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The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Ijtihad and Taqlid
  The Way of As-haab ul-Hadeeth and Their Following the Evidences
Author: Imaam al-Albaani
Source: Silsilatal Ahadith AsSaheehah (1/116) explanation of hadith 270 (trans. Abu Aisha Omar ibn Aly)
Article ID : MNJ060009  [31390]  

Perhaps some of the people find it unusual that these scholars have explained the "Taa'ifah Al-Mansoorah" (Victorious Party) and the "Firqah An-Naajiyah" (Saved Group) as being the scholars of Hadith. But there is no strangeness in that sharh if we recall the following:

One: The scholars of Hadith are without exception the most knowledgeable of the Sunnah of the Prophet, his guidance, manners, battles, etc. (may peace and blessings be upon him.) This is due to their particular study of the Sunnah and whatever is connected to it from knowing the biographies of the narrators and stories behind the Hadith.

Two: The nation has divided into groups and schools of thought that are not found in the first Muslim generation. For all of these mathaahib (schools of thought) are separate principles, branches, and certain ahadith that that specific mathab (school of thought) uses as daleel (proof) and depends on. The one who follows one particular school of thought is fanatically engaged in it, and holds tightly to it without taking a look at the other schools of thought. Although he should look because perhaps he will find in them what he does not find in his own. What is confirmed with the scholars is that in every mathab exists information of the Sunnah that is not found in other mathaahib.

Thus, the one who holds on to only one mathab will be ignorant of a magnificent other side of the Sunnah that is preserved in other mathaahib. But the scholars of hadith are not upon this. For they take any hadith that has been authentically confirmed on the Prophet through an authentic chain of narrators regardless of the mathab it was reported by. They accept it from the person regardless of what group he was a part of so long that he is a trustworthy Muslim that can be depended on for narrations of hadith. Additionally, authentic Hadiths cannot be rejected from someone even if he was a communist, Qadari, or Khaariji, so how much more so from someone who considered himself a Hanafi (person who particularly follows the school of thought of Imam Abu Haneefah) or Maaliki (person who particularly follows the school of thought of Imam Maalik) or other than that. Indeed Imam Ash-Shafiee made this clear, may Allah be pleased with him, when he spoke with Imam Ahmad and said: "You are more knowledgeable of the ahadith than me. So if the authentic hadith comes to you, inform me of it so that it would be my position, regardless if the reporter is from al-Hijaz, Koofah, or Misr."

Thus, Ahlul Hadith (People of Hadith), may Allah gather us with them, do not fanatically blind follow the statement of one person no matter how high this person was. This method is contrary to other than them from those who do not associate themselves or their actions with the Hadith. Indeed those people fanatically blind follow the statement of the scholars when the scholars themselves warn them of that. Those people blind follow these statements to the same degree the people of Hadith are zealous in accepting the statement of their Prophet. So there is no amazement after this clear explanation that the People of Hadith are the Victorious Party and the Saved Sect, rather, they are the middle-grounded nation, and the witnesses over the creation.


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