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IMPEDIMENTS TO TAKFEER

By Sheikh Ali Ibn Khodhair Al-Khodhair, may Allah hasten his release

Before knowing the impediments we must know the grounds of kufr, and they are: belief,
speech, actions, and doubt.
Indeed the definition of kufr is every speech or act or belief which has been stated in the texts
of takfeer and expels the doer from the religion.

The classification of the impediments is as follows:

Impediments to the label of shirk, and that is compulsion, as Allah Taala says: Whoever
disbelieves in Allah after his belief, except for one who is forced [to renounce his religion]
while his heart is secure in faith

And impediments to takfeer in obscure issues, which are issues which are only known in
specific circumstances, and they mean issues of people of desires and innovations, such as
the issues of Allahs names and attributes, and issues of the name of iman, and issues of
destiny, and other issues that are not from extremism in anything preceding. The
impediments are:
1. Ignorance
2. Incorrect interpretation of Quran and Sunnah
3. Blind following
4. Compulsion
5. Absence of texts that are necessary to learn the truth
6. Or it was informed to him but it has not been presented to him
7. Or it has been presented to him but he was not able to understand
8. Or it has been presented to him but a contrary argument was presented imposing
incorrect interpretation on him
9. Or an ambiguity for which he is excused with Allah prevented him
10. Or he was a mujtahid in search for truth

Impediments of takfeer in clear issues, and they are general and


specific:
1) Ignorance due to living in a remote wilderness (such as desert), or ignorance due to living in
an era of kufr, or ignorance due to living and growing up in lands of kufr but who lived
among the Muslims there is no excuse for him in clear issues and indeed he is either
unqualified or liable.
2) Compulsion

Impediments of takfeer in general:


And here are the impediments of the doer:
1) Has not reached puberty
2) Is not of sound mind; that is lack of cognitive capacity due to insanity or unconsciousness or
sleep or state of intoxication, or excessive joy or anger, such as the one who made an error
due to excessive joy when he found his camel
3) The act of kufr was done unintentionally or without the corresponding meaning or outcome of
kufr. However, if the act was planned and intended, but kufr was not intended with it, and did
not make him disbelieve and although he knew it was kufr he does not carry it out, and this is
not what we intended. And the meaning of the action or speech is not the meaning that mean
kufr, such as the one who steps a paper and knows nothing about it, and if Quran is on that
paper, and he did not intend to step on it or insult, unlike the one who tears apart a copy of the
Quran because the tearing apart was deliberate, even if he does not intend to disbelieve with
that.
4) Impediments in the grounds that the action or speech has been done, but is not outright or
clear in its kufr.
5) Conformity and outcome when it is not deliberate and not conformed to, and absence of
intention and conformity to the act is an impediment.
6) Impediments in the evidence which does not confirm his kufr with proof or confirmation
7) Argument for the ground of takfeer has not been established against him
8) Lack of options and that is compulsion
In regards to ignorance and wrong interpretation we will clarify them shortly, in sha Allah. These
are the impediments to be taken into consideration.

These are the impediments not to be considered but some assume


them as impediments, such as:
1) Fear
2) Not intending kufr
3) It only becomes kufr when accompanied by belief in the heart
4) Being from the rulers or scholars or daees (preachers) or mujahideen prevents takfeer on
them, even if they come with outright clear kufr
5) Bad upbringing
6) Maslahah (to achieve the best outcome) of dawah or good intentions, and what is being
circulated around is that intention of maslahah even if it is an act of kufr does not make one a
kafir
7) Joke and lack of seriousness, and it is not kufr except for the one who was serious
8) Absence of necessary laws or punishment, and some make that an impediment for the one
who comes with clear kufr, and they say he does not become a kafir because if he indeed was
made takfeer on he would be killed or rebelled against, and the significance of his kufr would
be prevention from inheritance and separation from his spouse, and who did not receive that
upon him there is no takfeer!
We say there is a difference between the names and rulings and it does not mean that lack of
capacity to carry out the rulings prevents giving the corresponding label.
Sheikh Abdullateef said in Al-Menhaj pg. 316: Whoever thinks and believes that the speech of
the people of knowledge and their restriction to establishing evidence and receiving dawah
prevents the label of kufr and shirk and harlotry and that way is from the actions and words which
were named by the legislator with those labels, and said that lack of established argument does
not change the shariah labels, rather the label sticks as the legislator labelled them with kufr or
shirk or fisq (immorality) with the shariah name and there is no prevention for it even if the doer
wasnt punished if the argument against him has not been established and there is a difference
between a sin being a form of kufr and takfeer upon the one who does it.

And with this opportunity I wish to explain the methodology and


foundation of the modern day murjiah and neo-defeatists and
modernists and clarify their foundations in the topic of takfeer:
1) Warning against takfeer in all cases and warning against it in general without distinction
2) Generalisation of the differentiation between the speech and the one who says it, and action
and the one who commits it, constantly and in every issue, regardless if it is from the topic of
major shirk or clear issues for the one against whom the argument has been established and
you find him say that a speech or an act is kufr and the regime is that of disbelievers, but the
one who does it or says it or the associate of the regime is not declared a kafir despite that the
grounds have been met and the impediments have been eliminated and you will find them
constantly on this path. Thus there is no prominent person they make takfeer on except for
those who were mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah.
3) Abandoning the knowledge and fiqh of the topic of takfeer and warning against those who
teach it and study the fiqh of it, and abolishment of teaching of takfeer and abandoning books
on it; and warning against the books of the imams of the Najdi dawah. They hold the
teaching of the fundamentals of tawheed and reiteration of the Book of Tawheed by sheikh
Mohammad Ibn Abdulwahhab unnecessary, and abandon the teaching of the nullifiers of
Islam and consider the teaching of the nullifiers to be fitnah and audacious stance against
takfeer.
4) Lack of concern, aversion and resentment for issues of al-walaa wal-baraa; and lack of
concern for the issues of kufr bil-taghoot; and repetition that indeed we are not worshippers
with that, and Allah will not ask us about it, and there is no benefit in such knowledge.
5) Liberalism in the issues of the excuse of ignorance and expanding it, some even to the extent
of the ignorant among the Jews and the Christians.
6) Dawah to leniency and repetition of that.
7) Warning from the takfeer on dictators and dismissal of those who make takfeer on them and
is hostile towards them because of that foundation.
8) Making individual persons from the politicians as the standard and the measure, and who
makes takfeer on them, even if they come with grounds of explicit kufr and the impediments
have been removed, they call him Harouri, Takfeeri, causer of discord, and that he is not from
the people of the Sunnah or is not a Salafi but a Talafi, for indeed the issue of the application
of takfeer upon an individual is an issue of ijtihad, and the reason is that we say, for example:
whoever worships other than Allah he is a mushrik kafir and whoever mocks the Quran he
is an apostate And thus, this fundamental does not permit difference of opinion on it, and

whoever opposes it is not from the people of the Sunnah, but for a prominent person it is a
different case.

Note: and here are some selected fundamentals that we would like
the brothers to benefit from:
1) Indeed Islam is worship of Allah alone, there is no partner to Him, and belief in His
Messenger Mohammad, prayer and peace of Allah be upon him, and we are to follow what he
came with, because a slave does not come with that except that he is a Muslim.
2) Indeed whoever expresses major shirk is a mushrik if he was not compelled.
3) The consequence that is confirmed upon him is the label of shirk does not happen before the
argument has been established.
4) Necessity to differentiate between establishing the argument and understanding the argument.
5) Conditions of establishing the argument which a mushrik deserves is the consequence: a) the
message has reached him; b) ability to access it.
6) Conditions of establishing the argument in the codes of law: a) ability to gain knowledge; b)
capacity to act upon it.
7) Conditions of takfeer on people of desires and innovations: a) establishing the argument; b)
removal of the ambiguities.
8) Impediments of takfeer on people of desires and innovations: a) absence of the texts
necessary to learn the truth; b) or they are present but have not been presented to him; c) or
they have been presented and he was not able to understand them; d) or they have been
presented but a contrary argument was presented imposing incorrect interpretation on him; e)
or an ambiguity for which he is excused with Allah prevented him; f) or he was a mujtahid in
search of truth.
9) The argument is established upon the mukallef (a person bound by obligations of Islam) by
understanding the concept of the message, not by comprehension of the truth and correctness.
10) Necessity to differentiate between clear and obscure issues.
11) Kufr from the denial of a known matter from the religion with the exemption of the one who
does not live in the period of Islam or grew up in a remote desert, or lived and grew up in
lands of kufr.
12) The one who contradicts anything from the obscure issues is not declared a kafir, except after
the conditions have been affirmed and the impediments removed.

13) Whoever makes ijtihad in pursuit of the truth in obscure issues and does not obtain it will be
rewarded, and the one who exceeds his capabilities is sinful.
14) Giving the label of disapproval to people of immorality and transgressions subject to removal
of the impediments.

[Reply to a question directed to the sheikh in the questions on Al-Salafiyoon forum]

Translation by Abu Omar