An Important Affair to Pay Attention to When Quoting or Retweeting Statements of Scholars and Senior Students

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

Indeed, it is praiseworthy to quote and retweet the scholars, as well as the senior students of knowledge in the East and the West, especially when they speak about issues of Dawah; however, the affair is not about who retweets or quotes the most, or who promotes such and such scholar or elder student the most; rather one of the most imporant affairs we should recall is the statement of Imaam Ahmad [may Allaah have mercy upon him] when he stated: “(There) is nothing equal to knowledge for the one who makes his intention correct (i.e. sincere). So they (i.e. the people) said, ‘And how do (we) make the intention correct (i.e. sincere) O father of Abdullaah?!’ He said, ‘You make an intention to remove ignorance from yourself and others'”. [Aadaab Ash-Sharee’ah’ 2/45 by Ibn Muflih- (rahimahullaah)]

Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi [may Allaah preserve him] said, “O my brothers! Sincerity is a great affair. It is incumbent upon a Muslim to guard it and take himself to account at every moment of his life. One of the Salaf said, ‘I used to hold that the hadeeth requires a Niyyah [i.e. sincere intention for seeking knowledge of hadeeth], but then I realised that every hadeeth requires an intention. Therefore, when you narrate or speak, do you desire praise from the people or do you desire the Face of Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted]? Do you desire that it is said, ‘He is a scholar; he is intelligent; he is a learned person of sound, precise and robust understanding’ or do you desire the Face of Allaah and to fulfil the responsibility you carry [i.e. knowledge of the religion]. (1)

Finally, on a seperate note, we are also in need of being reminded – in the West – of good manners! The Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said, “I was sent to perfect noble manners”. Al-Allaamah Zayd Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee [rahimahullaah] said: “This hadeeth is from the Jawaami Al kalim of the Messenger [i.e. a precise statement whose meaning is vast]. In it is proof regarding the importance of good manners and how can that not be the case when it is the fact that the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said (in another hadeeth), “Righteousness is good character”. Therefore, it is obligated on a believer to have good manners in his relationship with his Lord and in his dealings with the people. His manners should be based on the judgement of the noble Islamic legislation – in speech, deeds, dealings and all his actions. (2)

Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee al-Madkhalee [hafidhahullaah] said: Knowledge is not merely about studying and obtaining certificates, rather the goal is to acquire sound and precise understanding – sound understanding in affairs of Aqeedah, worship, good manners, good etiquettes and everything related to the life of a believer. It is obligated on the believers to carry out everything related to their lives based on the Book of Allaah and the (authentic) sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]. The believer performs acts of worship sincerely for the Sake of Allaah because Allaah commanded him to be sincere. [Allaah (The Blessed and Exalted) said]:

وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓاْ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ حُنَفَآءَ وَيُقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَيُؤۡتُواْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ‌ۚ وَذَٲلِكَ دِينُ ٱلۡقَيِّمَةِ

And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat: and that is the right religion. [Surah Al-Bayyinah’ Aayah 5] (3)

Shaikh Abdullah Al-Bukhari [hafidhahullaah] advises the students about good manners:

Careful Deliberation and Sound Verification!
Also be alert, because there are those who play games with the statements of the scholars on twitter. A scholar transmits something whilst intending a general advice or a specific situation in his country, but then another person who harbours rancour – without a justified reason – uses that statement to directly or indirectly belittle people in his country of residence. Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Verification is one of the most important affairs, if not the most important. Verifying what is transmitted from others is an important affair, because sometimes the transmitters harbour evil intentions, so they transmit – intentionally and deliberately – that which will tarnish the reputation of the one they transmit from. And sometimes they do not harbour an evil intention, but they understand something in a manner that is opposite to what is intended by it. Therefore, it is obligatory to verify. So, when the proof (or sound source) of the transmission is established, then the one from whom the statement was transmitted is engaged in a discussion before a judgement is passed as to whether it is a mistake or not. That is because it may become clear to you – by way of discussion – that the one from whom the statement was transmitted is correct. And if not, then what is known is that if a person were to immediately pass a judgement merely based on what he hears, he will transmit things (i.e. statements, views, opinions etc) from some of the scholars – those considered to be the beacons of (Sharee’ah) knowledge – that which the souls will dislike; but when one verifies, contemplates and establishes contact with this Shaikh, the affair will become clarified. (4)

When we come across a general statement of a scholar – either a tweet or quote, being utilised by a person who has won the trust of some of the people but harbours rancour – without any justifified reason – against other seekers of knowledge, we try to get hold of one of the elder teachers to explain, such as the likes of Shaikh Abu Khadeejah, Shaikh Abu Hakeem, Shaikh Abdul Ilaah, Shaikh Uwais At-Taweel, Shaikh Abu Iyaadh, Shaikh Abu Idrees and others.

[Ref 1: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 53-55]

[Ref 2: At-taleeqaatul Maleehah Alaa Silsilah Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah. Vol 1. Page 143. Slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 3: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 72 – 73. Slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 4 Excerpt from Sharh Hilyatil Taalibil Ilm Pages 75-76]

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