al-Abbad on the Summarized & Elaborated, and Single Reports

I was digging through my draft folders on my harddrive and came across this old translation I did around 10 years ago (give or take some). Since there has been some mention of the principle of correlating the summarized to the elaborated (i.e., taking a person’s summarized, general speech to mean what he’s been known to say in more explicit and elaborated speech) fairly recently (see the recent squabble between SP’s Amjad Rafiq (here) and Musa Millington (here) concerning faith, disbelief, and irja’), I thought I’d touch up and post this short little bit from Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbâd on the issue. He also touches on the issue of single reports (khabar al-âhâd). which along with the summarized-elaborated principle, are a couple of the things Shaikh Abul-Hasan al-Ma’ribî is accused of innovating (NB: the opinion expressed and held by Shaikh al-‘Abbâd regarding single reports is the very opinion that Shaikh Abul-Hasan holds himself).

Then on this night, the night of Wednesday, Rajab 23, 1423H, after evening prayer, while he was on his way to his car at the Prophetic Mosque in Madinah al-Munawwarah (and may the most virtuous of salutations and peace be upon its inhabitant), our shaikh, the ‘allâmah, the traditionist, Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbâd, may Allah benefit the lands and the slaves with him, was asked about the following:

The questioner asked,

The one who says, “that the single reports are useful for the predominant speculation, and that acting by them is obligated,” is he a proponent of one of the a principles of the People of Heresies or not, and what is the preferable [opinion] according to you?

So the Shaikh answered,

No, he is not a proponent of one of the principles of the heretics. Single reports, when not surrounded by evidences, are useful for the predominant speculation. When the evidences surround them, they are useful for [certain] knowledge and acting by them is obligated. Some of the People of Heresies have differed in that, for they do not act by them with regards to the beliefs.

The questioner said,

Our shaikh, [the issue of] correlating the summarized to the elaborated. It is dubious for me, Shaikh.

The Shaikh asked,

What’s the intent of “correlating the summarized to the elaborated”?

One of the brothers elaborated,

If there were words by a sunnî in whatever issue … summarized [words], implying the right and the wrong, and he has elaborated words with regards to the same issue, do we correlate summarized words of his implying the right and wrong to the elaborated words of his [that are] right, or not?

The Shaikh responded,

Glorified is Allah! We leave his right, explicit words and we take the [words] implying the right and the wrong?

The questioner commented,

This is a saying of some of the people, our shaikh.

The Shaikh said,

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, has a summarized words thought to be the saying of the Hellfire’s anihilation and he has explicit words [where] he speaks of the non-anihilation of the Hellfire. We leave his explicit words and we take his probable words?

The questioner added,

They say it is one of the principles of the People of Heresies.

The Shaikh commented,

No, it is not one of the principles of the People of Heresies.

Then the Shaikh asked,

Some of the People of Sunnah have summarized words with regards to some of the hadîths of the Characteristics (i.e., of Allah’s) thought to be the statement of consignment (i.e., saying we don’t know the meaning of the Characteristcs–tafwîd), and they have explicit words with the statement of affirmation of the meaning. Do we leave their explicit words indicating the affirmation of the meaning and take their summarized speech, implying the statement of consignment?

The questioner answered,

No, we take the right and elaborated.

Then another person asked,

The heretic, if there were summarized words by him implying the right and the wrong and he had elaborated foul words?

The Shaikh replied,

We correlate his probable summarized words to his foul elaborated [words].

Source: the now defunct alisteqama.net messageboard.

About Rasheed Gonzales
My name is Rasheed Gonzales. I’m a Muslim convert of Filipino descent. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I was guided to Islam through one of my younger brothers and a couple of friends, all of whom had converted to Islam sometime before me (may Allah reward them greatly). I am married with four children (and the praise is Allah’s) and also a volunteer for the Qur'an & Sunnah Society of Canada, based in Toronto.

4 Responses to al-Abbad on the Summarized & Elaborated, and Single Reports

  1. shen says:

    how can this principle work both ways? for the heretic to have general right speech and the clear foul speech – you still use the general speech?

    isnt that husnu dhan too far?

  2. I believe you’ve misunderstood what the shaikh is saying. The principle is that you understand a person’s ambiguous speech according to his explicit speech. So in the case of the heretic, if he has clear and explicit words regarding a particular issue and these words are contrary to the truth of the matter, and in another place he has ambiguous speech that can be understood to be in accordance with the truth or contrary to it, his ambiguous speech is to be understood in light of his explicit speech (i.e., to mean contrary to the truth).

  3. Pingback: More of al-Abbad’s Words Regarding al-Ma’ribi « Rasheed Gonzales

  4. umm salama says:

    i had this same discussion with one of the admins of salafitalk some years ago. he claimed that a shaykh(whome they refuted, and i wont mention his name) was using the general speech of shaykh uthaymeen from sharkh kitab at tawheed(this was concerning the names and atributed of allah) to mislead the people, becuz there is a detailed explanation van uthaymeen in lumatul i3tiqaad about this issue and he should have used the detailed one!

    so i asked him: what about uthaymeen when he made it general in sharh kitab at tawheed? was he also misleading the people in that book?

    after this he didnt reply anymore. subhanallah this is the injustice.

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