Question to Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadi (may Allaah preserve him)
A lot of mistakes and differing occurs amongst the Salafi youth as a result of the return or claimed return of an opponent of the Salafi Manhaj to the domain of Salafiyyah; what is your advice to the youth, (because) some of them accept the repentance of (such a person) and others do not?
Whatever the case may be, if a person falls into Sin, doubts, Bidah, and then repents- turning in repentance and obedience to Allaah, then it is not permissible for anyone to close the door of repentance in his face because the door of repentance is open until the sun rises from The West. If a person repents and returns, it is obligatory to praise and encourage him.
However, some people are well known for lying and alternating (i.e. being inconsistent with their claims and stances); so he (the person) acts as if he is repentant. So with regards to this person, we say: In-shaa-Allaah, your repentance is accepted, but we are cautious of him until he manifests his sound/correct repentance (i.e. by being consistence in what he manifests that he has abandoned his past mistakes)
Abul Hasan Al-Ash’ari announced his repentance on the Minbar. He used to be an extreme Mutazili–a leader amongst the leaders of the Mutazilah. He persisted in defense of this evil school of thought for forty years and repented thereafter. He announced his repentance. And from the proofs of his repentance is that he began to author books of astounding refutation against the Mutizalah–rebuttal of their doubts. So there are signs of truthful acts of repentance that dismisses doubts (about the soundness of his repentance); meaning: He publicized and manifested to the people that he is one who follows the truth.
So there are affairs that show the truthfulness of (the repentant one) and there are factual evidences that show the untruthfulness of (the one who merely claims to have repented). He (the person) is encouraged if there are factual evidences showing his truthfulness. (On the other hand) it is incumbent upon the Salafiyyoon to be cautious of him if there are factual evidences showing only the mere claims of his (repentance), as it may be that he is being deceitful.
The groups are widespread and it is not possible to ruin the Salafi youth and hinder the Salafi youth from the Salafi Methodology, except with either claims of (ascription) to Salafiyyah or (claims) of withdrawal from mistakes that are in opposition to the Salafi Manhaj. So if they (i.e. the Salafi youth) incline towards him (i.e. the one who claims repentance), he may be able to entice the one he can entice amongst them towards a corrupt Methodology. This does take place.
Whatever the case may be encouragement is given to the one from whom repentance is manifested and it is obligatory to be cautious of the one from whom playing games is manifested. The Salafiyyoon should be alert with regards to the likes of these (people).
[Source: Siyaanatus Salafi Min Waswasati Wa-Talbeesaat Ali Al-Halabi. page: 79-80. Abridged and slightly paraphrased]