Questioner: When can I say, ‘I have established the proof against a certain person?’
Al-Albaani: Firstly, it is obligatory here that both people are taken into consideration, the one establishing the proof and the one it is being established against. If the one establishing the proof really is a scholar of the Book and the Sunnah, then this is the first condition.
The second is that he be eloquent and clear in what he says such that he is able to present the knowledge that he has to the people in a clear Arabic tongue, if he is an Arab, and if he is a non-Arab then similarly the situation does not go beyond what we mentioned of being capable of clarifying [what is required], as the Quraan indicated in His Saying, “And We did not send any messenger except [speaking] in the language of his people to state clearly for them …” [Ibraaheem 14:4] i.e., if the one establishing the proof has been granted eloquence and clarity in his language or in the language of his people and as we mentioned before has knowledge, it is then that he is able to say, ‘I have established the proof,’ [but] this is [only] regarding that which is in relation to him–the other side remains.
[Namely,] does the other person [against whom the proof is being established] have the understanding and perception and mental preparedness to accept–sorry, I made a mistake, [let me say this] so that you understand it clearly–is he mentally prepared to understand and not [just] accept, because the proof may be clear and plain, but is still not accepted by the one who turns away, or the mushrik, the kaafir.
But I want to repeat what I mean to say again, so: if he has the ability to understand the proof, then if the first condition is met in that person who is trying to establish/clarify the proof, and thereafter it becomes evident to this person that the one against whom the proof is being established has grasped the topic through his proofs and his clarification, at that time it is possible that he can say, ‘I have established the proof against so and so.’
I personally find it difficult to picture that the statement of a person that, ‘I have established the proof against so and so,’ is in agreement with reality, it is difficult for me to picture this situation. Because I don’t find–rather I can hardly imagine that the conditions [I mentioned earlier] be met in the one establishing the proof and the one it is being established against, for the issue may be defective on one of the two sides, and thus it is not correct to say, ‘I have established the proof against so and so,’ this is from one aspect.
The other aspect is [to ask] what is the point of the saying of the one who claims that, ‘I have established the proof against so and so?’ Is it to declare him to be a disbeliever? Declaring him to be a disbeliever … nothing will be the decisive boundary between him and disbelief except the sword, so if he chooses disbelief over the sword then he is a kaafir without any doubt, but as for us where today we live in a state of confusion and freedom which has no bounds, and a person is free to say and do whatever he wants, so we say what is the purpose behind saying, ‘I have established the proof against someone?’ is it to declare him to be a disbeliever? You can’t say that, ‘I have established the proof against him and so he is a disbeliever,’ because what we just mentioned stands in the way of that.
Thus, nothing remains except to entrust this person’s affair to Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, for He is the One who knows the reality of the one establishing the proof and the one it is being established against, i.e., [He is the One who knows] whether the proof has been established against the person or not. And your Lord is the One who knows what is in the breast of man and so He is his judge.
As for us, then we go by what is apparent from any Muslim who declares that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is His Messenger.
Only in an extremely rare case can I picture that [on one side] there is a real scholar of the Book and the Sunnah and that on the other there is the one who the proof is being established against and who has actually had the affair conveyed to him and has understood it but who then opposes it and disbelieves, such a person would be the one concerning whom it would be possible to say, ‘He has disbelieved.’ Even though in our society there is no major benefit which comes about through this, because the Sharee’ah laws are not implemented, this is what I have.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 24.