Questioner: Why don’t you speak such that your Jarh of contemporaries will be the same as or like the Jarh of the scholars of the past about weak or abandoned narrators, such that you say, for example, “So and so is a hizbi and weak and he is not to be taken from,” or, “So and so is a liar or a dajjaal or abandoned,” and so on, along with a clarification of the methodology of the man in terms of his Shi’ism or Sufism or hizbiyyah or tamyee’?
Shaikh Muqbil: That is something good but I am busy and I have projects [to do] which I want to finish and which I hold to be more beneficial, like [researching about] the Shaikhs of al-Haakim and the Shaikhs of his Shaikhs and his narrators whose biographies were not written in Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb, and [another project is] like the completion of, ‘As-Saheeh al-Musnad Mimmaa Laisa fis-Saheehain,’ and like, ‘Al-Jaami’ as-Saheeh Mimmaa Laisa fis-Saheehain.’
So I am busy and have fallen short in many things.
Numerous books come to me from here and there and the brothers who send them say, ‘We want you to refute them,’ so I say, ‘If I do it will be on cassette because I am busy with what I hold to be more beneficial for Islaam and the Muslims.’
And I regard, ‘Al-Makhraj minal-Fitnah,’ and, ‘Al-Musaara’ah,’ and, ‘Qam’ul-Mu’aanid wa Zajrul-Haaqid al-Haasid,’ to be books of Jarh and Ta’deel. In ‘Al-Musaara’ah,’ I spoke about the Sufis and the people of superstitious deviations, and the Mukaaramah [a branch of Isma’ili Shi’a found in Najran in Saudi Arabia and Yemen], and journalists and many of the callers to Hizbiyyah in Yemen. In, ‘Qam’ul-Mu’aanid,’ I spoke about Hizbul-Islaah and about hizbiyyah cloaked with [the title of being] ‘associations’, so I regard these to be books of Jarh and Ta’deel [that I have written].
And after [mentioning] this, I advise my brothers to completely dedicate themselves to seeking knowledge, because this differing which is present in the lands of the two harams and Najd between the people of knowledge comes from free time.
How easy it is to memorise some words [like], ‘So and so is a hizbi,’ or, ‘So and so is an agent,’ and then to go around relaying it from this gathering to that. Rather I want you to start by memorising the Quraan and memorising the hadiths of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم that you are able to, and similarly with the Arabic language.
So I say, whether they like it or not, this clash has come about between them due to free time—so if you were to occupy yourselves with memorising the Quraan and acquiring beneficial knowledge you wouldn’t have the time for such talk.
And someone came to me from the land of the Harams and Najd and all of a sudden he was saying, “The Shaikh … and the Shaikh … and the Shaikh …,’ [i.e., talking ill of them] so I said, “O so and so:
فَدَع عَنكَ نَهباً صيحَ في حَجَراتِه وَلَكِن حَديثاً ما حَديثُ الرَواحِلِ
So leave alone spoil by the sides of which a shouting was raised.
But relate to me a story: what is the story of the riding-camels?
[These are the opening lines from a poem by Imru’ul-Qais and are an, “Arabic adage used about someone who has lost some of his wealth, and thereafter something even more valuable than it is lost. Namely, ‘Leave the spoils which have [already] been pillaged from all around you [i.e., they’ve already been cried over so there is no point mentioning them now, instead], relate to me the story of the riding-camels you took [i.e., which are even more valuable than what was previously taken from me]: what became of them?’” [An-Nihaayah fi Ghareebil-Hadithi wal-Athar, p. 188.]]
[And so I said to him] I want to test you about the knowledge you had with you when you departed from us [for your journey], and so he started scratching his head and became silent.
So beware of squandering your time and wasting it with these issues. You should rather be diligent and strive to obtain beneficial knowledge and understanding of Allaah’s Religion. And anything which comes to us which opposes the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم we discard and disprove it.
Ghaaratul-Ashritah, vol. 2, pp. 410-411.