Is it a condition for their to be a consensus for (the acceptability) of a refutation?

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān:

This is from the affairs of the memorisers of ḥadīth. It is not a condition that there be a consensus, it is not a condition that there be a consensus upon the one being criticised. Rather the one who is affirming is given precedence over the one that is negating. The one who is praising is negating and the one who is criticising is affirming (something the other doesn’t know), therefore his speech takes precedence.


Is it a condition when refuting the people of innovation for there to be a consensus by all of the contemporary scholars or is one scholar sufficient?

Shaykh Rabīʿ al-Madkhalī:

This is from the filthy principles of al-Tamyīʿ. In which era did they make this condition of consensus and what is the proof for such a condition? Any condition that is not in the book of Allah is null and void – that is to say if there even was such a condition. So if Imām Aḥmad ibn Hanbal or Yahya ibn Maʿīn criticises an innovator; do I say that it is a must that all of the Imāms of the Sunnah have to unite by consensus that he is an innovator? When Imām Aḥmad said about such a person that he was an innovator, that was the end of the affair and all of the people submitted to him and followed him. And if Ibn Maʿīn were to say such a person is an innovator, no one would dispute with him in that matter. A condition that there must be a consensus is impossible to achieve in every aspect of the Islamic legislation.

For example, if two witnesses testify that a person had committed murder, where is the condition that there must be a consensus of all of the Muslims that such a person has murdered someone!? Rather it is obligatory upon the judge to rule by the Islamic legislation, either establish the punishment or stipulate blood money which is compensated to the family of the victim. It is binding that the legislation of Allah is carried out. Nevertheless – if a consensus made a condition in a matter such as this which is more dangerous than ruling a person as an innovator? Those people are al-Muʿayim (those who attenuate the Salafī methodology) and they are people of falsehood and callers to evil. They are a people who fish in murky waters so don’t listen to this nonsense. Therefore, if an insightful scholar disparages an individual, it is obligatory to accept this disparagement, and if another competent and just scholar opposes his disparagement then the two sides are studied, the praise and disparagement are reviewed.

If the disparagement is detailed and clear, then that is given precedence over the praise – even if there many scholars praising the one being disparaged. If one scholar puts forward detailed disparagement whilst twenty or fifty scholars oppose him without any evidence, all they have is good thought to depend on and judging based upon the apparent,whilst the one disparaging has evidence for the disparagement of this individual, the disparagement is given precedence because the criticiser has proof, and the proof is given precedence.The proof is given precedence even if the entire world opposes him, as long as he has the proof, the truth is with him.

The Jamāʿah is whoever is upon the truth even if he is alone. If the individual is upon the Sunnah and two or three cities of innovators are in opposition to him, the truth is with him. The truth and evidence that he has is given precedence over the falsehood of others. It is obligatory that we respect the truth and the evidence. Alāh said;

 ۞ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

“Say; bring forth your evidence if you certainly are truthful
.” [Q 27:64]

and He said:

۞ وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

If you were to obey the majority of people on earth they would surely misguidance you from the path of Allah.” (Q 6: 116)

The majority are of no value if they have no evidence, even if the entire population of the world except a few were to unite upon falsehood, without having any evidence, then this doesn’t give them any value, even if the one in opposition to them is alone, or a few in number. Allah! Allah! How amazing it is to know the truth and to cling onto it and to accept it when it is accompanied with evidence.


There is a person who says ‘I am not obliged to accept the ruling of innovation upon anyone unless there is a scholarly consensus’. Is this principle correct?

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Muhiyadin:

How can he not be obliged!? We are all obliged. The Qurʾān and the Sunnah oblige us – we understand them correctly. The one who does not understand the Qurʾān and Sunnah is considered ignorant. They say ‘I am not obliged…’ they took a statement and constantly repeat it. This is al-Halabī’s statement which is not permissible to make. This is a Satanic statement; ‘I am not obliged..’ they say; ‘I am not obliged’ in many matters. Is this not the case?

There isn’t an individual in this world except that he is praised and vilified, so should we then say ‘I am not obliged’?! For instance, take those who vilify the companions, the Rāfiḍa who say ‘we are not obliged to praise the companions’ should we say ‘we are not obliged’ too?! No this is a mistake. (They say there must be a) consensus! The individual who says this is ignorant. He wants to tread two (different) paths;


۞ وَإِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا إِلَىٰ شَيَاطِينِهِمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ

‘and when they meet those who believe, they say, we believe, but when they are alone with their devils, they say; truly, we are with you’ [Q 2:14].

