الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين، نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين أما بعد
The prosperity of an individual lies in following the guidance of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and adhering to it, and this is what mankind has been commanded with, and in doing so one is guided aright and attains salvation.
Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Since the prosperity of the servants in both abodes (that of this life and the Hereafter) is attached to the guidance of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). It is obligatory therefore upon everyone who sincerely counsels himself, and wishes for salvation as well as welfare, that he comes to know from his guidance and his way of life and his significance; that by way of which he departs from those that are ignorant concerning him, and so enters into the number of his followers and his faction and his group. In this the people range between the detached (marginal) and the profuse – and the deprived, and the favour is in The Hand of Allaah, He gives it to whoever He wishes, and Allaah is The Possessor of great bounty.”
It is clear therefore that following anyone other than the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and having fanaticism to them and pursuing them in all that they say whether it be correct or incorrect is something that is prohibited in the religion.
The Statements of the Scholars Regarding the Prohibition of Fanaticism to Individuals, Groups and Parties
Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “It is not permissible at all to have fanaticism to Zaid or ‘Amr, or to the opinion of so and so and such and such, and to the party of so and so or the Tareeqah (path/way) of so and so, or to such and such a group. All of this is from the new errors into which many of the people have fallen.
So it is essential that the objective of the Muslims is a single one, and it is following the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (‘alaihis-salaatu was-salaam) in all circumstances, in adversity and in prosperity, in hardship and in ease, when upon a journey and when resident, and in all circumstances. At the time of the differing between the people of knowledge their statements are to be looked into, and from them is to be supported that which complies with proof – without having fanaticism for anyone from the people.”
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said: “So due to this we find some of the students of knowledge who are with a scholar from the scholars, he will seek to be a triumphant defender of this scholar with truth as well as with falsehood, and will be at enmity to other than him, and will declare him to be astray and declare him to be an innovator, and he sees that his Shaikh – he is the scholar who is conciliator, and anyone besides him is either ignorant or a corrupt person. This is a great error, rather it is obligatory to take the statement of the one whose statement is in accordance with the Book and the Sunnah, and the statement of the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).”
Shaikh Ahmad bin Yahya an-Najmee (rahimahullaah) said: “Salafiyyah with us is not to blindly follow a man from amongst the modern-day men in everything that he says and issues verdict upon. Since the like of this type of blind-following we consider it to be a category from the varieties of restrictive partisanship, as well as a form from the forms of reprehensible doctrinal fanaticism. The scholar – no matter how elevated his rank may be and his virtue should prevail – as well as his knowledge, it is essential that we take from his statement as well as decline.”
Shaikh Zaid bin Haadi al-Madkhali (rahimahullaah) said: “As for those who take the Shaikhs and heads and leaders and so agree with them upon what is right and wrong in that they do not come out from their methodology whether they are correct or in error. Then these are the ones that have been ill-natured towards their own selves and have been ill-natured to others, and if they do not repent, then they are more rightful of blameworthiness.
So the affair – and praise is for Allaah; is clear, and it should not be the case that a person remains in confusion in regard to his affair in this issue, since those who traverse along the path then we are with them and we traverse in one path which Allaah commanded us with and our Messenger (‘alaihis salaam) called us to. So those that err with regard to the way or err in many of their affairs or in some of their affairs then leave him, since no one is followed in everything except the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), as for the people, then they can be right and can make error. For indeed; we do not follow them, nor do we run behind them due to their being Shaikhs or callers or heads or leaders, you should be with the people of the Salafi methodology, those that progress along the correct methodology and correct understanding.”
Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadi al-Madkhali (hafidhahullaah) said: “Fanaticism is blameworthy; rather it is from the way of the disbelievers! Fanaticism and following desires is from the ways of the people of ignorance and from the ways of the Tartars – as is stated by Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah. The believer attempts to know the truth and to hold on to it, despite whosoever opposes this truth from the ones that oppose, he is never fanatical to the error of so and so or such and such or to the opinion of so and so or such and such.
He only holds on to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam), and so he has alliance and has enmity upon the basis of that which Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came with after he comes to know that Muhammad came with it and that it is not conjecture. He knows that this is an issue that Muhammad (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) came with, the Book of Allaah directs to it, and the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) directs to it, and the Salaf professed it as religion.”
The Solution to this Problem
Imaam ash-Shawkaanee (rahimahullaah) said: “So the criterion that does not deviate is that the student of knowledge should remain alongside proof in all of his resources and his references, nothing should divert him from it, nor should an obstacle cause obstruction between him and it. So if he finds within himself an inclination to other that what has been proven by sound proof, and recognizes from himself a desire for dissent; as well as an influence to other than that which is the truth, then he should know thereupon that he has been afflicted with one of the previous factors (i.e. cited earlier in the work) from where he did not realize, and has fallen into trial.
Thus; if he becomes aware of it after contemplation, then he should avoid it just as the sick person avoids whatever came upon him from the affairs that were a cause for his falling victim to the sickness. Yet if the sickness that caused obstruction between him and following the truth is concealed from him, then let him ask the one who has experience in knowledge as well as an understanding of circumstances of its people – just as the sick one would consult the doctor.
If he does not know of his sickness nor has he discovered it; then warding off the sickness may be done by merely avoiding the factors that cause one to fall into it such as an imposed diet that many of the doctors direct to if the sickness has not yet become deep-rooted. Repelling it may also be by way of utilizing medications that combat the constituent located in the body and thus repels it until it overcomes it.
In this manner likewise is the sickness of fanaticism, for indeed if one is aware of its cause, it is possible to exit from it by avoidance of it, and if he is unaware; then he asks the equitable people of knowledge concerning the remedy of that which has afflicted him from fanaticism. He will indeed find with them the remedies from that which is swiftest in cure and closest in advantageousness and more wholesome in recovery from that which the sick person may find with medical practitioners.”
Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaami (rahimahullaah) said: “The time which we are in, it is a time in which the truth has become ambiguous upon many of the people, many of the youth cannot distinguish between truth and falsehood, and between the callers to truth and the callers to falsehood. Therefore the liberation is: knowledge and preoccupation with knowledge, and sitting with the scholars, scholars in the correct understanding, the ‘Ulamaa ar-Rabbaniyoon who nurture and so cultivate the smaller students with the smaller knowledge, so that they make gradual advancement with them until they have an understanding in their religion.”
Shaikh Rabee’ (hafidhahullaah) said: “That which is necessary upon us O assemblage of brothers; is that we search ourselves, so whoever finds something in himself from this sickness, then upon him is that he rectifies himself and engages upon beneficial remedy and always seeks out the truth in order to save himself from the abyss of fanatical blind following which may lead to committing shirk with Allaah, The Most High, or lead to perilous misguidance.”
 Zaadul Ma’aad vol 1 p.69
 Majmu’ Fataawa vol 2 p.311-312
 Majmu’ Fataawa vol 26 p.240
 Al-Mawrid al-‘Adhb az-Zulaal p.218
 Al-‘Iqd al-Munaddad al-Jadeed p.144
 Adab at-Talab wa Muntahaa al-Arab p.115-116
 Sharh Qurrah ‘Uyoon al-Muwahhideen no.36 (4:55-5:35)
 At-Ta’assub adh-Dhameem wa Athaaruhu p.381 (part of: Silsilah ar-Rasaa-il al-‘Ilmiyyah no.1)