Fitnah of Callers to Misguidance: intellectual and eloquent of speech

Hudhayfah b. al-Yaman narrates: People would ask Allah’s Messenger ﷺ about the good, but I used to ask about the evil, for fear of it reaching me.

I said: O Messenger of Allah! We used to be in a state of ignorance and evil, but then Allah sent you with this good. Will there be any evil after this good?

He said: ‘Yes.’

I said: Will there be any good after this evil?

He answered: ‘Yes, but it will be tainted.’

I asked: What shall taint it?

He said: ‘A people who will guide with other than my guidance. You shall approve of them and disapprove.’

I said: Will there be any evil after this good?

He replied: ‘Yes! Callers to the gates of Hellfire, whoever responds to them will be thrown into it.’

I inquired: O Allah’s Messenger, describe them for us.

He said: ‘They will be of your skin and speak your language.’ I said: What do you order me if I should reach this?

He said: ‘Cling to the united body (jama‘ah) of the Muslims and their leader.’

What if there is no united body or leader, I asked?

He said: ‘Then remove yourself from all these sects, even if you have to cling to the trunk of a tree until death comes to you and you are in that state.’

Al-Bukhari, no.3606; Muslim, no.1847