The Lesser Innovations (in religion) appear before the more severe ones- By Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:
“Whenever an innovation (in the religion) is more manifest in its opposition to the (way) of the Messenger, it appeared much later. And indeed the first (innovations) that came were lesser in (their) opposition to the Book and the Sunnah. [Ar-Radd Alal Akh’naa’iy. Page 213]
Shaikhul Islaam (rahimahullaah) also said: The emergence of Bidah and Nifaaq is in conformity with the (people’s) distance from the Sunan and Imaan. Whenever a bidah is more severe, its appearance comes much later, and whenever it is less severe, its appearance is much closer. And for this reason the first bidah was that of the khawaarij and the shee’ah; then the bidah of the Qadariyyah and then the Murji-ah. The last bidah was that of the Jahmiyyah. [ Al-Asbanaani 589-590]
These quotes can be found in ‘Haqeeqatul Manhajus Salafi by Shaikh Abdullaah Bin Salfeeq adh-Dhufayri page 31. Revised by Shaikh Fawzaan and Shaikh Rabee.