EXCUSE OF KUFR AND TAKFIR EXPLAINED

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله حمدا لا ينفد أفضل ما ينبغي أن يحمد وصلى الله وسلم على أفضل المصطفين وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تعبد

أما بعد

وما كان الله ليضل قوما بعد إذ هداهم حتى يبين لهم ما يتقون إن الله بكل شيء عليم

“And Allah would not let a people stray after He has guided them until He makes clear to them what they should avoid. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of all things.”      (at-Tawbah 9:115)

Today there is a disease spreading among the youth about making Takfir on the one that gives the excuse of ignorance to the one that commits shirk, and this is a multifaceted mas’ala, with many angles of approach, but our way is Qal Allahu, Qala rasulAllaah صلى الله عليه وسلم. So we always refer it back to Allah and his Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم when in dispute and if the texts are not clear, and with this particular issue the Ulama have spoken on it and we will refer to their understanding of it.

The mistake that has been made is that some of our young brothers seem to have mixed the issue of  المعلوم من الدين بالضرورة (that which is known by necessity in the religion) with that which is considered to be ijtihaad upon an individual and corrupted their understanding of the well-established principle which we will explain:

“Whoever does not do takfir of the polytheists, doubted their disbelief, or agrees with their creed, disbelieves”

The Mujaddid, Shaykh al-Islam Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab said in (مجموع مؤلفات الشيخ محمد بن عبد الوهاب), a collection of his works and writings, in his letter to Muhammad bin ‘Eed (7/25):

وأما ما ذكر الأعداء عني: أني أكفّر بالظن، وبالموالاة، أو أكفّر الجاهل الذي لم تقم عليه الحجة، فهذا بهتان عظيم، يريدون به تنفير الناس عن دين الله ورسوله.

“As for what the enemies have mentioned about me: That I make takfir on the basis of presumption, and on the basis of loyalty, or that I make takfir of the ignorant person upon whom the proof has not been established, then this is a mighty slander. They desire to make the people flee from the deen of Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم by it.”

And Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab said (in the section, Fataawaa wa Masaa’il, 4/11):

وأما الكذب والبهتان، فمثل قولهم: إنا نكفر بالعموم، ونوجب الهجرة إلينا على من قدر على إظهار دينه، وأنا نكفّر من لم يكفّر ومن لم يقاتل، ومثل هذا وأضعاف أضعافه. فكل هذا من الكذب والبهتان الذي يصدون به الناس عن دين الله ورسوله. وإذا كنا لا نكفّر مَن عبد الصنم الذي على قبر عبد القادر، والصنم الذي على قبر أحمد البدوي، وأمثالهما، لأجل جهلهم وعدم من ينبههم، فكيف نكفر من لم يشرك بالله إذا لم يهاجر إلينا، ولم يكفّر ويقاتل؟ سُبْحَانَكَ هَذَا بُهْتَانٌ عَظِيمٌ

“And as for the lie and slander, then it is like their saying that we make generalized takfir (of the masses), and that we make emigration (hijrah) obligatory towards us for the one who is able to manifest his religion, and that we make takfir of the one who does not make takfir and who does not fight, and multiple times the likes of this (type of lying and slander). All of this is from lying and slander by which they hinder the people from the deen of Allaah and His Messenger. And when it is the case that we do not make takfir of the one who worships the idol (i.e. tomb) which is on the grave of Abd al-Qadir, and the idol which is on the grave of Ahmad al-Badawi and their likes, due to their ignorance, and the absence of the one to notify them (of their opposition), then how could we make takfir of the one who does not associate partners with Allaah, when he does not emigrate to us and who does not make takfir and does not fight?” “Glory be to you (O Lord), this is a mighty slander.” (24:16)

One of principles that Iblees has misguided the extremists in is the understanding of the known established principle:

‘Whoever does not do takfir of the disbeliever, is then a disbeliever’

We present to the reader the translation of a brief explanation by the Noble Shaykh, the Haafidh, al-Alama Shaykh Naser bin Hamad al-Fahad فك الله أسره.

