Questioner: Noble Shaikh, may Allaah grant you success, the questioner says, “We have heard from your excellency that [you say that] the door to Jarh and Ta’deel is closed in this time?”
Al-Fawzaan: “And are you going to open it now? Where is Jarh and Ta’deel? Where is the person who is able to acquaint [himself] with this field? These people do not have anything except speaking about people and defaming them, ‘So and so is like this and so and so is like that,’ this is backbiting, this is backbiting and it is not allowed. This is not Jarh or Ta’deel. Jarh and Ta’deel is knowledge connected to the chains of narrations, the chains of narrations of a hadith. As for you sitting and saying, ‘So and so has this, and so and so has that,’ praising and criticising—this is not Jarh and Ta’deel. This is Jarh only, there is no ta’deel in it.
[It is] Jarh and backbiting and tale-carrying.”
Sharh al-Muntaqaa min Akhbaar Sayyidil-Mursaleen, at 1:17:56, from a lecture given on the 7th September 2013.