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It should be noted that distancing from an ahlu bid'ah in the performance of his bid'ah doesn't mean closing the gate of da'wah on him and his likes. The people  of bid'ah are to be deserted in a way one would not get infected by their virus. We reasonably believe that everyone needs da'wah, no matter how knowledge or guided he or she is. No matter how pious a person is, he needs da'wah till death. The degree of da'wah needed by individuals might differ. But we all need it time from time in order not to derail from the righteous path. 

Therefore, giving of da'wah continues on a kafir, mubtadi', faasiq and anyone you can think of. What is being said and what the scholars have been warning us against in line with Qur'an and Sunnah is flirting or mixing with ahlu bid'ah in a way that compromises the Sunnah or in a way that one's istiqoomah (firmness) could be put to trial. The worst thing is when someone who doesn't hide his hatred for Sunnah and its people is being praised or eulogised. This is a serious evil. 

An unrepentant ahlu bid'ah who displays his hatred and mockery of the sunnah can't be taken as a close ally, otherwise, he would get one infected with his virus if proper care is not taken. He would even use one's closeness to him as an evidence that he is upon the truth. Whereas, he is upon misguidance because of the zaygh in his mind and what is clear about him. May Allah guide us against this. But this doesn't necessarily mean that we should stop giving him sermons. Anywhere you meet him, you keep telling him the truth, advising him to embrace the sunnah with wisdom. You can also send him audios of lectures of scholars, and buy books for him to read. 

This shows the rahmah of the People of Sunnah in wanting people to be upon guidance. Every sincere caller would want to win as many people as possible into sunnah based Islaam. On the mission of Khaibar, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم told Ali رضي الله عنه that if Allah guides a single person through him, it is better than a whole lots of red Camels. The hadith is reported by Sahl Ibn Sa'd رضي الله عنه and documented in the Saheehain.

It should equally be noted that some people are just being ignorant and arrogant, but we still keep calling them in a way sunnah would not be compromised. And if we see any of them who is willing to learn, take his questions and clarify his areas of confusion with wisdom and kind words as advised by Sheikh Rabee' حفظه الله in his Sharh Usul Sunnah. [See Suratun Nahl:125]. 

Onn the other hand, some of them know the truth, they can read Arabic and understand, yet they mix the truth with falsehood. An instruction of Allah says: do not stay in their midst. These are the real ahlu bid'ah. They follow their desire. The ahlu bid'ah are the same as ahlul ahwaa' (people of desires). They are to be deserted in the appropriate manner. But we still give them da'wah when there is any opportunity for that purpose. This is the methodology of the salaf that is well established. The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم says: 

 " فإذا رأيت الذين يتبعون ما تشابه منه فأولئك الذين سمى الله فاحذروهم "

"If you see those who follow thereof that is not entirely clear, then they are those whom Allah has mentioned, so beware of them" [Sunan Abu Dawud]

Sheikh Rabee' حفظه الله in his explanation of a relevant point in Sharh Usul Sunnah of Imam Ahmad رحمه الله mentioned that there are some people who think they are intelligent and civilised, they mix and relate closely with ahlu bid'ah and at last they fell into bid'ah. He said he doesn't need to mention names. But the examples of those people are well known to students of knowledge.

May Allah guide us aright.

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