Shaykh Albaani said, “What is occurring now amidst the debates between many individuals regarding what has been called…or concerning this new bidah (innovation) called “al-Muwaazanah” (mentioning the good points of the person refuted) with respect to criticising men.
I say: Criticism either occurs in the biography of an individual which is a “historical” biography in which case it is necessary to mention what is both good and bad with respect to the individual.
However, when the intent behind the biographical detail of an individual is to warn the Muslims, and especially the general folk who do not have any knowledge pertaining to men and their defects – in fact it might even be the case that (this individual who is being warned against) might have a good and acceptable reputation with the common folk – however, he is concealing an evil aqidah or evil habits, yet the common folk do not know any of this about this man…In this particular situation this innovation, which has been given the title of, “al-Muwaazanah” these days is not employed. This is because the intent here is to give advice (to the Muslims) and the intent is not to give a comprehensive and exhaustive biographical details (in which it is permissible to mention both the individuals good and bad points).
Whoever studies the Prophetic Sunnah and Seerah will not have any doubts about the futility of making this innovated precept of today absolute (in all circumstances), which is “al-Muwaazanah”. This is because we find in tens of texts amongst the ahaadeeth of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) in which he mentions the evil aspect of a person in a situation that demands giving advice (to others) but it does not require presenting complete biographical details of the individual about whom the people are being advised. The ahaadeeth in this regard are so numerous for them all to be brought at this moment in time…
Certainly, those who have innovated the bidah of “al-Muwaazanah”, no doubt they oppose the Book and they oppose the Sunnah, both the Sunnah of speech and that of action (i.e. they have opposed the Sunnah of the Prophet, both in deeds and words), and they oppose the manhaj of the Salaf us-Saalih (rigtheous predecessors).
For this reason, our position is that with respect to our understanding of the Book of our Lord and the Sunnah of our Prophet, we associate ourselves with the Salaf us-Saalih.
Why? There is no doubt amongst the Muslims, in my belief, that they (the Salaf) are more pious, fearful and knowledgeable… and so on than those who came after them. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, mentions in the Noble Qur’an, and this is one of the proofs of the first aspect (of the meaning) intended by the examples given earlier, (i.e. from the ahaadeeth he mentioned earlier):
Allaah does not love the open pronouncement of the sayings that contain evil, except for the one who has been wronged. (A’raaf 7:148)
So when one who has been wronged says, “So and so has wronged me”, is it then said back to him, “O my brother, mention his good points as well?”
By Allaah this new misguidance is one of strangest of affairs that has occurred in this time and it is my belief that what has led those youth to introduce this newly-invented matter and to follow this bid’ah is love of recognition (fame). And it has been said in the past “Love of fame breaks the back…
For this reason, in summary, I say that perhaps this saying (of ours) is the justly-balanced saying amidst these arguments which are taking place between the two parties. It is differentiating between when we intend to provide a (complete) biography of an individual then we mention the good and bad points and between when we intend to give advice to the Ummah, or when the situation requires us to be brief and concise, then here we mention what the situation demands of warning, or declaring someone to be an innovator, or one who is astray, or even declaring him a disbeliever as well, when the conditions for takfir have been meet for that particular individual.
This is what I believe to be the truth…” Ref: The cassette ‘Man Haamil Raayah al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel Fil-Asr al-Haadir’
Also Shaykh Albaani said elsewhere, “This (Muwazanah) is the way of the Innovators.
When a scholar of hadeeth speaks about a righteous man who is a scholar and a jurist, saying about him, “He is poor in his memory”, does he also say, “He is a Muslim, and he is righteous and he is a jurist, and he is one who ought to be referred to in matters of deriving evidences for the Sharee’ah rulings (from the texts).”
Allahuakbar (Allah is the greatest)!
The truth is that the aforementioned principle is very important [but] it comprises a number of very important subsidiary matters (finer details) relevant to our times.
From where (did they derive this) that when the circumstance arises for explaining the mistakes of a Muslim, whether he is a caller or not, that it is necessary for a lecture in which his good deeds – from their beginning to their end are mentioned?
A strange thing! By Allah! A strange thing!”
Ref: “Al-Ajwibah al-Albaaniyyah ‘alaa As’ilah Abil-Hasan ad-Daa’iyah” in the “Silsilah al- Hudaa wan-Noor” Series (Cassette No. 850)
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie