Some people from the common folk as well as some students of knowledge have made Imtihaan of others by way of the students of knowledge. So they say:
Whoever loves so and so (from the students of knowledge) this person is a person of the Sunnah in shaa Allaah, and whoever hates them is a person of desires.
What has been used as a proof for this is the statement of Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalee (rahimahullah):
وليس امتحانُ النَّاسِ بأهلِ السُنَّةِ مقصوراً على شخصٍ معيّن أو أشخاص, بل يُمتحنُ النَّاسُ بكلِّ صاحبِ سُنَّة في كلِّ زمانٍ ومكان
Testing the people with Ahlus-Sunnah is not restricted to a particular person or people. Rather, the people are tested with every person of the Sunnah in every time and place.
Is this (a) correct (understanding of the Shaykh’s words)? Or is the matter of Imtihaan (testing) of others, a matter that's done by way of the scholars?
Shaykh Usaamah al-‘Amri (hafithahullah) stated:
"This matter of making Imtihaan, (testing the) people by way of others is in relation to the ‘Ulamaa and the Imaams of the deen. This does not refer to the students of knowledge."
Shaykh Fu’aad al-‘Amri (hafithahullah) interjected by saying:
"Why doesn't the individual who uses Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalee's speech translate the entire Fatwah. It's clear what the Shaykh was referring to. This matter is not to be done with students of knowledge, rather the Imtihaan is done by way of the Scholars. Except in the case where the scholars make Imtihaan of people by way of some students of knowledge due to them being the ONLY ONES on the Sunnah in their locality. Therefore, the scholars make Imtihaan of the people in that locality by way of them. In this case we make Imtihaan of others by way of these students.”
This took place on the 7th Night of Rajab 1435/ Monday May 5th 2014. This question was posed to both of the Shaykhs in a private gathering in the house of Shaykh Usaamah al-'Amri. Those who were present:
- Shaykh Usaamah al-'Amri
- Shaykh Fuaad al-'Amri
- Abu Ziyaad Ahmad Hamdaan
- Amin Manning
- Abu 'Abdis Salaam Siddiq al-Juyaanee
- Abu Yusuf Khaleefah
- And others...