Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Misree, hafidaho-Allah, was asked the following question,
“It is known that some scholars of the Salaf would take the hadeeth of the Messenger (praise and peace be upon him) from people who were affected by bidaa (innovations), and today we have people who use this fact as a proof that it is okay to sit with an innovator who is proficient in a certain science. How do we refute this speech?”
The Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Misree (may Allaah preserve him) mentioned the following points while answering the question:
1. The scholars would take only the hadeeths the people of innovation narrated and not their explanations or clarifications of the hadeeths. (e.g. Narrated by Fulaan from Fulaan …). On the contrary, today the ignorant ones who take from Ahul-Bidaa take their explanations and clarifications, so they become influenced and deviant due to their speech.
2. The people who took these hadeeths [from them] were scholars like Imam Ahmed.
3. The Ulema took the hadeeth from those people out of haaja (necessity).
4. When Imam Ahmed was asked about Abdur-Razzaaq, he said “I didn’t see anything.” So (we see here that) some Ulema did not know that certain people were from Ahul-Bidaa.
5. Some people who took from the innovators were influenced by them. For this reason, we see in biographies of certain individuals that they were infected with the bidaa of the Shia or Qadaria, etc.
And Allaah knows best.
Also many of the scholars in that time would place down a number of conditions before taking hadiths that the people of innovations narrated such as the condition that the specific narrator from the people of innovations cannot be one who publicly calls to his innovation.
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman