Some Matters May Be Unknown to the Seniors (1)
The virtuous Shaykh, Al-Allamah Rabee al-Madkhali حفظه الله said:
A man may praise [people] – and he (this man) is virtuous – based upon what is apparent, [but] he is not aware of the reality of what these people are upon. [Another] person comes along and studies their books and studies their reality, and finds that the one who praised these people has unknowingly fallen into a mistake [when] he praised them based upon what was apparent.
This has happened to the great Imams. So, how many people there were whom Imam Ahmed had praised. [However], his students who did not reach his level knew what these people were upon and they knew that these people had issues which necesssiated that they be rebuked and criticised, and thus [these students] renounced these people even though Imam Ahmed رحمه الله had praised them. And Al-Shafi’i praised some people while others criticised them. The criticism made by these other people – a detailed one built upon knowing the reality – was given precedence over the statements of the Imams who praised based upon what was apparent to them.
[مجموع كتب ورسائل وفتاوى العلامة المجاهد الشيخ ربيع بن هادي عمير المدخلي، 251-250 / 4]
Translator: Yasar A. Rahman