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.

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

Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Five

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


That a Muslim is not pronounced a disbeliever (kaafir) by what he says or does or believes until the evidence is established against him(1), and his doubts disappear and all the conditions of takfeer apply and all the conditions that negate takfeer are negated.

So this principle dictates that we submit to the withholding of pronouncing takfeer upon the one who rejects, denies, or opposes something from the religion that is known by necessity up until the proof is established against him.


The evidences for this principle are too many to mention however of the evidences that prove this sixth principle is the saying of Allaah:

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً
“And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).”
[Al-Isra (17):15]

ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُواْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِن بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Then, verily! Your Lord for those who do evil (commit sins and are disobedient to Allaah) in ignorance and afterward repent and do righteous deeds, verily, your Lord thereafter, (to such) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
[A-Nahl (16):119]

قُلِ اللّهِ شَهِيدٌ بِيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ لأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ
“Say (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam): “What thing is the most great in witness?” Say: “Allaah (the Most Great!) is Witness between me and you; this Qur’aan has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.”
[Al-An’aam (6):19]

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:

Also the women who had continual bleeding and said: “I have continual heavy bleeding which prevents me from prayer and fasting.” So he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) ordered her to pray during the period of continual bleeding and did not order her to make up for the prayers she had missed.” [Al-Udar bi Jahal of Shaykh Ahmad Fareed]

Also when the messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) made hijrah to Medina the prayer was increased for the residents but those who were far from him, such as those in Mecca and Abyssinia, used to pray two rak`at and he did not order them to repeat their prayers.” [Al-Udar bi Jahal of Shaykh Ahmad Fareed]

Further evidence: “When Mu’aawiyah ibn Al-Hakam as-Sulamee (radiyallaahu anhu) spoke in prayer after the forbiddance, being ignorant of it. So he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said “this prayer of ours – nothing from the speech of humans”, and he did not order him to repeat the prayer.” [Majmoo Al Fataawa 22/41-42]

Imaam Al Qurtubee (rahimahullaah) said:

So just as the kaafir does not become a believer except by choosing imaan over kufr, then likewise a believer does not become a kaafir through something by which he did not intend kufr nor choose it. There is ijmaa upon this.” [Tafseer Ul-Qurtabi 7/6128]

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

“..As for the kufr of ignorance when the proof has not been established and of one who has not been able to reach the truth, then Allaah has denied punishment for such a one until the proof brought by the messenger is established.”

Imaam Ash-Showkaani (rahimahullaah) said:

“..Whoever prostrates to other than Allaah out of ignorance, he does not become a disbeliever.” [Naylul Awtaar 6/210]

And there are many more statements from our salaf and the scholars of Ahla Sunnah wal Jammat establishing that proof has to be established upon a believer before pronouncing takfeer upon him. I refer the noble reader to the book Al-udhar-bil-jahal` by Shaykh Ahmad Fareed.


1.That his kufr of action and saying is connected to his belief and heart.

Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Four

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


That a Muslim is not pronounced a kaafir (disbeliever) except if he rejects something known from the religion by necessity, or if he denies it out of arrogance or pride, or if he opposes it whilst not believing in it.

This principle dictates the following:

A) One who does not judge by what Allaah has revealed out of rejection that it is an obligation, then such an individual is a disbeliever (kaafir) with major kufr.

B) One who does not adhere to judging by what Allaah has revealed out of arrogance or pride then such an individual is a disbeliever, with major kufr.

C) One who opposes judging by what Allaah has revealed whilst not believing in it, rejecting it as an obligation then such an individual is a disbeliever, with major kufr.

D) One who remains in doubt about the obligation of judging by what Allaah has revealed then such an individual is a disbeliever. [Doubt here can be of two types either in its obligation or in its interpretation. What is referred to here is doubt in its obligation.]

However if such an individual accepts the obligation to judge by what Allaah has revealed and believes that it is most supreme over any other law and system, but he left judging by it for some weakness or following of desires or sin or out of fear or hope then his original imaan does not disappear such an individual is not a disbeliever (kaafir), with major kufr. Rather he is a disbeliever with minor kufr and he is still within the fold of Islam.

