Question: Is it permissible for us to insult the one the people of knowledge insult?

Answer: Insulting, no, don’t insult, but if he has been declared an innovator and you need to clarify his matter to advise the people, then clarify. Say about him, so and so is a mubtadi (innovator). So and so has with him this and that. As for insulting, then no (don’t do it). Do not insult him. If he insults him, you don’t insult him.

If he gives a ruling on him, and it is the truth about him, and if you see people being harmed by him, then it is mandatory for you to clarify his situation until the people are warned from his evil, and they are safe from his evil.

As for insulting then no, it does not benefit.

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:

It is obligatory to punish anyone who ascribes himself to the people of innovation, or defends them, or praises them, or hates that they should be spoken against, or begins to make excuses for them. In fact, it is obligatory to punish everyone that is aware of their condition yet doesn’t assist in fighting against them, for indeed fighting against these individuals is from the greatest of obligations.

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[Majmoo'-ul-Fataawaa: 2/132]

Sayings of the Imaams regarding following the Sunnah and ignoring their views contradictory to it124

Allaah, Mighty and Sublime, says:

“Follow (O men!) the revelation given to you from your Lord, and follow not, as friends and protectors, other than Him. Little is it you remember of admonition.”

Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullaahu ta’aala)

The first of them is Abu Haneefah Nu’maan ibn Thaabit, whose companions have narrated from him various sayings and diverse warnings, all of them leading to one thing: The obligation to accept the Hadeeth, and to give up following the opinions of the imaams which contradict it:

  1. “When a hadeeth is found to be saheeh, then that is my madhhaab.”
  2. “It is not permitted for anyone to accept our views if they do not know from where we got them.”3

In one narration, “It is prohibited for someone who does not know any evidence to give verdicts on the basis of my words.”

Another narration adds, “…for we are morals: We say one thing one day, and take it back the next day.

In another narration, “Woe to you, O Ya’qoob! Do not write down everything you hear from me, for it happens that I hold one opinion today and reject it tomorrow, or hold one opinion tomorrow and reject it the day after tomorrow.”

2. “When I say something contradicting the Book of Allaah, the Exalted, or what is narrated from the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), then ignore my saying.”

Imaam Maalik ibn Anas (rahimahullaahu ta’aala)

As for Imaam Maalik ibn Anas, he said:

  1. “Truly I am only a mortal: I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinions: All that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it.”

2. “Everyone after the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) will have his sayings accepted and rejected – not so the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

3. Ibn Wahb said: “I heard Maalik being asked about cleaning between the toes during ablution. He said, “The people do not have to do that.’ I did not approach him until the crowd had lessened, when I said to him, ‘We know of a sunnah about that.’ He said, ‘What is that?’ I said, ‘Layth ibn Sa’d, Ibn Lahee’ah and ‘Amr ibn al-Haarith narrated to us from Yazeed ibn ‘Amr al-Ma’aafiree from Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Hubulee from Mustawarid ibn Shaddaad al-Qurashee who said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) rubbing between his toes with his little finger.’ He said, ‘This hadeeth is sound; I had not heard of it at all until now.’ Afterwards, I heard him being asked about the same thing, on which he ordered cleaning between the toes.”

Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee (rahimahullaah)

As for Imaam as Shaafi’ee, the quotations from him are most numerous and beautiful, and his followers were the best in sticking to them:

1. “The sunnahs of the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) reach, as well as escape from, every one of us. So whenever I voice my opinion, or formulate a principle, where something contrary to my view exists on the authority of the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), then the correct view is what the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said, and it is my view.”

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Secondly: Passing a religious verdict without sound knowledge.

Passing religious verdicts is a great rank; with it, one who is qualified is able to deal with issues that are uncertain for the general public in matters of their religion, that which guides them to the straight path. Since this is such a great rank, no-one should put themselves forward for it unless they are qualified to do so. Therefore, it is obligatory for the servants of Allaah to fear Him and not speak except upon sound knowledge.

Know that He is the Creator and all matters are at His disposal. So there is no creator except Allaah, there is no planner for the creation except Allaah, and there is no law for the creation except the law of Allaah. So it is He who obligates and prohibits things, just as He is the one who permits things. Allaah has rebuked those who make things halaal (permissible) and haraam (impermissible) based upon their whims and desires as He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

Say: “Tell me, what provision Allaah has sent down to you! And you have made of it lawful and unlawful.” Say: “Has Allaah permitted you, or do you invent a lie against Allaah?” And what think those who invent lies against Allaah, on the Day of Resurrection?104

And He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) also says:

And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely: “This is lawful and this is forbidden,” so as to invent lies against Allaah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allaah will never prosper. A passing brief enjoyment, but they will have a painful torment.105

Certainly from amongst the greatest sins is for a person to say something is halaal or haraam while he does not know Allaah’s (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) judgment upon it. Or he says something is waajib (obligatory) while he does know that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has made it waajib, or he says something is ghayr waajib (not obligatory) while he does not know that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has made it ghayr waajib. Certainly, these are serious offenses and ill-manners towards Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).

How is it O servant of Allaah, that you know the judgment is for Allaah alone and you put yourself forward before Him and say about His religion and His Law that which you do not know? Allaah has linked such a statement without knowledge to shirk (associating partners with Him), as He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

Say: “The things that my Lord has in deed forbidden are al-Fawaahish (great evil sins) whether committed openly or secretly, sins, unrighteous oppression, joining partners with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge.”106

Many amongst the general Muslims pass religious verdicts about that which they do not know. So you find them saying such-and-such is halaal or haraam, or waajib or ghayr waajib, while they know absolutely nothing about it!

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