The speech from the great Imams of the Salaf is plentiful concerning debating with the innovators – and their speech is recorded and preserved in the books of Sunnah and `Aqeedah as an issue of the fundamentals (Usool) of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā`ah. Abu Ismā`īl As-Sāboonī (died 449H, rahimahullah) relayed from the Imāms of the Sunnah the following:
“And they hated Ahlul-Bid`ah, those who introduce into the Religion that which is not from it. They would not love them, nor keep company with them – they would not listen to their speech nor would they sit with them. They would not argue with them about the Religion, and they would not debate with them. And they held that the people should protect their hearing from listening to their falsehood. This falsehood, if it was to reach their hearing and settled in their hearts it would ruin them, and arouse whisperings and dangerous corruption. And regarding this Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, revealed:
وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ
“And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation.”
(`Aqeedatus-Salaf As.hābul-Hadeeth of As-Sāboonī (رحمه الله) no. 161, pp. 100-101)
In these times we have come across youth who have “studied” with innovators, graduated from the circles of the grave-worshippers, magicians and other innovators teaching and prevailing upon the Muslims that it is fine and well to sit with innovators, and open callers to misguidance, and to debate with them. I regard these individuals as infiltrators who have been planted into the ranks of the youth to deviate them away from Salafiyyah. This is something that is apparent for those who have seen this happen wave after wave over the last quarter of a century. As for the poor unsuspecting youth raised on a diet of fantasy football, music and youtube, then he [or she] will not grasp the fraud being perpetrated by these claimants to knowledge.
So these “youtube sheikhs”, students of grave-worshippers, Deobandees and Ikhwānīs make videos and movies vying with one other and prodding each other to debate and argue with their opponents, whom they flatter and flirt with once seated in their presence. Eventually, as is the case with all misguided souls, they only humiliate themselves and the rabble who keenly follow them. So do not join the blinded rabble and masākīn, but hold fast the Manhaj of the Salaf, may Allah have mercy upon you.