaab [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: If the utterer of the statement “there should be no Inkaar (i.e. manifesting one’s disapproval in a stern manner) in issues of Khilaaf (i.e. differing)” intends by way of it the issues of Khilaaf, then this statement is false according to the consensus of the scholars. The Messenger’s companions and those who succeeded them did not cease showing disapproval of the error [or the person who erred (i.e. depending on the severity of the error)] regardless who he was, even if he was the most knowledge and pious amongst the people. When it is the fact that Allaah sent Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] with guidance and the true religion, commanded us to follow him and abandon that which opposes him, then part of the perfection of this affair is that whoever – amongst those scholars who err- opposes his path (i.e. in any affair), then such scholar is notified of his error and the error is rejected. However, if the utterer of the statement that ‘there is no Inkaar in issues of Khilaaf’ intend by way of it the issues of Ijtihaad about which there’s no one view (opinion or stance) that stands out to be the most correct one, then his statement is correct”. [Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah 4/8]

Some people are under the illusion that what is intended by this statement “there is a no Inkaar in issues of Khilaaf” is that it is not permissible to show stern disapproval regarding any affair in which difference of opinion is held; so based on this (illusion of theirs), it becomes impermissible to disapprove of a Munkar (an evil) unless there is complete agreement in doing so. This is a wrong understanding that would necessitate a cessation of enjoining good and forbidding evil. What is correct regarding this statement “there is no Inkaar in issues of Khilaaf” is that there should neither be harshness in disapproval nor reprimand with regards to those issues about which there is no manifest proof to be taken as the final (affair). And the basis upon which this is founded is that the issues of khilaaf are of two types: The type are those issues about which there is proof necessitating that it be taken as the final (decision); so here the proof must be taken and the other statement (opinion) in opposition is discarded. And whoever follows the statement (opinion) that is established to be in opposition to the proofs, then he is shown disapproval (i.e. clearly stated to him that what he holds is wrong without going into excess). The second type are those issues about which the proof has not been manifested to be taken as the final (decision). It is an affair in which the evidences are either at contention or the views are at variance. This is an issue of ijtihaad, and there is neither disapproval nor reprimand against the one in opposition; rather advice is given for acquaintance with the statement (opinion) that carries more weight. This second type is what is intended by the statement “there is no Inkaar in issues of Khilaaf”, which some people have understood in an unrestrictive manner. [Ibaaraat Moohimah. page:25]

The Ijtihaad of Ahlul Bidah: Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee Al Madkhalee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “We do not say that there are people of ijtihaad amongst ahlul bidah because they are followers of desires, and Allaah and His Messenger have testified to this. The misguided innovator stirs up discord and errs, and then says to you, ‘This is ijtihaad’. And when Hikmatiyaar and the misguided parties (in Afghanistaan) murdered Shaikh Jameel Ur-Rahmaan, they said, ‘This is ijtihaad’. Making lawful the spilling of the blood of the Salafis is ijtihaad to them! This is what it is, they (ahlul bidah) do not fall upon an affair of misguidance or a calamity except that they say, ‘This is ijtihaad’. This is a dilution of Islaam, mixing falsehood, misguidance and bidah with truth when the mistakes of the (real scholars of ijtihaad) for which they are rewarded are placed at the same level with religious innovation about which the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] has informed us that it leads to the fire”. [Ajwibatul Allaamatush Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadee Al Madkhalee Alaa As-ilah Abee Rawaaha Al-Manhajiyyah. page: 20]

NB: We do not make up our own mind regarding which issues warrant harshness or leniency, rather we return to the scholars and elder students to identify them for us, otherwise we’ll go astray – either falling into unwarranted harshness or leniency – whilst seeking to determine a stance which we do not have the ability to determine. Read here regarding the importance of consultation: https://salaficentre.com/2019/04/11/al-hasan-al-basree-said-by-allaah-never-have-a-people-sought-advice-except-that-they-were-guided-to-the-best-of-what-was-available-to-them/

And whenever strong disagreement occurs, may Allaah enable us to supplicate to him for guidance. So, we ask Allaah:

اللّهُـمَّ رَبَّ جِـبْرائيل ، وَميكـائيل ، وَإِسْـرافيل، فاطِـرَ السَّمواتِ وَالأَرْض ، عالـِمَ الغَيْـبِ وَالشَّهـادَةِ أَنْـتَ تَحْـكمُ بَيْـنَ عِبـادِكَ فيـما كانوا فيهِ يَخْتَلِفـون. اهدِنـي لِمـا اخْتُـلِفَ فيـهِ مِنَ الْحَـقِّ بِإِذْنِك ، إِنَّـكَ تَهْـدي مَنْ تَشـاءُ إِلى صِراطٍ مُسْتَقـيم

O Allaah! Lord of Jibraa’eel, Meekaa’eel and Israafeel, Creator of the heavens and the Earth, The Knower of the seen and the unseen. You judge between Your slaves regarding in that which they differ. Guide me to the truth regarding that in which there is differing, by Your Will. Verily, You guide whomever you will to the straight path. [Saheeh Muslim 770]

The scholars say that these creations [i.e. Jibraa’eel, Meekaa’eel, Israafeel, the heavens and the earth] have been specifically mentioned, even though Allaah is the Creator of all the creation, just as has been established in the Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah with regards to the specific mention of every created thing that has a great and mighty status as one of Allaah’s creation, such as the statement, “Lord of the Heavens and the Earth”, “Lord of the Supreme Throne”, “Lord of the Angels and Jibreel”, “The Lord of the two Easts (places of sunrise during early summer and early winter) and the Lord of the two Wests (places of sunset during early summer and early winter)”, “The Lord of Humankind”, “The King of Humankind”, “The Only True God of Humankind”, “The Lord of all Created Things”, “The Lord of the Prophets”, ” The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth”, “The Originator of the Heavens and the Earth” etc. All these things and what is similar to them shows Allaah’s greatness, All-encompassing Power and absolute Sovereignty. [Sharh Saheeh Muslim 5/50]

In this supplication, one employs the means of seeking Allaah’s [love, aid, pleasure, assistance etc] by way of belief and affirmation that He is the Lord – in general and specific – of these three Angels, who have been given a means of giving life. Jibra’eel is given the responsibility to convey the revelation (to the Prophets) by way of which the hearts and souls are given that type of life that necessitates the presence of sound belief in the heart that leads to all righteous deeds. Meekaa’eel is given the responsibility to bring the rain by way of which the earth, the vegetation and animals are given life, and Israafeel is given the responsibility to blow the trumpet by way of which the creation are resurrected after their death. Also employing the means of seeking Allaah’s [love, aid, assistance, pleasure etc] by way of belief and affirmation that Allaah alone is the Originator of the heavens and earth, meaning, He is their Creator and the one who brought them into existence prior to their non-existence, and that He is the knower of the unseen and the seen- meaning, the hidden and apparent, and due to the fact that He alone is the One Who judges between the servants in that which they differ, so that He guides you to the truth in that which they differ.

As for guidance, it is knowledge of the truth together with having the intent to follow the truth, and preferring it over other things. The guided person is that one who acts upon the truth and desires it, and it is the Greatest blessing of Allaah bestowed on the servants. We ask Allaah to guide us all to the straight path and grant us every good. [An Excerpt from Fiqh Al-Ad’iyah Wal Ad’kaar 3/139-140]

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