Dealing with innovators in worldly matters and giving them Salaam

بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم

▪️Dealing with innovators in worldly matters and giving them Salaam▪️

Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam -may Allaah preserve him- was asked the following question:

? Question:

What is the ruling on dealing with innovators in worldly affairs and can we give Salaam to them?

? Answer:

One should not voluntarily do business with an innovator. Nonetheless, if you’ve already agreed, or are in need of buying something from a person of innovation, then you must avoid indulging and sitting with them. In fact, as soon as the transaction is complete you should leave them straight away. You’re not in need of building a relationship with them, nor sitting with them and the likes, because the Prophet ﷺ said:

((مثل الجليس الصالح وجليس السوء كحامل المسك ونافخ الكير))

“The parable of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of a seller of misk and a blacksmith.” [Agreed upon from the Hadeeth of Abu Musa -may Allaah be pleased with him-]

It also comes in the Sunan of Abu Dawud from the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah -may Allaah be pleased with him- that (the prophet ﷺ said):

((المرء على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يُخالل))

“A man is on the same religion as his companion; so one should consider whom he befriends”

If you are able to find an alternative, it is upon you to stay clear of the people of innovation and their gatherings. But if you have no other choice but to buy from them, deal with them as though buying from a complete stranger.

As for giving Salaam to an innovator, we have previously mentioned that Shaykhul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah categorised boycotting into two types:

The First type: Boycotting as a form of abandoning

This is by abstaining from the innovator and not sitting with them. This type of boycotting is unending and its benefits are unending. (forsaking sin would fall under this type, as the Prophet ﷺ said):

((المهاجر من هجر مانهى الله عنه))

“The Muhaajir (boycotter) is one who abandons what Allaah has forbidden.”

Furthermore, the innovator is an evil companion so it’s incumbent that you stay away from him, as Allaah said:

{وَإِذَا رَأَیۡتَ ٱلَّذِینَ یَخُوضُونَ فِیۤ ءَایَـٰتِنَا فَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ یَخُوضُوا۟ فِی حَدِیثٍ غَیۡرِهِۦۚ وَإِمَّا یُنسِیَنَّكَ ٱلشَّیۡطَـٰنُ فَلَا تَقۡعُدۡ بَعۡدَ ٱلذِّكۡرَىٰ مَعَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِینَ}

“And when you come across those who ridicule Our revelations, do not sit with them unless they engage in a different topic. Should Satan make you forget, then once you remember, do not ˹continue to˺ sit with the wrongdoing people.” [Surat Al-An’am 68]

The Second type: Boycotting as a disciplinary measure

This is by refraining from speaking to them, greeting them, visiting their sick and attending their funerals. This type of boycotting is dependent on the interest of the Sharee’ah; it varies according to the outcome (i.e. If it’s a cause for a greater common good then it’s permissible, otherwise it’s not). It must also take the individual being boycotted into account, as well as the place and the time. So this type must coincide with the interests of the Sharee’ah and the Muslim must weigh out the benefits before undertaking this measure.


Translated by:

Abu ‘Aadil Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali As-somali

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