The ’Allaamah, the Shaykh, Saalih Ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan may Allaah preserve him was asked the following question:
“Is not refuting the people of innovation and concealing their falsehood and defending them from deceiving the Muslims?”
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan replied,
“This is from major deception of the Muslims, being silent about the people of innovation (bid’ah) and not clarifying their bid’ah, this is from deceiving the Muslims and if in addition to that he praised them (the innovators) than this is worse and more evil… and refuge is sought with Allaah.
So what is obligatory upon those who have knowledge is to make clear the innovations and newly invented matters (in the religion) and to prohibit them and warn against these innovations and to not be silent because indeed silence is from concealing (knowledge) (Allaah says:)
“Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allaah and cursed by the cursers. Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These are the ones who I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, and the Most Merciful.” [Sooratul-Baqarah 2:159-160]
It is not permissible for the Muslim that has knowledge to be silent about bid’ah and oppositions (in the religion) and he is to make them clear to the people because if he was silent, the people will use (his silence) as proof, and they will say if this was unlawful or prohibited, the scholar so and so would of not been silent about it and he sees it (innovation, opposition).
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said in Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (15/330),
“And knowledge about the conditions of the people comes through the testimonies of people at times and through al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel at times and through testing and trial at times.”
Before moving into the rest of the article, we recommend that the reader peruse, “Testing Individuals by their Love or Hatred of Ahlus-Sunnah,” since it contains several examples of the Salaf speaking about testing people with love for the Scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah and hatred for the heads of innovation. The series of statements from the Salaf was derived mainly from Jamaal Ibn Furayhaan al-Haarithee’s collection, Lammud-Durril-Manthoor, which has received critical acclaim from Scholars such as Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen (d.1421H), Saalih Ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan and Saalih Ibn ’Abdul-’Azeez aalush-Shaykh, along with supplementary material from other works. However, this series will deal specifically with applying this principle of Ahlus-Sunnah in our times.
In the second part of this series, Shaykh ’Abdul-’Azeez Ibn Yahyaa al-Bura’ee sheds light and elaborates upon how to apply the principle of testing people through prominent Scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah. Specifically, he discusses the differences in testing people through the likes of Shaykh Ibn Baaz (d.1420H), Shaykh al-Albaanee, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadee and Shaykh Muqbil Ibn Haadee (d.1421H) – and the different circumstances surrounding each of these Scholars. Additionally, he uncovers the schemes of the hizbiyyeen with regards to this test by expounding upon an insightful statement from Shaykh ’Ubayd Ibn ’Abdullaah al-Jaabiree. So let us proceed to the explanation of the Shaykh…
Shaykh ’Abdul-’Azeez al-Bura’ee Expounds upon Applying the Principle of Testing Individuals by their Love or Hatred of Ahlus-Sunnah in Present Times – Along with an Uncovering the Schemes of the Hizbiyyeen Towards the Salafee Scholars:
The noble Shaykh, ’Abdul-’Azeez Ibn Yahyaa al-Bura’ee – hafidhahullaah – was asked about testing people by individuals, is it from the manhaj of the Salaf, or not?
So he answered,
“There is confusion that has occurred with regards to this affair amongst some of the students of knowledge. And the reason for that is the manner of dealing with this affair. So some of them evoke within their minds an erroneous manner of dealing with this affair. So they say, ‘This is not correct,’ and he has a specific image in his mind. As for viewing this affair from its foundation, then testing people by individuals is an affair that was known amongst the Salaf.
أضحى ابن حنبل فتنة مأمونة…..وبحب أحمد يعرف المتنسك
وإذا رأيت لأحمد متنقصًــا…..فاعلم بأن ستوره ستهتـك
Ibn Hanbal sacrificed and proved trustworthy during the fitnah (trial, tribulation),
And it is with the love of Ahmad that the devout individual becomes known.
And when you see someone belittling Ahmad,
Then know that his disgraceful secret shall be exposed.
Yes. So the people used to test others with the love of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H). So if someone loved Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, then he was a Sunnee. Likewise, there were others besides Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, I believe al-Mu’aafaa Ibn ’Imraan,  people tested others with him in some of the lands.
In any case, there is no problem in permitting this affair. However, who is the person that is being tested? And who is the person with him he is being tested? Yes, who is the person with him he is being tested?
This – may Allaah bless you – is considered enough of an answer to the question: testing the people by individuals is considered from the manhaj of the Salaf. However, a problem remains: Who is the individual by whom others can be tested?
Then I say: in this era, who is the individual by whom others can be tested? It is incumbent upon the students of knowledge and the mashaayikh to take note of this affair. So sometimes they look at a person of small status and they say that this is the one with whom the people must be tested. No, it is not necessary. It is not necessary that he have vast knowledge and he does not need noble status and does not need to be the most knowledgeable person upon the face of the earth. It is not necessary. Yes, because you want to issue a ruling upon a person by the love of so and so and by the absence of love for so and so.
