From the Salafi Manhaj is to act upon the saying of Imām Ahmad: Don’t argue with Ahlul-Bid’ah and don’t sit with the People of Desires

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In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

Imām Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullāh) said: “From the foundations of Sunnah with us is… to abandon argumentation and sitting with the people of desires (Ahlul-Ahwā).”

Al-‘Allāmah Ahmad an-Najmi (rahimahullāh) commented: The evidence for this is the saying of Allah, the Most High:

وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِى ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ يُكْفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلَا تَقْعُدُوا۟ مَعَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا۟ فِى حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِۦٓ ۚ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًۭا مِّثْلُهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ جَامِعُ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقِينَ وَٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ فِى جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا

“And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur’an) that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then do not sit with them until they turn away to another topic, otherwise, in that case, you are like them…” (An-Nisā: 140)

And there occurs in an authentic hadeeth that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever hears of the appearance of the Dajjāl, let him stay far away from him as much as he is able––for indeed a man will go to him considering himself to be a believer (therefore safe) and the Dajjāl will not cease to throw doubts at him until he ends up following him due to what he sees from him of doubts.” (Ahmad 19896, Abu Dawood 4319, saheeh)

Al-Imām Ibn Battah (d. 387H, rahimahullāh) commented: This is the saying of the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi ‘alaihi wasallam) and he is the Truthful and the Believed. For Allah, O Muslims, pay attention! Let not any of you get carried away with the high opinion he has of himself (and self-amazement)―and he trusts that he knows the correctness of his belief and is safe from falling into danger in his Religion by sitting with the People of Desires (Ahlul-Ahwā). So he says, “I will go to the innovator and I will debate him, and take him out of his deviated belief.” These innovators are a greater trial on him than the Dajjāl, their speech is more contagious than scabies and more scorching for the hearts than a blazing fire. I have seen a group of people who used to curse and revile Ahlul-Bid’ah in their gatherings―then they started sitting with them with a view to correct them and refute them. The innovators did not cease to be friendly (and courteous) with them along with their deceit and subtle kufr until they inclined to them and defected [to join them]. (See Al-Ibānah 2/470, adapted slightly)

It is reported from Anas bin Mālik (d. 92H, radiyallāhu ‘anhu) that a man came to him and said: “O Abu Hamzah! I have met a people who deny the intercession on the Day of Judgement and the punishment in the grave.” So Anas said: “They are liars, do not sit with them.” (Reported in Al-Ibānah of Ibn Battah, 2/448, 408)

It is reported from Ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) that he said: “Do not sit with Ahlul-Ahwā for their gatherings are a sickness upon the hearts.” This was reported by Al-Ājurri in As-Sharee’ah (1/196 no.139) under the chapter: “The censure of argumentation and debating in the Religion.” It was likewise reported by Ibn Battah in Al-Ibānatul-Kubrā under the chapter: “A warning from keeping company with people who sicken the hearts and corrupt the Imān.”

Imām Abul-Jawzā’ Aws bin Abdillāh Ar-Rib’ee (d. 83H, rahimahullāh) from the major Tābi’een, said: “That my neighbours are apes and pigs is preferable to me than having these Ahlul-Ahwā as my neighbours.” (Al-Lālikā’i, 1/148, no. 231)

A-Fudayl Ibn ‘Iyād (d. 187H, rahimahullāh) said: “Do not sit with a person of innovation for I fear that curses will descend upon you.” (Al-Lālikā’i, 1/155, no. 262, Ibn Battah 2/460, no. 441, Barbahāri, p. 143, 170)

Ad-Dārimi reported in his Muqaddimah (1/120, no. 397), chapter: “Abandoning the People of Desires, Innovation and Argumentation” that two men came to Muhammad bin Seereen (d. 110, rahimahullāh) and said: “O Abu Bakr, we would like to speak with you.” He responded: “No.” They continued: “Then let us recite to you a verse from Allah’s Book.” He replied: “No. Either you will get up and leave me or I will get up and leave.” So, they both left. Some of the people said: “O Abu Bakr, what harm could it have done if they had just recited a verse of Allah’s Book to you?” He answered: “Indeed, I fear that they would have recited a verse to me and twisted it and that may have settled in my heart.” Also reported in Ash-Sharee’ah of Al-Ājurri 1/191, no. 127, Athar, 44 and Al-Lālikā’i under the chapter: “What has been narrated from the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the context of the prohibition of debating with Ahlul-Bid’ah concerning the Religion.” (1/150, no. 242)

It has been reported from ‘Abdur-Razzāq bin Hamām As-San’āni Al-Yamani (d. 211H, rahimahullāh) that he said: Ibrāhim bin Muhammad bin Abu Yahyā said to me: “I see that there are large numbers of Mu’tazilah with you (i.e. in your land).” I replied: “Yes, and they claim you are from them!” He said: “Will you not enter this store (or coffee house) so I can talk to you?” I said: “No.” He asked: “Why?” I replied: “Because the heart is weak and the Religion is not based on who can overpower the other in speech.” (Al-Ibānatul-Kubrā, 2/446, no. 401 and Al-Lālikā’i no. 249)

Mubashshir bin Ismā’eel al-Halabi (d. 200H rahimahullāh) said: It was said to Abdur-Rahmān bin ‘Amr Al-Awzā’ee (d. 157H, rahimahullāh): “A man says: ‘I sit with Ahus-Sunnah and with Ahlul-Bid’ah’.” Al-Awzā’ee responded: “This man wishes to unify or equate between truth and falsehood.” (Al-Ibānatul-Kubrā, 2/456, no. 430).

An Amazing Insight

Al-‘Allāmah Rabee’ bin Hādi Al-Madkhali (hafidhahullāh) said:

“So we warn the Salafī youth from mixing with Ahlul-Ahwā’ and getting close to them, and being friendly with them, and putting trust in them. So learn from those who preceded us; from those who were deceived by their own souls where one of them would think that he could guide the people of misguidance, return them back from their deviation and misguidance, but he became bedazzled, confused and uncertain, and then fell into the embrace of Ahlul-Bid‛ah. There have preceded experiences from the dawn of Islamic history. There were those from the children of the Sahābah who trusted Ibn Saba’ (the founder of the Shī‛ah) and thus they fell into misguidance. There were those from the sons of the Sahābah and the Tābi‛īn who gave their support to Al-Mukhtār Ibn Abī ‛Ubayd, and fell into misguidance.

Even in this era, there are people who gave their support to many of the politicised misguided callers and the leaders of innovation and they fell into the snares of the people of misguidance.

There are many, many people like this, but I will mention here the story of ‛Imrān Ibn Hittān. He used to be from Ahlus-Sunnah and he became enchanted with a woman from the Khawārij. So he became intent upon marrying her and then guiding her to the Sunnah, so he married her. Thereafter, she caused him to fall into innovation. He wished to guide her, yet he went astray due to her. There are so many from those who ascribe to the Salafī manhaj and they say: “I will enter alongside Ahlul-Ahwā’ in order to guide them”, and then they fall into their traps.

‛Abdur-Rahmān Ibn Miljim and ‛Imrān Ibn Hittān – both of them desired the Sunnah, and yet both fell into misguidance. The evil of ‛Abdur-Rahmān Ibn Miljim led him to kill ‛Alī – and the evil of ‛Imrān Ibn Hittān led him to praise this assassin of ‛Alī. We ask Allāh for well-being. ‛Imrān Ibn Hittān said:

“The striking of the sword from one who was pious… He did not intend but to reach the pleasure of the Owner of the Throne… I think about him from time to time and I consider him to be the most faithful of creation with Allāh in the weighing of the deeds… How honourable are a people whose dwelling is the bellies of birds… Their religion was not spoiled by transgression and injustice.” He continued until the end of these foul lines which he wrote in praise of this criminal, Ibn Miljim [the murderer of ‛Alī Ibn Abī Tālib].

May Allāh bless you. Then there is that which befell ‛Abdur-Razzāq as-San‛ānī (d. 211H) who was from the Imāms of Hadīth. He was deceived by the worship and abstemiousness (zuhd) of Ja‛far Ibn Sulaimān Ad-Duba‛ī. He became very close to him, befriended him and so fell into the snares of Shī‛ism.

Also Abu Dharr Al-Harawī, a narrator of the Sahīh. He was an eminent scholar of hadīth. He was deceived by a saying that was uttered by Ad-Dāraqutnī in praise of Al-Bāqillānī. He was carried by this saying in praise of Al-Bāqillānī until he fell into the snares of the Ashā‛irah and then became a caller from the callers of the Ash‛ariyyah. And due to him, the Ash‛arī doctrines spread throughout the Arab Maghrib (North Africa, Morocco, etc.). The people of Morocco became close and friendly towards him, they would come to him and visit him. He propagated the Ash‛arī doctrine amongst them. They accepted him and at that time, they did not know except the Salafī Manhaj. He established for them this evil path. We ask Allāh for wellbeing.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

من دعا إلى هدىً كان له من الأجر مثل أجور من تبعه لا ينقص من أجورهم شيئاً ومن دعا إلى ضلالة كان عليه من الوزر مثل أوزارهم إلى يوم القيامة لا ينقص من أوزارهم شيئاً

“Whoever invites to guidance, then there is for him the reward like unto the reward of those who followed him – whilst there is no reduction in their reward at all. Whoever invites to misguidance, then there is for him the burden of sin like unto the burden carried by those who followed him until the Day of Judgement – whilst there is no reduction in their burden of sin at all.”

Al-Bayhaqī was deceived by the People of Misguidance such as Ibn Fawrak and those similar to him. He used to be from the eminent scholars of hadīth and then he fell into Ash‛ariyyah.

It is possible that there comes forth an ignoramus who trusts himself and is deluded by that. He has no knowledge to protect himself with. So this one is a hundred times more likely to fall into bid‛ah than those scholars we have mentioned.

In these times there are many numerous examples of those who we used to know to be upon the Salafī Manhaj, but when they mixed with Ahlul-Bid‛ah, then went astray. That is because Ahlul-Bid‛ah have methods, and they have vigour, and they have ways and means that maybe the devils of the past did not even know of. So nowadays Ahlul-Bid‛ah are acquainted with these methods and ways, and how to deceive the people. So from the methods employed by Ahlul-Ahwā’ in these times is their saying ‘that you should read and take the truth [from anyone] and leave the falsehood’. Many of the youth do not even know the truth from falsehood, and cannot distinguish between truth and falsehood. So they fall into falsehood thinking it to be the truth, and they reject the truth thinking it to be falsehood. So the affairs are inverted in their eyes, just as Hudhayfah stated:

إن الضلالة كل الضلالة أن تنكر ما كنت تعرف, وتعرف ما كنت تنكر

“Indeed true misguidance is that you reject what you used to affirm and that you affirm what you used to reject.”

So you see this circulating now in the arena and domain of Salafiyyah. It is as Allāh has willed: you do not sense it until the miskīn [who has no knowledge] turns and fights against Ahlus-Sunnah such that, what used to be evil to him becomes good and what used to be good to him becomes evil. So this is indeed utter misguidance. So we warn the Salafī youth from being deceived by Ahlul-Bid‛ah or trusting them.”

And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions.

A Polite Request: I have made this article freely available―I request that you donate the amount of just £2 or $2 (or more) as a Sadaqah to the Salafi Bookstore and Islamic Centre so they can continue their work to print and distribute free audios, leaflets and booklets to aid the da’wah of Ahlus-Sunnah and Hadīth across the world. And please make du’ā to Allah that He continues to aid and strengthen this blessed da’wah for generations to come.

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