This one says: “Now you have said that mistakes are not refuted except by the Scholars. And in a previous lecture – perhaps not in Kuwait – you said that these words are not correct.” So it is as if he is saying: “You contradict yourself.”
[Shaykh Ahmad Baazmool] :
And this is a good question, may Allaah reward you with good. So I will clarify to you the difference between the two affairs. I said – today and always – that tabdee’(declaring someone to be an innovator) is for the Scholars, because tabdee’ is awasf (description) and an ism (name) which requires ijtihaad, and this is the concern of the Scholars or the major students of knowledge whom the Scholars consider to be in the first degrees of the ladder of the Scholars. Ok? These are my words, here and elsewhere.
The words that I said in other sittings: that the statement “the mistake is not refuted except by the Scholars” is wrong… What is the difference between the two? Tabdee’ is [only] for the Scholars! As for the refutation of falsehood, then this is [also] for the one who is qualified from the students of knowledge and is able to refute the falsehood. This is obligatory upon everyone (who is qualified and able)! You understood that I mean by tabdee’: refuting falsehood. No! Refuting falsehood is for the students of knowledge and the one who has knowledge in his refutation, whether he is a Scholar or a student of knowledge. Clear?
And I also say to you: if you are from the laymen, then do not argue with the people of falsehood. This is something else; don’t let it confuse you. Is the difference between the three things clear? Or should I continue [clarifying to them], O Shaykh Khaalid? Clear?
So then, tabdee’ is [only] for the Scholars and refuting falsehood is for the Scholars, for the students of knowledge and for the one who is qualified. For example: if someone who doesn’t pray ‘Asr comes to you and says, “The ‘Asrprayer is not obligatory.” What do you say to him? Do you say, “No, this is for the Scholars”? You say, “Your statement is wrong! The Scholars say that the prayer is obligatory!” True or not? So refuting falsehood is for the one who is qualified to refute it.
And this is why… One of the people, what did he do? He generalized the statement, so he made of it that the mistake is not refuted except by the Scholars. [Unclear…]. Are the Scholars many? They are few! Ok, so are the Scholars aware of [the things that take place] in every place? They aren’t, [they are only] human beings! Ok, so the students of knowledge who studied from the Scholars and began teaching, while they are not Scholars but students of knowledge, and they see this mistake, do we say to them: “be silent”?
“Whoever amongst you sees something evil, then let him change it with his hands. If he is not able, then with his tongue. If he is not able, then with his heart, and that is the weakest Eemaan (faith).”
This is the hadeeth of the Messenger –salla Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-! But he (the Messenger) did not say, “Declare the people to be innovators.” He said that you should change the evil: refute the mistake! Is the difference between the two clear?
May Allaah reward you with good, this is a notification so that my words are not understood with generality or contradiction. And I thank you for this notification, may Allaah reward you with good.
Source: Questions & Answers regarding Manhaj (Methodology) – Shaykh Ahmad Baazmool