From The Reasons the People of Bidah Are Called Ahlul Ahwaa (People of Desires)

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah] said:

It is well known that the mere [act] of shunning by those who [express their] aversion or the love of those who are agreement is neither an indication of the correctness nor corruption of a statement, except when it is based on guidance from Allaah. Rather merely [utilising] a statement as proof [without guidance from Allaah] is tantamount to following desires. Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَإِنَّ كَثِيرً۬ا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهۡوَآٮِٕهِم بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ‌ۗ

And surely many do lead (mankind) astray by their own desires through lack of knowledge. [6:119]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

فَإِن لَّمۡ يَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَكَ فَٱعۡلَمۡ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهۡوَآءَهُمۡ‌ۚ وَمَنۡ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ ٱتَّبَعَ هَوَٮٰهُ بِغَيۡرِ هُدً۬ى مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

But if they answer you not (i.e. do not believe in your doctrine of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you), then know that they only follow their own lusts. And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah? [28:50]

And Allaah [The Most High] said to Dawud [alayhis-salaam]:

وَلَا تَتَّبِعِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰ فَيُضِلَّكَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

And follow not your desire for it will mislead you from the Path of Allah. [38:26]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

فَإِن شَهِدُواْ فَلاَ تَشْهَدْ مَعَهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاء الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالآخِرَةِ وَهُم بِرَبِّهِمْ يَعْدِلُونَ

Then if they testify, testify not you (O Muhammad) with them. And you should not follow the vain desires of such as treat Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) as falsehoods, and such as believe not in the Hereafter, and they hold others as equal (in worship) with their Lord. [6:150]

Allaah [The Most High] said:

قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ لَا تَغۡلُواْ فِى دِينِڪُمۡ غَيۡرَ ٱلۡحَقِّ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوٓاْ أَهۡوَآءَ قَوۡمٍ۬ قَدۡ ضَلُّواْ مِن قَبۡلُ وَأَضَلُّواْ ڪَثِيرً۬ا وَضَلُّواْ عَن سَوَآءِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ

Say (O Muhammad): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Exceed not the limits in your religion (by believing in something) other than the truth, and do not follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the Right Path. [5:77]

So whoever follows the desires of the people after the knowledge Allaah has revealed to His Messenger and guidance which He clarified for His slaves, then he [i.e. such a person] has a similarity [to those regarded as followers of desires]. And due to this, the Salaf named the people of innovation and splitting-those who oppose the Book and the Sunnah [with their innovations]-ahlul ahwaa [the people of desires] because of the fact that they accept what they love and reject what they hate based on their desires without guidance from Allaah.


[Source: Al-Fataawaa 4/189-190. abridged and slightly paraphrased]

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf