Those who are preoccupied with criticism and warning are considered neglectful in seeking knowledge and neglectful in criticism.
If you look in the biography of Ibn Abee Haatim you will find that he is a major Haafith, in fact he was given the title Shaykhul-Islam, and likewise is Imaam Al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Yahyaa bin Ma’een, Yahyaa bin Sa’eed Al-Qattaan, Abu Haatim, Abu Zur’ah, Ad-Daaraqutnee, Ibn Hebbaan and Al-Haakim. They have authored beneficial authorship in Tafseer and hadeeth, and they have preserved for us the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah peace is upon him and his household. And they have authored beneficial books in Jarh wat-Ta’deel (criticism and praise), so this must be combined with that, otherwise the person will be neglectful and deficient.
And I ask you,
By which scale you weigh people if you are ignorant of beneficial knowledge, would you weigh them by desire or by what Shaykh Fulaan said to you? If the Shaykh retracted you retract and if he attacks a group you attack them.
This [knowledge] must be combined with that [criticism and warning].
In my opinion, the other party that is preoccupied with knowledge and did not pay attention to Ta’deel (praises) is better than the former party, because the former party is handling something that it is not within its capability.
However, this party [those who seek knowledge and reject Jarh (criticisms)] has abolished a vital aspect.
…And whoever discourages from Jarh wat-Ta’deel, he is discouraging from the Sunnah.
If there is no Jarh wat-Ta’deel, the speech of the caller to Allaah will be like the speech of Alee At-Tantaawee or Muhammad Al-Ghazaalee or Hassan At-Turaabee or Ash-Sha’raawee.
Ref: Fadhaa’ih wa NaSaa’ih p111-116 with abridgement.
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie