A scholar, but…
(Read this note in its entirety)
Translated by Abu Maryam As-Saylani An-Najdi
Al-Hasan bin Saaleh bin Hayy al-Hamdaanee (D. 169H)
He was a scholar, an ascetic, severe in his fear of Allaah, one who memorized Hadeeth precisely, quick to be affected and weep.
He witnessed the great generation from the Imaams of the Salaf in knowledge and worship, such as Sufyaan ath-Thawree and others
He was from the reporters of Hadeeth. Such that Abu Haatim Ar-Raazee, who was well known to be strict in Jarh wa Ta’deel (criticism and praise), said about him: “reliable, a haafidh (one who’s memorized), mutqin (precise)”
From his amazing affairs was how quick he was to be affected and brought to tears! Yahya bin Abi Bakir said: “I said to him:’Describe for us how to wash the dead’, and he was not able to do so because he would weep so much.”
From his amazing affairs was how the fear of Allaah was evident on his face! Abu Sulayman Ad-Daaraani said: “I have not seen anyone who had more fear, and that fear of Allaah showed on his face, than Al-Hasan bin Saaleh.”
From his amazing affairs was his ascetism and veiling himself (from the dunya)! He said about himself: “Perhaps I have awoken and not had a single Dirham! It was as if the Dunya (worldy life) was given to me.”
From his amazing affairs was his deep piety! He sold his slave-girl: he said to anyone who wanted to purchase her: “She has coughed up blood once when she was with us” out of fear that she had a sickness and that he would decieve the buyer.
From his amazing affairs was the severity of his fear of the punishement of Allaah! Such that he he would read: “They will not be grieved by the greatest terror[..]” (Surat Al Anbiyaa:103) , he would be severely affected. It would be said that: “His face became green and yellow” (from fear).
From his amazing affairs was his many contemplations of the Qur’aan! He stood (in prayer) reciting Surat Al-Naba’. “About what are they asking one another?” so he would contemplate over it! So Fajr came upon him and he did not complete the Surah.
From his amazing affairs was the length of his standing in the night prayer! He used to divide the night between himself, his mother, and his brother. When his mother died, he divided it between himself and his brother. When his brother died, he stood the whole night in prayer.
From the greatest praises that I came across about him was the statement of Imaam Abu Zur’ah ar-Raazee: “He combined preciseness, fiqh, worship, and ascetism”
However… with all of what has preceded:
The Imaams of the Salaf in knowledge and ascetism:
Turned away from him
Declared him an innovator
Warned against him
Some of them abandoned taking his narrations of Hadeeth
To the point that the Imaams of the Salaf were harsh with him and demonized him. To the point that Ahmad bin Yunus said about him: “If Al-Hasan bin Saleh was not born, this would be better for him”
So what was this sin that Al-Hasan bin Saaleh committed that led the Imaams of the Salaf to behave with him in this way that they ignored his good deeds and his positive side and not favoring him?
His sin was:
He permitted rebelling against the oppressive rulers!
Think about this:
He did not rebel himself, he did not spread his statement, he did not incite the people, it was simply that he held this opinion.
Adh-Dhahabee said about him: “He held the opinion of rebelling against the rulers of his time because of their oppression and transgressions, yet he never fought (or killed) ever.”
Adh-Dhahabee also stated: “He was from the Imaams of Islaam were it not for him donning this innovation”
They were not deceived by his Fear of Allaah.
Abu Sa’eed al-Ashaj said: “I heard Ibn Idrees saying: ‘The smile of Sufyan ath-Thawree is more beloved to us than the spit of Al-Hasan bin Saaleh'”
What we can benefit from the above is that the statement of rebelling against the oppressive leader is an innovation and the one who holds this view is not favored and he’s not to be remained silent about, regardless of whatever knowledge or virtue he has, and that the Salaf would weigh a man using the scales of his following of the Sunnah, not by the scales of the amount of his knowledge or the increased fear of Allaah, or the severity of his weeping.
A man may be a scholar, however, he has with him a single innovation that opposes a principle among the principles of Ahlus Sunnah that removes him from Ahlus Sunnah and so he becomes an innovator because of it.
[[Original Arabic source shared by Shaykh Fawwaz al Madkhali on his FB account]]