Also from the methodology of the Salaf, may Allaah be pleased with them, which it is upon us to tread upon and restrict ourselves to, is that if a person puts himself forward amongst them to teach, they would not sit with him, or take anything from him, or assemble themselves around him up, until they were assured of him having the correct ’aqeedah and sound manhaj.
And they would ask about him as if it were the case that they wanted to marry him off. As for us, the Salafees
, every time someone comes and starts to teach, they sit with them. Then this one who is teaching comes to us and he is either Salafee
just by name and he is profoundly confused or he is an outright hizbee
(partisan)!Then you find the Salafee
youth who sat and studied with this person, you find them differing with the other Salafees
and there occurs fighting and disputes. And then you find the youth who surrounded themselves with this person who was unknown, they are against their well known Salafee
brothers. Then there occurs foul language and reviling and they (those who sat with the one unknown) start to incite the community against the other Salafee
youth. O my brother, this is an error, an error. This is haraam
(unlawful) for you to do. Be careful, this is not how the issue goes.
It is impermissible for you in Islaam to take from someone whose condition you do not know, and who is not recommended (to sit with) and (you do not know) whether his statement should be accepted. This is impermissible, because this knowledge is your Religion and you worship Allaah with this Religion. Do you worship Allaah by taking Religion from a person of evil or from a person of truth? From a person of truth! As for some Salafees, then no, never, never. A person comes to them and puts himself forward and they assemble themselves around him. He teaches them tafseer, ahaadeeth relating to ahkaam, or other things like the helpful sciences such as Arabic, usoolul-fiqh, and nahw (Arabic grammar). They surround themselves around him and they do not know what he is upon, and after that he starts to teach them false principles and he starts to instill in them principles in contradiction to Salafiyyah. Then he comes to the principles of Salafiyyah and waters them down, or teaches them with an incorrect understanding and he affects the youth. No, by Allaah, I do not sit with him until I know who he is and until I ask about him. By Allaah, that you sit in your house with that which you already know from the affairs of Prayer, zakaat and fasting is better for you than to sit with a person who will lead you astray. This is because if you go astray you will not know: are you with the people of Paradise or the people of the Fire. It was said to Imaam Ahmad – rahimahullaah, ‘A man is from Ahlus-Sunnah and he dies whilst having some sins, is he an evil person and is his grave a pit of fire?’ Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) said, “Quiet! For verily if a man dies upon the Sunnah his grave will be a garden from the gardens of Paradise. It was also said to him, ‘A person is from Ahlul-Bid’ah, he is mujtahid and a strong worshiper. Will he have any status?’ Imaam Ahmad replied, “Quiet! For verily the person from Ahlul-Bid’ah, his grave is a pit of fire.” Destruction, destruction! So it is incumbent that you know if you are Salafee that you do not sit with whosoever puts himself forward until you know what he is upon. How do I know what he is upon? By the recommendations of the Scholars, by asking about him. Brother, go to him and ask him, “Who are you, and who did you study with and who are your Scholars?” So if you do not know, get in touch with him. Then if he says to you for example, “I studied with Shaykh as-Suhaymee, Shaykh al-Luhaydaan and Shaykh Rabee’,” go make calls. Because some of them attend lessons with Shaykh Rabee’ or Shaykh as-Suhaymee or Shaykh so and so and are still hizbiyyeen, so you have to ask. Or he may be Salafee and then he changed. You must ask, do not sit right away. O my brother, listen to the tapes of Shaykh Ibnul-’Uthaymeen, Shaykh an-Najmee, Shaykh Ibn Baaz – rahimahullaah. Listen to Shaykh Rabee’ and Shaykh al-Fawzaan. It is not a must that you sit with this majhool (unknown person)!! So this is the manhaj and way of the Salaf, if you are indeed a Salafee.
The Second Matter: Someone from amongst the youth came upon us and put himself forward. The Scholars have praised him. You have to know how the Scholars and how the Salaf deal with this youth. Also this youth has to know how to deal with the people. Here we request the Salafee manhaj from both sides. As for this Salafee that has put himself forward, the Scholars have praised him, but he is from the youth. So from the correct etiquettes is that he deals with the people upon the basis that he is a student of knowledge, not upon the basis that he is a Scholar who is returned to. So if there comes to them (i.e. the students) a matter from the heavy matters or the matters in which the statement of a Scholar is needed, he should say: go to Shaykh al-Fawzaan, go to Shaykh Rabee’, go to Shaykh so and so from the major Scholars and ask him. So we should not find this youth coming to us in every matter and he is sitting back upon his couch speaking. This is a blameworthy matter and a defect upon this youth. This is because from the Salafee manhaj is not to speak in every matter and not to put one’s self forward and to give caution to the matters in which it is requested the statement of the major Scholars. This is one aspect.
The other aspect is that he should not have the other youth around him clinging zealously to him and to his statement and they do not listen to other than his tapes and do not attend lessons other than his and do not relay except his statements as if he is a major Scholar, just like Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) in his time or Ibn Baaz (d.1420H) in his time. This is an error. You find the youth knowing the statement of this one who put himself forth and such and such statements. However, Ibn Baaz, Ibnul-’Uthaymeen, Shaykh Rabee’, they do not know their statements. This is an error. Even him (i.e. the one teaching) if he notices this he should say, ‘Brothers, I am teaching you the small books. The big books are learned with the major Scholars. You have to listen to such and such from the major Scholars.’ He has to cultivate them upon this. It is not just, me, myself and I! This is an error and a defect in which one must pay attention.
The Third Issue: And this is related to the second issue. This youth must not speak in every matter. For verily there are matters which only the major Scholars have the right to embark upon. There are also matters in which the well grounded students of knowledge can speak about. This is the case unless the major Scholars permit him to speak in those matters. And this is because it is from etiquette not to embark upon matters whilst the major Scholars are present and living and this is whether they are present where he is or they are present in al-Madeenah or that they are aware of these matters, except if they turn back and allow him to speak about them. Also from the important matters that this youth who puts himself forth for giving da’wah must pay attention to, is that he does not come to us and lay down principles and extract foundations and cultivate the youth upon a manhaj in which he sees to be the manhaj of the Salaf. This is an error. What did Imaam Ahmad say? “The Sunnah with us is al-Ittibaa’.” What is meant by al-ittibaa’? It means that you do not come with principles from yourself and that you tread upon the principles of the Salafus-Saalih. Brother, we are not in need of just principles, we are in need of implementation, we are in need of doing actions like the actions of the Salaf. There is much in the manhaj of the Salaf, but who is implementing it? We have not implemented all of it (i.e. the manhaj of the Salaf). Are we sitting down and implementing them?? You are bringing them principles? Then it is worse if these principles lead to opposing the manhaj of the Salaf, or they are clearly in opposition to the manhaj of the Salaf. So because of this, we have to beware of the likes of these people. We have to be warned. Those who lay down principles and they may be principles of misguidance and deviation from the Salafee manhaj. How can you say, brother, that the major Scholars said such and such or Shaykh so and so said such and such? You and your Shaykh can scram because this principle is in opposition to the truth and is refuting the truth. You must not accept this, is that clear?
At this point, it is upon them that they not deal with this Shaykh as if he is a major Scholar; that they only go to him and they only accept his statements and if he says a (incorrect) statement one does not leave it. This is an error. This type of person, you benefit from him upon the premise that he is a student of knowledge. If an issue comes to you, a major issue or fitnah, you go to the major Scholars and ask. Except if your Shaykh relays to you the statements of Shaykh Rabee’, Shaykh al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalee, Shaykh ’Ubayd al-Jaabiree, Shaykh as-Suhaymee, from the well known Salafee Scholars, then you accept. As for this one to be the source of return for you, this is an error. This is because the Scholars categorize those who embark upon teaching (into types). From them are those who can speak about affairs like those of ’ibaadaat (acts of worship) and rulings which are clear and general. And from them are those who are not allowed to speak about general matters and matters of nawaazil (i.e. major issues) rather this is for the major Scholars, is this clear? So it is not for you to come along and there are some people who went and asked one of these youth, “What is your position upon ’Alee al-Halabee?” He says, “’Alee al-Halabee is from Ahlus-Sunnah and his errors are only in certain matters and they do not expel him from the Sunnah.” Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee – rahimahullaah – said, “These individuals from Shaam, and from them is ’Alee al-Halabee, we can not say that knowledge be taken from them.” Then this one who is new and inexperienced comes along and lays down principles coming from his desires. And he says, “By Allaah, I think he should be benefited from and his mistakes are only partial or in some areas.” Look, look at the big difference. Ok, you go to al-Halabee and you benefit from him because of the statement of this inexperienced youth, what will you become? You will become a destroyed Halabiyyan (i.e. follower of al-Halabee). You will become one who clings zealously to him. Look at the followers of al-Halabee on the internet forums of his website, “All are NOT Salafee,” look at the forum, how the truth is clearly rejected. The statement that I said to you previously is from somebody who said that the manhaj of the Companions is not binding and we can not implement it. The manhaj of the taabi’een is not binding and we can not implement it. The manhaj of Ahmad, we can not implement it. However, the manhaj of al-Halabee we can implement! This is one of the followers of al-Halabee. And these are the miserable depths that they fall into. However, O youth and inexperienced one, when you made permissible for him to listen to al-Halabee, what did he become? Destroyed if he followed him. However, as Shaykh an-Najmee, before some four years, he said, “Knowledge is not taken from them.” And he said, “Whoever recommends the people of innovation and praises them we can not say that knowledge is taken from them. For verily al-Magraawee, ’Ar’oor, and al-Ma‘ribee whom you praise, fell into clear innovations. Is this clear?
That which is obligatory upon you, O student of knowledge, just as preceded, is to ask about the condition of this Shaykh and to be sure that he is Salafee. Also what is obligatory upon you in times of fitnah, is not to cling zealously to your Shaykh or whoever is upon opposite of what he sees, but rather you must keep quiet and look to the statements of the major Scholars. Now you find the youth dividing in every fitnah. What is the reason? The reason is them indulging in that which does not concern them and what they are not capable of, so they become divided, fight one another and then lose one another. However, if they remain quiet and stick to the major Scholars, by Allaah, the fitnah would be less. Also if they tread upon the manhaj of the Salaf, that the small students of knowledge tread behind the major Scholars, the fitnah would be less. O brother keep quiet, do not get in the middle, do not incite anything. Such and such Shaykh said this and such and such Shaykh said that. By Allaah, we went to Shaykh Rabee’ and he said, ‘’Ar’oor and Abul-Hasan are this, upon misguidance.’ Alhamdulillaah, we benefited and we left them. We learned that which they had from misguidance and then we left them. A Salafee comes to you and starts defending Abul-Hasan, then clarify to him the statements of Shaykh Rabee’, so he accepts, and if not, then leave him. You do not need to sit and argue and fight with him and the likes. Be done with it. Or with a Shaykh, especially with a Shaykh, his hizbiyyah or innovation has not yet become clear and people cling zealously to him, then do not cling zealously. Rather, ask about the truth from the major Scholars and then stick to it.” End of Shaykh Ahmad’s words.