Shaykh Rashid bin Ramzan Al-Hajiri حفظه الله said:
A question comes for the laypeople, they say, “How can I differentiate between the Rabbaniyin scholars and the callers to Fitnah (tribulations)?
All of them are religious, have beards, wear short clothes above the ankles, wear bishts (cloaks), and there are doctors and shaykhs from them. How do I differentiate between them?!”
Let us mention some criteria and attributes that distinguish between the Rabbani scholar, the person of Sunnah and the callers to Fitnah and misguidance. Whether he is from the people of desires, innovations, the Ikhwan, the Tabligh, the Sufiyyah or from the liberalists and secularists.
If you hear that man, see him, or read something from him whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Telegram, Instagram, directly, YouTube or Television. If you hear him, or read a book from him then you find that a man calling to Tawhid; Tawhid of Allah and singling out Allah in worship. If you see that man calling to the Sunnah; the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. If you see that man calling to the methodology of the Sahabah and Salaf As-Salih (righteous predecessors) i.e., the understanding of the Book and Sunnah with the understanding of the Sahabah and Salaf As-Salih. If you see that man command with sticking to the Jama’ah; the Jama’ah of the Muslims and listening to and obeying the rulers. If you see that man command doing the obligatory and supererogatory acts of worship. If you see that man command with affection and love between the members of the community like respecting the elders, fulfilling the rights of the neighbours and relatives. If you see that man warn against Shirk, Bidah (innovation in the religion), sects and groups by name. He warns against unveiling, degenerateness and free-mixing. He warns against liberalism, secularism and degenerateness. Then you turn to yourself after hearing all this. Then you find in yourself love for the religion, love for the legislation, love for the Sunnah, love for the rulers, love for the community, love for your relatives, love for obedience (to Allah), being safe and peaceful in the community that you live in a Muslim, Mu’min (believing), Muwahhid (monotheistic), safe and peaceful community. Then know that he is a caller to… what?
A call to good, a caller to the Sunnah, Yes.
You are the one who differentiated, right?
And these are very important criteria.
As for the opposite: If you see that man doesn’t call to pure Tawheed, with its single issues and Shar’i evidence. He doesn’t call to the adherence to the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, acts upon it and implements it. He doesn’t call to the understanding of the Book and Sunnah with the understanding of the Sahabah and Salaf As-Salih. He doesn’t call to sticking to the Jama’ah and listening to and obeying [the Muslim Rulers]. Rather he may warn against it, and he may speak ill of the scholars and the rulers. If you see that man try to make it seem to you that the community has become corrupt, that there’s free mixing and unveiling in it that it has become a “Jahili” (ignorant) community as Sayyid Qutb mentioned, and he is the leader of Takfir, who is followed by the Qutbiyyah and the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood Organisation (Ikhwan). He doesn’t warn against Shirk. He doesn’t warn against Bidah (innovations in the religion). He doesn’t warn against revolting against the rulers. He doesn’t warn against separating from the Jama’ah. He doesn’t warn against the Ikhwan, the Sururiyyah, the Qutbiyyah, the Tabligh and the Sufiyyah. He doesn’t warn against liberalism and secularism.
In all honesty and explicitness!
Then you turn to yourself and find in yourself hate for the rulers and scholars.
Hate for the rulers because “they don’t implement the Islamic Shari’ah, and that they take exclusive possession of the money and Dunya (worldly-life)”.
Hate for the scholars because “they don’t call to Allah, because they flatter the ruler ad don’t strive in advising and that they follow money, and that they’re scholars of mensuration (meaning: they’re only scholars of Fiqh and don’t understand reality)”.
Then you get hate for the community in yourself “the community has become ignorant, corrupt, misguided, has free-mixing and unveiling”.
Then you hate the community and the people who were with you.
Then know that he is a caller to….what?
A caller to evil and Fitnah.
These are the criteria by which we know the callers to the truth and the Sunnah, and the people of guidance and know the callers to misguidance and sects, and the people of desires and Fitan.
May Allah protect us and you. (Ameen)