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These are some questions and answers taken from the book "al-Ajwibah al-Mufeedah" of Shaykh Salih al-Fawzaan, relating to the position towards the groups and parties present amongst the Muslims and working in the arena of da'wah:
Question: Is the one who affiliates himself with the various (Islamic) groups to be considered an innovator?
Shaykh al-Fawzan: This depends upon the nature of the groups. The one who affiliates himself with those groups that have some opposition to the Book and the Sunnah is to be considered an innovator.
Question: What is your general ruling upon the various Islamic groups?
Shaykh al-Fawzan: Everyone who opposes the Jamaa'ah of Ahl us-Sunnah then he is astray. We do not have but a single Jamaa'ah and they are Ahl us-Sunnah. Wal-Jamaa'ah. Whatever opposes this Jamaa'ah, then it is in opposition to the manhaj (methodology) of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).
Question: Should one mix with these groups or should they be avoided?
Shaykh al-Fawzan: When the intention behind mixing with them is to call them (to the truth), - and it is done by those who have knowledge and insight - to adhere to the Sunnah and to abandon their error(s), then this is something good and is from calling to Allaah. However, if this mixing is only for the purpose of accompaniment and entertainment, without any da'wah and without any clarification [of their errors], then this is not permissible. Hence it is not permissible for a person to mix with the opposers except in a manner in which some Sharee'ah benefit can be attained, such as calling them to the correct Islam, clarifying the truth to them that they may return to it, such as when Ibn Mas'ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, went to the Innovators who were in the mosque, stood in front of them and rejected their innovation. And like Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, who went to the Khawarij, argued with them and refuted their misconceptions and as a result of which some of them returned to the truth.
Shaykh al-Fawzan: Yes. Everyone who opposes Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah from amongst those who associate themselves to Islam in the arena of da'wah, or aqidah, or anything from the pillars of Iman, then such ones enter into the seventy-two sects and the threat (of Hellfire) encompasses them. He will be censured and punished to the extent of his opposition.
Question: Is it obligatory upon the Scholars to make clear to the Muslim youth and the general folk about the dangers of sectarianism, splitting and separate groups.
Shaykh al-Fawzan: Yes. It is obligatory to explain the danger of sectarianism, the danger of separating and splitting into groups in order that the people have clear insight (into these affairs). This is because even the common folk are deceived. How many of them now have been deceived by these groups, thinking that they are upon the truth? Hence, it is necessary for us to explain to the people, the students and the general folk about the danger of groups and sects. The reason for this is that when they (the scholars) remain silent, the people begin to say, 'The scholars used to know about this but they remain quite', and from this avenue, misguidance appears. Therefore, it is vital to clarify matters when issues such as these arise. The danger to the general folk is more abundant than the danger that would be caused to the students because the general folk consider the silence of the scholars to mean that it is correct and that it is the truth.
Question: Is it obligatory to warn against the methodologies that oppose the methodology of the Salaf?
Shaykh al-Fawzan: Yes, it is obligatory to warn against the methodologies in opposition to that of the Salaf. This is from the nasihah(sincerity of purpose) that is due to Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and the general folk. We caution against the people of evil and we warn against the methodologies in opposition to the methodology of Islaam and we explain the harmful effects of these matters to the people. We also encourage them to remain steadfast upon the Book and the Sunnah. All of this is obligatory. However, this is the responsibility and concern of the People of Knowledge for whom it is obligatory to engage in this matter; that they should make it clear to the people with the method that is legislated, suitable and successful, by the permission of Allaah.
Question: Does the correctness of a person's methodology determine Paradise or Hellfire for him?
Shaykh al-Fawzan: Yes. When a person's methodology is correct he becomes one of the inhabitants of Paradise. So when he is upon the methodology of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and the methodology of the Salaf us-Salih, he becomes one of the people of Paradise by the permission of Allaah. But when he traverses upon the methodology of those who are astray, he has been threatened with Hellfire.
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