This is just a brief explanation of what this principle dictates, a further and clearer
explanation can be found in chapter four.


One of the best evidences in my view, in order to show you principle four in implementation is the following:

Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:

“And this was the state of An-Najaashi, (ruler of Habashi). Even though he was the king of the Christians his people did not follow him in accepting Islam. Rather only a number of them accepted Islam with him, and for this, when he died there was no one to pray over him. So the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) prayed over him in Medina. He went out with the Muslims to the musalla and arranged them in rows and prayed over him and informed them of the death the day he died. He (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:Verily a righteous brother of yours from the people of Al-Habashi has died.”
And many of the outwardly manifested pillars of Islam or most of them, he did not establish upon his people because of his weakness in that. So he did not do hijrah, nor did he fight jihaad, nor did he perform the hajj. It has even been narrated that he did not even establish his five daily prayers, and he did not fast in Ramadaan, neither did he pay the legislated Zakaat (all of these are obligatory actions), because that would have made apparent to his people and they would have disapproved of it opposing him, and it was not possible for him to differ with them. We know definitely that it was not possible for him to judge between his people with the Qur’aan even though Allaah had made it an obligation upon the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) in Medina, that if the people of the book came to him, then he should not judge between them except with what Allaah has revealed to him..” [Minhaaj as Sunnah 5/112-113]

From this statement of Shaykhul Islam Ibnu Taymiyyah we can clearly understand that An-Najaashi did not rule by what Allaah had revealed and that if one does not deny, reject, opposes or makes halaal what Allaah made haraam or vice versa, with belief that it is an obligation to judge by what Allaah has revealed then such an individual is a believer even if he does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, out of weakness, fear, hope, etc. This is because the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “…your brother in Habashi has died..” then he prayed over him, which he would not say or do if An-Najashi was a kaafir.

We also find in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, a narration about Haatib ibn Baltah, where he informed the Quraish to be aware that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was going to attack Mecca. When Allaah gave this information to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) he summoned Haatib, and ‘Umar (radiyallaahu anhumaa).

Umar said:

“Let me take off the head of this munafiq, O Messenger of Allaah.”

The messenger refused and asked him (Haatib):

“Why did you do this?”

He replied:

“O Messenger of Allaah, Verily I did not do this out of disbelief (Kufr) I believe Allaah is going to aid you. All the companions here have relatives to take care of their families in Mecca but I do not. So I thought by giving them this information they will be lenient towards my family there.” 

So the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Leave him for perhaps Allaah has turned to the people who partook in al Badr and said do what you will, I have forgiven you.”

So ‘Umar (radiyallaahu anhu) believed this action to be hypocrisy, but the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) asked Haatib “Why did you do this?” He (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) established the proof on him first, and then let him be after concluding it was of the lesser kufr and not the major kufr.

Further evidence is in the saying of Imaam At-Tahaawi (rahimahullaah):

And the slave is not taken out of the fold of imaan except by denying that which entered him into it.” [Aqeedatut-Taahawiyyah p-331]

The Shaykh is pointing out a refutation to the Khawaarij and Mu’tazilah, where they say a person leaves imaan by doing major sins [other than shirk]. And this clearly shows that a mere action alone cannot take one out of the fold of Islam until the proof is established that this action displayed is what the belief of the person is. Just as when one becomes a Muslim the action of the shahadah alone is not acceptable until it is clear the person understands and believes what he is entering into.

Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Three

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


Kufr is of two types;

  1. Kufr in belief, that takes one out of the fold of Islam. It is also referred to as major kufr.
  2. Kufr in action, that does not take one out of the fold of Islam on its own except, if after the establishment of the proof, his actions portray manifest denial, rejection, arrogance, etc. It is also referred to as minor kufr.

So this principle necessitates the establishment, of whether the judgement by other than what Allaah has revealed, falls under the type of kufr in belief which is rejection, denial, or making it permissible or even believing that one has a choice in the matter. Or does it fall under the type of kufr in action that does not make you a kaafir. Therefore if the scholars of Islam judge that the kufr in a particular instance was kufr in action then we would have indeed lied against Allaah if we were to make them unbelievers.


