Shaykh Uthaymeen said, “…There are some people who take the differences of opinion in matters in which ijtihaad is justified [like in issues of jarh wa tadeel] as a means of division and dissent, to the extent that they may even regard a brother as being misguided when they themselves may be the ones who are misguided.
This is one of the problems that have become widespread nowadays, despite the optimism one may feel at this [Islamic] awakening among the youth in particular.
This awakening may be spoiled by that and revert to a steep decline because of this division and you may see some of them, if his brother differs from him with regard to a matter of ijtihaad [especially ijtihaad issues related to jarh wa tadeel] concerning which there is no definitive text, feeling put off by him and begin to revile him and speak ill of him.
This problem is the greatest cause of rejoicing among the enemies of this awakening [the kuffar and ahlu bidah] – may Allah cause them to fight among themselves. It has gone so far that some people may hate a brother in faith more than they hate the evildoer – Allah forbid. This is harmful no doubt and the seekers of knowledge should put an end to this matter that harms us all.
Has revelation come to you from Allah to tell you that your view [in this ijtihad issue of jarh wa tadeel or anyorher ijtihad issue] is the correct one?
If no revelation has come to him to tell him that his view is the correct one, then how can he know that?
Perhaps the view of his companion is the correct one and he is mistaken. This is the reality.
Nowadays no revelation comes to anyone, but the Quran and Sunnah are before us. If the matter is open to ijtihaad, then each of us should be tolerant of his brother’s ijtihaad. There is nothing wrong with calm and beneficial discussion among brothers, but I prefer that the discussion between those who hold different points of view should not be in the presence of others, because others may interpret this discussion in a way not intended by those who are discussing the matter, and those who are discussing it may end up reaching an agreement, whereas others who are present may develop some resentment in their hearts even after this agreement is reached, so the Shaytaan may stir up enmity between them, in which case the problem still remains.
I say: May Allah reward Imam Ahmad with good for this excellent approach, that if the early generations differed about a matter concerning which there was no definitive text, then the matter is broad in scope and all opinions are acceptable.”
Ref: Ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘ (5/136-138)
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie