Shaykh Usaamah Al-Utaybee said, “This philosophy (it is not obligatory to follow the scholars), which some of the people philosophize, it is rejected from its proponents, because obedience to the scholars and the rulers and obedience to the parents is obedience in that which is good. It is only obedience when they command with good.
As for obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, then it is an unrestricted obedience; whoeover is obeyed outside of Allaah and His Messenger, then he is obeyed as part of obedience to Allaah and His Messenger. This is well known and understood from the Quran. No one says that the rulers must be obeyed in everything, even in disobedience to Allaah and no one says that it is obligatory to obey the scholars when they err and slip up. No one says such a thing.
However, the speech that is said to cause doubt in the rulings of the scholars and which implies that the youth can make ijtihaad in affairs where they have no knowledge and that they can oppose the scholars (is when some) say, ‘That it is not binding upon us to obey the scholars’; this is from ignorance.
So for example, when the ruler, or the father, or the husband when he orders his wife in a permissible affair, or an affair that the people consider from goodness, is it obligatory for him to be obeyed at that point?
The commander, regardless of whether he is the husband with his wife, or the ruler with his constituents, or some the people with the scholar, then it is necessary that these individuals be obeyed, whether it is the ruler or the husband or the likes of that, regardless of whether it is in the affairs of the worldly life, even if he does desire this worldly affair.
Thus the person does not reply, ‘But my opinion is such and such,’ no! If the affair is permissible (mubaah), then it is obligatory to obey the ruler and the wife must obey her husband and the son must obey his mother and his father.
As for the scholars, then the obedience that is due to them is an obedience in the religion. Meaning, they clarify to the people what is halaal and what is haraam and they explain the ahkaam (religious rules and regulations) to the people and they clarify to them the rulings upon men, the rulings of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel. The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets and it is necessary that they scholars be revered and respected.
Allaah the Sublime and Exalted says, “So ask the people of the reminder (knowledge) if you do not know.”
Therefore questioning them obligates and makes it binding to follow what they answer from the truth and the guidance (when they have strong evidence from the Quran, Sunnah or ijmah (consensus) of the companions for their answer, it’s not a matter of ijtihad and it is not a ruling over which the scholars differ).
Therefore if you have asked a scholar ruling upon another man and the scholar makes jarh (disparagement) of him and warns you against him (with strong evidences from the Quran and Sunnah), it is binding upon you to listen to the speech of that scholar.
But if it becomes clear the scholar has erred and opposed the truth (in his ruling or jarh), or if another scholar has opposed him with proof (Quran and Sunnah), then (it is not obligatory to follow that scholars ruling or jarh).
…The Salafi manhaj says to follow the proof and follow the scholar who is the most knowledgeable if you do not have the proof or you do not know it…
Due to this, those who say that the obedience to the scholars is not unconditional, and they desire by this to reject the rulings of the scholars, they are bring about fitnah (trial, tribulation).
However, they say that as long as obedience to them is in goodness and it is in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, then there is no problem in that. Indeed, this is truthful speech, but the intent should not be to nullify the speech of the scholars.
Rather, it is obligatory upon the youth to be with their scholars and to stick to them, as the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The blessing is with your elders.”.”
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie