Are there conditions for boycotting, when is boycotting prohibited, and whom should it be applied to?
Shaykh Aḥmad al-Najmi:
I say as I have previously said, and others have said too; boycotting is based on a benefit. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymīyyah has even said this: “If there is a benefit in boycotting, a benefit to daʿwah, if there is such benefit in boycotting then it should be done, and if there is no such benefit in boycotting then it should not be done.” Leave these people, i.e do not sit with them, or laugh with them, or show kindness to them, but if one of them comes and greets you then greet him back, if you find a gathering and you find one of them present in this gathering then greet him – there is no problem with this.
The Prophet ﷺ was amongst the disbelievers and he used to speak to them and they would speak to him. Has it not been reported that when the Prophet ﷺ was sitting in the mosque, Walīd ibn al-Mughīrah came to him and said to him: “Oh my nephew, you have brought to your people something which no man has brought to his people before, you caused them to doubt their dreams, and insulted their fathers, and criticized their gods, and if by your speech you are seeking marriage, then we will marry you ten of our women from the most beautiful of our girls, and if by it (your speech) you are seeking wealth, we will gather our wealth together so you will be the wealthiest of us, and if you are seeking a high stature, we will make you a master over us so that we do not follow any order except yours.” He ﷺ said to him: “Have you finished, my uncle?”, so Walīd ibn al-Mughīrah responded “Yes” or something similar to that, so the Prophet ﷺ said to him: “Listen to me” and he then recited:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,
۞ حم ۞ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنَ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ ۞ كِتَابٌ فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
“Hā-Mīm. A revelation from Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. A Book whereof the verses are explained in detail; A Qurʾān in Arabic for people who know.” [Q 41:1-3]
until he reached the verse:
۞ فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَقُلْ أَنذَرْتُكُمْ صَاعِقَةً مِّثْلَ صَاعِقَةِ عَادٍ وَثَمُودَ
“But if they turn away, then say, “I have warned you of a thunderbolt like the thunderbolt [that struck] ʿĀd and Thamūd.” [Q 41:13]
So he [Walīd ibn al-Mughīrah] remained silent.
So the Prophet ﷺ used to speak to the polytheists and the polytheists used to speak to him, however the matter of boycotting the Muslim innovators who have not left the fold of Islam, then what is its purpose? It is so that they feel isolated, and that they feel the anger of the Muslims towards them, so they return (to the truth) and leave what they are upon. So if there is such benefit in boycotting them, they should be boycotted, and if boycotting them will not result in such benefit, but rather it will only increase them in stubbornness, then they should not be boycotted. Instead leave them and turn away from them, but remember, do not show kindness towards them.
۞ وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ وَلَـٰكِن ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ
“And those who fear Allah are not held accountable for the disbelievers at all, but [only for] a reminder – that perhaps they will fear Him.” (Q 6:69)
Meaning, if the person is acting upon something by himself, i.e if he is doing something by himself, but he is upon the truth in doing that, and some of the people of falsehood oppose him in that, then he should not have any regard for them, he should fear Allah within himself and have no regard for those wicked people.
But now they boycott salafīs too…?
Shaykh Aḥmad al-Najmi:
I say boycotting is as I have said, he (the questioner) says that in reality some of the salafīs exaggerate, where if they find something small (error) from someone, they resort to things that are not befitting. So this exaggeration or excessiveness is what causes such things to occur, and differing between the salafīs. So what is obligatory is to have moderation between the two matters without exaggeration or watering-down.