Questioner:

Is going to scholars from amongst the people of innovation and desires in order to obtain chains of narration for (recitation of) the Noble Qurʾān and some books on ʿaqīdah and ḥadīth permissible?

Shaykh Zayd ibn Muḥammad al-Madkhalī

An innovator is observed, the principle regarding someone who innovates in Allāh’s religion is that he is advised by the people of knowledge to give up his innovation. If he gives up his innovation, then he is a noble brother and knowledge is taken from him and he is loved for the sake of Allāh ﷻ. But if he continues upon his innovation, he is forsaken – the Muslims abandon him. And they warn the people against him. So there can be no consideration nor respect for him because he introduced an innovation that is not from the religion into the religion Allāh ﷻ. And in this respect he is like a legislator, as if he is making laws along with Allāh ﷻ, and this shows the danger of innovation in the religion. And it is the same whether this is inʿaqīdah or in other than it from amongst the practised methodology.

And knowledge is not taken from him – except if some knowledge is found with him that has no connection with his (specific) innovation and the people need it (the knowledge) from him. And they should not keep returning to him or make people believe that he is from amongst the scholars or those close to Allāh ﷻ. No. Rather, they make his affair clear to the people. How do we know about the innovators since the time of the companions (of the Prophet ﷺ) to our present time? We know a large amount of them through what was written about them, those amongst them who were notorious for innovation.

So the Khawārij became notorious and the Rawāfiḍ became notorious and the Muʿtazilah and the Jaḥmiyyah, deniers of Allāh’s attributes and the Ḥulūliyyah (believers in Allāh’s ﷻ presence inside his creation) and the Ittihādīyyah (believers in Allāh’s unity with his creation) and various innovations and their leaders – we know about them through what the champions out of the scholars, (those) people of good faith, truth and sincerity wrote about them. So their (the innovator’s) affair became clear and their perverted beliefs became known and whoever Allāh ﷻ had decreed to be from the saved and aided sect, the people of sunnah avoided them (those beliefs). And whoever pays no attention to this and does not care, then he has wronged himself.

And so the point is that we warn this inquirer against the people of innovation, and whatever knowledge he wants to seek then he should ask the people about the people of sunnah and he should take knowledge from them and he should take his chain of narration from them, so that none of his sources (in the chain) are from the people of innovation. Because the people of sunnah forsake the innovator both dead and alive. And they clarify his innovation while he is alive and they (continue to) clarify his innovation when he is dead, and they consider that to be part of the actions which bring them closer to Allāh ﷻ, and that is the truth.