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Ibn 'Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

The problem of preceding scholars on issues of the deen is one of the greatest fitnah of our time. There is need to always refer matters back to scholars at all time for proper clarification. We must avoid the use of ra'y (mere intellect) to determine the ruling of the shari'ah on complex matters. Islaam is built upon knowledge and not just common sense. Most times, what we call common sense might be senseless without adequate knowledge of the shari'ah and proper verification through scholars who have distinguished themselves in knowledge, creed and character. 

During the 2016 edition of Knowledge Builder Course organized by Deen Communications in Lagos, Abu Nasir, Ibrahim AbdulRauf حفظه الله told us that Sheikh Muqbil رحمه الله was asked a question, and he said: that kind of question can be answered by great scholars like Sheikh AbdulAzeez Ibn Baaz رحمه الله. How many of our scholars can do this, talkless of students of knowledge? This is a great legacy for us all. If you are asked a question and you don't know it, instead of guessing, why can't you refer it to people with better knowledge and understanding?

If we are to observe critically, it might not be that Sheikh Muqbil رحمه الله didn't know the answer to the question. He most probably looked at the gravity of the question and felt it is a matter that ought to be referred to great scholars of his own time. If Sheikh Muqbil رحمه الله could do this with his level of knowledge and pedigree in ijtihaad, why can't Ustadh Muhammadul Awwal Jabata refer big issues to Sheikh Saalih Fawzaan حفظه الله? Afterall, he admit that this man is among the great scholars of this era and he refer to him severally in his lectures.

One of the numerous ways by which people precede scholars in our time is declaring their fellow Muslim kaafir or mubtad' without reasonable justification. This virus is spreading very fast, and if not curbed could lead to greater problems. More so, it is not everyone who fall into kufr or make a statement of kufr that is to be declared kaafir (disbeliever) without proper evaluation. It is not also everyone who falls into a bid'ah or the other or makes a statement of bid'ah that is a mubtad' (an innovator). It is important for us to warn ourselves strongly not to participate in the fitnah of tagging Muslims kaafir or mubtad' without the required tools. A lot of people have fell into this fitnah. Some people have died upon it. Its a pity. 

The power to declare someone a kaafir or a mubtad' no matter how glaring is not for us students of knowledge. The scholars have their criteria for determining whether someone has gone out of the path of Islaam or not. Even great scholars (past and present) are always careful of calling Muslims who fall into one kufr or the other kaafir. Sheikh Rabee' حفظه الله exemplified this when he was asked a question regarding the 'aqeedah of Sayyid Qutb in his Sharh of Usul Sunnah. But today, someone who can't even read the Qur'an fluently, talk more of knowing the meaning would be declaring people kaafir. We should learn to refer matters back to scholars and avoid preceding them in judgments. 

Under the common law, there is what we call "stare decisis" (judicial precedent). A judge today would not give a judgment without referring to previous judgment of the apex court. They follow the precedents of the apex court on matters. This is also applicable in the shari'ah to a great extent. Before doing anything in this deen or pass any judgment regarding matters of the deen, one should first ask himself: who preceded me on this? Did the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم give judgment in this manner? Did the Sohaabah رضي الله عنهم give judgment in this manner or did they have that kind of belief you are promoting? Did the Taabi'een رحمهم الله have that kind of belief, worshipped Allaah in that manner or give judgement in that manner? Did the scholars who succeeded them practice Islaam (Sunnah) give judgment in that manner? These are questions that would enable us to know whether truly we are upon the right ideology or not. Sticking to the way of salaf in all religious matters is the only thing that would lead us to success in this world and the hereafter. And by Allah, contradicting them leads to no other than destruction.

I strongly advise us not to rush to agree with any preacher in our world until we are able to confirm the authenticity of his submissions. A lot people today have sweet tongue to present their points. But what they are saying could be wrong. If proper steps are not taken to verify those points well presented, one could follow them blindly and fall into errors. Imaam Al-Barbahaaree رحمه الله advised us in his Sharh us Sunnah not to hasten towards applying the verdicts of preachers of our time, until we ask questions and examine their verdicts critically. We must be sure that what a preacher is saying is in line with the way of the Prophet, the Companions, and scholars of the past, especially those whose era are not too far from that of the Quroon ul Mufaadhalah (the best generations). In his explanation of this point made by Imaam Al-Barbahaaree, Sheikh Fawzaan said: 

عليك بالتثبت, ومعرفة من الذي قال هذا ومن أين جاء هذا الفكر, ثم ما مستنداته وأدلته من الكتاب والسنة, ثم أين تعلم صاحبه وعمن أخذ العلم؟ فهذه أمور تحتاج إلى تثبت خصوصا في هذا الزمان

Upon you is to verify, the true identity of the one who says that (about the religion), where the ideology came from, what he is leaning on and his evidence from the Qur'an aad Sunnah, then, where did he, the speaker learned from, from whom did he take knowledge? All these matters required proper verification, most specifically in this era (Explanation of Point 8 in Sharh us Sunnah, by Sheikh Fawzaan, pg. 42)

If we try our best to understand and follow these advice very well, we would be free from taqleed (blind-followership) to a great extent. May Allaah forgive our shortcomings and grant us His blessings in this world and the hereafter.

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