If you see a man who strives hard and long in worship, is abstemious, being continual in worship, except that he is a person of innovation, do not sit with him, do not listen to his words and do not walk along with him, since I do not feel safe that you will not eventually come to be pleased with his way and go to destruction along with him.
Al-Imām Al-Barbahārī said:
“If you see a man who strives hard and long in worship, is abstemious, being continual in worship, except that he is a person of innovation, do not sit with him, do not listen to his words and do not walk along with him, since I do not feel safe that you will not eventually come to be pleased with his way and go to destruction along with him.” (Sharḥ al-Sunnah no. 149).
Explanation Of Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān (may Allāh have mercy upon him):
This is applicable to Jamāʿah At-Tableegh who many of the people today have been deceived by because they look solely at things that are apparent from them like their worship and them influencing the sinners to repent, as they say, and their great effect upon those who accompany them. However, they remove the sinners from disobedience to innovation, and innovation is more evil than disobedience. The sinner from Ahl al-Sunnah is better than the devout worshipper from the people of innovation. So a person should pay attention to this. I have not stated this because I dislike the good that they possess, if they possess any good, rather I have only said this disliking the innovation because innovation destroys the good. The innovations that Jamāʿah At-Tableegh are upon have been mentioned by those who accompanied them and then repented from this association, and many books have been written warning against them and clarifying their innovations.When Shaykh Muḥammad Ibn Ibrāhīm initially allowed them to give daʿwah in the Kingdom (of Saudi al-ʿArabīa) then this was because their reality was not clear to him. But when their affair became clear to him he wrote a profound refutation upon them as can be found in his Fatāwá (1/227). And he made it conditional upon them to call to Tawḥīd but they did not fulfil this condition.Likewise, when Ibn Bāz initially praised them, then this was because their affair was not clear to him but when their reality became clear to him he recanted from this, and he said, “No one should accompany them unless he wants to call them to the truth and to At-Tawḥīd, and to criticise them for their opposition [to the truth]” (Majmūʿ Fatāwá Ibn Bāz (8/296). This is what he said may Allāh have mercy upon him, even though the person of innovation will not accept daʿwah (being invited to the truth) and similarly someone who is upon (a deviant) methodology will not abandon the methodology upon which he pledged allegiance to his Shuyūkh.
“Since I do not feel safe that you will not eventually come to be pleased with his way and go to destruction along with him.”
This is the end result if you were to walk with him and sit with him, and if you were to be pleased with his state. Verily, his innovation will have an effect upon you and you will deem it to be acceptable [and good] and you will be destroyed along with him and you will be an innovator. The threat from the innovators is extremely dangerous and how many of them are there in our time? But it is obligatory upon us to know what innovation actually is because some of people consider everything to be an innovation whereas innovation has guidelines. If it is established that this individual is upon innovation then do not sit with him and do not accompany him.
Source: Ithaaf al-Qārī (2/184), printed by Maktabah ar-Rushd
Exclusive translation for Sisters Upon Istiqāmah (re-published to troid.ca with their permission)