Sa’eed Ibn Jubayr (rahimahullaah) said:
“That my son should accompany a sinful highway robber who is a Sunnee is more beloved to me than him taking as his companion a worshipping innovator.”
Mentioned by Ibn Battah in “Al-Ibaanatus-Sughraa”, no. 132.
Sufyaan ath-Thawree (died 161H) explained the reason for this as follows:
“Innovations are more beloved to Iblees than sins, for indeed sins are repented from whilst innovations are not repented from.”
Reported by ‘Alee Ibn Ja’d in his “Musnad” 1809; Al-Laalikaa’ee in “Sharhu Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah” 1885; Abu Nu’aym in “Al-Hilyah” 7/26.
Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) stated:
“And the meaning of their saying: ‘Indeed innovations are not repented from’ is: That the innovator who takes as his religion that which Allaah did not legislate and nor His Messenger. His evil deeds are beautified for him such that he sees them as something good – so he will not repent whilst he sees his deeds as being good. That is because the beginning of repentance is to know that the act is evil from which one must repent – or that he knows that he has left off a good deed whether obligated or recommended so that he may repent. But so long as he sees his act as good whilst in reality it is evil, then he will not repent.
However, even here repentance is still possible by Allaah’s guidance of him so that the truth becomes clear to him, just as Allaah guided the unbelievers, the hypocrites and groups of people from the people of innovation and misguidance so that a person follows the truth of what he knows.”
See “Majmoo al-Fataawaa” 10/9.
He (rahimahullaah) also said:
“Accordance to the Sunnah and Ijmaa’ (consensus), Ahlul-Bid’ah are worse than the people of sinful desires and lusts. The sins of the people of disobedience involves doing that which is forbidden such as stealing or fornicating or drinking wine or consuming wealth falsely.
The sins of the people of innovation involves abandoning that which Allaah has commanded which is following of the Sunnah and the Jamaa’ah of the believers.”
See “Majmoo al-Fataawaa” 20/103.
In explaining and refuting a doubt that is cast by many of Ahlul-Bid’ah who claim that they bring people to repent from their sins and they bring them into worship, Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:
“And some of them would say: We have caused the people to repent!
So I said: From what have you made them repent?
They responded: From cutting the roads and highway robbery, from stealing and so on.
I said: Their condition before your making them repent was better than after your making them repent! Beforehand they were open sinners who believed what they were doing was forbidden (haraam), so they had hope in the mercy of Allaah, and they would repent to Him, or at least have the intention to repent. Then you came along and brought them to this repentance of yours: causing them to be misguided polytheists, who exited the Sharee’ah of Islaam such that they love that which Allaah hates, and they hate that which Allaah loves – and I made clear that these innovations that they are upon are worse than sins!”
See “Majmoo al-Fataawaa” 11/472.
And these words of Ibn Taymiyyah truly fit the wasted efforts of those who are convinced (in the name of repentance and piety) by the likes of Jamaa’atut-Tableegh, Al-Ikhwaan Al-Muflisoon, ISIS (Daesh), Hizbut-Tahreer, Al-Brelewiyyah, Al-Chistiyyah, An-Naqshbandiyyah (etc), Al-Qubooriyyah (the devotees of the graves), Al-Ash’ariyyah, Al-Maatureediyyah, Al-Jahmiyyah, Al-Khawaarij, Al-Asraaniyyah (the rationalist modernists) and so on. All of them claiming that they take people from sin into “worship” and a “better life” whereas in reality those people were better off whilst in sin knowing that they had to repent, and hoping to repent rather than drowned in the sin of bid’ah believing that they are doing good and never repenting from that! And Allaah’s aid is sought.