How does one know an innovator?

Shaikh Saleem Al Hilali said in his book: Innovations and its evil effect on the Ummah:

And a person may say: How do we know the people of innovation in order to stay away from them and warn against them, especially when many of them in this time hide under the Da’wah of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah?

And the answer has some angles:

1) The people of innovation are known by the clarification of the people of knolwedge, and warning against their books and telling the people to flee from their sittings. And there remains- All praise is due to Allah- those who do so in every time. Hence stay with the Ulama and you will be successful.

2) A man is known by whom he enters and from where he leaves. And for this reason it is not possible for an innovator to hide his condition. It is a neccesity that he shows what gives evidence of this.

Imam Al Auza’ee said: “Whomsoever hides his innovation from us he cannot hide his friends from us.” And Mu’aadh Ibn Mu’aadh said: “Even if a man hides his opinions this is not hidden in his child, his friend or who he sits with.”

Therefore if the people one sits with are the partisans, and his scholars are the Islamic Thinkers and Activists and those whom he loves are those who have spoken ill of the scholars… is it sensible to say that he is a Sunni Salafi?

4 thoughts on “How does one know an innovator?

  1. Sheikh Yahya introduction to the letter from Sheikh Saleem Hilalee:

    Since the fitnah of Abul Hassan al Ma’rabii up until now we haven’t heard anything from Sheikh Saleem Hilalee. However, we have always considered the position of Shiekh Saleem al Hilalee to be closer(to the truth) than that of Ali Hassan Al Halabi, today a letter has arrived consisting of good news (from Shiekh Saleem al Hilalee) showing his position is different from that which Ali Hassan Al Halabi is upon. We have decided to read this letter to give the people glad tidings, for verily we are pleased with the firmness and saddened by the instability of a salafee wherever he may be especially when the individual is a da’ee (caller to Allah), author and from the people of knowledge.

    The letter:
    In the name of Allah most merciful, the most gracious

    All praise is due to Allah alone may He preserve and exalt the mention of his prophet and his slave (Muhammad) as well as his kinsfolk and his companions.

    From: Saleem bin Eed Al-Hilaalee

    To: His brother in Islam Sheikh Yahya Al-Hajooree

    May Allah grant him along with his brothers the mashaykh (scholars) of the Salafee’s dawah in the fortunate land of Yemen success in the obtainment of all goodness and preserve them from all evil.

    After the question about your condition and your affairs, then I hope that you, your family, your brothers the mashaykh and your students are in the best of health and well being in that which relates to the matters of the Dunya(this life) and Aakhira(hereafter) .

    My virtuous brother, verily keeping ties between us is from the most significant of ways which will aid in the manifestation of many matters. These matters being the likes of which, disorder may occur in the manner they are transmitted or confusion in their reports or individuals who have personal interests may use to distort (the truth).
    It has therefore; become clear to me that Allah has made keeping ties with my brothers as well as the scholars a strengthening force for me. Perhaps you recall when I sent a letter to sheikh Muqbil seeking his council in the establishment of the Sheikh Albani centre, may Allah have mercy upon him. May Allah also reward you with goodness for conveying the sheikhs response to me in that brotherly meeting we had in Great Britain.

    My beloved brother may Allah strengthen you with His obedience and aid you with the Sunnah. I, by the praise and prosperity of Allah have not ceased and will not cease to love, call to and remain steadfast upon the salafee methodology by the permission of Allah. This methodology, that we have learnt from our scholars Al-Albani, Ibn Baz, Uthaymeen and Muqbil may Allah have mercy on them all. We aid the salafees in every time and place, while freeing ourselves before Allah from the people of innovations and the hiz’bees (people of partisanship) and whosoever treads their path. Henceforth, I have made clear my position towards the partisan movements and those that branch out from them in my book “Al Jama’aat Al Islaamiyyah Al Muaasirah Fi Dhaw Al Kitaab Wa Sunnah Bi Fahm As Salaf As Saalih – The Modern day Islamic groups in the light of the Quran and sunnah upon the understanding of the salaf as- salih” which I wrote nearly 30 years ago.
    As for those callers who in their early stages of their dawah – from that which was apparent to us – seemed to be upon firmness with the salafees, then they became hostile towards Dawatu-Salafiyah, such as Adnan Al Arour, Al-Magrahwee, and Abul Hassan Al Ma’rabii, I have nothing to do with them! Not in the present time nor the future, until they abandon the people of innovation that praise them, return to this blessed dawah and retract their statements by which they contradicted the principles of Dawatu-Salafiyah and its foundations. Alongside these aforementioned individuals are the groups (of partisanship) in Kuwait, the Emirates and Yemen, which manifest salafiyah and conceal detested partisanship.

