The author (may Allāh have mercy upon him) said,

Number 117:  

Upon you is to stick to the Athār and the people of Athār, ask them, sit with them and take from them.

 

The Explanation:

 

Al-ʿAllāmah, Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al Fawzān said:

 

The meaning of his statement “Upon you is to stick to the athaar”, is the aḥadīth (narrations) “and the people of narrations…”.

“..and upon you” meaning stick to it (the narrations), as it has come in the statement of the Most High,

 

۞ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ ۞
“O you who believe! Upon you is to take care of your ownselves,
[1]

 

The meaning the statement “..and ask them” Allāh  says,

 

۞ فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ۞
So ask the people of remembrance [learned men of the Taurāt (Torah) and the Injīl (Gospel)], if you know not.
[2]

meaning the upright people of knowledge from amongst the People of the Book[3], and the people of knowledge from this nation (Ummah), they are those who are asked.

The meaning of his statement, “…sit with them and take from them.” Then Allāh ﷻ says,

۞وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ ۞

And when you (Muḥammad) see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses (of the Qurʾān) by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaiṭān (Satan) causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not you in the company of those people who are the Ẓālimūn (polytheists and wrong­doers, etc.).”[4]

and His statement, the Most High;

قَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ يُكْفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلَا تَقْعُدُوا مَعَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ ۞
۞ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِّثْلُهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا

And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qurʾān) that when you hear the Verses of Allāh being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. (Al-Nisáʾ 4:140)”

Indeed if you were to sit with them, then you would be like them. So the individual should be cautious from sitting with the evil doers and the scholars of misguidance. They should remain sitting with the people of knowledge, the people who have the correct belief (ʿaqīdah) and sound methodology (manḥaj). They should sit with them and benefit from them.


[1] Al-Ma’idah 5:105

[2] An-Nahl 16:43

[3] [TN} Likewise, Imām al-Ṭabarī (may Allāh have mercy uponhim) mentioned  in his Tafsīr 7/208 regarding the verse;

۞ فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ۞
So ask the people of remembrance [learned men of the Taurāt (Torah) and the Injīl (Gospel)], if you know not. ”

“Meaning, (ask) the people of the previous Books, were the Messengers that were sent to them humans or angels. If they were angels, then you have the right to find this strange, but if they were human, then you have no grounds to deny that Muḥammad is a Messenger. “

[4] Al-Anʿām 6:68