Firmly Grounded Scholars that Muslims Should Return to in Affairs of Differing

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

At the conclusion of one of his lectures explaining the Foundations of Eemaan as part of the Imaam Daar al-Hijrah Islaamic Seminar at Masjid al-Qiblatayn in al-Madeenah in 1432 [1], Shaykh Saalih As-Suhaymee (may Allaah preserve him) advised the students with a number of excellent points of advice in light of issues of differing that tend to distract them and keep them from benefitting from their studies.

While this great advice has been translated into English, and given the title, “The Muslims are Tired,” perhaps the most important point in the lecture that Shaykh Saalih offered, after fearing Allaah and being sincere to Him alone, is the solution he guided the Muslims to – Returning to the senior scholars in affairs of differing.

To emphasize this point, we would like to list the names of those Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee guided the Muslims to, their senior and most grounded and noteworthy scholars, referring to them as “rabaaniyyeen“. [2]

  • Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn Baaz
  • Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen
  • Shaykh Hammaad ibn Muhammad al-Ansaaree
  • Shaykh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee
  • Shaykh Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaanee

These are the ones who have passed away, may Allaah have mercy on them.  Then the shaykh went on to mention a list of contemporary scholars we should refer to:

  • Our shaykh, the Muftee, ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdillaah Aal ash-Shaykh
  • Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan
  • Shaykh ‘Abdullaah al-Ghudayyaan (may Allaah have Mercy on him)
  • Shaykh Saalih al-Luhaydaan
  • Shaykh Saalih ibn ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh
  • Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee (may Allaah have Mercy on him)
  • Shaykh Rabee’ ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee
  • Shaykh Zayd ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee
  • Shaykh ‘Alee ibn Naasir al-Faqeehee
  • Shaykh ‘Abdul-Muhsin ibn Hamad al-‘Abbaad

Then the shaykh began to mention the many students of knowledge who are upon their way, like Shaykh Muhammad as-Subayyil, but he decided against it, fearing that some people might say, “Why did you mention this one but not that one?”

The shaykh emphasized that the list was a mention of examples of those we are to refer to, and it was not intended to be comprehensive.

Before finishing, the shaykh advised that we defend them if we hear of them being maligned or disrespected.

May Allaah, the Most High, bless us all and grant us the love and respect for our senior scholars which they deserve, without exaggeration or neglect.

Source: (updated link)

Written by: Moosaa Richardson (updated 1434-11-26)


[1] Listen to the original Arabic audio here. (updated link)

[2] Rabbaaniyyeen – scholars of grounded knowledge and insight who cultivate their students upon sound knowledge in a gradual and effective manner.

21 thoughts on “Firmly Grounded Scholars that Muslims Should Return to in Affairs of Differing

  1. Assalaamu Alaikum,

    I’m just curious, why is Shaykh Muhammad As-Subayyil (may Allah preserve him) mentioned as a student of knowledge rather than a scholar. Actually, he was on the Council of Senior Scholars in the time of Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him).

  2. Assalamu alaykum,

    I am quite worried about who to follow etc. I mean, I don’t intend to disrespect anyone, but who is saying that the Shaykh saying these things is not affected by Irja?

    It is just that recently I have become very cautious about my deen and I really don’t want to listen to the call of those who call to the Hellfire ( I think there is something along those lines in one Hadith)

    • wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. Akhee Mohammed, be aware of the plots of the people of deviance. The Khawaarij seek to undermine the trust that the people have for their scholars by calling them murji’ah, or at least: affected by irjaa’. What they mean by this is that they do not make takfeer of the Muslim rulers, and this is the irjaa’ they intend! Rest assured, Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee has nothing to do with irjaa’, nor do the scholars he has recommended. They are all known to be firm upon the correct ‘aqeedah and harsh against the people of innovation.

      Widely known scholars of the Sunnah are not to be thought to be affected by irjaa’ without any proof or any accusation from a qualified scholar.

  3. these scholars, while they are people of knowledge, are from the khalaf, not prophets, not sahabah, not tabeen or tabi tabieen. not even from the first major scholars of the ummah, like bukhari, muslim, and the other major scholars of the ummah, who are the teachers of these guys in hadith and tawheed and fiqh. these contemporary men you mentioned are human and prone to error and sin, like all of us muslim people…

    …so to ask fellow muslims to be on alert and ‘defend them’ simply because they have been called rabbaniyeen, by their fellow scholar, is just blind following… we’re not shia, and unlike Jews and Christians we shouldn’t take our imams as gods.. they’re not. so what’s this about defending these guys?

    [2000+ word comment abridged heavily by admin. Complaints about scholars and their fatwas about photography, women driving, riba in banks, among others.]

