Valuable Advice For Those Who Are Hasty in Tas-heeh, Tadh’eef, and Takhreej of Hadeeth
By Shaykh Rabee’ bin Haadee Al Madkhalee
Akram Abdul Qaadir As-Saylanee an-Najdee
What is your opinion on some of the students who have not firmly planted their feet in the knowledge of takhreej (relating the sources of a Hadeeth) tas-heeh (grading hadeeth as authentic) tadh’eef (grading hadeeth as weak) and ta’leef authorship, then they see (it is better) to sit in their homes for the sole purpose of takhreej, tas-heeh, tadh’eef, and ta’leef and they do not attend the classes of the scholars citing that they do not benefit from their classes? I hope from Allaah, and then from you to direct some advice to them.
By Allaah, we advise these people to seek knowledge and to respect the scholars and to stick to them. (This is) because this scholar or teacher has experience and can bring you benefit that you may not come across except through lengthy and arduous research. Sticking to the scholars is a sign of steadfastness of this person and distancing him from vanity and being amused with himself. Humility, my brother; take from the strong scholar and the weak scholar. Stick to him, read to him Al-Bukhari and Muslim, read to him from the books of Tafseer. Even if he that one is not a strong scholar, rather due to sticking to him, you will reach a lot of good. Al-Bukhari used to take from lesser than him, and he would correct the big scholar and he was only 11 years old, he continued seeking knowledge all of his life. Nowadays, people are less than him in levels, so do not become vain and do not raise yourself over those you see from the scholars that they do not reach your standards in terms of knowledge. So you do not find those like Imaam Ahmad, or Ibn Taymiyyah, and other than them, you will never find those like them. Take from those who are present and benefit from them, and stick to them and you will attain good with the Will of Allaah.
I fear for many of those vain people – and I do not want to mention names-. For example, one of them stays in the lands of the scholars for many years and does not sit with a scholar ever; and he secludes himself with the books and then he brings out problems to the Ummah. They (the salaf) used to say: “Whoever has his books as his Shaykh will err more than he is correct.” They used to be referred to as “Suhufiyyeen” (book keepers) because they did not attain knowledge from the mouths of men, rather they attained it from pages.
They will cite Shaykh Al Albaanee as a proof – meaning that he took from the books-! My brother, Shaykh Al Albaanee had scholars, and he was a man who had no peers, incomparable from these types. Allaah gave this man blessings, and perhaps he is like Al Bukhaari in terms of his (ability in) perception, awareness, and intelligence. I recently read in his biography, meaning in the start of his seeking of knowledge that he debated one of the heads of the reciters and defeated him in his own science. If you are like that, then continue, but this is rare -May Allaah bless you-. And when Shaykh (Al-Albaanee) began with Tas-heeh, Tadh’eef, and Takhreej, he began with experience. He did not begin in authenticating and weakening (hadeeth) until after he studied, applied and practiced. He wrote a takhreej of Al Ihyaa of Al-Haafidh Al -Iraaqee with his hands. He knew the methodology of the scholars and their ways, etc. After all this, he began to make tahqeeq (checking), and authenticating, and weakening. No one helped him in it, not the scholars of Al-Azhar or other than them. So who did he learn from (in this)? However, you (the one who thinks he’s like Al-Albaanee)… the all of the people are above you, so learn and be humble.