Ash-Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalee, rahimahullah, said:

: لا يجوز سوء الظن بأهل السنة والجماعة الذين هم متمسكون بها والموالون لأهلها والمجالسون لهم والمبتعدون عن أهل الأهواء والبدع .

“It is not permissible to have bad thoughts for Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jamaah, those who are adherent to the Sunnah and are allies of it, those who accompany them while keeping far from the people of desires and innovations”

ويجوز سوء الظن بمن أتى بأسبابه ، كمن تراه يغضب إذا ذكر أهل البدع وتكلّم فيهم وحذر منهم تحذيرا عاما ، أو تسمعه يدافع عنهم جماعات أو أفرادا ،

“And it is permissible to have bad thoughts for those who come with its causes, such as a person who you find gets angry when Ahlus Bid’ah are mentioned, spoken ill of, are warned from generally. Or, you hear him defending them whether collectively or individually”

أو دلّت قرائن يتبين منها أن الشخص مميّع لمنهج أهل السنة ، فلا تروج له ولا ترشد إلى الأخذ عنه حتى تتبين لك سلامته فترشد طلاب العلم إلى أخذ العلم عنه

“Or, there are certain signs which have indicated towards it, and it becomes clear by it that the person is an individual who water-downs the methodology of Ahlus Sunnah. Therefore, you should not distribute on his behalf, nor should you direct others to take from him up until it becomes clear to you that he is no longer polluted with that there. Then, you would direct the students of knowledge to take knowledge from him”

، أو يتبين لك موالاته لأهل البدع ولو بالترويج لهم وعدم الإنكار عليهم فاحذره وحذر منه ،

“Or, it becomes clear to you his support for the people of innovations even if it may by the means of distribution for them and not criticizing them. (In that case) then, you should be aware of him and warn from him”

وحقا ما قاله الشاعر :

ومهما تكن عند امرئ من خليقة ـ ـ ـ ـ وإن خالها تخفى على الناس تعلم

It was indeed true what a poet once stated:

‘No matter what a person possesses of traits, if he tries to conceal it from the people, it will eventually become known’

فمثل هذا ومن ماثله تبين له أيها الداعية خطأه بيانا واضحا جليا ، وتورد له الأدلة التي يتميز بها الخطأ من الصواب ، ثم انظر إلى أي فرقة يزحف ، وأي جماعة يألف ، ومع من يغدو ويروح ، واعلم أن من أخفى على أهل السنة بدعته ، فلن تخفى عليهم ألفته

“(It is) this and their likes (that) you oh Da’ee should clarify for them their mistake with absolute clarity. And, you should mention for them the proofs which they can distinguish by it what is right from what is wrong. Then, look to see to which group he will emerge with and to what group he is comfortable with and who will he be going out with. And know with certainty that whosoever hides his innovation from Ahlus Sunnah, then he will never be able to hide from them his companions”

Reference: al-Ajwibah al-Athariyyah (93).

Ash-Shaykh Al-Uthaymeen, Rahimahullah, said:

:” إذا عُلم عن شخص من الناس أنه محل لإساءة الظن ، فهنا لا حَرج أن تُسـيئ الظن من أجل أن تحترس منه لأنك لو أحسنت الظن به لأفضت إليه كل ما في صدرك ، و لكن ليس الأمر كذلك” . [شرح الحلية

“if it becomes known about one of the people that he is in the position (for others) to have bad thoughts about him, then here there is no problem to have bad thoughts in order to protect yourself from him. (This is) since if you were to have good thoughts about him, you would express to him all that which is in your chest, while the matter is not so”

Reference: Explanation of Hilyatu Taalibil Ilm, extracted online.

Shaikh Bin Baz, Rahimahullah, said :

إذا أساء الظن بالناس الذين يعرفهم يقفوا مواقف التهم ويصحبون الأشرار, ويعملون ما لا ينبغي فهؤلاء هم محل سوء الظن حتى يهديهم الله ويتوب عليهم

“…If he were to have bad thoughts about people of those who he knows of those who are in places of suspicion and who accompany the evil doers, while they do things which aren’t appropriate, then these people are in the position (for others) to have bad thoughts about. (This is) up until Allah guides them and grants them success to repent”

[Reference removed since it no longer exists]

Translated by

AbdulFattaah bin Uthman
Abu Fajr