“Praise be to Allah, and may His peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, as to what follows:

The principle, ‘Whoever does not do takfir of the disbeliever, is then a disbeliever’ is a well-known principle, and is the third nullification of the nullifications of Islaam, as mentioned by the Shaykh Muhammed bin Abdul-Wahaab, rahimahullahu ta’ala, when he said: “The Third (Nullifier is): “Whoever does not do takfir of the polytheists, doubted their disbelief, or corrected (approved of) their creed, (has) disbelieved”.

Except that this principle is not upon generalization, and there is explanation and elaboration to be done, whom so ever ignores this falls into great falsehood, by doing takfir of the Muslims or by not doing takfir of the original disbelievers [e.g. Jews, Christians, Atheists, etc.] This explanation is as follows:

Know, firstly, that the origin regarding this principle is not related to circumstances involving doing or saying what is disbelief, rather it is related to rejecting reports [i.e. ayaat, ahadeeth, etc] and accepting them, so whoever leaves the disbeliever without doing takfir of him, this would be considered a denial on his behalf of the reports that involve doing takfir of him, and upon this, there is no doubt that the report regarding takfir of him must be authentic and agreed upon, and there is no doubt that the one who leaves-off doing takfir must be rejecting these reports. For the mukafiraat [those things that make one a disbeliever], are not one, and falling into them also is not upon one level; to explain this matter, we have to distinguish and divide them into two:

The First Category: The Original Disbeliever – KAAFIR ASLI

Like the Jew, Christian, Magian and other than them. Whoever does not do takfir of these, doubts their disbelief, or agrees with their creed, then he is a disbeliever by consensus as was mentioned by more than one of the people of knowledge. Because in this [action] is a rejection of [shar’ee] texts that mention the falsehood of other than the creed of the Muslims and the disbelief of whoever is not upon the religion of Islaam.

The Second Category: The Apostate from Islaam – KAAFIR MURTAD

This one is upon two divisions:

The first: Whoever announces his disbelief and his leaving of Islaam to another religion like Judaism, Christianity, Atheism, then the ruling upon him is akin to the ruling upon someone from the aforementioned category.

The Second: The one who commits a nullification of Islaam, except he still claims to be upon Islaam, and that he isn’t a disbeliever by committing this nullification, then he is upon two categories as well:

  1. Whoever does a manifest nullification of Islaam, upon which there is consensus [that it is a nullification] like insulting Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, for example, then he is a disbeliever by consensus; whoever does not do takfir of him is one of two, either:
  2. a) One who affirms that insulting [Allah] is disbelief, that this action is disbelief, except that he desists from implementing this ruling upon a specific person due to a lack of knowledge or a doubt that the person had, and the likes, then this person is wrong, and this statement of his is falsehood, however one cannot do takfir of this person because he has not rejected nor denied any reports, as he has affirmed that the consensus that the one who insults [Allah] is a disbeliever.
  3. b) The one who denies that insulting Allah is disbelief in the first place, after explaining to him, because he rejects the consensus and the reports. The likes of these are the ones who worship the graves and attribute themselves to Islaam. So whoever denies that this man’s action is disbelief, then he is a disbeliever because he has rejected the explicit texts and the consensus, but whoever affirms that this action is disbelief [i.e. the worshipping of the grave], but does not do takfir of the person due to a doubt he sees, then he does not disbelieve.
  4. The one who does a nullification of Islaam upon which there is a difference of opinion, like the leaving-off of prayer, this issue for example, there is difference of opinion over, and the one who differs with another on this issue [whether it is disbelief or not] is not a disbeliever, nor even an innovator or faasiq, even if he is wrong.

This is a summary of what I have concerning this principle.

May Allah send His peace and blessings upon Muhammed.”

Shaykh Naasir bin Hamad al-Fahad, 10/5/1423.

Golden points that are derived from this brief summary on this principle:

  • The principle is applied on, whoever Allah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said are disbelievers and the ijmaa of the Muslimoon agree upon, such as.

 

Pharaoh/Firawn:

قال لئن اتخذت إلها غيري لأجعلنك من المسجونين

[Pharaoh] said, “If you take a god other than me, I will surely place you among those imprisoned.” (ash-Shu’ara 26:29)

 

Iblis:

ولا يصدنكم الشيطان إنه لكم عدو مبين

“And never let Satan (Iblis) avert you. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” (al-Zukhruf 43:62)

 

Abu Lahab & Abu Jahl:

إن شانئك هو الأبتر

“Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.” (al-Kawthar 108:3)

And

تبت يدا أبي لهب وتب

“May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he.” (al-Masad 111:1)

 

Those that say Allah has a son or that Allah is the third of three, Christians:

لقد كفر الذين قالوا إن الله هو المسيح ابن مريم وقال المسيح يا بني إسرائيل اعبدوا الله ربي وربكم إنه من يشرك بالله فقد حرم الله عليه الجنة ومأواه النار وما للظالمين من أنصار

“They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.” (al-Maidah 5:72)

 

Those that say Allah had a son, Jews:

وقالت اليهود عزير ابن الله وقالت النصارى المسيح ابن الله ذلك قولهم بأفواههم يضاهئون قول الذين كفروا من قبل قاتلهم الله أنى يؤفكون

“The Jews say, “Ezra is the son of Allah “; and the Christians say, “The Messiah is the son of Allah .” That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?” (at-Tawbah 9:30)

 

Those who ally themselves with the kuffar to fight the muslims:

الذين آمنوا يقاتلون في سبيل الله والذين كفروا يقاتلون في سبيل الطاغوت فقاتلوا أولياء الشيطان إن كيد الشيطان كان ضعيفا

“Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah , and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut. So fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak.” (an-Nisa 4:76)

And others explicitly stated in the Qur’an and Sunnah. So it applies only to those by either name or trait that Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  called disbelievers.

The Ayaat for proof of the above statement are many alhamdulillah, for example,

يا أهل الكتاب لا تغلوا في دينكم ولا تقولوا على الله إلا الحق إنما المسيح عيسى ابن مريم رسول الله وكلمته ألقاها إلى مريم وروح منه فآمنوا بالله ورسله ولا تقولوا ثلاثة انتهوا خيرا لكم إنما الله إله واحد سبحانه أن يكون له ولد له ما في السماوات وما في الأرض وكفى بالله وكيلا

“O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.” (an-Nisa 4:171)

  • All other Takfir is regarded as ijtihaadi (exerting ones effort to issue a shari’ verdict) and no-one is obliged to agree to the ijtihaad of another as it is not Qaati’ daleel (conclusive evidence) unless backed by clear ayat or hadith or ijmaa of the sahaba or the ijma of the salaf us saalih or the ijma of the muslimoon.

For example: If person (A) were to call someone a Kaafir and person (B) does not make Takfir on the person that (A) made Takfir on then (A) cannot say to (B): “you are a Kaafir”, using this Qaaida/Maqasid/Principle, as many of the deviants are doing today as this principle does not apply to Takfir that is the individual ijtihaad of a person qualified to exert the necessary evidences to determine the ruling on another Muslim.

Many of the extremists today have been deceived by Iblees in thinking they are the exclusive ones that are upon the truth and that whomever does not agree with them on any issue in which there is leniency in the Shariah has deviated in either ‘Aqeedah or Manhaj, and are leading the youth astray mesmerizing them with rules and qawaid which are unknown to the students of knowledge and unknown to the Ulama.

We say to them if you have got this idea from reading our works or by listening to us or by associating your self with us, that it (TAKIFR) is a light matter or that  somehow we made it apparent that it is permissible for everyone to do, Allah’s Forgiveness is sought by us, our aim never was and never will be to excommunicate Muslims from the fold of Islaam but always has been to gain Allah’s pleasure and content, so do not follow us for our words can be correct and can be wrong, but follow our dearest Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, so return back from the false manhaj of ghulu and come back to Qal Allahu Qala Rasul صلى الله عليه وسلم.

At the time of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Lateef ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Hasan – one of the leaders of the Najdi Da‘wah and one of the grandsons of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab – some extremists went as far as the extremists of today in their misunderstanding of this principle. So he wrote to them , denouncing them and saying:

“In the year sixty-four, I came to know about two deviant men of your ilk in al-Ahsa’. They kept away from Jumu‘ah and jamaa‘ah (prayers in congregation) and regarded the Muslims in that land as disbelievers. Their argument was like yours; they said: The people of al-Ahsa’ sit with Ibn Fayrooz and mix with him and people like him who do not regard taaghoot (rulers who do not implement sharee‘ah) as disbelievers, but nobody regards as a disbeliever his grandfather, who rejected the call of Shaykh Muhammad, and he did not accept it and he opposed it.

“They said: Anyone who does not clearly state that he is a disbeliever is himself a disbeliever in Allah, because he did not reject taaghoot (rulers who do not implement sharee‘ah), and whoever sits with him is like him. On the basis of these two false and misguided notions they established the rulings that are applicable in the case of blatant apostasy, to the extent that they stopped returning greetings of salaam. The matter was referred to me, so I summoned them, warned them and spoke harshly to them. First of all they claimed to be following the ‘aqeedah (beliefs) of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab, and to have copies of his essays, so I discussed their specious arguments and defeated their misguided notions with whatever I was able to in my meeting with them.

“I told them that the Shaykh had nothing to do with this belief and view, and that no one should be regarded as a disbeliever except on the basis of what all the Muslims are agreed that the one who does it is a disbeliever, such as major shirk (ascription of partners to Allah), or rejection of the revelations and Messengers of Allah, or of any of them, after proof has been established and has definitively reached them, such as denouncing as disbelievers those who worship the righteous or call upon them alongside Allah, or treat them as rivals to Him with regard to His rights over His creation of worship and devotion.

“This is what the scholars and believers, and all schools of thought, are unanimously agreed upon. They gave special attention to this issue (takfir or denouncing people as disbelievers) when they discussed the rulings thereon and what constitutes apostasy and is regarded as such, and they discussed the issue of shirk. Ibn Hajar paid special attention to this issue in a book entitled al-I‘laam bi Qawaati‘ al-Islam. “The two Persian men mentioned expressed repentance and regret, and claimed that the truth had become clear to them both, then they left for the coast. But they went back to the same view, and we heard that they regarded the leading scholars of the Muslims as disbelievers because they send letters to the Egyptian kings. Moreover, they regard as a disbeliever anyone who mixes with any Muslim religious leader who wrote to them (the Egyptian kings). We seek refuge with Allah from misguidance after having been guided.

“We have heard similar things about you, and that you indulge in discussing similar matters that no one should discuss except scholars of great knowledge and those who are endowed with deep understanding of the revelation of Allah, those who have been granted wisdom and knowledge.

As for denouncing people as disbelievers on the basis of these matters that you thought might render Muslims as disbelievers, this is the way of the deviant Khaarijites/Khawarij who rebelled against the caliph Amir al-Moumineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib and the Sahaabah who were with him.

[ad-Durar al-Saniyyah fi’l-Ajwibah an-Najdiyyah (1/466)]

These extremists hide behind the sayings of Shaykh Muhammad Ibn AbdulWahhab and his grandsons, yet we can clearly see that they have nothing to do with their beliefs!

Now how about the proof for those that give the excuse for ignorance in some matters of major shirk/kufr according to a misinterpretation, out of ignorance, etc.

Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

أَسْرَفَ رَجُلٌ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ فَلَمَّا حَضَرَهُ الْمَوْتُ أَوْصَى بَنِيهِ فَقَالَ إِذَا أَنَا مُتُّ فَأَحْرِقُونِي ثُمَّ اسْحَقُونِي ثُمَّ اذْرُونِي فِي الرِّيحِ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَوَاللَّهِ لَئِنْ قَدَرَ عَلَىَّ رَبِّي لَيُعَذِّبُنِي عَذَابًا مَا عَذَّبَهُ بِهِ أَحَدًا قَالَ فَفَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ بِهِ فَقَالَ لِلأَرْضِ أَدِّي مَا أَخَذْتِ فَإِذَا هُوَ قَائِمٌ فَقَالَ لَهُ مَا حَمَلَكَ عَلَى مَا صَنَعْتَ فَقَالَ خَشْيَتُكَ يَا رَبِّ أَوْ قَالَ مَخَافَتُكَ فَغَفَرَ لَهُ بِذَلِكَ

“A man had indulged himself in sin, so when death approached he enjoined his sons saying: If I die, then burn me, pulverize me, and scatter me to the winds over the sea, for by Allah, if He is able He will punish me in a way he has not punished anyone else. So they did that to him, and when he stood before his Lord, He said to him: What made you do that? The man said: Fear and awe of You, O Lord. So Allah forgave him because of that.” (Sahih Muslim)

This man did not believe that Allah had the power to resurrect and judge him, a clear act of disbelief according to the consensus of Muslim scholars. Yet, Allah pardoned this act of disbelief due to man’s honest ignorance. The man’s righteous fear of Allah, based upon his faith, outweighed his act of disbelief.

Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله comments on this narration, saying:

فَغَفَرَ لَهُ فَهَذَا رَجُلٌ شَكَّ فِي قُدْرَةِ اللَّهِ وَفِي إعَادَتِهِ إذَا ذُرِّيَ بَلْ اعْتَقَدَ أَنَّهُ لَا يُعَادُ وَهَذَا كُفْرٌ بِاتِّفَاقِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ لَكِنْ كَانَ جَاهِلًا لَا يَعْلَمُ ذَلِكَ وَكَانَ مُؤْمِنًا يَخَافُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يُعَاقِبَهُ فَغَفَرَ لَهُ بِذَلِكَ

“So Allah forgave him. This man doubted the ability of Allah to resurrect him when he was turned to dust. Rather, he believed Allah could not resurrect him and this is unbelief by the consensus of the Muslims but he was ignorant. He did not know that and he was a believer who feared that Allah would punish Him and so Allah forgave him for that.” Majmu’ Al-Fatawa 3/231

Likewise, Ibn Al-Qayyim رحمه الله writes:

وَأَمَّا جَحْدُ ذَلِكَ جَهْلًا أَوْ تَأْوِيلًا يُعْذَرُ فِيهِ صَاحِبُهُ فَلَا يُكَفَّرُ صَاحِبُهُ بِهِ كَحَدِيثِ الَّذِي جَحَدَ قُدْرَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَأَمَرَ أَهْلَهُ أَنْ يَحْرِقُوهُ وَيَذْرُوهُ فِي الرِّيحِ وَمَعَ هَذَا فَقَدْ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ وَرَحِمَهُ لِجَهْلِهِ إِذْ كَانَ ذَلِكَ الَّذِي فَعَلَهُ مَبْلَغَ عِلْمِهِ وَلَمْ يَجْحَدْ قُدْرَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَى إِعَادَتِهِ عِنَادًا أَوْ تَكْذِيبًا

If one of these matters of faith is denied out of ignorance or misinterpretation, then he is excused and the one who did so does not become an unbeliever, as in the narration in which the man denied the power of Allah and he commanded his people to burn him and scatter his ashes in the wind. Despite this error, Allah forgave the man and had mercy upon him because of his ignorance. The knowledge about the power of Allah that had reached him was not denied out of stubbornness or an intention to lie.” Madarij As-Salikeen 1/347

A deviance that these extremists have fallen into is not separating between the action and the ruling upon the person, they say as a basic principle that every Muslim that commits an act of shirk/kufr is a mushrik/kafir, which is a clear deviance as we can see in the hadith that the action does not necessitate that the ruling is to be placed upon the committer of the action.

Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله reiterates the same principle that,

ليس كل من وقع في الكفر وقع الكفر عليه

‘Not everyone who falls into disbelief, becomes a disbeliever [because of it].’ He writes elsewhere: ‘It does not necessarily follow that if a statement is disbelief, all those who said it (perhaps out of ignorance or misinterpretation) are disbelievers. Since affirming that a specific Muslim has become a disbeliever is like affirming the textual threat will be applied to him in the Hereafter. And this, as we explained elsewhere, has conditions that need fulfilling and impediments that need removing.’ Minhaj al-Sunnah, 5/240.

This has led to their extremism in searching for the faults of the Muslims, searching for any slip-ups or mistakes from those that they have taken as enemies while Allah has taken them as His friends.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbel and Abu Dawood narrated that Abu Barzah al-Aslami said: “The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“O you who have spoken the words of faith but faith has not truly entered your hearts! Do not backbite about the Muslims, and do not seek out their faults. For whoever seeks out their faults, Allah will seek out his faults, and if Allah seeks out a person’s faults He will expose him even in his own house.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.)

They spend their days and nights finding any excuse to perform Takfir upon the Muslims while having no authority to do so, you will find many of them are ignorant of the basic aspects of the religion let alone the complex matter of excommunicating (performing takfir) upon an individual!

Imam Al-Ghazzali رحمه الله said:

فَإِنَّ اسْتِبَاحَةَ دِمَاءِ الْمُصَلِّينَ الْمُقِرِّينَ بِالتَّوْحِيدِ خَطَأٌ وَالْخَطَأُ فِي تَرْكِ أَلْفِ كَافِرٍ فِي الْحَيَاةِ أَهْوَنُ مِنَ الْخَطَإِ فِي سَفْكِ دَمٍ لِمُسْلِمٍ وَاحِدٍ

“Verily, to permit the killing of someone worshiping upon monotheism is a serious mistake. The mistake of leaving a thousand unbelievers to go free is lesser than shedding the blood of a single Muslim.” Fath ul-Bari 12/314

As Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah we have been blessed with scholars throughout time, from them, the Imam, Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله. writes in his Majmu’ Al-Fatawa 3/229

هَذَا مَعَ أَنِّي دَائِمًا وَمَنْ جَالَسَنِي يَعْلَمُ ذَلِكَ مِنِّي أَنِّي مِنْ أَعْظَمِ النَّاسِ نَهْيًا عَنْ أَنْ يُنْسَبَ مُعَيَّنٌ إلَى تَكْفِيرٍ وَتَفْسِيقٍ وَمَعْصِيَةٍ إلَّا إذَا عُلِمَ أَنَّهُ قَدْ قَامَتْ عَلَيْهِ الْحُجَّةُ الرسالية الَّتِي مَنْ خَالَفَهَا كَانَ كَافِرًا تَارَةً وَفَاسِقًا أُخْرَى وَعَاصِيًا أُخْرَى وَإِنِّي أُقَرِّرُ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ غَفَرَ لِهَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ خَطَأَهَا وَذَلِكَ يَعُمُّ الْخَطَأَ فِي الْمَسَائِلِ الْخَبَرِيَّةِ الْقَوْلِيَّةِ وَالْمَسَائِلِ الْعَمَلِيَّةِ وَمَا زَالَ السَّلَفُ يَتَنَازَعُونَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْمَسَائِلِ وَلَمْ يَشْهَدْ أَحَدٌ مِنْهُمْ عَلَى أَحَدٍ لَا بِكُفْرِ وَلَا بِفِسْقِ وَلَا مَعْصِيَةٍ

“Those who always sit with me know that I am the strongest of the people to forbid declaring an individual to be an unbeliever or a sinner, unless it is known that the legal proof has been established against him that he is an unbeliever or a sinner. I affirm that Allah will forgive this nation for its mistakes, whether it is mistakes in narrating or practice. The righteous predecessors continued to debate many of these matters and none of them testified that another among them was an unbeliever or a sinner.”

Furthermore, Imam Ash-Shawkani رحمه الله writes in Sayl Al-Jirar 1/978

اعلم أن الحكم على الرجل المسلم بخروجه من دين الإسلام ودخوله في الكفر لا ينبغي لمسلم يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر أن يقدم عليه إلا ببرهان أوضح من شمس النهار

Know that with regard to the ruling upon a Muslim man for leaving Islam and entering into unbelief, it is not befitting for a Muslim who believes in Allah and the Last Day to apply it unless with a proof that is clearer than the light of day.”

And from the most harshest of warnings against making incorrect unjustified Takfir are the ahadeeth of the Takfir (the labeling and not Kufr in itself, the phenomenon of rebound Takfir that is seen among the extremists is unjustified as Takfir is Hukm Shari’ [Shariah legal ruling] meaning there are conditions that must be met and preventative factors that must be absent) returning upon the person.

Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إِذَا كَفَّرَ الرَّجُلُ أَخَاهُ فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِهَا أَحَدُهُمَا

When a man calls his brother an unbeliever, it returns at least to one of them. (Sahih Bukhari)

Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إِذَا قَالَ الرَّجُلُ لِأَخِيهِ يَا كَافِرُ فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِهِ أَحَدُهُمَا

“When a man says to his brother: O disbeliever! Then it will return to at least one of them.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Abu Dharr رضي الله عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

لَا يَرْمِي رَجُلٌ رَجُلًا بِالْفُسُوقِ وَلَا يَرْمِيهِ بِالْكُفْرِ إِلَّا ارْتَدَّتْ عَلَيْهِ إِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ صَاحِبُهُ كَذَلِكَ

“A man does not accuse another man of wickedness or unbelief except that it will return against him if his companion is innocent.” (Sahih Bukhari)

We also must state that every deviant group throughout time has come with what is perceived as Daleel (textual proof), from either the Qur’aan or the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, yet is the daleel that they bring forth enough to authenticate, verify or make their actions/ideology acceptable?

The answer is No, Ahl-ul Sunnah are bound to the understanding of the Salaaf and those that followed them in righteousness such as the Great Ulama of the Four Madhahib and the other revivalists of our deen throughout the time Allah blessed us with, this is how we understand the textual proofs, by referring to the understanding of our righteous Ulama that followed the path of the Pious Predecessors who followed the Sahaba who Followed the Best Creation, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم.

It is obligatory upon the Muslim to follow the pious predecessors and to follow their understanding of the religion of al-Islam.

Firstly, from the Noble Qur’an

Allah تعالى says:

والسابقون الأولون من المهاجرين والأنصار والذين اتبعوهم بإحسان رضي الله عنهم ورضوا عنه وأعد لهم جنات تجري تحتها الأنهار خالدين فيها أبدا ذلك الفوز العظيم

“And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.” (at-Tawbah 9: 100)

Through this we extract and understand that Allah سبحانه وتعالى is unreservedly pleased with the Muhajirun and Ansar and is pleased with those who follow them in righteousness. The Companions [Muhajirun and Ansar] have already attained Allah’s pleasure and it is secure, whereas for those who came after them; and especially for us, this is not guaranteed, as it is dependent upon our adherence to the way of the Companions in righteousness and understanding of the texts, and you will not find the Sahaba arguing about this particular mas’ala, why? Because the Sahaba were too busy protecting the Ummah from the Kuffar with their lives and their wealth, they were too busy with their akhira, only involving themselves with their Muslim brothers to help and defend them. Hence if it was left up to us to determine what the straight path is, the ummah would be flooded with people claiming this is the right path, every person would have their own idea, and this is why we follow Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم avoiding the extremes, and going outside the bounds set by Him صلى الله عليه وسلم. This is how GHULU is avoided.

Allah تعالى says:

ومن يشاقق الرسول من بعد ما تبين له الهدى ويتبع غير سبيل المؤمنين نوله ما تولى ونصله جهنم وساءت مصيرا

“And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” (an-Nisa 4:115)

Allah has clearly and openly threatened those who follow a different path to the Companions with the punishment of Hell, and in the previous ayah, He promises His pleasure to those who follow them, and this threat applies to those who go in to extremes in Takfir and to those who negate it totally, becoming Murji’ah in their manhaj and negating that eemaan can be lost, separating between the actions and belief.

Before takfir can be established, all conditions must be fulfilled and all impediments removed, and this includes the adhir/excuse which seems to be negated completely.

