Some students of knowledge are lenient when it comes to dealing with people of innovation and mixing with them and having courtesy towards them, to the extent that they are trialled by them, and they claim that this is part of having a noble character, so can we have a directive word regarding this, may Allah bless you?
Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAqīl:
From the principles of ʼAhl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamāʿah:
1.) Abandoning people of innovation, and refraining from sitting with them
2.) Not reading their books
3.) Not mentioning their doubts in our books
4.) Not watching their TV channels or entering their internet forums
The Salaf said, may Allah have mercy on them: “Do not sit with the people of innovation for they will make your heart sick.”
However, if there are some strong students of knowledge who entered from this door for the purpose of calling to Allah, this is something which there is no problem with, as for leaving off renouncing the people of innovation, and that we start sitting with them and having allegiance to them, then what did this lead to with some people?
Firstly: They sat with the people of innovation
Secondly: They renounced those who renounced their sitting with the people of innovation
Thirdly: Then they honoured the people of innovation and disregarded the people of sunnah. So they ended up having allegiance to the innovators and freeing themselves from ʼAhl al-Sunnah.
However, the ones who give them (innovators) daʿwah must be those who are specialised, like doctors for example – not every doctor can treat every disease, rather every disease from the various diseases has a specialised doctor who treats it, therefore the general doctor (GP) and the dentist are not fit to treat someone with AIDS or Cholera or Cancer or other than them.
So sitting with people of innovation is a very dangerous matter, we should not sit with them, even if: When they give us salām we respond to them, if they greet us with a greeting we respond with better than it or return it, if there is a chance to be in harmony then we create harmony between the hearts – no problem, but as for sitting with them just like that without enjoining or forbidding then this is not allowed, rather the firmly established students of knowledge call them.