Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Six

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


We judge the rulers only by that which is apparent, and leave that which is not apparent to Allaah for indeed He alone knows the inner most affairs of all people.

This principle dictates that we cannot venture into the leaders hearts, and speak of those things which we have no apparent evidence for, so we would indeed be sinning if we spoke of his actions which pertain to his heart, i.e love, hope, fear, etc. we can only speak of the apparent effects of this.[1]


 Imaam At-Tahaawi (rahimahullaah) states in his famous book of Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah:

 “And we do not testify against them with kufr nor with shirk nor hypocrisy just so long as these are not apparent from them and we leave their unapparent affairs to Allaah.”[2]

 So in explanation of this Ibn Abi Izza said:

“This is because we have been ordered to judge that which is apparent and we have been prohibited from suspicion, and following that which we have no knowledge of, as Allaah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَومٌ مِّن قَوْمٍ عَسَى أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ

“O you who believe!  Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former..” [Al-Hujuraat (49):11]

And Allaah also said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيراً مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ

“O you who believe!  Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins..” [Al-Hujuraat (49):12]

And Allaah said:

وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً

“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard).  Verily!  The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allaah).” [Al-Israa’ (17):36]

Imaam At-Tahaawi (rahimahullaah) also said:

“And we do not pronounce takfeer upon anyone from the people of Qibla by these sins, as long as they do not make them halaal, and we do not say that one who sins his imaan is not harmed.” [3]

(This is also a refutation of the Murjia whom we are accused of being)

 What is meant by “people of Qibla” in his above saying is: We name our people of the Qibla Muslims, Mu’mins [as long as they hold up to what the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) came with knowingly, and that they believe in everything he said, and informed of].  The shaykh (rahimahullaah) is pointing out by this statement a refutation to the Khawaarij who pronounce takfeer on the one who does sin.[4]


[1] Every action does not necessarily dictate the action of the heart. i.e. a father smacking his child (an action of the limbs) does not mean he hates ( an action of the heart) his child.

[2] Sharhul Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah p-378 by Ibn Abi Izza al Hanafi checked by Shaykh Naasirud-Deen Al-Albanee

[3] Sharhul Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah p-316 by Ibn Abi Izza al Hanafi

[4] Sharhul Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah p-316 by Ibn Abi Izza al Hanafi

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