Are Shiites unbelievers? If a person does not call Shia unbelievers, is he regarded as an unbeliever?

The Details of the Question

- Did Sheikh al-Islam Ebussuud Effendi give a fatwa of unbelief about the Shia, and did he say that whoever does not call them unbelievers is an unbeliever?
- Is this information true?
“As long as the Shia are on this creed, they will be accused of unbelief, and whoever does not accuse them of unbelief will be unbelievers.”
- Is there such a thing? Have you heard of it?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

No, it is not permissible to call the Shia unbelievers in general, and the one who does not call them unbelievers will never be an unbeliever, but the one who calls them unbelievers will be held responsible.

The people whom Ebussuud Effendi calls unbelievers are those who deny the fards that are declared by the verses of the Quran. For example, those who deny prayers and consider it permissible not to perform prayers, those who deny the fast of Ramadan and do not fast, those who deny that drinking is forbidden and consider it permissible to drink, etc.

For example, two fatwas of Ebussuud Effendi are as follows:

“Are lovers (Alawites) Muslims or unbelievers?” The Answer: They are unbelievers who do not believe that performing prayers is fard and abandon prayers thinking that it is permissible and by saying our prayers have been performed; he who doubts that they are unbelievers is away from being a Muslim.” (Velî b. Yusuf, Mecmûatü’l-Fetâvâ, İst. Mft. Ktp. no: 178, vr. 222a)

“If a group that does not perform prayers and denies the fard of Ramadan, and when the month of Ramadan comes, does not fast, and when they are asked about it, they say, ‘We are poor, it is enough for us to fast for five or six days,’ and they say, ‘We take care of the vineyard; it is the labor of our own hands; it is halal for us to drink wine, and they drink wine with their wives and when the feast day of unbelievers comes, they observe and respect their feast days like unbelievers; and they commit many other similar sins; what is necessary for such people in Shari’ah and for those who regard them as Muslims and consent to their deeds and words? The Answer: They are unbelievers; killing them is permissible.” (Velî b. Yusuf, ibid., vr. 222a) (Velî b. Yusuf, ibid., vr. 222a)

For example, when a person who says about someone who denies Allah and does not accept the prophethood of our Prophet (pbuh), “This person is not an unbeliever”, he will exit Islam since he will be sharing the same belief; and it is definitely a sign and a requirement of belief to know that this is so and to say it when necessary.

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