An examination of the issue of listening
The need to examine the issue of listening has arisen because it has become known that some of the groups have distributed general instructions to their members not to discuss with certain people or to not discuss specific topics with the people etc. Is this action of theirs Halaal or Haraam?
The correct view is that this action of there is Haraam and cannot possibly be permissible under any circumstances. That is because in respect to every Shar’iy obligatory matter, its obligation is established only by the Daleel Ash-Shar’iy, except for listening because its obligation is established by the ‘Aql (mind) and the Shar’a. That is because if listening was not an obligation by the ‘Aql (mind or rationally), then the one who is called to Islaam and rejects or refuses to listen will meet Allah without sin. That is not correct and theoretically, in the least, that would make the messages of the Prophets a matter which hold no value, whilst the corruption of such a conclusion is an obviously known matter.
Allah Ta’Aalaa said:
وَإِنِّي كُلَّمَا دَعَوْتُهُمْ لِتَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ جَعَلُوا أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَاسْتَغْشَوْا ثِيَابَهُمْ وَأَصَرُّوا وَاسْتَكْبَرُوا اسْتِكْبَارًا
And indeed, every time I invited them that You may forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments, persisted, and were arrogant with [great] arrogance (Nooh: 7).
Allah Ta’Aalaa has therefore reproached those who refused to listen to Sayyidinaa Nooh (‘Alaihi s-Salaam) and rebuked them for that. Similar to the people of Nooh is applied upon anyone who rejects or refuses to listen to any of the Prophets and there is no doubt that he is reprehensible before Allah Ta’Aalaa. Therefore, anyone who is called to good must listen to him and then if he is convinced he must follow him (in what he has said) and if he is not convinced them he leaves it.
However, when the person is a Muslim, and is called to that which is better than he is upon or more correct, he must listen and it is not Halaal for him to turn away in opposition, because that leads to making the matter of examining or searching for the strongest evidence hold no value, whilst nobody has said that. Therefore, whoever was a Muqallid (follower) of a Hukm Shar’iy derived from a particular Mujtahid and then a particular person from the people found fault in the opinion of the Mujtahid that he was following, he must listen to him, due to the possibility that the evidence that he has is stronger than the evidence he is upon or basing his following upon.
What some of the groups do in terms of forbidding its individuals from discussing with some of the people or discussing some subject areas, represents a matter which is not correct and they have no right to do that. If their action was permissible, then it would only be just to say that if any individual from the people said to them that they did not want to listen to them, he would have the right to do that, and that this is not condemnable in any way before Allah. That would mean, even if it was hypothetical, that the existence of these groups would hold no value and their commanding of the Ma’roof and forbidding of the Munkar would also hold no value.
That is whilst the groups themselves which distribute these general instructions related to this type of matter don’t say that. Rather, they regard it as obligatory upon the individual from the people to listen to them and what they carry in terms of good. Therefore, as they make it obligatory upon the people to listen to what they carry in terms of good, they don’t have the right themselves to not listen to others. If they were to do that, it would represent a matter that has no fairness in it, indeed it represents the very meaning of injustice or unfairness.
Sheikh Abu Islam Yusuf Shaqeero, Palestine