When he is with the misguided groups he says ‘I am with you’ and when he is with the people of Sunnah he says ‘I am with you’.

No individual has the approval of everyone. No one is protected from people speaking about them. So to say; ‘I am not obliged’ is wrong. We approve of the one who speaks the truth and we disapprove of the one who lies.  As for saying ‘I am not obliged’, this is falsehood. As for saying; ‘I am not obliged to refute him because there isn’t a consensus upon his misguidance or his praise’, so he says ‘I am not obliged.’ For example, a man speaks with falsehood whilst we know that the speech is falsehood, so we say, ‘this man has spoken with falsehood.’ (For example) he has made usury permissible whilst he prays, fasts, and memorises the Qurʾān, whether he is in Egypt, Levant or America, and as a result of this a verdict is given in opposition to the statement of Allah and the Messenger, are we then not obliged to clarify? Rather we are obligated to clarify the issue. If he says I am not obliged to clarify the issue then this individual has erred. Am I not obliged (to clarify the mistake) so that the people may know that he has erred? No one is free from error. An error is refuted regardless. Only the speech of Allah and the Messenger are free from error. 

The statement of this individuals ‘I am not obliged’ in matters of tabdīʿ, tafsīiq or takfīr, (we reply) we are obliged to follow the truth, if we come across the truth we must accept it even if it comes from somebody young in age, we should never say ‘I am not obliged’ this statement indicates arrogance (unclear words). (The companion) Thul-Yadayn directed the Messenger ﷺ to an error he made. Thul-Yadayn said; ‘you only performed two units of prayer’ – and it was meant to be four. The Messenger ﷺ asked (the companions); ‘Is he correct?’ They replied; ‘Yes O’ Messenger of Allah’ so the Messenger  returned to correcting the prayer, he did not say ‘I am not obliged with this’.

Similar examples occurred with ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb and Abū Bakr al-Siddīq. Refer to the  book ‘رفع الملام على أئمة الاعلام‘. There is no scholar except that he is subject to making an error, there isn’t a scholar that has encompassed every single aspect of knowledge. So no one should say ‘I am not obliged to accept the truth’.When the elderly lady approached Abū Bakr al-Siddīq requesting the inheritance that was entitled to her, she said; ‘O Caliph of the Messenger, I request my inheritance’ Abū Bakr replied; ‘I do not recall anything for you according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger but wait until I ask about the matter’, and so he found some companions who had knowledge and he accepted that knowledge. Did he say ‘I am not obliged to…’ he did not say that! So whether it is truth or falsehood, if someone comes to know the truth he proclaims it and if someone comes to know something is false he says so. If you come across a man who is upon falsehood, would you say ‘I am not obliged’ so as to gather numbers?! This is wrong! This is falsehood! The essence of Islam becomes lost this way and the religion becomes diluted.

All of this is due to fear and cowardice and people who haven’t correctly understood nor do they possess firmness. They only wish to blend in with the masses and the common folk but the common folk are in need themselves and most of them are ignorant, Allah says;

۞ وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

If you were to obey the majority of people on earth they would surely misguidance you from the path of Allah.” (Q 6: 116)


۞ وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly
.’ (Q 12:103),

They possess ignorance. The student of knowledge should teach and clarify (to the people) but as for saying ‘I am not obliged…’ how are you not obliged?! The truth obliges you! We are all obliged to clarify the truth just as we are all obliged to clarify the falsehood so the people do not err and so the religion is preserved. When we see falsehood, should we say ‘I am not obliged’? Never! Why should anyone remain upon falsehood in order to gain the masses?

In any case all praise due to Allah. It is incumbent upon them to seek knowledge because this is all due to ignorance as they didn’t ask the people of knowledge. The Messenger ﷺ informed us of this occurring at the end of time, that knowledge will diminish and ignorance will be in abundance, these issues are related, they choose to speak about an individual without knowledge. If only they had placed the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger as their sources of guidance they would not have strayed into misguidance like this, but they instead considered the speech of the people and wish to be famous and be seen as scholars which is an error that isn’t permissible.