The prophet Mohammed said, “The curse of Allah be upon him who slaughters for other than Allah, the cruse of Allah be upon him who curses his father, the curse of Allah be upon him who alters the borders/fringes of the land, the curse of Allah be upon he who shelters a wrong doer (i.e. a criminal or an innovation)“ Saheeh Muslim hadeeth no 1978.
In another narration of Muslim: “the curse of Allah be upon he who curses his parents”.
Shaykh Saalih Bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan said, concerning this great hadeeth:
“And in some narrations it said (the curse of Allah be upon he who shelters a muhdath (an innovation (i.e. a bidah)) with fat-hah on the daal.
And the muhdath means the innovation.
And the meaning of sheltering the innovation: being content with it.
So whoever is content with the bidah (innovation) and did not forbid it he has sheltered it.
And this means: whoever sees the innovation and keeps quiet and did not speak out clarifying to people that it is an innovation he has sheltered it by keeping quiet about it and he will-consequently- deserve cursing.
So how about the person who calls to innovation and defends it?
The refuge is sought from Allah.”
Ref: Extracted from I’aantul-Mustafeed bi Sharhi Kitaabit-Tawheed by Shaykh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan hafithahul-llah, pages 235-236.
Shaykh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan also said “His saying in the above hadeeth: (the curse of Allah be upon he who shelters a muhdith (wrong doer)) shelters means protected, so sheltering means shielding and protecting.
And the Muhdith (with kasrah on the daal) is the person who commits a crime that is punishable by Islamic law.
So if someone came and stood in the way of carrying out the corporal punishment on this culprit using his influence or his power or his soldiers to do so then this is the person whom the prophet peace is upon him cursed.
So shielding and protecting those who perpetrated crimes that deserve corporal punishments and preventing these punishments from being carried out is a major sin because the prophet peace is upon him cursed the doer of such (an) act.”
Ref: Shaykh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaans explanation of Kitaabut-Tawheed
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie