The Need For Returning To The Senior Scholars
Abu Abdullaah Ahmad bin Muhammad ash-Shihhee
His Book; Al-Wasaayah as-Saniyyah Lit-Taa’ibeena ilaas-Salafiyah p34-39 / Trans: Abu Mar’yam
The Scholars are the ones to be refereed to and turned to regarding the important issues; especially in matters that concern the welfare of the Muslim Ummah. If you look at the condition of the first generations from the Salaf as-Saalih, you would find that they were strict with regard to returning back to the senior Scholars that were alive in their time, especially in getting rulings that resulted in making Tabdee (declaring someone an innovator) or Takfeer (declaring someone a disbeliever). 
Look at the example of Yahyaa bin Ya’mar al-Basree and Humaid bin Abdur Rahmaan al-Himayree al-Basree, when the Qadariyyah (a sect that rejects the belief of Devine Pre-Decree) appeared in their time and they began to manifest contradictions to the Fundamentals of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah, which necessitated that they be declared disbelievers or that they be pronounced innovators and removed from the fold of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah. However, they did not rush into making a ruling against them. Rather, they went to those who held the position of being referred to with regard to issues of knowledge, from the Scholars. And he was Abdullaah bin Umar bin al-Khattaab (radhi’Allaahu anhu). So they informed him of what occurred to them and he issued a ruling to them stating the misguidance and deviation of (this group of) the Qadariyyah.
Yahyaa bin Ya’mar said: “The first person who spoke (deviant views) with regard to Al-Qadar in Basrah was Ma’bad al-Juhnee. Humaid bin Abdur Rahmaan al-Himayree and I set out to make Hajj or Umrah, and we said to each other; “If only we could meet one of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger sal’lallaahu alaihi wa sallam so that we could ask him about what these people are saying about Al-Qadar.” So Allaah granted us that Abdullaah bin Umar (radhi’Allaahu anhu) enter the Masjid. So I and my companions gathered around him, so I said: “O Abu Abdur Rahmaan, a people have appeared in our land that recite the Qur’aan and pursue knowledge…..[and he mentioned some points about them] …and they claim that there is no such thing as Al-Qadar and that it is rejected.” He responded: “If you meet these people, inform them that I am free from them and they are free from me. By the One whom Abdullaah bin Umar swears by, if one of them had the likes of Mount Uhud in gold and he were to give it away in charity, Allaah would not accept it from him, until he believes in Al-Qadar.” Then he said: “My father reported it to me.” [Saheeh Muslim No.93]
And look at the example of Zubayed bin al-Haarith al-Yaamee, when the Murji’ah appeared in his time and he saw that they had oppositions to the Fundamentals of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah, which necessitated that they be ousted from the fold of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah. Yet, he did not rush into making a ruling against them. Instead, he went to one who had the position of being referenced in religious matters in his time from the People Of Knowledge and Fataawah, those who took their knowledge from the seniors amongst the Companions, who in this case was Abu Waa’il Shaqeeq bin Salamah al-Asadeeal-Koofee. So Zubayed went to him informing him of what had occurred and Abu Waa’ill issued a Fatwah to him based on a text from Allaah’s Messenger sal’lallaahu alaihi wa sallam, which indicated the falsehood of the misconceptions of the Mur’jia and their deviating from Ahlus-Sunnah. Zubayed said: “When the Mur’jia appeared, I went to Abu waa’ill and mentioned that to him, so he said: ‘Abdullaah narrated to me that the Prophet sal’lal’laahu alaihi wa sallam said: “Reviling a Muslim is sinful and fighting him is disbelief.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari No.46 & Muslim No.218]
So if you were to compare between the condition of these people with regard to how they looked towards the People Of Knowledge in their time and between the condition of many of those who have become unstable in their repentance in this time of ours, you would find a huge difference between the two examples.
