Questioner: What do you think about giving some general advice, O Shaikh, to the callers, namely, an advice about how to call to the establishment of a correct scholarly, methodology in Jordan?
Al-Albaani: Before everything, it is obligatory on our brothers who are eager to follow the Book and the Sunnah to study it in a precise, scholarly manner, with perception and the correct understanding, and [careful] deliberation from basing [one’s knowledge] on the personal opinions of those who regard themselves as having become from the students of this noble pursuit.
And in addition to studying this knowledge, it is also obligatory that every student be keen to act upon what he has learnt, so that his knowledge not be a proof against him on one hand, and so that Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, benefits the people through his knowledge [on the other].
Thereafter it is fitting that a third point be noted, which is that when we want to call the people to the guidance and light that He has bestowed upon us it is obligatory that we be gentle and not severe/harsh with them and that we do not make it appear to them as though we are more special than them due to this knowledge.
We have to regard all of the people who we see as being far from the prophetic guidance صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم as being ill. And there is no doubt that the non-physical illness sickness is more severe and harmful than the bodily one.
And if a medical doctor is supposed to treat his patients with kindness, such that many of them say that some patients become better just by hearing kind words from their doctor, then how much more so and how much more deserving it is that the student of knowledge, who has undertaken [the responsibility of] directing and guiding the people to following the Sunnah and following what the Righteous Predecessors were upon, be gentle in calling them, soft when dealing with them.
And if the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم reproached [the noble] lady Aishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, when she was stern when returning the greeting to that Jew who had visited the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم and who wickedly said when giving salaam, ‘As-Saam alaikum,’ [i.e., death be upon you]. So his salaam was not clear[ly recognisable] as being the salaam said by the Muslims and nor was it clear that it was a supplication for death upon the Chief of the Messengers. The Jew did not say it clearly and openly, and naturally, he would not have dared to have addressed the Prophet عليه السلام when the state [i.e., power] was his at that time, by saying, ‘As-Saam alaikum,’ [openly].
But due to the ignominy and the spite and the disbelief in the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that was in the Jew’s heart, he did not give the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as-salaam which is one of the Names of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, as occurs in an authentic hadith, but [instead] he mumbled it and said, ‘As-Saam alaikum.’ And it goes without saying that that would not be hidden from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم, so he عليه السلام, replied to him briefly, extremely concisely by saying, ‘Wa alaikum,’ [‘… and upon you …’].
As for the [noble] lady Aishah, who was behind the hijab, no sooner had she heard this twisted phrase coming from that Jew than she said, ‘And upon you be death and curses and the Anger [of Allaah], [you] brothers of apes and pigs!’ So when the Jew left, the Prophet عليه السلام said, ‘What is this, O Aaishah?’ She said, ‘O Prophet of Allaah! Didn’t you hear what he said?’ He said to her, ‘Didn’t you hear what I said, O Aaishah?’–and here is the point being proven–‘There is no gentleness in a thing but it adorns it, and it is not removed from something but it mars it.’ Bukhari no. 6602
So if the Prophet عليه السلام was like this with someone who spoke to that Jew in that stern way, i.e., Aaishah may Allaah be pleased with her–and she had the right to because she understood from the Jew’s statement that he was supplicating for death upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم–what then should our stance be towards our brothers who at the very least share with us in the two Shahaadahs?
There is no doubt that we must be kind and not harsh with them.