Author: Shaikh Rabee' bin Haadee al-Madkhalee
Source: book Manhaj Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah Fee Naqd-ir-Rijaal wal-Kutub wat-Tawaa'if
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said:
"Some of the Shaafi'ee and Hanbalee scholars as well as others have permitted killing those who call towards innovations that are in opposition to the Qur'aan and Sunnah. This is the same case with the Maalikee scholars who say: ‘Maalik and others have only permitted killing the Qadariyyah for the purpose of eradicating corruption in the land, not because of their apostasy.'" 
And he (ra) also said:
"Any innovator that has the proof established against him, it is required for him to undergo punishment. And if not, then still, his innovative and forbidden actions are fruitless and contain no reward in them. Rather, they subtract from his good deeds, reduce from his reward and serve as a means for lowering his honor and status. This is the ruling concerning those who are misguided and their recompense. And Allaah rules with equity and justice, He does not wrong anything, not even an atom." 
Taqee-ud-Deen Abu Muhammad 'Abd-ul-Ghanee Al-Maqdisee (ra) said concerning the various groups:
"Know, may Allaah have mercy on you, that Islaam and its adherents are undermined by three types of groups: 1) The first type reject the ahaadeeth concerning Allaah's attributes and declare their narrators to be liars. These individuals are more harmful to Islaam and its adherents than the disbelievers. 2) Another group believes them to be authentic and accepts them, however, they distort their meaning. These people are far worse in harm than the first group. 3) The third type of group combines the first two views. According to their claims they eliminate any anthropomorphic qualities to Allaah, while they are lying. This directs them to accept the first two views. And they are more greater in danger than the first two groups." 
Ibn Al-Jawzee (ra) said:
"Abul-Wafaa 'Alee Ibn 'Aqeel said: 'Our Shaikh Abul-Fadl Al-Hamdhaanee said: 'The innovators in Islaam and the fabricators of ahaadeeth are worse than the disbelievers. This is because the disbelievers attempt to corrupt the Religion from the outside, whereas these individuals attempt to corrupt it from the inside. They take the similitude of the inhabitants of a land, who strive to corrupt its condition (from the inside), while the disbelievers take the similitude of raiders laying siege to the land from the outside. Thus it is the ones on the inside that open the doors of the land's surrounding barrier (and let the besiegers in). These types (of people) are far worse to Islaam than the ones who don't attribute themselves to it." 
I say that this type of talk concerning the various (deviant) groups is a fundamental attribute of Islaam. And there is no doubt that these innovators possessed good characteristics. However, these great scholars did not mention any of them, because mentioning them is not an obligation.
Thus, it was from the methodology of the righteous predecessors to warn against the books that held innovations within them, safeguarding the methodology of the Muslims from their harmful and dangerous effects. It is not a form of injustice for a Muslim, who is advising against a book, to mention the defects that are present in it, since he is warning the Muslims against its harm. This is even if he doesn't mention any of its good qualities. Rather, it is injustice for him to degrade it by labeling it with defects that are not present there, even if the book's author is a disbeliever.
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said:
"Lying against an individual is completely forbidden, regardless if he is a Muslim, a disbeliever or an evil sinner. However, fabricating a lie against a believer is more severe. In spite of all forms of lying on someone is forbidden, it is allowable during times of a legitimate necessity." 
Indeed the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) warned against reading the books of the Jews and the Christians. Jaabir Ibn ‘Abdillaah RAA reported that ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab RAA once approached the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) while holding a book he had obtained from some of the People of the Book. So he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) became angry and said: "Do you have doubts, O Ibn Al-Khattaab? By the One whose hand my soul is in! I have surely brought it for you in its purified form. Do not ask them (people of the Book) about anything, for they will either inform you of truth and you will disbelieve in it, or of falsehood and you will believe in it. By the One whose hand my soul is in! If Moosaa were alive today, he would have no choice except to follow me!" 
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said:
"This is the reality of the statement of those from the Salaf and the people of knowledge that say: ‘Verily, the ones who called towards innovations are not to have their testimony accepted. Nor should they be followed in prayer. Nor should knowledge be taken from them. Nor should they be given women in marriage.' This is their recompense, until they stop what they are doing. Due to this, it must be noted that there is a difference between one who calls towards innovations and one who doesn't call to it (but yet is still an innovator). The one who calls to it, publicly displays his evil and thus it is necessary to punish him, as opposed to the one who conceals his innovation. Indeed, this latter one is only as evil as the hypocrites – those whom the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to accept their open proclamations (of Faith) and entrust their secret proclamations to Allaah, while possessing knowledge of the condition of most of them." 
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said in his tafseer of Allaah's statement: "The woman and the man guilty of fornication, lash each one of them a hundred times. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allaah, if you believe in Allaah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.":
"Thus Allaah has commanded that they be recompensed and punished while in the presence of a group from the believers. This may be achieved by the event bearing witness to itself or the believers' bearing witness to it. The reason behind this is since if the act of disobedience is done openly, then its punishment must be done openly. This is as is stated in one narration: ‘Whosoever sins while in secrecy, let him repent in secrecy. And whosoever sins in public, then let him repent in public.' It does not fall under the category of being concealed, such as the concealing that Allaah loves, as occurs in the hadeeth: ‘Whosoever conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allaah will conceal him (i.e. his faults).' Rather, if that (public) misdeed were to be concealed, it would be the same as agreeing with an open evil. In a hadeeth it states: ‘Verily, when a sin is kept hidden it doesn't cause harm, except to the one who has committed it. And when it is done publicly and not repelled, it harms the masses of people.'
Thus if it is done publicly, then its recompense must be done in public, as well, in accordance with conceivable justice. For this reason, it is not considered backbiting to talk about one who openly publicizes his innovations and wickedness, as has been reported on Al-Hasan Al-Basree and others. This is because when one publicizes that, he justifies himself to be punished by the Muslims. The least of these forms of punishment is that he should be dispraised and dishonored so that the people may avoid and refrain from him and his deviance. And if he is not dispraised and the evil or disobedience or innovation that lies within him is not conveyed (to the public), then the people will be deceived by him. Then it is likely that this will bring some of them to act upon what he believes in. At the same time, it will only cause him to increase in his daringness, evil and disobedience. So if the faults that he has in him are mentioned, then he will restrain and others will restrain from his evil and from accompanying and socializing with him. Al-Hasan Al-Basree said: ‘Do you turn away from mentioning the condition of the evil-doer (faajir)? Mention what he has in him, so that the people may be warned of him!' This has been reported in marfoo' form.
Wickedness (fujoor) is a comprehensive term for every affair that involves disobedience or foul, evil speech, that of which causes the one who hears it to believe that there is wickedness in the heart of the one who spoke it. For this reason, it becomes necessary for this type of individual to be abandoned. If he openly proclaims his innovation or disobedience or wickedness or immorality or his intermingling with someone who does that, such that he doesn't care about whether the people will speak evilly about him or not, then indeed abandoning him would then become a form of supporting him. If he openly proclaims his evil deeds, then he must be openly forsaken and if he does his evil deeds in secrecy, then he must be forsaken secretly. This is since Hijrah (abandonment) is the abandoning of something based upon the evil that is found there. And abandoning evil is to stay away from what Allaah has forbidden, as Allaah says: ‘And stay away (hajar) from the idols'  and He says: ‘And abstain (hajar) from them in a good manner' and He says: ‘And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (the Qur'aan) that when you hear the verses of Allaah being denied and mocked at, then do not sit with them, until they engage in a different topic of discussion. (But if you stay with them), then certainly you will be just like them.'  " 
Ibn ‘Abd-il-Barr (ra) said:
"Ismaa'eel Ibn ‘Abd-ir-Rahmaan informed us that Ibraaheem Ibn Bakr narrated that he heard Abu ‘Abdillaah Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ishaaq Ibn Khuwaizmindaad Al-Misree Al-Maalikee say in the Book of Al-Ijaaraat (Leasing): ‘Maalik said that it is not permissible to lease out any of the books of vain desires, innovations and astrology – and he went on to mention some books and then said – And the books of vain desires and innovations according to our companions are the books of the people of rhetoric (kalaam) from the likes of the Mu'atazilah and other than them. Leasing or lending out these books is not valid. This goes the same for books about determining the future based on astrology, books on the incantations of jinn and what resembles that.' And he said in the book of Shahaadaat (testimonies) regarding the explanation of Imaam Maalik's statement ‘Accepting the testimony of the people of innovations and vain desires is not permissible': ‘The people of desires according to Maalik and the rest of our companions are the people of rhetoric (kalaam). So every person that indulges in this rhetoric, then he is from the people of vain desires and innovations, whether he is Ash'aree or other than that. His testimony in Islaam is not to be accepted at all, he is to be abandoned and he is to be educated and corrected about his innovation. And if he persists on doing it, then he must repent from it." 
And Ibn ‘Abd-il-Barr (ra) said immediately after quoting the hadeeth of Ka'ab Ibn Maalik RAA concerning the three individuals that opposed the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):
"In this hadeeth of Ka'ab RAA, there is proof that it is permissible for an individual to abandon his brother, if innovation or evil begins to show from him, hoping that his abandoning of him will serve to teach and rebuke him." 
Al-Khatteeb Al-Baghdaadee (1/232) reported with a chain connected to Al-Fadl Ibn Ziyaad: "I asked Abu ‘Abdillaah (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal) about Al-Karaabeesee and what beliefs he proclaims, so his face grew serious and he lowered his head in silence for a while and then said: ‘This individual proclaims the views of Jahm. Allaah says: ‘And if anyone of the mushrikeen seeks your protection, then grant him your protection, so that he may hear the Words of Allaah (i.e. the Qur'aan).'  So from who does he hear from? And the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘And he (the disbeliever) has the pact of trust, so that he may hear the words of Allaah.' Indeed, the trial that the people are upon only came about due to these books which they have put forth. They have abandoned the narrations of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his companions and readily accepted these books!'"
Shaikh Shams-ud-Deen Abu ‘Abdillaah Muhammad Ibn Muflih said:
"Shaikh Muwaffiq-ud-Deen (i.e. Ibn Qudaamah) has mentioned the forbiddance of looking into the books of innovators and he stated: ‘The Salaf used to forbid others from sitting with the innovators, looking into their books and listening to their speech.'" 
Imaam Al-Baghawee (ra) said:
"The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has informed us that this ummah would divide into groups, and that desires and innovations would appear amongst them. And he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) declared salvation for whosoever follows his Sunnah and the Sunnah of his companions RAA. So it is a must upon every Muslim, when he sees a man dispersing any type of vain desire or innovation knowingly, or he is scorning any part of the Sunnah, to abandon him and free himself of him, whether he is dead or alive. Thus, he does not greet him with Salaam when he encounters him nor does he respond to him if he is greeted initially. He is to continue doing this until that individual abandons his innovation and returns to the truth. As for the forbiddance of abandoning (i.e. making Hijrah from) one's brother for more than three days , then that is in regards to a disagreement that occurs between two people in respect to matters of companionship or family ties. It is not in regards to the Religion, for indeed, abandoning the people of vain desires and innovations is unending, until they repent." 
Ash-Shaatibee (ra) said:
"Indeed the saved sect – and they are Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah – are commanded with disassociating themselves from the people of innovations, expelling them and punishing severely anyone that follows in their direction, whether by killing or less than that. The scholars have warned us from accompanying and gathering with them. That is the best way for casting hostility and hatred for them. However, the one who achieve this are the ones who give themselves cause for it, by splitting away from the jamaa'ah (Qur'aan and Sunnah), due to what he has innovated from adhering to the ways other than that of the believers' way, not just for the sake of showing hostility. And how could this be, when we are commanded to disassociate from them while they are commanded to befriend us and return to the jamaa'ah?" 
Ash-Shaatibee (ra) said:
"When these groups begin to call towards their misguidance and they beautify it in the hearts of the common people and those who have no knowledge, then indeed, the harm that these people cause to the Muslims is just like that of the harm that Iblees causes. And they are the devils from among mankind. Thus there is no doubt that they must be exposed for what they are –people of innovation and misguidance – as well as those who attribute themselves to these divisions, if there is sufficient evidence that shows that they are from among them. So there is no doubt that these types of people must be exposed and expelled, so that the harm that emanates from them will not return to the Muslims. And if they abandon exposing them and withdrawing away from them, then the outcome of this is far worse than the harm caused by them, if the reason for abandoning the exposition of them is done out of fear of causing division and hatred..." 
I say that this is the way of the Salaf and these are their rules and regulations. This is the way they dealt with these types of books and with their authors, the innovators, as you have seen in the statements of Ibn Taimiyyah, Al-Baghawee and Ash-Shaatibee and in the words of Ibn ‘Abd-il-Barr who relates it to Maalik and his companions. There is also the statements of Al-Khateeb and Al-Muwaffiq Ibn Qudaamah who relate it to Imaam Ahmad and all of the Salaf, without exception.
Ibn Al-Qayyim (ra) said:
"Likewise, there is no insurance to be paid for burning and destroying the deviant books. Al-Marwazee said: ‘I said to Ahmad: I borrowed a book that has evil and wicked things in it. Do you think that I should tear it apart and burn it? He said: Yes. So I burned it.'
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) once saw a book in the hand of ‘Umar, that he had transcribed from the Torah and that he was amazed at how much it conformed with the Qur'aan. So the anger reflected on the face of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) until ‘Umar went over to a fire and threw it in.
So how would it be if the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) were to see what was written after him, from the books that oppose and contradict what is in the Qur'aan and Sunnah?! And Allaah is the One in whom we seek assistance! The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) commanded everyone that recorded his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) statements to erase what they had recorded from him (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), except for the Qur'aan. Afterwards, he permitted his Sunnah to be recorded, but did not give permission for anything other than that.
Therefore, all these books that consist of opposition to the Sunnah have no permission to be written. Rather, they only have permission to be erased and destroyed, for there is not anything more harmful to the ummah than these books. The Sahaabah RAA burned all the copies of the mus-haf that opposed the mus-haf of 'Uthmaan RAA out of fear that differing would spread amongst the ummah (if they didn't do so). So how would it be if they were to see the books of today that cause disunity and division amongst the ummah!?" 
Then Ibn Al-Qayyim (ra) said:
"The objective is for these books, that contain lies and innovations, to be annihilated and destroyed. Destroying these books takes more precedence over destroying musical instruments and alcoholic containers, since their harm is much greater than the harm caused by these (latter) things. And there is no insurance to be paid for their loss, just as there is no insurance for breaking the vessels in which alcohol is drunk out of." 
Imaam Adh-Dhahabee (ra) said:
"Sa'eed Ibn 'Amr Al-Barda'ee said: ‘I witnessed Abu Zur'ah when he was asked concerning Al-Haarith Al-Muhaasibee and his books. And he responded to the questioner by saying: 'Beware of these books for these are books of innovation and misguidance! Stick to the narrations for indeed you will find in them that which is sufficient for you.' Then it was said to him: ‘There is an admonition for us in these books.' So he responded: ‘Whosoever does not receive admonition from the Qur'aan, then he will not receive any admonition from these books! Has it reached you that Sufyaan or Maalik or Al-Awzaa'ee wrote these types of books on false delusions and misgivings? How quick people are to rush to innovations!'
Al-Haarith died in the year 243 after Hijrah. So where are the likes of Al-Haarith, now? And how would it be if Abu Zur'ah (ra) were to see the books that were written in later times, such as Quwat-ul-Quloob (Strength of the hearts) of Abu Taalib?! And where are the likes of Quwat-ul-Quloob, now?!? How would it be if he were to see Bahjat-ul-Asraar (The splendors of the hidden dimensions) of Ibn Juhdam or Haqaa'iq-ut-Tafseer (The real/hidden meanings of the Qur'aan) of As-Sulamee?! He would go completely out of his mind!! How would it be if he were to see the books of Abu Haamid At-Toosee (i.e. Al-Ghazaalee), for that matter, due to the large amount of fabricated narrations found in Ihyaa ‘Uloom-ud-Deen (Reviving the Sciences of the Religion)?! How would it be if he were to see Al-Ghunyah of Shaikh ‘Abd-ul-Qaadir (Al-Jilani)?! How would it be if he were to see Fusoos Al-Hikam (The Segments of Wisdom) and Al-Fatoohaat Al-Makkiyah ?! 
Indeed, when Al-Haarith was the voice of the people during that period, even though there were thousands of scholars of hadeeth alive at his time, among them the likes of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Rahawaih. And when the scholars of hadeeth came to be such individuals as Ibn Ad-Dakhmees and Ibn Shahaanah, he (Al-Haarith) came to be known as one of the highest ranking of people of knowledge, just like the author of Al-Fusoos (Ibn ‘Arabee) and Ibn Sab'een. And we ask Allaah for His forgiveness!!" 
I say: May Allaah bestow His mercy on Imaam Adh-Dhahabee! How would it be if he were to see books the likes of At-Tabaqaat by Ash-Sha'raanee and Jawaahir-ul-Ma'aanee and Buloogh-ul-Amaanee fee Faid Abil-'Abaas At-Teejaanee by 'Alee Ibn Haraazim Al-Faasee!? How about if he were to see Khazeenat-ul-Asraar (The treasure of the Hidden Realms) of Muhammad Haqqee An-Naazilee?! Or if he saw Noor-ul-Absaar (The Light for All Eyes) of Ash-Sheelanjee?! How would it be if he were to see Shawaahid-ul-Haqq fee Jawaaz-il-Istighaathati Bi-Sayyid-il-Khalq (Witnesses of Truth concerning the Permissibility of Calling on the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for Help) and Jaami' Kiraamaat-ul-Awliyaa (A Compilation of the Miracles of the Saints) of An-Nubhaanee?! How would it be if he were to see Tableeghee Nusaab and its likes from the authors who adhere to the Sufi orders?! What if he were to see the works of the Ghazaalee of this era – those which launch an attack on the prophetic Sunnah, mock and ridicule its upholders and the ones who cling tightly onto it from the young followers of the Salaf, and which cast the most hideous of accusations and the most repulsive of names at them?! How would it be if he were to see the written works of Al-Mawdoodee and what is contained in them from deviant beliefs, ideologies and methodologies?! How would it be if he were to see the books of Al-Qaradaawee, which rise to defend and support the innovators and their innovations! Rather, they explain their principles and follow in the line of the objectives of the Ghazaalee of this era! Rather they are more dangerous! What if he were to see the callers of our time, who have come to accept these deviant books, driving themselves and their youth and followers to pursue the methodologies of deviant and misguided sects?! Rather, they defend these methodologies as well as protect their innovating leaders! How would it be if he were to see the books of Al-Kawtharee and his students Abu Ghudda and his brothers who are from amongst the biggest fanatics in supporting Sufism and madh-habism?! How would it be if he were to see the works of Al-Bootee and his likes from the enemies of the Sunnah and the enemies of the teachings of Tawheed and from the teachings of Ibn Taimiyyah?! How would it be if he were to see the youth of this ummah, rather the youth of Islaam, and how ignorant they are of the methodology of the Salaf. Rather, they are ignorant of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and have readily accepted these abominable and destructive books!
Woe to the one who turns away from criticizing these books and desires to protect these innovators' religious beliefs and ideologies from the evil forms of misguidance found in these books!
Woe be to him! Who is it that can defend himself from their attacks and their daring accusations?! Indeed, to Allaah do we belong and indeed it is to Him that we will return!
Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (ra) said in Sharh ‘Ilal At-Tirmidhee (Explanation of the defects found in Sunan At-Tirmidhee):
"Many of the people that disparage the scholars of hadeeth have gained mastery in their attacks by mentioning some of these defects (found in At-Tirmidhee). The objective behind this was either to discredit the hadeeth altogether or to cast doubts in them. Or to discredit all the hadeeth except for the hadeeth from the people of Hijaaz. This was as was done by Husain Al-Karaabeesee in his book, which he entitled Al-Mudalliseen. This book was mentioned to Imaam Ahmad and he renounced it severely. Likewise, Abu Thawr and many other scholars repudiated it.
Al-Marwazee (ra) said: 'I departed to go see Al-Karaabeesee, at the time when he was of good standing (i.e. he hid his innovations), for he used to defend the Sunnah and demonstrate support for Abu 'Abdillaah (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal). So I said to him: 'Indeed, the people wish to present this book Al-Mudalliseen to Abu 'Abdillaah. So It is best that you regret what you wrote or I will inform Abu 'Abdillaah.' So he said to me: 'Indeed, Abu 'Abdillaah is a righteous man, a man of his status has been granted the ability to attain the truth. And I am very pleased that my book will be presented to him. Abu Thawr, Ibn 'Aqeel and Hubaish have already asked me to destroy this book, but I refused and said to them: Rather, I will intensify my promotion of it!' So he persisted in that and he refused to go back on what he wrote in it. So I brought the book to Abu 'Abdillaah, while he was unaware of who authored it. And in the book, there was disparaging of Al-A'amash and support in favor of Al-Hasan Ibn Saalih. And there was written in it: 'If you say that Al-Hasan Ibn Saalih took the views of the Khawaarij, then this Ibn Az-Zubair is truly the one who has accepted the views of the Khawaarij!' So when it was read to Abu 'Abdillaah (ra), he said: 'This book compiles, for those who oppose (the Sunnah), that which they are not able to use as substantial proof. Warn others about this book!' And he renounced it.'" 
Ibn Rajab (ra) continued:
"Large groups of innovators from among the Mu'atazilah and others have gained supremacy in attacking the scholars of hadeeth, through his book (Al-Mudalliseen), such as Ibn 'Ibaad As-Saahib and his likes. Likewise, some hadeeth scholars transcribed from it, its schemes to discredit Al-A'amash (ra) and others. This was perhaps because the condition of the book was not known to him, as was the case with Ya'qoob Al-Fasawee and others.
As for the scholars of Ahl-us-Sunnaah wal-Jamaa'ah, then indeed they only mentioned the defects of the hadeeth in order to advise others in the Religion, to preserve and safeguard the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and to identify what befell the narrators of hadeeth from error, forgetfulness, and weakness. It is not required that this (criticizing of narrators) be done for discrediting the non-defective ahaadeeth. Rather, the correct ahaadeeth, according to them, were strengthened by that, due to their being free of defects and errors. Thus, these individuals are the true scholars who are knowledgeable of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). They are the great intellectual critiques that review and examine the hadeeth skillfully and proficiently, with true criticism as opposed to false criticism."
Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (ra) said:
"When a statement would reach the Salaf that they would reject, they would say: 'This person has lied.' This example is taken from the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): 'Abu As-Sanaabil has lied', when news reached him (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that he issued a ruling that a woman whose husband passed away, while she was pregnant, was not permitted to relocate until fourteen months had passed by, due to her pregnancy.
And indeed the righteous scholars have gone to great lengths in forsaking the weak treatises of some scholars. And they have refuted them with the highest degree of refutation, as Imaam Ahmad (ra) used to censure Abu Thawr and others for weak treatises they had written specifically, apart from their other works. And he went to great extremes in refuting them.
This is the ruling for the matters on the outward. As for the inner affairs, then if ones objective in doing that (criticizing) is to clarify the truth and so that the people will not be deceived by the works of those who erred in their writings, then there is no doubt that this individual's aim will be rewarded. And his doing this, along with this intention, causes him to fall into the category of being from those who show sincerity to Allaah, His Messenger and the scholars of the ummah and its common folk. And it is the same whether the one who clarifies the mistake is young or old. Thus, he has a good example in Ibn 'Abbaas in refuting written works of the scholars…"
Then he mentioned Sa'eed Ibn Al-Musayyib, Al-Hasan, 'Ataa, Tawoos and others, saying:
"…as well as those of whom the Muslims have agreed upon their guidance, knowledge, respect and reverence. And what each of them contradicted (of the Sunnah) from these (Fiqh) issues did not cause any of these scholars to be defamed or to be represented as a defect on their part. The books of the Muslim scholars from past and present, such as the books of Ash-Shaafi'ee, Ishaaq, Abu 'Ubaid, Abu Thawr and those scholars that came after them, are filled with the exposition of these writings and claims that these writings do not have too much benefit in them. And if we were to mention that in words, this discussion would be severely prolonged.
As for if the objective of the one refuting is to expose the faults of the one he is refuting and to debase him and to manifest his ignorance and shortness of knowledge, then this is forbidden, regardless if his refutation of that is done in the face of the one being refuted or in his absence. And it is the same whether the refutation is done during that individual's lifetime or after his death. This type of action falls under the acts which Allaah repudiates in His Book and which He threatens the one committing it, concerning his slander and backbiting. Similarly, it falls into the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): 'O you group of people that believe with your tongues and not with your hearts! Do not abuse the Muslims no seek after their faults. For indeed, he who seeks after their faults, Allaah will seek after his faults. And whomsoever has Allaah seek after his faults, He will expose them, even if he may have committed them in the privacy of his own home.'
All of this is in respect to the scholars that are followed in the Religion. As for the people of innovation and misguidance and those who imitate the scholars but are not from them, then it is permissible to expose their ignorance and to manifest their deficiencies, in order to warn others against following them. However, our discussion now is not concerning this topic and Allaah knows best." 
Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (ra) also said:
"Ibn Abee Ad-Duniyaa said: Abu Saalih Al-Marwazee informed us that I heard Raafi' Ibn Ashras said: 'It used to be said: From the punishment of the liar is that his credibility is not accepted.' And I say that from the punishment of the evil sinning innovator is that his good qualities are not mentioned." 
Al-Kankawhee (ra) said:
"Verily, it is not befitting for the scholars to accept anything from the innovator. Nor is it befitting that they leave the people to ask them or to gather with them. So if the state of affairs is that way, no one will speak about him, his remembrance will die out and his call will not prevail. Thus, it is well known that it is permissible, rather, obligatory upon the scholars to expose his defects to the people and forbid them from taking and accepting anything from them." 
Today, the enemies of the Sunnah and Tawheed are capitalizing on pamphlets and cassettes of some individuals that attribute themselves to the Sunnah and Tawheed. These pamphlets and tapes are based on abusing and defaming the scholars and true callers to the Sunnah and Tawheed. Rather, what is worse in terms of danger and affliction is that these pamphlets and tapes are influencing many of the youth of this Tawheed and Sunnah! Thus, they direct their literary attack