Allāh, the Most High, says,
“And, this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may attain taqwâ.” [al-Anʿām: 153],
And He says,
“O you who believe, obey Allāh and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it back to Allāh and the Messenger, if you believe in Allāh and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. ” [al-Nisāʾ: 59],
And the Prophet (May the praise and security of Allāh be upon him) said,
“Verily, those who live after me will see much differing, so upon you is [to follow] my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs after me, cling onto it tightly, and bite onto it with your molar teeth.”
It is with such hadīth that Allāh and His Messenger have command us with, that when the scholars differ over an issue, we take from their sayings that which has evidence from the Book and Sunnah, and we leave that which opposes the evidences, because this is a sign of faith in Allāh and the Last Day, and this is best option for us and the best outcome.
If we take from the statements which contradict the evidences, then indeed it will divert us away from the path of Allāh onto the path of misguidance, as has been reported about the Jews and the Christians, that they took their Rabbis and their Priests as lords besides Allāh, meaning they obeyed them in making permissible (ḥalāl) that which Allāh has made impermissible (ḥarām), and they made ḥarām that which Allāh made ḥalāl. You can see most of the people today, if they see differences of opinion, they say to you: ‘this is a matter of difference of opinion, so there is justification in taking that which contradicts the evidence’. So what is the difference between this person and the People of the Book who took their Rabbis and Priests as deities besides Allāh?
Thus, it is obligatory upon these people to fear Allāh and know that when there is differences of opinion in an issue, this does not permit going against the evidence, even to the point that many of the ignoramuses follow recorded statements on the computer, taking verdicts which agree with their own desires without differentiating what is based upon authentic evidence and what is not, whether due to ignorance or their own desires.
It is not permissible for the ignorant person to speak regarding the legislations of Allāh based upon what he has read or what he thinks, while he does not know the extent of its authenticity and what its chain is from the Book and Sunnah. Allāh has not commanded us to refer back to just what is in the Book of Jurisprudence without understanding; rather, we have been ordered to ask the People of Knowledge since He (the One far removed from all imperfections) says:
“So ask the people of remembrance if you do not know.” [Al-Nahl: 43].
So it is not permissible for the person of desire to take his desires as his deity besides Allāh, by accepting the statements which he agrees with, and leaving those that he does not agree with.
Allāh, the Most High, says:
“And who is more astray than the one who follows his desire without guidance from Allâh?” [Al-Qaṣaṣ: 50],
“Have you seen the one who takes as his deity his own desire? Then would you be a protector over him?” [Al-Furqān: 43],
And it is not permissible for the one who has knowledge that the people seek from him that which agrees with their desires and thus misguiding them from the path of Allāh under the pretext of easing and facilitating, but rather it should be in accordance with evidence, lest he be from those whom Allāh says about:
“That they may bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection and some of the burdens of those whom they misguide without knowledge.” [Al-Nahl: 25].
May Allāh grant us all with beneficial knowledge and righteous deeds, and may the Praise of Allāh be upon our Prophet Muḥammad, and upon his family and Companions.
Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Fawzān al-Fawzān
Member of the Council of Senior Scholars