The Salaf and their Position towards the People of Innovation
Beware of friendship with the people of the innovated sects, innovated beliefs and people of deviation, beware of sitting with them and beware of listening to them or hearing or reading their words, beware of debating with them and arguing with them – and allowing them to quote their misguided beliefs to you. Imam al-Laalikaa’ee mentions a large number of narration’s from the Salaf warning against associating with the people of innovation in his ‘Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah’ – here are some of them (chains of narration omitted):-
..from Ayyoob (as-Sakhtiyaanee) who said: “Indeed from the well-being of a youth or a non- Arab is that Allah should guide them to a scholar from the companions of the Sunnah.”
… from Ibn Shawdhab who said: “indeed from the blessings of Allah upon a youth who seeks to worship Allah is that he is granted as a brother a companion of the Sunnah who encourages him upon it.”
.. from ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Yazeed who said: I heard ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood say: “Beware of the innovations which the people invent, since the Deen does not pass out of the hearts all at once – rather Shaitaan introduces innovations for him until he expels Eemaan from the heart; and it will soon happen that the people will abandon the obligatory duties which Allaah has made binding upon them – the Prayer, the Fast, the lawful and the prohibited, and speak about their Lord – the Mighty and Majestic. So who ever reaches that time then let him flee.” It was said: “O Aboo Abdur-Rahman, to where? He said: “Not to anywhere, he should flee with his heart and his Deen and not sit with anyone of the people of innovation.”
…From Mujaahid who said: “It was said to Ibn Umar that Najdah says so and so …, but he stopped himself from hearing it for fear that some of it would fall into his heart.”
…From Al-Hasan [i.e. Al-Basaree] who used to say: “Do not sit with the people of innovated beliefs, do not debate with them and do not listen to them.”
…(From) Sa’eed ibn ‘Aamir who said: I heard Ismaa’eel [i.e. Ibn Khaarijah] narrate, saying: two men from the people of the innovated sects came to Muhammad Ibn Seereen and said: “O Aboo Bakr we want to narrate something to you.” He said: “No.” They said:”Then may we recite an Aayah from Allaah’s book to you?” He said: “No.” He said: “Either you two get up and leave or I will get up.”So the two men stood up and left. So one of the people said: “What harm would it do to you for him to recite an Aayah?” He said: “I hated that he should recite an Aayah and that they would distort it and then it would enter my heart.”
..From Aboo Qulaabah who said: “Do not sit with them and do not mix with them for I do not feel safe that they will not drown you in their misguidance and confuse you about much that you used to know.
…From Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee who said: Aboo Qulaabah said to me “O Ayyoob, memorise four things from me: Do not speak about the Quraan from your opinion, and beware of Qadr, and if the companions of Muhammad are mentioned then withhold, and do not let the people of innovation gain access to your hearing.”
…Ma’mar said: Ibn – Taawoos was sitting when one of the Mu’tazilah came and began speaking, so ibn Taawoos entered his fingers into his ears and said to his son: “O My son put your fingers into your ears and press tightly so you do not hear any of his speech.”Ma’mar said: Meaning that the heart is weak.
…’Abdur Razzaaq narrated to us saying: Ibraaheem ibn Abee Yahya said to me: “I think that there are many from the Mu’tazilah in your area!?” I said: “Yes and they claim that you are one of them.” He said: “Will you enter this shop with me so that I can speak with you?” I said: “No.” He said: “Why?!” I said: “Since the heart is weak and the Deen is not for the one who overcomes in debating.”
…From Al-Awzaa’ee who said: ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul – ‘Azeez said: “if you see a people meeting secretly concerning the Deen with anything to the exclusion of the common people – then know that they are upon the foundation of misguidance.”
…Yoosaf ibn Asbaat said: I heard Muhammad Ibn An – Nadral – Haarithee say: “Whoever lends ear to an innovator – and knows that he is an innovator then the protection is removed form him and he is left to himself.”
…Yoonus ibn ‘ Ubayd said: “Do not sit with a ruler or an innovator .”
…Amad ibn Yoonus said: A man said to Sufyaan – and I was listening – ‘O Aboo’ Abdullaah advice me.’ He said: “Beware of innovated sects and disputation and beware of rulers.”
…Yahyaa ibn Abee Katheer said: “If you see a person of innovation upon a certain road then take a different one.”
…Ismaa’eel at – Toosee said: Ibn al – Mubaarak said to me: “let your sitting be with the poor and beware of sitting with a person of innovation.”
…al – Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad said: “Whichever man someone comes to asking for advice and he directs him to an innovator then he has acted deceitfully towards Islam, and beware of entering upon a person of innovation since they prevent from the truth.”
…al – Fudayl said: “Do not sit with an innovator for I fear that curses will descend upon you.”
…al – Fudayl said: “Do not sit with an innovator – Allaah has rendered his deeds futile and taken out the light of Islaam from his heart, and if Allaah loves a servant he grants him good and pure food.”
… al – Fudayl said: “Do not trust the innovator concerning your Deen, and do not seek his advice in your affairs, and do not sit with him since whoever sits with an innovator – Allah will cause him to become blind.”
…al-Fudayl said: “Allah has angels who seek out the gatherings of dhikr – so look to whose gathering you sit in – let it not be with the person of innovation since Allah will not look to them, and the sign of Hypocrisy is that a man gets up and sits with an innovator.”
… al-Fudayl said: ” The souls of pre-arranged armies – so whichever of them knew each other will come together, and those who did not will be separate, and it is not possible that a person of Sunnah assists an innovator except due to hypocrisy.”
… al-Fudayl said: “I reached the best of the people – all of them were people of the Sunnah and they warned against the people of innovation.”
… al-Fudayl said: “Glad tidings for one who died upon Islam and the Sunnah – and if that is the case then let one say much : As Allah wills (Maa Shaa Allah).”
… al Hasan said: “From the person of innovation Allah does not accept Prayer, nor Fasting, nor Hajj, nor ‘Umra, nor Jihaad, nor repentance, nor charity.”
… al Hasan said: “Allah does not accept anything from a person of innovation.”
… al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad said: “No action of the person of innovation is raised up to Allah.”
… Ibraaheem ibn Maysarah said: “He who honours an innovator has assisted in the demolition of Islaam.”
… ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar as-Sarkhusee – the scholar of al-Khazar – said: I ate a single meal with an innovator and Ibn al-Mubaarak heard of it so he said : “I will not speak to him for thirty days.”
… al-Fudayl said: Ibn al-Mubaarak said: “I have not seen any wealth which I despise more than that of a person of innovation” and he said: ‘O Allah do not let any innovator give me anything so that my heart should love him.”
… from Ibraaheem [i.e. an-Nakha’ee] who said: “There is no backbiting regarding an innovator.”
… from al-Hasan al-Basaree, who said: “There are three who have no inviolability with regard to backbiting: one of them is the person of innovation who calls to his innovation.”
… from Katheer, Aboo Sahl who said: “It is said that there is no inviolability for the people of innovated sects.”
… from ‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak said: “The person of innovation has darkness in his face even if he anoints it thirty times a day.”
… Sallaam ibn Abee Mutee’ said: a man said to Ayyoob: ‘O Abu Bakr, ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd has turned back from his opinion !!’ He said: “He has not turned back.” He said: ‘Indeed, O Aboo Bakr, he has turned back.” Ayyoob said: “He has not turned back – (three times) – he has not turned back. Have you not heard his (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) saying:”They shoot out from the Deen just as the arrow shoots through the prey, then they do not return to it until the arrow returns to the bow – string”.”
… Ayyoob used to call all the people of the innovated sects ‘Khawaarij’ and say: “The Khawaarij have different names but are all united upon use of the sword.”
… Sallaam said: A person of the innovated sects said to Ayyoob : “I want ask you about a word.” He turned away and said: ” No, nor even a half a word.” – Twice indicating with his finger.
… Malik ibn Anas said: ” Is to be the case that every time someone comes who can argue better than another that we are to abandon what Jibreel brought to Muhammad (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) because of his argument?!”
Yaws ibn Asbaat narrated to us, saying: *I heard Muhammad ibn an-Nadr al-Haarithee say: “Whoever listens to a person of innovation – and knows that he is a person of innovation – then protection is taken away from him, and he is left to himself.” [Al-Imam al-Hafiz Abul- Qaasim Habatullaah ibn al-Hasan ibn Mansoor at-Tabaree AL – LAALIKAA’EE (d.418 H) reports in his ‘ Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah ‘ (1/135-136/no. 252]
‘Ubaadah ibn Kulayb Aboo Ghassan al-Laythee narrated to us: from Muhammad ibn an-Nadr al-Haarithee, who said: “Whoever listens to a person of innovation and knows that he is a person of innovation – then he is left to himself and leaves the protection of Allaah.” [Imaam Aboo ‘Abdullaah ibn Muhammad IBN BATTAH al-‘Akbaree al-Hanbalee (d. 387 H) reports it in his ‘Ibaanatul-Kubra’ (2/460/no.443]
And ‘Abdul-Quddoos ibn Bakr narrated from Muhammad ibn an-Nadr that he said: “The greatest start of Knowledge is to listen and remain silent, then to memorise it, then to act upon it, then to spread it.”
Yahyaa ibn ‘Umar ath-Thaqafee narrated to us, that he heard: SUFYAAN ATH-THAWREE say ; “Whoever listens to a person of innovation leaves the protection of Allaah and is left to himself. ” IBN BATTAH also reports in ‘al-Ibaantul-Kubra’ (2/461/no.444
Imaam Ahmad said: “The foundations of the Sunnah with us are: Holding onto what the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah were upon…(up until he mentioned)…and the abandonment of sitting with the people of desires (innovations)…”
Imaam Al Baghawee(in his Sharhus Sunnah) who said: And the Sahaabah, the Taabi’een, their successors and the Scholars of the Sunnah passed away while they were upon this, united and unanimously agreed upon having enmity towards the People of Innovation and fleeing from them.”
Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “The jihaad with decisive proofs [from the Book and the Sunnah] and the tongue takes precedence over the jihaad with the sword and the spear.”
[al-Jawaab as-Saheeh of Ibn Taymiyyah (1/237)]
Nasr bin Zakariyaa (rahimahullaah) said: I heard Muhammad bin Yahyaa adh-Dhuhlee (rahimahullaah) saying, I heard Yahyaa bin Yahyaa (rahimahullaah) saying:
“Defense of the Sunnah is more superior than jihaad in the path of Allaah.” So I said, “A man spends his wealth, tires his body and strives (in jihaad), so is this one (still) better than him? He said, “Yes, by many times!”
[Dhammu al-Kalaam of al-Harawee]
Regarding the difficulty of criticizing innovators, Ibn Taymiyyah relayed the following:
“When some people said to Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah) that they felt uneasy about criticizing people, he replied, ‘If you remain silent and I remain silent, then who will make the ignorant person aware of the authentic from the defective?'”
Question: What do you say concerning the statement of the speaker: Indeed, the refutations upon the people of innovations and deviation were not the habitual practice of the Salaf, and that it is not befitting to spread the books of refutations, except amongst the students of knowledge and that they should not be spread amongst other than them?
Answer by Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah aalush-Shaykh:
The refutations upon the people of innovation are from Jihaad in the path of Allaah. They are from safeguarding the Sharee’ah from having other than it attached to it. So writing the books, publishing them and spreading them is the truth and it is a call to the truth and Jihaad in the path of Allaah. So whoever claims that publishing and spreading the books that contain refutation upon the innovators is an innovated affair, then he is upon error, because Allaah the Sublime and Exalted said: O Prophet! Strive hard against the hypocrites and be harsh with them.
And Jihaad can occur by the hand, or it can be with the tongue, or it can be with the wealth. So from Jihaad with the tongue is defending and safeguarding this Sharee’ah from everything that has been fabricated into it from doubts and falsities. And from that as well is warning against the innovations and calling to the truth.
Due to this, Imaam Ahmad (d.241H) and other than him authored books warning against the innovators. So Imaam Ahmad wrote the treatise, ar-Radd ‘alaz-Zanaadiqah within which, he clarified their doubts. And he answered every doubt. And al-Bukhaaree (d.256H) (rahimahullaah) wrote his book, Khalq Af’aalul-‘Ibaad. And other than them from amongst the Imaams of Islaam wrote books in refutation of the innovators and invalidated their falsities and established the proofs against them. Likewise, Shaykhul-Islaam [Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H)] wrote in refutation upon the Raafidah in his famous book, Minhaajus-Sunnatin-Nabawiyyah fee Naqd Kalaamish-Shee’ah wal-Qadariyyah. And he clarified what they were upon from falsehood and misguidance. Grand Muftee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His eminence, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah aalush-Shaykh Taken from: ar-Riyaadus-Sa’oodiyyah Newspaper (issue no. 12674), dated Friday, the 4th of al-Muharram.