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Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiyAl-Iloori
4th Safar, 1441 (3rd October, 2019)

When any form of bid'ah is about to rise, we should quickly estinguish it before it escalates. This is our collective responsibility. This is from the practise of the Salaf. The people of Sunnah from one generation to another have succeeded in doing this in the past. This is exactly what Sheikh Fawzaan حفظه الله was hinting at when he was explaining a relevant statement of Imaam Al-Barbahaaree رحمه الله in his Sharh us Sunnah. Imaam Al-Barbahaaree said:

واحذر صغار المحدثات من الأمور فإن صغار البدع تعود حتى تصير كبارا وكذلك كل بدعة أحدثت في هذه الأمة كان أولها صغيرا يشبه الحق فاغتر بذلك من دخل فيها ثم لم يستطع المخرج منها فعظمت وصارت دينا يدان بها فخالف الصراط المستقيم فخرج من الإسلام

Beware of small innovations because they grow until they become large. This is the case with every innovation introduced in this Ummah. It began as something small, bearing resemblance to the truth which is why those who entered it were mislead and then were unable to leave it. So it grew and became the religion which they followed and thus deviated from the Straight Path and left Islaam (See pg 39)

This shows that no act of bid'ah should be underated. We must join hands together to tackle any form of bid'ah as they appear. But if Allah has decreed that a bid'ah will metamorphosise into a full blown sect in the religion, there is nothing we can do to that. The division of the ummah is inevitable. But we can try our best to curb any form of bid'ah we notice from their initial stages before growing big. 

We should not make anyone who takes up the great job of fighting bid'ah look bad in the eye of the people. Although wisdom and manner are highly required in carrying out this task, refuters of bid'ah should not be accused of ill mannerism merely because they are refuting scholars that we may hold in high esteem if the refutation is done appropriately. Although the one who uses poor manner to present the truth has not done well enough, but the manner of presentation is not an excuse to abandon the truth. We should not be seen  to be placing defence of personality over or above the defence of the Sunnah. Yes, the 'irdh (reputation or honour) of scholars must be valued and protected. But the 'irdh of the religion takes precedence and should be prioritized.

Alhamdulillaah, all our teachers and scholars حفظهم الله without any exception have always warned us against hero worship in whatever way it may present itself. They didn't teach us to revere them beyond their level. They didn't teach us to be dogmatic or occultic. They encourage us to practise the religion upon baseerah (clarity). This is what differentiate them from the People of Bid'ah and desire. But shaytaan is very deceptive. He decieves us to underate a bid'ah till it becomes something big that we wouldn't be  able to control. So, We must be very careful.

This point perhaps informs the stance of our respected and honoured scholars who oppose the fusion of da'wah with the Ikhwaanees or any other sect founded upon bid'ah in Yorubaland or elsewhere. It is a must for all of us to back this struggle. Had it been that the fusion is such that all the sects would come together leaving all their acts of bid'ah and stick to Sunnah, there is no problem. But if the fusion is such that all the sects coming together would retain and maintain their deviations, this is a dangerous unity because it would undermined the cause of Sunnah in our society. 

If we all agree that Ikhwaanees or any other sects have fundamental issues of 'aqeedah, the solution is not in mixing with them in a way that would sound as if our 'aqeedah is one. The ignorant people would be deceived. No personality is bigger than the Sunnah and the way of the Salaf. No one is immuned from the fitnah of melting after being upon Sunnah, except by the mercy of Allah. We must be very careful in this regard in order not to harm the success we have achieved in the past few years in the spread of Sunnah in our society. 

Just as we wouldn't invite Al-Zakzakiy to come and talk to a gathering of people of Sunnah in the name of unity of Muslims or Ahlus Sunnah, it will be wrong to be inviting staunch and unrepentant Ikhwaanees to speak with innocent and unsuspecting Muslims who may not know the deviations in those individuals. After all, the Shia's too are saying they are Ahlus Sunnah. Even the Sufis, you would hear them on radio saying they are Ahlus Sunnah. So, trying to merge Ikhwaaniyyah with salafiyyah would only produce a similitude of the merger of the Northern and Southern Protectorate of Nigeria.

The People of Bid'ah are very good at mixing truth with falsehood. Even if you give them non 'aqeedah related topics like marriage, goodness to parents, zakat etc, they can still inject their falsehood in it without you knowing. Even if you know, before you attempt to make some clarifications afterwards, some people might have contacted some kind of virus that might not leave them till they will leave this world. So, it is dangerous to invite ikhwaanee leaders or people of other sects to address the gatherings of people of Sunnah. 

In his explanation of the above statement of Imaam Al-Barbahaaree رحمه الله , Sheikh Fawzaan حفظه الله said part of what made the best three (3) or four (4) generations of Muslims what they were was their doggedness in fighting all forms of bid'ah, no matter how small. They used not to take any form of bid'ah lightly. They used tackle any bid'ah that appears before them with all seriousness. These are the people we ascribe to. They are the people we should look like. We shouldn't just claim to be salafees by words of mouth, we should follow the salaf in their methodologies. From their methodologies is not to sit or do da'wah with along with people of bid'ah. They were the best in term of wisdom and character, yet they used not to hide under good character to undermine the cause of the Sunnah. So, we have to be very careful and be moderate in our approach to da'wah.
The issue on ground should not be underated.

We should be firm upon the truth. There should be no unity with people who insist on their glaring deviations. We shouldn't allow this Ikhwaaniyyah fitnah to tear us apart. Just as we can't unite with Shia's, Sufis, Ahmadees in the name of da'wah, let us not attempt to unite with the Ikhwaanees except they are ready to abandon their dangerous creeds. 

This does not however, mean that we should stop admonishing them. After all, we have several of them who have now become salafis. We still have many of them that we talk and relate with restrictively in ways that brings benefits to the entire ummah. That is better than attempting any kind of creedal amalgamation. We should be very careful of relating with them in ways that would look like we are together in term of 'aqeeah. The only source of our unity is adherence to Qur'an and Sunnah based on the understanding of the Pious Predecessors. 

However, when we preach to them, we should let it be with the best of manner, good words and persuation, and not out of malice or hatred. We should not lie against them or act unjustly towards them. We need patience now more than ever before in our da'wah. A lot of people are ignorant these days. We should be gentle in our da'wah. Sheikh Rabee' حفظه الله was reported to have said: This da'wah needs gentleness, it needs needs hikmah, or else, it would die with the use of wrong methods. I also read recently that he said:

Perhaps many of the people are negligent of this (good manner)! And this harms the Da'wah of Salafiyyah and harms its people. Since if these manners are neglected and the da'wah is presented to the people in a way that they dislike and is made unpleasant and detestable by having harshness, severity and recklessness – and the likes of these things – then this is an obstacle to the da'wah and to it being accepted.  Since these matters are even disliked in the affairs of the Duniya let alone in the matters of the Deen. So it is necessary for the student of knowledge to follow a path of righteous good manners in giving da'wah [Excerpted from: Encouragement to have Affection and Friendliness and Warning Against Splitting up and DifferingTranslated by Abbas Abu Yahya]

The way we present our admonitions to some of these sects matters a lot. In recent time, we seem not to be patient even with one another, talk more of people of other sects. We should avoid insulting people even if they disagree with us. We shouldn't be hasty in making takfeer or tabdee'. We should show deep sense of maturity and avoid insults and innuendos by every means possible. Scholars and students of knowledge should caution their students on this. We should be made to know our limitations. Many of the evils that befalls our society today are from the youths. If we don't handle the way the youths give their da'wah  urgently, it may be a clog in the wheel of our efforts. Though Allaah guides whomever He wishes. But we need to restrategize and review our da'wah methodology considering the kind of environment we find ourselves without contradicting any of the foundations of Sunnah. 

And Allaah knows best.

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