The Immediate Danger of a Scholar’s Slip and Error

By Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyah

The writers of Sunnah have combined both the corruption and destruction of blind following, along with the scholar’s slip and error. They compiled such works to highlight the wrongness of blind following. It is inevitable that a scholar will err; as he isn’t infallible. Therefore it is not permissible to accept everything single word he says. It is Haraam to lodge a scholar’s statement in the location of surefire speech. For this reason, every single scholar on the face of the Earth has dispraised blind following and making a scholar’s statements definite.

The people of knowledge consider such actions Haraam and have criticized its people who practice such. The origin of fitnah among the blind followers is they blindly follow a scholar in every single thing he says. Therefore they follow him in which he’s correct about and makes an error in. These people make no distinction between what’s right or wrong in a scholar’s words. Hence, as usual they make mistakes in the religion. They make Halal what Allah has made Haraam, they make Haraam what Allah has made Halal and they enact laws and regulations which Allah did not prescribe. To be expected, these people will do these actions; as the person they blindly follow isn’t flawless. There is no doubt about it he will make a mistake.

  • Ash-Sha’bee said: ” There are three things which corrupt an era: Misguided imams, disputing about the meanings of the Quran while the Quran is true, and the slip and mistakes of a scholar. “
  • Tameem Ad-Darami said: “Beware of a scholar’s mistake. Amr asked: what are the mistakes of an Alim? He said: “He makes an error, and then the people take it and act by it. Perhaps, this scholar repents to Allah, while the people continue to follow  his error.”
  • Ibn Abdul Bar said: The mistake of a scholar resembles the ships rupture, because when the ship sinks everyone goes under.”


Taken from ( ‘Ilamul Muwaqqa-een page 453/ volume 3. printed by Dar ibnul Jawzi 1424)

Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha, Qatar 1434©

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