What things constitute Kufr? like what statements and actions, examples?
Submitted by on Mon, 17/09/2012 - 00:56
Dear Brother / Sister,
Lafz (word) which is the singular form of alfaz means word and expression. Kufr is a noun derived from the verb “kafara”; lexically, it means to cover something. A person who covers the belief in his heart is therefore called a “kafir” (unbeliever). Terminologically, alfaz al-kufr are the words that makes a person an unbeliever and causes him to exit the religion.
Words that make a believer an unbeliever are divided into three. They are: istihza, which means to mock, to make fun of somebody; istikhfaf, which means; to disdain and to despise the principles called the essentials of the religion; to deny an Islamic decree openly or to blaspheme things that are regarded as holy by the religion.
To mock and make fun of Allah’s personality, attributes, deeds, names, commands and prohibitions even though jokingly, to despise them and to blaspheme Allah make a person exit the religion. (al-Fatawa`l-Hindiyya, II, 258). The following is stated in a verse: "Was it at Allah and His, signs and His Messenger that ye were mocking? Make no excuses. Ye rejected faith after accepting it." (at-Tawba, 9/65, etc.)
To mock the institution of prophethood and prophethood, to despise them are regarded as blasphemy. Therefore, a person who despises and makes fun of the other prophets or Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) exits the religion of Islam. The following is stated in some verses: "Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger― Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment." (al-Ahzab, 33/57). "Among them are men who molest the Prophet and say "He is (all) ear." Say "He listens to what is best for you; he believes in Allah, has faith in the Believers and is a Mercy to those of you who believe": but those who molest the Prophet will have a grievous penalty." (at-Tawba, 9/61).
According to the majority of Islamic scholars like Abu Hanifa and his followers, Imam Shafii, Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal and Imam Malik, a person who blasphemes the Prophet exits the religion and it is necessary to kill him. A person who blasphemes the other prophets exits the religion and he is killed. (Ibn Taymiyya, as-Sarimu`l-Maslul, publ. Muhammed Muhyiddin Abdülhamid, Egypt 1960, p. 512, 565).
To curse holy books and the Quran or to utter words that deny their originals are regarded as blasphemy. To mock the Quran, one chapter or verse of it are blasphemy. (Aliyyu`l-Qari, Sharhu`l-Fiqhu`l-Akbar, Egypt 1323 H., p.151, etc; al-Haythami, az-Zawajir, I, 30). It is blasphemy to say that the Quran is not the word of Allah but words of a human being. Walid b. Mughira (d.1/622) stated the following about the Quran: "This is nothing but magic, derived from of old. This is nothing but the word of a mortal." Allah stated the following about Walid: “Soon will cast him into Hell-Fire.” (al-Muddaththir, 74/24, etc.)
To curse angels, to mock, to blame and to despise them are also blasphemy. Saying that Jibril made a mistake while bringing the revelation and conveyed it to Hazrat Muhammad instead of Hazrat Ali makes a person exit the religion (Ibn Abidin, Raddu`l-Mukhtar, III, 292; al-Fatawa`l-Hindiyya, II, 266; Ahmet Saim Kılavuz, İman-Küfür sınırı, İstanbul 1982, p.132-133).
It is blasphemy to say that the Companions are unbelievers. To despise, to mock and to loathe the Companions are regarded as bid’ah and deviation. It is controversial among kalam scholars whether a believer who says that another believer or some other believers are unbelievers is regarded to have exited religion because the hadiths about the issue are wahid (reported by one person only); the reason why those who say that the Companions are unbelievers are regarded as unbelievers is the following evidence:
The Companions are praised in the verses of the Quran: "Allah's Good Pleasure was on the Believers when they swore Fealty to thee under the Tree: He knew what was in their hearts and He sent down Tranquility to them and He rewarded them with a speedy Victory." (al-Fath, 48/18) "The vanguard (of Islam)― the first of those who forsook (their homes) and of those who gave them aid, and (also) those who follow them in (all) good deeds― well― pleased is Allah with them, as are they with Him: for them hath He prepared Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever: that is the Supreme Felicity." (at-Tawba, 9/100)
There are many hadiths that praise the Companions: "Do not curse my Companions. I swear by Allah, in whose hand of power my soul is, that if one of you donated gold as big as Mount Uhud, it would not amount to as much as one or two handfuls of gold donated by them." (Muslim, Fadailu`s-Sahaba, 54; Abu Dawud, Sunnah, 11; Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 59; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 111, II). "Ten people are in Paradise: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Zubayr, Abdurrahman, Sa`d, Said and Abu Ubayda" (Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 26). "The best of my ummah is the generation that I am together with. Then come those who follow them and then those coming after them." (Bukhari, Fadailu`s-Sahaba, I, Riqaq, 7). A person who says that the Companions are unbelievers condemns a generation that conveyed the Quran to us.
