As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. I am sometimes in the habit of watching Islamic lectures on YouTube and I also tend to share some lectures on WhatsApp. However, I wanted to know who are accepted scholars and muftis that I should listen to, watch and share? I really don’t want to be misled and I don’t want to be responsible for misleading others.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
We commend you for your sensitivity in acquiring Deen. It is essential for every Muslim to ensure their source of Islamicknowledge is sound and reliable, especially when gaining one’s information from the internet where deviant ideologies are widespread. The great Imam from the Tābi‘īn, Muhammad ibn Sīrīn– may Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him – said:
إن هذا العلم دين فانظروا عمن تأخذون دينكم
“Verily, this knowledge is religion, so be cautious of whom you take your religion from.” (Sahīh Muslim)
In general, the person from whom you take your religious knowledge should be someone who adheres to the Sunnah of Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in creed and conduct, and to the path of the noble Sahābah (ridwānullāhi ta‘ālā ‘alayhim ajma‘īn).
Furthermore, the person from whom you take religious knowledge should be of sound character and a person of piety. The great hadith scholar, Yahyā ibn Ma‘īn (d. 233 H), said:
آلة الحديث الصدق والشهرة والطلب وترك البدع واجتناب الكبائر
“The apparatus of hadith (and religious knowledge) is integrity, recognition (amongst the scholars), pursuit (of Deenī knowledge), abandonment of bid‘ahs and avoidance of major sins.”
Some of the criteria we advise you to look for in order to assess whether a particular person should be regarded as a trustworthy and accepted scholar from whom to take knowledge of Deen are the following:
- He does not violate the laws of Shari’ah. For example, he does not attend events in which there is intermingling of sexes, he does not cut his beard short, he does not listen to music, he does not keep pictures of living things etc.
- He dresses in the Sunnah clothing.
- He is a graduate of a reputable and accepted institute of Islamic studies.
- He adheres to one of the four Madhabs (schools of thought) of fiqh, namely, the Madhab of Imam Abu Hanīfah, Imam Malik, Imam al-Shāfi‘ī and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.
- He has sound positions in ‘Aqīdah that are in accordance with what has been established by the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah, like Imam al-Tahāwī, Imam al-Nasafī and others.
- He is not a person of bid‘ah. That is, he does not hold any baseless religious beliefs, nor does he engage in any practical innovation in religion.
- He is recognized and approved by the ‘ulamā’ of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah, and those Ulama who are moderate and known for their taqwā.
Some of the scholars you may listen to are, Shaikh Zahir Mahmood (UK), Shaikh Sulayman Moola, Shaikh Sulayman Kahtani (S.A.) Mufti Ismail Menk, Shaykh Abdul Majid Iltaf.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Arshad Ali
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)