If kufr was not of two types then how would we understand the hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Abusing a Muslim is fisq (sin) and fighting him is kufr.”

[Agreed upon]

So is this fighting kufr in belief or kufr in action, bearing in mind that if it is kufr in belief, then the person who does this act becomes a disbeliever (kaafir)? The answer is clearly that it is kufr in action, the minor kufr which does not remove one from the fold of Islam, and this is established from Allaah’s statement;

“And if two parties from amongst the believers fight then make peace between them, and if one transgresses then fight you all the one which transgresses till it complies with the command of Allaah.”

[Al-Hujuraat (49):9]

So we find Allaah describing those Muslims that fight each other as believers.  Therefore fighting amongst believers is kufr in action or minor kufr and cannot be kufr in belief or major kufr. Each and every verse in the Qur’aan and the hadith that mentions kufr must be verified to find out what type of kufr it is. This is a task for the scholars alone and not the common people. Other examples of such cases can be found in the following authentic ahadeeth, where all the examples are of kufr in action or minor kufr.

“Two things if done are kufr, abusing of genealogies and wailing over the dead.”

[Saheeh Muslim]

“Arguing over the Qur’aan is kufr.”

“Speaking about Allaah’s favours is giving thanks and leaving that is kufr.”

“Do not return to being kaafir after me by some of you striking the necks of others (fighting).”


“Whoever goes into his women from behind (anus) has indeed done kufr.”

And also the statement of Allaah:

“Whoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed such are the disbelievers.”

[Al-Maa’idah (5):44]

Like this there are many more verses and ahadeeth, like the ones mentioned in chapter one that need to be explained by tafseer or hadeeth using principles of the Shari’ah in order to arrive at the correct ruling. A work only befitting for scholars. So this is where many of the Muslims become confused and are lead astray. They try to implement the verses of Surah Al-Maa’idah and other texts, as they are, apparently, without applying the principle that the kufr mentioned in the text can be one of two types.

Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Two

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


The issue of Takfeer is grave, so one should be cautious in this matter and not rush to pronounce the Muslim leaders as kaafirs. The issue of takfeer should be taken very seriously and not bear on emotional happenings. There is a great possibility the person being labelled may not deserve it.


Firstly to show that there is a possibility that a person may show apparent disbelief but really his heart is full of belief, and it would be very dangerous for one to pronounce takfeer upon him without establishing what he truly believes first. Allaah says:

“Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto, whilst his heart is at rest with faith (imaan) but such as open their hearts to disbelief – on them is wrath from Allaah and theirs will be a great torment.”

[An-Nahl (16):106]

The statement of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam):

“He who says to his brother: O disbeliever, then it returns upon one of them.”

[Bukhaaree, Muslim and Muwatta Imaam Maalik]

Also his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“And he who accuses a believer of kufr then it is like killing him.”


Also his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“…..Except if you see clear open kufr, given to you as evidence from Allaah..”

[Muslim, An-Nasaa’ee]

And his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“if a man says the people are destroyed, then he has destroyed them…”


Also his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“Everything of a Muslim is sacred to a Muslim: his property, honour, and blood. It is enough evil for a man to despise his Muslim brother.”

[Aboo Daawood: 4868]

And his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“I warn you of suspicion, for indeed suspicion is the most lying speech.”

[Agreed upon]

And his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“Whoever accuses a man of kufr, or says enemy of Allaah, and he is not that, then it returns upon him.”

[Agreed upon]

And his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying:

“If anyone guards a believer from a hypocrite, Allaah will send an angel who will guard his flesh on the day of judgment from the fire of Jahannam; but if anyone attacks a Muslim, saying something by which he wishes to disgrace him he will be restrained by Allaah on the bridge over Jahannam till he is accounted for what he said.”

[Aboo Daawood: 4865]

And the saying of Shaykhul-Islaam Ibnu Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah):

“I am one of the most severe in forbidding that a person in particular be labelled with disbelief, or sin or disobedience until it is known that the proof has been established upon him….”

[Al Fatawa 3/229 and see Al Fatawa 3/282, 283 (a principle with Ahlus-Sunnah)]