Establishing the Proof Against and Keeping Away from the People of Innovation | And a Mention of Students Smitten by Self-Importance

by The Albaani Blog


Questioner: You’ve indicated that what we’ve been nurtured on or what we’ve read from the books of the Shaikhs of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim and Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab, may Allaah the Most High have mercy on them, is that they would not declare to be disbelievers those who … or that they would not rush to declare to be disbelievers someone who came with an innovation even if it was one that could lead to disbelief [bid’ah mukaffirah] except after knowledge has reached him or the proof has been established against him.

So this point is lost on many of the brothers, such that one of them will think that or he will hold that when he speaks to this innovator whether he be an Imaam or not … and especially when they discuss or argue with the Imaams [i.e., Imaams in the mosque etc.] about this issue, about the innovation, and clarify its danger and its opposition to the religion of Islaam in the fundamentals and subsidiary issues … you will see the innovator will argue about that and many times he will not care about the proof or the debate and will remain upon that misguided innovation that he is upon, and then the brothers hold that they have conveyed [the knowledge] to him and have established the proof against him.

So is this debate or discussion or proof or advice which they gave enough in establishing the proof against that person?

This is what we want [to ask].

Al-Albaani: We alluded to this also in what we spoke about earlier when we said that it is not right to rush to issue fatwas declaring others to be disbelievers.

Because we hold that nowadays many of our brothers who are novices in da’wah have been smitten by some self-importance and by some claim of having learning and knowledge.

For that reason I do not believe that every student of knowledge, in fact, I do not believe that every scholar let alone student of knowledge is capable of establishing the proof against his opponent however deep that opponent may be in misguidance.

Because the student of knowledge, indeed the scholar, and let us say the Salafi, may be sound in his aqidah but he may not have knowledge of the proofs which can nullify the opposing innovator’s claim … except for [the knowledge he may have about] some things based upon which he [personally] felt reassured about the correctness of [his] aqidah or other than that, [but] then later only a few of those many proofs remained with him and so when he presents them to whoever opposes him from the innovators he thinks he has established the proof–but it is not like that.

This, firstly, is what is connected to our brothers, the students of knowledge.

Secondly, what is the result of whether the proof has been established or not? Whether the proof has been clarified to the opponent or not?

The result is one of two things: either that we don’t pray behind him or that you don’t marry them. Okay, [so implement] his saying عليه السلام which is regarded as one of the fundamentals principles in the Legislation, ‘Leave that which makes you doubt for that which doesn’t,’ but don’t rush to unequivocally say that he is a disbeliever, ‘Because I have established the proof against him.’

[Instead just] deal with him practically as though he really was an unbeliever: don’t pray behind him or marry him…

Questioner: … and don’t take them as allies …

Al-Albaani: Sorry?

Questioner: … and don’t take them as allies …

Al-Albaani: And so on.

As for declaring a Muslim to be a disbeliever then its seriousness is well-known in Islaam.

For this reason we advise our brothers who are beginners to act in accordance with the end result that would be there if the proof really was established against those people: which is to be distant from those innovators.

Especially because the Salaf used to warn against sitting with the people of innovation and particularly those who were known as scholars of theological rhetoric [ilmul-kalaam], i.e., those who have opinionated, rationalistic misconceptions–the student of knowledge stands baffled in front of them having no answer to give back because he doesn’t have the vast knowledge and the strong, erudite intellect [versed] in the Sharee’ah to [be able to] establish the proof against them [by], firstly, [presenting] the texts, and then rationalistically.

[The Shaikh then mentions a proverb with the meaning of keeping away from evil].

Questioner: May Allaah reward you with good.

Al-Albaani: And you.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 754.