Shaykh Ubayd al-Jaabiree: The Crime of tamyee' (Softening, Melting) Upon the Salafi Manhaj - Part 4
When the condition of a man is unknown, or hidden (mastoor ul-haal), and nothing is known about him, is it permissible to ask about him in order to know his condition, or is it not permissible?
Shaykh 'Ubayd: There is no doubt that in every time and in every place [it often occurs that] a person who is not known comes to the people. And this person who is not known, if he is one who remains silent and is reserved, and does not manifest any opposition, then he remains mastoor (hidden, unknown). However, when the people have doubts about this man or they desire anything of the (worldly or religious) affairs from him, then it is their right to investigate into his condition.
And amongst the evidences for this is what Muslim and others have reported from Mu'aawiyah bin al-Hakam (radiallaahu anhu), that he used to have a female slave who used to tend to the flock of sheep. And then a wolf came and snatched a sheep from the flock. Mu'aawiyah came and slapped her, and then this became heavy upon him. So he went to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and informed him of the incident. He said, "Bring her to me so I can see if she is a believer or not?" So he brought her, and the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, "Where is Allaah?" She said, "Above the heaven". He said to her, "Who am I?" She said, "You are the Messenger of Allaah". He said, "Free her, for she is a believer".
And in the long past, they - meaning the Scholars - used to say, "Test the people of Madinah with Maalik bin Anas, and the people of Shaam with al-Awzaa'ee, and the people of Misr with al-Layth bin Sa'd, and the people of Mawsul with Mu'aafee bin Imraan".
Hence, when doubts arise about a person, or something of the affairs is desired from him, then he is to be tested (yumtahana). And this is a matter that the people cannot do without, until even in their dealings with each other. If a man was to propose to a woman, then they are required to ask about his condition. Is he a person whose deen and character is pleasing, or not? This is necessary, and it is not to be said that there is nothing known about this person.
So by this, the falsehood of the statement, "The basis with respect to a person is 'adaalah (uprightness, integrity)" becomes clear. The affair is not like this. This statement is falsehood, and the books of al-Jarh wat-Ta'deel are a witness to what we say. If the original basis with respect to Muslims was that they are all upright, sound, trustworthy ('adaalah), then the people would not have required Scholars and Imaams who disparage whom they disparaged and give appraisal to those whom they appraised.