As you are aware of the reality of the Muslims who reside in the non-Islamic countries, many of the non-Arab youth do not understand the Arabic language. For example, in our city there is a brother who translates the statements of the scholars from their books to the people, a simple book for example – ‘The Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Islam’ by Shaykh al-ʿUthaymīn and other books. So some people objected to his action and said to him “It is binding upon you to have a specific commendation (to translate, read the books and etc) from a major Salafī scholar, for example from Saudi Arabia.” So what is your opinion regarding this?

Shaykh Zayd ibn Muḥammad al-Madkhalī:

My opinion regarding this is, whoever learns anything of the Islamic sciences, Islamic jurisprudence and understands it well, then there is no sin upon him, rather he is rewarded if he teaches it. It is not a condition that he has to have a tazkiyah (commendation), however look at what he is teaching the people. If he teaches correctly, according to the Islamic rulings and evidences then this is what is required, so it is not a condition that he must have a commendation from a shaykh.  If he were to make a mistake then no doubt there will be somebody who will criticize the mistake. If he is a person who makes mistakes then it is not permissible for him to teach the people that which is incorrect, this is the matter that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Convey from me even if it is a verse”[1] – meaning, this is evidence on the obligation of narrating knowledge upon anyone who possesses even a small amount of knowledge to people who are in need of his knowledge. It is not permissible for anyone to block his path except if they see that he is misguiding the people and speaking about Allah without knowledge or issuing Islamic verdicts without knowledge or establishing principles without knowledge. It is not permissible for him to do this firstly, and it is not permissible to remain silent about him, rather advise him to seek knowledge until he gains a portion of knowledge and [then] teaches the people. Therefore, if he is correct [in translating] then he is not to be prevented [from translating] and if he is mistaken then his mistake is not to be accepted.


[How about] if he sticks to translating the statements of the scholars without increasing or decreasing [anything from their statements]?

Shaykh Zayd ibn Muḥammad al-Madkhalī

If he quotes the statements of the scholars, while fulfilling the trust related to narrating knowledge then there is no sin upon him. This is the method of the students of knowledge, they narrate from their scholars and from the predecessors who have authored and written authorships upon the Sunnah. So he should quote from them while fulfilling the trust [of conveying] knowledge. It is better if he has an understanding of what he quotes in case he is asked a question so he may be able to clarify the issue, rulings and the matter relating to the religion, and he doesn’t make any mistakes.

Therefore, there is no doubt the person who quotes [the works and statements of the scholars] should be accompanied with the understanding of what the person quotes. Perhaps a person quotes something which is distorted or wrongly represented or is a mistake that would harm the listeners. So he must have an understanding too, besides narrating.

[1] See al-Bukhārī [no.3461] narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr,