Sincere refutation is part of forbiddance of evil that Allāh has described the Ummah of Islam with and consequently the scholars of Sunnah have not ceased to refute whoever errs amongst themselves not to talk of the inveterate and recalcitrant innovators whose actions and statements tend to destroy the deen.
In order to safeguard the prestine Islam scholars of Sunnah continuously defend it and protect it from any form of alteration and adulteration by refuting whomever misses the point.
Nevertheless, when a Sunni is refuted the intention is to get him back on track. But if he stubbornly persists on his blatant error, some amount of harshness is applied so as so to make him quickly retrace his step. An example of this is how Ibn Umar related with his son who insisted on preventing their women from coming to the mosque when his father told him that the Messenger of Allāh, sallā Allāhu alayhi wa sallam, said they should not be prevented. Ibn Umar noticing in him a kind of obstinacy said, ” I am relaying a message to you from the Messenger of Allāh and you are still telling me you would prevent them” Consequently Ibn Umar avoided talking to him until he died. This is the report of Ahmad; in the report of Muslim:
” HeRefutations Should Be Based on Knowledge and Sincerity abused him in such a way that he had never abused him like that before”.
You can see the gīrah of Ibn Umar for the Sunnah despite the fact that the one he was relating with was a Sunni like himself, in fact a biological son of his.
Another example of this gīrah is the harshness of Umar on Samrah bn Jundub when the latter collected khamr as tax from the people of the Book and sold it. Umar,may Allāh be pleased him, said: ” May Allāh destroy Samrah! Didn’t he know that the Messenger of Allah, sallā Allāhu alayhi wa sallam, said: ” May Allāh curse the Jews! The fat [ of animals] was prohibited to them, so they melted it and ate its price.”
Umar said this out of his love for the Sunnah; in addition he felt a person in the calibre of Samrah should be very aware of the prohibition of the selling of intoxicants. He said what he said despite the fact that the one he was talking about was a Sunni and not only that he was also a companion of the Prophet, sallā Allāhu alayhi wa sallam.
Many other examples abound in the history of the Muslims.
Refutations are also common among the later scholars of Sunnah. Sheikh Humūd at-Tuwaijiri refuted sheikh al- Albāni on the issue of niqāb and there was a counter refutation. Both refutations were accompanied by harsh words from both sides. Both scholars later met and related in the best way two Sunni scholars would relate with each other with love and affection to the extent that sheikh at-Tuwayjiri later said ” Abusing al-Albāni is abusing the Sunnah”
Sheikh Ibn Bāz refuted sheikh al-Albāni on the issue of urūd at-tijārah with a harsh word as contained in ” Al-Hulal al-Ibriźīyyah fi Ta’liqāt al-Bāziyyah ‘Ala Sahīh al-Bukhāri”
Sheikh at-Tuwaijiri in one of his books also refuted sheikh Ibn al-Uthaimeen on the issue of ma’iyyah of Allah when sheikh al-Uthaimeen took it to mean ma’iyyah dhātiyyah. Sheikh Ibn Bāz did not hesitate to write a forward for the book; in fact he asked people to speak to sheikh Ibn al-Uthaimeen to write a recantation in order to stop the students of knowledge from attacking him.
Another example is what transpired between sheikh Bakr Abu Zaid and sheikh al-Albāni: series of refutations and counter refutations accompanied with some harshness at times.
There are so many examples for this in the books and audios of the contemporary scholars of Sunnah wherein scholar bakr would refute scholar amr sometimes with harshness and sometimes with softness all in an attempt to protect the Sunnah.
Hence, a scholar of Sunnah refuting another scholar of Sunnah should not be a headache if they are both sincere and ready to bend for the truth whenever it is clear to them and both of them do not refute each other for refuting sake or to just promote themselves as if it is a football match.
Written by: Sheikh AbdulGaniy Jum’ah, Hafidhahullah.