Jan 1, 2013

Say Someone Kafir - Hukum and Fatwa

Declaring Muslim Rulers as Kafirs
By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 16 Jamad-ul-Awwal 1423, 27 July 2002
Q.) Is it okay to call our rulers like Xxx, Yyyy, and Zzzzzz kafirs?

A.) In principle, it will not be permissible for anybody to brand any person a 'Kafir' until and unless the beliefs of that person are absolutely clear. We are unaware of the beliefs that the above mentioned leaders hold, hence, we cannot comment.

However, the basic rule is this that any person who denies any such law/belief that is established through the Qur'an or Hadith in such a way that this law/belief is absolutely clear and apparent into which there can be no chance of doubt, similarly, this law/belief must be famous, widely known to one and all – then, denying this will render a person as Kafir. If the person has this belief that such a law is obligatory and he believes in it, then even though he does not comply with such a law for his entire life, he will not be a Kafir – he will be a Muslim. (Jawaahirul Fiqh vol.1 pg.27).

And Allah Knows Best.

Call Kafir/Disbeliever 
Dr Zakir Naik


Sahih Muslim
Book 020, Number 4565:
It has been narrated on the authority of 'Arfaja who said: I have heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: Different evils will make their appearance in the near future. Anyone who tries to disrupt the affairs of this Umma while they are united you should strike him with the sword whoever he be. (If remonstrance does not prevail with him and he does not desist from his disruptive activities, he is to be killed.)

Book 020, Number 4566:

In another version of the tradition narrated on the same authority through a different chains of transmitters we have the words:" Kill him."

Book 020, Number 4567:

It has been narrated (through a still different chain of transmitters) on the Same authority (i. e. 'Arfaja) who said similarly-but adding:" Kill all of them." I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: When you are holding to one single man as your leader, you should kill who seeks to undermine your solidarity or disrupt your unity.


Fatawa: The True Concept of Kufr


As-Salamu `alaykum. Please enlighten me on the concept of kufr in Islam. What does kufr mean? Are we allowed to label anyone kafir without any justification? Are there various levels or forms of kufr? Jazakum Allah Kharian!


Wa `alaykum As-Salaam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All thanks and praise are due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, thanks for your question, and we implore Allah to guide us to the best way through which we can please Him and die as Muslims.

In the very beginning, we would like to make it clear that the word kufr has been subject to many misunderstandings. Islam makes it a horrendous sin to label someone kafir without having any legal proof to say so. Thus, we should make difference between various kinds of kufr and understand each kind according to its true concept.
To make the concept of kufr clear, we would like to cite for you what the renowned Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states in his book 'Islamic Awakening Between Rejection and Extremism' :
Many misconceptions that control the minds of the Muslim youth need to be addressed and fully explained so as to make clear the rulings of Islam and to avoid any form of baseless dangerous judgments. Some of the most important misconceptions include concepts like the concept of Islam, iman, kufr (disbelief), nifaq (hypocrisy) and jahiliyyah (paganism)…etc. Linguistic complexities or a lack of mastery of the Arabic language by some people have led to such confusion and misunderstanding.

The complexities of language escape the non-experts. Consequently, they become unable to differentiate between the figurative or metaphoric meanings and the literal meanings, thereby confusing matters. They are unable to realize, for instance, the difference between absolute (or perfect) iman and limited (or nominal) iman; between perfect Islam and limited (or nominal) Islam between major kufr leading the person totally outside the fold of Islam and the kufr of disobedience between major shirk and minor shirk; between hypocrisy of belief and hypocrisy of action. They also equate the jahiliyyah of ethics and behavior with that of belief. The following is a brief clarification of these concepts with a view to preventing dangerous consequences.

In juristic language, kufr signifies the rejection and denial of Allah, Glory be to Him, and His messages, according to the following Qur'anic verse: “Anyone who denies Allah, His angels, His books, His Apostles, and the Day of judgment has gone far, far astray.” (An-Nisaa’: 136)
Kufr could also imply apostasy, and consequently the complete loss of iman.
The term kufr is also used to refer to transgression which is far short of a total rejection of Islam and do not amount to a rejection and denial of Allah, Glory be to Him, and His Messenger. The well known Muslim scholar Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim divided kufr into two categories namely major kufr and minor kufr. Major kufr leads to eternal punishment in the Hellfire while minor kufr leads to temporary rather than eternal punishment in the Hellfire. Consider the following Hadiths: “Two things, if practiced by my Ummah, are manifestations of kufr: false accusation about a person's lineage and lamentation of the deed.” And: “He who has anal sex with his wife commits kufr in what was revealed to Muhammad.” Also: “If a person seeks a soothsayer or fortuneteller and believes in him or her, he commits kufr in what was revealed to Muhammad." In another Hadith, we read: “Do not revert to kufr after my death by putting one another to the sword."

There is, in fact, a Qur’anic verse that is clearly misconceived by people. The verse reads: “Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers.” (Al-Ma’idah: 44)
This verse is given various interpretations. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) says: “It is not kufr which excludes a person from the fold of Islam, but it resembles kufr in one aspect, because the person who commits it does not deny Allah and the Last Day.” Tawus expressed the same opinion. `Atta’ said: "The kufr meant in the verse, refers to a form of kufr which can be greater or lesser in degree than another."
Others, like `Ikrimah, argued that those who do not judge in accordance with what Almighty Allah has revealed commit kufr. But this argument is weak, because sheer rejection of Allah's revelation amounts to kufr whether a person has judged in the light of the Shari`ah or not. `Abdul-`Aziz Al Kinani maintains that kufr comprises negligence to judge in accordance with all that which Allah, the Almighty, has revealed, including tawhid (monotheism) and Islam.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Judging contrary to what Allah, the Almighty, has revealed involves both types of kufr, the major and the minor, according to the attitude of the person making the judgment. If the person believes that a judgment must be passed according to what Allah has revealed and a punishment decided, but refrains from doing so out of disobedience and transgression, in that case he commits minor kufr. But if he believes that it is not obligatory to judge according to the Shari`ah and that he is free to act, notwithstanding his conviction that it is divine, he then commits a major kufr. But if he acts out of ignorance, or makes an unintentional mistake, he is only to be judged as a wrongdoer.”

The gist of the matter is that all forms of transgression and disobedience are types of kufr implying ingratitude, because gratitude requires compliance and obedience. Therefore, human endeavor could be manifest in gratitude, or in kufr, or in something other than the two. Only Allah knows what is in the heart of everyone.

Fatawa Issuing Body : Islam Online
Author/Scholar : Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Date Of Issue : 22/Sep/2004


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