Question: Some contemporary religious youths say that most or all those who fall into Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) in the Muslim world today are not Mushrikeen (one who associates others with Allaah in worship). They defend them saying that they are either noble scholars who, through Ijtihaad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings), come up with views like the permissibility of Istighaathah (beseeching help) from other than Allaah, as did Al-Suyootee, Al-Nabahaanee, and others. Those great scholars will get a double reward if their view is correct and a single reward if their view is wrong. As for ordinary imitating people, they have done the best they can.
Answer: The people who are excused in the case of mistaken inference, are the Mujtahideen (scholars qualified to exercise juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings) in speculative discretionary issues only, and not people who reach erroneous views on issues authentically established by clear scriptural texts, or well known basic principles of the religion… read more here.