    • May Allaah excuse us and you, Umm Omar, we have certainly not promoted the blind following of these scholars, nor have we claimed they are perfect without flaws. Nor are we ever to defend any of them in falsehood. However, Umm Omar, may Allaah give you better than the manhaj of Yasir Qadhi, Almaghrib Institute, and those upon their way, your ideas clearly seem to reflect the opinions they commonly lead people into – a total loss of any meaningful distinction between us and the scholars of Islaam, as it relates to the virtues of the scholars, their special status amongst us, and our need to refer to them to learn our Religion. The goal is to disconnect the people from their scholars, which facilitates the spread of deviation very easily.

      Umm Omar – may Allaah give you better – if Allaah has commanded us in His Quran (more than once) to ask the people of knowledge when we do not know [16:43, 21:7], don’t we need to know who they are?!

      Umm Omar – may Allaah give you better – know that Allaah has established a very high status for the scholars of Islaam in his Glorious Book, saying (what means), “Those who truly fear Allaah among His servants are the scholars,” [35:28], and His Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was inspired by divine revelation to say (what means), “The virtue of a scholar over a worshipper is like the virtue of the moon over the rest of the heavenly bodies (at night). The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets…” [Tirmithee #2682]

      Umm Omar – may Allaah give you better – be warned against the tricks of Shaytaan. He may come to you in the form of a bearded religious teacher who, through lengthy and magical speech, wishes to take you away from the clarity of the likes of the two texts referred to above. Seek refuge with your Lord alone, and ask Him to grant you love and honor in your heart for all people and things praised in the Quran. Don’t let anyone take that from you Umm Omar, this is basic in Islam, something not to be compromised. May Allaah give you success.

      The people who have taught you to refer to senior scholars in Islaam as “these guys… contemporary men… prone to error and sin, like all of us…” are a bankrupt bunch, who would only lead you astray, so much so that you would become completely incapable of answering one of the most obviously self-answering questions that could be posed:

      قل هل يستوي الذين يعلمون والذين لا يعلمون إنما يتذكر أولوا الألباب
      “Say: Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?! It is only the people of intellect who truly receive admonition.”

      Shun extremism (ghuluww), Umm Omar, in all of its forms! Ordering the masses to blindly follow certain scholars or defend them in falsehood is clearly a form of unIslamic extremism, just as is trying to strip them of the distinction Allaah has given them – may Allaah give you better. Don’t let people mislead you into thinking that fleeing from a form of extremism means to embrace its opposite (the other extreme)!

  4. …You followed the radical sect of Madkhalism… Your sincerity was tested recently and you failed. The religion is sincerity and you failed to publish the comments of Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan where he destroyed the notion of jarh wa ta’deel that the madkhaliyyoon hold today… [Comment abridged by admin]

    • Salman – may Allaah give you better understanding of Islaam – , you quote Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan about these issues, yet according to Shaykh al-Fowzaan himself, your speech: “Madkhalism… madkhaliyyoon… madkhaliyyah…” identifies YOU as a person of fitnah, planted among the Muslims to lead them away from their scholars. He said, “This (calling scholars names like “Madkhalees”) is a plot, no doubt, something planted among the people, no doubt. We must recognize this issue, shun it, stay away from it, and forbid (others) from it.” [click here for full article] Furthermore, Shaykh al-Fowzaan has recognized the status of the specific scholar you are attacking (in the removed portions of your comment), highly recommending him and his works to the general public.

      While I normally would not publish these kinds of comments, I hope that publishing it with this kind of rebuke might serve as a reminder for balanced, honest people, to exemplify just how ridiculous such contradictory double standards really are. If Shaykh al-Fowzaan has really “destroyed the notion of jarh and ta’deel,” as you believe, then why would you attempt public jarh (criticism) of individual scholars by name (in the parts of the comments that were edited out)?! Apparently, by your own actions, you really don’t believe (your own understanding of) Shaykh al-Fowzaan’s words in the first place! May Allaah give you better, Salman.

  5. May Allah bless our brother Moosa for smashing out the doubts in a humble manner Just like our ulema advise us to do…May Allah guide these individuals who spread these corrupt ideologies..Ameen

  6. Akhee Baraakaallaahu feek!
    Alhamdulillah i am introduced to salafiyyah just recently and all praise is due to Allah who saved me from misguidance, just need some help,
    Can you suggest me to refer to which scholars as i don’t know Arabic and i know only English and Urdu?
    I know the best way will be to learn Arabic and to refer to above scholars so can you please help me by directing to some online Arabic language learning?
    And until the time I learn Arabic InshaaAllah and success lies with Allaah which scholars shall I refer to

    • Some English-speaking teachers whose recordings you should try to benefit from: Dr. Saalih as-Saalih, Abu Talhah Daawood Burbank, and Abu Uwais Ahmad Ali. (May Allaah have Mercy on them)

      From those who are alive who have shown many years of dedication and steadfastness, from those I know personally to be recommended by some of the scholars: Abul-Hasan Maalik, Abu Muhammad Al-Maghribee, Hasan as-Somali, Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Waahid, Abu Iyaad Amjad Rafiq, and Abu Hakeem Bilal Davis. All of them know more about the Da’wah in the West than me, so they can be asked about other teachers whom I have not mentioned. May Allaah bless them, aid their efforts, and give us more like them. And Allaah knows them best, and He is their only true Reckoner. ولا أزكي على الله أحدًا

      [Updated 1436.11.24]

  7. assalamu alaikum. i have a friend who always advises that the salafi’s are very rough and harsh. she doesnt believe in the scholars and anything they say abt their personal stories i.e. information on the jinn and devils, she wants proof from the quran and sunnah of the events. she says the scholars are humans and not infallible and we shudnt blindly follow them if there is no proof of what they say from the stories if they dont exist in the quran and sunnah. she also stated “may Allah protect us from arrogance and from worshipping the scholars” which she states she sees very prominently from the links i share. to advise her from any scholars is of no use. she listens to yasir qadhi, nouman ali khan and of his likes. i need assistance to show the respect of the scholars from the quran and sunnah alone as she will not believe or accept the fatwas and sayings of the past or present scholars… so much as to say ibn tamiyyah’s article on the jinn’s didnt make sense to her and didn’t sound true as their was no proof again in the quran and sunnah and the only person who could have any connection so to speak with the jinn was suleman alahe salam and everyone is a magician. please advise. jazakallahu khairun

    • wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi. This is exactly what we have been witnessing on a large scale in the West. It is a typical manifestation of the Almaghrib Institute scheme. After ten years of operation, Almaghrib has produced its first generation of confused young adults who are confident that they have studied under the scholars (!) and they understand Islam. Almaghrib has pinched them off from their scholars in reality, so it is very hard to reach them. They do not trust or take knowledge from anyone outside of their circle. Relying on the real scholars of Islaam and returning to them is instantly labeled blind following, yet they return blindly to Almaghrib’s Kamal El Mekki for his baseless fatwaa about the permissibility of illusionary magic, and they do not see it as blind following. They are all convinced that Western Muslims must participate fully in the electoral process of their locale, yet they do not see that as blind following. Ask them about issues like picture-taking, singing, beat-boxing, anaasheed, etc., and they are all united on the permissibility of those things, and they can’t see the level of their mindless blind following in any of that! Yet, as soon as you mention a name of a real scholar, the knee-jerk reaction pops: “We don’t worship the scholars.” Well sadly, if you follow Kamal El Mekki and believe that the illusions of Pharoah’s magicians are perfectly halaal, and you think its just fine to watch Criss Angel and Dynamo, then you are worshipping those much less than the scholars who declare what Allah prohibited to be permissible.

      “They took their rabbis and monks as lords besides Allaah” [Translation of the meaning of 9:31], and the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) explained this by saying, (what means) “They (their monks and rabbis) declared haraam things to be permissible, and they took those things to be permissible…” [Tirmithee #3095, hasan] How ironic that the people who say “We don’t worship the scholars” are actually falling into exactly that with their precious Almaghrib instructors.

      What you can do: 1) Pray to Allaah sincerely for their guidance. 2) Be firm with them and direct: “I offer this essential Islaamic naseehah out of brotherly love and concern: This institute and its teachers is misguidance and hizbiyyah, stay away from it.” 3) Link them to articles like this one and the clarifications of the Salafis about Almaghrib’s misguidance in general. Ask them to try to be fair and give the reading a chance. 4) Leave them when they insist on clinging to falsehood. 5) Continue to beg Allaah for our and their guidance. And Allaah knows best.

  8. Assalaamu’alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.
    With the small local students of knowledge, is there any bullet point criterion how we can determine whether they are to be taken from?
    There is a brother who graduated from Madinah and has sat with respectable names. He is inshaaAllaah from Ahlus Sunnah with regards to his belief, however he does not teach the traditional way.
    For example, he takes care not mention the names of more recent scholars at all and does not teach the books of the Salaf (although he himself has studied them) He teaches vague subjects (like ‘confidence’ and ‘da’wah’), and he only spent a couple of lessons going through ‘Aqeedah. He also doesn’t mention much about shirk or bid’ah either.
    I thought perhaps he may want to be vague as many people in the class are new to practicing and he does not want to tread on any toes. Or maybe he does not think the students are ready to learn properly yet.
    So really I am asking what is the correct way to distinguish an upright teacher? Must we ask if he has tazkiyah etc?

    • Wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. We do not need any new student of knowledge to come along and re-invent the da’wah. Rather, the student of knowledge who comes and brings that same old ancient da’wah of the Salaf, the same content and manners, the same ‘aqeedah and the same methodology, which he learned from its inheritors (the scholars), then we say: Ahlan wa sahlan (WELCOME!). People who come with new styles and approaches are to be avoided. In fact, the indications you have mentioned in your example make the individual sound like a classic ikhwani. (And I have no idea who you are referring to.)

      What is the solution then? We rely upon our scholars to recommend students of knowledge to us. When a new person arrives who the scholars have recommended, we learn from him, while those established callers who preceded him in da’wah keep an eye on him and advise him. Until he gives us years of solid teaching and supporting the da’wah, we should be cautious, as there are people who put on a good face in front of the scholars, yet as soon as they get into the arena of da’wah their corruption becomes clear. This is what the scholars refer to when they say, “Someone’s actions are his real tazkiyah.” I hope this helps clarify the issue, and Allaah knows best.

      • Ikhwani? He does not speak about politics or agree with shirk either? Does this mean we cannot benefit from him at all??
        Some Muslims are not interested with the formal subjects, so teachers attract them with ‘fun’ topics. Is it not better that they are at least learning something? Or would it be better not to attend his class at all?… [Message abridged by admin]

        • An ikhwani wishes to gather all the people and speak with agreeable words in the beginning stage of his call, not warning from real evils that people are connected to, like shirk and innovation. It may be that he does not speak about politics (now), but he only speaks about taqwa, patience, tawakkul, praying at night, fasting. This, along with him not mentioning the scholars of today, who are the needed references for the masses, is enough for me to advise that you avoid him. A sincere caller to the Truth is not worried about the number of followers. He invites and warns, he focuses on towheed, as the scholars have always done. He actively warns against the innovations and false teachings that are prevalent in his land. A sincere advisor to the Muslims upon sound knowledge connects them to good, and does not block them from it. Not mentioning the scholars of today is keeping them from what they are in dire need of! A sincere advisor to the Muslims upon sound knowledge tries to keep them from evil. Remaining silent about harms they face, like shirk and innovation, while he knows about them, is betrayal and not da’wah. And Allaah knows best.

          • Assalaamu alaykum again brother.
            I contacted the teacher regarding my questions and he replied with the following points:
            – If I am already learning these things from other sources, it doesn’t make sense for him to repeat the same teachings.
            – His classes are slightly different and so is his audience. i.e. largely new to practicing.

            Please could you clarify, is it *obligatory* in every course for a teacher to:
            1. Emphasize Tawheed, following the Sunnah, and warn from Shirk and Bid’ah
            2. Use the term Salafi and explain the methodology
            3. Work through texts. Even with the freshly practicing Muslims.
            4. Mention the names of recent scholars.
            Or can one give da’wah without/minimizing these things.

            I have studied with this teacher for a few years now and I don’t remember him emphasizing these points. However I also haven’t heard anything wrong (from my limited knowledge)??

          • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. You asked if these matters are “obligatory in every course”, and I dislike the wording of this question greatly. I say what you need to hear -in shaa’ Allaah-: If the case is as you have stated, that you have studied under someone for a few years, and you do not recall him emphasizing those points… In essence, YEARS go by and a man does not emphasize towheed and following the Sunnah, nor warn against shirk and bid’ah, nor connect the new Muslims to texts of revelation or the scholars who explain them [!!], then this is something you need to get away from immediately. These matters are found up front and clear in the call of any upright teacher upon the way of Ahlus-Sunnah. When these basic essentials are missing, there is deviation being presented as the truth, falsehood repackaged, and even without being able to identify the exact deviation, I say to you: Leave this man and protect yourself from whatever his deviation is. Your statement “I haven’t heard anything wrong” is useless and only detrimental, as you would not be able to recognize the foundations of a certain innovation slowly being built in front of you without the proper foundations in Islam! Rather, follow those who adhere to the upright and clear methodology of Ahlus-Sunnah and do not seek to blend falsehood into teachings of the Truth, and Allaah knows best.

  9. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    Akhi what is the ruling on buying a church building and turning it into a masjid. And it was mentioned in kitaab at tawheed the chapter of لا يذبح لله بمكان يذبح فيه لغير الله that worshing allah in a place where it was known to be worshiped other than allah is not permissible. So in the uk u have mosques that used to be churches. Did the scholars speak about this ?

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