Skip to main content

Guidelines on Boycotting the People of Innovation 

Al-ʿAllāmah ʿUbayd al-Jābirī

Evidence for boycotting the innovator when the benefits outweigh the harms, and for not doing so in the reverse scenario.

[Q]: May Allāh reward you with good and bless you. A questioner asks: O’ Shaykh, when is boycotting the people of innovation and the people of disobedience considered legitimate according to the Sharīʿah, so that the legislative goal of this great principle (boycotting) can be actualized?

[A]: Firstly, boycotting is the foundation for the one who is able to do so, or can call others to do so, while being someone whose command is obeyed, the people carrying out his directives and staying clear of what he prohibits.

Boycotting the people of innovation and the people of disobedience is the foundation until the boycotted individual returns to guidance and turns to the truth.

On the contrary, if this individual is one whose command is not obeyed and the upperhand belongs to the innovator, here, we do not call for boycotting nor do we command others to do so. However, the affected should personally be cautious, not visit him or host him, nor attend his gatherings. This is called precautionary boycotting. If you are asked (regarding your actions), say: I do not trust him with my religion, I do not trust him.

I have mentioned in the beginning of my speech that Ahl al-Sunnah consider the benefits. They look at the benefits and the harms. If the benefits outweigh the harms in boycotting the innovator, reprimanding him and warning against him, then they boycott, reprimand and warn against him. If the harms outweigh the benefits and the people band together against Ahl al-Sunnah, then they do not boycott him. Instead, they suffice with a knowledge-based refutation.

On this note, I say to the weak ones amongst Ahl al-Sunnah: Hold fast to the Sunnah individually and do not go back and forth with these individuals [i.e. the people of innovation]. Do not argue with them, disregard them. If they lead you in prayer, pray with them and then leave immediately. Do not let the common people, the rabble, and those with no understanding of the religion provoke you.

Source: Majmūʿat al-Rasāʾil al-Jābiriyyah, pg. 187-188.
Translated by: Munīb al-Ṣumālī

Published: March 7, 2024
Edited: March 7, 2024


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Most Popular: Last 30 Days