Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Ten

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


If we understand Eemaan and what it constitutes well and comprehended its meaning deeply we will now be able to see clearly what its opposite Kufr is, and what nullifies Eemaan. What negates the sayings and actions of the heart, the sayings and actions of the tongue, and the actions of the limbs? This can be understood by breaking Kufr (disbelief) down into the following categories:
Kufr of ignorance and rejection
Kufr of denial and hiding or opposing Kufr of arrogance and pride
Kufr of hypocrisy


Any one of these can take a Muslim outside the fold of Islam completely. So as we mentioned the definition of Eemaan was; sayings and actions of the heart, sayings and actions of the tongue and actions of the bodily limbs. The above categories dictate that it is possible for all of this definition to be negated or some of it, depending on the circumstances of the belief and kufr. For example: Sayings, Actions, And Belief Negated:

If all the constitutes of Eemaan are negated, then all the above categories of kufr are present except hypocrisy.

Sayings Of The Heart Negated:

If affirmation of the heart is negated without the presence of knowledge of the truth then it is Kufr of Ignorance and denial. This is similar to the kufr of the mushrikoon Arab as Allaah states regarding them:

بَلْ كَذَّبُواْ بِمَا لَمْ يُحِيطُواْ بِعِلْمِهِ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِهِمْ تَأْوِيلُهُ كَذَلِكَ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الظَّالِمِينَ

“Nay, they deny that; the knowledge whereof they could not compass and whereof the interpretation has not yet come unto them.  Thus those before them did deny. Then see what was the end of the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.)!” [Yoonus (10):39]

Hiding The Truth Whilst Having Knowledge Of It:

If one was to hide the truth (this includes not acting upon it) whilst acknowledging its truthfulness then this is the Kufr of rejection and hiding or denial and that is like the kufr of Fir’awn and his people as Allaah said:

وَجَحَدُوا بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَا أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْمًا وَعُلُوًّا

 فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

“And they belied them (those Ayât) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their ownselves were convinced thereof [i.e. those (Ayaat) are from Allaah, and Moosaa is the Messenger of Allaah in truth, but they disliked to obey Moosaa, and hated to believe in his Message of Monotheism].  So see what was the end of the Mufsidûn (disbelievers, disobedient to Allaah, evil-doers, liars.).”

[An-Naml (27):14]

Actions Of The Heart Negated:

If the actions of the heart like intention, sincerity, love, were to be negated with the presence of outwardly manifested actions of the limbs then this is kufr of hypocrisy.  This would be the case even if complete attestation to the truth was present or negated whether the negation was by denial or doubt.  This kufr is the type of kufr of Ibn Salool and his sect.  Allaah, The Most High said:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

“And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: “We believe in Allaah and the Last Day” while in fact they believe not.Al-Baqarah (2):8]

Actions Of The Heart And Bodily Limbs Negated:

If actions of the heart and bodily limbs are negated, with awareness (knowledge) in the heart, and acknowledgment on the tongue, then this is kufr on denial and arrogance.  It is the kufr of Iblees, and most of the Jews those who witnessed the messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was the true messenger but did not follow him like Ka’ab bin al-Ashraf and it is like the one who abandons the prayer out of denial and arrogance.

Actions Of The Bodily Limbs Are Negated With The Presence Of Actions Of The Heart:

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said about this one:

“Verily in the heart there is a piece of flesh, if it is pure the whole body is pure if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt, is it not the heart.” [Agreed Upon]

Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Nine

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


This is to believe that Eemaan consists of belief, sayings and actions.  It is broken down into the following detail; sayings and actions of the heart, sayings and actions of the tongue, and actions of the outwardly manifested limbs. 

The Linguistically Meaning Of Eemaan Is Tasdeeq

Tasdeeq or ‘trust’ or ‘belief’ as the brothers of Yusuf (alayhis-salaam) said:

قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَاعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَمَا أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لِّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَادِقِينَ

They said: “O our father!  We went racing with one another, and left Yûsuf by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth.”
[Yusuf (12):17]

Meaning ‘trustful’.  It opposite is denial

The Technical Meaning Of Eemaan

It is belief in the messenger in all that he informed us of from Allaah and to follow this with outwardly actions (ie the pillars of Islam) and with sayings of the tongue.


When we look into the definition of Eemaan according to the Sharī ‘ah we find it is: A saying of the heart and tongue, actions of the heart and tongue and limbs.

Sayings of the heart

This is trusting in, and accepting, what is in the heart is manifest in the speech, as Allaah said:

وَالَّذِي جَاء بِالصِّدْقِ وَصَدَّقَ بِهِ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

And he (Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)) who has brought the truth (this Qur’aan and Islamic Monotheism) and (those who) believed therein (i.e. the true believers of Islâmic Monotheism), those are Al- Muttaqûn (the pious and righteous persons).”[Az-Zumar (39):33]


Actions of the heart

This is the intention, sincerity, love, fear, reliance as Allaah says

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

“The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’aan) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).”
[Al-Anfaal (8):2]

Sayings of the tongue

This is in pronouncing the shahadah and attesting to all it necessitates. As Allaah said:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

“Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is (only) Allaah,’ and thereafter Istaqaamoo (i.e. stood firm and straight on the Islamic Faith of Monotheism by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allaah has forbidden and by performing all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained), on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”

[Al-Ahqaaf (46):13]


Actions of the tongue and body limbs

These are actions of the tongue which cannot be performed except by using the tongue alone like recitation of the Qur’aan, adhkaar (remembrances) and actions of the body limbs are those which cannot be performed except by using the body limbs alone like standing in prayer, rukoo, sajood as Allaah states:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ

“Verily, those who recite the Book of Allaah (this Qur’aan), and perform As-­Salaat, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) trade­gain that will never perish. [Faatir (35):29]

 So the heart has sayings and an action, the tongue has sayings and actions, and the body limbs have actions all of which compromise Eemaan.

The differences amongst the people in what constitutes Eemaan.

Ibn Abi Izza (rahimahullaah) who explained Aqeedah at Tahaaweeyah said the people have differed in what they believed constitutes Eemaan to be.  So Maalik, Shafi’ee, Ahmed, Awzaa’ee, Ishaaq bin Rahweeyah and all the rest of the people of hadīth and people of Madīnah (may Allaah have mercy on them all) went to the opinion that Eemaan constituted of belief in the heart, attesting that with the tongue and action of the body limbs. [Aqeedah Tahaaweeyah p373 – 374]

Some scholars went to the opinion that ‘attesting to it with the tongue’ is an extra pillar of Eemaan.  From them was Abu Mansoor al Maatureedi and he narrates from Abu Haneefah.

  1. The Karaamiyah[1] went to the opinion that Eemaan was ‘attesting with the tongue only’.  This necessitates that the hypocrite is a believer with complete Eemaan.
  1. Jaham ibn Safwan and the Qadariyah went to the opinion that Eemaan was ‘awareness (knowledge) in the heart only’ and this opinion is far more corrupt than that of the Karaamiyah.  This opinion necessitates that Fir’aun and his people were believers because they knew the truthfulness of Musa and Haroon yet they did not believe in them.  Allaah said about them:

قَالَ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا أَنزَلَ هَـؤُلاء إِلاَّ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ وَإِنِّي لَأَظُنُّكَ يَا فِرْعَونُ مَثْبُورًا

“He [Moosaa] said: “Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as clear (evidences i.e. proofs of Allâh’s Oneness and His Omnipotence, etc.).  And I think you are, indeed, O Fir’aun (Pharaoh) doomed to destruction (away from all good)!” [Al-Israa’ (17):102]

And His saying:

وَجَحَدُوا بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَا أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْمًا وَعُلُوًّا فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

“And they belied them (those Ayât) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their ownselves were convinced thereof [i.e. those (Ayât) are from Allaah, and Mûsa is the Messenger of Allaah in truth, but they disliked to obey Moosaa, and hated to believe in his Message of Monotheism].  So see what was the end of the Mufsidûn (disbelievers, disobedient to Allaah, evil-doers, liars).

[An-Naml (27):14]

 Also, the people of the book knew the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as they knew their own children yet they still did not believe.

Further, Abu Taalib would be a believer accordingly because he knew the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) very well.

Even worse Iblees himself would be a believer with complete Eemaan according to Jahm bin Safwaan, for he was not ignorant about his lord either.  Allaah confirms this from his saying:

قَالَ رَبِّ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

“He [Iblees (Satan)] said: “O my Lord!  Give me then respite till the Day they (the dead) will be resurrected.

[Al-Hijr (15):36]

And His saying:

قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

“He [Iblees (Satan)] said: “O my Lord!  Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all.”

[Al-Hijr (15):39]

So Eemaan with Jaham bin Safwan is knowledge of the lord of the worlds, and Kufr would be simply ignorance of him.  Upon this belief there is not a complete disbeliever in this earth, because no one is ignorant to the Creator of the worlds.

  1. Ibn Raawandi and those who followed him from the Mutazalite and other than them said that ‘Eemaan was only belief’, with this definition all the jews would be believers as they believed in the message of Mohammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) but they arrogantly rejected it so Allaah negated Eemaan from them.
  1. The Murjiyah[2] and the Karaamiyah[3] say: ‘Eemaan is attesting with the tongue without belief in the heart.’  Upon this the hypocrites are believers, and Allaah said about them: “And never (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave.  Certainly they disbelieved in Allaah and His Messenger, and died while they were Fâsiqûn (rebellious, – disobedient to Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)).” [At-Taubah (9):84]
  1. Others of the Murjiyah said Eemaan is ‘belief in the heart and attesting with the tongue’ but they negate actions of the bodily limbs here, they remove the hadith of Jibraeel which explains the pillars of Islam.[4]
  1. The Khawaarij and many others who followed them said Eemaan was ‘obedience to Allaah in the obligations and voluntary deeds’.[5]

[1] An offshoot group from the murjiyah

[2] This is just one type of the murjiyah not all of them or most of them.

[3] Mentioned in point 1 above

[4] And this is the type of Muriyah belief  the Takfeeri people claim we hold (Salafis)

[5] No doubt complete Eemaan includes all of this obligatory and volutary deeds however the position of this group is that if a Muslim fell short in any of this he becomes a disbeliever.

Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Eight

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


This principle dictates that the mother of all verses used to pronounce ‘takfeer’ is surah al Ma’idah verse 44. It must be understood that this verse is general and not to be applied specifically on some people and not on others.


Our beloved Shaykh, Shaykh Alee Hasan, gave a very clear explanation of this from the verse of Surah Al-Maa’idah.  He said: “..where Allaah said: “wa man..” which means “and whoever..” this shows it is general for anybody without any exception…” [1]

He also mentioned that where Allaah said: “..bi maa.. which means “..with whatever..” this shows that it is referring to any issue of legislation not just politics, or legislated punishments or jihaad.  So it is as the principle states: “the evidence is in the generality of the wording not in the specific reason of its revelation.” [2]

The saying of Al-Qurtubee (rahimahullaah):

“And Ibn Masood, and Al-Hassan said: “It is general for everyone that does not judge by what Allaah has revealed.  Meaning, believing in that, and making that halaal.”

[Al Jaami le Ahkaam al Quraan 6/190]

And As-Su’oodee and Ibraheem An-Nakhee said similar. [See Tafseer At-Tabari 10/356-357]

[1] One exception is that it is not applied upon the Muslim rulers [see chapter four]

[2] Even if we were to look into the specific reason of its revelation we find that it was specific to the Jews. [see chapter three]

Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Seven

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


Major Kufr (disbelief) can be in belief, and saying, and action.

This dictates that an individual can have a belief which is major kufr, or say something that is major kufr, or do an act of major kufr, which could make him a kaafir, a disbeliever [after the establishment of the proof against him].

Major Kufr in belief – Like believing that Allaah has a partner, or believing that Allaah has defects with His Names or Attributes, or believing that the Companions had defects in their religion or believing fornication and wine are Moobaaha (permissible).

Major Kufr in saying – Like reviling Allaah, or his messenger, or the angels, or the religion of Islaam.  This also includes making fun of Allaah or His Verses or His messenger.  All these sayings are major kufr no matter how it was: with seriousness or out of laughter, making it permissible or not making it permissible. These actions take one outside the fold of Islaam after the establishment of the hujjah (proof).

Major Kufr in action – Like prostration to a statue, a grave, the sun or moon and throwing the Qur’aan into rubbish.  This again only after the establishment of the Hujjah.

And there are other acts of major kufr in belief, action, and sayings but something which is imperative for one to understand here in this principle is that “Not judging by what Allaah has revealed” is not included in these acts of major kufr, which do not need one to make permissible before acknowledging that this is major kufr.  However, takfeer cannot be applied on major kufr until the proof is established first.

 The reason for this is because all the acts of kufr mentioned above fall under kufr al akbar (major kufr) and are connected to action of the heart however “not judging by what Allaah has revealed” cannot be understood to be kufr al akbar connected to the heart, until the proof is established against him first.


The saying of Allaah:

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ قُلْ أَبِاللّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَلاَ تَعْتَذِرُواْ قَدْ كَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ

“If you ask them (about this), they declare: “We were only talking idly and joking.” Say: “Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?”  “Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed…”

[At-Tawba (9):65-66]

إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ

Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode.  And for the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrong­doers) there are no helpers.”

[Al Maa’ídah (5):72]

مَن كَفَرَ بِاللّهِ مِن بَعْدِ إيمَانِهِ إِلاَّ مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإِيمَانِ وَلَـكِن مَّن شَرَحَ بِالْكُفْرِ صَدْرًا فَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allaah, and theirs will be a great torment.”

[An-Nahl (16):106]

So all actions of kufr in belief, sayings and actions that reach the level of kufr al akbar, are actions that take one out of the fold of Islam, after the establishment of the proof against the individual.  With an exception to the one who is being forced whilst his heart is full of Imaan as in Soorah an-Nahl.