Showing Naseehah (Sincerity) to the Scholars (Sh Uthaymeen)

Showing sincerity to the Scholars is through mentioning their good qualities and concealing their shortcomings, and through helping them to be correct. So that if they make a mistake then you direct them and mention their error to them in a manner which does not ruin their reputation or belittle their station. Pointing out the mistakes of the scholars in a way which belittles their station harms Islaam, because the common person, when he sees the scholars declaring one another to be upon error, they all fall in his estimation, and he will say ‘these lot – they are always refuting one another, so I don’t know which of them is right!’. So he will end up not accepting the statement of any one of them (the scholars). However if the scholars honour one another, and if each of them advises his brother in private when he makes a mistake, while explaining the correct position on the issue to the people, then this is from the greatest form of showing sincerity to the Scholars of the Muslims.
[Sh ‘Uthaymeen in Sharh-ul-‘Aqeedat-il-Waasitiyyah Vol 2 P343]
Q&A from the corresponding audio lecture []:
[Please note that the questioner is difficult to hear. It is only possible to make out the gist of what he says]
Questioner: [About how to deal with an author who has made an error in a particular book which he has published]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: There are two ways … meaning if an author has made an error in a book which has spread amongst the people, and they have taken on his mistake, then the way to deal with this is that you write a book which explains what you consider to be the sunnah, without being drawn into saying that this person made a mistake or didn’t make a mistake, unless you are specifically asked. This is better. And if the people trust you more, then they will accept your point and will leave off his statement. And if they trust him more, then even if you were to refute him – then they wouldn’t accept that from you, unless Allaah wills.
Questioner: [About concealing the shortcomings of the scholars]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: Yes, there’s no problem in saying for example ‘Some of the people of knowledge held this opinion, however the correct position is opposite to this’, without specifying an individual.
Questioner: [You said that concealing the faults of the scholars is obligatory, so if there is a scholar who is faasiq (openly sinful), who it is apparent from him that he shaves his beard, and Allaah knows what else (he does), who continues like this even after having been advised with good manners in private, and he became annoyed due to the advice – isn’t it the case that one must inform people of this?]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: If it is the case that he shaves his beard then he has already made his shortcoming apparent, there’s no need for you to spread this as well … with regards to the affairs of the religion, if he shaves it, then everyone can see, there’s no need for you to say ‘So-and-so shaves his beard’ … to the people in general, you make the issue clear, say that shaving the beard is forbidden and persisting upon that is a major sin, so the matter will be clarified.
Questioner: [I’m not speaking about someone who only shaves their beard, someone who is apparently just an open sinner. However regarding a specific thing which he does in relation to the religion and he has been advised about this, then he criticises and abuses the one who advises him – so should one mention this shortcoming which he has?]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: You don’t have to mention his fault. If you want to say something then say ‘Some of the scholars, may Allaah the Most High guide them, they shave their beards in opposition to the guidance of the Messenger ‘alaihissalaatuwasalaam‘ etc.
Questioner: [I’m not even speaking about the beard]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: You gave the example of the beard. I don’t know who he is.
Questioner: [what’s apparent from him is that he is basically openly sinful]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: Or he may be sinful in private
Questioner: [It is apparent that he is openly sinful – and Allaah knows best what else he hides. It is said that he is a scholar … ]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: By Allaah I don’t know him anyway. In either case recognize that the common person he weighs things up – when he sees a scholar in such a state, then he won’t trust him at all. Allaah has placed scales in the hearts of people, to weigh things up. ‘And whatever characteristics someone has, even if he thinks that he has concealed them from the people – they will become apparent.’
In any case, if he is an innovator [words unclear], not just someone who shaves his beard, and it is not possible to warn the people from his innovation without mentioning him by name, then in that case you must mention his name.
Questioner: [do we make analogy regarding this mistake]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: No, a mistake regarding an action in a practical issue which someone does, may not comparable.
Questioner: [regarding innovation]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: If it is an innovation, and it is not possible to warn the people from his innovation without mentioning him by name, then you mention it. As for if it is possible to warn the people from the innovation without mentioning him by name, then this is better. Like saying ‘Some people say such and such, and this is a mistake…’
Questioner: [words unclear]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: The Messenger sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam said “What is the matter with some individuals who say such and such”, “What is the matter with some of the people who say such and such.”
Questioner: [the Companions when they heard the like of this, “What is the matter with some individuals”, then each of them would consider themselves to have made the mistake, and would rectify himself. Now if you were to say “What is the matter with some individuals” this kind of thing doesn’t help]
Sh ‘Uthaymeen: As I was saying, for example ‘Indeed there are some individuals who say such and such’, ‘Indeed one of the scholars says such and such.’ – then you have achieved the objective.



Translated by Adnaan ibn Salman





The above discussion begins from about 20:30 onwards.

Sh Uthaymeen on Unifying the Muslims 

So if someone were to say: what is our opinion regarding the differing which occurs between the scholars regarding certain rulings in the Sharee’ah (Legislation). The scholars will only agree upon those things which are known by necessity in the religion of Islaam. So how do we deal with this differing?

The answer is – as Allaah has clarified in his statement:

Whatever you differ in – then the judgment is for Allaah. [42:10]

So the One referred back to is Allaah. And He the Most High said:

If you differ in anything then return it back to Allaah and the Messenger, if you truly believe in Allaah and the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for the final determination. [4:59]

So if we follow this way, then no differing will remain between us. And I mean – that no differing will remain between our hearts. As for peoples’ opinions then (differing) will occur, because differing occurred even between the Companions, but their hearts did not differ. And that which harms people nowadays in this religious issue, is that they follow their desires, meaning that a group of them follow their desires – such that differences in opinion lead to differing between the hearts and conflict between the hearts and enmity and hatred and insulting and [word unclear]. And by Allaah this pleases the enemies, and this fragments the da’wah (call) to Islaam.

So what is obligatory is that the hearts should not differ, even if opinions differ. And whoever wants his statement or opinion to be the point of reference when there is differing, then he is claiming for himself that he is at the level of the Prophet. So if he wants this, then those who oppose him want their statements and opinions to be the ones referred back to, so neither of these two will be free of error. And it is not possible to force people to comply with our opinions. Rather it is binding upon us that we should take from that which the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicate, even if this goes against what one’s forefathers were upon and one’s family. Just as you heard in the two aayaat which I recited earlier. Based on this, it is obligatory that we do not make differing in issues of fiqh (Islaamic jurisprudence), that we do not make these a cause for splitting, argumentation or hatred. Rather it is obligatory that we refer back to the Book and the Sunnah for judgment, and that we follow that which the Book and Sunnah indicate.

This does not mean that there should be differing between the hearts – for differing in opinions occurred between the Sahaabah radiyAllaahu’anhum, due to differing understandings of the daleel (evidence). When the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam returned from the Battle of the Ahzaab (factions) which was in the 5th year of the Hijrah (emigration) during the month of Shawwaal, Jibreel came to him, and ordered him to set out (to attack) Banoo Qurayzah, the last tribe of the Jews which had broken their covenant in Madeenah. So the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam sent a delegation of his Companions, and said:

“None of you should pray ‘asr except at Banoo Qurayzah

They set off. The time for the prayer came upon them, so they were split into two groups. So from them, some said, ‘We will pray the prayer at its correct time, even if we haven’t reached Banoo Qurayzah.‘ And others said, ‘We will delay the prayer up until we reach Banoo Qurayzah.’ Which of these two groups were correct? Answer …

(Some people in the audience said, ‘Both of them’.)

It is not possible that both of them were correct, because that which is correct is one (of the two options) – due to the statement of the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam:

“When a judge makes a judgment, and he strives to make the correct judgment and he is correct then he gets two rewards; and if he is mistaken (in his judgment) then he gets one reward.”

Therefore, which of them was closer to being correct? Those who were closer to being correct were those who prayed at the proper time, and they said ‘Indeed the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam commanded us that we should only pray at Banoo Qurayzah because he wanted us to hasten in setting off, not so that we delay the prayer from its proper time’. And the others followed the literal wording and said, ‘We will only pray at Banoo Qurayzah, even if the sun has set’. So this reached the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam, so he did not criticize either of the two groups, because all of them were mujtahid (qualified to make judgments). And did this differing regarding the ‘asr prayer, the best of the prayers, did this lead to differing between the hearts? The answer – absolutely not. It did not lead to any differing between the hearts. So the hearts remained upon love and being close.

In some of the madhaahib-ul-fiqhiyyah (schools of Jurisprudence) there is differing. Eating camel meat breaks ones wudoo’. And some of the scholars hold that it does not break it. So should someone who has eaten camel meat without having performed wudoo’ lead the prayer, while there are other people behind him who consider making wudoo’ to obligatory (after eating camel meat)? The answer is yes. So this one who does not consider that he has to make wudoo’ as a result of eating camel’s meat ends up being my Imaam (in the prayer), while I consider that it is obligatory upon him (to make wudoo’), and I see that he has eaten (camel meat) and not made wudoo’. I pray (behind him) and there is no problem. Why? Because I consider that this man has prayed, and his prayer is valid as far as he is concerned. It is true that I must fear (Allaah) in this matter and follow that which the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicate. However for me to not pray behind him because he has eaten camel meat without performing wudoo’, this would reach the level of not being permissible.

So the religion of Islaam wants its people to have togetherness, not to differ, so that they be one Ummah (Nation). And listen to Allaah the Most High’s statement:

And hold fast all of you to the Rope of Allaah, and do not be divided, and remember Allaah’s favour upon you, that you were enemies and He gathered between your hearts, so that through His favour you became brothers, and that you were on the brink of a pit of Fire and He saved you from it. So does Allaah clarify His aayaat (Signs) to you in order that you might be guided. [3:103]

It is upon us to hold fast to the Rope of Allaah and not be divided.

And indeed that which is saddening nowadays is that some of the youth have taken some of the ‘ulemaa (scholars) to be figureheads. They follow them, and ally themselves with anyone who is allied to them, and they oppose anyone who opposes them, even if the one who opposes them is correct, and the one who is allied to them is incorrect. And they end up disputing between themselves (saying), “What do you say about this person, what do you say about that person?” Why?

I say that this person could either be making a mistake or he could be correct. If he has made a mistake whilst being a mujtahid (someone who is qualified to make judgments), then his mistake is forgiven, and if he is correct, then he gets two rewards. As for allying oneself with anyone who is allied to him (this scholar) and opposing anyone who is against him, then this is not permissible.

For this reason I ask the youth, my children, that they should not preoccupy themselves with this, nor should they focus on this. Their goal should be the truth, wherever it comes from.

Listen to Allaah the Mighty and Majestic’s statement:

And when they commit an indecent act they say, ‘We found our fathers upon this, and Allaah commanded us with this.’ Say: ‘Indeed Allaah does not command with indecency.’ [7:28]

So they brought two points to support their argument: firstly, that, ‘we found our fathers upon this’; and secondly, ‘Allaah commanded us with this.’ So Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said:

Say: ‘Indeed Allaah does not command with indecency.’ [7:28]

and He was silent about the first proof (which they brought). Why? Because the second proof was false and futile, and Allaah negated it. And the first proof was correct, so Allaah remained silent about it, and accepted it, even though it had come from the mushrikeen (the people of shirk).

And listen also to that which is authentically reported from the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam, that when a Jewish Rabbi came to him and said:

‘O Muhammad, indeed we hold that Allaah will put the heavens on one Finger, the earths on one Finger, …’ So the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam laughed until one could see his molar teeth, confirming what the Rabbi said. Then he recited:

“They made not a just estimate of Allah such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand, and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand.” [39:67]

How perfect Allaah is, and exalted above that which they associate with Him. So here, did the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam reject the truth because the one speaking it was not upon correctness, or not? Rather he agreed with it, even though this person was a Jew.

Even more clear-cut than this – that the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam asked Aboo Hurairah radiyAllaahu’anhu to guard the sadaqat-ul-fitr (charity for ‘Eid-ul-Fitr) – i.e. he told him to keep watch over it. Someone, apparently in the form of a human came one night and took from the food. So Aboo Hurairah took hold of him, and said, ‘I’m definitely going to take you to the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam.‘ However the man said that he was poor and asked to be excused, so Aboo Hurairah felt sorry for him, and let him go. Then he went to the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam. So he said to him, “What did the person you caught do last night?” So he said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, he said that he was poor, so I felt sorry for him and I let him go.’ So he said, “Indeed he lied, and he will come again.” (“He lied”, meaning he told you something untrue, “and he will come again.”) So I felt sure that he would come again due to the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam saying, “and he will come again.” So he kept an eye out for him on the second night, and he came and took from the food, and he claimed that he had dependents and was poor, so he let him go. (Because the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam, when he said, “He will come again”, he didn’t say, ‘Detain him’, or, ‘Keep hold of him.’) Then Aboo Hurairah went to the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam and he told him what happened, so he said, He lied, and he will come again.” So he came on the third night, so Aboo Hurairah took hold of him, and said, ‘I must take you to the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam.’ So this person said to him, ‘Should I not tell you about an aayah from the Book of Allaah, if you recite it then a protector from Allaah will remain with you (overnight) and shaytaan will not be able to approach you until morning.’ So he let him go. So he went to the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam and told him what happened, so he said, “He told you the truth, even though he is a liar.” (What did he mean by saying that, “He told you the truth”? – i.e. he told you something truthful, meaning that if you recite aayat-ul-kursee, then a protector from Allaah will remain with you and shaytaan will not be able to approach you until morning). Then he said, “Do you know who you were talking to over these last three nights?” He said, ‘I don’t know, O Messenger of Allaah. He said, “That was shaytaan.

So look how the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwa’alaa.aalihiwasallam accepted the truth from whom? From shaytaan.

So one should desire the truth. And men are known by the truth, and the truth is not known by men.


So, how do we end up splitting up and having differing between the hearts? It is due to arguing over specific individuals from the scholars. This one says that he right and upon correctness, and other says the opposite. This is wrong. This is not from the guidance of the rightly guided Caliphs, nor from that of the Sahaabah. What is obligatory is to accept the truth from anyone who speaks it, and to reject falsehood from anyone who speaks it. And it is never permissible to make al-Walaa wal-Baraa (Allegiance and Disassociation) based around people, because no-one is free from error, we are correct sometimes and incorrect at other times. So we should come together, and leave off personalities. And we should ask Allaah to guide them if they are alive, and for forgiveness for them if they strove in a matter and ended up opposing the truth. And their affair returns to whom? To Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. As for us splitting up our unity, fragmenting our togetherness and [word unclear] between ourselves to split off from this person or that person, then this is wrong, this is pure error and very harmful. For this reason I request my Muslim brothers in every place that they should unite and not differ, and that they should not make individuals to be figureheads for whom they have allegiance and enmity, for indeed this is wrong. And it is only this which caused harm to the Muslims, both in the past and in the present, being partisan to individuals whether in loving or hating.

Translated by Adnaan ibn Salman