Shaykh Naasirud-deen al-Albaanee said in a Tape: Advice To the Emirati Youth, 31st January, 1993
“… A man came to Imaam Maalik and asked him about the rising above the throne, as regards to Allaah. Imaam Maalik responded, “The settling above is known, and how it takes place [with regards to Allaah] is unknown, and asking about it is an innovation. Expel this man, for he is an innovator!” He did not become an innovator for merely asking about it; the man wanted to understand something. But Imaam Maalik feared that while questioning, he may make some statements which are against the belief of the salaf. So he told them to remove the man from the sitting. “Remove the man, for he is an innovator.”
Look now how the means have differed. What do you think?
If I or any other person of knowledge were asked the same thing by either the generality of Muslims or by specific groups amongst them who have more knowledge, do you think we should give the answer which Imaam Maalik gave? Would we tell the people to get him out of our gathering because he is an innovator? No. Why? Because the times are different.
So the methods which were used in those times were acceptable then, but are not acceptable today because they will harm more than they will benefit. And we can add to this the principle of boycotting, which is known in Islaam. We are often asked, “So-and-so, a friend, doesn’t pray, he smokes, and he does this and that. Should we boycott him?” I say, “No, you should not boycott him because boycotting him is what he would like you to do. Your boycotting him would not benefit him. In fact, it is the opposite, it would make him happy. And it would allow him to continue in his misguidance.” … This is because the companionship of righteous individuals prevents the corrupt individual from being free to do whatever he wants to do. The corrupt individual does not really want that [type of companionship].
Thus, the boycotting of the un-righteous by the righteous is what the un-righteous prefers. Consequently, the Islaamically legal boycott is intended to fulfil a legal benefit, which is to teach that individual. So if the boycott in no way teaches him a lesson, but in fact, it increases him in misguidance on top of his already misguided state, in such a circumstance, boycotting is not applicable or appropriate. Consequently, today it is not suitable to imitate the methods used by the early scholars because they did so from a position of strength and the ability to prevent. Today look at the way the situation of Muslims is. They are weak in everything. Not only their governments, but the individuals as well.
The situation is as the Prophet (sal’lallaahu alaihi wa sallam) described it when he said: “Islaam began as something strange and it will return again to become something strange, so give glad tidings to the Strangers.” [Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 86, no. 270] He was asked, “Who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?” He responded, “They are people who believed, a few righteous individuals amongst many people; those who disobey them are many more than those who obey them.” [Musnad Ahmad, no. 6362 Hadith Encycolpedia]
So if we open the door of boycotting and declaring people innovators, we may as well go and live in the mountains. What is obligatory on us today is to call to the way of our Lord with wise preaching and a good expression and discuss with them with that which is better.”
“It is obligatory that we use wisdom in dealing with the situation. If the faction which has the upper hand and is strong boycotts the faction which has deviated from the community, will that benefit the faction that is holding on firmly to the truth? Or will it harm them? That is relative to them. Secondly, will the boycott benefit those who have been boycotted by the main group, or will it harm them? That has been previously answered. It is not appropriate or suitable that we take these issues emotionally or enthusiastically.
Instead it should be done cautiously and with wisdom. For example, one of them goes off and holds a position contradictory to the rest of the group. The others quickly say this is [a case of] gheeratul Allaah (i.e. being jealous about Allaah’s law that they not be broken), so we will boycott him. It is better to be kind and gentle with him, try to guide him, advise him, etc. Be his companion for some time. Then if you give up hope and there does not seem to be any hope for him to change, first and foremost, and then it is feared that his sickness will spread to Zayd and Bakr (i.e. to others), at this point, he would be boycotted if it seems most likely that boycotting him would be the best treatment. And as it is said, the last method of treatment is isolation.
Today, I do not advise or encourage the youths to boycott because it hurts and harms much more than it benefits. The biggest evidence of it is the fitnah which is presently existing in al-Hijaaz. They’re all brought together by the call to tawheed, the call to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. But some of them have their own unique activities, either in politics or in some other areas that were not known before from any of the people of knowledge. [These ideas] could be erroneous or they could be correct, but we’re not able to bear to hear anything which is new; especially if it is an affair which is rejected in our opinion. And immediately, we begin to fight him. This is a mistake, brother.
“You wish a friend who has no faults. But does sandalwood burn without smoke?” We wish if only the Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen will be with us on the principle of tawheed so that we would be with them. But they are not pleased with us even in the issues of ‘aqeedah. And they say that mentioning the differences has split up the group.
These brothers, from whom some group has split off or they’ve split off from some group, and Allaah knows best, they are with us all along the way with regards to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and the methodology of the righteous predecessors. But they have brought something new in reality, some of which is in error and some of which is correct. So why should we spread division amongst ourselves and factionalism and fanaticism when before we were one unit? So we then became two. After being two groupings, we then became three. They became fashariyyoon and surooriyyoon, etc. Allaahu Akbar. And they were not split up for anything which deserves splitting up for. There is no difference in the great issues that it could not be conceived that the salafees would differ in.
We all know well that the sahaabah had differences in some issues, but their methodology was one. Thus, if one was to imagine that a group from Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa‘ah and from the victorious group (at-Taa’ifah al-Mansoorah) has split off, we should take a hold of them with kindness and gentleness, brother, and we try to keep them with the jamaa‘ah. And we do not boycott them and cut them off except if we fear from them. And that will not become apparent immediately. It is not that simply when somebody expresses an opinion, in which he goes against the opinion or position of the group that it is appropriate for us to immediately boycott that individual. It should be with done patience, until it becomes clear to us that perhaps Allaah will guide his heart or it becomes evident to us that cutting him off is the best.” [Tape: Advice To the Emirati Youth, 31st January, 1993]