‘Alaamah Abdur-Rahmān bin Yaḥya al-Mu’allami [al Yamani] (may Allah have mercy upon him) [who died 1386h/1966m] said:
As for the people of knowledge and religion from among us, then surely they only obey Allah and His Messenger ﷺ , and indeed they only accept the statements of the scholars based upon them being narrators conveying from Allah and His Messenger ﷺ1. For this reason they do not obey anyone from the scholars when it becomes clear that his statement opposes the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Messenger. And if they accept a statement of a scholar, and then it becomes clear to them the scholar’s opposition to the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Messenger, they leave the statement . And those from the Muslims who are upon other than this path, consequently, they are in opposition to the sharee’ah (legislation) [of Islaam], so do not pay any attention to them!
1. ↩ This statement of ’Allāmah al-Mu’allami in no way negates the obedience to the Muslim ruler or ameer (leader/governor of a Muslim city, etc.) in the ma’roof (in good and that which is correct and not in disobedience to Allah or the authenticated sunnah of His Messenger). Since, as it it is well known with Ah-us-Sunnah, there is no obedience to the creation, who ever they may be, in that which is disobedience to the creator.
Our Prophet ﷺ said:
كل بني آدم خطاء و خير الخطائين التوابون رواه ابن ماجه و غيره
All the children of Ādam err and the best of those who err [are] those who repent.
[Related by Ibn Maajah and others]
And he ﷺ said:
إذا حكم الحاكم فاجتهد ثم أصاب فله أجرانِ، وإذا حكم فاجتهدَ ثم أخطأ فله أجر
When a judge/scholar makes a ruling and he strives [to reach what is correct] and he is correct for him is two rewards, and if he judges/makes a ruling and he strives [to reach that which is correct] and he errors for him is one reward. Related by al-Bukhaari #7352
And Imaam Maalik said:
كل يؤخذ من قوله و يرد إلا صاحب هذا القبر
رواه ابن عبد الهادي في إرشاد السالك: ١/٢٢٨
ابن عبد البر في الجامع ٢/٩١ و غيرهما
Everyone’s statement [can be] accepted or rejected except the inhabitant of this grave, [meaning our Messenger Muhammadﷺ].
Source: Ibn Abdul-Haadi in Irshaad as-Saalik 1/227, Ibn Abdul-Barr in al-Jaami’ 2/91 and other than them.
The Salafi Sunni scholar who errs is not followed in that error and the error is refuted with knowledge-based proofs and evidences, and his honor is preserved. He is not abandoned or dealt with like he is from ahl-ul-bid’ah, as many of our scholars have mentioned - from them, shaykh Ubayd bin Abdullah al Jaabari (hafithahullah):
Thus, this [type of scholar, ie. saahib of sunnah, as the shaykh mentions] is not followed in his mistake [or error] and you preserve his honor, even if we refuted his opposition to [or contradiction of the truth and that which is correct], surely we [exercise proper] manners with him, and preserve his dignity, and we do not defame him [or deal with him with bad manners], like we denounce the astray innovator. And this is [with] consideration of that which Allah has favored him with, from that of precedence in virtue, high standing and [position of] leadership in the religion. Consequently, we contemplate all of this.
Source: al-Hadd-ul-Fãsil bayna mu’aamalaati ahlus sunnah wa ahlu baatil, from the book, Majmoo’at-ur-Rasaa’il Jabariyyah pg. 170