[Q]: Should an Imaam partake in some innovations and actions that deserve rebuke so that he can remain in the position of Imaam? This is because if he leaves the position of Imaam, clear people of innovation will take his place. Shaykh Dr. Rabee’ b. Haadee al-Madkhalee, may Allah protect him, answered:
What’s the difference between him and them if he partakes in their innovation? What is the benefit of establishing this innovation? Doesn’t he say with his condition, statements and actions that these innovations are Sunnah because a Sunnee is partaking in them? [This deception is allowed to take place] with the proof that if he leaves this place, an innovator will replace him!?
[…] (1) If he implements them, will they leave him alone, or will they drag him into more innovation? It is quite possible that when he allows some innovations, they will request from him other innovations, and he will comply with them. So, every time he complies with them, they will call him to a new innovation.
For example: group remembrance, it is possible that these remembrances contain polytheistic phrases; this is a dangerous innovation. There are many remembrances that contain polytheism and misguidance. Another example is Salaatul-Faatih, which they believe is better than the Qur’aan, and that reading it one time is better than finishing the Qur’aan sixty or six hundred times. So, these actions contain innovations and polytheism. (2)
It is upon him to leave this place if he has any shame left . My view is that it is upon Ahlus-Sunnah to build their own Masaajid to pray in, that way the people of desires will have no authority in their affairs. These Masaajid can be made of anything, even from clay or stones – from anything. They will be safe from this [type of] stubbornness and affairs that the people of desires try to impose on them. (3)
(1): [TN]: unclear sentence
(2): [TN]: Use any innovation or incorrect action as an example that takes place in the presence of Imaams trapped, or willingly, in the unfortunate position being discussed in this answer. May Allaah protect us.
(3): Rabee’ al-Madkhalee, Knowledge is the Best Earning for the Soul, 66-68