What Is The Methodology Of The Salaf Concerning Interacting With A Salafi Who Sinned And Then Repented
A: Shaykh Muḥammad b. Hādī al-Madkhalī (حفظه الله) answered:
If a person repents, Allāh (تبارك و تعالى) accepts his repentance, and we accept the fact that he repented. However, repentance has conditions. We are happy that he repented. ‘And turn to Allāh in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.’ ‘O you who have believed, repent to Allāh with sincere repentance.’
‘O People, repent to Allāh, and ask His forgiveness. Indeed, I repent to Him over seventy times a day.’ The Ḥadīth and verses concerning this topic are well known.
So, we are happy about the repentance of a person who repents. We are happy with the repentance of a Salafī from his disobedience or his error. We are happy with the repentance of a khalafī, innovator from his innovation. We are happy with the repentance of a disbeliever, polytheist from his disbelief. We are happy with the repentance of all.
If the person was a Sunnī, and he fell into disobedience, then he repents, then indeed, we accept the fact that he has repented, and we encourage him, support him and bring him joy by mentioning the mercy of Allāh (تبارك و تعالى). We do not cause him to despair and to lose hope in the mercy of Allāh. We accept him.
However, we remind him that there are signs of a truthful repentance, and there are conditions for repentance: ceasing sin and disobedience, remorse for what he did, remorse for negligence concerning the rights of Allāh (وتَعَالَى تَبَارَكَ), the firm resolve not to return to that sin again, and if the sin that he committed is connected to the rights of other people, he returns what he oppressed them by way of, and he frees himself from it. These are the conditions of a sound repentance.
Then, righteous traces will appear from him, and we help him to better himself, and if he falls into sin again, we advise him; we remind him of Allāh (وتَعَالَى تَبَارَكَ); we frighten him with the mentioning of Him, and we encourage him to renew his repentance.
The slave forgets, makes mistakes, and falls into disobedience. ‘All the children of Ādam err, and the best of those who err are those who repent.’
‘If you did not commit sin, Allāh would remove you, and bring forth people who commit sin. They would seek forgiveness from Allāh, and He would forgive them.’
So, disobedience, slips, and deficiency are found within the children of Ādam; however, the one who Allāh has made successful is he who catches himself.
And this disobedience does not remove that person from the methodology of the Salaf. Disobedience does not remove him from the methodology of the Salaf, and he remains from the disobedient of Ahlus-Sunnah, and it is obligatory in all cases that he is reminded and frightened by way of mentioning Allāh when disobedience occurs from him.
Translated completed by:
Abū Ādam Jamīl Finch
2nd of Jumādā al-Ūlā, 1435 AH