Busying oneself with refutations
Shaykh Ubayd ibn `Abdillaah al-Jaabiree
Translator: Nadir Ahmad, Abu Abdul-Waahid
Reference: Audio Tape: Al Hadul Faasil/4th question
O noble shaykh, lately people have busied themselves with books and tapes that contain refutations while being negligent of gaining knowledge. If someone was to advice and encourage the youth to seek knowledge, he may be categorized as one of the followers of fulaan or ‘illaan (so and so or so and so). So what are the regulations in this matter, and what is your advice in dealing with these youth as it relates to this issue, and can you give some general advice to the youth on seeking knowledge?
I have already answered parts of this question, baarak Allaahu feekum, and you know which books I advised you to obtain and which books I warned you against. And I have already explained to you what knowledge of the Sharee’ah is (Review Dealings with the people of innovations)
. So what I will add here is:
Rudood, (refutations) are a branch from the branches of Da'wah. From amongst its benefits are: The spreading of Sunnah, the repelling of Bid'ah and it purifies Ahlus Sunnah from the danger of the people of innovations. I do not know of any scholar from the scholars of Ahlus sunnah, let alone an Imaam, that prohibits refutations, never! They don’t prohibit it altogether, but they prohibit it in certain circumstances. If a scholar sees that his students or the people of his country have left off the knowledge of 'Aqeedah, 'Ibaadah (worship), and Mu’aamalah (dealings between people) and they turned to refutations, then of course he would warn them and say: “Do not busy yourselves with refutations.” Meaning do not occupy all your time with refutations.
By this statement he wants from his students, his beloved ones from his countrymen and other than them and all those whom have gathered together because of the Sunnah and the love of each other for the pleasure of Allaah, he wants one of two things from them:
The first is:
The attainment of knowledge. If you look at the scholars who have warned against innovations and its people, refuted the doubts of the Mubtileen , preserved this religion from the deviance of the Ghaleen , the pretences of the Mubtileen and the ta-weel  of the ignorant ones; you would find that they speak with knowledge, not with affection. Likewise those that inherited them from their children, grandchildren and brothers are upon the same way, and this is because they are intent on implementing what the messenger of Allaah, sAllaah Allaahu 'allayhi wa sallam, has informed of: "Whomsoever Allaah wants good for, He will grant him fiqh (understanding) in the religion." The people of knowledge explain this hadeeth by saying: “And whomsoever Allaah does not want good for, He will not grant him fiqh in the religion.” And this is the correct understanding of the hadeeth.
The second is
that they only read refutations according to their ability/only to a certain extent, so as it does not occupy them from gaining knowledge. I’m sure you all know that the messengers, 'alayhim assalaat was salaam, did not leave an inheritance of wealth, rather they left an inheritance of knowledge, and whoever takes from it [knowledge], has taken a large portion [of the inheritance]. This is the advice of our Prophet, sAllaah Allaahu 'allayhi wa sallam.
Based upon this, those who read refutations are of different categories…
is one who has the capability of reading refutations and gaining knowledge at the same time. This type of person is not to be refuted, he is to be supported and one should ask Allaah to bless his efforts, as long as he has the ability to gain knowledge in various issues, whether they are complex or basic, large or small. He is not to be discouraged and it is not permissible to discourage him, as long as he doesn’t neglect the seeking of knowledge.
The second type
is one who has no interest in gaining knowledge, rather all he is concerned about is what’s going on, so and so said this and so and so said that. This one we should be harsh with, not because he is practicing an innovation, but for of his own benefit. It should be said to him:
“You have neglected something that is more important than this (refutations).”
If the scholars passed away, those whom Allaah has used to fight off and defeat innovations and its people and were mountains of knowledge, if they pass away, who would inherit them if we didn’t have any knowledge!!? Would the ignorant inherit them my sons!? Are the ignorant suitable for ruling, leading and guiding the people after them!? Never! They will be misguided and they will misguide the people. So from this perspective we are to be harsh on this brother of ours, and it should be said to him:
“Fear Allaah! You have dedicated most if not all of your time on refutations. And it was enough for you to know that Imaam so and so, or so and so from amongst the scholars has refuted so and so from the people, exposed his state and uncovered his disguise to show what he was upon as it relates to innovations and misguidance, that was enough for you."
And I say, me personally, I haven’t read everything that Shaykh Rabee’ has written on Sayid Qutub. May Allaah preserve him (Shaykh Rabee’) and the rest of the scholars of Islaam and the Sunnah, during their life and after their death. I haven’t read it all, but I understood it. I read part of it, so I understood the rest. This is because Shaykh Rabee’ to me is a flag bearer, he raises with it the banner of the Sunnah and he defends it and its people. And he has never raised it (the banner), and to Allaah belongs all praise, against an opponent of the Sunnah, except that the flag returned victorious, strong and sustained, without relenting or softening, and with it the people of Bid'ah, misguidance and their devils have been exposed, wa lilLahil hamd. So it is enough for me that Shaykh Rabee’ has refuted so and so, or Shaykh Muhammad Ibnu ‘Uthaymeen has refuted so and so, that’s enough for me!
The third type
is one who doesn’t really know what’s going on. This one, we are to stand by him, and show him what the scholars of the sunnah confronted the devils of misguidance and the leaders of innovation with, so that he may be upon knowledge [of these issues] and so he is not caught unaware. This is the correct Manhaj may Allaah bless you. I’ll give you an example…
...I’ll give you an example, the Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, whom you know well, when he was asked about the books of Sayid Qutub, he said:
“I don’t know them, I didn’t read his books a lot, I only read a little when I was younger.”
And once he said:
“What our brother Shaykh Rabee’ has said about them is sufficient for us.”
So he referred you where to go, did you understand, he directed you. His last stance in this matter is his saying, may Allaah have mercy upon him:
" If it was not for the fear of Allaah, we would have judged Sayid Qutub to be a kaafir!"
Say that ‘Ubaid Al Jabiree has narrated this to you, do you know my name or not? ‘Ubaid ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Sulaiman Al Jabiree, a former lecturer in the University of Madeenah. May Allaah preserve the Islaamic University and the Universities of the Muslims from all evils. D. ‘Abdullaah ibn Musallam from the people of ‘Unayzah has narrated this news to me. So you say:
“Shaykh 'Ubaid Al Jabiree has narrated to us that D. ‘Abdullah narrated to him...”
And you have understood the narration.
So what I mean is: I forbid you, my sons, from being extreme, I forbid you from it and I order you with leniency. If someone forbids me from occupying myself with rudood while leaving off matters of knowledge, I won’t be harsh upon him, I wont be harsh upon him if I know he is from the people of the Sunnah, I know that he wants to advise me, and he wants me to gain knowledge.
Yes, the people of innovations, they are the ones who forbid from refutations altogether,
“Leave refutations, forget about refutations, it’s a waste of time and it occupies you from gaining knowledge…”
They forbid it altogether.
But the people of the Sunnah do not forbid it altogether, even if they do say this at one time, most of the time they mean the first way that I have explained, we know this from their state and from their sayings.
For example, when Shaykh Ibnu ‘Uthaymeen (رحمه الله) says to his students, his country men and Muslims in general:
“Don’t occupy yourselves with refutations.”
What is his state? He is upon the Sunnah, he establishes it, calls to it and defends its people according to his ability.
So the circumstance in which a statement is said reveals what is intended by it, the circumstance will show you what is meant by a statement.
So if an Ikhwaanee, Banaa-ee, Surooree, Qutbee or Tableeghee was to say to you:
“Don’t busy yourselves with refutations, they are a waste of time and they occupy you from seeking knowledge.”
Put on a big question mark on him. What does he want from you? He wants to circulate his Bida’h, and pave the way for its propagation, and misguide the people of the Sunnah.
So with this it becomes clear now that those who forbid refutations are of two types:
The first type
are from Ahulus Sunnah and they do not forbid refutations in totality.
The other type
are from Ahulul Bid’ah, and they are the ones who forbid it in totality. Ahlul bid’ah are known to us, we know the Ikhwaan al Muslimeen, we know the Tableeghees, the Suroorees, the Qutbees, the Hizbees, we know them. So if the one who forbids us from refutations is from them, then he has no honor or position with me, I have nothing to do with him. But if he is from Alulus Sunnah, what I am upon, then what he means is clear, Baarak Allaahu feekum, it’s clear.
 Those who try to invalidate the Quraan and the Sunnah.
 Changing the apparent meanings of either the Quraan or the Sunnah without a legislated proof.