بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Allah, The Sublime, says,
و ذكر فإن الذكرى تنفع المؤمنين
“And remind for indeed the reminder benefits the believers.” [51:55]
We all need reminders here and there about the importance of looking to who we take our religion [i.e. knowledge] from since this knowledge is the basis of our religion. If we aren’t correct in learning it according to how the righteous predecessors of the scholars [the Salaf] learnt it, then we are at a loss, as Allah, The Most High, said,
الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا
“Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works.” [18:104]
In fact, from the four matters that the servant will be asked about on the Day wherein no wealth or children can be of benefit to him if he fails to answer is regarding his knowledge [i.e did he learn it correctly and did he act accordingly].
So let us all be honest to ourselves and ask ourselves: are we really pleasing Allah by being lenient in this matter by taking knowledge from everyone who is brought forward to speak about the Deen of Allah?!
We shouldn’t be like sheep in this matter to the point that we are easily led by numbers or by the majority. Allah, The Most High, said in His Noble Book,
وإن تطع أكثر من في الأرض يضلوك عن سبيل الله
“And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s Path.” [6:116]
Likewise, we shouldn’t make the eloquence of the speaker our criteria that decides for us whether we should listen to him or not, since it is possible that the worst of the people can also be eloquent in speech, as Allah describes the hypocrites,
وإذا رأيتهم تعجبك أجسامهم وإن يقولوا تسمع لقولهم
“And when you look at them, their bodies please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words.” [63:4]
Therefore, they beautify their speech and they show beautiful mannerisms outwardly and behind all of that is deception and plotting that plunges one into fitnah. The common excuse that we hear at times is, “I need an eeman booster, thus I listen to any speaker.” This is not correct at all since many of us have witnessed the opposite. We’ve seen many become polluted with confusion and doubts in their religion due to them giving their ears to everyone. We should be more stern about this matter similar to how the righteous predecessors were.
Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar (rahimahullaah) said,
“The happy one is the one who clings unto that which the righteous predecessors were upon and avoids that which the latter ones have newly invented.” End translation. [Fathul-Baari (Page: 253, Vol. 13)]
And due to some assuming that it is a form of extremism to be strict regarding who you should take your knowledge from, they have now become victims in the aftermath of such fitnahs, which is quite sad and Allah’s aid is sought.
From your brother in Islam
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman