[Video]: Who Are The Scholars Of This Time? | Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Al-Fawzān
Who Are The Scholars Of This Time? | Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Al-Fawzān
The Questioner: Certainly, those who associate themselves with calling [to Allāh and His religion] have become numerous in these days; [and this is] from the things that require knowledge and identification the true people of knowledge in order to direct the Muslim community and its youth towards the correct methodology.
So who are the scholars who you would advise the youth to benefit from and to follow their lessons and listen to their recorded audios and take knowledge from them and who they should return back to in the most important matters of the religion and the at the times of calamity and times of turmoil?
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān: “Calling to Allāh is an affair which is essential. And the religion was established upon calling the people and jihād; upon calling the people and jihād after beneficial knowledge. The knowledge is the foundation; the beneficial knowledge is the foundation then comes calling [to it] and then jihād.
‘Except those who believe and do acts of righteousness and mutually advise one another with the truth and mutually advise one another with patience.’ [Sūrah al-ʿAṣr 103:3]
and true faith is knowledge of Allāh the Glorified and Exalted by His names and attributes and by His worship and righteous actions are an extension of beneficial knowledge because actions must be based upon knowledge and then calling to Allāh and commanding the good and forbidding the evil and the Muslims advising one another which is a matter which is required of them.
However, it is not for every good doer to take it upon himself to fulfil these responsibilities. These affairs should not be performed except by people of knowledge and people of keen insight. This should not be performed by just anyone from the people. This is because these are weighty matters and important affairs that should not be attempted or performed except by someone who is equipped to fulfill such responsibilities.
And from the great afflictions of today is that the door of calling [to Allāh] has become wide such that everyone enters into it and the one who ascribes to calling [to Allāh] may be ignorant such that he is not proficient in calling [to Allāh] and thus he corrupts far more than he rectifies. He may be enthusiastic and as such acts hastily in matters and is reckless and as a result of his action far more evil occurs than whatever he is able to remedy and whatever he intended to rectify.
In fact, perhaps he may be from among those who ascribe to calling [to Allāh] are those who are motivated by desires or ulterior motives which they call to and hope to accomplish at the expense of calling [to Allāh]. Perhaps some of them wish to misguide the people and confuse the understanding of the youth in the name of calling [to Allāh] and in the name of wanting good for the religion while in reality he intends other than that.
Instead, he intends to cause the youth to deviate and cause the understanding of the impressionable to deviate while driving the youth against their community, their leaders and their scholars; they come to them as though they are advising them and apparently calling them [to Allāh while this is the hidden goal.
Just like the hypocrites among this nation who wish evil upon the people under the pretense of good. I will cite for you an example in the form of the people of Masjid al-Ḍirār. The people of Masjid al-Ḍirār built a Masjid which apparently in the eyes of the people was a Masjid and an act of righteousness.
And they asked the Prophet (ﷺ) to pray in it in order to encourage the people regarding it and in order for him to approve of it. However, Allāh knew what the intentions of these people and that they wished to harm the Muslims with it.
They wished to use it to harm Masjid Qubāʾ which was the first Masjid established upon righteousness (taqwá). And they wished to undermine the unity of the Muslims who used to gather at Masjid Qubāʾ. So Allāh clarified for His Messenger the plot of these people and sent down the statement of Allāh:
‘And those who took a Masjid as a means of causing harm, disbelief, and disunity among the believers and in order to prepare those who fought against Allāh and His Messenger previously; they most certainly swear: ‘We desired nothing but good,’ but Allāh bears witness that they are surely liars.
You [O Prophet] should never pray there. A Masjid founded upon righteousness (taqwá) from its very first day is more deserving for you to pray there. In it, are men who love to purify themselves and Allāh loves those who purify themselves.’ [Sūrah al-Tawbah 9:107-108]
It becomes clear for us from this amazing story that not everyone who makes goodness and righteous deeds apparent is truthful regarding what he is doing. But, rather instead what they intend behind that are other things which are the opposite of what they make apparent. So those who ascribe to calling [to Allāh] today, among them are those who mislead [others] hoping to deviate the youth.
They wish to drive the people away from the religion of truth. They wish to undermine the unity of the Muslims and involve them in turmoil. Allāh the Glorified and Exalted has warned us regarding them:
‘Had they gone out with you they would not have increased you in anything but confusion and they would have sowed discord among you hoping to afflict you. And among you are those who would have listened to them. And Allāh is ever knowledgeable regarding the wrongdoers.’ [Sūrah al-Tawbah 9:47]
So the most important point is not in the ascription, or in what is made apparent. Rather, the most important point is found in the reality and in the final result of affairs. As for the individuals who ascribe themselves to calling [to Allāh], it is obligatory that you consider where did they study? From whom did they take their knowledge?
Where did they come from and what do they believe? And you should likewise consider their actions and their effect upon the people. What have they produced of good? And what do their actions produce of rectification? It is an obligation that you study their conditions before you can be deceived by their statements and their appearances.
This matter is a necessity; especially during this time when the callers to turmoil are many. The Prophet (ﷺ) described these callers to turmoil as a people who speak with our tongues and a people from our own flesh who speak with our tongues. And the Prophet (ﷺ) when he was asked about the turmoil he said: ‘Callers at the doors to the Hellfire. Whoever, obeys them…’ Callers, he called them callers here. ‘…callers at the doors of the Hellfire.
Whoever obeys them will be thrown into it.’ So it is upon us to be mindful of this. And we should not support everyone who comes and goes in matters of calling [to Allāh] and everyone who says that I call to Allāh and this group calls to Allāh. It is a must that we consider the reality of the affair. It is a must that we consider the reality of individuals and groups.
Since Allāh the Glorified and Exalted certainly restricted the call; the call to Allāh. The call to the path of Allāh. The Exalted says:says: ‘Say: This is my way; I invite unto Allāh…’ [Sūrah Yūsuf 12:108] This indicates that there are people who call to other than Allāh the Glorified and Exalted. He informed that the disbelievers call to the Hellfire. He the Glorified and Exalted says:
‘And do not marry [your women to] men who commit associationism (shirk) until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a disbelieving associationist (mushrik) even if he [the mushrik] appeals to you. They call you to the Hellfire and Allāh calls you to the Paradise and forgiveness according to His permission.’ [Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:221]
And as for the callers, then their affair must be considered. Shaykh al-Islām Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdul-Wahhāb –may Allāh have mercy upon him- said about this verse: ‘Say: This is my way; I invite unto Allāh…’ [Sūrah Yūsuf 12:108] He said that this contains sincerity since many of the people only call to themselves and do not call to Allāh the Mighty and Majestic. Yes.”
The Questioner: And what are the characteristics of the scholars whose example should be followed?
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān: “The characteristics of the scholars who should be followed; they are the people who possess knowledge of Allāh the Glorified and Exalted who have gained understanding in the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger (ﷺ) and that they are people who exhibit beneficial knowledge just as they also exhibit righteous actions.
This means that those who should be followed are those who combine between the two affairs; beneficial knowledge and righteous actions. So a scholar who does not act upon his knowledge is not to be followed. And the ignorant person who does not possess knowledge also should not be followed. No one should be followed except the one who combines between the two characteristics; beneficial knowledge and righteous actions.
And as for who is to be followed in our land [Saudi Arabia] and whose audios and lessons should be taken from, then they are many and all praise is due to Allāh. They are well known to the people. They are not unknown to anyone. Not from the inhabitants of the cities or the desert or those who are old or young; they know the people of knowledge whose statement should be taken and whose actions should be followed.
They are those who establish the actions of this community including issuing religious verdicts, serving as judges, teaching and other than this. They are known for knowledge and being mindful of Allāh and being cautious.
At the head of our scholars is his eminence ʿAbdul-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz –may Allāh have mercy upon Him- since he was a man who Allāh the Glorified and Exalted blessed with deep knowledge and righteous actions and calling to Allāh as well as sincerity and truthfulness such that it was not hidden from anyone.
And he was, and all praise belongs to Allāh someone who produced much benefit in the way of writings, books, audios and lessons. Likewise those scholars who appear on the [radio] program: Nūr ʿalá al-Darb (or light on the path). They are those whom the community is content with their religious verdicts and remain patient with them You will be satisfied with their religious verdicts and remain patient with them due to what has been witnessed in terms of the correctness of their verdicts and beneficial statements; [like] his eminence ʿAbdul-ʿAzīz ibn Bāz and the distinguished scholar Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ ʿUthaymīn.
And [likewise] the noble and distinguished judges, since no one is involved in adjudication and trusted by the people in the matters of their blood, wealth and private parts except that their knowledge is trusted; and also the judges in the court system because the leader has entrusted them just as the Muslim community has entrusted them with these affairs.
And likewise from the distinguished scholars who have a role in the call [to Allāh] is the noble scholar Shaykh ʿAbdul-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād, the noble Shaykh Rabīʿ Hādī and also the noble Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Suḥaymī and likewise Shaykh Muḥammad Amān al-Jāmī.
Certainly, these individuals have exerted [great] efforts in calling [to Allāh], and [demonstrate] sincerity and have refuted those who wish to cause deviation from the correct path regardless of whether it occurred intentionally or unintentionally. They have experience and expertise and they are able to carefully examine the statements and know the correct from the incorrect.
So it is obligatory to spread their audios and lessons and benefit from them. They contain great benefit for the Muslims. And [likewise] every scholar who is not known to have erred and not known to have deviated in their life or ideology, then you should take from him.”
Translation: Abul-Layth Qāsim Mutiva