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.