Continuing from the Same Tape | 12 | True Mujtahid Scholars who Fall into Innovations Unintentionally are Rewarded

by The Albaani Blog

The Meccan Man: If you allow us, as a completion of this discussion [to discuss the following example], some of the people of knowledge whose usool are correct [may] see that a certain issue is an innovation because the basis whih the ruling [he made] is dependent on is reliable in his opinion, and another scholar does not see it as such because the basis for his ruling is reliable in his opinion [too], [this could be] because of the difference [that occurs between them] in declaring a hadith to be authentic or weak or for reasons other than that, so is it possible for us to term this as, ‘interpretative innovation [bid’ah ijtihaadiyyah]?’

Al-Albaani: I previously mentioned that if a man from the people of knowledge and ijtihaad [namely, someone who comes to an Islamic ruling through his interpretation of the texts] falls into an innovation then he is not blamed due to that, just like if he were to declare something haraam to be halaal–and this is something which is even more important than innovations: maybe a scholar will declare something that Allaah has forbidden to be permissible but through ijtihaad and without intending to [make something haraam, halaal].  So do we now say that what he says is halaal is [in fact] halaal because the ruling came from a mujtahid who is qualified to make ijtihaad?  We say no, the haraam  is haraam, and the halaal is halaal–but this mujtahid scholar … and he is not rebuked for having made a mistake for he is rewarded whatever the case … but [at the same time] this does not mean that we declare his ruling to be correct while in reality it is a total mistake.

And maybe it is more pertinent for me to say that when a mujtahid scholar falls into an innovation and in doing so opposes the Sunnah without intending to, I say that he has [indeed] fallen into an innovation but that he is rewarded for what has emanated from him, because it was based upon ijtihaad.

The Meccan Man: Maybe we can say, based upon what you just stated, that there are three conditions, in fact one condition, but maybe for elaboration [we can say that]: he has to be from the people of knowledge, and from those capable of doing ijtihaad, or that he has correct usool …

 Al-Albaani: … but is not from the people of knowledge …

The Meccan Man: … or that the basis for his rulings is correct, likewise he will not be from the people of knowledge unless the basis for his rulings is correct.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 785.