Those people (in the first example) strove hard to implement this rule, and they did not rush to make a ruling against those people of their time whose deviation became apparent, until they first presented their case to the People Of Knowledge, those capable of issuing rulings (fataawah) from Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah. So when they heard the ruling, they bit onto it with their molar teeth and distanced themselves from those deviants who were in opposition to Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah.
But as for today, then it is very rare that you can find those who strive hard to implement this rule. Rather, you will find those who have no concern for the words of the People Of Knowledge and Fataawah with regard to warning against the people of desires and innovations. So they wage war against the Fataawah of the Scholars and they distort their (intended) meanings. We ask Allaah to save and protect us.
 This does not mean that a Student Of Knowledge is not to rule on issues all together. What is meant here is that he should not rule on issues related to current occurrences, from the outset, especially those that are ambiguous from it. As for the clear issues, which are not ambiguous, then he not required to refer to them (i.e. the Scholar).
The Pious Forefathers (i.e. As-Salaf as-Saalih) of the Islamic Community of Believers are the Companions of the Prophet, sallal lahualaihi wa sallam, their Followers (the Taabi’een and the Taabi Taabi’een (i.e. the first three generations of Muslims) and the Scholars of the Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah after them who followed their way in belief and deed. Among them are :
Imam Abu Hanifah (150 AH), Al-Awzai (157 AH), Ath-Thawri (161AH), Al Laith ibn Saad (175 AH), Imam Malik (179 AH), Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (181 AH), Sufyan ibn Uyainah (198 AH), Imam Ash-Shafi’i (204 AH), Ishaq (238 AH), Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (241 AH), Al-Bukhari (256 AH), Muslim (261 AH), Abu Dawood (275 AH) and others.
Ibn Taymiyyah (728 AH), and his students: Adh-Dhahabi (748 AH), Ibn al-Qayyim (751 AH), Ibn Katheer (774 AH) and others.
Muhammed bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab (1206 AH) and his students.
And many other well known Mashaykh….
And in our time: ,
Shaikh. Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah Ibn Baaz
Shaikh. Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee
Shaikh. Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen
Shaikh Muqbil bin Hadiee
Shaikh. Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah Aalush
Shaikh. Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad
Shaikh. Saalih Ibn Saalih al-Fawzaan
Shaikh. Saalih Aalush-Shaykh
Shaikh. Abdullah Al Ghudayan
Shaikh Wasiullah Abbas
Shaikh. Rabee’ Ibn Haadee al-Madkhaalee
Shaykh. Abdul Azeez Raajhi
Shaikh Ali Hasan al-Halabi
Shaikh Mashoor Hasan al-Salman
Shaikh Muhammad bin Moosa Nasir
Shaikh. Ahmad Ibn Yahyaa an-Najmee‘
Shaikh. Alee Naasir al-Faqeehee
Shaikh. Badee’ud-Deen Shaah as-Sindee
Shaikh. Falaah Ismaa’eel al-Mundikaar
Shaikh. Hassan Abdul Wahab Al-Banna
Shaikh. Muhammad al-Ameen ash-Shanqeetee
Shaikh. Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee
Shaikh. Muhammad as-Subayyal
Shaikh. Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab al-Banna
Shaikh. Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab al-Wassaabee
Shaikh. Muhammad Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee
Shaikh Faisal Jasim
Shaikh. Muhammad Sa’eed Raslan
Shaikh. Hafiz Zubair Ali Zae
Shaikh. Shaykh Abdullah An Najmy
Saalih . al-Luhaydaan
Shaikh Yahya al-Hajoori
Shaikh. Muhammad bin Hadee Al Madkhalee
Shaikh. Saalih Ibn Sa’d as-Suhaymee
Shaikh. Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpuri‘
Shaikh. Ubayd Ibn ‘Abdullaah al-Jaabiree
Shaikh. Zayd Ibn Haadee al-Madkhaalee
Shaikh. Muhammad Ibn ‘Umar Bazmool
And many others and their students in the Muslim lands and non-Muslim lands……