Shaykh Luhaydaan said, “Did the Quraish of Jaahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic days of ignorance – the time before the prophet Mohammed) and the leaders of shirk not have any good deed in their favour?!
Has any mention of their good deeds come in the Quran?!
Has any mention of their noble characteristics come in the Sunnah?!
Yet they used to honour the guest, the Arabs in Jaahiliyyah used to honour the guest, and would protect (the interests of) the neighbour (and other good deeds) but the good deeds of whoever disobeyed Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted, were not mentioned (in the Quran).
The issue is not one of counting and equating between the good and the bad deeds. The issue is actually one of warning from pending danger.
If a person wants to see statements, then let him look at the statements of the (classical) scholars such as Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Yahyaa Ibn Ma’een, Alee Bin Al-Madeenee and Shu’bah.
Did any of them, when asked about a person who had been criticised, after saying, “Liar”, then go on to say, “But he has noble manners, is extremely generous in giving out his wealth and performs Tahajjud abundantly during the night?”.
And when they used to say, “Confused, unmindfulness overtook him” did they used to add to this, “However, he has this quality… and this quality… and this quality?!”
(So) why are the people being asked these days that, when they warn against a person that they should say, “However, he has this (good) quality… and this (good) quality… and this (good) quality?!!”
These are the claims of the one who is ignorant of the principles of al-Jarh Wat-Ta’deel (criticism and praise of hadeeth narrators), who is ignorant of the ways and means to bring about corrective reform and ensuring that this corrective reform is not lost.”
Ref: Introduction of “Manhaj Ahlu Sunnah Wal-Jamaa’ah Fee Naqd ir-Rijaal wal-Kutub wat-Tawaa’if” of Shaykh Rabee bin Haadee
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie