The Difference between Advising and Condemning

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  • The Difference between Advising and Condemning





    Indeed, the subject for this treatise is
    extremely important and most deserving of being studied closely and attentively.This treatise deals with a summary
    of the etiquettes of giving advice, while covering many of its key points, and
    it warns against what corrupts it and changes it from its pure form – which is
    condemning. And in this country, how much are the Muslims in
    need of understanding this subject and of
    transferring it into practical application in their daily
    affairs. Truly, the way towards solving the problems, disputes and divisions
    that have spread in many masjids and Islaamic centers can only be achieved by
    knowing the “Difference between Advising and Condemning.” Many people turn
    towards backbiting as a result of their abandonment of implementing the
    etiquette of advising. So when they advise, they in reality degrade, belittle
    and condemn. And others leave off advising people in a direct manner, instead
    criticizing them from a distance,
    without realizing the consequences that come as a result of
    that. So due to all of this, we strongly advise our Muslim brothers to read
    this noble treatise and gain benefit from it. And we ask Allaah that He grant
    us the ability to do all that He loves and is pleased with.
    Written by: Abu Saalih Muhammad Zorkane On August 2000 
    The following biography is an adapted version
    of the biography provided by ‘Imaad Ibn Saabir
    Al-Mirsee in his checking of Ibn Rajab’s book Adh-Dhull
    wal-Inkisaar Lil-‘Azeez-il-Jabbaar.
    He has researched and compiled this biography using nine
    sources of reference that contain Ibn
    Rajab’s biography.His name and lineage: He is the Imaam, the Haafidh Zayn-ud-Deen ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan
    Ibn Ahmad Ibn ‘Abd-ir- Rahmaan Ibn Rajab Ibn Al-Husain Ibn Abeel-Barakaat Mas’ood
    As-Salaamee Al-Baghdaadee, who then became Ad-Dimashqee Al-Hanbalee, better known as
    Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee. Rajab was the nickname of his grandfather, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan. It is
    also held that it was a nickname given to him because of his being born in the month of
    Rajab. Ibn Rajab became famous and well known by that name, may Allaah have mercy on him.
    His birth:
    He was born in Baghdaad in the year 736H according to the
    most correct opinion found in the discussions presented by those who recorded his biography.
    His early youth and his search for knowledge:
    Allaah prepared for Ibn Rajab an environment of firm
    knowledge. His way of life based on
    acquiring knowledge and producing actions was established
    for him since his early youth. Because of this, the Haafidh gained much benefit from that.
    He himself explains that he received the authorization and religious approval from some
    of the major scholars (of his time) during his youth.
    This indicates the degree of zeal and aspiration his family and
    especially his father – who was from the major scholars of his time – had towards acquiring
    knowledge. He studied at the hands of many different shaikhs such that some researchers of his
    biography have counted them to number close to forty. His teachers: The checker of Ibn Rajab’s book Sharh ‘Ilal At-Tirmidhee has
    counted Ibn Rajab’s teachers to
    be thirty-six. However, he did not add to that, his father
    or Ibn An-Naqeeb or An-Nawawee
    (Ahmad Ibn ‘Abd-il-Mu’min). So with this, the number of his
    teachers reaches close to forty as
    we have stated previously.
    Here is a list of some of the Shaikh’s most distinguished
    1.            Muhammad
    Ibn Abee Bakr Ibn Ibraaheem Shams-ud-Deen Ibn An-Naqeeb Ash-Shaafi’ee
    (d. 745H)
    2.         ‘Alaa-ud-Deen
    Ahmad Ibn ‘Abd-il-Mu’min Ash-Shaafi’ee As-Subkee, who later became
    An-Nawawee (d. 749H)
    3.         Shams-ud-Deen
    Muhammad Ibn Abee Bakr Ibn Ayyoob, Shaikh-ul-Islaam, better known as
    Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (d. 751H)
    4.         Jamaal-ud-Deen
    Abu Sulaimaan Dawood Ibn Ibraaheem Al-‘Attaar (d. 752H)
    5.            Muhammad
    Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibraaheem Al-Maidoomee (d. 754H)
    6.            ‘Uthmaan
    Ibn Yoosuf Ibn Abee Bakr An-Nuwairee Al-Maalikee (d. 756H)
    7.            Muhammad
    Ibn Isma’eel Ibn Ibraaheem, better known as Ibn Al-Khabbaaz (d. 757H)
    8.         Salaah-ud-Deen
    Abu Sa’eed Khaleel Al-‘Alaa’ee (d. 761H)
    9.            Muhammad
    Ibn Muhammad Al-Qalaanisee (d. 765H)
    Ibn Rajab’s students:
    The Haafidh, rahimahullaah, taught many students. Amongst
    the most famous of them were:
    1.            Dawood
    Ibn Sulaimaan Ibn ‘Abdillaah Al-Mawsilee Al-Hanbalee (d. 844H)
    2.         Abul-Fadl
    Ahmad Ibn Nasrullaah Ibn Ahmad (d. 844H)
    3.         ‘Alaa-ud-Deen
    Abul-Hasan ‘Alee Ibn Muhammad Ibn ‘Abbaas Al-Ba’alee, better known as
    Ibn Al-Lahaam (d. 803H)
    4.         ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan
    Ibn Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdillaah Al-Misree Al-Hanbalee, better known as
    Az-Zarkashee (d. 846H)
    The scholars’ praise for him:
    Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah said of him in his biography, as is
    stated in Al-Jawhar-ul-Munaddad (pg.
    48): “He read and became proficient in the various fields of
    science. He engrossed himself with
    the issues of the (Hanbalee) madh-hab until he mastered it.
    He devoted himself to the
    occupation of knowledge of the texts, defects and meanings
    of the Hadeeth. And he withdrew
    himself in seclusion in order to write.”
    Ibn Hajr said of him in Inbaa-ul-Ghamr: “He was highly
    proficient in the scientific disciplines of
    Hadeeth in terms of the names of reporters, their
    biographies, their paths of narration and
    awareness of their meanings.”
    Ibraaheem Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muflih (d. 884H) said of him: “He
    was the Shaikh, the great
    scholar, the Haafidh, the one who abstained from the worldly
    life. He was the Shaikh of the
    Hanbalee madh-hab and he wrote many beneficial books.”
    The written works of Imaam Ibn Rajab:
    The Haafidh left behind an extensive and rich selection of
    books on the different sciences of
    Islaam. Among them are those that have been printed and
    those that remain in manuscript form,
    yet to be printed. Also among his works are those books that
    are missing and cannot be located.
    The compiler of this short biography has numbered the
    Shaikh’s books that are in print today in
    the Arabic language to be 38. What will follow is a list of
    some of them:
    1.         Jaami’-ul-‘Uloom
    wal-Hikam (His monumental and most famous book, which is an explanation
    of fifty ahaadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
    that are short in wording but comprehensive in meaning)
    2.         Dhail
    Tabaqaat-ul-Hanaabilah (This is a compilation of the scholars of the Hanbalee
    madhhab, considered one of his great works)
    3.         Lataa’if
    Al-Ma’aarif (This is a book on the duties one is required to do during times of
    religious celebration and observance, such as Ramadaan)
    4.         Al-Farq
    baina An-Naseehah wat-Ta’yeer (The present book before you)
    5.         Sharh
    Hadeeth: “Maa Dhi.ban Jaa’iaan…” (This book has been translated into English
    under the title “The Evil of Craving for Wealth and Status”)
    6.         Fadlu
    ‘Ilm-is-Salaf ‘alaal-Khalaf (A great short treatise discussing the virtues of
    knowledge, its types and its etiquettes)
    There are also about forty-five books of his that are nit
    printed yet. We ask Allaah that He
    facilitate the verification and printing of these sources of
    His death:
    Imaam Ibn Rajab died in the month of Rajab of 795H and some
    said it was in Ramadaan. No
    doubt he left behind him a legacy of knowledge for all those
    after him to benefit from. His
    books continue to be studied and used as reference even in
    these days. May Allaah have mercy
    on him and grant him a high place in Paradise.
    In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of
    All praise is for Allaah, Lord of the universe. And may His
    peace and blessings be upon the
    foremost of those who fear Allaah and the seal of the
    prophets (Muhammad), as well as his
    family, his companions and (all) those who follow them in
    righteousness, until the Day of Recompense. As for what follows, then: These
    are some brief, yet comprehensive words concerning the difference between
    advising and condemning, for indeed they are counterparts in the sense that
    they both consist of mentioning something about a people that they hate to have
    mentioned. However, the distinction between the two is something that is not
    understood by many people. Thus, Allaah is the One who grants correctness. Know
    that mentioning something about a person that he hates to have mentioned (about
    him) is forbidden, if the objective behind that is for nothing else but to
    dispraise and declare (his) faults and defects.1
    However, if there is found in this mentioning, a beneficial
    good for the general masses of Muslims – specifically for  some of them –
    and the objective behind it is to accomplish this beneficial good, then it is
    not forbidden, but rather recommended. The scholars of Hadeeth have agreed with
    this (principle) in their books on the subject of Al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel,2 and
    they have mentioned that there is a difference between criticizing hadeeth
    reporters and backbiting them. And they further refuted those who placed these
    two (categories) at the same level, such as those constantly engulfed in
    worship (all the time) as well as others who do not possess sufficient
    knowledge.3 Furthermore, there is no difference between 1) criticizing
    narrators of one of the hadeeth scholars (huffaadh) and distinguishing whose
    reports are to be accepted from them and whose reports are not, and between 2)
    clarifying the mistake of one who has erred with regard to understanding the
    meanings of the Book and the Sunnah, interpreted some aspect of it incorrectly,
    and who has adhered to something false. This (clarifying) was done so that this
    individual would not be followed in that which he erred in. The scholars have
    also unanimously agreed upon the permissibility of doing this (clarification).4
    This is why we find that the books they authored concerning the various
    sciences of the religion - such as tafseer, explanation of hadeeth, Fiqh, the
    difference of opinions amongst the scholars, and so on - are filled with
    arguments5 and refutations of the statements of those who voiced
    weak opinions from the scholars of the past and present,
    such as the Sahaabah, the Taabi’een and
    those after them.
    Not one of the people of knowledge abandoned (doing) this
    (clarification). Nor would he claim
    in his (refutation) to disparage, dispraise or defame the
    individual whose saying he was refuting, unless the author (he was refuting)
    was from those whose speech consisted of wickedness and who displayed vile
    manners when expressing himself. In this circumstance, his wickedness and
    vileness were forsaken apart from the original state of refuting and opposing
    him. And this (refutation) was based upon sound arguments and stable proofs.
    The reason for all this was due to the unanimous agreement of the scholars of
    this Religion that the truth which Allaah sent His Messenger, sallAllaahu
    ‘alayhi wa sallam, with must be made known, and so that all of the Religion can
    be purely for Allaah (alone) and so that His word can be the highest.
    Furthermore, all of them acknowledge that grasping the entirety of the
    knowledge, without neglecting any part of it, is not a level that has been
    reached by any of them, nor has anyone from the scholars of the past or those
    of the present claimed to have reached it. For this reason, the Imaams of the
    Salaf – those whose knowledge and merits are widely and unanimously I agreed upon – used to accept the truth from anyone that
    disclosed it to them, even if that person was young.6 And they would advise their companions and
    followers to accept the truth, even if it appeared in someone else’s statements.An example of this is found in ‘Umar’s, radyAllaahu ‘anhu,
    saying when he stated his opinion
    concerning the dowry of women. A woman responded to him by
    reciting Allaah’s statement:
    “But if you intend to replace a wife with another, and you
    have given one of them a qintaar (large amount of gold in dowry), take not the least bit of
    it back.”7  Upon this, ‘Umar went back on his opinion and said: “A woman
    has spoken correctly and a man
    has erred.”8 And it has also been reported that he said:
    “Everyone is more understanding of Fiqh than ‘Umar.” 9
    Some of the famous (scholars) used to say, upon having
    formed an opinion concerning a matter: “This is the opinion that we have derived, so anyone that
    brings an opinion better than it, we shall accept it (from him).” Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee used to go
    to great extents with regard to this understanding, for he would advise his
    companions to follow the truth and accept the Sunnah, even if it should appear
    to them in contradiction to their (own) opinions. And he encouraged
    them to, at that point, throw his opinion against the wall (i.e. throw it away).10 He would
    say in his books 11: “There is no doubt that you will find in them (my opinions) that which
    contradicts the Book and the Sunnah, for
    Allaah, the Most High, says: “And if it (the Qur’aan) were from someone other than
    Allaah, they would have found
    many contradictions in it.’12”  
    And what is more profound than this is his saying: “No one
    ever debated me except that I noticed: either the truth was manifested on his tongue or on
    my tongue.” This indicates that his intention was for nothing else but
    to manifest the truth, even if it were found on the tongue of someone other than him, such as those
    who debated or differed with him. Whoever possesses this type of condition, then indeed he
    will not hate having his opinion rejected, nor having his contradiction of the Sunnah
    clarified, whether during his lifetime or after his death. This was the way the scholars of Islaam from past
    and present – those who are the protectors of it and who rise to support it – used to think about others.
