By ‘Shaykh’ Muhammad ibn Salih al-`Uthaymeen
Extracted from “Differences of Opinion Amongst the Scholars”© 1997 al-Hidaayah
Finally, I sincerely advise, myself first, and my Muslim brothers, especially the students of knowledge not to make haste and be quick when a new issue befalls a person until he verifies the situation, gains knowledge and then speaks, so that he does not speak about Allaah without knowledge.
As, the person who gives judgment is an emissary between the people and Allaah; he conveys the Sharee’ah of Allaah as has been reported from the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam):
“The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets” [Ahmad (5/196). Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee and others]; and the Prophet (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam) has also said:
“The judges are three: (only) one of the judges being in paradise and he is the one who knew the truth and judged according to it.” [Related by Aboo Daawood with the following wording: “The judges are three; one of the judges is in Paradise and two are in the Fire. With regards to the one in Paradise then he is the man who knew the truth and judged according to it. The man who knew the truth and was unjust in his ruling is in the Fire, and the man who judged between the people out of ignorance is in the Fire.”]
Also of importance, when a new issue befalls you, draw your heart towards Allaah and feel in need of Him so that he causes you to understand and imparts knowledge to you; especially in grave and important matters, where many people remain in ignorance. Some of my teachers mentioned to me that it is befitting for the person who has been questioned on an issue, to seek forgiveness from Allaah even more; deducing that from Allaah’s statement,
Surely, We have revealed to you the Book in truth that you may judge between the people by that which Allaah has shown you; so do not be a pleader for the treacherous. And seek the forgiveness of Allaah, certainly, Allaah is ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):105-106]
An increase in seeking forgiveness necessitates the wiping away of the repercussions of sins, which is one of the causes of forgetting knowledge and becoming ignorant, as Allaah says,
So, because of their breach of their covenant. We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their proper places and forgot a good part of the message that was sent to them. [Soorah al-Maa’idah (5):13]
Imaam ash-Shaafi`ee once said:
I complained to Wakee` (*) about my poor memory.
So he advised me to abandon disobedience.
and he said, ‘know that knowledge is light.
And the light ofAllaah is not bestowed upon a disobedient.
So it is certainly possible that seeking forgiveness causes Allaah to give a person enlightenment.
All praise is for Allaah alone, and may He praise, send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and his Companions.
*Wakee’ Ibn al-Jarraah was a famous scholar from the Salaf and one of the teachers of Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee. He died in the year 196H