MADARIJ US-SALIKIN (Vol 1 pp.335-338)

IBN QAYYIM EXPLAINS AL-KUFR

Chapter: About the Impurities that need to be Repented from: Disbelief:

And as for kufr it is of two types: Kufr akbar (major kufr) and kufr asghar (minor kufr).

So kufr akbar – this necessitates eternity in the Hellfire.

And the (kufr) asghar: Necessitates the fulfilment of the threat (of Hellfire) without eternally abiding in it. As occurs in the saying of the Exalted – and it used to be from what was recited and then it was abrogated :

“And do not detest/hate your fathers, for that is disbelief from you”

and his (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) saying in the hadeeth:

“There are two matters in my ummah, by which (my) Ummah falls into kufr: Reviling the genealogy and wailing/lamenting (over the dead)”

And his saying in the Sunan:

“Whoever comes to a women from her anus has disbelieved in what was revealed upon Muhammad” and in another hadeeth: “Whoever comes to a sorcerer or a diviner and believes in what he says has disbelieved in what Allaah revealed upon Muhammad”

and his saying

“Do not become disbelievers after me, striking the necks of one another”.

And this is the explanation of Ibn ‘Abbaas and the generality of the Companions regarding the speech of Allaah:

And whoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, then they are the disbelievers (5:44)

Ibn Abbaas said: “It is not the kufr that takes one out of the religion. Rather when he does it then it is [an act of] disbelief, and he is not like the one who disbelieves in Allaah and the Last Day” and Taawoos said the same and Ataa said: “It is disbelief less than disbelief, oppression less than oppression and rebellion less than rebellion”

And amongst them are those who interpreted the verse to mean the one who abandons the rule of Allaah while opposing and rejecting it (jahidan lahu) and this is the saying of Ikrimah! And this is a defective saying, since just the mere denial (juhud) of it is disbelief, regardless of whether he ruled by it or not.

And amongst them are those who explained it to mean abandoning ruling by all of what Allaah revealed, he said, and who enters into this the judgement of Tawhid and Islam! This is the interpretation of Abdul-Aziz al-Kinani, and this too is far from what is correct!! Since the threat (contained in the verse) is for the negation of ruling by the revealed legislation, and this can apply to abandoning all of the legislation of just some of it.

And amongst them are those who explained it to mean to rule in opposition to the text, deliberately, without being ignorant of it and nor due to error in understanding or interpreting it. Al-Baghawee quoted this from the scholars generally.

And amongst them are those explained to refer to the Ahl ul-Kitaab. And this is the saying of Qataadah, Dahhaak and others. And this is far (from what is correct) – and it is in opposition to the apparent wording – so it is not to be inclined towards.

And amongst them are those who explained it to mean the kufr that takes one out of the religion!

And what is correct is that judging by other than what Allaah has revealed is both types of kufr (disbelief) – kufr asghar (the minor disbelief) and kufr akbar (the major disbelief) – and [which of the two it is] depends on the condition of the ruler. If he believes in the obligation of judging by what Allaah has revealed n this situation but turned away from it – out of disobedience – and while acknowledging that he is deserving of punishment then this is kufr asghar.

And if he (i’taqada) believes that it is not obligatory and that he has a choice in the matter – along with his firm belief that it is the judgement of Allaah – then this is kufr akbar – and if he was ignorant in the matter or made an error then he is one who errs (mukhtee’) and his ruling is as the same for those who err (i.e. one reward).

And the intent here is: That sins, all of them are of the minor form of kufr (kufr asghar). For they are the opposite of gratefulness – which is to act in obedience to Allaah. And the striving (of a person), either it constitutes gratefulness (shukr) or disbelief (kufr), or a third matter which is neither this or that (i.e gratefulness nor disbelief), and Allaah knows best.

 

TYPES OF KUFR AKBAR

And as for the Major Kufr (kufr akbar) – then it is of five types :Kufr of takdheeb (rejection), kufr due to arrogance and pride whilst one acknowledges the truth (tasdeeq), kufr of I’raad (turning away), kufr of shakk (doubts) and kufr of nifaaq (hypocrisy).

  1. So the kufr of takdheeb – it is belief in the falsehood of the Messengers, and this type is not very common amongst the Kuffar, since Allaah the Most High has strengthened His Messengers and granted them such evidences and signs to establish their truthfulness that would be sufficient to establish a decisive proof, and (by which) any excuse would be finished. Allaah the Most High said about Fir’aun and his people “And they belied them (those Ayât) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their ownselves were convinced thereof (of their truthfulness)” (27:14)
  2. The kufr of istikbaar and ibaa (arrogance and pride) – then that is like the kufr of Iblees for the did not deny/rejct the command of Allaah and he did not face it with rejection. But he responded to it with arrogance and pride – and from this comes the disbelief of the one who knows the truth of the Messenger and that he has come with the truth from Allaah, but he did not comply with it due to arrogance and pride. And this mainly, is the kufr of the enemies of the Messengers as Allaah the Exalted quotes from Fir’aun and his people: “Shall we believe in two men like ourselves, whilst their people are enslaved to us?” (23:47) and the saying of the various nations to their messengers “You are but men like ourselves” (14:10) and His saying “Thamud rejected (their Prophet) through transgression” (91:11), this is the kufr of the Jews, as the Most High has said, “And when that which they knew full well came to them (i.e. the Book of Allaah), they rejected it” (2:89) and he said “They know him (the Messenger) just like they know their own sons” (6:20), and this is like the kufr of Abu Taalib also who believed in him (the Messenger) and did not have doubt in his truthfulness but fanaticism overtook him and the aggrandisement of his forefathers, that he should not leave their religion and testify to their disbelief.
  3. And as for the kufr of Iraad (turning away) – then that is to turn away with ones hearing and his heart, away from the Messenger – not believing in him and not rejecting him – not allying with him and nor showing enmity towards him – and never paying attention to that which he came with as one of the Banu Abd Yaaleel said to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) “By Allaah, I will say to you a word: If you are truthful, then you are too great in my eyes that I should reply to you, and if you are lying, then you are more despicable than that I should (even) talk to you .
  4. And as for the kufr of shaqq (doubt) – then that is when one is not certain of his (the Messenger’s) truthfulness and he does not disbelieve in him – but he has a doubt. And this doubt of his will not continue unless he deliberately turns away from looking into the signs (ayaat) related to the truthfulness of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in general, such that he does not hear them and does not turn to them. But if he was to turn to them and look at them then no doubt would remain with him, since they (the ayaat) necessitate truthfulness, especially the sum total of them. This is because their indication of truthfulness is like the indication of the presence of the sun, that it is day.
  5. And as for the kufr of nifaaq (hypocrisy) – then that is when he manifests eemaan upon his tongue and rejection is concealed in his heart and this is the greater hypocrisy and an explanation of its types will come later inshaa’allaah ta’aalaa…

And the kufr of juhood (rejection/denial) is of two types: absolute (mutlaq) and restricted (muqayyid, khass).

The absolute one is: that he rejects the sum of what Allaah has revealed and His sending of the Messengers.

And the restricted and specific: that he rejects/denies an obligation from the obligations of Islaam, or one of the forbidden actions, or an Attribute that He has described Himself with or something about which He informed – deliberately – or giving preference to the saying of one who opposes it for whatever objective that might be. But as for the denial of that due to ignorance, or a faulty interpretation, then a person is excused for this and he does not become a disbeliever by it. This is like the hadith of the one who denied Allaah’s qudrah over him and ordered his family to cremate him and to scatter his ashes. Despite this, Allaah forgave him and had mercy upon Him, since he was ignorant, since that which he did was in accordance to the limits of his knowledge, and he did not deny the qudrah of Allaah out of wilful opposition or denial (takdhib).

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