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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  [31918]  
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"This is the reality of the statement of those from the Salaf and the people of knowledge that say: ‘Verily, the ones who called towards innovations are not to have their testimony accepted. Nor should they be followed in prayer. Nor should knowledge be taken from them. Nor should they be given women in marriage.’ This is their recompense, until they stop what they are doing. Due to this, it must be noted that there is a difference between one who calls towards innovations and one who doesn’t call to it (but yet is still an innovator). The one who calls to it, publicly displays his evil and thus it is necessary to punish him, as opposed to the one who conceals his innovation. Indeed, this latter one is only as evil as the hypocrites – those whom the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to accept their open proclamations (of Faith) and entrust their secret proclamations to Allaah, while possessing knowledge of the condition of most of them." [8]

Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said in his tafseer of Allaah’s statement: "The woman and the man guilty of fornication, lash each one of them a hundred times. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allaah, if you believe in Allaah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment."[9]:

"Thus Allaah has commanded that they be recompensed and punished while in the presence of a group from the believers. This may be achieved by the event bearing witness to itself or the believers’ bearing witness to it. The reason behind this is since if the act of disobedience is done openly, then its punishment must be done openly. This is as is stated in one narration: ‘Whosoever sins while in secrecy, let him repent in secrecy. And whosoever sins in public, then let him repent in public.’ It does not fall under the category of being concealed, such as the concealing that Allaah loves, as occurs in the hadeeth: ‘Whosoever conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allaah will conceal him (i.e. his faults).’ Rather, if that (public) misdeed were to be concealed, it would be the same as agreeing with an open evil. In a hadeeth it states: ‘Verily, when a sin is kept hidden it doesn’t cause harm, except to the one who has committed it. And when it is done publicly and not repelled, it harms the masses of people.’

Thus if it is done publicly, then its recompense must be done in public, as well, in accordance with conceivable justice. For this reason, it is not considered backbiting to talk about one who openly publicizes his innovations and wickedness, as has been reported on Al-Hasan Al-Basree and others. This is because when one publicizes that, he justifies himself to be punished by the Muslims. The least of these forms of punishment is that he should be dispraised and dishonored so that the people may avoid and refrain from him and his deviance. And if he is not dispraised and the evil or disobedience or innovation that lies within him is not conveyed (to the public), then the people will be deceived by him. Then it is likely that this will bring some of them to act upon what he believes in. At the same time, it will only cause him to increase in his daringness, evil and disobedience. So if the faults that he has in him are mentioned, then he will restrain and others will restrain from his evil and from accompanying and socializing with him. Al-Hasan Al-Basree said: ‘Do you turn away from mentioning the condition of the evil-doer (faajir)? Mention what he has in him, so that the people may be warned of him!’ This has been reported in marfoo’ form.

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