How to harmonise between the refutation of one and the praise of another: Shaikh Muhammad ‘Umar Bāzmūl on Al-Jarh wat-Ta’dīl

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Shaikh Muhammad Umar Baazmool (may Allah preserve him said)

“The Scholars have stipulated that jarh is given precedence over ta’dīl – and they say that the one for whom trustworthiness and reliability is established with the Imāms then jarh against him is not accepted except with detailed [proofs].

And from their beneficial sayings is that the one for whom trustworthiness is not established and the Imāms have not affirmed his reliability then for such a person a generalised jarh is accepted. But the one whose trustworthiness is affirmed, then nothing is accepted against him except a detailed [evidenced] jarh…”

The Shaikh continued:

“Then the scholars say that if there is a contradiction between a detailed criticism and a detailed praise as you have mentioned in your question. So they say: A jarh (criticism) is not rejected except when the one praising mentions the reason for the jarh and he refutes it, such as for example the criticising scholar criticises a man for an affair related to his beliefs. So the praising scholar says: ‘Yes, he used to be upon that [false] belief, then he left that and he did not return to it.’ Or when a criticising scholar says: ‘He had not preserved this manuscript, so he used to narrate from his memory.’ So the praising scholar says: ‘Yes, he used to be like that, however he returned and heard from his shaikh [again] and the original [manuscript] was affirmed – and thereafter, he would not narrate except from his original [manuscript].’ So if the praising scholar mentions the reason behind the criticism of a person and he refutes that, then it is accepted with the condition: that this man who is being spoken about is not known for manipulating and playing around, and following desires and deception. It is affirmed that some people are praised in detail yet he is disparaged by the scholars with detailed proofs – so the one who is disparaged by the scholars in detail, and it is established concerning him that he is from the people who play around and manipulate and follow desires, and he is from the people of deception; and he does not submit to the truth and does not give weight to the truth – so in this case the speech of the one praising him, even if his speech [in praise] is detailed, we do not accept it due to what we know of the condition of this man. And Allah knows best.”


ماهى ضوابط قاعدة الجرح المفسر المقدم على التعديل


  1. Those innovators who have been refuted by the scholars with detailed proofs and evidences,  their criticism (jarh) is accepted and is given precedence over the general praise of other scholars.
  2. This passage and the principles contained within it show the futility of those who claim that the issue of the criticism of a man or a group does not revolve around whether there are detailed proofs or not, but whether there is ijmā’ concerning the one who is being criticised.
  3. Then this further refutes another futile argument wherein they say, “You can hold to the criticism of person but I am not compelled to agree unless there is consensus.” A person is compelled by the evidences that he is shown, regardless of whether ijmā’ is attained or not. The truth is not restricted to the majority or to an ijmā’, rather the truth is what is supported by detailed evidenced jarh.
  4. The one for whom trustworthiness and reliability is established with the Scholars then jarh against him is not accepted except with detailed proofs.
  5. Even if a Scholar was to make a vague or generalised refutation upon a person known to other Scholars for his Salafiyyah and Sunnah and steadfastness, then criticism of him is not accepted unless it is detailed with proofs.


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