The Analytical Methods Used for Inspection
To sum up how this message is analyzed by Ahl Al-Sunnah, I noticed twopaths in discussing this message. I was guided by those two techniques toextract two methods: The
The Elaborate Method
is an exhausting analysis of the message thatproposes numerous valid and controversial possibilities, it also traces themessage and its beholders: the sender and the receiver, and uses a lot of formal techniques when desired.The Elaborate Method also examines everything, from the title of theletter, (i.e., is Al-Thahabiyya a reference to Imam Al-Thahabi or is it wayto express the description of the letter? As to say: The Golden(thahabiyya) Advice (Naseeha)?) passes through it word by word,analyzing every statement and linking it with possible conclusions.Furthermore, the style of the expressions present in the letter (which arevery harsh, while Al-Thahabi was known in his writings to be very gentle)is compared with the originator's available style throughout his writings.
The Formal Method
relies on the formal given facts without suggestingany valid or invalid possibilities. The formal aspect of any writtencommunication consists of the usual elements found in a writtencommunication. Personally, I favor the Formal Method.Further, In the Formal Method, the content of the message is notinvestigated. Thus, we don't really care what the message talks about.Further, we don't delve into the personal details of the sender and thereceiver, because in this method they are nothing more than elements.The elements are necessary fields, such as:
From: Xyz Date: Jan 5, 2010.To: Abc[contents of the message][closing of the message]Xyz [Name / Signature / seal]
Thus, when we find this formality missing in Al-Naseeha – which issupposed to be a
from Al-Thahabi – it would certainly beperplexing and more doubtful, especially when we keep in mind that Al-Thahabi is a highly learned scholar.This type of formality existed many centuries before Al-Thahabi wasknown, in fact we know for sure that it was a common norm in Islamseven centuries before Al-Thahabi appeared.