Shaykh Abdul Mohsin Ibn Hamad Al-Abbaad said, “The origin concerning the Muslim is ignorance (due to the fact his affair/condition is unknown)*, up until the integrity (i.e. uprightness, trustworthiness, steadfastness and salafiyyah) is confirmed, or its opposite is confirmed.
And if the origin concerning the Muslim was integrity, there would be no need to say that so and so is reliable (thiqah), or to say that he is trustworthy (’adl), or that he is such and such. That is because this is (would be) the origin.
However, the people speak with tadeel (praise)/tajreeh (criticism) and due to this they say that so and so is reliable and they say due to this that so and so is weak (da’eef).
So this does not mean that if no criticism is found concerning an individual that the origin then is integrity. It must not be said at that point, that so and so is reliable, merely because no criticism is found concerning him.
As declaring someone reliable must be based upon knowledge about that individual and familiarity with his condition (not simply just because no criticism is found concerning him).”
Ref: Audio recordings of the lessons on Sunan Aboo Daawood (no. 553) of ’Abdul-Muhsin al-’Abbaad via Sunnahpublishing.net
* Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee said, “No (it is not possible to call all the common-folk (non scholars and students of knowledge) of the Muslims Salafi), it is related to their condition and the country in which they reside.
One must look into the land in which they reside.
So if the majority of the people in that land and their origin (foundation) is like this (upon Salafiyyah), then yes. But if the majority of them are upon innovation, then no (we can’t call the common-folk of that land Salafi in general, but we can call specific individuals in that land Salafi after we know that specific individuals affair/condition).”
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie