Assalamu alaikumMy question is regarding the concern of many Muslims who have blogs online and have taken it upon themselves to answer questions and give Islamic advice to other Muslims without any Islamic knowledge/degree. These questions come in the form of anything from TAWHEED, sharia, sins, issues with deen, tafseer of Quran, explanation of ayats etc...I am finding more and more young Muslims writing and giving their opinions based only on research they have done on Google or likewise. They are not alims or students of knowledge, these Muslims are regular people who may or may not have even graduated high school yet when they are asked about issues in deen they are quick to reply and Jump to answer questions. When they are questioned about their actions they say " I am only giving advice, I am only trying to help people!" I have In many situations been warned that speaking without knowledge is a big sin because the bad that can come from it. Oh sheikh, please by the help of ALLAH enlighten us regarding this. Is this practice among our youth acceptable or is it not, and how can we help give proofs that this is not acceptable? Also what is the punishment for those who speak without knowledge and what warnings has the prophet and ALLAH said against this action. May Allah reward all of you who read and respond and may Allah Azza wa jall accept your efforts and make your resting place a garden from Jannah
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
We previously underlined in Fataawa 270430 and 145205 the gravity of issuing Fatwa without knowledge. However, there is no objection to copying Fataawa from a reliable website so that people benefit from them, provided that the person copies the Fatwa without making any changes to it and that he attributes it to the source that issued it and refers the questioner to the original Fatwa on the website, for instance.
We have also highlighted in Fatwa 103070 the difference between the role of a Mufti and that of a preacher or caller to Allaah. Preaching Islam is valid even if it is with only one verse from the Quran or a single Hadeeth; but there are certain requirements which must be met in order for one to be eligible to issue Fatwa.
What we can add in this regard is that if those bloggers who write about Islam to whom you referred in the question are actually writing about Islam as preachers and callers to Allaah and not as Muftis by issuing Fataawa themselves, then we say that striving to guide others to Allaah is one of the most rewardable acts of worship and one of the greatest means of drawing closer to Allaah. Islam strongly encourages Muslims to preach Islam and guide others to Allaah. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “By Allaah, that Allaah guides one man by you is better for you than red camels.” [Al-Bukhari]
Preaching Islam and guiding others to Allaah does not require possessing comprehensive Islamic knowledge of all matters of the religion on part of the preacher or caller to Allaah. Rather, one should preach whatever religious knowledge he possesses. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Inform about me even one verse (from the Quran).” [Al-Bukhari]
Hence, there is no harm if the blogger receives a question pertaining to the interpretation of a given verse or Hadeeth and he answers it by citing the scholarly views and statements copied from reliable sources, or offers advice to a sinner to have Taqwa and fear Allaah, using relevant Saheeh (sound) or Hasan (good) Ahaadeeth as support. In fact, he is thus doing a righteous deed and is rewarded for it, and he has not exceeded the limits in issuing Fatwa. The same applies if he is asked about any given religious matter and he answers with the relevant supportive Islamic texts or the scholars' views and statements that he knows. This does not require that the person be a scholar.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said about the requirements of issuing Fatwa for scholars, and the legitimacy of a Fatwa by a lay person: “The third opinion is that that is permissible in case of need and in the absence of a scholar who is a Mujtahid; and it is the most correct opinion, and it is in agreement with practice. The Qaadhi said: "Abu Hafs said in his commentary: I heard Abu ‘Ali Al-Hasan ibn ‘Abdullaah An-Najjaad relate that Abu Al-Husayn ibn Bishraan said, I would never rebuke a man who memorized five legal opinions (Fataawa) on the authority of (Imaam) Ahmad and sat in the mosque teaching them to people."” [I‘laam Al-Muwaqqi‘een]
Allaah Knows best.
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