In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الْأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ ۖ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَانَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allaah upon you, you would have followed Shaitaan (Satan), save a few of you.'[4:83]
Imaam As-Sadi [rahimahullaah] said about this Aayah [i.e. An-Nisaa 83]: This is a moral conduct [commanded by Allaah] to His slaves – that they do not do this [i.e. hasten to spread news]. And it is obligated on them that when there comes to them an affair from the important affairs – matters related to a universal benefit for the people, public safety and those affairs on which depends the sorrow or happiness of the believers, or an affair of public fear which may bring about calamity upon them- that they should verify the [news of that affair] and not to be hasty in spreading it; rather they should refer it back to the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and to those in authority- the people of sound opinions, the people of knowledge; those who can give sound advice, the people of intelligence and those who approach affairs with calmness, and they are those who know what is of overriding benefit and that which is in opposition to it [i.e. the scholars]. So, if they see that disseminating such news will bring about an overriding benefit for the Muslims, strengthen them, bring about happiness and make them vigilant over their enemies, then they would disseminate such news; but if they see that there is no overriding benefit in disseminating such news, or that there is benefit in it, but there is more harm in doing so; then they would not circulate such news. That is why Allaah stated: [ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ – If only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly)]- Meaning: They would have derived from it [the proper cause of action] through contemplation and through their correct opinions and rightly guided sciences.
Therefore, in this there is proof regarding a principle related to a moral conduct, that when an [important affair] from the [important affairs] suddenly appears, it is obligatory to refer it to those who are competent in the affair and one should not put himself forward before them, for that is closer to correctness and [safer] in preventing mistakes. And in this, there is a prohibition against being hasty in circulating news [that is related important affairs of public safety or fear] and a command to contemplate before speaking- to look into the affair, as to whether it is an affair of overriding benefit to be dealt with, or whether it should be avoided if it does not carry an [overriding benefit].
[وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ – Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you]- Meaning: by way granting you the ability to act upon righteousness, instructed you with moral conducts and taught you that which you never knew, then [لَٱتَّبَعۡتُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬ – you would have followed Shaitan (Satan), save a few of you]. [An Excerpt from ‘Al-Fitnah Wa Mawqiful Muslim Minhaa’ pages 78-83]
The Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said:
And indeed there will appear a people from my Ummah in whom desires will run through them just as rabies runs through a dog. [Reported by Imaam Abu Daawud [rahimahullaah]. Number: 4597. Declared Hasan by Imaam Albaani [rahimahullaah]
Al-Allaamah Ahmad Bin Yahyah An-Najmi [rahimahullaah] said: This is [something] that has taken place; for indeed you see that many amongst the people of those desires [i.e. bidah] do not submit to the truth. They do not return to it (i.e. the truth) after being aware of it, just like the dog afflicted with rabies. Rabies is the disease that afflicts a dog and when afflicted by it, it persists and does not subside; rather it becomes mad or like a mad one. It does not drink water; rather it wishes to bite anyone it finds. [Source: Fat-hul Raheem Al-Wadood Fee At-Ta’leeq Alaa Kitaab As-Sunnah Min Sunan Abee Daawud’ page 53]
Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said: Do not sit with the people of desires [i.e. ahlul bidah], for indeed sitting with them will cause sickness to the hearts. [Al-Ibaanah 2/438]
Imaam Al-Barbahaari [rahimahullaah] said, “The likeness of the people of innovation is that of scorpions burying their heads and bodies in the sand and leaving their tails out; so when they are able they sting. Likewise, the people of innovation hide themselves within the people and when they are able, they convey what they desire”. [Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilah: 2/44]
What Should We Do When The Evil Desires of Ahlul Bidah Increase?
Shaikh Rabee [may Allaah preserve him] said, “It is obligated on the people of truth to exercise patience and increase in adhering to this religion of truth. Whenever the desires become abundant, it becomes necessary to increase in acquainting (oneself) with the truth and adhering to it, as the Messenger (alayhis salaatu was-salaam) said: ‘The one who lives long amongst you will see a lot of differences, so upon you is that you follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided khulafaa. Bite onto it with your molar teeth (i.e. hold onto it firmly) and beware of newly invented matters (in the religion), for every newly invented matter (in the religion) is a bidah and every bidah is misguidance.’” [Majmoo 14/294 (3rd paragraph)]
Imaam Sufyaan Ath-thawri [rahimahullaah] said, “The one who sits with a person of innovation is not safe from one of three [calamities]: Either he becomes a trial for other than himself; or something of [misguidance] enters into his heart, and thus he slips by way of that and Allaah enters him into the hell fire; or he says, ‘By Allaah, I don’t care what they say because I am sure of myself’. But whoever feels safe about his religion [i.e. without Allaah’s guidance, protection etc] in the twinkling of an eye, it will be snatched away from him”. [Source: البدع والنهي عنها by Ibn Wadaah. page 54].
Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadi [hafidhahullaah] said:
Allaah [The Most High] said:
[وَلَا تَرۡكَنُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ فَتَمَسَّكُمُ ٱلنَّارُ -And incline not toward those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch you]. [Surah Hud: Ayah 113]
The word [ظلم –wrong] in [this ayah] can [mean] disbelief; it can mean bidah and it can be [فسوق i.e. sinful, immoral behaviour], because (ظلم) can be applicable to all [i.e. in different contexts]. Therefore, we refrain from inclining towards the evil doers, the people of bidah, the Kuffaar, the Ilmaaniyyoon and other than them. And we protect ourselves, our Aqeedah, the Eemaan and sound religion which Allaah has bestowed on us.
It is enough for us to remember that the Salaf fled from Fitan – not mixing, sitting and debating with the people of Fitan. And even amongst them, such as the likes of Ayyoub As-Sakhtiyaanee and Ibn Seereen did not listen to the speech of those [people of bidah]. And when Ibn Seereen was asked, “Why do you not speak; why do you not listen to them?” He said, “Indeed, my heart is not in my hands! I am not in control of my heart; I fear for myself that I may be misguided”. So the likes of these Imaams feared fitna and deviation for themselves; but you the Miskeen possess that bravery to enable you to challenge ahlul bidah….!!! Many people say, “We sit with ahlul ahwaa [i.e. the people of desires] and we take [from them]; we distinguish between truth and falsehood; we take what is truth and abandon falsehood”, whilst he [i.e. the utterer of this speech] is a Miskeen who can neither distinguish between truth and falsehood nor is he in control of his heart. How many a young person has been put to trial through this satanic view and thus he [becomes] degraded, reverts back on his heels [into misguidance] and depraved, and Allaah’s Aid is sought. He falls prey in the arena of the people of fitan! Therefore, it is obligated on a student of knowledge not to [regard] himself safe from ahlul bidah, for indeed he is not more knowledgeable than Ayyoub and Ibn Seereen, nor can he reach their station [in knowledge, piety etc] and those who followed them. [Source: An Excerpt from (الذريعة إلى بيان مقاصد كتاب الشريعة ) Vol 1 pages 192-193. Slightly paraphrased]
The Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said:
وشر الأمور محدثاتها
”The worst of all affairs are the newly invented matters [in the religion].”
He [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said this whilst there were no Mubtadi’ [innovators in the religion] to be found. He warned against it because Allaah informed him that many (people) of this Ummah will be misguided, split (into deviated sects) and follow the (misguided) ways of those who came before them [i.e. the Yahood and Nasaaraa].
Allaah informed him [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and he conveyed these realities to the Ummah. So due to his [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] enmity towards bidah, his hatred for it and due to fearing for his Ummah regarding it; he warned them against it in every or most of his khutbahs. He described it to be the worst of all affairs (in the religion):وشر الأمور محدثاتها -The worst of all affairs are the newly invented matters [in the religion]; and these newly invented matters [in the religion] can either be affairs of Kufr Akbar or Shirk Akbar, or Shirk Asghar; and they can be major sins and so on. They are the worst of all affairs [in the religion] and Allaah’s Refuge is sought. [Source: الذريعة إلى بيان مقاصد كتاب الشريعة للإمام المحدث أبي بكر محمد بن الحسين الآجري – vol 1. Page: 219]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said that if one confuses one of these groups with the other, he might fall into evil and they are: The First Group are those whose company is like nourishment which one cannot do without in the morning and evening. One leaves it after fulfilling his need and returns to it when he is in need (again). This is how it is on a permanent basis (with such nourishment). The ones [intended in this similitude] are those who know Allaah, His commandments, the plots of His enemies, the diseases of the hearts and their remedies (i.e. the scholars). They are sincere to Allaah, His Messenger and His creation, and there are comprehensive benefits in their company.
The Second Group are those whose company is similar to medication that is needed during illness. So, as long as you are healthy, you are not in need of intermingling with them. They are those you cannot do without in (seeking after) the beneficial things of livelihood and fulfilment of various dealings, partnerships, consultation, medication and the likes.
The Third Group are those whose company is similar to the different types of diseases and the differences in their severity and mildness. Amongst them is one whose company is similar to chronic illness – this one does not benefit you; neither in the religious nor worldly affairs, together with the fact that you might either incur a loss in both your religious and worldly affairs or in one of them. So if intermingling with him is made possible, then it is like the disease that will lead to death. And amongst them is the one whose company is similar to a tooth ache whose pain becomes severe, but when it leaves you the pain abates.
The Forth Group are those whose company is absolute destruction and intermingling with them is similar to eating poison. How common is this similitude within the people! May Allaah not make them numerous, and they are Ahlul Bidah Wad Dalaalah (The people of innovation and misguidance). They are those who hinder (people) from the path of the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) and call to that which is in opposition to it. They are those who hinder (people) from the path of Allaah and seek to make it cooked; so they present innovation as Sunnah and Sunnah as innovation, and they present virtue as evil and evil as virtue. And when you established Tawheed amongst them, they say: You have degraded the Awliyaa (friends of Allaah) and the righteous people. And when you establish ittibaa (correct adherence to the path of the messenger with evidence) they say: You have invalidated (the affair) of the followed Imaams. And when you command that which Allaah and His Messenger command and forbid that which Allaah and His Messenger forbid, they say: You are from those who put people to trial. [Source: An Excerpt from بدائع التفسير الجامع لما فسره الإمام ابن القيم الجوزيةVol: 3, Page: 467-469- slightly paraphrased]