So for example, it is not right to test the people by Shaykh Ibn Baaz (d.1420H) – ’alayhi rahmatillaah. This is not due to any deficiency in him. So that which I hold, that will get me closer to Allaah, is that there was no one nobler than Shaykh Ibn Baaz during his lifetime – rahmatillaahi ’alayhi.
Due to that, may Allaah bless you, I was in awe of a statement that was said by Shaykh ’Ubayd al-Jaabiree. He said concerning Shaykh Ibn Baaz, “Shaykh Ibn Baaz is revered by Ahlus-Sunnah and feared by the people of innovation.” This is a very important affair, because if you were to test a person by such an individual, such that if he loves him you love him and he if he hates him you hate him, then the people of innovation falsely manifest love for Ibn Baaz. Rather, the Soofiyyah and some of the Shee’ah prayed the funeral Prayer over him in absentia and they did not dare to revile him.
And the hizbiyyoon in the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) defend Ibn Baaz publicly and their speech outwardly demonstrates love for him. So if I were to love everyone who openly manifested love for Ibn Baaz, I would have to love the innovators. Does anyone from amongst the Surooriyyeen in Yemen and other than Yemen dare to revile Ibn Baaz? No! Rather, they praise him.
So due to this, if you were to make Ibn Baaz a trial for the people, it would mean that you would love those who were deserving of blame. And this affair is clear. However, the likes of Shaykh Rabee’ is correct to be used as a trial for the people, because no one dislikes him except an innovator. No one dislikes him, except an innovator. This is clear and the history of that is apparent.
With regards to Shaykh al-Fawzaan there is some further elaboration needed. If you were to ask about him in general, some of the innovators would defend him and they would mention him with goodness and they would praise him. However, if you were to elaborate upon his affair by saying, ‘O so and so! What is your view about the book, al-Ajwibatul-Mufeedah, by Shaykh al-Fawzaan?’ No one loves this book, except a Sunnee, and no one accepts this book, except a Sunnee.
How many times did Abul-Hasan (al-Ma‘ribee) sway from right to left and quote a fatwaa from here and a fatwaa from there and a fatwaa from there? And he was never able to even mention this book upon his tongue at all. And take another look! O brothers, the affair of this book is amazing. Do you recall that he quoted from the book, al-I’tisaam of ash-Shaatibee (d.790H)? Did you hear him quote from it? Did you hear him quote from as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee ’Aasim (d.287H) or ’Abdullaah Ibn Hanbal (d.290H), or from Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah of al-Laalikaa‘ee (d.418H)? Along with this, his students would immerse themselves in Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa of Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) due to the fact that Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah speaks with abundant speech, which is good for clipping and clipping from it and one can present the speech outside of its true context, up until Ibn Taymiyyah is presented to you as a completely different person.
The point is that the book of Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan is good to test people with. However, with regards to Shaykh al-Fawzaan in general, do not think that an innovator will praise him and then you will love an innovator at that point because he outwardly manifests love for al-Fawzaan.
Shaykh Muqbil (d.1421H) – ’alayhi rahmatillaah – is good for testing the people with, because we have not seen an innovator, except that he dislikes him, except that he dislikes him. And if you find a man, who is a proponent of innovation, mentioning Shaykh Muqbil with goodness, then this man does not know Shaykh Muqbil. He does not know Shaykh Muqbil. Yes.
And likewise, there is Shaykh al-Albaanee (d.1420H) – ’alayhi rahmatillaah – the innovators had no love for him. Yes. These individuals – may Allaah bless you – are the mashaayikh, the Scholars, the noble Scholars. However, the innovators despise them because they expose the innovators. And Allaah aided Shaykh Ibn Baaz – ’alayhi rahmatillaah – by granting him victory up until the people of the east and the west revered him. And Allaah placed this reverence in the eastern and western regions of the earth. This was from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. This was arranged by the Lord of the worlds. This is a very important elaboration. I hope that Allaah will benefit the listeners through it.
Fine, if Allaah so wills. In any case, the affair is as you have heard. The affair is as you have heard. And the issue is apparent with regards to the companions of Abul-Hasan (al-Ma‘ribee). Indeed, the boundaries have been defined and the paths have been pointed out, so there is no ambiguity remaining. May Allaah bless you. End of the Shaykh’s words.
: Here the author is referring to the statement of the Imaam, the Haafidh, Hibatullaah al-Laalikaa‘ee (d.418H) – rahimahullaah – who said: Ahmad Ibn ’Ubayd informed us, Muhammad Ibnul-Husayn informed us that Ahmad Ibn Zuhayr said: I heard Ahmad Ibn ’Abdullaah Ibn Yoonus saying, ‘Test the people of Mawsil with Mu’aafaa Ibn ’Imraan. So if they love him, then they are Ahlus-Sunnah, and if they hate him, then they are people of innovation. Likewise, the people of al-Koofah are to be tested with Yahyaa.” Refer to Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad (no. 58) of al-Laalikaa‘ee.