From the conditions of making takfir are:

  • Knowledge.
  • Choice.
  • Intent.
  • Deliberate action or saying of kufr, and its acceptance.

This implies determining whether the person knows his action is kufr, and he has chosen it, without being compelled. Moreover, it must be shown that the person was deliberate in his action and is content with it.

From the impediments of takfir are:

  • Affirmation of an error.
  • Ignorance, compulsion.
  • Misinterpretation.

Ahlul Sunnah checks into both the impediments and conditions before pronouncing takfir on a specific person.

The second important matter is that pronouncing takfir on someone is an extremely dangerous matter. No one should indulge in takfir, except those who are FIRMLY ESTABLISHED in KNOWLEDGE (not those who have read a few articles and self-taught themselves a deviant understanding of Aqeedah) and fulfill certain criterion.

This arises from the fact that takfir is the right of Allah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. Therefore, it can only be established by those who are the inheritors of the Prophets, the Ulama (scholars) who make clear the ruling of Allah and His Messenger; they are the only ones qualified when it comes to Ijtihadi Takfir. Anyone else who involves himself in Takfir is on a dark path of transgression and claims for himself a special right with Allah. Hence, it is not permissible for the lay person to make takfir on anyone expect the one whom Allah and His Messenger declared to be as such. Due to the seriousness of takfir and its limits as established by Allah and His Messenger, Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله stated:

“That is why the people of knowledge and Sunnah did not resort to making takfir on those who opposed them, even if the opponent makes takfir on them. This is because the matter of kufr is a legal right established by shariah, and therefore, the person cannot punish by the like, just like if someone who belies you and makes lies against you, you cannot spread lies about him, or if someone fornicates with members of your family, you cannot fornicate with members of his family. This is because fornication and lying are haraam (unlawful) being Allah’s right. Similarly, takfir is a right that belongs to Allah. Hence we do not impute kufr except on whom Allah and His Messenger declared as such. Ar-Rad ‘Alal Bakari, v. 3, p. 381

And Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah expounds more upon this point of what needs to be completed before Takfir upon the individual can be performed:

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله said:

« وليس لأحد أن يكفر أحداً من المسلمين وإن أخطأ وغلط ؛ حتى: تقام عليه الحجة , وتبين له المحجة ,ومن ثبت إسلامه بيقين لم يزُل ذلك عنه بالشكّ ؛ بل لا يزول إلا:

بعد إقامة الحجة , وإزالة الشبهة »

And it is not the right of anyone to ascribe kufr on anyone of the Muslims even if he errs and does wrong until evidence is established upon him and the matter is made clear to him. And the one whose Islaam is affirmed with certainty then it ceases not to exist with him due to doubt. Rather his (state) of Islaam comes to an end only after the establishment of the proof and the elimination of the misconception.” Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 12/501

In essence these deviants are speaking about Allah without knowledge, falling into one of the gravest of sins as explained by Imam Ibnul Qayyim in his book i’laam al-Muwaqi’een,

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

قل إنما حرم ربي الفواحش ما ظهر منها وما بطن والإثم والبغي بغير الحق وأن تشركوا بالله ما لم ينزل به سلطانا وأن تقولوا على الله ما لا تعلمون

“Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.” (al-A’raf :33)

Ibn Qayyim explains that Allah has split the forbidden matters into four levels, starting with the least of the forbiddance to the worst of them,

  1. Immoralities the open and the hidden
  2. Sins and oppression without right
  3. Shirk
  4. Speaking about ALLAH with NO KNOWLEDGE

What a sad state of affairs for the individual that is like this, believing what they are doing will bring them closer to Allah when rather it is bringing them closer to the Hell-fire, And Allah’s Help is sought. We ask Allah to guide the ummah to that which pleases Him Subhanahu, and we ask Him Ta’ala to not allow the Ummah to forget that Allah is Al-Raheem.

ومن يعمل سوءا أو يظلم نفسه ثم يستغفر الله يجد الله غفورا رحيما

“And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (an-Nisa 4:110)

 

والله تعالى أعلم

وصلى اللهم وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه والتابعين

أخوك أبو ناصر

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