Not Everyone Who Falls into Bid’ah Is an Innovator

Not everyone who falls into bid’ah is declared an innovator, because if we were to adopt this principle, we would make Tabdee of the majority of the Imaams of Islam.
Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:‘Indeed many of the Salaf and the Khalaf fell into innovation without being aware of (it); either (due to) acting on a weak hadeeth or understanding the text (in a manner) other than what Allah and His Messenger intended, or (due to) Ijtihaad.’
At present we have Imaams of Ijtihaad; and his/their Ijtihaad (can) lead him/them to mistakes or innovation. So, if we know (him) to be of a sound Manhaj and sound intent, being far removed from desires and being eager for the truth – if we know this about him and he falls into innovation, he is not declared an innovator. But if we know him to be upon desires and evil intent, and we know of affairs about him showing that he desires innovation, he is declared an innovator.

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