    As for Mohammed Hassan and Al- Huwanee or those who side with them in Egypt, I do not consider to be salafees fundamentally, rather they are qutubiyoon to the core (the followers of the methodology of Sayid Qutb). I have declared this in some of my books and many of my lessons.

    For approximately the past 2 and half years, I have not had any relations whatsoever with those in Jordan as of late who praise, recommend and make excuses for the previously mentioned individuals. Also in my book “Manaahij Al Harakaat Al Islaamiyyah Al Muaasirah Fi Tagyeer Ardh Wa Naqd – “The methodolodogies of modern Islamic movements and their changing (from that which the Qu’ran and Sunnah are upon)-in presentation and criticism”. I have established in detail my standpoint towards elections, which I hold to be a satanic scheme in which the merchants of the dawah (those callers possessing worldly gains) have taken as a ladder (in reaching their goals). Furthermore I do not agree with it not in Naqir (a small speck on the back of a date stone) nor in Qitmir (the thin membrane of a date stone):translator note: the Sheikh means by this that he has absolutely nothing to do with it.
    In spite of our lack of communication, when I am inquired about you then I have not ceased to mention you with good and I encourage any student to attend Darul Hadith in Dammaj when my advice is sought. Since the era of Sheikh Muqbil I have always regarded (Darul Hadith in Dammaj) a strong hold of the correct dawatu salafiyah.

    I hope this letter will initiate good relations between us in our co-operation upon piety and taqwa (fear of Allah) as well as commanding one another with truth and patience, while we seek council from each other in that which will aid us in remaining steadfast upon the true salafee methodology.

    I wish for you and your brother the mashaykh in Yemen every good and success, I also ask our protector the mighty and great to unify us and our people upon the Quran and Sunnah upon the understanding of the companions, may Allah bless our dawah (call to Allah) and keep us save from the evil of the people of disbelief, desires and innovations. May Allah not create for them a path towards us, verily he is the All-capable.

    Your loving brother Abu Usamah Saleem Al -Hilalee
    12th Rabee Al- awaal 1430(hijrah)

    Translation by: Abu Tu’raab Mahmoud As-Somali DarAl-Hadeeth in Dammaj

    The Arabic source in audio of the following translation can be found at:

    Audio of the Letter

  2. Related Article:

    Judging A Claimant to Salafiyyah By His Companionship

    Abu Dawood as-Sijistaanee said, “I said to Abu Abdullaah Ahmad bin Hanbal: I see a man from Ahl us-Sunnah with a man from Ahl ul-Bid’ah. Shall I leave his speaking to him? He said, ‘No, inform him that the man that you saw him with is a person of innovation, so if he leaves him, then speak to him, otherwise treat him the same as him, as Ibn Ma’sood said, ‘A man is like his companion’.” Tabaqaat ul-Hanaabilah (1/160)

  3. Does the people of hadees is refering to the salafis .Or does it mean the people who memorise hadees are these virtues for them or the salafis meaning those who follow kitab and sunnah jazak allah

    • The people of Hadeeth have a general and specific meaning:

      (1) The scholars of Hadeeth those who are busy with the Hadeeth, its texts, chains of narrations, men etc.

      (2) Those who follow the scholars of Hadeeth in goodness.

      And Allah knows best.

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