Just to Re-iterate some of the statements of Abu Hakeem Bilal Davies in his post: Doubts around the Da’wah 1: https://ah-sp.com/2017/08/19/doubts-around-the-dawah-part-1/
Thus seeking knowledge does not necessitate that a person will gain correct detailed knowledge of the methodology of the salaf, just as being from the people of knowledge does not, by default, necessitate that this scholar is skilled in the field of the intricasies of the methodology, since being knowledgable concerning good, does not automatically necessitate detailed knowledge of evil.
And the statement
This methodology is inherited from those who possess it (i.e. the people of knowledge), it is not based upon guesswork or conjecture, nor acting upon what we deem to be ‘obvious’. Neither should it be presumed that everyone referred to as an ‘Ālim’ must, by necessity be knowledgeable concerning it. Such that if one ‘took from the scholars’ they too must be knowledgeable and aware of it.
I have dealt with this in a previous post with the speech of Shaikh Saalih As Suhaimi here: https://musamills.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/removing-a-doubt-for-the-doubtful/
However, I would like to further analyze the issue of establishing a ruling regarding Tabdee’ (calling a person an innovator) . For the ruling of Tabdee’ to be established three things must be taken into consideration:
- The one who makes the ruling.
- The one who the ruling is being made upon
- The evidences for Tabdee’
In this post I shall deal with the first point i.e the one who makes the ruling of Tabdee’. As for the second and third issue I shall be dealing with it in the next post.
As stated in the books of Jarh Wa Ta’deel (disparagement and appraisal) the one who is establishing the Jarh must be knowledgeable of the reasons for the Jarh in addition to being cautious, just and fearful of Allah ta’ala. Ibn Hajar Al ‘Asqalani said:
“The Jarh of the one who goes extreme in it (by disparaging someone who doesn’t deserve it) is not accepted as this would lead to disparaging someone for that which the narrator’s Hadeeth wouldn’t be rejected for.” (Nuzhah An Nadhr: 401)
He also said:
“And if one disparages without caution, he would have spoken ill of a Muslim who is distant from it (the Jarh).” (Nuzhah An Nadhr: 402)
If we apply this to Tabdee’ we would look at the following:
- Does the individual know the reasons and conditions for Tabdee’?
- Is the individual equipped to make the ruling of Tabdee‘?
- Can the individual establish the evidences of Tabdee’ on a particular person?
As for the last point, the evidences have to be established to the point that it is clear and goes in according to the reality. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said regarding Takfeer (calling someone Kaafir) that it must be clear Kufr which can be established by the revelation. And as the scholars clarified, Tabdee’ is the sister of Takfeer.
Regarding the Hukm (ruling) of Tabdee’, the individual who does so must have the aforementioned attributes in the points presented from the quotations of Imam Ibn Hajar Al ‘Asqalani. Once the individual has the characteristics mentioned above i.e of scholarship, knowledge of the principles and evidences, piety and caution then he/she has the ability to make Tabdee’.
However, it is amazing to witness that there are those who claim that some scholars who are known for their correct ‘Aqeedah, sound Manhaj and have the aforementioned attributes do not fit the requirements to make judgments upon individuals. Additionally, no precise criteria has been laid out as to why their select few are the exception from these many scholars.*
We must realize that uttering such bold statements without understanding its implications and consequences is indeed unwise and is tantamount to disrespecting many of the known Salafi scholars worldwide. As Shaikh Saalih As Suhaimi mentioned,when some of them say that the scholars are not strong in the affairs of Manhaj, it is similar to the statement of the political activists when they said that the scholars don’t have knowledge regarding current affairs.
May Allah aid us in recognizing the status of our ‘Ulama.
*From what is apparent, the criteria of Abu Hakeem Bilal Davies regarding this affair is that he should have an intrinsic knowledge of the Manhaj. Although I agree with Abu Hakeem on this point, I beg the following questions:
- What is meant by knowledge of the intricacies of the Manhaj?
- What is it that excludes scholars, other than their select few, from having knowledge regarding the intricacies of the Manhaj? In other words what are the criteria for having intricate knowledge, or being a scholar of the Manhaj?
Since Islam is a religion based upon clarity the vague statements of Abu Hakeem must be explained. May Allah guide us all.