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Posted By Topic: Important point that will help us understand Q&As of the scholars and their students

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03-27-2010 @ 5:50 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful...

Someone may ask a question to one of the scholars, or even a student of knowledge like, "We have learned that the sutrah is waajib.  However, some people say that it is enough to draw a line, and others say that it must be a substantial height.  So what is correct about this?"

And the answer would come only regarding the size of the sutrah and some dicussion of its attributes.

You can not conclude from this that the shaykh being asked agrees that the sutrah is waajib.

Why not?  Because an issue of differing was mentioned and then a question not related to that very issue was posed.  So the shaykh may very well avoid discussing the issue of the ruling on the sutrah, even when he doesn't agree to the questioner's stance, to address the matter being asked about - in this case: the size and description of a sutrah.  The shaykh would know that the ruling on the sutrah is differed over, and possibly not see a need to discuss the ruling of the sutrah, when there is no mafsadah (harm) resulting from the questioner's original understanding.  

It is also the case that some scholars were very concerned with any possible mistakes in the question, and would possibly discuss the ruling on a sutrah before answering the question (an example would be the likes of Shaykh al-Albaanee).

Scholars in official positions of iftaa' (fatwaa issuance) are generally more tolerant of issues of differing and have less time to discuss every issue mentioned in the question, so their answers are short and to the point, not all-inclusive of every possible issue in the wording of the question.  (an example would be the likes of Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan)

Here is the crux of the matter: When the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) remained silent about something mentioned in his presence, this was an approval from him, something referred to as sunnah taqreeriyyah, and it is a binding proof and a source of legislation in Islaam.

However, everyone less that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), like Aboo Bakr, Umar, 'Uthmaaan, 'Alee, and the very best of the Companions, and the rest of the ummah do not have this distinction.  It is possible that they could remain silent, and their silence about that thing is not a proof.

Theory ---> Practice

A recent example of this is what was attributed to Shaykh al-Fawzaan when he was asked about people who say you can not pray in rented buildings set up as masjids.  The word masjid was used more than once to describe the rented building.  The shaykh saw the urgency of addressing the matter in question, and this took a priority over clarifying his position on whether a rented building can be called a masjid or not.  

Also note there is no mafsadah (harm) involved in people believing a rented building is a masjid (even if its not correct, they would actually pray in congregation more if they believed it to be a masjid), so there was no real need to clarify his position - that rented buildings are musallaas, not masjids - when a very dangerous issue was being misunderstood by some people, that you can not pray in a rented building, and this issue demanded the shaykh's attention much more than clarifying his position on the ruling on a rented bulding.

So it is mistaken to conclude from this that Shaykh al-Fowzaan believes rented buildings to be masjids.

Furthermore, Shaykh al-Fowzaan's stance on rented buildings being musallaas not masjids is clear in this audio where he was asked specifically about the ruling on a rented building being a masjid:

However, if there is a mafsadah (harm) involved in not discussing an issue in the question, like the question "Since the ruler of Saudi Arabis is a kaafir apostate, is prayer valid in the two Harams under his general leadership."  You would not find them saying in this case that the prayer is valid and then remain silent.  That is because there is a mafsadah (harm) in not addressing this issue, and the dangerous issue of takfeer of the muslim rulers now takes a priority over the actual issue being questioned about, so you would find the scholar turning away from the issue of the validity of the salaat and perhaps spending a lot of effort in clarifying the danger of takfeer and the manhaj of the khawaarij and so forth.

This is a small pointer that we should keep in mind when reading questions and answers from our scholars or their students.  I wrote it as advice to my beloved and respected brothers and sisters who busy themselves reading the Q&As of the scholars and spreading that information to the people (may Allaah bless them for their efforts!).  

May Allaah bless us with fiqh in His Religion.  And Allaah knows best.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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03-27-2010 @ 6:47 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Damilola Sadiq ibn Owodunni (Lagos, Nigeria || Eastern Province, KSA)
Posts: 338
Joined: Jul 2007
JazaakAllaahu khayraa for this akh Moosaa. BaarakAllaahu feek.

I guess this shows the importance of us reading between the lines & understanding very well the questions posed to the scholars and their answers and also the need for the (qualified) translators, may Allah reward them, to strive to translate accurately especially when the work is to be spread publicly - may Allah aid them all. If this is not done, then as you have pointed out above, we stand the risk of using the sayings of the scholars wrongly and perhaps, we may say about the Deen of Allah what is incorrect - and in this is great danger, may Allah protect us from that.

May Allah have mercy upon those who have passed away from the scholars and students of knowledge and preserve those who are alive.


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