Giving a Fatwa in the religion has become Everybody’s Right

Amongst the things that a conscious person is [also] shocked by, is the scarcity of the real practicing scholars; those who “guide those who have strayed, are patient in every calamity [that befalls them], give life to the [spiritually] dead with Allaah’s Book and enlighten those [spiritually] blind with the light of Allaah” [1] and how their places became occupied by the ruwaybidah who feign possessing knowledge and have little or no association with knowledge yet they are witnessed answering questions and passing Fatwas (religious verdicts) without any hesitation.

This is due to the weakness of their piety and fear of Allaah; causing people to be misled by their incorrect and inaccurate fatwas, just as the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) prophesised: “Verily Allaah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the scholars till when none of the scholars remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and lead the people astray.[2]

And it is as if giving a fatwa in the religion has become everybody’s right, and this is a crime on behalf of knowledge, the people of knowledge and the Religion of Allaah. At the same time we see such people launching vicious attacks on the true scholars and the reason for such [behaviour] is pride, jealousy, conceit and transgression as Allaah said:

Mankind were one community and Allaah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent down Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come to unto them through transgression against one another. Then Allaah by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allaah guides whom He wills to the Straight Path.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2):213]

Ibn Battah commented on this Aayah saying: “My brethren, this is news of a people whom Allaah has preferred (over others, i.e. the scholars), taught, gave insight [into the Religion] and raised [above others]. And He denied others [such bounties due to their] continuous transgression against them and their jealousy of them, which lead them to oppose them, have enmity towards them and to be in conflict with them, hence they became too proud to be followers of those upon the troth or to follow their example so they became leaders in misguidance and heresy by turning their backs to the truth and seeking after leadership.

Look at the deep understanding of this noble Imaam, and if you contemplate over the condition of such people today, you will reach the conclusion that the reason which caused them to stray is the love of leadership and having a following, self-delusion, having a high opinion of their own verdicts until it led them to transgress against the people of knowledge and show no consideration for them or their opinions and to look down on them and throw evil accusations at them, like saying “they don’t have knowledge of Fiqhul-waaqi’ (current affairs)”, “scholars of the dollars” and “scholars of menstruation and post-natal bleeding” [3] etc.

Unfortunately the Ummah today is suffering [at the hands] of people who have no religious knowledge manifesting themselves for da’wah and fataawa. The increase of such people is also an indication of the nearness of the Hour; as mentioned earlier in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu), and when the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was asked when the Hour will come, he said: “If entrustment is lost then wait for the Hour [to come]“, So it was said to him: “How will it be lost?” He replied: “If the affairs [of the public] were assigned to other than the [rightful] people, then wait for the Hour [to come],” and this is by neglecting the scholars and not referring newly arising issues of this day and age to them, and referring these issues to the youth who are ignorant (some, even of the Arabic language! Let alone [religious] knowledge that can only be acquired after learning the Arabic language).

It was narrated in the hadeeth of Abee Umayyah al-Jumahee that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “From the signs of the Hour is that knowledge will be taken from the small ones.[4]

He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said: “Indeed, there are years to come in which a person will become very confused, [a time] when a liar is believed and the truthful person is proclaimed a liar, and the deceitful person is entrusted and honest person is accused of being untrustworthy, and [a time when the] ruwaybidah will speak.” It was asked: “And who are the ruwaybidah?” So he replied: “The insignificant person who speaks on the public affairs.[5]

As-Sindee said in his explanation of this hadeeth: “i.e. the person with little knowledge.” And al-Qaasim Ibn Usbugh reported that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu) said: “The Deen will be corrupted if it comes by way of the young and the seniors refuse to learn it, and the people will become righteous if they take their knowledge from their seniors and they – i.e. the seniors- are followed by the young,[6]  and Ibn Mas’ood said: “You will be prosperous as long as knowledge is in the possession of your seniors, but if it is transferred to the subordinates, then they will mock their seniors[7] and this is very evident to see today.

Source: Translator’s Foreword by Abu Abdillah Murad ibn Muhammad Hilmi Ash-Shuweikh to the English Translation of the book “The Etiquette of Seeking Knowledge” of ash-Shaikh Bakr ibn ‘Abdillaah Aboo Zayd (rahimahullaah)


[1] Extracted from lmaam Ahmad’s foreword to his book ar-Rad alaz-Zanaadiqah wal Jahmiyyah see al-Masaa’il war-Rasaa’il (217).

[2] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on knowledge, Chapter of ‘How the religious knowledge will be taken away?’ no. 100; Muslim, Sahih, Book on knowledge, no. 2673; Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on knowledge, no. 2652; Ibn Majah, Sunan, Introduction, no. 52; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 162; and Al-Darimy, Sunan, Introduction, no. 239.

[3] This is not a new accusation, rather it is an old one. Just as Allaah sends forth scholars to revive Islaam, there are also mubtadi’ah who revive the bid’ah of their predecessors. It was recorded that one of the people of bid’ah said, ‘The knowledge of Aboo Haneefah and ash-Shaafi’ee does not go beyond a woman’s underwear”! [See al-l’tisaan by ash-Shaatibee.]

[4] Narrated by al-Tabaraanee, al-Laalakaa’ee and Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr and declared hasan by al-Albaanee.

[5] Narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Maajah, al-Haakim and al-Bayhaqee from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah, and it was authenticated by al-Albaanee.

[6] In his Musannaf as mentioned in Fath-ul-Baaree with a chain of narrators; which was authenticated by al-Haafidh himself.

[7] Narrated by Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr.

Author: Islamic Treasure

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