CLARIFYING DOUBTS RELATED TO TAKFEER
Takfeer is to expel a person from Islam, or declare them to be a non-Muslim. Every Muslim is obliged to perform takfeer upon an individual whom Allah (SWT) or His Messenger (SAW) deemed to be Kaafir or Murtad (apostate).
However, nowadays takfeer has become a taboo subject and the enemies of Islam – orientalists, relentlessly to deter Muslims away from this important obligation.
Disbelievers, secularists, modernists, Hypocrites and “moderates” (so-called Muslims) – are working
Many people lay down unnecessary conditions, and some have even gone as far as to say that it is not allowed to call any person Kaafir, even if they are Christian or Jew! This short article endeavours to shed some light on this topic and refute the common false conditions of takfeer which are rife today.
“It is not allowed to call a person Kaafir by name (‘ayn)”
There are two types of Takfeer: 1.Takfeer ul-Mu’ayyan 2.Takfeer un-Nawa’
Takfeer ul-Mu’ayyan is to specify or call a person “Kaafir” by name, such as to say: “Tahir ul Qadri” is a Kaafir (or Murtad, ‘apostate’).”
Takfeer un-Nawa’ is to apply takfeer in general without to specify a person, like saying: “Those who do not pray are Disbelievers.”
Both these forms of takfeer are valid in Islam and there are plenty of evidences which suggest that the Prophet (SAW) and his Companions (RA) did both.
In Chapter 5, Verse 54 of the Qur’aan, Allah (SWT) says: C بH فH O C H يH فرH X ز^ علC H نC X O X ل ^ علC بونهCيH X O بC ^ يX ي ت له بH X H فC نC X عX O X C تدX يX H نH H C لH يHي أ لEيC ي سC جاهدونO ينC C ى الكاHH ع `ةHين أC ى المؤمHH ذ`ةH أO H l حO هم وl حO ومHقC O `ي الCXأEH سوفH هC ن ديH ` منكمHرH وا منO ها ا`ذين آمl اEH يمC عz C H لهH O يشX H C تX يC ل لX فH Cة ئ^ ذH X لH يخH C ل z لH واسعO `اء والH H يه منCؤO ال`هO ضH لكH مC لH ومH ونOافH H ال`ه ول
“Oh you who believe! Whoever from among you apostatizes from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the Believers, stern towards the Disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” (Al-Maa’idah, 5:54) This verse confirms that apostasy will occur among some Believers, as Allah (SWT) said, “Whoever from among you apostatizes from his religion…” Moreover, the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) also said: “Whoever changes his deen (religion), kill him.” If the Prophet (SAW) instructed his followers to kill the one who changes his religion, this person
must be named and specified in order to be killed; thus, Takfeer ul-Mu’ayyan will need to be done and the person will need to be expelled from Islam before he/she is executed because it is forbidden to kill a Muslim.
Hence, looking at these two evidences from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, one cannot deny that apostasy will occur among Muslims. Another proof that substantiates this is the verse:
رونOكفH مO ما كنC ابH وا العOوقOذH كمC يماC H عH مOرH كH`ا ا`ذين اسو `ت وجوههم أHأEH z وجl سوH وz ض وجH بH H وH فX O نH د إX بX تX فH X O O O O X دH X H C وه ف م لO O دH X تH وهO O l يX م تX ي H O X تX تX O H بH ذH X “On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will
become black; as for those whose faces will become black (to them will be said): ‘Did you reject Faith (Imaan) after accepting it? Then taste the torment (in Hell) for rejecting Faith.’” (Aal ‘Imraan, 3:106)
Examples of Takfeer ul-Mu’ayyan In the time of Rasoolullah (SAW) there were many individuals who hastened towards riddah
(apostasy) and kufr (disbelief) – particularly during the battles of Al-Ahzaab and Tabook – and as a result they became Munaafiqeen. Allah (SWT) revealed a number of verses concerning them, some of which were:
يلCHل قC يهاC كH رC جاO ` لO همC `كHC غOH ةH ي المدC ونOهم مرض والمرجفC وOOي قC ون وا`ذينOقC اEH ه المH نH مH نCH لE إH فH ونO وH ثم يX C بH رينX لنC ينC H X فH C X O X H z H H X C ل بE فH C لH H ن فO X C تX يX لX لئ يلCXقH واO•Oوا وقOخذOوا أOفC O ماH يHين أCلعوXم ل ت تE تH C ثقH نX H نO H
“If the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who spread false news among the people in Al-Madeenah, cease not, We shall certainly let you overpower them, then they will not be able to stay in it as your neighbours but a little while. Accursed, wherever found, they shall be seized and killed with a (terrible) slaughter.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:60–61) C C C همH يدHوا أlكفH وH H` الO يكHC واOلقXEO وكم وOC H عH مH نCH يهاC ركسواOة أH تC ى الHC واl ومهم ك`ما رHوا قO مXأEHوكم وO مXأEH نHيدون أC O ينC H جدونH س X O يX O يH م سلمO X ي إلH X O تزلX يX لX إE فH فO X نX فX د إلO H لO X O H X نH يH X O نH يX H O يرH آخرH O CتH اEينC ا مEانH لXيهم سHH كمH اEH لXكم جعCHوOموهم وأO XفC H وهم حيثOEOXوهم واقOذO H بO طO X C X علX O ن لH H X O لئH X O O ثق تO X H X O ت لH X O فخ “You will find others that wish to have security from you and security from their people. Every time they are sent back to temptation, they yield thereto. If they withdraw not from you, nor offer you peace, nor restrain their hands, take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them. In their case, We have provided you with a clear warrant against them.” (An-Nisaa’, 4:91) After these verses had been revealed, the Prophet (SAW) fulfilled Allah’s commands and consequently many of the Munaafiqeen were declared Disbelievers and executed.
Pharaoh, Abu Lahab, Abu Jahl and others were deemed Kaafir in the Qur’aan and it is therefore obligatory upon every Muslim to affirm this and believe they were Kaafireen (Disbelievers).
Sheikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (RH) declared the likes of Ibn Fayrooz and Saalih bin Abdullah as
apostates. Furthermore, in the Hadeeth Saheeh (authentic narration), the Prophet (SAW) gave a green light to his Companions to execute a man who committed apostasy by marrying the wife of his father.
There were also the Khawaarij, whom the Prophet (SAW) spoke about by name and said, in reference to them: “…If I were to ever find them I would kill them like (the way in which) the people of ‘Aad (were killed).” (Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab uz-Zakaat, Chapter 47, Hadeeth no. 1064) Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (RA) fought those who refused to pay him Zakaat during Harbu Ahlir-Riddah (the Battle of the People of Apostasy) and declared them apostates.
There was ijmaa’ (consensus) of the Sahaabah to kill the people of Kufa when they claimed that Musaylamah (may Allah’s curse be upon him) was a prophet.
Omar bin al-Khattaab (RA) declared Haatib bin Abee Balta’ah (RA) a Munaafiq (and even Kaafir in one narration), before he was cleared by Allah and a verse was revealed about him which explained his (specific) situation. Those who claimed that ‘Ali (RA) was god were killed and burned alive by ‘Ali himself. Ibn ‘Abbaas (RA) did not disagree with ‘Ali (RA) about calling them Kaafir, but he disagreed with his method of burning them with fire, as only Allah should punish with fire, not man. And Jahm bin Safwaan and Ibn Dirham were called Kaafirs and subsequently executed by the Imaams of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors). The extremist Soofi scholars, Al Hallaj and ibn Arabi were also called Kaafirs and the former was executed. There were many incidents in Islamic history and enough evidences which prove that the rightly Maalik – performed Takfeer ul-Mu’ayyan and called for the execution of particular individuals. In the past there were many individuals, including scholars, judges and muftis, from among the Tartars and Faatimis that were declared apostates by the truthful scholars and followers of the Sunnah – even though they used to pray and recite the Book of Allah.
guided ‘ulamaa (scholars) of the past – such as Imaam ash-Shaafi’ie, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Imaam
Hence, there is no need to prove that an individual can be called Kaafir by name on matters which are clear-cut, known from Islam by necessity and after certain conditions have been met.
“Hujjah needs to be established before one can be declared Kaafir”
The concept of establishing hujjah (proof) against an individual is often misunderstood. Many people claim that before a person is declared Kaafir (or Murtad) their actions must be explained to them, and they must understand what they have done. People also claim that if a person has not received the message of Islam, it is not appropriate to declare that person Kaafir.
The fact is, Ithbaat ul-Hujjah, or establishing the hujjah (proof), only requires one to prove that an individual committed an act of apostasy – that is all. So it is about establishing and showing proof that a person has said or committed an action which nullifies their Imaan (belief in Allah). There is no need to prove that an individual will receive punishment in the Hereafter. Any individual who dies on shirk (while associating partners with Allah) and the message of Islam did not reach them, it is believed that the person died Kaafir. The issue of whether or not they will be punished (in the Hereafter) is not for us to decide. Some scholars say they will not be punished in the Afterlife if they did not hear or receive the message. The verse they cite as proof for this is: بعث رسولH ين ح `ىC• وما ك `ا مع O H H H X ت نH H ذبH O EنO H H
“…And We never punish (a people) until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).” (Al-Israa’, 17:15) However, this matter is in the hands of Allah. In the dunyaa (worldly life) we will consider a person will be judged by Allah, and it is up to Him to punish them or not.
who died on shirk (and did not receive the message) to have been a Kaafir, but in the Aakhirah they
Moreover, it is not necessary for one to understand what they have done before they are pronounced Kaafir. Allah (SWT) informs us in the Qur’aan that even though the Kuffaar and Munaafiqeen were ignorant and did not understand what they were doing, they were still Disbelievers. Allah (SWT) says: يلC سl ضHل هم أEH ل كالنعامC ن همC ونOEC عH وHسمعون أH رهمH كHن أHحسب أH مHأ بH لH X O X بC H X H إX O X إH ق لX يX H O H X يX O H ثX ` O H X تX
“Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; nay, they are even farther astray from the Path(i.e. even worst than cattle).” (Al-Furqaan, 25:44) داH ذاC دواH هH نHEH ىH ى الهHC همO دH نCرا وXهم وقC اH يC وO هHقXفH نHك `ة أHهم أC وOOى قHH اEH لX`ا جعC بH إ أO تX يX د ف لO X إلX O عX تX إH H X C ف آذ نH وهO يX نC X C ل بE ن علH H Eإن “…Truly, We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this (the Qur’aan), and in 18:57) And the people of Shu’aib (AS) said to him: م ت ولC C H ن هH O X H ل ي شE O OقH كثيرا م `اO HقXفH عيب ماO اEH واOاHق “Oh Shu’aib! We do not understand much of what you say…” (Hood, 11:91) So in some matters of the Deen (religion), excuse of ignorance (al-‘udhru bil-jahl) cannot be given to a person. The people of Shu’aib pleaded ignorance, but this was not accepted by Allah as excuses cannot be given to those who associate partners with Allah or worship Taaghout (false gods). Furthermore, the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) ordered the Believers to kill the Khawaarij if they meet them, even though they pray, fast and recite Qur’aan better than any ordinary Muslim: كما يمرق السهم من الرمية “There will appear some people among you whose Salaat (prayer) will make you look down upon يخرج فيكم قوم تحقرون صلتكم مع صلتهم، وصيامكم مع صيامهم، وعملكم مع عملهم، ويقرؤون القرآن ل يجاوز حناجرهم، يمرقون من الدين
their ears, deafness. And if you call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.” (Al-Kahf,
yours, and whose fasting will make you look down upon yours, and whose good deeds will make you look down upon yours. They will recite the Qur’aan but it will not exceed their throats (they will not understand or act on it), and they will go out of (the fold) Islam as an arrow goes out from the bow…” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Book 61, Chapter 36, Hadeeth no. 5058) In another narration the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said: إن قتلهم أجر لمن قتلهم يوم القيامةEف “…So, wherever you find them, kill them, for there will be a reward for their killers on the Day of Resurrection.” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Book 61, Chapter 36, Hadeeth no. 5057)
The Khawaarij will recite the Qur’aan but it will not go past their throats; they will not comprehend it and nor will they act upon it. Despite being ignorant about the meaning of the Qur’aan, the Prophet (SAW) still instructed his followers to kill them. However, it must be mentioned that if a person is a “new Muslim” or if they live far away from the all matters.
people of Islam (i.e. Muslims), then excuses of ignorance can be granted to such a person – but not in
Excuse of ignorance can only be granted to scholars in matters where they are permitted to exert ijtihaad (juristic judgement). For example, if they make mistakes in issues regarding insurance or shares, then excuses can be given because these matters (being forbidden) are not known by Sharee’ah then no excuse can be given to them. If a person says or does a thing which is kufr akbar, it is our duty to judge the apparent and not consider their intention or reason. Therefore, that person should be pronounced Kaafir and told to repent, even if they were a scholar (‘aalim). Eg. Tahir ul Qadri of Pakistan. It cannot be said that scholars can be given excuse of ta’weel (interpretation) in all matters, especially if they permit what is kufr or shirk. ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab did not accept the ta’weel of Qudaamah bin Maz’oon when he permitted alcohol. He was called to repent and retract his statement, and if he had refused to do so he would have been executed by ‘Umar (RA) for legislating. necessity. However, if they permit matters which have been clearly and explicitly forbidden by
“One needs to be a scholar before they can make takfeer”
This is not the case at all. Takfeer is the hukm (ruling) of Allah and therefore it is an obligation upon every Muslim to perform takfeer. If an individual says, “Jesus is the son of God”, one cannot say, “I can’t call that person Kaafir because I’m not a scholar.”
May Allaah guide us all to the Siraat Al-Mustaqeem and give us isteqaamat upon it. Aameeen.