When is the statement: 'Stick to the Senior Scholars' binding upon us?
The statement: "Stick to the Senior Scholars" is correct. The Senior Scholars, [they] are the Scholars. However, you find two scholars [or] three (scholars) who are opposed by two [other] scholars, four, (or) five (scholars). Then you have this speaker come and say,
"Stick to the Senior Scholars."
Which senior scholars? Is it not the case that these (individuals) are senior scholars and (likewise) those (individuals) are senior scholars (too)? This is fraudulence! This is fraudulence! This is fraudulence! This is deceiving the students of knowledge!
The scholars differ in a matter regarding criticism (of an individual), [or] the praise (of an individual). All of them are noble scholars who are (to be) mentioned with good. Then, this student comes and chooses a statement and an opinion of some of the scholars and he wages a war against his brothers (who hold the opposite position).
Why? Because they did not "stick to the Senior Scholars". Ok, very well.
Then the other group [of scholars], who are they? They are senior scholars just like your senior scholars. And your senior scholars are like his (your brother who you have waged war against) senior scholars. So he deals with fraudulence, deceives, and (seeks to) intimidate the people (by saying to them) "You do not respect the Senior Scholars", the scholars whose opinion he has adopted. This is cheating, deceit, forgery and an attack against the scholars. That is because he has, as a result, restricted the description [of "Senior Scholars"] to two or three (scholars) whose opinion he has inclined towards and subjects the criticism (of not respecting these senior scholars) to whom? The other senior scholars. Therefore, sticking to the Senior Scholars from the people of knowledge and holding to the scholars in that which they have agreed upon is a prior Sunnah and a legislated obligation.
As for when the scholars differ in a matter of fiqh, in a matter of creed, or in a matter of jarh-wa-ta'deel, then it is from oppression, foolishness, and ignorance to make binding [upon the people] the opinions of some of those [senior scholars] excluding other than them without any proof.
Then he turns (away) from the other scholars, in belittlement of them, and making a mockery of them and they could be similar to those other scholars whose opinions he has inclined towards. All of this is from weakness in religiosity.
The summary of that (is the statement of Allāh):
And if you differ in anything refer it back to Allāh and the Messenger.
Therefore, when the scholars differ it is obligatory to search for the proof. It is obligatory to search for the proof.
Is this clear?