Shaykh Ahmad An-Najjar said, “All [perfect and complete] praise is due to Allah alone, prayers and blessings be upon the one after whom came no Prophet.
As for what follows, from among the many innovations that have spuriously come into existence over the years, and continue to do so even today, it is the following:
‘Absolute obedience for individual scholars regarding specific religious practices.’
This is usually carried out under the guise of ‘following the scholars’ – because it is them who have sifted through the traditions (hadeeth) and distinguished the sound ones (authentic hadeeth) from the weak ones (hadeeth).
It is them who have derived rulings from those traditions and provided us with that which is pure and kept from us that which is counterfeit and phony. They have studied historical personalities and read their biographies.
As such, we now do not need to commit ourselves to the research and perusal of religious texts.
Why should we believe that what they [the scholars] say is incorrect?
Whatever the great shaykh has pronounced is the final verdict!
Whatever proofs and arguments he has set forth are the only ones which are valid! All other statements, premises and derivatives are either weak or biased; or do not support the argument of those who object to the shaykh in any way.
Similarly, blindly following those [Salafi students of knowledge] who the eminent scholars endorse and submitting to their arguments is also mandatory; even if the action is erroneous in itself. Just because they know more than us.
This is how intolerant partisans have been spotted since olden times, like those who had bigoted partisanship (hizbiyyah) to Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafiʿi or Ahmad.
In recent times bigoted partisanship (hizbiyyah) and has been shown [by some Salafis] to certain contemporary mashaykh like Shaykh Ubayd Al-Jabeeri, Shaykh Muhammed Al-Madkhali and Shaykh Abdullah Al-Bukhari.
Had this matter not been so grave, I would not have mentioned names.
One of such partisans said, “This deed of yours demonstrates the level of your conformity with the directives and advice of scholars, especially senior ones, where you have not displayed any hesitation in following the principle of absolute obedience.”
Likewise, it is through this [incorect] principle/idea that the innovators from among the Takfiris (Khawarij of modern times) and other sects have been recognized. You shall find them having bigoted partisanship (hizbiyyah) with their imams and elders without considering the opinions of others with regard to specific religious practices.
This is not unlike the four schools of jurisprudence (the four famous madhabs) whose adherents conform to respective schools in terms of jurisprudential (fiqh) inquiry.
The same is the case of those who side with the three shaykhs (mentioned above) with regard to methodology (manhaj) and all those who follow the leaders of Takfiri thought with regard to rules, and similar approaches of partisanship.
The premises on which partisanship occurs as a result of someone’s
statement are of a nature which may or may not result in differences of opinion and are contrary to the Salafi creed.
The second of the two characteristics is acuter than the first. This is because it gathers its partisans (hizbis) against a religious principle [it may even be an incorrect principle] which is then metamorphosed into partisanship (hizbiyyah) that is prohibited and warned against.
It is the religious texts and objectives themselves, including general principles, that have prohibited absolute obedience for individual scholars.
Allah says, “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you.” (4:59)
Accordingly, Allah did not allot the right of absolute obedience to those in authority. This is the reason why the command of ‘obey’ was not repeated in the case of those in authority.
Adherence to scholars should be in accordance with the obedience of Allah and his Messenger. This verse demonstrates that absolute obedience is not for individual scholars.
Ibn al-Qaiyim says in Iʿlam al-Muqinin (48/1): ‘Thus Allah has commanded the obedience of Himself and His Messenger by repeating the command ‘obey’ thereby informing that the obedience of the Messenger does not require the verification of his commands by putting them to a test of conformity with the Quran; instead, whatever is commanded by the Messenger is to be obeyed independently and absolutely – irrespective of it being explicitly mentioned in the Quran or not. Indeed, it is the Messenger himself who has been given the book along with the like of it with it.
As for those this authority, their obedience does not hold an independent standing which is why the verb ‘obey’ has been omitted in their case whereby their obedience falls within the orbit of the Messenger’s obedience. This means that their obedience should be in conformity with the obedience of the Messenger and as such, whoever from among them commands to obey the messenger should be obeyed without reluctance and whoever commands to the contrary should not be obeyed at all as has been narrated from the Prophet himself where he says: “The creation has no right to be obeyed in matters where the Creator is disobeyed.”‘
Allah says, “And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (4:59)
Therefore, Allah has commanded the people to refer their disagreements to Allah and His Messenger due to their infallibility. This is why, whenever the Mujtahids are unanimous on a matter,
they do not refer it to the Book or the Sunnah, because Allah has affixed a condition of disagreement for one to be able to refer something to the Book and the Sunnah. The justification for the lack of referral to the Book and the Sunnah in matters where the community achieves consensus is that the community as a whole is in infallible. This is not applicable to individual scholars – their obedience cannot be absolute and independently governed.’..”
Ref: abuasmaa12.blogspot.co.uk via Salafibayaan.com
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie