May Allah be good to you Oh Shaykh, the question says:
There’s an Imām of the Masjid here who gives lessons before the ‘Isha prayer, we sit in front of the Masjid until the prayer is called then we enter, what’s the ruling of our action?
And what’s the ruling of giving lessons before the prayer?
If this Imām was Salafi and had knowledge; then benefit from his circles, from the great rewards which students of knowledge obtain is through congregation in the Masjid for the sake of seeking knowledge and its revision.
In “Sahih Muslim” on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said:
(وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِلاَّ نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّكِينَةُ وَغَشِيَتْهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ وَحَفَّتْهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَذَكَرَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ)
“and those persons who assemble in the house among the houses of Allah and recite the Book of Allah and they learn and teach it among themselves there would descend upon them tranquility and mercy would cover them and the angels would surround them and Allah mentions them in the presence of those near Him.”
If this Imām was an innovator; then flee from his circles lest something of his doubts cling to your heart or you become affected by him and then become ruined.
Imām Adh-Dhahabi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
“The Salaf would say:
The hearts are weak and doubts snatch people.”
[End of speech]
And Ibn Sirīn said:
“Verily this knowledge is religion, so look at he who you take your religion from.”
[End of speech]
As for your sitting outside of the Masjid and congregating there while he is teaching his lesson inside of the Masjid; this from that which kindles unrest, so avoid doing this.
And advising the people with avoiding the circles of the people of desires has its legislated avenues, it’s with legislated evidences.
Shaykh Abu Hatim Yusuf Al-‘Inaabi Al-Jazaa’iree – may Allah preserve him.
22nd, Rabee’ Al-Awwal, 1438H
Abu ‘Abdirrahman ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmed Ash-Shingaani