Shaykh Ahmad Najjar said, “Venerating the statements and actions of some of the [Salafi] scholars falls into two censured issues:
One: Ghuloo (extremism),
Two: Taqleed (blind following their opinions or actions without knowing their evidence for their opinion or action).
Based on [these two], veneration has a number of manifestations, such as:
1. Giving precedence to their statements and actions over whatever the textual evidence indicates.
2. Bigoted allegiance to some of them over others.
3. Giving precedence to their statements merely due to desire.
4. Giving precedence to their statements out of fear of them, or in the hope of their recognition.
5. Necessitating people to accept their statements.
6. Making the condition that people make repentance before them…
7. The belief that those scholars are infallible…
How many people have fallen into veneration [of certain scholars and/or students of knowledge] without realising it?
Rather he may even argue for it while he thinks that he is doing good.
Some of them fluctuate between admiration and veneration. Admiration is to give a scholar his due estimation and position, whereas veneration is surpassing that.
Just as some of them [struggle to understand the difference] between referring back to the scholars and venerating them, as ‘referring back to them’ does not mean that they are to be venerated [but they mistakenly think referring back to the scholars means those scholars must be venerated].
Such veneration contradicts the principles and aims of the shareeah (Islamic Law); causes division; partisanship and then confrontation and hatred, leading the servant of Allaah to fall into obeying his desires.
Thus, it is upon every Muslim to have: awareness of Allaah in his intentions; to know that Allaah will ask him [about them] and to know that he will be in the grave alone.
Success is in holding firm upon the manhaj of the Salaf in reality and the scholars are to be admired and extolled according to the Divine Legislation, and their due right is to be given without excess or transgressing the limits. What landed people into Shirk (i.e. worshiping something other than Allah), was it not going to excess and extremes regarding the righteous people.
Allaah has shown mercy on Ahlu Sunnah for combining between wisdom and justice.
O Allaah make us of them [the Salaf] and upon their way”
Ref: salafibayaan.com and brixtonmasjid.co.uk
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie