The Balanced Approach
Ibn Taymiyyah (Sheikh al-Islam)
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, said:
"When dealing with the people of sin, one must not exceed the limits prescribed by the Sharee'ah, neither in hating, censuring, preventing, abandoning or chastising them. Rather the one who does so should be told: Worry about your own-self. No harm will come to you from those who are misled, it you are truly guided, as Allaah the Exalted said:
"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allaah and be witnesses, and do not let the hatred of others swerve you from doing justice. But be just! That is closer to taqwaa. (piety)" [Sooratul Maa'idah 5:8]
And Allaah said:
"And fight in the way of Allaah those who fight you but do not transgress the limits." [Sooratul Baqarah 2:190]
Indeed many of those who command and forbid transgress the limits set by Allaah, either through jahl (ignorance) or dhulm (oppression). Thus this issue of justice must be firmly maintained, whether it is in regards to censuring the unbelievers, the hypocrites, the sinners, or the disobedient ones." [Majmoo' ul Fataawaa (14/381)]
He further said:
"The one commanding the good or forbidding the evil should do so in a way prescribed by the Sharee'ah; with knowledge, gentleness, patience and with good intentions, and by following a balanced approach. All of this enters into the statement of Allaah:
"O you who believe! Beware of your own-selves. No harm will come to you from those who are misled, if you are truly guided." [Sooratul Maa'idah 5:105]
There is in this statement another meaning as well, which is that a person must turn to that which will be of benefit to him, both in knowledge and in action, and he must avoid all that does not concern him, as the conveyor of the Sharee'ah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"From the perfection of a person's Islaam is to leave alone that which does not concern him."
[Saheeh: Related by at-Tirmidthee (no. 2318) and others from Abu Hurayrah (r)]
This especially refers to someone delving into that which does not concern him regarding someone else's religious or worldly affairs. Thus, such a person may speak out of envy or desire for position; or act either with deliberate oppression, or foolish scorn and sarcasm. How often does Shaytaan make such an act seem like commanding the good or prohibiting the evil, or Jihaad in the path of Allaah, whereas it is actually an act of injustice and transgression!"
[Majmoo' ul Fataawaa (14/382)]