What is the position on reporting from the opposer [of the sunnah] and is narrating from him considered to be in agreement with him in regards to his innovations, so does that person take the same ruling as him (i.e the one who reports from him)? And clarify for us the affairs of the opposers, when it is correct to narrate from them and when it is detested?
Shaykh Zayd ibn Muḥammad al-Madkhalī:
The opposers are either from the people of the sunnah in every regard and if his opposition is with regards to the affairs in which differences are allowed, then he is from the people of Ijtiḥād (striving to make an Islamic Ruling). They are those who in which their differing is accepted with the scholars. So these types of opposers are to be looked into from that which they differed in with other than them from the people of knowledge and it is also looked into the evidences of all of them. In this case, the one who narrates from them with evidence then it is obligatory to take his statement (because it is supported with evidence). Or he is either an opposer from amongst the people of desires and innovations.
It is often repeated amongst the salaf that the callers to innovation and their propagators are not be taken knowledge from and their narrations are not to be accepted because of their disobedient nature and lack of justice. Just as their testimony and the news that they spread are not to be accepted and they are not to be married to and they are not to be chosen for the leadership of the people in the prayer.
As for the one who narrates from them, whilst he is aware that they are a people of innovation and misguidance, then they are considered to be their promoters and they take the same position in regards to treatment towards them and there is no honour for them.
As for the one who keeps silent with regards to their innovation, then the evil is upon their own selves as long as they persist in withholding it from the people. They are to be treated with the normal conduct from the Muslims until their affair is exposed. It is as the poet said: ‘Whatever a person might have from character, even if he perceives it to be hidden from the people, it will become known,’ A condition for accepting their narrations is that the narration is free of that which strengthens (supports) their innovation and with the condition that there is an absence of them being accused of lying from the scholars who give concern to them through appraisals and dis-appraisals (Jarḥ wa Taʿdīl).