Most Read in the Category of Unbelief

1-) What things constitute Kufr? like what statements and actions, examples?

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.”


2-) What is Shirk?

SHIRK

Author: İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi,

The root of the verb "Sha-ri-ka" means to share, to become a partner. As a religious term, shirk means associating partners with Allah.

Shirk means partnership and it is the opposite of oneness (tawhid). Sharik means partner.

The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah and severely prohibits people from associating partners with His personality or attributes.

The Quran states that shirk is a big sin and oppression that God Almighty will never forgive associating partners with him and that He will forgive the sins except shirk of the people He wishes.

It is a grave sin and great oppression for man whom everything on the earth is appointed to serve and to whom the administration of everything is given to accept some beings that serve him as gods and to worship them instead of Allah.

Shirk is a sin and oppression not only because it is the transgression of the rights of Allah and that it includes slander and insult but also because it is a great insult and transgression of the rights of the universe and all of the creatures.

• Types of Shirk

Main types of shirk are as follows:

1. To leave Allah and to adore and worship living and non-living things other than Him.

2. To believe in Allah but to associate partners with Him, that is, to believe that some other beings have the attribute of divinity.

The belief of trinity in Christianity is included in this part...

3. To accept that there is a creator of this world but to worship non-living things like idols and sculptures in order to approach Him.

Idolatry is included in this part.

4. Another form of shirk is to accept some people as Lord, that is, to obey their orders and to avoid their prohibitions instead of the orders and prohibitions of Allah by believing them blindly. It is stated in the Quran that Jewish people accept their rabbis and Christians accept their clergymen as Lords.

5. The most common type of shirk is the one in which man obeys his own passion and desires blindly and see his desires as a divinity.

In the Quran, those kinds of people are condemned by this verse:

“Seest thou such a one as taketh for his god his own passion (or impulse)?”

6. There is another form of shirk: hidden shirk, that is riya (hypocrisy). That is, instead of praying and worshipping only for the sake of Allah, to pray and worship so that other people will see him and appreciate him. Worshipping like that is a kind of associating partners with Allah. Our Prophet defined it as hidden shirk.

A believer must avoid all kinds of shirk; whether hidden or visible, whether open or covered. The real oneness can only be obtained like that.

All kinds of shirk are rejected severely in the Quran; the real belief of oneness is preached to humanity.

What is Major Shirk and Minor Shirk? Explain in detail with examples. How to differentiate betweeen major and minor shirk? How to be save from Shirk?

The Answer: 

In Islamic sources there are concepts such as “Major and Minor Shirk (Hypocrisy). 

Major Shirk: Shirk means partnership and it is the opposite of oneness (tawhid). Sharik means partner. The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah and severely prohibits people from associating partners with His personality or attributes. The Quran states that shirk is a big sin and oppression that God Almighty will never forgive associating partners with him and that He will forgive the sins except shirk of the people He wishes. It is a grave sin and great oppression for man whom everything on the earth is appointed to serve and to whom the administration of everything is given to accept some beings that serve him as gods and to worship them instead of Allah. Shirk is a sin and oppression not only because it is the transgression of the rights of Allah and that it includes slander and insult but also because it is a great insult and transgression of the rights of the universe and all of the creatures.

Minor Shirk: This subject is explained in the Qur’an as follows: Say: "Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner." (Al-Kahf, 18/110)

What is meant by polytheism while worshipping Allah is not being sincere while worshipping and having feelings like hypocrisy, show off and similar interests. (al-Baydawi, Anvaru`t-Tanzil wa Asraru`t-Tawil, Egypt 1955, II, 14)

Some of the hadiths that Hz. Muhammad narrated about this subject is as follows:

The most dreadful thing which I fear about you is minor polytheism. The companions asked: What is the minor polytheism? He said: It is hypocrisy; and he added that on the Day of Judgment, when rewarding people for their deeds, Allah (sw) will say to the hypocrites: Go to those for the sake of whom you used to perform good deeds; and see whether you can get any reward from them. (Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 428,429).

“The most dreadful thing which I fear about you is associating partners with Allah (polytheism). However, be careful! I do not say that they will worship the moon, the sun and idols. I want to say that they will have aims other than the pleasure and consent of Allah and the feelings of hidden lust, hypocrisy and show off." (Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 21).

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say:

"The first person to be judged against on the Day of Judgment will be a martyr. That person will be taken to the presence of Allah; Allah will remind him the bounties He gave him. He will remember them. Allah will say,

-"What did you do among those bounties?" He will say,

-"I fought for your sake and became a martyr." Allah will say,

-"You are lying. You fought so that people would say hero for you. According to a narration, that person is dragged into Hell facedown.

The second person to be taken to the presence of Allah will be a person who learned Islamic sciences and taught them to others and read the Quran. Allah reminds him the bounties He gave him. He remembers them. Allah will say to him,

-"What did you do among those bounties?" He will say,

-"I learnt the Quran and Islamic sciences and for your sake and taught them to others." Allah will say,

-"You are lying. You learnt the Quran and Islamic sciences for hypocrisy and show off, so that people would say you read very nicely. And they praised you." He is thrown into Hellfire based on the order of Allah.

The third person to be taken to the presence of Allah will be a person whom Allah gave wealth and various goods. Allah reminds him the bounties He gave him. He remembers them. Allah will ask him:

-" What kind of good deeds and charities did you do among those bounties?" He will say:

-"I spent money for your sake on the things that you like. I helped everybody.” Allah will say similar things to him:

-" You are lying. You did so because you wanted people to call you a generous person. You showed off. You received the praise that you wanted." He is dragged facedown into Hellfire based on the order of Allah." (Muslim, Imara, 152; Nasai, Jihad, 22; Ahmed b. Hanbal, II, 322).

As it is stated in this hadith, to become a martyr, to be a scholar, to do charities are very good deeds. However, if they are not done for the pleasure and consent of Allah but to show off or to gain material interests, they will have no value.


3-) Why does Allah increase the diseases of munafiqs (hypocrites)?

“In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves).” (al-Baqara, 2/10)

It is stated in the verse above that there is a disease in the hearts of munafiqs.

If an organ has a disease, it means it cannot fulfill its main duty. For instance, if an eye has a disease, it means there is a problem with seeing; if an ear has a disease, it means there is a problem with hearing. What prevents those organs from functioning normally is their disease. The concepts “hearing impaired and visually impaired” show this.

Accordingly, if a heart has a disease, it means there is a problem with knowing Allah, which is its main duty. That an eye cannot see things and that an ear cannot hear sounds shows that those organs are ill; similarly, that a heart does not fulfill its main duties, which are knowing Allah, believing in Him, obeying and worshipping Him, is an indication of its being ill. 

The phrase “in their hearts is a disease” mentioned in the verse aims to declare that there is no consciousness of belief, obedience andworshipping in the hearts of munafiqs (hypocrites).

“Allah’s increasing the disease of munafiqs’ hearts, which are already ill,” can be explained as follows:

a) Their disease means they suffer more sorrow and grief.

Accordingly, as Allah strengthened the religion of the Prophet (pbuh), their sorrow and grief increased. As Allah increased Islam, He did not aim to increase their sorrow but His elevating Islam and making His Messenger dominant increased the sorrow and grief of munafiqs indirectly.  

b) The expression of the verse above is similar to the expression of Hz. Nuh in the following verse: “O my Lord! I have called to my People night and day, But my call only increases (their) flight (from the Right).” (Nuh, 71/5-6)

Indeed, Hz. Nuh’s call did not increase their flight from what is right. However, his addressees fled away more from the true path when they were called. 

The following verse also has a similar style: “But when a warner came to them, it has only increased their flight (from righteousness).” (Fatir, 35/42)

c) The hypocrites hid their unbelief in their hearts and tried to show that they were believers. Therefore, they pretended to obey some orders and prohibitions of Islam. They felt very sorry when they did so. As the divine obligations introduced by the Quran increased, their sorrow, grief and diseases increased too. (cf Razi, the relevant place)

- It is also possible to describe it as follows:

If a person has a carbuncle that is not seen by others on his body and if a person touches that place from outside, the existence of that carbuncle is revealed and its pain increases when it is touched.


4-) Is the repentance of a person who falls into unbelief knowingly or unknowingly several times accepted – unless he is about to die?

“Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this..." (an-Nisa, 4/116)

It is stated that in the verse above that any sins can be forgiven. The shirk that Allah will never forgive is the shirk of those who die without repenting. Accordingly, any repentance before death is valid.

"Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (az-Zumar, 39/53)

As a matter of fact, it is stated in the verse above that any repentance will be accepted.