Shaykh Saalih ibn Sa`d as-Suhaymee hafizahullaah in his taped explanation of Sharhus-Sunnah with regard to the point that the people who depart from the Truth are one of two people, said,“Yes, this is a precise categorisation from the Shaykh, rahimahullaah. The innovators are indeed of two categories, because the Shaykh, as you know, throughout his whole book, his focus is upon the innovators.
And from them there is a category who actually want the Truth, but he does not attain it. Just like the people of thikr who we mentioned a short while ago (the same incident of those people in the masjid who were doing an innovated form of thikr which `Abdullaah ibn Mas`ood criticised). Those who said to Ibn Mas`ood, radiyAllaahu’anh, ‘We only intend the Truth.’ However, how many people there are who intend the Truth, but do not attain it.
“Whoever intends the Truth, he should seek it from its correct place. And the Truth does not come about through venerating individuals, nor through flashy words, nor by having a majority. It only comes about through ittibaa`, following the Truth, following the first generations, the generations of the Companions and the Taabi`een and proceeding upon their methodology. So the like of this person (the first person, he strays into innovation but he only intends the Truth) is destroyed if he does not come back and seek the Truth with its proof from the correct place.
However his danger is less than the danger of the second category of the people. And perhaps his harm will be restricted to himself, meaning the one who intends the Truth but he seeks it not in the correct way. So he slips and innovates and falls into innovation, and the judgement upon him will be in the light of how severe his innovations are. It may be of the level of something less or it may be something major or it may be something which takes him out of Islaam, but his danger will be less.
And your advising him should be between you and him, if you know that he is not a caller to innovation and that he does not propagate innovation. Then you should come to him privately and you make clear to him the correct path, so that he can follow it. You make clear to him the methodology of the Ahlus–Sunnah wal–Jamaa`ah. You don’t make his affair open. You don’t mention him upon the minbars. You don’t mention him as being a person with criticism. Rather you direct him and give him sincere advice.
So if this type of person is how he is, then maybe be one day, by the permission of Allaah, he will turn back. And even if he stays upon his innovation, then he does not represent a great danger to the people (he doesn’t call to this innovation). However what is obligatory is that you strive to give him advice and clarify and give him correct, constructive direction.
“As for the second category of people, those who are obstinate, those who do so deliberately with pride, they commit innovation, obstinately, deliberately. The more you forbid him, the more he increases in his error until he becomes a caller to innovation. Therefore the Salaf used to reject the narrations of an innovator, who was a caller to innovation and not accept them, rather they would reject them and warn against him and against his innovation. So the like of this person, you must make his affair clear and warn against him. And if he has written a book, he is refuted with a book. If he has a tape, he is refuted with a tape. If he gives speeches, he is refuted in speeches. The people are warned against his evil. ”
Then after some speech the Shaykh said finishing, “So this second type, who is indicated by the author here, he is the most dangerous of people for this nation. Therefore it is obligatory to warn the people against him and to draw attention to their evil and to warn the nation against their evil. ”
Translated by Abu Talhah rahimahullaah
Sharhus Sunnah – Lesson 11