May Allāh bless you Shaykh. We have a question. There are people who reject the statements of salafī scholars which refute Abul-Ḥasan [al-Maʿrabi] with the claim that there are [other] scholars that have praised him like Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād and the scholars of Jordan and Ibrāhīm al-Ruhaylī so what is your statement concerning this?

Shaykh Muḥammad Bazmūl:

I say that Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād is considered from the major scholars, meaning his station with us is very high here in the Kingdom. As for the rest [of the names mentioned], then they are from the students of knowledge and not considered from amongst the scholars; rather they are students.

And what is apparent to me is that ShaykhʿAbd al-Muḥsin has not been exposed to all of the criticism that has been mentioned by the scholars in criticism of him and the principle here is that the critic is given precedence over the one who offers praise which means, I will tell you how it is applied and you will see what is correct. If a narrator from those who transmit ḥadīth met with Aḥmad ibn Hanbal and he was criticised by someone else of a lesser station than Aḥmad ibn Hanbal and the criticism was detailed would you accept this critic or reject him? What exactly compels you?

The Questioner:

No, I wouldn’t accept it O’ Shaykh.

Shaykh Muḥammad Bazmūl:

You wouldn’t accept it. No, what is correct is that you accept the speech of the critic because the critic possesses additional knowledge; he has extra knowledge. This is how we apply the principle that the detailed criticism is given precedence over praise. And there may come a person that so & so from the Imāms praises, then an Imām from the Imāms of ḥadīth who may be of a lesser station than those major Imāms but he offers criticism which is detailed. Then we say that this criticism is accepted and those Imāms in light of their lofty station were not aware of the narrator in the same way that the critic was.

This is what we say regarding the issue of Abul-Ḥasan [al-Maʿrabi]; that those who have presented a detailed criticism of him did so based upon his own speech and expressions that were taken from his books and recordings that can be heard from his lessons and lectures and further based upon several positions that he took.

Dear brother, “Every son of Adam makes mistakes and the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” No one is free from error. However, the people of deviance and desires; whenever they err and are advised, they do not repent and they continue upon their falsehood and are stubborn upon it.

They follow their own intellects and desires which Shayṭān has beautified for them as well as their own souls which drive them towards evil with the notion that if they repent that it will undermine their station in the eyes of the people and that the people will not continue to trust them and their knowledge and there will remain no more followers for them. Shayṭān beautifies for them the idea that their repentance and their submission to the truth and straightforwardness concerning this repentance and adherence to the Sunnah which became clear to them; Shayṭān beautifies for them the idea that this will weaken their reputation and take something away from their value and thus their desires take over and Shayṭān manipulates them and plays with them in these ways such that no one returns free from innovation desires except the one that Allāh has shown mercy to.