AUTHOR: Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee
TRANSLATED: Al-Ibaanah Book Publishing
PRODUCED BY: Al-Ibaanah.com
Excerpt from the forthcoming Al-Ibaanah Publication “The Methodology of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in Criticizing Individuals, Books and Groups”, may Allaah facilitate it!
About the Book:
This is a translation of a chapter from the book “Manhaj Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah fee Naqd-ir-Rijaal wal-Kutubi wat-Tawaa’if” (The Methodology of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in Criticizing Individuals, Books and Groups) written by Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhalee. This book has been highly praised and recommended by the scholars, and has become a classical work in its own time.
In this book, Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhalee clarifies the correct methodology of Ahlus-Sunnah with regard to criticizing, explaining its foundations and principles and relying on the various statements of the Salaf (predecessors) to support his points. The book is primarily geared towards refuting a false concept that has crept into the Muslims’ ideologies and slogans in recent times, which is the principle of Muwaazanah. This principle dictates that when someone criticizes a person, book or group, he is obligated to also mention the good qualities of that person, book or group along with his criticism. By doing this one would be creating a balance and thus applying “fairness”, hence the term Muwaazanah, which means to make a balance, which in this case means a balance between the good and the bad aspects.
In this specific chapter of the book, Shaikh Rabee’ brings many quotes from the Salaf showing that it was from their methodology to warn against innovators and their books without requiring themselves to mention their positive aspects.
Quotes from the Book:
“Ibn Al-Jawzee said: ‘Abul-Wafaa ‘Alee bin ‘Aqeel, the Fiqh scholar, said: ‘Our Shaikh Abul-Fadl Al-Hamdhaanee said: The innovators in Islaam and those who fabricate ahaadeeth are worse than the disbelievers. This is since the disbelievers attempt to corrupt the Religion from the outside, whereas these individuals attempt to corrupt it from the inside. They take the likeness of the inhabitants of a land, who strive to corrupt its condition (from the inside), while the disbelievers take the likeness of raiders laying siege to the land from the outside. So it is the ones on the inside who open the doors of the land’s surrounding barrier (and let the besiegers in). These types (of people) are more dangerous to Islaam than those who don’t ascribe themselves to it.’”
“I say: Today, the opponents of the Sunnah and Tawheed are capitalizing on the pamphlets and cassettes of some individuals that ascribe themselves to the Sunnah and Tawheed, which defame the true scholars and callers of the Sunnah and Tawheed. Rather, what is worse in terms of danger and affliction is that these pamphlets and tapes have influenced many of the children of Tawheed and Sunnah, so that now they launch their arrows of disparagement and oppressive accusations towards the scholars of Tawheed and Sunnah, those who carry their banner and those who defend their sanctity. What is worse than this in terms of misfortune and grief, is that they attach themselves and join forces with the people of innovation and misguidance in their campaign of launching poisonous missiles at them, which the enemies of the Sunnah and Tawheed have been preparing as the ultimate attack to finish off the last remnants of the Sunnah and Tawheed.”
“Ibn Al-Qayyim said: ‘The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) once saw a book in the hand of ‘Umar (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) that he had transcribed from the Torah, and which caused him to be amazed at how much it conformed to the Qur’aan. So the face of the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) became very angry to the point that ‘Umar went over to a fire and threw it in.
So how would it be if the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw what was written after him from the books that oppose and contradict what is in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah?! And we ask Allaah to aid us!
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded everyone that recorded anything from him apart from the Qur’aan to erase what they had written down. However, afterward, he allowed his Sunnah to be written, but did not grant permission for anything besides that.
So all of these books that contain opposition in them to the Sunnah, have no permission to be written. Rather, they only have permission to be erased and destroyed, for there is not anything more harmful to the ummah than these books. The Companions (of the Prophet) burned all the copies of the mus-haf that contradicted the mus-haf of ‘Uthmaan (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) out of fear that differing would spread amongst the ummah. So how would it be if they were to see the books of today that cause disunity and division amongst the ummah…!?’”
“This is the rightly guided methodology, which all of the Salafee youth are obligated to know – it is the methodology indicated in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, and which the best of this ummah – its scholars of Hadeeth and Fiqh – followed. One of the conditions for implementing this methodology is that the one criticizing must do that for the sake of Allaah and out of sincerity to Allaah and His Book and in order to preserve Allaah’s Religion and what it encompasses from beliefs, laws and acts of worship.
From the severely unfortunate matters is that the people of falsehood and innovation have succeeded in deceiving many of the smart and intelligent students of knowledge, not to mention others, by making them believe that it is not permissible to talk about (i.e. criticize) those active in the field of Da’wah (calling). They mean by this, those who call to innovation and misguidance! By doing this, they intend to broaden the field (of Da’wah) so that they can spread their destructive deceptions! And they hope that with this they will be able to put an end to the Call to Tawheed, Sunnah and the Methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih!
From the offshoots of this deceitful way of thinking are those conditions that some of the children of Tawheed have put forth, such as: When criticizing the people of innovation – or those whom they label “callers” – one is obligated to mention their good qualities alongside their bad qualities…”