The late Abū ʿUways (رحمه الله) states:
“If a brother calls for something, that is in opposition to the Sunnah, for instance he says: ‘leave Masjid Raḥmah, go somewhere else…’, then OF COURSE HE SHOULD BE WARNED AGAINST. He is calling to separation, calling the people away from the asl, which is to gather (unite) upon the haqq. OF COURSE HE SHOULD BE WARNED AGAINST. What is he calling to? (He’s) calling to separation. We don’t take it as seriously as we should take it, because we have never understood the fruits and benefits of unity, and how precious unity is. Unity is expensive (and precious), we don’t understand that yet, or very few of us do, so every little mishap, ‘Oh, i’m going my way, let me get my bat and ball and play with somebody else’, this type of mentality, this type of childish, infantile mentality. Rather than maintain your unity with your brother, to stay and deal with the harms (a person’s imperfections), he might say a loose word, he might treat you a little rough, but you hang in there because you understand the importance of unity, and you’re Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Jamāʿah, those who stick to the Sunnah and gather and unite upon it. When they (those who jump to separate) understand this asl (foundation), then we will see a lot of improvement, right now, many of our salafī brothers are going through what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said…”Shaytān has given up any hope of ever being worshipped in the Arabian peninsula, but he seeks to make confusion and differences between you”. This is what the game is now. Create confusion and differences. Make them (the people) differ, make them fall out (with one another). Make it where they can’t have any unity. Make them fight one another. Make them hate one another. Make them turn back from one another. After Allāh (subḥanahu wa-taʿālá), our greatest strength is unity, and we’re going to lose it? It is almost like they are (rogue)…a group of guys who infiltrate, and their whole thing is to mess up everything, from the inside out. It’s ridiculous, fights flowing, everyone going majnūn (crazy)…the old rule, divide and conquer seems to still be amongst us!”
This advice is more than a decade old and serves to remind us of two important points:
1) For the person who takes the position, “I don’t like fitnah and I stay away from controversy”, then inevitably, he/she will fall right into it. The reason being that a) you don’t know the haqq from the bāṭil b) you don’t have enough ghīrah for the people of Sunnah. Decades ago, people used to say this and when the fitnah of QSS/Maʿrabī/Ḥalabī arose, they fell right into it because they “don’t like fitnah…” Now, decades on, they followed QSS to the Abū Hurayrah Centre and right into the denizens of al-Maghrib institute, far, far away from Salafiyyah. If you ask them today, they’ll still tell you, “We’re staying away from the fitnah”.
2) These doubts and trials that Abū ʿUways spoke about are a generation ago. These same types of doubts and same times of fitnah occur today. The only difference is that inventing a platform to separate is accelerated by creating multiple twitter accounts (and following literally everyone) and flooding social media with memes, youtube videos etc. to look flashy and viable. The point is that the tools change, the objectives remain the same. Raise doubts – invent an alternative – call to separation (of course all in the name of unity and daʿwah). Such was done by madeenah.con (FOL), QSS before them etc. etc.
The bottom line is: Stick closely to the jamāʿah, look to people who try to discourage this with contempt, they are not deserving of your ear or your trust, admonish them to fear Allāh. May Allāh grant you and us safety upon the Sunnah!