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What reason is there for a scholar to
hesitate to give a legal ruling?

A scholar may hesitate to give a legal ruling, if he is qualified to do so, and has knowledge, because the evidences that he has seem contradictory, or it could be that he feels that the questioner is not serious, as some questioners are not searching for the truth, they only want to play around, or to know the opinion of this scholar, and a second scholar, and a third scholar, etc. In such cases, the scholar may hesitate or may refuse to answer the questioner who knows, if he feels it likely that he is playing around in order to see what the people (i.e. the scholars) say, or he wants to compare some of the sayings of the people (i.e. the scholars) with others – and this is worse, for he goes around saying: “ The scholar so-and-so said such and such and the scholar so-and-so said such and such.” These are some of the reasons why a scholar may hesitate to deliver a ruling.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen
Fatawa Islamiyah, vol.1, p.372, DARUSSALAM

Soruce: http://fatwaislam.com/fis/index.cfm?scn=fd&ID=358

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