The Curse on Those who Give Fatwa Without Proper Knowledge
Nowadays, we can witness many persons, without proper knowledge and training, giving legal verdicts (Fatwas) on numerous issues. It is one of the gravest sins and attracts the curse of the angels.
‘Ali (radyallahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever gives Fatwa without knowledge, the angels of the sky and those on earth curse him.” [Ibn ‘Asaakir, Tarikh Dimashq 20/52]
The place of such an imposter is Hellfire.
It was reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The most audacious from among you at giving verdicts will be the most hasty from among you to enter the Hellfire.” [Ad-Daarimi 1/69]
The person issuing legal verdicts without knowledge bears the sin of those following him.
Abu Hurayra (radyallahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever is given a Fatwa that is not based on knowledge, his sin is borne by the one who gave the Fatwa.” [Abu Dawud 3657]
Beware of those who give Fatwas on all issues without proper knowledge. In fact our pious predecessors called such a person mad.
‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radyallahu ‘anhu) said, “Whoever gives Fatwa on all the questions people asked him is a mad man.” [Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Jaami’ Bayaan al-‘Ilm 2/154]
There is no light and easy issue in Islam. All the Masaail are important and must be given due attention.
Imam Maalik (rahimahullah) was once asked a question, to which he replied, “I do not know.” It was then said to him, ‘But the issue is a light and easy one.’ At this he became angry, then said, “There is nothing about knowledge that is light. Haven’t you heard Allah’s saying, “We will soon cast upon you a weighty word.” [Qur’an 73:6] Knowledge, all of it is weighty; especially what one will be questioned about on the Day of Judgement.” [‘Iyad, Tarteeb al-Madaarik 1/147]
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) warned us about this situation. We are witnessing the demise of the great scholars around the world.
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radyallahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Verily, Allah does not withhold knowledge by snatching it away from his servants, but rather he withholds knowledge by taking the souls of scholars, until no scholar remains and people follow ignorant leaders. They are asked and they issue Fatwas without knowledge. Thus, they are astray and lead others astray.” [Al-Bukhari 100 and Muslim 2673]
‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radyallahu ‘anhu), one of the greatest jurist among the Sahaba, made a somewhat similar prediction.
Ibn Mas’ud (radyallahu ‘anhu) said to the Tabi’un among his students, “You are in a time in which its scholars (Ulama) are many and its speakers are few. But after you will come a time in which its scholars are few and its speakers many.” [At-Tabarani, al-Kabeer 8066]
We end this brief article with the example of Imam Maalik (rahimahullah) showing clearly the state of a true Mufti at the time when he is being asked a question.
Imam Maalik (rahimahullah) said, “Whoever is asked about a religious matter, before responding he should imagine both Heaven and Hell before him and consider his outcome in the Hereafter. Only then should he respond.” [‘Iyad, Tarteeb al-Madaarik 1/144]
May Allah protect this Ummah from the imposters who are issuing Fatwas without proper credentials and knowledge.
[Shaykh] Ifran Nauyock