Shaykh Albani said, ” It is not a condition at all that someone who has declared a person to be a disbeliever or has established the proof against someone, that [as a result of that] all of the people [i.e. the Salafi scholars, students of knowledge and laymen] have to be with him [that particular Salafi scholars] judgement of takfir(1), because he [the person’s situation] may be open to interpretation.
[Thus] another [Salafi] scholar may hold that it is not permissible to declare that individual to be a disbeliever.
[Also] the same [principle] goes for declaring someone to be a faasiq or an innovator [it’s not incumbent upon all the a Salafi Muslims to follow any individual Salafi scholars tabdee(2) or taafsiq(3) upon another Muslim].
This reality [making it incumbent upon others to follow a particular scholars ijtihaad ruling of takfir, tabdee or taafsiq upon another Muslim] is from the trials of the present day, and from the hastiness of some youth who falsely claim knowledge.
So the point is that this chain [of deduction] or making this binding is not incumbent at all [upon all the Salafi people. That they must follow any individual Salafi scholars takfir, tabdee or taafsiq].
This is an open/expansive issue, one scholar may hold something to be obligatory and the other may hold that it is not.
The scholars of before and those who came later never differed except due to the fact that the door of ijtihaad(4) does not make it incumbent on others to take his opinion, [making takfir, tabdee and taafsiq upon other Muslims is a matter of scholarly ijtihaad].
It is only the blind-follower who has no knowledge who has to blindly-follow [thus he follows a Salafi scholars ruling upon a another individual without knowing that scholars evidences for that ruling].
The scholar, who sees another [scholar] declare an individual to be a disbeliever, a fasiq or an innovator, but does not agree with his opinion—it is not incumbent upon him at all to follow that [other] scholar(5)…”
Ref: Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 778
1. Takfir – to declare another Muslim a disbeliever.
2. Tabdee – to declare a not Muslim as innovator.
3. Taafsiq – to declare another Muslim a open sinner.
4. Ijtihaad – to research through the Quran and Sunnah to come up with rulings upon different matters: both religious and worldly matters affecting Muslims.
5. My words – Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie -If two Salafi scholars differ over an ijtihaad coming from one of them relating to the takfir, tabdee or tafsiq of another Muslim, then it is also permissible for the students of knowledge or laypeople too differ in that particular issue and all be rewarded for following either scholars ijtihaad.
Shaykh Albani said, “…We make a statement regarding this which should be penned down and spread [and which is]: just as when, “… a judge passes judgment and makes Ijtihad and he is right then he will have two rewards. And if he makes a mistake he will have one,”.
Likewise the one who follows a mujtahid (a scholar who performs ijtihaad) comes under the ruling which applies to the mujtahid, i.e., someone who follows a correct opinion, the mujtahid imam was correct [in a ruling he made] and so he has two rewards–so this person who followed him in this correct [judgement] is also rewarded twice, of course [the extent of] the reward differs, but [still he gets] two rewards. The other person who follows another Imaam who was mistaken, then such an Imaam is rewarded once, and likewise is the one following him.
So when a dispute between the scholars occurs, it is not fitting, firstly, that it should be taken as a cause for splitting amongst them [i.e., amongst the scholars themselves] and secondly, it is not fitting that it should be a cause for a split amongst the people [students of knowledge or laypeople] because they are all rewarded, whether right or wrong.
This is how our Salaf as-Saalih were..” Ref: Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 799.
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie