Declaring Someone An Innovator
by Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadee ‘Umair Al Madkhalee (Haafidhullaah)
The issue concerning whether or not it is conditional to establish the proof upon an individual in order to declare him to be an innovator
Question: O’ our Shaykh (حفظكم الله), there is a question going around the students of knowledge regarding an individual who has fallen into an innovation. Is it conditional in order to declare him to be an innovator, that the proof be established against him first, or is this not required?
Benefit us, jazaakaAllahu khayra.
Answer: “In the name of Allaah The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy. All praise is due to Allaah and may the peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his family, companions and whosoever follows his guidance. To proceed:
That which is well known from Ahlus Sunnah is that whosoever falls into an affair that amounts up to Kufr (disbelief) then he is not to be declared a disbeliever up until the proof has been established against him. (من وقع في أمر مكفر لا يكفر حتى تقام عليه الحجة)
As for someone who falls into an innovation, then he is from one of the following categories:
1) The first category:
Ahlul Bidah (The people of innovations); such as the Rawaafidh, the Khawaarij, the Jahmiyyah, the Qadariyyah, the Mu’tazilah, the Soofees, the Grave Worshippers, the Murji’ah and whosoever is attached and affiliated to them such as the groups ‘Al Ikhwaan Al Muslimeen’ and Jamaa’tu At Tableegh’.
The Salaf did not make it conditional that the proof had to be established upon them in order to declare them as innovators. (لم يشترط السلف إقامة الحجة من أجل الحكم عليهم بالبدعة)
So it is said concerning the Raafidhee that he is a ‘mubtadi,’ (an innovator), and likewise the Khaarijee is considered as an innovator etc, and this is the case whether the proof has been established against them or not. (سواء أقيمت عليهم الحجة أم لا)
2) The second category:
This relates to someone from Ahlus Sunnah who fell into ‘a clear innovation’ (وقع في بدعة واضحة ) such as the statement that ‘the Qur’an has been created’ or the statement of the Qadariyah or the opinion of the Khawarij and other than them. The likes of this individual is declared to be an innovator, and this is in accordance to the way of the Salaf (فهدا يبدع و عليه عمل السلف)
An example of this is demonstrated in that which has been narrated upon Ibn ‘Umar,رضي الله عنهما, when he was asked about the Qadariyah, he said:
“When you meet those people then inform them that indeed I am free from them and they are free from me”. (Collected by Muslim 8).
Shaykhul Islaam, (رحمه الله), said in his book, ‘Dar’u T’aarud Al ‘Aql wa An Naql’, [vol 1, pg 254]:
“So the way of the Salaf and the Imaams of the past is that they would carefully consider and utilize the correct meanings that were confirmed by the religion and by the intellect. They would likewise carefully consider and utilize the terms and expressions that were confirmed by the religion, thus utilizing them in their speech whenever they could. So whosoever spoke with a term that contained a false meaning, thereby opposing the Book and the Sunnah, then they, (the ‘Salaf’ and the Imaams) would refute him. And whosoever came with an innovated term or expression that contained within it, truth and falsehood, then likewise they, (the ‘Salaf’ and the Imaams), would ascribe him to innovation as well, and they would say: “Indeed he has only confronted an innovation with another innovation, and has refuted falsehood with that which is false itself.”
I say, (Shaykh Rabee’): This passage demonstrates some of the great and important affairs that the ‘Salaf As Saaleh’ would embark upon in order to protect and preserve their true religion. Likewise, the passage demonstrates the means of precaution that the ‘Salaf’ took