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228377: a seeker of knowledge conveys to people the fatwas of scholars in response to their questions, but he is not sure about the ruling on that


I am a beginner seeker of knowledge in Saudi Arabia, and some of my relatives in Syria have questions no looking for answers, so they asked me to find out the answers. For example, they ask about Witr prayer, and I tell them about your fatwa; they ask about the ruling on hijab and the evidence for it, so I convey to them the fatwas of the scholars such as Shaykh Ibn Baaz and Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen; and they ask about simple matters and I look for answers and ask the scholars so that I can send them answers and tell them how the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) prayed, by way of spreading knowledge. For most of the questions I respond by quoting your fatwas and the fatwas of Islamweb. Is what I am doing by answering every question something good, because I am worried that I have not reached the level of being qualified, but still I quote the fatwas and discuss with them and do research. Please note that if they ask me something that I do not know, I tell them straightaway that I do not know, without any hesitation. They ask a lot of questions sometimes, so what is your opinion? Please note that I search the net to find answers that I am certain correct, and I do not quote an answer until I am certain.

Published Date: 2017-10-05

Praise be to Allah

Firstly:

May Allah reward you with good for your interest in learning your religion and teaching people; we give you the glad tidings – if you are sincere towards Allah, may He be exalted, in your intention – of a great reward. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah and His angels and the inhabitants of the heavens and the earths, even the ant in its hole and the fish in the sea send blessings upon the one who teaches people what is good.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2609); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami ‘ (1838).

Secondly:

There is nothing wrong with you quoting to others what you have learned of knowledge, subject to the following conditions:

·        that you are certain that you understand the issues and are quoting from trustworthy sources of knowledge;

·        that you are certain that you have correctly understood what you are quoting, so that you do not make a mistake in transmitting it.

In order to transmit knowledge, it is not essential to be a scholar and mujtahid; rather it is essential to understand what you are transmitting, as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: O people, I may say something to you… So whoever understands it, let him speak of it and transmit it as far as his mount takes him, and whoever is not certain that he has understood it, I do not permit anyone to contribute lies to me. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6830).

Ibn Battaal (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“So whoever understands it, let him speak of it” means: on the basis of his understanding of it.

This is urging people who have good memories and a good understanding of issues of knowledge to convey and spread that knowledge.

The words “and whoever is not certain that he has understood it, I do not permit anyone to contribute lies to me” indicate that it is not allowed for people who are unqualified and ignorant to talk about matters they do not know and do not understand properly. End quote from Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari (8/459).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on giving a fatwa if I know the fatwa on a particular issue from one of the senior scholars?

He replied: There is nothing wrong with giving a fatwa by quoting the words of scholars whom you trust, but you should quote the fatwa by saying: So and so said such and such – if you are certain of what he said, and you are certain that the question that was put to you is what this scholar gave an answer to. As for giving a fatwa without mentioning the source, this is not appropriate, because if you give a fatwa without mentioning the source, it is as if you are attributing the fatwa to yourself. But if you are transmitting it from someone else, then you are narrating or conveying it and you will be safe from any repercussions of this fatwa and you will be safe from anything being attributed to you that you are not qualified to

 give a ruling on.

The one who is following the view of a scholar should attribute the words to the one whom he is following, and not to himself. This is in contrast to the one who  derives the rulings on an issue directly from the Qur’an and Sunnah when he is qualified to do that; there is nothing wrong with him attributing the fatwa to himself.

End quote from Majmoo ‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-‘Uthaymeen (26/409)

However, if you can discuss the issue you have been asked about and discuss the answer that you found out from reading the views of the scholars with a shaykh to whom you are close or an advanced seeker of knowledge, so that he can assure you that your understanding is correct and that the answer is applicable to the scenario asked about, that is better and more prudent.

If that is not possible, then do not  miss an opportunity, because of some fears you may have, to benefit those who ask you questions by giving them an answer based on the scholarly view that you understand.

See also the answer to question no. 103895

And Allah knows best.

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