    They would also not detest the opposition they received from those that contradicted them
    with a proof that was made known to them. This was even if the proof that these individuals (who
    opposed them) used was not strong according to them, such that they would accept it and
    abandon their proof in place of it. This is why Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) would mention Ishaaq
    Ibn Raahawaih (rahimahullaah) while praising and commending him. And he
    would say: “Even if he does contradict (me with regard to the Sunnah) in some matters,
    then indeed, the people will never cease to differ with one another.” Or it is as he said. And
    many times he (rahimahullaah) was presented with the words of Ishaaq and other
    Imaams, and their sources from where they derived their opinions, and he would
    not agree with them in their opinion, nor would he reject their views or their
    evidences for it, even though he would not agree with any of that.13 Imaam
    Ahmad (rahimahullaah) approved of what was related from Haatim Al-Asam, when it
    was said to him: “You are a non-Arab and do not speak eloquently, yet no one
    debates you, except that you silence him. So with what do you gain
    victory over your opponents?” So he responded: “By three things: I become happy
    when my opponent speaks correctly (on a point). I become grieved when he errs.
    And I withhold my tongue from him, lest I should say something that would harm
    him” - or something with this meaning - so Ahmad (rahimahullaah) said: “How
    wise of a man he is.” Therefore, refuting weak (erroneous) opinions and
    clarifying the truth with regard to what opposes it, based upon sound
    evidences, is not from what these scholars detested. Rather, it was from that
    which they loved and for which they commended and praised those who did it.
    So it does not enter into the realm of backbiting at all.
    But suppose there is someone that hates to have his error, which contradicts
    the Sunnah, exposed. In this case, there is no consideration given to his
    hatred for that, because hating to manifest the truth - if it is in opposition
    to the opinion of a man - is not from those matters that are praiseworthy.
    Rather it is an obligation on the Muslim to love that the truth be made
    manifest and that the Muslims (in general) are aware of it, regardless of whether
    it is in conformity or in opposition to
    his (personal) view.14
    This is from the aspects of sincerity (naseehah) towards
    “Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, His Religion, the leaders of the Muslims and their common
    folk.” And this is, in fact, the Religion itself, as the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa
    sallam, has informed us.15 As for clarifying the mistake of one of the scholars
    who erred in the past, then if one observes good manners in his speech and does
    well in his refutation and response, then there is no harm upon him nor is
    there any blame that he can be accused of. And if it turns out, that he was
    misled by this (past) scholar’s (erroneous) opinion, then there is (also) no
    harm (i.e. sin) on him. When a statement would reach some of the Salaf that
    they rejected, they would say: “This person has not spoken the truth.” This
    example is taken from the saying of the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
    “’Abu As-Sanaabil has not spoken the truth.”16 when news reached him,
    sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that he issued a ruling that a woman whose
    husband passed away, while she was pregnant, was not permitted to remarry upon
    delivering her child, but instead had to wait until four months and ten days
    had passed. 17 The righteous Imaams went to great lengths in forsaking the
    weak sayings (opinions) of some of the scholars. And they refuted them with the highest degree
    of refutation, as Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) used to censure Abu Thawr and others in
    their opinions that they were alone in saying. And he went to great extremes in refuting them in
    these opinions. All of this relates to the outer and apparent matters. As for
    the inner affairs, then if one’s intention in doing that (criticism) is to just
    clarify the truth and so that the people will not be deceived by the sayings of
    someone who erred in his opinions, then there is no doubt that this individual
    will be rewarded for his intention. And by doing this with this intention, he
    falls into the category of being from those who show sincerity to
    Allaah, His Messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk. And it
    is the same whether the one who clarifies the mistake is young or old.
    So he
    has a good example in those scholars who refuted the (weak) opinions ofIbn
    ‘Abbaas, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, which have been declared irregular, and which
    have been rejected by the scholars, such as (his opinion) regarding mut’ah
    (temporary divorce), sarf (bartering), ‘umratain and other than that.18 And he
    has a good example in those who refuted the opinion of Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musayyib
    (rahimahullaah) concerning his allowing the woman that was divorced three times
    (to remarry her first husband) with just the (marriage) contract,19 and his
    other opinions that contradicted the established Sunnah. And there are the
    scholars who refuted Al-Hasan Al-Basree with regard to his opinion that a wife should not mourn for her deceased
    husband, and who refuted ‘Ataa for his (weak) opinions, and Taawoos in the
    numerous issues in which he differed from the scholars, as well as all those
    (other scholars) whom the Muslims have agreed upon their guidance, knowledge,
    respect and reverence. And not one of the scholars considered those that didn’t
    agree with him in these issues and their likes to be belittling or defaming
    these Imaams. The books of the Muslim scholars from past and present, such
    as the books of Ash-Shaafi’ee, Ishaaq, Abu ‘Ubaid, Abu Thawr and those scholars
    of Hadeeth and Fiqh that came after them, are filled with the clarifications of
    these opinions. And if we were to mention that in words, this discussion would
    be severely prolonged. But if the intention of the one refuting is to expose
    the faults of the one being refuted and to debase him and manifest his
    ignorance and shortness of knowledge, then this is forbidden, whether the
    refutation is done in the presence of the one being refuted or in his absence,
    or whether it is done during that person’s lifetime or after his death. This type
    of action falls under the acts which Allaah condemns in His Book and which He
    threatens the one who does it, concerning his slander and backbiting. It also
    falls into the statement of the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “O you group of people that believe with your tongues while
    not with your hearts! Do not abuse the Muslims nor seek after their faults. For indeed,
    he who seeks after their faults,  Allaah will seek after his faults. And whomsoever has Allaah
    seek after his faults, He will
    expose them, even if he may have committed them in the
    privacy of his own home.” 20 All of this talk is with respect to the scholars that are
    followed in the Religion. As for the people of innovation and misguidance and
    those who imitate the scholars but are not from them,21 then it is permissible
    to expose their ignorance and manifest their deficiencies, in order to warn
    others against following them. 22However, our discussion now is not concerning
    this topic and Allaah knows best.
    Forms of Advising  
    If it is understood from someone, that he intends with his
    refutation of the scholars, to advise sincerely towards Allaah and His Messenger, then it is
    obligatory that he be treated with kindness, respect and veneration, just as was done by all
    the Muslim Imaams whose mention and examples were stated (previously), as well as those who
    followed them in goodness. And if it is understood from someone that he desires, with
    his refuting of them, to defame, slander and expose (their) faults, then he deserves to be
    confronted with disciplinary action so that he and his likes will be prevented from these grotesque
    forbidden actions.
    This intention can be recognized at times by the (own)
    affirmation and acknowledgment of the one refuting and at times by hints that are given in his
    actions and statements. So whosoever is known for his knowledge, religious characteristics, respect
    and esteem for the Imaams of the Muslims, he will not state a refutation nor a clarification of
    an error except in the manner in which other scholars see it proper.
    With regard to books and works of research, it is an
    obligation for one to understand the author’s words as having the intention mentioned in the first case.23
    And whoever takes his words to mean something other than that – while his condition is like
    that which has been stated (of good) then he is from those who think evil and suspicious thoughts
    about one who is innocent. And this is from the types of suspicion
    that Allaah and His Messenger, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, have
    forbidden. So he falls under the saying of Allaah, the Most Perfect: 
    “And whoever earns a fault or a sin and then throws it onto
    someone innocent, he has indeed burdened himself with falsehood and a manifest sin.”
    24 This is because having suspicious thoughts about someone
    that did not manifest any signs of evil is from the things that Allaah and His Messenger have
    forbidden, since the one holding the suspicious thoughts combines two things: 1) Earning a fault
    and sin, and 2) accusing an innocent person of it. And his entering into the severe threat found in this ayah
    becomes even greater if there should appear from him – I mean the one who holds suspicious
    thoughts – signs of evil, such as much injustice, enmity, little piety, a loose tongue, excessive
    backbiting and slandering, jealousy of people for what Allaah has given them from His bounty25 and
    blessing, and rushing to compete to gain a position of authority before due time.
    So if these attributes, of which the people of knowledge and
    faith are not pleased with, are recognized in someone, then indeed he only thinks sickly of
    the scholars. And if one’s refutation of them is based according to the second case mentioned,26
    then he deserves to be countered with contempt and degradation. And whoever does not have any signs show from him that
    indicate a specific matter, in the total sense, then it is an obligation to take and accept his words
    according to the best manner (of
    understanding), and it is not permissible to take them in a
    negative way. ‘Umar, radyAllaahu ‘ anhu, said: “Do not suspect evil thoughts due to a word that has come
    out of the mouth of your Muslim brother. Rather, you should find that it is only filled with
    good.” 27  
    And from this discussion is: when it is said to a man in his
    face that which he hates to hear. So if this is done with the intention of sincerely advising him,
    then it is good. Some of the Salaf would say to their brothers: “Do not advise me until you
    tell me in my face what I hate (to hear).” So when an individual informs his brother about a
    defect (found in him) in order that he may avoid it, it is good for the one being informed about
    one of his defects to make an excuse for it, if an excuse for it exists.  But if this advising is done with the intention of (only)
    blaming him due to a sin (he committed), then it is reprehensible and condemned. It was said to one
    of the Salaf: “Would you love that
    someone inform you about your faults?” So he replied: “If he
    does so with the intention of  blaming me, then no.”  So blaming and condemning someone for a sin he committed is
    detested. The Prophet,  sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade that a fornicating
    woman be condemned, even though he commanded that she be lashed with a whip. 28 So she was
    whipped according to the legal limits  (hudood), but she was not condemned for her sin, nor was she
    blamed for it.
    It is reported in At-Tirmidhee29 and other collections in
    marfoo’ form [i.e. that the Prophet said]:
    “Whosoever condemns his brother for a sin (he committed)
    will not die until he has committed it (i.e. the same sin) himself.” The hadeeth is referring to a sin, of which the person who
    committed it has repented from.  Al-Fudail (rahimahullaah) said: “The believer conceals (the
    sin of his brother) and advises (him), while the evildoer disgraces and condemns (him).” This is what Al-Fudail has mentioned as being from the signs
    of advising and condemning - and it is that advising is linked to secrecy while condemning is
    linked to publicizing. It used to be said: “Whosoever commands his brother (towards
    doing good) at the head of a gathering, then he has condemned him.” Or it is something
    with this meaning. The Salaf used to hate that commanding good and forbidding
    evil be done in this manner. Instead, they loved that it be done privately between the
    one commanding and the one being commanded, for indeed, this is from the signs of sincere
    advice. This is since it is not the goal of the one who is advising to spread and publicize the faults
    of the person he is advising, rather his goal is only to put an end to the evil that he has fallen
    into. As for spreading and exposing someone’s faults, then that is
    from the things that Allaah and His  Messenger, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, have forbidden.
    Allaah, may He be Exalted, says: “Verily, those who love that the evil and indecent actions
    of those who believe should be propagated (and spread), they will have a painful torment in
    this world and in the  Hereafter. And Allaah knows and you know not. And had it not
    been for the grace of Allaah and His mercy on you, (Allaah would have hastened the
    punishment on you) and that Allaah is full of kindness, Most Merciful.” 30  The ahaadeeth concerning the virtue of keeping the faults of
    others secret are many.31
    Some of the scholars would say to those who were commanding
    towards good: “Strive hard to conceal the faults of the sinners, for indeed, exposing
    their faults shows a weakness in Islaam. 
    The thing that deserves the most to be concealed is ones
    faults. “It is for this reason that spreading someone’s evil and indecent
    actions is linked to condemning. And they are both from the affairs of the
    evildoer, since it is not the goal of the evildoer to put an end to the fault
    nor that the believer avoids that fault or defect. Rather his only goal is to
    spread and publicize the defects found in his believing brother, and to destroy
    his honor. So he initiates that and repeats it. And his intention is to belittle his
    believing brother by exposing his defects  and bad qualities to the people so that some harm can fall
    upon him in this world. But as for the person that is sincerely advising, his
    aim in doing that (advising) is to eradicate the faults found in his believing
    brother and to help him avoid it. This is what Allaah the Most High, has
    described His Messenger, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with, saying: “Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst
    yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any harm or difficulty. He is
    anxious over you (to rid you of faults and sin), for the believers he is full of pity, kind and
    merciful.” 32 And He described his, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,
    Companions with that, saying:
    “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. And those who are with
    him (i.e. his Companions) are severe with the disbelievers and merciful
    towards one another.” 33 And He described the believers with the characteristics of
    patience and mutual advising of one another towards mercy and compassion. 34 But what drives the evildoer to propagate (his brother’s)
    evil and to disgrace him is force and harshness, his love for abusing his believing brother, and
    (his desire) to inflict some harm upon him. These are the characteristics of the Devil – the one
    who beautifies disbelief, sin and disobedience to the children of Aadam so that due to it they
    may become amongst the dwellers of the Hellfire, as Allaah says:
    “Verily, the Devil is an enemy for you, so take him as an
    enemy. Verily, he only calls his party (of followers) to be from amongst the dwellers of the
    Hellfire.” 35 And He says, after telling us the story of Iblees (the
    Devil) when he was with the prophet of
    Allaah, Aadam, and the evil plot that he unleashed on him,
    such that it brought him to be cast out
    from Paradise:
    “O Children of Aadam! Let not the Devil deceive you, as he
    got your parents out of
    Paradise, stripping them of their garments, to show them
    their private parts.” 36
    So what a difference there is between one whose intention it
    is to advise (naseehah) and one
    whose intention it is to disgrace (fadeehah)! And no one
    confuses one of these with the other,
    except someone who does not possess sound intellect.


    The recompense of one who spreads the evil deeds of his
    believing brother and seeks after his
    faults and exposes his defects, is that Allaah will seek
    after his faults and disgrace him (by
    exposing them) even if he may have committed them in the
    privacy of his own home. This is
    based on what has been reported from the Prophet,
    sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in several
    places, and Imaam Ahmad, Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhee have
    transmitted it from numerous
    paths of narration.37
    At-Tirmidhee transmitted from the hadeeth of Waa’ilah Ibn
    Al-Asqa’ on the Prophet,
    sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that he said: “Do not express
    joy at your brother’s misfortune
    or else Allaah will pardon him for it and test you with it.”
    38 And he (At-Tirmidhee) said that
    it was a hasan ghareeb hadeeth.
    He also reports the hadeeth of Mu’aadh, radyAllaahu ‘anhu,
    in marfoo’ form:
    “Whosoever condemns his brother because of a sin (he
    committed) will not die until he commits
    it (himself).” Its chain of narration is munqati’ (broken).
    Al-Hasan said:
    “It used to be said: ‘Whoever condemns his brother for a sin
    that he repented from, will not die
    until Allaah tests him with it (i.e. the same sin).’” 39
    And it is reported from the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood,
    radyAllaahu ‘anhu, with a chain of narration
    that has weakness in it: “Affliction is charged by speech.
    So if a man condemns another man
    by saying that he breast-fed from a female dog, then that
    man (who said that) will indeed
    breast-feed from one.” 40
    The meaning of this has been reported on a group amongst the
    Salaf. And when Ibn Sireen
    failed to return a debt he owed and was detained because of
    it, he said: “Indeed, I am aware of
    the sin (I committed) by which this befell me. I condemned a
    man forty years ago saying to him:
    ‘O bankrupt one.’”
    by attributing it to Ad-Dailamee. The hadeeth is reported
    through other paths form ‘Alee and Hudaifah,
    however they have severe weaknesses to them. See Al-Laalee
    Al-Masnoo’ah (2/293-295) of As-Suyootee
    and Mukhtasar Maqaasid-ul-Hasanah (pg. 83) of Az-Zurqaanee
    and Ad-Durr—ul-Multaqitt (pg. 22) of
    From the apparent signs of condemning is: Exposing someone’s
    evil and propagating it under the pretense of advising, while claiming that it is only these
    defects that are making him do it, general or specific. Meanwhile, on the inside, his aim is
    only to condemn and cause harm.41 So
    he is from the brothers of the hypocrites, those whom Allaah
    has disparaged in His Book in many places, for indeed Allaah disparages those who
    outwardly display a good action or saying, while intending inwardly to accomplish a mischievous and
    evil goal. And He has counted that
    as one of the aspects of hypocrisy, as is stated in Surah
    Baraa,42 in which He humiliates the hypocrites and exposes their despicable attributes:
    “And as for those who set up a masjid in order to cause
    harm, (spread) disbelief, disunite the believers and to make it as an outpost for those who
    made war against Allaah and His Messenger since aforetime, they will indeed swear that their
    intention is nothing but good.
    But Allaah bears witness that they are certainly liars.” 43
    And Allaah says: “Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done,
    and love to be praised for what they have not done – do not think that they are rescued from
    the torment. And for them is a painful punishment!” 44 This ayah was sent down concerning the Jews, when the
    Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, asked them about something and they concealed knowledge of
    it informing him instead of something else. Yet they showed to him that they had indeed
    informed him about what he had asked them. And they sought praise from him, sallAllaahu
    ‘alayhi wa sallam, because of it and became joyous at what they gained by concealing it and
    because he, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, asked them. This is what Ibn ‘Abbaas, radyAllaahu
    ‘anhumaa, stated and his hadeeth concerning that is transmitted in the two Saheeh
    collections.45 Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree, radyAllaahu ‘anhumaa, said: “There was a group of men among the hypocrites who when the
    Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would go out to fight in the
    (military) expeditions, would refrain from going with him. And they would be happy with opposing
    the Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, with their sitting (instead
    of fighting). So when the Messenger of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would arrive, they
    would make excuses for themselves and swear to him. And they loved to be praised for that
    which they did not do. So this ayah was revealed.” 46 Therefore, these characteristics are the characteristics of
    the Jews and the hypocrites. And it is that someone outwardly displays a saying or an action, while
    presenting an image in which he appears to be upon good. Yet his intention in doing that is
    to accomplish an evil goal. So he is praised for what good he has made manifest outwardly, while
    accomplishing by it, the evil goal he has kept hidden inwardly. And he basks in the praise he
    receives for that which he has outwardly portrayed as being good, which is in fact evil on
    the inside, and he is happy that his
    evil hidden objective has been achieved. So his benefit is
    perfected for him and his scheme is carried out effectively by this deception!!
    Anyone with this characteristic definitely falls under the
    (threat) of this ayah - thus he is threatened with a painful torment. An example of this is:
    When someone desires to defame a man, belittle him and expose his faults so that people turn
    away from him. This is done either
    because he loves to cause harm to him, because of his enmity
    towards him, or because he fears him due to a rivalry that exists between them with regard to
    wealth, leadership, or other blameworthy causes. So he does not find a way towards accomplishing
    his goal, except by publicly degrading him due to some religious reason. For
    example, someone (i.e. a scholar) has refuted a weak opinion from the many opinions of a well
    known and famous scholar. So this (evil) individual spreads that amongst those who
    respect that scholar, saying: “This person (that did the refutation) hates this scholar, and is only defaming
    and criticizing him.” So by doing this, he (the evil person) deceives all those
    people that hold that scholar in esteem, making them believe that such a refutation was done out of
    hatred and with insult on the part of the one refuting, and that his deed was full of audacity and
    arrogance. So he (the evil person) is (outwardly) defending this scholar and uplifting the abuse
    from him - and that is an act pleasing to Allaah and in obedience to Him. So he combines this outer
    facade of advising with two disgusting and forbidden things:47 First: The insinuation that this scholar’s refutation of the
    other opinion was done out of hatred, seeking to belittle (the other scholar), and as a result of
    following his desires. But (in reality) he only desires by it to advise the believers and to make known
    some aspect of knowledge that is unlawful to keep concealed. Second: He (the evildoer) manifests and magnifies the
    (scholar’s) criticism (for the other scholar), so that he can fulfill his desire and achieve his
    evil goal under the pretense of advising and defending the scholars of the Religion.
    This type of evil plotting is similar to the injustice and
    oppression displayed by the tribe of Marwaan and their followers, who won the people’s affection
    and at the same time, turned these people’s hearts away from ‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib, Al-Hasan,
    Al-Husain and their offspring, may Allaah be pleased with all of them.When ‘Uthmaan, radyAllaahu ‘anhu, was killed, the Muslim
    nation did not see anyone possessing more right to succeed him other than ‘Alee, radyAllaahu
    ‘anhu, so they pledged allegiance to him. So those who sought to turn the people away from him set
    about their goal by manifesting the outrageous and scandalous murder of ‘Uthmaan. And it was
    just as they said it was. But then they added to it that the one who conspired his murder and
    carried it out was none other than
    ‘Alee, radyAllaahu ‘ anhu. And this was a lie and a slander
    against him! And ‘Alee, radyAllaahu ‘anhu, would swear and reaffirm his
    oaths in denying this accusation - and he was truthful and innocent in his oath, may Allaah be
    pleased with him. But they began to fight against him, claiming that their struggle was for the
    sake of the Religion and that it was pleasing to Allaah, and then they began to fight with his
    children. These individuals strove hard in publicizing this (lie), propagating it on the mimbars on
    the days of Jumu’ah, as well as on other occasions in which there were large gatherings. This
    continued until it settled into the hearts of their followers that the matter was as these
    individuals said it was, and that the tribe of Marwaan had more right (to the Khilaafah) than ‘Alee and his
    children due to their closeness to ‘Uthmaan, and that they had more right to avenge his,
    radyAllaahu ‘anhu, death. So in doing this, they were able to unite the hearts of the people against
    ‘Alee and his sons and to turn the people to fight against him and his children after him. This
    asserted the kingship for them and their rule became established as a result of that.
    While in privacy, one of them would say to those he confided
    in, something with the meaning:
    “No one amongst the Companions was more restrained from
    (causing harm to) ‘Uthmaan than ‘Alee.” So it would be said to him: “Then why did the people
    revile him?” So he would respond: “The kingship (i.e. end of the Khilaafah) would not
    be established if it weren’t for that.” The meaning of this is that if they did not turn the
    people’s hearts away from ‘Alee, radyAllaahu ‘anhu, and his children, and if they didn’t attribute the
    injustice done to ‘Uthmaan to them, the hearts of the people would not feel sympathy for them (later),
    due to what they knew of their beautiful attributes and honorable qualities, for they used
    to rush to follow them and pledge allegiance to them (in the past). And because of this, the
    Umayyah dynasty came to an end and the people ceased obeying them.48


    So if anyone is tested with this type of plotting,49 then
    let him fear Allaah, seek His aid and have patience. For verily, the final good end is for Taqwaa (i.e.
    those who fear and are obedient to Allaah). This is as Allaah, the Most High, says. After narrating the
    story of Yoosuf and what befell him from the different types of abuse he received from his
    brothers in their evil plotting and conspiracy (against him), He says:
    “Thus, did We establish Yoosuf in the land” 50
    And Allaah says, reporting from him that he said to his
    “I am Yoosuf and this is my brother (Benjamin). Allaah has
    indeed been gracious to us.” 51
    And He, the Most High, tells us of story of Moosaa and what
    befell him and his people from the
    abuse they received at the hands of Pharaoh and his evil
    planning, and that he (Moosaa) said (tohis followers):
    “Seek help in Allaah and be patient. Verily, the earth
    belongs to Allaah. He gives it to whom He wills of His servants. And the final (good) end is
    for those who have Taqwaa” 52 Furthermore, Allaah informed us that the bad consequences of
    evil plotting fall back upon the one who plotted the evil (in the first place), as He says:
    “But the evil plot encompasses only he who makes it.” 53
    And Allaah says: “And thus We have set up in every town, great ones of its
    wicked people to plot therein.But they plot not except against their own selves, yet they
    perceive not.” 54 Furthermore, the actual facts also bear witness to this. For
    indeed, if someone carefully investigates the information of the people and the history
    of the world, he will come upon occurrences where someone plotted against his brother, but
    the plot fell back onto him. And astonishingly that served as a means for his salvation and
    deliverance And if we were to mention some of the events that did occur
    with regard to that, this book would be prolonged and the talk would be lengthened. Thus, Allaah
    is the One who grants what is correct and it is upon Him to explain the correct Way. And
    He is sufficient for us and the best of Guardians. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
    Muhammad, his family and his companions.
    Foot Notes 
    1 This is an important restricting condition, so memorize it. 2 See Al-Kifaayah (pg. 88) of Al-Khateeb, I’laan
    bit-Tawbeekh Liman dhamma At-Taareekh (pg. 461) of As-Sakhaawee, Sharh Saheeh
    Muslim (16/144) of An-Nawawee, Majmoo’ Ar-Rasaa’il wal-Masaa’il (4/110) of Ibn
    Taimiyyah and Raf’a-ur-Raibah (pg. 24-27) of Ash-Shaukaanee. [Translator’s
    Note: Al- Jarh wat-Ta’deel is the Islaamic science of determining
    whose reports and testimonies are to be accepted and whose are not. Those who
    fall under the category of Al-Jarh are the ones who are criticized and discredited, such as weak narrators, liars, etc. Those who
    fall under the category of At-Ta’deel are those whom the scholars have approved
    of and considered reliable in speech and trustworthy in narration.] 3 [Translator’s Note: This is not a criticism against those
    who are constantly engulfed in worship. Rather it is a warning for those who
    may be deceived by their appearance. For indeed it is common that many people when they see someone who exceeds in performing
    worship, they automatically assume that he is knowledgeable. But most of the
    times this is not the case. So one must be careful because there does exist a difference between the ‘Aalim (scholar) and the ‘Aabid
    (worshipper), as the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The virtue
    of the scholar over the worshipper is like the virtue of the moon over the all
    the stars.” (Abu Dawood: 3641, At-Tirmidhee: 2683 and others)] 4 Consider these great words, O reader and may Allaah have
    mercy on you, and apply them to the condition of the Muslims today! 5 So therefore, these matters are not from the fabrications
    of some “people” but rather they are nothing more than the actions of the
    scholars of the past! 6 See the story of Al-Haafidh Ad-Daaraqutnee who corrected
    the Haafidh, the Imaam Ibn Al-Anbaaree when he was young. And he (Ibn
    Al-Anbaaree) was an elder and respected Imaam, but yet he still accepted the
    correction from him. The story is found in Taareekh Baghdaad (3/183) 7 Surat-un-Nisaa: 20
    8 Reported by Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad-ul-Kabeer from the
    path of Mujaalid Ibn Sa’eed and he is very weak. Al-Baihaqee also reported it
    and its chain or narration is broken. ‘Abd-ur-Razzaaq reported it and in its
    chain is Abul-‘Ujfaa As-Sulamee and he is weak also. See Al-Maqaasid-ul-Hasanah
    (pg. 320).9 It is found in the previous story itself. 10 See I’laam-ul-Muwaqqi’een (2/363) and Iqaadh Himam
    Uleel-Absaar (pg. 100)11 See his book Ar-Risaalah (no. 598-599) and
    Al-Maqaasid-ul-Hasanah (pg. 15). 12 Surat-un-Nisaa: 82 13 This is not in the unrestricted sense. See the great
    scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim’s refutation of those who say, “There is no rejection to be done on the issues in which
    there is difference of opinion” included in I’laamul- Muwaqqi’een (3/288), for it is very important.
    14 These words ought to be written in gold ink, so consider
    15 More than one of the Companions have reported this
    hadeeth, among them Tameem Ad-Daaree. It is transmitted by Muslim (55), Abu
    Dawood (4944), An-Nasaa’ee (7/156), Ahmad (4/102), Abu ‘Uwaanah (1/36-37),
    Al-Humaidee (837), Al-Baghawee (3514), At-Tabaraanee in Al-Kabeer (1260-1262),
    Ibn Hibbaan in Raudat-ul-‘Uqalaa (194), Ibn An-Najaar in Dhail Taareekh
    Baghdaad (2/193 & 301) Ash- Shihaab Al-Qadaa’ee in his Musnad (17-18),
    Wakee’ in Az-Zuhd (346 & 621), Abu ‘Ubaid in Al-Amwaal (9) and Al-Bukhaaree
    in At-Tareekh-us-Sagheer (2/35)
    16 With this wording, the hadeeth has been reported by Ahmad
    (1/447), Al-Baghawee (2388) and Al- Haithamee in Al-Majma’ (5/3) and he said
    that its narrators were of the standard of the Saheeh. The source of this story
    occurs in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (9/415) and in Saheeh Muslim (1484).
    17 [Translator’s Note: The ‘iddah (waiting period) before a
    woman can remarry is 4 months and ten days. But if she is pregnant, then the
    her waiting period is whichever of the two comes first - either the four months
    and ten days or the day of her delivery. So if she delivers before the four
    months pass by, then the time of delivery take precedence and she is allowed to
    remarry from this point on.]
    18 These are well known Fiqh issues.
    [Translator’s Note: When a woman is divorced three times by
    her husband, he cannot remarry her unless she first marries someone else, has
    intercourse with him, and then is divorced by him. Only then is she permissible
    for her first husband again. The weak opinion mentioned above states that the
    woman that  was divorced three times by her husband, in order to become
    halaal (permissible) for him again, she just needed to remarry another man,
    without having intercourse with him (i.e. upon the marriage contract alone),
    and get divorced from him. And Allaah knows best.]
    20 Reported by Abu Ya’laa in his Musnad (1675) and Abu
    Nu’aim in Ad-Dalaa’il (356) on the authority of
    Al-Baraa’, radyAllaahu ‘anhu. Al-Haithamee (rahimahullaah)
    said in Al-Majma’ (8/93): “Abu Lailaa
    reported it and its narrators are all reliable. It has also
    been reported from the hadeeth of Abu Barzah,
    radyAllaahu ‘anhu, with a strong chain of narration in Ahmad
    (4/421 & 424) and Abu Dawood (4880).”
    And in this section occurs the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar with a
    hasan chain of narration in At-Tirmidhee
    (2033), Al-Baghawee (3526) and Ibn Hibbaan (1494 of the
    Mawaarid). See also At-Targheeb wat-
    Tarheeb (3/177) of Al-Mundhiree.
    21 And in these days, how many people exist who imitate the
    scholars yet are not from them. They deceive
    the people by making beautiful expressions and using nice
    22 [Translator’s Note: This is an important principle that
    the Shaikh mentions before continuing further in
    his book, since he does not want his readers to think that
    this discussion concerns innovators. Rather, as
    he states, their affair is to be publicized so that they may
    be abandoned and rejected. So the discussion
    here does not apply to them in the least nor can it be used
    in defense of one of them.]
    23 Meaning: That he desires to guide and bring about good
    24 Surat-un-Nisaa: 112
    25 See the treatise Dhamm-ul-Hasad wa Ahlihi (In Dispraise
    of Jealousy and its Adherents) of Ibn Al-
    Qayyim with my checking.
    26 Meaning: That he desires to only expose faults and to
    27 Reported by Ahmad in Az-Zuhd as has been stated by
    As-Suyootee in Ad-Durr-ul-Manthoor (6/92).
    28 It is reported in Al-Bukhaaree (4/350) and Muslim (1704)
    on the authority of Abu Hurairah,
    radyAllaahu ‘anhu. See Sharh-us-Sunnah (10/298) of Imaam
    29 Under no. (2507) on the authority of Mu’aadh, radyAllaahu
    ‘anhu. Ibn ‘Adiyy also reported it in Al-Kaamil (6/2181), Al-Khateeb in Taareekh Baghdaad (2/339) and
    Az-Zabeedee added that it was also found in Ibn Abee Ad-Duniyaa’s As-Samat and Al-Gheebah as
    well as in Al-Baghawee. There are two defects with its chain of narration. The first is that
    Khaalid Ibn Ma’daan never met Mu’aadh. And the
    second is that Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Ibn Yazeed is very
    weak. This has been mentioned by Adh-Dhahabee in Al-Meezaan (3/515) and he listed this hadeeth as
    an example. As-Saghaanee also mentioned this hadeeth in his Al-Mawdoo’aat (no. 58).
    30 Surat-un-Noor: 19-20
    31 See Fath-ul-Baaree (5/97) and Saheeh Muslim (4/1996)
    32 Surat-ut-Tawbah: 128
    33 Surat-ul-Fath: 29
    34 As is found in Allaah’s saying in Surat-ul-Balad (ayah
    no. 17): “Then he became from among those
    who believed and recommended one another towards patience
    and recommended one another
    towards compassion.”
    35 Surah Faatir: 6
    36 Surat-ul-A’araaf: 27
    37 The checking for this has been stated previously
    38 At-Tirmidhee reported it under number (2507) and in its
    chain is Al-Qaasim Ibn Umayyah Al-Hidhaa.
    Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in Al-Majrooheen (2/213) and said:
    “He was a shaikh who reported from Hafs
    Ibn Gayyaath many strange and weak narrations. It is not
    permissible to use him as a support when he is
    alone (in his narration).” Then he reported this hadeeth
    from him and commented upon it, saying: “There
    is no source for this found in the sayings of the Messenger
    of Allaah, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” I say:
    This hadeeth has also been reported by At-Tabaraanee in
    Al-Kabeer (22/53), Musnad Ash-Shaamiyeen
    (384), Al-Qadaa’ee in Musnad Ash-Shihaab (917-918) and Abu
    Nu’aim in Al-Hilyah (5/186). And it is
    also succeeded by ‘Umar Ibn Isma’eel Ibn Mujaalid found in
    At-Tirmidhee, Abu Ash-Shaikh in Al-
    Amthaal (202) and Al-Khateeb in At-Taareekh (9/95-96).
    However, there is no point in that, since ‘Umar
    is matrook (rejected).
    39 The discussion of this has been stated previously in
    40 Reported by Abu Nu’aim in Akhbaar Asbahaan (1/161)
    Al-Khateeb in his Taareekh (13/279) and Ibn
    Al-Jawzee mentioned it in Al-Mawdoo’aat (2/83).
    Al-‘Ajaloonee in Kashf-ul-Khufaa (2/343) added to that
    41 This is from the actions of the heart which no one has
    knowledge of except Allaah, the Most Perfect and Exalted.
    42 [Translator’s Note: He means Surat-ut-Tawbah]
    43 Surat-ut-Tawbah: 107
    44 Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 188
    45 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (9/301), Muslim (17/123), Ahmad
    (1/298) and Ibn Jareer (4/207).
    46 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (8/233), Muslim (17/123) and Ibn
    Jareer (4/205). It must be noted here that Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr mentioned in
    Al-Fath (9/301) that it is possible to combine these two causes for the ayah’s
    revelation found in the two hadeeths by saying that it was revealed with regard
    to both of these groups (Jews and hypocrites). Shaikh Muqbil Ibn Haadee
    Al-Waadi’ee said in his As-Saheeh-ul-Musnad (pg. 35): “If the hadeeth of Abu
    Sa’eed is more established then that takes more precedence because the hadeeth
    of Ibn ‘Abbaas is from that which the two Shaikhs have been criticized by, as
    has been stated in Muqaddimat-ul-Fath (20/132) and as is stated in Fath-ul-Baaree
    (9/302). And there is no point in restricting it to only the People of the
    47 [Translator’s Note: We ask the noble readers to consider
    these precious words stated by the Shaikh of our glorious past and compare them with the likes of the
    situations we find today. No doubt the scholars of the Sunnah in these days are accused in such a manner.
    Such an example can be found in Shaikh Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee (rahimhullaah) and the
    lies and attacks that were launched
    against him by Hasan Saqqaf, Kabbani and their likes, who
    make themselves appear as though they’re advising the Muslim ummah. But yet in reality they are doing
    no more than discrediting, defaming and belittling a scholar. And the claims that come from them are
    well known in that these scholars, such as Al-Albaanee, who warn against “blind-following” are labeled
    as deviants who hate the four Imaams and who want to do away with their
    teachings! May Allaah give us the ability to see through the false accusations of the ignorant and the unjust.]
    48 See Al-‘Awaasim min-al-Qawaasim of the Qaadee Ibn
    Al-‘Arabee Al-Maalikee (rahimahullaah) for in there is what is sufficient for
    one who seeks the truth a bout this subject, with the Will of Allaah. 49 Meaning he is tested by it at the hands of someone else.
    50 Surah Yoosuf: 21
    51 Surah Yoosuf: 90
    52 Surat-ul-A’raaf: 128
    53 Surah Faatir: 43
    54 Surat-ul-An’aam: 123
    In this classic treatise, Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah)
    discusses the differences between Advising and Condemning, which is an
    extremely important topic since it is very common that the
    two are confused for one another. For the most part, his talk
    revolves around
    the dealings and affairs of the scholars, and how it was
    from their way to advise and accept the truth from one another. And he
    how condemning was not from their characteristics, but
    rather from the signs of the evil and wicked people who held hidden
    goals and
    objectives. This book is especially important in these days
    due to the wide scale confusion that exists on this subject amongst the Muslims.
    So today when we find scholars of the Sunnah refuting weak opinions
    of other scholars from the past, they are quickly accused of hating
    those scholars of the past and just condemning them, when in fact
    they are really advising the ummah and warning the Muslims against
    following a man in his error. At the same time, we have
    people who present themselves as defending these scholars of the past
    were criticized) and who seek to “àdvise” the ummah, when in
    factthey are just trying to defame a scholar and belittle his
    status. So,
    we hope that these matters become clear to the reader upon
    this treatise and that he is able to distinguish those who
    are truly
    advising from those who are just condemning.



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