In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Ibn Rajab [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “The one who lives long (after me) will see a lot of differences, so beware of the newly invented matters (in the religion) because it is misguidance. So whoever amongst you reaches that (time of differing), then upon him is to adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Khulafaa [i.e. Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Ali], and bite onto it with the molars [i.e. cling to it firmly]”. [Abu Dawud 4607; Ahmad 4/126; Tirmidhee 2676] He [peace and blessings be upon him] commanded that during splitting and differing, one should adhere to his Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided khulafaa after him. The Sunnah is the path that is to be adhered to, and that includes adhering to what he and his rightly guided khulafaa were upon with regards to creed, actions and statements. This is the complete Sunnah. (1)
Imaam Abu Haatim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: This is clear evidence that the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] commanded his Ummah to know the Du’afaa (weak narrators) amongst them and (distinguish) them from the Thiqaat (reliable narrators). That is because the Sunnah cannot be adhered to alongside the lies and falsehood mixed with it, except by way of knowing the Du’afaa and (distinguishing them) from the Thiqaat. (2)
Imaam Al-Awzaa’ee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “O Muslims! Fear Allaah, accept the advice of the sincere advisers and the admonition of the admonishers. know that this knowledge is religion, so beware of what you do, from whom you take your religion, the one you follow and the one with whom your religion is safe, because indeed all the proponents of religious innovation are all falsifiers, liars and sinners. They are not cautious – neither do they pay attention nor do they fear, and together with that they are not to be trusted that they would not distort what you hear.
They say what they do not know with regards to what they disapprove and when proclaiming their lies; but Allaah (knows, hears and sees) what they do. Therefore, be cautious of them, trust them not, reject them and avoid them, because indeed this is what your earlier scholars did and commanded, and likewise the righteous ones who came thereafter.
Be careful of opposing Allaah and being the means to destroying the religion He has ordained – breaking its commands and prohibitions, nullifying and weakening it by respecting the innovators in religious affairs and those who initiate that which is not from the religion, because you know what has been transmitted (i.e. the prohibitions) about respecting or exalting them. And what can be greater respect and exaltation than acquiring your religion from them- following and believing them, drawing close to them and assisting them in enticing the ones they entice and woo to their views and the religion (i.e. religious innovations) they follow. This is sufficient to be regarded as associates of theirs in what they do”. (3)
Imaam Barbahaaree [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: “Know that leaving the correct path occurs in two ways. Firstly: that a man strays from the correct path intending nothing but good, so his error is not to be followed since it leads to destruction. Secondly, a man who deliberately opposes the truth and acts contrary to the Pious ones who came before him, he is astray, leading others astray, a rebellious devil within the Ummah. It is a duty upon those who know of him to warn the people against him and to explain his condition to them so that no one falls into his innovation and is destroyed”.
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] commented on the above statement of Imaam Barbahaaree [may Allaah have mercy upon him] saying: After the Shaikh [i.e. Imaam Barbahaaree] described the correct path in his previous statement-the correct path that is obligated on the Muslim to follow in his Aqeedah and Religion- he then mentioned that the one who leaves the correct path is one of two men: The First Man: Is the one who leaves the [correct path] without the intention [to do so], rather he intended good but followed other than the path of good. Striving [alone] is not sufficient, and even if the person has a righteous intention and a good aim, then that has to be upon the correct path. Therefore, this [person] is considered mistaken and whoever agrees with him upon that and follows with him upon error will be destroyed; because this is a path of destruction even though the [person] did not intend leaving [the correct path]; rather his quest was [to reach something] good. This is the state of many of those who initiate newly invented affairs -from themselves – in the knowledge of Aqeedah (Creed). This affair is not permissible and they should not adhere to it. The person [upon this path] is not upon correctness. Allah [The Mighty and Majestic] said:
[ وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ – And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path]. [6:153]
So we reject any path that exits us from the Straight Path even if the one who [calls] to it aims for good and has a good intention. We do not follow him upon that whilst he continues upon his error, eventually leading to destruction; because whoever abandons the correct path in his journey and takes a path of ruin will be destroyed.
As For The Second Person: It is the one who intends to leave [the correct path]. He knows the truth and that what he embarks upon is falsehood, but he intends to leave the truth with the intention of misguiding the people. So the intention of the first [person] is to bring about benefit for the people, but he did not follow the correct path. The second [person] intended to misguide the people and to turn them away from the correct path. So this one [i.e. the one who intends misguidance for the people] is a devil, because the devils take the people away from the Straight Path. [Allaah informed us that] Iblees said: [لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ -Surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path]. [7:16] So he intends to turn them away from it [i.e. the straight path] and [direct them] towards the deviated paths. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] gave us an example when he drew a straight line and drew other lines on its sides, he then said about the straight line: ‘This is the path of Allaah’ and he said about the other lines, ‘These are the other paths, and on each path is a devil calling to it.’ This is a clear example that is in agreement to that which the Shaikh [i.e. Imaam Barbahaaree] has mentioned here. So the one who takes the people away from the Straight Path [and direct them] to the innovated paths of the innovators is not one who intends good for them; rather he intends destruction for them. He is a devil, be it that he is a devil from amongst the Jinn or the People. It is obligated on us to be more careful of this [second ] than the first one [i.e. the person who intends good but was mistaken]; because this one [i.e. the intentionally deviated one] intends to misguide the people.
And regarding the statement of Imaam Barbahaaree: “He is astray, leading others astray, a rebellious devil”, Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan commented on the above statement, saying: He is misguided and misguiding others. He is a rebellious devil, a rebel intending to turn the people from the Straight Path. And regarding the statement of Imaam Barbahaaree: ”It is a duty upon those who know of him to warn the people against him and to explain his condition to them so that no one falls into his innovation and is destroyed.’ Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan commented on the above statement, saying: It is not permissible to keep quiet about this one who leaves the truth intentionally; rather it is obligatory to unveil his affair and uncover his vileness until the people are warned about him. And it is not to be said that the people are free to hold views, freedom of speech and respecting the views of others, as say present with regards to [having] respect for the views of others. The affair is not about views; [rather] the affair is about Ittibaa [i.e. following the authentic proofs narrated from the Messenger accompanied with the understanding of the Salaf]. Allah has outlined a clear path for us and He told us to adhere to it, when He [Glorified be He] stated: [وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ] ‘And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it’ [6:153]
So any person comes to us and wants us to leave this straight path, then firstly we reject his statement. Secondly, we clarify and warn the people against him and we do not keep quiet about him; because if we keep quiet about him, the people will be deceived by him, especially if he is an eloquent person, [with] good speech, [skillful] writing and is educated; for indeed the people will be deceived by him and will say, ”this one is competent, this one is from the thinkers,” as is taking place today.
So, the affair is very dangerous and regarding this is a reason to refute the one in opposition, as opposed to what those ones say: [that] ”Abandon the refutations, leave the people, everyone has his own views and have respect for him.” By way of this [having] respect for the views and freedom of speech the Ummah will be destroyed. The Salaf did not keep quiet about the likes of these people; rather they exposed and refuted them due to their knowledge of their danger upon Ummah. We do not keep quiet about their evil; rather that which Allaah has revealed must be clarified. And unless [we do that], we will be from those who conceal the truth-those whom Allah spoke of (saying):
[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَىٰ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ يَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّاعِنُونَ-Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allaah and cursed by the cursers.'[2:159] And the affair is not limited to the innovator, rather it is extended to the one who keeps quiet about him, for indeed rebuke and punishment is extended to him; because it is obligatory to clarify and made clear for the people…..up until the Sheikh said: So our intention is to clarify the truth. Our intention is not to [merely] disparage the people or to speak about the people. The intent is to clarify the truth and this is a trust entrusted upon the Scholars. It is not permissible to keep quiet about these people. (4)
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated, “The Imaams of Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jamaaa’ah – the people of knowledge and Imaan- are possessors of Knowledge, Justice and Mercy. They know the truth in a manner in which it is [obligated upon] them- in agreement with the Sunnah and free from innovations. They deal justly with those who are outside of it [i.e. those outside the truth and the Sunnah] even if they [i.e. such people] oppress them, as Allaah [The Most High] said:
[وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ -And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety (5:8)] They are merciful towards the creation. They wish goodness for them, guidance and knowledge. They do not set out wishing evil for them; rather when they [i.e. those Imaams of the Sunnah] punish them, clarify their mistakes, ignorant [views, statements and beliefs] and wrong doing, their intention is to clarify the truth, having mercy for the creation, enjoining good and forbidding evil, in order that the entire religion is established sincerely [for the worship of Allaah alone and adherence to the Sunnah of His Messenger], and so that the word of Allaah is made the uppermost”. (5)
Ibn Aqeel [may Allaah have mercy upon him] 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”. (6) He also said, ““If the truthful ones were to keep silent and the falsifiers speak, then the creation would have relinquished what they have witnessed [of truth] and reject what they have not witnessed. So when the devout ones desire to revive the Sunnah, the people would reject it and think that it is bidah”. (6.1)
Al-Allaama Rabee Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee [may Allaah preserve him] said: Through [Muhammad (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasalam)] Allaah removed us from the darkness of Shirk, indecency and Bidah, evil deeds and bad manners – lying, deceit, quackery, trickery etc. And He (purified us) with pure (Islamic)] monotheism and strong sincere Eemaan. He [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] nurtured us upon truthfulness and took the oath of allegiance from us that we speak the truth wherever we may be, and He warned us against lies and evil deeds. And from the recompense (given) to a liar is that which has been reported from the noble Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam]- the person of high moral character- who said, “I saw (in a dream) – two men came to me”. Then the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasalam] said, “They said, ‘the person- the one whose cheek you saw being torn away (from the mouth to the ear) was a liar and used to tell lies and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread (that lie) all over the world. So, he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection”. [Reported by Imaam Al-Bukhaari: Number: 6096] How numerous are those who tell lies today against the carries of Salafiyyah and its callers! They hinder men from the path of Allaah by way of these lies to aid falsehood, spurious (stances, ideas, views etc), bidah, (views, stances, beliefs, ideas etc) that are destructive to the sound creed, methodology and virtuous manners. (7)
A Warning Against Hamza Yusuf- By Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him]
Visiting Graves and the Ruling on Women Visiting Graves
[Ref 1: Jaami-ul uloom wal hikam page:249]
[Ref 2: Muqaddimah Kitaab Al-Majrooheem Minal Muhadditheen By Imaam Ibn Hibbaan (rahimahullaah) Page: 66]
[Ref 3: Taareekh Dimashq 6/361]
[Ref 4: Source: An Excerpt from It-haaful Qaaree Bitta’liqaat Alaa Sharhis Sunnah Lil Imaam Barbahaaree, Vol 1, page: 110-115. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 5: Ar-Radd Alal Bakriy page: 490]
[Ref 6: As-Sawaa-iq Al-Mursalah Alal Jahmiyyah Wal-Mu-attilah 4/1346]
[Ref 6.1: Shifaa As-Sudoor Fee Ziyaaratil Mashaahid Wal-Quboor page: 148]
[Ref 7: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Awaasim Mimmaa Fee Kutub Sayyid Qutb Minal-Qawaasim: page 4-5. slightly paraphrased]