Questions to ‘Allāmah ‘Ubaid Al-Jābirī in 1996 regarding Jam’iyyah Ihyā at-Turāth and those Shaikhs who participate with them.
Questioner: The brothers in Britain see some of the Shaikhs here in Saudi, and they say: we have seen the likes of Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azīz Ibn Bāz (hafidhahullāh), Shaikh ‘Uthaimīn and ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbād – and it is as if that they co-operate with Jam’iyyah Ihyā At-Turāth; and others such as Shaikh Sālih Ibn Sa’d As-Suhaymī; and he went to America with Shaikh ‘Abdur-Razzāq for a conference organised by this Jam’iyyah. So based upon this they say: “Since these people co-operate with them, and [some of them] are major scholars, then as long as they allow us to give Salafī da’wah to the ‘aqeedah, then we should co-operate with them.” So what do you think of this?
Shaikh ‘Ubaid: Firstly, all of the Jamā’ahs of hizbiyyah – if they allow a Salafī to join with them, or to work along with them, then this is something temporary and not permanent. Secondly: They have to do this in order to attract people: the people in general, and the Salafīs in particular who are unaware of their state of affairs – so this is a principle with them which we know. Thirdly: If they get hold of this person and manage to get the upper hand they will pressure him until he drops some of the affairs of the manhaj.
They seek to utilise either his personal weakness, or monetary need. And the fourth matter is: That they will bring people who cover over or efface whatever these scholars and Salafīs put forward. So that if a person gives a Salafī lecture in ‘aqeedah and manhaj, afterwards they bring people to confuse and deceive the common folk. This is with regard to what you said about some of the shaikhs participating along with them. This has happened. Many of our brothers have participated.
Then there is another aspect: Those who participated along with Ihyā At-Turāth this is not a recommendation (a tazkiyah) for Turāth. They have their aims; or that the affairs have not become as clear to these shaikhs as they have to others.
And there is a principle here that will perhaps be known to the intelligent ones and the brothers in the faculties: a principle from the sciences of hadīth: The principle that if there is conflicting jarh (criticism) and ta’dīl (praise) over a person or group, then which is to be given precedence? If general ta’dīl is found conflicting with detailed jarh, then which is given precedence? Answer: the detailed jarh.
So for example, if you asked about a person: “What do you think about so and so?” And you received the reply: “He is a person whom we consider to be good; he is present at the Jumu’ah and congregational prayers”, and they mention some good qualities found in him. But another man comes and you ask him the same question, and he says: “What do you want from him?” So you say: “He wants to marry my sister, or my daughter.” So he says to you: “Beware, he has evil manners. His manners in marital life are not good.” So will you accept the ta’dīl (praise) of the first, or the jarh (criticism) of the second? Answer: the jarh of the second because he has given you additional knowledge. He has extra knowledge. Do you understand? May Allāh bless you. So this is a general principle. Do you understand? May Allah bless you.
Then we have a balance. We have two scales to judge sayings and actions upon. The peoples’ sayings and actions are to be judged by these two scales. These scales are affirmed by Ahlus-Sunnah wal – Jamā’ah. May Allah make me and you amongst them in life and after death. So these two scales are the revealed texts, and the ijmā’. So whoever is in conformity with a text or an ijmā’, then it is accepted from him; and whoever contradicts a text or an ijma’, then it is rejected. Do you understand this aspect or not, my sons?”