If a person forbids someone from an evil, the one who is being forbidden from doing this evil says, “You do not know what is in my heart,” or they say “Who are you that you judge me?” So what do you say in regards to this?
In the name of Allaah, all praises are for Allaah, and may peace and salutations be upon the one [Muhammad] sent as a mercy to all of mankind and upon his family and all of his companions.
As to proceed: So before answering this question I would like to mention one thing related to your previous statement when you said: “The Shaykh Ahmad ibn ‘Umar Baazmool.” I am – may Allaah reward you – a student of knowledge, and I am not amongst the ranks of the major scholars. However, this is from your good thoughts (concerning me); and related to what was said, I would like that our Salafi brothers in Makkah, America and everywhere else, learn the affair of putting people in their proper places. They should not treat the students of knowledge as if they were on the level of the scholars. So I am a student of knowledge, and I ask Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – to aid me in answering that which you are asking.
So I say – may Allaah bless you – this person who says this type of thing, we say to him that you are upon error, because the Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – said:
“Whoever from amongst you sees an evil then let him change it with his hands, if he is unable then with his tongue and if he is unable then with his heart, and that is the lowest of faith.” [Muslim]
The point we are referring to in this hadeeth is the statement of the Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam: “Whoever sees.” So the evil which is seen with the eyes has to be stopped with the hand, and this is if a person has an authority and he has the ability to do so. If he is not able to stop it with his hand, he does it with his tongue. So he should say to the person, “this is an error,” “this is haraam,” “this is in opposition to the truth,” etc. This is the first thing.
The second thing is that the statement of this person “You don’t know what is in my heart,” we say just as Hasan al Basree – rahimahullaah – said:
“Eemaan (faith) is not outer decoration, nor mere hope. Rather it is what settles in the heart and what is affirmed by actions. Whoever spoke good and did righteous actions, it will be accepted from him. But whoever spoke good but did wicked actions, it will not be accepted from him.”
So if you have within you something which is good, but your action is erroneous, it is a must that this error be spoken against.
Then, thirdly, we say to these individuals: we were not commanded to look into what is in the hearts of the people. We were not commanded to ask the people, is this or that in your heart? However, the actual error that was done is rejected and clarified.
The final matter is that we remind you of the hadeeth of the Prophet – salla Allaahu alayhi wa sallam – in which he said:
“Verily the most detested speech to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is that a man says to another man ‘fear Allaah,’ so the (other) man says: ‘Leave me alone!‘”
[In another narration, he says: “Worry about your own self.” Al-Albaanee authenticated it in Silsilatul-Ahaadeethis-Saheehah (2598).]
That which is meant by this statement is that he is asking the person not to disapprove of what he does. So I fear that this statement (mentioned in the question) falls under this hadeeth, thus it will be trying to reject those who command the good and forbid the evil. And it is upon the Muslim who fears Allaah, if an evil that he committed is refuted, that he remembers and takes admonition, and that he leaves this evil, and completely stop.
From Q&A With Shaykh Ahmad Bazmool, Questions posed by Anwar Wright & Abu Yusuf Khaleefa
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