There are various fatwas stating that those who curse scholars and fiqh scholars without any reason exit the religion of Islam but if it is considered that those who curse the Companions, who were praised by verses and hadiths, are not regarded as unbelievers but deviators and the people of bid’ah, it will be more appropriate to leave those people alone with their sins. (Aliyyu`l-Qari, ibid, 156-159; al-Fatawa`l-Hindiyya, II, 270 etc.; al-Haythami, ibid, I, 31; Ibn Abidin, Raddu`l-Mukhtar, III, 293, Majmuatu`r-Rasail, I, 360).
Most of Hanafis say that if a person regards cursing, mocking and despising the Companions as permissible and does those deeds, he will regarded as an unbeliever and that if he does those deeds without regarding them as permissible he will regarded as a fasiq (sinner). However, some Hanafi fiqh scholars say that if the same words are uttered for Hz. Abu Bakr and Umar by a person, that person will exit the religion. Imam Malik holds the view that a person who curses Hz. Prophet needs to be killed and a person who curses the Companions needs to be punished so that he will be educated. According to Ahmad b. Hanbal, a person who curses one of the Companions is beaten severely. (Aliyyu`l-Qari, ibid, II, 410-411; Ibn Abidin, Raddu`l-Mukhtar, III, 293, Majmuatu`r-Rasail, I, 359; Ibn Taymiyya, as-Sarimu`l-Maslul, p. 561).
The words that make a person who has uttered them exit the religion are regarded as valid only if they are uttered by a free will and deliberately. If a person is made utter words of blasphemy by threats, force and pressure and if the force is complete, that is, if he is threatened to be killed, to be amputated, harmed severely and beaten severely, he is allowed to utter words of blasphemy. The following is stated in a verse: "Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters unbelief― except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith― but such as open their breast to unbelief― on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty." (an-Nahl, 16/106). This verse shows that a person who is forced to utter words of blasphemy does not exit the religion. As a matter of fact, Makkan polytheists forced Yasir and his wife Sumayya to exit Islam and killed them under torture. They threw Yasir`s son Ammar into a well and tortured him; Ammar could not put up with the torture and said that he exited Islam through his tongue though his heart was full of belief; thus, he saved his life. When he went to Hz. Prophet, he talked to Ammar and allowed him to say the same thing if he was tortured again. The verse above was sent down upon this incident. (Ibnu`l-Athir, Usdu`l-Ghaba, I V, 130 etc.)
An important reminder:
It is stated that to utter words of blasphemy is religiously dangerous but those who utter them are not addressed as unbelievers. It is objectionable to call those who utter those words unbelievers because a word might seem as blasphemy but it might not make the person who utters it an unbeliever. A person does not become an unbeliever unless he denies through his heart. Since we cannot know it, it is not appropriate to call any person who utters words of blasphemy an unbeliever.
Therefore, these explanations need to be made in order to make people avoid uttering words of blasphemy but it is not appropriate to say to those who utter them, “You have become unbelievers.”
Questions on Islam
- Fiqh decree on abandoning prayers
- Is it permissible for a Muslim to swear at, curse or damn another Muslim? How should a person react to those who swear at him?
- Is it permissible to despise sinners or non-Muslims and humiliate them?
- What is major and minor “Kufr” (unbelief)? Will you explain it by giving examples? How can we protect ourselves from all kinds of unbelief?
- What is unbelief (kufr)?
- What is the decree about the Shiite who curse and insult the Companions?
- What is the religious decree on and penalty of cursing Allah?
- How should one answer a person who hurts his feelings among other people and who demoralizes him?
- Why is Hell eternal for unbelievers?
- Is it permissible to call a sinner an unbeliever?