In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
And Allaah [The Most High] said:
لَتُبۡلَوُنَّ فِىٓ أَمۡوَٲلِڪُمۡ وَأَنفُسِڪُمۡ وَلَتَسۡمَعُنَّ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ وَمِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَشۡرَكُوٓاْ أَذً۬ى كَثِيرً۬اۚ وَإِن تَصۡبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ ذَٲلِكَ مِنۡ عَزۡمِ ٱلۡأُمُورِ
You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you and from those who ascribe partners to Allaah; but if you persevere patiently, and become Muttaqoon (the pious) then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs. [3:186] – on condition that we exercise patience, remain steadfast and not abandon anything in the Religion. Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَجَعَلۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ أَٮِٕمَّةً۬ يَہۡدُونَ بِأَمۡرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُواْۖ وَڪَانُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ
And We made from among them (Children of Israel), Leaders giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with Certainty in Our Ayaat. [32:24] [Ref 1]
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi Al-Madkhali [hafidhahullaah] said:
Ibnul Jawzi said, Abul Wafaa Ibn Aqeel Al-Faqee said, our Shaikh Abul Fadl Al-Hamdaani said, “The innovators (in) Islam and the fabricators of Hadeeth are worse than the Mulhiddoon [i.e. the heretics (Ref a)], because the heretics aim to corrupt Islam from the outside, whilst these [people] want to corrupt it from within. They [i.e. the innovators and the fabricators of hadeeth] are similar to the people of a country who try to corrupt its state of affairs and the heretics are similar to those who lay a siege from the outside; so the ones from within [i.e. the innovators and fabricators of hadeeth] open the fortress. Therefore, they are more harmful to Islam than those who do not [attribute] themselves to it outwardly”.[Ref 2]
What is Ilhaad and Who Are The Mulhidoon [Hererics]?
Ilhaad: Complete Il-haad is to turn away from Islaam completely and that is Major Il-haad, which exits a person from the fold of Islaam, such as the Il-haad of the communists, the idol worshippers and those similar to them. And Minor Il-haad does not exit a person from the Religion of Islaam, such as turning away from some actions. Allaah (The Most High) said: [وَمَن يُرِدْ فِيهِ بِإِلْحَادٍ بِظُلْمٍ نُذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ – And whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste a painful torment] [22:25] [For further details, see links:
Imaam Ahmad [rahimahullaah] said, “There is none more harmful on the people of Islaam than the Jahmiyyah; they do not desire except to nullify the Qur’aan and the ahaadeeth of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam]”. [Ref 3]
Al-Haafifh Abdul Ghaniyy Al-Maqdisee [rahimahullaah] said, “Know-may Allaah have mercy upon you-that Islaam and its people are undermined by three groups; and the group that rejects the [authentic] ahaadeeth about the Attributes [of Allaah] and belie its narrators are more harmful to Islaam and its people than the disbelievers”. [Ref 4]
Ibn Aqeel [rahimahullaah] said, “There is none more harmful on the sharee’ah than the innovators of the people of kalaam [i.e. the people of philosophical rhetoric] and the ignorant soofees”. [Ref 5]
Abu khaythama narrated to us, (saying): Jareer related to us from Mansoor from Abu Ad-Duhaa from Masrooq, (who) said: “Once we were sitting with Abdullaah (Ibn Mas’ood) whilst he was reclining; then a man came to him and said: “O Abu Abdir-Rahmaan! Verily there is a storyteller at the doors of Kinda claiming that the portent of the Smoke will come along and snatch the breaths of the disbelievers (i.e. take their souls away) and the believers will get something like a cold from it.” So Abdullaah said while sitting up and he was angry, “O people fear Allaah! Whoever amongst you has knowledge of something, then he should speak with what he knows; and whoever does not know, then he should say, “Allaah knows best”; because it the best of knowledge for one of you to say, “Allaah knows best” with regards to things he has no knowledge of. Indeed, Allaah (The Most High) said to His Prophet (alayhis-salaam): ”Say (O Muhammad):
[قُلْ مَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَمَا أَنَا مِنْ الْمُتَكَلِّفِينَ – No wage do I ask of you for this (the Qur’aan), not am I one of the Mutakallifun (those who pretend and fabricate things which do not exist)]. [Soorah Saad. Ayah: 86] [Ref 6]
Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [rahimahullaah] stated: When it is the case that addressing the (people) through exhortations is mostly (directed at) the common people, the ignorant story tellers found a way of reaching their goals. Their bidah did not cease until the affair reached alarming proportions, so they brought about evil [through their] deeds, statements and goals. [Ref 7]
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. [Ref 8]
Shu-aib (rahimahullaah) narrated: I said to Ibn Seereen: ‘’what is your view concerning listening to the people of desires (i.e. ahlul bidah)? He said: ”We neither listen to them nor honour (them).” [Ref 9]
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 [without Allaah’s guidance, protection etc] in the twinkling of an eye, it will be snatched away from him. [Ref 10]
Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: It is not permissible to exalt and praise the innovators even if they have some truth with them. That is because raising and praising them will spread their bidah and place them amongst the sincere ones-those who are taken as examples amongst distinguished men of this Ummah. The Salaf warned against having trust for the innovators, (warned against) praising them and their gatherings. In this regard, Asad Ibn Musa (rahimahullaah) wrote: ”Beware of being a brother of the innovator (by association) or a companion of his, or one whom you sit with; for indeed it has been narrated that ‘Whoever sits with a person of innovation has left the protection of Allaah and is entrusted to himself’.
The innovators must be warned against and kept away from even if they have some truth with them. Indeed, the most astray are not devoid of some truth, but as long as they have with them innovation, opposition and sinful views, it is not permissible to praise and exalt them. It is impermissible to not have an objection against their innovation because this spreads bidah, belittles the Sunnah and by way of this the innovator will emerge and become a guide for the Ummah.
As for giving consideration (to the fact) that the innovation has some truth, this does not justify praising him. This is -to a far greater extent- against what is of overriding benefit and it is known in relation to a principle in the religion that averting harm takes precedence over seeking that which is of benefit. And with regards to having hatred for the innovator, the harm that is averted from the Ummah is weightier than the benefit possessed by the innovator. And had we adhered to this concept (i.e. praising the innovator because he has some truth with him), then no one would have been judged to be misguided and declared an innovator. That is because there is not an innovator except that he has some truth and adherence to the Sunnah. The innovator (may) neither be a disbeliever nor be in opposition to all the Islamic legislation; rather he is either an innovator in some or most of the affairs. However, if the innovation is particularly related to affairs of Creed and Methodology, then the affair is dangerous indeed because it will become an example (to be followed); innovation will spread and the innovators will become active in spreading their innovation.
So, this person who praises the innovators and makes their affair obscure to the people -due to some truth they (i.e. innovators) have – is one of two (people): He is either one ignorant of the methodology of the pious predecessors and their stance against the innovators, and it is neither permissible for this ignorant one to speak nor is it permissible for the Muslims to listen to him; or he is one who has an objection to the truth because he knows the danger of innovation and the innovators, but he wishes to spread innovations. Nevertheless, this is a dangerous affair and it is not permissible to be lackadaisical with regards to innovation and its people, whatever that may be. [Ref 11]
Shaikh Rabee [may Allaah preserve him] said:
Nowadays many people do not consider bidah to be something harmful to the people upon bidah. By Allaah, it is a calamity upon those who have reached this state of affairs. His desires lead him to [such a state] he does not consider bidah as something harmful to those upon bidah, even though the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, “The worst of all affairs are the newly invented matters [in the religion] and every newly invented matter [im the religion] is a bidah, and every bidah is misguidance.” [Muslim 867]
And [The Messenger (sallal laahu alayhi wasallam)] said, “The Jews split into seventy one sects, the Christians split into seventy two sects, and this Ummah [i.e. Muslim Ummah] will split into seventy three sects, and all of them will be in the fire except one; so they [i.e. the sahaabah] said, ‘Who are they O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said, those upon what I and my companions are upon.” [Tirmidhee 2641 & declared Hasan by Sh Albaani in Saheeh Al-Jaami 5343]
They [i.e. the saved sect] are the people upon truth – Ahlus Sunnah, the people who adhere to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, the enemies of bidah, misguidance, disbelief, shirk and all types of misguidance. They love the truth, and they establish love and hatred based on that. [Ref 12]
Read articles in the following links about the deviated sects
[Ref 2] [Quoted by Shaikh Rabee (may Allaah preserve him) in his Book titled: Al-Mahajjah Al-Baydaa Fee Himaayati As-Sunnati Al-Gharraa’i Min Zallaati Alhlil Akh’taa Wa Zayghi Ahlil Ahwaa’ page: 47]
[Ref 3]: Tabaqaat Al-Hanaabilah 1/47
[Ref 4]: Al-Iqtisaad Fil I’tiqaad page: 223
[Ref 5]: As-Sawaa-iq Al-Mursalah Alal Jahmiyyah Wal-Mu-attilah 4/1346
[Ref 6]: Source: Kitaabul Ilm of Abu Khaythama with the checking of Imaam Al Albaanee, page19. Narration number 67]
[Ref 7]: Source: كتاب القصاص والمذكرين- page 290]
[Ref 8: Al-Ibaanah 2/438
[Ref 9: Siyar A’laam Nubulaa: 4/611]
[Ref 10: البدع والنهي عنها of Ibn Wadaah page 54]
[Ref 11: At-Tabdee Wat-Tafseeq Wat Takfeer. Page: 72-76. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 11: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm page 25]