A Sitting with Shaykh Rabī’ bin Hādī Al-Madkhalī and Shaykh Muhammad bin Sālih Al-’Uthaymīn

A Sitting with Shaykh Rabī’ bin Hādī Al-Madkhalī and Shaykh Muhammad bin Sālih Al-’Uthaymīn: The Obligation of Separating the People of Truth from the People of Falsehood and Warning from the People of Falsehood

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Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Umar bin Sālīm Bāzmūl Answers Doubts about al-Jarh wat-Ta’dīl

Source/Translation by Maaz Qureshi: http://sunnahpublishing.net/shaykh-muhammad-ibn-umar-baazmool-answers-doubts-about-al-jarh-wat-tadeel/

Audio: http://sunnahpublishing.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/mbazmuljarh.mp3

Recently, Shaykh Muhammad Baazmool gave a lecture via tele-link to the Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah Institute in Benghazi, Libya after the Maghrib Prayer on the 4th of Sha’baan, 1434H, entitled: Juhoodus-Salaf fee Siyaanatis-Sunnah wat-Tahdheer minal-Bida’ wa Ahlihi (Exertion of the Salaf in Safeguarding the Sunnah and Warning against Innovation and its People). In this lecture, he addressed the following doubts concerning al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel:

  1. The science of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel was confined to the time of the hadeeth narrators and does not exist in our times.
  2. The science of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is confined to criticism of hadeeth narrators and criticizing the people of innovation is not included within it.

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ’Umar Baazmool - hafidhahullaah – said,

“And the speech concerning al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is not limited to the narrators of hadeeth.  Rather, Ahlus-Sunnah speak in terms of jarh (criticism) and ta’deel (praise) with regards to everyone who embarks upon conveying knowledge and Religion.  Due to that, Ibn Seereen (d.110H) and other than him from amongst the Salaf mentioned, “Indeed, this knowledge is Religion.  So look to whom you take your Religion.”

And there occurs that some of the Salaf said, “When they wanted to take the hadeeth from an individual, they would ask about him so much so that the people would think they wanted to marry that individual off.”

And this should clarify to you that the door of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is open up until the Hour, or up until knowledge has ended, because the topic knowledge is necessarily in need of confirmation (tathabbut).  Confirmation (at-tathabbut) is inescapable.  So the one who is unknown, or majhoolul-’adaalah (i.e. his integrity is unknown), then his hadeeth is not accepted, as is proven by the understanding of the statement of Allaah the Glorified and Exalted.  So the benefit learned from this aayah is that the news conveyed by the faasiq (disobedient sinner) is not accepted.  And the understanding of this aayah is that news conveyed by the one whose integrity is unknown is also not accepted, because this aayah means that we are obligated by justice to accept news from the one who is upright and whose integrity is known.  And as for the one whose integrity is not known, then his news is not accepted.  Due to that, it is inevitable that we must not accept news, except from one is known for integrity (’adaalah) and the Scholars have testified that for him.

And news (khabr) here refers to information unrestrictedly, regardless of whether it is concerning the narrators of hadeeth, or if it is information about issues of knowledge and Religion, or any type of general information.  So we do not accept news, except from an upright person whose integrity is well known.  And upon this foundation, the science of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is not confined to the topic hadeeth narrators.  Rather, it is in every topic of information.

And I intend by the topic of narrators: the topic of hadeeth and the narrators of hadeeth and those who document the hadeeth.

Therefore, we have speech concerning the narrators in terms of jarh and ta’deel and speech about all those who embark upon conveying knowledge, up until their integrity is known so their news is accepted, or their integrity is unknown, so one refrains and does not accept their news.”

Shaykh Muhammad has an article clarifying the same issues, therein he says,

“So the science of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel and the speech concerning it is not closed up until the Hour is established, as long as there is Islaam.  Why?!  I say: The affair of testimonies in court and feuds and disputes are established upon the foundation of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel.  So as long as mankind exists, then there will be disagreement there will be feuding and dispute.  And as long as there is a dispute, then there will be courts and judges.  And as long as there are judges, then it is inevitable that there will be judges.  And it is inevitable that there will be those who will vouch for them.  So due to this, al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel cannot be confined to a time, nor a place.  We only say that as long as Islaam exists, then al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel will exist.  And the least significant of topics that I am mentioning to you is the topic of testimonies, it is well known from the topics of fiqh (jurisprudence) and whatever results from that such as the topics of judgement, the courts and the disputes.  There is also whatever is connected to the application of Allaah’s judgements, for example: killing the game in the state of ihraam.  Two trustworthy witnesses from amongst you must testify to this.  It means that al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is inescapable, in order to distinguish the one who possesses integrity from the others.  So if they are disparaged (jarh), then their speech is not accepted.  And such is the case with the other topics in the Sharee’ah which necessitate al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel.  Based upon this, we say: speaking about the men in terms of jarh (criticism) and ta’deel (praise) is from the sciences connected to al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel.

Take for example the topic of seeking knowledge and the etiquette of seeking knowledge.  As long as Islaam exists and Islaamic knowledge is sought, then al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel will exist.  One of the Salaf said, “When they wanted to take the hadeeth from an individual, they would ask about him so much so that the people would think they wanted to marry that individual off.” And another said, “Indeed, this knowledge is Religion.  So look to whom you take your Religion.” What is the meaning of this speech?  The meaning of this speech is that you will be in need of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel as long as you are in search of Islaamic knowledge. [1] So who says that al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is specific only to the chain of narrators in the asaaneed, meaning the biographical books about the narrators only, who says this?!  Islaam’s adaptation varies with regards to this.  You are in need of knowing al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel in very many affairs from the issues that have been mentioned by the Scholars in the topic of the Prayer and the issue of praying behind a proponent of innovation. Speaking out against the person of innovation is al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel.  Speaking about the conditions of the people with regards to innovation and the Sunnah is speech about al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel.  In the topic of medicine and medical treatment, the Scholars have stipulated that the speech of a trustworthy Muslim physician is accepted.  This means, that there could be a Muslim physician who is not trustworthy.  And to say that he is not trustworthy is al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel.  And when we arrive at the affairs of da’wah, a caller comes and says that he is a caller to Islaam and he wants to invite us, for example.  This is an affair of seeking knowledge and we must know that this caller has been praised by the people of knowledge, or he has not been praised by the people of knowledge!  Therefore, it cannot be said, “O my brother, al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel has ended and its time has passed and it is connected to the narrators and there is not jarh or ta’deel amongst us now.”

Shaykh al-Albaanee (d.1420H) is a sign from amongst the signs in this age in hadeeth.  He described Shaykh Rabee’ as the flag bearer of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel in these times!!  So if this description was inapplicable, then the first of the people to reject it and not use it in reference to a man living in these times would have been Shaykh al-Albaanee, because he was from the people who specialized in it.  And Allaah knows best.” [2]

Endnotes:

[1]: BENEFIT: The understanding described by Shaykh Muhammad Baazmool for al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel existed well before the fourteenth century, much to the dismay of its deniers today. One such example is Imaam Muhammad Ibn Ismaa’eel as-San’aanee (d.1189H).  In his commentary on Bulooghul-Maraam, entitled Subulus-Salaam, in the 4th volume of the Maktabatul-Ma’aarif print, with the comments of al-Albaanee (d.1420H), as-San’aanee says on (p. 554) whilst speaking about the exceptions to gheebah (backbiting),

Statement of Muhammad Ibn Ismaa'eel as-San'aanee (d.1189H)

Statement of Muhammad Ibn Ismaa’eel as-San’aanee (d.1189H)

Fourthly: Warning the Muslims against deception, such as jarh (criticism) of the narrator and the witnesses and whosoever puts himself forward to teach and to issue religious verdicts without being qualified.  And the proof is the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), “What an evil brother he is to his family.” [Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 6032).] And the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “As for Mu’aawiyah, then he is very poor.” And that occurred when Faatimah Bint Qays came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) seeking his permission and his consultation and she mentioned that both Mu’aawiyah Ibn Abee Sufyaan and Aboo Jahm had proposed to her.  So he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, “As for Mu’aawiyah, then he is very poor and has no wealth and as for Aboo Jahm, then his staff does not leave his shoulder.”  Then he said, “Marry Usaamah.” [Related by Muslim (no. 1480)] To the end of the hadeeth.”

[2]: Refer to: هل باب الجرح والتعديل يختص بعلم الرواية فقط وأن هذا الباب قد أغلق؟

Translation by Maaz Qureshi

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Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bāzmūl on Shaykh Rabī’ bin Hādī Al-Madkhalī’s Tabdī’

Translation by Maaz Qureshi: http://sunnahpublishing.net/shaykh-muhammad-ibn-umar-baazmool-answers-the-claim-that-shaykh-rabee-forces-people-to-make-tabdee-of-his-enemies/

Audio: http://sunnahpublishing.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/forcerabee.mp3

[Q]: May Allaah treat you well.  This questioner from Morocco says: Our Shaykh, may Allaah treat you well.  How do we refute those who say that Shaykh Rabee’ forces the people to performtabdee’ (declaring an individual to be an innovator) of his enemies and that this is not from the Salafee manhaj at all?

[A]: I do not know that Shaykh Rabee’ forces the people to perform tabdee’ of his enemies.  That which I know about the Shaykh – may Allaah preserve him, sustain him with health and wellness and prolong his life upon goodness – is that he is eager to spread the Sunnah and eager to clarify the Sunnah and eager to warn against innovation and against its people.  So when he is asked a question, or someone from amongst the students of knowledge sits with him and that individual’s speech or question warrants that the Shaykh clarify the condition of Ahlus-Sunnah and the condition of the people of innovation and that he must describe the condition of the people who have been deceived by the innovation, then he clarifies that with evidence.  And whenever he clarifies this with evidence, he only wants that this individual, who has listened to the evidence, especially if he is a student of knowledge who understands, that he comes out openly with this truth and that he clarifies this truth with evidence.  So he does not force anyone to blindly follow him (taqleed) or to take his statement without evidence or proof.  This is what we have come to know from the condition of Shaykh Rabee’ - hafidahullaah.

So we do not know that Shaykh Rabee’ forces the people to perform tabdee’ of his enemies.  Shaykh Rabee’ only compels the people to follow the evidence.  So once the proof has been pointed out and the ruling, along with the proof, that whatever so and so has done is an innovation, has been issued, and the Shaykh has clarified the entirety of this affair to a student of knowledge, then it becomes obligatory upon the student of knowledge to follow this evidence.  And if he does not do so, then he has left the Book of Allaah and the Sunnahof the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and the manhaj that the Salafwere upon.

And perhaps the one who quoted that Shaykh Rabee’ forces the people to perform tabdee’of his enemies did not understand this circumstance and this situation.  Keep in mind that Shaykh Rabee’ - hafidhahullaah – we do not know that he bears enmity towards those whom he bears enmity due to personal issues.  And we do not know that he bears enmity towards those whom he bears enmity due to affairs of personal benefit. We only know from the Shaykh – and we do not praise anyone over Allaah – that he only bears enmity towards those whom he bears enmity and he warns against those whom we warns due to their opposition to the Book and the Sunnah and the manhaj of the Salafus-Saalih.  And it is compulsory upon the people to follow the Book and the Sunnah and the manhaj of theSalafus-Saalih.

This is what we know with regards to Shaykh Rabee’ - hafidhahullaah – and we do not claim infallibility for him and we do not claim that he does not err and that he does not slip up.  So he is only a human being.  However, we say: this is what we know about the Shaykh.  And Allaah know best. [1]

Endnotes:

[1]: Taken from al-Liqaa‘ul-Maftoohil-Awwal for Shabakah Imaam Daaril-Hijratil-’Ilmiyyah with Dr. Muhammad Ibn ’Umar Baazmool, dated 23rd of Dhul-Qa’dah, 1433H.

 

Shaykh Muhammad bin Hādī Al-Madkhalī on Jarh wat-Ta’dīl & Shaykh Rabī’ Al-Madkhalī

Shaykh Muhammad bin Hādī Al-Madkhalī Explains that Shaykh Rabī’ bin Hādī Al-Madkhalī is from the Astonishing Affairs of our Times

[Q]: And this one asks: who possesses the knowledge of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel in our present times?

[A]: As for whatever is related to narrations, then that has been documented in books and there is nothing left from that except for it to be studied.  As for whatever is related to innovation and criticizing its people and clarifying their condition, then this returns back to the Scholars – to the Scholars of the Sunnah – those who know the innovations, their rulings and the rulings upon their people.

And the more a person delves into this topic, the more he mixes with the people and reads their books and obtains knowledge of their positions, then he will be more knowledgeable about this topic.  For example, the early Imaams of hadeeth used to say, ‘Indeed, the knowledge of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is a difficult ascent.’  So the huffaadh (memorizers) are many and those who procure enough knowledge for ta’deel (appraisal) and tajreeh (disparagement, criticism) are few from amongst them.  And they have stipulated several conditions for the mujarrih (critic).  So from them:

  • He must be a memorizer of the narrations.
  • He must have memorized the avenues of disagreement.
  • He must be knowledgeable about the narrators, knowledgeable about their teachers, level after level and about their students and about the sources of their reports and other than that.

So once he has come to know these things, then having a vast memory and being familiar with the conditions of the people will aid him.  And he must adorn himself with taqwaa (righteousness) and wara’ (piety) and fear of Allaah.  So he must not have a predilection for desire and he must not be provoked by anger.  This is what they have mentioned with regards to the attributes of the mujarrih (critic).

So therefore, the Scholar who knows the people and he has mixed with the people, then he is the one who rules upon them, since he has knowledge of the people, in addition to his knowledge about the ahkaam (rules, regulations) of the Sharee’ah.  So he is given precedence in this.

And from the astonishing affairs I have seen in these times is our Shaykh, Shaykh Rabee’ (hafidhahullaah).  There has never been an individual mentioned to us that we were ignorant about and we asked him about this individual, except that he would say, ‘I have known him for twenty years, or thirty years, or forty years, or for fifteen years,’ and the likes of that.  He will bring you information about that individual in detail and he will explain that this individual has such and such and such a position, and we visited him at his place and in his land, or such and such has been mentioned to us, or we met in such a season and the likes of that.

So knowledge of the people in this manner is a distinct field.  Sometimes, you do not even fully know your neighbour who lives beside you for months.  You may not even know his name!  So this is a gift from Allaah the Blessed and Exalted.

Indeed, this has been testified for him.  Meaning, the one whose testimony is given consideration in this topic: Shaykh Naasir - rahimahullaahu ta’aalaa - said he is the flag bearer of the Sunnah in these times.  So he was from the most knowledgeable of the people concerning the hadeeth of the Messenger ﷺ. Rather, I do not know of anyone under the pillars of the heavens more knowledge about hadeeth in these times - rahmatullaahi ’alayhi.  And he testified for this man (i.e. Shaykh Rabee’), the Shaykh (i.e. Shaykh al-Albaanee) testified for his student. [1] So may Allaah have mercy upon Shaykh Naasir and may Allaah preserve our Shaykh, Shaykh Rabee’.

And we ask Allaah the Sublime and Exalted to grant all of us success. [2]

Endnotes:

[1]: Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ’Umar Baazmool said, “Shaykh al-Albaanee is a sign from the signs in these times with regards to hadeeth.  He described Shaykh Rabee’ as the flag-bearer of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel in these times!!  So if this description was inapplicable, Shaykh al-Albaanee would have been the foremost of the people in opposing it and not applying it to a man living in these times, because he (i.e. al-Albaanee) is from the specialists in this field.”  Refer to the cassette, al-Ajwibatul-Manhajiyyah ’alal-As‘ilatis-Salafiyyatil-Leebiyyah.

[2]: This was taken from the first lesson of the author’s explanation of Nukhbatul-Fikr of Ibn Hajr.

Translation by Maaz Qureshi: http://sunnahpublishing.net/shaykh-muhammad-ibn-haadee-al-madkhalee-explains-that-shaykh-rabee-is-from-the-astonishing-affairs-of-our-times/

Audio: http://sunnahpublishing.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/binhadiajaib.mp3