In the Name of Allaah, the All Compassionate, the Ever Merciful…
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We’ve seen for years people criticizing the likes of Shaykh Rabee’ ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee (may Allaah preserve him), regarding the claim that he is not upon the way of the early critics of the Salaf – the likes of Imaams Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahyaa ibn Ma’een. And what they say: “His ‘foolishness’ of lavishly praising people and then abandoning them has excluded him from resembling the critics of old, and it shows that he is ‘unstable’ and his statements in criticism of people are ‘not reliable’.”
Let us begin with understanding something in this issue so that we don’t pass on and parrot things without understanding them.
True Academic Criticism in Islaam
In academic criticism in Islaam – as understood by the scholars of Jarh wa Ta’deel throughout history (النقد العلمي) [Academic criticism] – No one is beyond criticism, no one is immune from criticism, other than those who have gained immunity from Allah, i.e. they have been praised in the Qur’aan and they have been sanctified by the Book of Allah or by the revelation given to Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), i.e. his Sunnah. Aside from that, the narrators, the teachers, the callers, the scholars themselves – all of them are subject to criticism. As one of the greatest of the scholars, al-Imaam Maalik, is so commonly quoted as saying:
مَا مِنَّا إِلاَّ رَادٌّ وَمَرْدُودٌ عَلَيْهِ
Meaning: Every single one of us (every scholar) is either criticizing / refuting, or being criticized / refuted.
That is the case of the scholars, and, of course, every writer and every caller is subject to criticism. The criticism of the scholars of Islaam is ongoing, it is mutajaddid [continuously updated], it is renewed, and it is revisited, at every possible occasion. No one from the critics of Islaam had ever Continue reading