Something came to my mind about a question I was asked the other night about people who only mention references to the scholars of recent times, specifically: Al-Albānī, Ibn Bāz, and Ibn ʿUthaymīn. You may recall that I said that these are - of course - the greatest scholars of recent times, and we are happy to hear people mention them with goodness and attach themselves to them. I also mentioned that some people claim an attachment to them and then contradict their teachings, and so a good and wise tactic to use in calling them to the Truth would be to mention to them what those scholars have said about that issue that they are mistaken in, so that they could accept the correction more easily. And I alluded to the idea of those three - may Allāh have Mercy on them - recommending other scholars and warning against certain callers. And that could be a way of introducing them to or helping them establish contact with other noteworthy scholars who are still alive.
I'd like to mention a specific example of this, that is sadly too common to hear. People say, "I prefer the manhaj of Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn over the manhaj of Shaykh Rabīʿ al-Madkhalī..." Or they may say Shaykh Ibn Bāz or Shaykh al-Albānī in place of Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn, or all three of them! Let's be perfectly clear on this issue - this is not the speech of the people of knowledge. All three of those great scholars were upon the same manhaj of Shaykh Rabīʿ ibn Hādī al-Madkhalī (may Allāh preserve him) - the manhaj of the Salaf. This is not merely a devoted student's opinion; rather, all three of those scholars have clear and specific praises of Shaykh Rabīʿ, his teachings, his books, his recordings, and even his refutations. As for the statements of taxi drivers and their students, or anonymous internet writers, that the manhaj of Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn was other than the manhaj of Shaykh Rabīʿ, etc... then it is simply jahl murak-kab (compound ignorance), when a person hears a specific point of disagreement between two scholars and assumes that it means that a major disagreement has taken place and that they have parted ways and gone forth on two different paths! As an extremely clear example, here are the words of Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn himself, about the visit of Shaykh Rabīʿ to his city (Unayzah) around the year 1421, shortly before the death of Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn:...Our brother (Shaykh Rabīʿ), may Allāh grant us and him success, is upon Salafīyyah, the way of the Salaf. And I do not mean here that Salafīyyah is a ḥizb (party) which is set up to oppose the Muslims outside of it, but I mean by Salafīyyah, that he is upon the path of the Salaf in his Manhaj. Especially in the field of actualising Tawḥīd and throwing aside what opposes this [manhaj]. The visit of our brother, Shaikh Rabīʿ bin Hādī to this region, our city, Unayzah, no doubt will have a good effect, and it will also become clear to many of the people what used to be hidden from them due to the scare-mongering and rumour-mongering, and also letting loose the tongue [of discord]. You may access the original Arabic audio, transcription, and translation, including other helpful articles on the topic here: http://www.themadkhalis.com/md/articles/ebhen-shaykh-ibn-uthaymin-on-shaykh-rabi-al-madkhali.cfm
So let those who insists that Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn was upon a different manhaj than Shaykh Rabīʿ repent from their audacious lie against Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn, and their oppression of Shaykh Rabīʿ as well. I mention this illustration since it is something that affected a dear brother of mine, may Allāh guide me and him to what is correct. And it is generally relevant to the question I was asked, as people claim attachments to the likes of those great scholars, and may hide these kinds of sentiments, revealing them every now and then. And it really really hurts to hear people slander a great man like Shaykh Rabīʿ, a man of the Sunnah, a concerned advisor, patient, full of love for the Muslims and hope for the success of their da'wah, busy with knowledge day and night, reading, writing, researching, compiling, falling asleep on a thin mattress on the floor with a book on his chest and books all around him, critical of his own self and his own students, a brave and guided critic whose writings are blessed with academic strength and clarity, a gracious host, a father-figure to people all over the world, a man who cries when he hears about things that harm the image of our da'wah, a man who reads a book about the history of the righteous Salaf and the trials they faced and becomes engaged in the story and attached to it more devoutly than how common people watch an action movie!! "The flesh of the scholars is poisonous! The way that Allāh exposes those who belittle them is well known! Those who unleash their tongues (with falsehood) against the scholars, Allāh shall cause them to suffer from the death of their hearts before their lives end!" (So let those who contraḍīct his order be warned that a trial may befall them, or a painful punishment!) (Words attributed to Ibn ʿAsākir, quoted in al-Nawawī’s Tibyān) I say this while I praise no one above Allāh, al-ʿAlī al-Qadīr, and it is HE alone who is his Reckoner. (And I do not endorse or encourage the blind following of Shaykh Rabīʿ, or any other specific scholar.) Mūsá Richardson.1
1) Source: forum discussion-