Fatwa No : 433276
Reasons for Reporting from Contemporary Scholars Rather than Very Early Ones
Fatwa Date : Rabee' Al-Aakhir 20, 1442 / 5-12-2020
Dear sheikh I have a question with regards to Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen, Sheikh Al Albaani and Sheikh Ibn Baaz. They were great scholars, but why do we rely on them so heavily when there were 1400 years of other scholars before them?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
There is no doubt that the mentioned scholars are among the great contemporary Muslim scholars and have been a source of benefit bestowed by Allah on the Muslim Ummah. However, their opinions, like those of other scholars, may be accepted or rejected. Imaam Maalik said: “The sayings of anyone other than the one buried herein, i.e., the Prophet , can be accepted or rejected.” [End of quote]
The fact that the sayings of these three scholars are often circulated does not entail that they are favored and given precedence over the scholars who preceded them. Having their opinions more widely reported could be related to many reasons, such as their fame and the fact that they are known to lay Muslims and have won their love and trust thanks to their laudable efforts in Da‘wah (calling to Allah, The Exalted). When you tell lay Muslims of a Fatwa or statement of one of these scholars, they are more likely to accept it, but if you inform them of a Fatwa or statement of earlier scholars, they may not have heard of them in the first place. Another reason is that their language, style, and explanation are easy and understandable for laypeople, meaning that they speak the language of their time. Another reason is that many of the jurisprudential issues on which their opinions are reported may be classified as novelties that were not tackled by earlier scholars.
Allah Knows best.