Q.The questioner was asking ‘how do we understand the chapter that we read today (chapter 38) about the impermissibility of taking the scholars and their statements over the statements of Allaah & His Messenger (Sallaahu alayhi wa sallam), how do we understand that and the fact that we read the books of the scholars and their different Islamic verdicts?’
A.The shaykh (haafidhahullaah) said there is no contradiction. There is no problem because the scholars that we take from are individuals who base their rulings and their fatawaa on that which is present in the Qur’aan & that which is present in the Sunnah. They base their rulings on the understanding of that which is in the Qur’aan & on the understanding of that which is in the sunnah. But that which was mentioned in the hadeeth of Abi were the scholars of Christianity, the individuals who said Allaah is one of three and the individuals who were saying that Jesus or Mesih he is the son of Allaah and likewise the scholars from amongst the Jews, the individuals who were saying the Hands of Allaah are tied, and the individuals who were saying verily Allaah is selfish and we are the rich. These were the type of scholars that the Prophet (Sallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) was referring to in the hadeeth of Adi bin Haatim. But the scholars of Islaam the Prophet (Sallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) has informed that they take the place of the Prophets. As he informed about the Jews he mentioned that every time a Prophet passed away Allaah would bring about a new Prophet. But there is no Prophet after the Prophet Muhammad (Sallaahu alayhi wa Sallam). So what did Allaah do? Allaah made the people of knowledge, the followers of Muhammad (Sallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) Allaah made the scholars from amongst Allaah made them them similar to the Prophets & the Messengers in terms of deliverance of knowledge and the likes.
But, the shaykh (haafidhahullaah) said if you have an individual whether he is a scholar or whether he is a ruler or whether he is a president. If you have an individual who says we don’t need these types of things, meaning things which are legislated from the religion. If you have a person whether he is a scholar or whether he is a ruler or whether he is a president and he is saying you don’t need these things from the religion, he says these things there is no need for them or he says because of the present state of affairs, in our present times we need to indulge in interest, or if you have a person that says for example that in drinking and eating and the likes of that its different forms of food and drink and even alcohol is permissible because times have changed. If you have an individual who says that things that are known from the religion to be impermissible, but now he starts to make them permissible then no. The people cannot obey that individual. The people cannot obey that individual and if they do so then they have taken them as a deity other than Allaah (azza wa jall). So there is no contradiction or misunderstanding in this chapter and it does not contradict the fact that we have to refer to our scholars to seek knowledge.
Shaykh Saalih Muhammad al-Luhaydaan (May Allaah preserve him) (Kitaab-ut-Tawheed Class, Q&A Session 06-10-2012, Riyadh)