O’ Shaykh, the questioner asks: A man fell into innovation and caused dissension amongst the ranks of the salafīs, and the brothers have remained patient with him for years whilst advising him. Once the people of knowledge spoke concerning him, declared him an innovator and commanded that he be boycotted and warned against him, he claimed that he repented and signed a paper in which he renounced what he was previously upon. However, he did not rectify the corruption he caused. So is it correct to continue to boycott and warn against him until the truthfulness of his repentance becomes clear?

Shaykh Rabīʿ ibn Hādī al-Madkhalī

Yes, yes as ʿUmar [ibn al-Khaṭṭāb] did to Sabīgh. Sabīgh did less than this in terms of his evil over stages. Yet in light of this he [ʿUmar] flogged him and jailed him and flogged him and jailed him. Then when he said “I have repented, O’ commander of the believers, if you intend to kill me then please just do so. And if you want to cleanse me of whatever was in my head then, by Allah ﷻ it has gone.” Then he ordered that he be exiled to Iraq and that he be boycotted until his repentance became apparent after a year; after they had made certain of the correctness of his repentance. Then ʿUmar allowed them to, may Allah bless you, [he allowed them] to cease boycotting him and to [once again] speak to him. So if this [individual] is as you say until now and he hasn’t made things clear, while Allah ﷻ says;

۞ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَأَصْلَحُوا وَبَيَّنُوا فَأُولَـٰئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

“…except that they repent, rectify [themselves], and make things clear.” (Q 2:160)

So if until now, the truthfulness of his repentance has not become clear then it becomes obligatory to warn against him and to continue to discipline him until the truthfulness of his repentance becomes clear.