The Meaning Of “Muhammad Is The Messenger Of Allaah”, By Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
The scholars have explained this testimony as follows:
“Obeying him in what he commanded, staying away from that which he forbade or censured, believing him in that which he informed, and not worshipping Allaah except by that which he legislated.”
If one says,”My madhhab is such and such or such and such“, we say to him, “This is the saying of the Messenger of Allaah (saw), so do not oppose it with the saying of anyone else.”
Even the Imaams of the madhhabs forbade others from blindly following them (in the complete sense of following), they would say,”Whenever the truth becomes manifest, it is compulsory to return to it (and to forsake what one previously held as being correct).”
We say to the brother who opposes us with the madhhab of such and such person, “Both we and you bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; this testimony requires from us that we follow no one except the Messenger of Allaah (saw).”
The Sunnah is plain and clear, and it is easily accessible to us. At the same time, however, I do not mean that we should make light of the importance of referring to the books of fiqh and the people of knowledge, for seeking out knowledge cannot be achieved until one refers to their books, in order to benefit from them and to learn the ways of deriving rulings from proofs.
Hence, we find that those who did not learn at the hands of the scholars made many mistakes (in their rulings and judgements). As a result, their outlook became narrow and constricted. One of them will take Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, for instance, and follow all of the implications of the hadeeths found therein, even though some of those hadeeths are general in their implications while others have exceptions to the rulings they impart; some are absolute in their implications while others are applied to limited situations only (by dint of other proofs). Some hadeeths are even abrogated.
However, those we just described are not guided to these matters. What results is much misguidance.
[Islaamic Awakening, by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Pp. 26-27]