Shaykh Usaamah Al-Utaybee said,”If the seminar is Salafi, the organisers are Salafi, the scholars speaking in it are Salafi, and it is being established in one of the masajid, Salafi centers containing a masjid, or at some other venue open to the public, and then it is attended by whoever attends it from the known innovators or the hidden ones, or is advertised and promoted by them, then this is not an indication of the weakness of Salafiyyah in this seminar. (Likewise), this is not an indication of the weakness of the Salafiyyah of the organisers of this seminar, nor the Salafi scholars (teaching in it).
Rather, what it may indicate, is the strength of the seminar, and the success of the organisers in selecting the (appropriate) scholars (to speak in it), due to the fact that the scholar that was selected is from those whom the people – including some of the people of innovation – have acquiesced or submitted to his (prominence/strength) in knowledge, and (the strength of) his dawah.
Additionally, from the reasons that some of the people of innovation (may) attend is that they have with them a weakness in the matter of Walaa’ and Baraa’ [Allegiance and Disavowment], thus they attend (the seminars of) both those who agree with them and those who oppose them; (and yet) others from among them may attend due to being confused about the innovation (they are trialed with) and are not defending it (with falsehood) as some do. Also the reasons for this (attendance by innovators) are many.
The Jews who had a pact with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to attend his gatherings. Likewise, his gatherings (ﷺ) in the Masjid were attended by hypocrites who were infamous for their hypocrisy, such as Abdullah ibn ‘Ubay ibn Salool, and he (ﷺ) did not kick him out nor prevent him from attending.
And when Ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him – debated the Khawarij, from them were those that did not sit, rather they left him and did not hear from him and warned (others) to not hear from him. However, others from them (the Khawaarij) listened to him.
(Also,) the gatherings of the companions, and their followers [the Tabi’oon] and the followers of their followers [Atba’ut Tabi’oon] were attended by some opposers, yet those scholarly people (the companions and their followers) would be keen on helping them find guidance and keen on clarifying the truth to them such that Allah will perhaps guide them.
Likewise, we have seen that the lessons and seminars of our major scholars were attended by a number of the people of innovation yet they would not turn them away, nor did they incite others to kick them out (and prevent them) from attending the classes and the seminars.
The classes of our teachers: Ibn Baaz, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Al-Albani, Al-Abbaad, Rabee’ Al-Madkhali, An-Najmi, and Al-Fawzan were attended by both, the supporters and the opposers, and never did we hear a scholar forbid their attendance or encourage kicking them out.
Rather, what we have seen is that some of the people of innovation are using the like of this diabolical doubt/misconception to level accusations at Sheikh Al-Fawzan, Sheikh Obayd (Al-Jabiree), and Sheikh Al-Abbaad.
As for (the matter of) some scholars, refusing to narrate to the people of innovation, or asking them to leave their gatherings then this was either practiced in their private gatherings, or done in order to magnify/emphasize the (dangers) of innovations and warn (people) from them.
Never was it (allowing the innovators to attend) taken as a reason to question Salafis or level accusations at them as some of the people of ignorance and followers of desires do today.
The matter of warning against sitting with the innovators, and the commandment to boycott them, doesn’t mean to prevent them from praying in the masajid, or from attending the Friday sermon and the classes of knowledge.
So, whoever warns from the Salafi seminars due to the attendance of some of the people of innovation or due to them (i.e. the innovators) promoting the event, then he is misguided, afflicted with fitnah and is treading the path of the Khawaarij.
So let the Salafi beware of falling into the path of the Khawaarij, while thinking that (he is upon) strength in methodology (Manhaj); (on the contrary, taking such a path) is (only) an indication of (a man’s) ignorance and misguidance.
And Allah knows best and may the exaltations of Allah and his greetings be upon our prophet Muhammad.”
Shaykh Uthaymeen discuess below some issues to do with removing innovators from the masjid:
Shaykh Uthaymeen said, “As for removing the people of innovation from gatherings [in the houses of Allah] then yes they can be expelled from the sittings. It is allowed for the shaykh to expel someone for less than that.
[For example] if he (the shaykh) sees one of the students ruining the pursuit of knowledge for his companions, due to him transgressing against the shaykh and not respecting him but rather belittling him. Then it is allowed to expel him because he is considered to be someone who is spreading corruption; he is removed.” Ref: Hilyah Talib Al-Ilm p.179-180
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie