Shaykh Ahmed Bazmool said, “From the important matters which will inshallah rid the Salafis from many problems, is to know an important matter and principle and that is, the difference between warning against an individual and declaring an individual an innovator (mubtadi), and when does each occur.
This principle will rid the Salafis from many problems. This is because sometimes when you warn against a person, they say you declare him an Innovator. Then every one wants to stand and wants to quarrel with you.
The [contemporary] scholars and the Salafus-Saalih (righteous predecessors), and those who tread their path till this day, differentiate between warning against a person and deeming him an innovator.
As for tabdi, this is to rule on a person that he has fall into bidah (innovation) and so the obligation is to warn against him.
On the other hand tahtheer (warning), this is not a ruling that a person has falling into innovation.
However the person is in a opposing stage and is been given advice. Meaning that he has opposed the manhaj [of the Salaf] in some matters which he maybe confused about or has been mistaken in and has persisted on his mistake and this is in the beginning stages, when they are warning from this person. It may be said, “Be careful of being around so and so or he is to be stayed away from until he repents and returns to the truth and until we heard the detailed statemants of the scholars concerning him.”
What is the dangerous matter here? The dangerous matter is from different aspects….
So the person who has been warned against is to be stayed away from(*), especially from the student of knowledge whose feet have not be grounded in knowledge. Why? This is because in this stage, the person being warned against is between one of two things:
The first, that he returns to the truth, and if he does, may Allah reward him.
Or the second, is that he persists upon his falsehood and does not return [to the truth]. During this stage he sends into the hearts and minds of the youth unclear proofs and principles. Due to that he roots into them foundations, that makes them think that he isn’t an innovator as they see him not to have left the manhaj [of the Salaf]. Due to this, if the scholars declare him an innovator after their [initial warnings] they won’t be pleased because he has already planted in their hearts that, that which was being said of him is not true.
So, do they leave him? We say yes. Leave him and stay away from him. There is nothing better than being safe and sound and that your religion is safe.
Alhamdulillah the scholars are present and the Salafi students of knowledge are widespread. If they cannot be found, than the Salafi audios and books are around.
Allah didn’t attach the religion to a specific person and the religion and truth is ongoing, alhamdulillah plus it is not related to personalities.
Know the truth and you will know its People.
In conculsion this is a serious principle that you have to be aware of. Some people come and say, “Such and such person has fell into this and that.” Others say, “The scholars have not declared him yet an innovator.”
OK, if they have not declared him an innovator, this means he is in a stage, that either he will accept the truth or either deny it. So you may be become deceived by him and fall into his plot.
Therefore islamicly it is upon you to stay away from him and wait and see what the scholars say about him. Is he okay to be returned to and to be benefited from or is he to be left…”
* Words by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie – This is a general principle which is implemented by a person in order to safeguard his deen. But this principle is only implementated after the person has seen the evidences contained in that particular warning, understands the evidences and is convinced by them (i.e. he holds the tahtheer (warning) is correct).
If after viewing the evidences and understanding the tahtheer (warning) a person holds it’s incorrect then obviously they will not have to follow this general rule.
Lastly some scholars hold if a person has an error and is warned against but is from Ahlu Sunnah then he is not to be kept away from. He can be benefited from in everything that is correct and in agreement with Ahlu Sunnah and his error is avoid and not copied.
However the safest root especially for one not firmly grounded in knowledge is to implement the general rule explained here by Shaykh Ahmed Bazmool.
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie