Shaikh Ubaid Al-Jābiree (may Allah preserve him) said:
“They used to say [in the time of the Salaf]: «Test the people of Madinah by asking them about Mālik (died 179H); test the people of Syria by asking them about Al-Awzā‛ee (died 157H); test the people of Basra by asking them about Layth Ibn Sa’d (died 175H); test the people of Mawsul by asking them about Al-Mu‛āfah Ibn ‛Imrān (died 185H).» And this era the men are tested by asking them about Shaikh Rabee’ (may Allah preserve him).
And this is not an exaggeration or excessiveness concerning him – refuge is with Allah. However, it is as Imām Abu Hātim (died 264H) said: “From the signs of Ahlul-Bid‛ah is their reviling the People of Narrations.” (Al-Lālikā’ee 1/139) So indeed from the signs of Ahlul-Bid‛ah in these times is their reviling of Shaikh Rabee’, for Ahlul-Bid‛ah are united upon hatred of him, just as Ahlus-Sunnah are united upon their love of him.”
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