Selling Books and Tapes of Those Who Do Not Adopt the Salafi Methodology
by The Albaani Blog
Questioner: I work with Islamic cassettes, and I wanted to ask some of the people of knowledge about the responsibility of distributing the tapes of some of those people who do not adopt the methodology of the Salaf, they ascribe, for example, to some of the groups that we are aware of in the Islamic world, like the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon or the Tablighis and so on.
Some of them [i.e., the people of knowledge] ruled that I should not record or distribute these tapes at all and others said [that I should] choose those which I see to be valid and which do not openly oppose the methodology of the Salaf.
I’m still confused even now, and I ask Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to remove this confusion through what you see to be correct and through your direction in this issue, may Allaah reward you with good.
Al-Albaani: I have no doubt that the second opinion which you related from some of the people of knowledge is the correct one, because, ‘Wisdom is the believer’s objective, he takes it from wherever he hears it,’ even though this is a weak, inauthentic, hadith which some people in certain countries have become attached to, writing it on plaques and hanging it in prominent places in [their] sitting rooms on the basis that it is a hadith which is established from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم, but it is not established, [so even though this hadith is weak] it is sufficient for us that it really is a wise saying, and thus we act upon it and do not show bigotry towards our madhhabs, learning a lesson from the bigotry of those of the other madhhabs.
So we are the followers of the truth wherever that truth may be, and from wherever it comes, so wisdom is the believer’s objective, he takes it from wherever he hears it.
So when you come across an article or a piece of learned research from one of those groups which, unfortunately, does not adopt the methodology of the Salaf, but which contains a reminder by using Allaah’s aayahs … [using] some authentic hadiths of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم, then there is nothing which prevents one from distributing these pieces of research through recordings–as long as they do not contain that which opposes the Book and the Sunnah and the methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih.
And this is a problem which in reality is not confined to recordings but goes beyond that to written works which are more widespread than this recorded material.
So is it correct for a book distributor or seller to print that which is not in accordance with the methodology of the Salaf, and is it permissible for him to sell such books? The answer is that maybe no book is free of certain conflicting statements, and it is the following two things that have to be taken into consideration:
The first is that the book, or tape, is not something which is calling to a methodology which opposes that of the Salaf as-Saalih.
Secondly, that that in it which is correct be more than its mistakes, for as Imaam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “There is none among us except that he rejects [things that other people may say or do] and has his speech rejected, except for the person of this grave, i.e., the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).” So for this reason these two principles must be taken into consideration concerning recorded material and printing books and selling them.
And if you were asking about recordings which do not contain any opposition to the Salafi methodology then I do not see any objection whatsoever to distributing them just because the one talking in them is not Salafi in his methodology but rather is a khalafi, or a hizbi, or similar to that. This is what knowledge and fairness demands, and what the attempt to bring together the differences present today, unfortunately, between the Islamic groups demands. This in summary is my answer to what you asked about.
Questioner: As a completion of this issue, some of those who hold that such things should be prevented say that by distributing the statements or tapes of people such as these there is a recommendation [tazkiyyah] of their methodology as though it is an approval of everything that they say.
Al-Albaani: I think there is exaggeration in that statement. If we were to assume that a man wrote a book in which he gathered hadiths about the words of remembrance [dhikr] from Sahih Bukhari, all the while not being someone who is Salafi in methodology, how can such a statement be applied to him? And what is the relation between distributing this material and supporting his methodology? No, by distributing this book of his we are supporting our methodology because he tread our way by choosing that which is authentically reported from our Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم, so I think that such a statement is an exaggeration, and Allaah knows best.
Fataawaa Jeddah, 9.