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Warning Against the Innovators
  The Methodology of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah in Warning Against Innovators and Their Books
Author: Shaikh Rabee' bin Haadee al-Madkhalee
Source: book Manhaj Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah Fee Naqd-ir-Rijaal wal-Kutub wat-Tawaa'if
Article ID : BDH050002  [29848]  
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Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said:

"Some of the Shaafi'ee and Hanbalee scholars as well as others have permitted killing those who call towards innovations that are in opposition to the Qur'aan and Sunnah. This is the same case with the Maalikee scholars who say: ‘Maalik and others have only permitted killing the Qadariyyah for the purpose of eradicating corruption in the land, not because of their apostasy.’" [2]

And he (ra) also said:

"Any innovator that has the proof established against him, it is required for him to undergo punishment. And if not, then still, his innovative and forbidden actions are fruitless and contain no reward in them. Rather, they subtract from his good deeds, reduce from his reward and serve as a means for lowering his honor and status. This is the ruling concerning those who are misguided and their recompense. And Allaah rules with equity and justice, He does not wrong anything, not even an atom." [3]

Taqee-ud-Deen Abu Muhammad 'Abd-ul-Ghanee Al-Maqdisee (ra) said concerning the various groups:

"Know, may Allaah have mercy on you, that Islaam and its adherents are undermined by three types of groups: 1) The first type reject the ahaadeeth concerning Allaah's attributes and declare their narrators to be liars. These individuals are more harmful to Islaam and its adherents than the disbelievers. 2) Another group believes them to be authentic and accepts them, however, they distort their meaning. These people are far worse in harm than the first group. 3) The third type of group combines the first two views. According to their claims they eliminate any anthropomorphic qualities to Allaah, while they are lying. This directs them to accept the first two views. And they are more greater in danger than the first two groups." [4]

Ibn Al-Jawzee (ra) said:

"Abul-Wafaa 'Alee Ibn 'Aqeel said: 'Our Shaikh Abul-Fadl Al-Hamdhaanee said: 'The innovators in Islaam and the fabricators of ahaadeeth are worse than the disbelievers. This is because the disbelievers attempt to corrupt the Religion from the outside, whereas these individuals attempt to corrupt it from the inside. They take the similitude of the inhabitants of a land, who strive to corrupt its condition (from the inside), while the disbelievers take the similitude of raiders laying siege to the land from the outside. Thus it is the ones on the inside that open the doors of the land’s surrounding barrier (and let the besiegers in). These types (of people) are far worse to Islaam than the ones who don't attribute themselves to it." [5]

I say that this type of talk concerning the various (deviant) groups is a fundamental attribute of Islaam. And there is no doubt that these innovators possessed good characteristics. However, these great scholars did not mention any of them, because mentioning them is not an obligation.

Thus, it was from the methodology of the righteous predecessors to warn against the books that held innovations within them, safeguarding the methodology of the Muslims from their harmful and dangerous effects. It is not a form of injustice for a Muslim, who is advising against a book, to mention the defects that are present in it, since he is warning the Muslims against its harm. This is even if he doesn’t mention any of its good qualities. Rather, it is injustice for him to degrade it by labeling it with defects that are not present there, even if the book’s author is a disbeliever.

Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said:

"Lying against an individual is completely forbidden, regardless if he is a Muslim, a disbeliever or an evil sinner. However, fabricating a lie against a believer is more severe. In spite of all forms of lying on someone is forbidden, it is allowable during times of a legitimate necessity." [6]

Indeed the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) warned against reading the books of the Jews and the Christians. Jaabir Ibn ‘Abdillaah RAA reported that ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab RAA once approached the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) while holding a book he had obtained from some of the People of the Book. So he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) became angry and said: "Do you have doubts, O Ibn Al-Khattaab? By the One whose hand my soul is in! I have surely brought it for you in its purified form. Do not ask them (people of the Book) about anything, for they will either inform you of truth and you will disbelieve in it, or of falsehood and you will believe in it. By the One whose hand my soul is in! If Moosaa were alive today, he would have no choice except to follow me!" [7]

Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said:

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