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Shaykh Ahmad an-Najjār (hafidhahullāh) “knowledge is not taken from one who is extreme in takfeer or tabdee”

Shaykh Ahmad an-Najjār

“knowledge is not taken from one who is  extreme in takfeer or tabdee”


Dear Muslims, knowledge is only to be taken from its people, who are those who: combine between knowledge and righteous actions. You will find a scholar whose knowledge can be applied on his words and actions and that is seen on his tongue and limbs, and you will find that his knowledge leads him to fear Allaah and fear oppressing people and transgressing against them. from al-Hasan al-Basree who said: “a man would seek knowledge and it would not be long until it was seen in his humility, guidance, speech and hand [i.e. action].” Al-Maroodhee said:
Ahmad [bin Hanbal] said to me: ‘I have not written down a hadeeth from the Prophet (sal) except that I acted by it. I even came across the hadeeth that the Prophet (sal) sought Hijaamah and gave the Hajjaam Aboo Tayyibah a deenar for it. So I got Hijaamah done and gave the Hajjaam a deenaar.’
This is how the ’Ulama are, as for those who go to excess in takfeer and tabdee’ then knowledge is not to be taken from them except if there is an overwhelming benefit over a harm in doing so. Knowledge is not to be taken from such an individual due to their perception and conceptualisation of the truth in what misguides him, due to his fleeing from the truth while accusing people of falsehood and his lack of manners in dealing with people. Thus, you will see him with the most vile and contemptible of words about people and having terrible manners such as pride, belittlement and scorn of others, alongside other issues. Whoever has a condition such as this, knowledge is not to be taken from him. Imaam Maalik said:
Knowledge is not to be written except from one who memorises, and he could be one who seeks knowledge, sits with the people [of knowledge], has knowledge and does righteous actions and has Wara’.
Al-Khateeb said about those during his time who ascribed themselves to knowledge and hadeeth:
They are, with their little number of books in it, and their lack f understanding of it, are the worst people in terms of pride and are the most intense of people in self-amazement. They do not have any sanctity for their Shaykh and do not grant any protection for a student…this is contrary to what the knowledge which they hear necessitates and opposite to the obligatory course of action which they should be adhering to implement.
Whoever takes knowledge from them will be affected by them and will take on board their mannerisms, and this is something which has been witnessed. If you were to go to a group of beginner students of knowledge who take knowledge from those [who have gone to extremes in tabdee’] you will find them harsh and hard-hearted and using words which even a common-person with good manners would be ashamed of uttering. For that reason, and out of averting the harm, the students of knowledge should be shielded from them. Those of them who issue pronouncements are many. Manners should be sought from the ’Ulama as this was the intent of the Salaf as this is what necessitates knowledge. from Ibraaheem bin Habeeb ash-Shaheed who said:
My father said to me: ‘O my son, go to the fuqahaa’ and the’Ulama and learn from them, take from their manners, their character and guidance. For that will be more beloved to me for you than [the mere transmission of] many hadeeth.’
’Abdullaah bin al-Mubaarak said: “Manners is almost a third of knowledge.” Rather, they [the Salaf] did not take knowledge except from those who were known for action and manners. From Ibraaheem an-Nakha’ee who said:
If they went to a man to take knowledge from him, they would look at his silence, his prayer and his condition. Then they would take form him.
To conclude then: we have to be cautioned against taking knowledge from those [who go to extreme in takfeer or tabdee’] even if they come with loads of Tazkiyaat.
Written as a warning to the students of knowledge, and out of concern for them, by,
Ahmad Muhammad as-Sādiq an-Najjār
15 Shawwaal 1436 AH/17 July 2015 CE

Dated 15th Shawwaal 1436 AH /17 July 2015. Summarised translation from:


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