al-Imaam Wakee’ bin Jarraah said:
“Whoever seeks the prophetic narrations as they were narrated then he is a person of the Sunnah but whoever seeks them to strengthen his own opinion then he is a person of Innovation.”
Dhamm-ul-Kalaam of al-Harawee vol. 2 page 274
This is one of the main distinctions between the people of the truth and those who are deviated. the people of the truth recieve the Sacred text (Qur’an or Hadeeth) and subsequently believe in it, understand it as the Companions did, and subsequently base a ruling / legislation from it. While those who are deviated or are partisan; base a ruling (or hold onto the opinion of their scholar) and then find the text to strengthen it. And mostly they even have to go to distorted interpratations of that text so as to make it justifiable.
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