Does Jarh wa Tadeel (Science of Criticizing and Praising) still exist today?
Shaykh Rabee’ bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee
Question: Some of the Scholars have mentioned that the science of jarh wa tadeel was specific to the time period of narrators, but now in the year 1420 there is nothing called jarh wa tadeel, so what is the correct position concerning this?
Sheikh Rabee: This, I swear by Allah is mockery, this from the things that make you laugh and make you cry, that speech such as this should be said. When the bidah increases and the disbelief increases and the Secularists, the Communist, the Rafida, the Sufis and the misguided groups increase, they hinder Islam and the people are given free rein to do as the like and they can say whatever they like and there is no one to say this is wrong or this is evil nor anyone to say this one is a trouble maker and this one is a doer of good?
This is a loss and a lack of understanding in the religion of Allah the Mighty and Majestic. So the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) authored books in Aqeedah and in these books they criticized the people of innovation and misguidance and the called them by name, the individuals and the groups; so has this ended also?
And we say; verily the innovators that were present during the time of the Salaf, they were contested and criticized and their misguidance was made clear, and now its not permissible, its haram, now speaking against the people of bidah is haram and speech against the secularist is haram and speech against the heretics and speech against the Rafida is haram and speech against the Sufis is haram?
Masha Allah, is this a call to uniting the religions or what? We seek Allahs forgiveness and repent to Him, this is misguidance, it is obligatory that jarh wa tadeel remain to defend the religion of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah until the Day of Judgment. And to withdraw the swords is more than that, in order to make the statement of Allah the Blessed and Exalted the highest, and to defend against disbelief and falsehood.
And the Salaf used to say, verily defending the Sunnah is better than fighting with the sword, and defending the Sunnah is done with jarh wa tadeel.
And in line with this I say to you, Verily Al Hakim (Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Hakim al-Nishaburi) may Allah have mercy upon him, in his book knowing the science of hadith said, and his speech is the truth, jarh wa tadeel is two sciences the science of jarh (criticizing) and it is an independent science and this refutes the false minhaj of mentioning the good with the bad. The science of jarh is an independent science, and for this reason many of the Imams wrote books with just jarh (criticizing) in them.
They specified these books with jarh such as Bukhari in his book the Weak Narrators and An Nasaai in his book Al Matrukeen. And ibn Haban in his book Al Majruheen and ibn Adi in his book Al Kaamil and in a like fashion Ad Dhabi and ibn Hajr and other than them, many others have authored works specifically in the field of criticizing because it is an independent science. And this breaks the back of the minhaj of mentioning the good along with the bad and it breaks the back of the people who follow this minhaj.
And other Imams authored books about reliable narrators, such as the reliable narrators by Al Ajali and the reliable narrators by ibn Haban, have you understood this? If the Salaf believed that jarh wa tadeel was two separate sciences then how can there be mentioning the good along with the bad? One of them would author a book specifically in criticizing and there would not be in it any opening for mentioning the good along with the bad, have you understood this, may Allah bless you.
Jarh wa tadeel remains until the Day of Judgment, so when the people want to benefit from this scholar we say, this is a noble scholar upon the Sunnah, giving him recommendations; may Allah bless you.
And this scholar is a Rafida, this one is a Sufi he says that Allah is one with His creation, this one is a secularist, this one is communist hiding behind Islam, this one is like this, and this one is like that.
It is obligatory upon you to make this clear this is an obligation and it is from jihad and it will not cease and it is not specific for the narrators.
And when Tirmidhi mentioned in Al Ella the one that is at the end of his Sunan he said this knowledge, meaning that the people were condemning the Scholars who criticize hadith, he said surely so and so has been criticized and so and so has criticized Mubud Al Jahni and so and so has criticized Jaabir Al Jafy, therefore he began with the people of bidah, why; because this was to criticize his bidah not because he was a narrator.
Then the Salaf authored books to refute the people of bidah like we have mentioned and they did not specify jarh wa tadeel for the narrators only, the innovator is never from the people of hadith. The mutazali, the jahmi, the Murji and the rest of them have no connection to the narrators, rather they are innovators so they were criticized.
So from where do they say that the door for jarh wa tadeel has been closed? This is like the call of those who are bigoted towards the madhabs. They say the door for Ijtihad has been closed since the second generation, and some of them say since the third and some say since the fourth, meaning it is finished. Allah the Mighty and Majestic paralyzed the intellects of the Muslims from that time until now, their minds are paralyzed and they are not able to understand the speech of Allah or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings are upon him. This judgment is unfair and a lie against Allah the Blessed and Exalted.
And in a like fashion is the slander of the one who says, jarh wa tadeel has ended and its doors have been closed. This I swear by Allah is a crime against Islam, fear Allah my brother don’t block the door of jarh wa tadeel; and the people of truth and the people of the Sunnah will not listen to you.
Source : salaf-us-saalih.com
The above is a summary translation taken from Rabee.net
Translated by brother Rasheed Barbee hafithahullaah @
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