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The Conditions Of
Takfir

By Abdul Kareem
Ibn Ozzie
In modern times takfir (classing another Muslim as a kaafir
(disbeliever)) has become very common among the takfires and those
influenced by them, especially takfir of the Muslim rulers. Sadly many
of those who make takfir do not understand the conditions of takfir,
so in this article the five conditions for takfire will be outlined.

Unfortunately many Muslims and especially the takfires make takfir


of the rulers based on general descriptions like, the one who rules
other than Allahs law is a disbelieve and allying with the kuffaar
against Muslims is disbelief.

But what they fail to understand is when making takfir of individual


Muslim rulers it is not allowed to make takfire of them using these
general descriptions, because for individual takfir the rulers’ situation
has to be investigated.

Shaykh Uthaymeen said “Hence, the meaning of the words of


Shaykh ul-Islam (Ibn Taymiyyah) – it is said: the disbelief that
is associated with a description, then judgement can be made by it in
all circumstances, [such as] whoever disbelieves in Allaah will be in
the Fire, whoever prostrates to an idol is a disbeliever, whoever says
that there is another deity alongside Allaah is a disbeliever [and so
on]. However, with respect to a specific individual, you must not
make a judgement (of takfir) against him until you investigate; he
could be ignorant and not know, or he could have made an
interpretation (ta’wil) [that is incorrect], or there could be a situation
in which he was made to utter words without actually intending
them.” Liqaa ul-Baab al-Maftooh (v36. No 1020)

Investigation of the ruler involves investigating his situation and


applying the conditions of takfir to him to see if the general
description of takfir applies to him or not.

The 1st Condition Of Takfir Al-Muayyin (Takfir Of A


Particular Individual) From The Muslims

This first condition which is a scholar and only a scholar can perform
takfir al-muayyin of an individual Muslim is much disputed by the
takfires as they hate this condition because it means the bulk of their
dawah will get demolished.

This because the majority of their dawah is built around the fact the
Muslim rulers all being individual kuffaar (disbelievers) as declared
by the takfires (NOT THE SCHOLARS OF AHLUS SUNNAH). As the
takfires have no scholars among their ranks this condition would
mean in effect that all those rulers they made takfir of, are Muslim as
their takfirs have been all invalid as this condition has not been
fulfilled. Meaning the takfire dawah would be shattered.

The fact only the scholars have the right to make takfir is not an issue
for dispute as it is proven by the Quran, Sunnah, Qiyas (analogical
deduction), basic logic and the speech of the scholars.
To make takfir al-muayyin of an individual Muslim a high level of
knowledge is needed. Only the scholars have the right to make takfir
al-muayyin of an individual Muslim due to them possessing the high
level of knowledge needed to make this type of takfir.

The level of knowledge the scholars have on all areas of Islam is not
equalled by the laymen, daaeeis or students of knowledge.

Allah says, "Say: Are they equal, those who have


knowledge (the scholars) and those who do not (the
laymen, daaeeis or students of knowledge)? But only the
men of understanding will take admonition." [Soorah
Zumar 39:9].

Allah emphasizes the status of the scholars knowledge, Allaah calls


upon the prophets and then the scholars (due to their high
level of knowledge) to bear witness to His Oneness.

Allah said, “Allah bears witness that La ilaha illa Huwa


(none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the
angels, and those having knowledge (also give this
witness); (He always) maintains His creation in justice.
Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped
but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:18]
The takfires do not understand that the reason the scholars have this
right to make takfir alone is because they are superior to other
Muslims due to their knowledge of Islam, acting upon that knowledge
and teaching others the knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah.

The prophet said, “…The superiority of the scholar over


the worshipper is like that of the full moon at night over
the rest of the stars…”[Saheehul Jaami #6297].

Allah has truly made the scholars superior to the laymen, daaeeis or
students of knowledge as they are the inheritors of the all the
prophets. The scholars inherited the propets knowledge of Islam, thus
in the prophets time when they where alive only they had the right to
pass the judgement of takfir upon any individual follower of theirs as
they had the greatest knowledge.

Therefore after all of the prophets died only their inheritors (the
scholars) have some of this knowledge as this was their inheritance.
So the right to pass the judgement of takfir upon individual Muslims
also lays with the scholars has they have inherited the knowledge
from the prophets that gives them that right alone.

The prophet said, “…Verily the scholars are the inheritors


of the Prophets, who leave behind neither Dinar nor
Dirham, they only leave knowledge as their heritage: so
whoever acquires it has acquired a huge fortune.”
[Saheehul Jaami #6297].
Imam al-Aajurree said, "Consider - may Allaah have mercy upon
you - a path thwarted with great dangers, yet people need to traverse
it, even in the darkness of the night.

If there were no light upon this path the people would be terrified.

However, Allaah gave to them a guiding light with which they were
able to traverse this path in peace and safety.

Then came groups of people who also needed to traverse this path, so
they traversed it.

However, during this time the guiding light became extinguished and
the people returned to a state of darkness. So what would your
opinion be about their condition?

This is the example of the scholars and the people.

Most people do not know how to fulfil their obligatory duties, nor
how to avoid forbidden matters, nor how to worship Allaah correctly
(yet these same people think they can make takfir this is insanity); all
of this they learn from the scholars.

So with the death of the scholars, mankind returns to a state of


anxiety and terror, the teaching of knowledge dies, whilst ignorance
prevails; what an enormous calamity this is for the Muslims. Indeed
to Allaah we belong and to Him will we all return."

Ibn Taymiyyah, said, "Every nation, before the sending of our


Prophet Muhammad, then their scholars were the worst of them,
except for the Muslims. For indeed their scholars are the best of them
and they are the successors of the Messenger in this nation."

Also if the takfires understand that in Islam there is a (Hukm) rule


that only scholars can give a fatwa they can make Qiyas between this
rule and the fact that only the scholars can issue verdicts of takfir on
individual Muslims which are like fatwa's in their importance and
benefit to the ummah.

This is a strong correct Qiyas as it Qiyas jali (obvious analogy) and


not Qiyas Khafi (hidden analogy).

The reason Qiyas can be done between the rule that only scholars can
give a fatwa and the fact that only scholars can issue verdicts of takfir
is because Illah (the cause of ruling in the original case (the Asl)) is
exactly the same in the Far (the new case on which ruling is to be
given the new case is).

The Illah (the cause of the ruling in the original case (the Asl)) is
having a very high level of Islamic knowledge. The scholars have the
most knowledge of Islam out of the laymen, daaeeis or students of
knowledge so they are the only Muslim people who have the right to
give fatwa's (legal verdicts). Therefore it makes sense that the
scholars must also be the only Muslim people who have the right to
make takfir based on their superior knowledge of Islam.

Thus this Qiyas is called Qiyas-al-musawi (analogy of equals), the


Illah is present in the Asl and Far equally, this type of Qiyas makes
the Qiyas between these two things even stronger and more correct.

Another Qiyas which can be given to help understand why only


scholars can issue verdicts of takfir on individual Muslims, is another
this Qiyas is called Qiyas-al-musawi (analogy of equals), the Illah is
present in Asl and Far equally which is Qiyas jali (obvious analogy).

The Qiyas is between the agreed upon (by the scholars) (Hukm) rule
that only scholars can do ijtihad and the (hukm). When there is no
clear rule in available in the text (Nass) of the Quran and the Sunnah,
then ijtihad is applicable. The subject matter of ijtihad is the practical
rules of the shariah not covered by the Quran, the Sunnah or ijmahs.

The Illah (the cause of the ruling in the original case (the Asl)) is
having a high level of Islamic knowledge. The scholars have the most
knowledge of Islam out of the laymen, daaeeis or students of
knowledge so they are the only Muslim people who have the right to
perform ijtihad.
As the Illah is present in the Asl and the Far is equally it means the
scholars should be the only Muslim people who have the right to
make takfir of individual Muslims based on their superior knowledge
of Islam, like wise based on the scholars superior knowledge of Islam
only they can perform ijtihad.

Plus making takfir upon an individual Muslim is reserved only for the
scholars due to two logical reasons;

The level of knowledge needed to make takfir of an individual


Muslim.

The reason why the level of knowledge needed to make takfir of a


Muslim is so much is because;

 all the proofs that need to be established upon the person


 then explained in detail to the person accused of kufr,

 his level of understanding needs to be looked into and if it is not

to the required level the scholar has to explain the proofs to him
again and again until his understanding of them is correct,
 the persons wilfulness in doing the action or saying the statement

of kufr must be looked into,


 all the preventive factors to takfir need to be eliminated from the

person accused of kufr,


 after the scholar has established this takfir the scholar needs to

be able to explain everything to other scholars in order to get an


ijmah on his takfir of this person
 And he has to explain his takfir to the ummah as a whole.

The people best suited for the job of making takfir are those with the
most knowledge of the religion and they are the scholars.

The other reason only the scholars can make takfir of Muslims is
because of the dangers of incorrectly making takfir upon a Muslim. A
scholar, a student of knowledge, a daaeei or a layman could get takfir
wrong. However to minimise the danger of takfir being made
incorrectly the right to making takfir of an individual Muslim has
been left to the scholars as they are least likely to get takfir incorrect
as they have the most knowledge and the best understanding of the
Quran, the Sunnah and the Islamic principals in regards to takfir and
all other areas of Islam.

Those Muslims who are from the laymen, daaeeis or students of


knowledge who wish to make takfir of a Muslim should with hold
their tongues as they do not have enough knowledge to make takfir on
individual Muslims, those who do make takfir of individual Muslims
are speaking without knowledge, Allah warns against this he says,
“And follow not (O man, i.e., say not, or do not, or witness
not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the
hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones
will be questioned (by Allah)” [al-Israa’ 17:36]
Also when the laymen, daaeeis or students of knowledge who wish to
make takfir of a Muslim thinking they can make takfir of this person
just like the scholars can.

They should known they and the scholars are not on the same level in
regards to knowledge. Allah has raised the scholars above other men
due to their knowledge so Allah has given the right and responsibility
of takfir of individual Muslims to the scholars as a way of showing
that their level of knowledge (of Islam) is far superior to that of others
hence Allah has given them a right which others can never attain due
to their lack of knowledge.

The scholars occupy a noble status in Islam which is higher than the
position of others in this world and in the Hereafter. Allaah says,
“Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and
those who have been granted knowledge” [al-Mujaadilah
58:11]

Due to the knowledge Allah has granted the scholars, Allah has raised
the scholars to such a high level that their sins are forgiveness without
them doing anything. The prophet said, “…all that is found in
the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of
the water seek forgiveness for the scholar.” [Saheehul
Jaami #6297].

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said, “The judgement of apostasy and


expelling someone from the religion is only appropriate for the people
of knowledge (scholars) who are firmly grounded in knowledge, and
they are the judges in the various shariah law courts, and those who
are able of giving legal verdicts. And this is just like the other matters,
and it is not the right of every person, or from the right of those who
are learning, or those who ascribe themselves to knowledge, but who
have deficiency in understanding. It is not appropriate for them to
make judgements of apostasy (upon others).

Since mischief will arise from this, and sometimes a Muslim might be
judged as an apostate but he is not actually so the takfir of a Muslim
who has not committed one of the nullifications of Islam contains
great danger. Whoever says to his brother “O Kaafir” or “O Faasiq”,
and he is not like that, then the words will fall back upon the one who
said them.

Hence, the ones who actually judge with apostasy are the legislative
judges (the scholars) and those who are able and fit for giving legal
verdicts. And as for those who enforce the judgements they are the
leaders of the Muslims. As for whatever is other than this, then it is
mere confusion.” Maraaji'aat fee Fiqh il-Waaqi... (comp. by Abdullaah
bin Muhammad ar-Rifaa'ee

Also Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan stated: “It is obligatory for the


ignoramus not to speak and to keep quiet and fear Allah, The Exalted
and Majestic, and to not speak without knowledge,
Allah says, “Say, My Lord has only forbidden immoralities
– what is apparent of then and what is concealed – and sin
(any unlawful action), and oppression without right, and
that you associate with Allah that for which He has not
sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that
which you do not know.” {al’A’raaf (7): 33}

So it is not permissible for the ignoramus to speak in issues of


knowledge especially in regards to major issues such as takfir, jihad
and al-walaa wal-baraa (allegiance and association). As for slander
and backbiting in regards to the honour of the people in authority and
the honour of the scholars, then this is the most severe type of
backbiting and as a result is not permissible. As for current events
which have passed or are taking place then these are affairs for the
people in authority to research and seek counsel over and it is for the
scholars to explain its Divinely Legislated ruling.

As for the general and common people and beginning students it is


not their issue.

Allah says, “And when there comes to them something (I.e.


information) about (public) security or fear, they spread it
around. But if they had only referred it back to the
Messenger or to those in authority (scholars are the authority
in regards to religious affairs and the Muslim rulers are the authority
in regards to the worldly affairs) among them, then the ones
who can draw correct conclusions from it would have
known about it. And if not for the favour of Allah upon you
and His mercy, you would have followed Satan, except for
a few.”{an-Nisaa (4): 83}

So it is incumbent to refrain the tongue in speaking about the likes of


such issues, especially takfir, allegiance and disavowal. And humans
are mostly ignorant of its application and can apply it incorrectly and
thus judge a person with misguidance and kufr, and the ruling could
thus return upon the claimant. So if a person says to his brother “O
kaafir, O fasiq” and the man is not like that (i.e. neither a kaafir nor a
fasiq) the ruling can return upon the one who said it, and Allah’s
refuge is sought. This is a very dangerous issue, so it is upon the one
who fears Allah to refrain his tongue except if he is from those who
are entrusted to deal with such issues, from the people in authority or
the scholars.” Muhammad bin Fadh al-Husayn (editor and compiler),
al-Ajabaat ak-Muhimmah fi’l-Mashaakil al-Mumilah (Riyadh:
Mataabi’ al-Humaydee, 1425 AH/2004 CE, Second Edition), pp.56-
58

Furthermore Shaykh Dr Baasim bin Faysal al-Jawaabirah


explained that the scholars are to be referred to in regards to newly-
arisen issues. This refers to seeking the correct position with regard to
the issues of takfir of a Muslim who some think is an apostate while
others think he is still a Muslim, jihad, revolts against Muslim rulers
and any other issue which was not there before and has arisen now.
This would be referred to as a newly arisen issue.
The shaykh said, “There is no doubt that the scholars are the
inheritors of the Prophets except that they are not infallible and Allah
instructed that they be resorted back to

(Allah said), “Ask the people of remembrance (i.e. the


scholars) if you do not know.” {an-Nahl (16): 43}, and

Allah also says, “And when there comes to them something


(i.e. information) about (public) security or fear, they
spread it around. But if they had only referred it back to
the Messenger or to those of authority (scholars are the
authority in regards to religious affairs and the Muslim rulers are the
authority in regards to the worldly affairs)among them, and then
the ones who (can) draw correct conclusions from it would
have known about it. And if not for the favour of Allah
upon you and His mercy, you would have followed
Shaytan, except for a few of you.” {an-Nisaa (4): 83}

The Prophet said: “Whoever Allah wishes good for, he


grants him understanding of the deen.” Bukhari and
Muslim, from the hadeeth of Muaawiyyah.

There are other evidences which indicate the virtue of the Ulema
(scholars), their elevated position and the necessity to refer back to
them, especially in regards to newly-arisen issues.” Taken from the
shaykhs book Takfeer: Fee Daw’ is-Sunnah in-Nabawiyyah (n.p.,
2006 CE/1428 AH, 1st Edn.), pp.11-37.
As for making takfir of those individuals who are not Muslim they are
dived into two categories which are:

1. Making takfir of an individual with no religion: Atheist (those


who do not believe in Allah and agnostics (those who believe in Allah
but reject all religions including Islam) – All Muslims (lay men,
daaeeis, students of knowledge and scholars) can (and have
to) make takfir of a person who belongs to this group based
on their actions and beliefs because their actions are major kufr
(disbelieve) and their beliefs are major kufr and Allah and his
messenger have made takfir of these people in the Quran and
Sunnah. Also there is an ijmah (consensus) of the Muslims on this
group being kufr based on their actions and beliefs.

Shaykh Ubaid al-Jabiree said in regard to these people they are


kuffaar because they have not accepted the words of Allah. The
shaykh said, “Every Muslim should know there are two types in the
religion, those who have accepted the words of Allah and they are the
Muslims and those who haven't and they are the Kuffaar, this is based
on evidence from the Quran, the Sunnah and the ijmah (consensus of
the Scholars).”

2. Making takfir of an individual who follows another faith like


Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and any other religion. All
Muslims (lay men, daaeeis, students of knowledge and
scholars) can (and have to) make takfir of a person who
belongs to this group based on their actions and beliefs because
their actions are major kufr (disbelieve) and their beliefs are major
kufr and Allah and his messenger have made takfir of these people in
the Quran and Sunnah. Also there is an ijmah (consensus) of the
Muslims on this group being kufr based on their actions and beliefs.
Also there is an ijmah (consensus) of the Muslims on this group being
kufr based on their actions and beliefs.

Shaykh Ubaid al-Jabiree said in regard to these people “those


who have not responded to the call of Allah they are the Jews, the
Christians and the Hindus..; and these are the kuffaar (disbelievers)
due to the evidence in the Quran, the Sunnah and the ijmah
(consensus of the Scholars).”

So in regards to the above two categories all of the Muslims not just
the scholars can and must make takfir of every individual in the above
two categories. The Muslims who refuse to make takfir of these
individuals it is feared they may themselves become a kuffaar like
these individuals due to this action of with holding from making
takfir.

Imam Mohammed Ibn Abdil Wahab states in his ten nullifiers


of Islam (in regards to those with no religion and follows of other
faiths). The third nullifier is: Whoever does not hold the mushriks (or
any other type of kaafir) to be disbelievers, or has doubts about their
disbelief or considers their ways and beliefs to be correct, has
committed kufr (disbelief). Muallafaat al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn
Abd al-Wahhaab, 212, 213
Making takfir of an individual with no religion and the individual who
follows another faith so they reject and deny the five pillars of Islam
and the six pillars of emaan and they state they are not Muslim,
TAKFIR OF SUCH A PERSON IS OBLIGATORY ON ALL
MUSLIMS NOT JUST THE SCHOLARS, because it requires
hardly any knowledge of Islam what so ever and the danger
of getting this type of takfir wrong is nearly non-existent.
Even a new Muslim automatically understands that those who state
they are not Muslim and reject and deny the five pillars of Islam and
the six pillars of emaan are kuffaar.

But as for making takfir of an individual Muslim who claims to be


Muslim states he believes in the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars
of emaan and may do some may be not all of the obligatory and
recommend acts of Islam out of their own free will requires a great
deal of knowledge and the danger of getting this type of
takfir wrong is great SO ONLY THE SCHOLARS CAN MAKE
THIS TYPE OF TAKFIR (as explained early in this section).

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Condition Of Takfir Al-Muayyin (Takfir


Of A Particular Individual) From The Muslims

Shaykh Muhammad Umar Bazmool clarified the 2nd, 3rd and


4th conditions in regarding to making takfir of an individual Muslim
he said, “And a specific individual does not become a kaafir in their
view (Ahlus Sunnah) except with the fulfilment of the following
matters:
Shaykh Muhammad Umar Bazmool words are everything
outside of the brackets.

2nd: Establishment of the proof (from Quran, Sunnah and


Ijmah (consensus of the companions of the prophet
Mohammed or after they all died the consensus of the
scholars Ahlus Sunnah) (Ibn Taymiyyah agreed with this
condition he said in his Majmoo al-Fataawa (12/466), “It is not
proper for a person to declare anyone a Kaafir from amongst the
Muslims… until the evidence is established against him…” Shaykh
Uthaymeen also agreed with the condition of establishing the proof,
he said, “For the judgement of the takfir of a (individual) Muslim…the
evidence that this matter (his action of kufr or statement of kufr) is
something that expels from the religion is established (upon this
individual Muslim proofing to him from the Quran, Sunnah or ijmah
that this Muslims action or statement was haraam and kufr as he may
not even have known his action was haraam let alone kufr.).”)

3rd: Affirmation of the [fulfilment] of the conditions are:

A) (Ilm) Acquisition of correct knowledge.

B) (Qasd) Corroboration of the wilful intent (to utter the


saying or perform the action.)
(Shaykh Uthaymeen also agreed with the condition of Ilm and
Qasd, he said, “…the application of the ruling (of takfir of an
individual Muslim) upon the one who does that (a statement of kufr
(disbelief) or an action of kufr), is that he has knowledge (ilm) of it
(he is aware of his actions so he is not crazy or intoxicated for
example) and that he intends (qasd) it (he did not say the
statement of kufr or do the action kufr intending to do a halaal action
but did this action or said this statement by accident for example).”)

4th: The absence of any barriers (preventative factors of


making takfir al-muayyin (takfir of an individual), which
are four, and which are incompatible with (cancel out) the
conditions (of ilm and qasd)

(Ibn Taymiyyah agreed with this condition, he said, “Indeed takfir


has…impediments (preventative factors, that) are (in need of being)
negated in regards to an individual (Muslim, if it is to be proven using
the conditions of takfir that he is kaafir).” Majmoo al-Fataawa
12/487, 488)

(Listed below are the four preventative factors of takfir al-muayyin of


a Muslim.)

1. Ignorance that negates knowledge. (When a Muslim has no


knowledge due to his ignorance of the religion that he has done an act
or said a statement of kufr then he is held accountable for this. Allah
only holds Muslims to account and punishes them after they know (so
they are no longer ignorant) they should not hold this belief of kufr,
or do that act or say that statement of kufr. Allaah says ,“And
Allaah will never lead a people astray after He has guided
them until He makes clear to them as to what they should
avoid (they are not ignorant of what they should avoid).
Verily, Allaah is the All-Knower of everything” [al-Tawbah
9:115]

Ibn Taymiyyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (12/180), “…the one


who understands (is not ignorant of) the message brought by the
Messenger, but deliberately goes against the way of the Messenger
after true guidance has become clear to him, and follows a path other
than that of the believers, is a kaafir.”

Ibn Taymiyyah also explained the condition of the Muslim who is


ignorant due laziness in seeking knowledge concerning the religion,
he said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (12/180), The one who…fails to seek
the truth and speaks without knowledge is a disobedient sinner...”

Shaykh Uthaymeen said “if he is ignorant, he does not become a


disbeliever, due to His saying, “And whoever contends with the
Messenger after the guidance has been made clear to him, and he
follows a path other than the path of the believers, We shall leave him
in the path he has chosen and land him in Jahannam (hell), an evil
refuge” (4:115) and His saying, “And Allaah is not one to misguide a
people after He has guided them, until He explains to them that
which they should avoid…” (9:115), and His saying, “And We never
punish until we have sent a Messenger.” (17.15).

However, when this person is neglectful in abandoning learning and


attaining clarity, he is not to be excused. Such as when it reaches him
that this action of his is kufr, and then he does not verify it (that it is
as such), and nor does he investigate, then in this situation, he is not
to be excused.” Liqaa ul-Baab al-Maftooh (v36. No 1020))

2. Compulsion that negates wilful intent. (When a Muslim is forced


to do an act or say a statement of kufr involuntarily while not
accepting this statement or action as correct in his heart. He is not to
be judge to be a kaafir in that case, because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): “Whoever disbelieved in
Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced there to
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” [al-Nahl 16:106] and
Allaah says, “And whoever contradicts and opposes the
Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to
him (i.e. he is no longer ignorant of the right path because
Allah showed the man the right path through the mans
knowledge of the right path), and follows other than the
believers’ way, We shall keep him in the path he has
chosen, and burn him in Hell — what an evil destination!”
[al-Nisa’ 4:115]
Shaykh Uthaymeen said “A man is compelled to prostrate to an
idol, so he prostrates. And another is compelled to utter a statement
of kufr, so he says it. Have both of these men disbelieved? No.

Because Allaah has said, Whoever disbelieved in Allah


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 Allah, and theirs will be a
great torment. [Nahl 16:106]

So His statement "Whoever disbelieves in Allaah after having faith" is


inclusive of the one who disbelieves by words or deeds. So this man
who prostrated to an idol under compulsion and the man who uttered
a statement of disbelief under compulsion, is his action one of kufr or
not? Yes, his action is one of kufr. But is he a kafir? No. This is
because, there exists a preventative barrier that restrains from takfir,
and that is compulsion.” Liqaa ul-Baab al-Maftooh (v36. No 1020))

3. Error (Mistake) which negates wilful intent. (So when a person


errors and does an act or says a statement of kufr by accident this
means the action or statement takes place unintentionally. Every act
or statement of kufr that a Muslim commits because he makes a
mistake is forgiven by Allaah, Allaah says, “Our Lord! Punish
us not if we forget or fall into error (a mistake)” [al-
Baqarah 2:286]. So the Muslim is only brought to account for what
he does deliberately, not for what he does by mistake
unintentionally.)
4. Faulty interpretation that negates wilful intent (as it leads to
misinterpretation. When a Muslim misunderstands something from
the religion but he does not realise so, he thinks he has understood
this issue from the religion correctly while he really has not
understood the issue correctly and therefore does an act, statement or
holds a believe of kufr based on his misunderstanding of a certain
Islamic issue he is not judge to be a kaafir as he done this
unintentionally believing he is correct not knowing he was wrong.
Judging a Muslim to be a kaafir is not valid except in the case of the
one who deliberately goes against the shariah evidence and who
knows that he is wrong. Allaah says, “And there is no sin on
you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except
in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And
Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Ahzaab
33:5]

Ibn Taymiyyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (12/180), “With regard


to takfir the correct view is that a member of the ummah of
Muhammad who strives to reach the truth concerning a certain issue,
but reaches the wrong conclusion (due to a faulty interpretation of the
Quran and Sunnah), is not to be deemed a kaafir, rather he will be
forgiven for his mistake.)

So no judgement of disbelief upon a specific individual is not made


until these matters are corroborated, as opposed to (the case) of takfir
al-mutlaq (general takfir).”
The 5th Condition Of Takfir Al-Muayyin (Takfir Of A
Particular Individual) From The Muslims:

The last condition is there has to be ijmah (consensus) of the scholars


of Ahlus Sunnah on the takfir of an individual Muslim who was made
takfir of by a scholar Ahlus Sunnah.

The takfires wish to reject this condition because often they make
takfir of the Muslim rulers, governments and others and these takfirs
of theirs are always rejected by the scholars and as the scholars
believe their takfir of these individuals as unjustified.

So the takfires have never ever had an ijmah of the scholars on any of
their takfirs, so in order to make their takfirs seem legitimate they
claim it is not a condition for some ones (they should say a scholars
takfir but they rejected that condition) takfir to be correct that the
scholars have to have an ijmah on this takfir.

However what they fail to understand is takfir is not a small matter


especially takfir of individual rulers, it is a matter of public security
one the greatest matters of public security.

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Matters related to public welfare and


safety (umoorul-'aammah) - from the matters related to Sharee'ah
politics, peace, security and fear - should be referred back to the
oolul-amr (those in authority).”
Allah says, “And when there comes to them something (I.e.
information) about (public) security or fear, they spread it
around. But if they had only referred it back to the
Messenger or to those in authority (oolul-amr) among them,
then the ones who can draw correct conclusions from it
would have known about it. And if not for the favour of
Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed
Satan, except for a few.”{an-Nisaa (4): 83}

The oolul-amr (those in authority) are the scholars as they are the
authority in regards to religious affairs and the Muslim rulers as they
are the authority in regards to the worldly affairs.

Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “This is why those who


are in authority are of two groups: the scholars (scholars is in the
plural form this denotes more than just one scholar, it denotes many
if not all the scholars) and the rulers.”

So when a person makes takfir of anyone but especially the rulers and
governments like the takfires often do this is a matter of public
security so this matter must be returned to those who are in authority
(oolul-amr). Those in authority are the rulers and all of the scholars
so takfir must be returned to the scholars as they are the authority in
religious matters and then if they (the scholars) collectively
agree on a persons takfir then they can inform the ruler who is in
charge of the worldly matters so he can carry out the hudood for
apostasy on this individual.
Even though the takfires deny this condition the verse in surah an-
Nisaa (4:83) proves that takfir has to be referred back to the scholars
for the scholars agreed judgement. When all the scholars make and
agreed judgement on any issue it is known as an ijmah hence the
condition: there has to be ijmah (consensus) of the scholars of Ahlus
Sunnah on the takfir of an individual Muslim who was made takfir of
by a scholar Ahlus Sunnah.

Imaam as-Sa'dee commented on the verse discussed above surah an-


Nisaa (4:83).

Allah says, “And when there comes to them something (I.e.


information) about (public) security or fear, they spread it
around. But if they had only referred it back to the
Messenger or to those in authority (oolul-amr) among them,
then the ones who can draw correct conclusions from it
would have known about it. And if not for the favour of
Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed
Satan, except for a few.”{an-Nisaa (4): 83}

Imaam as-Sa'dee said "This is the disciplinary admonition from


Allaah to His Servants with regards to their unbefitting action. And
that it is a must for them, that when there comes to them some
news concerning important issues (like takfir) - such as
issues connected to public welfare and safety of the
Believers, or those that are related to breach of security, or fear of a
calamity befalling them - that they should first verify such news and
not be hasty in spreading it.

Rather, they should refer such issues back to the Messenger (after his
death refers to his authentic Sunnah),

and to the people in authority (Imam Ibn Katheer, said, “those


who are in authority (oolul-amr), (are) from the rulers and the
scholars (scholars is in the plural form this denotes more than just
one scholar, it denotes many if not all the scholars).”)

; Those who possess knowledge, understanding, sound advice,


intellect, maturity and composure; those who understand the affairs
and have knowledge of the associated benefits and harms (these
people are the scholars collectively).

If they see that in broadcasting it there is a benefit and a nashaat and


a cause of happiness for the Believers, and a means of protection from
their enemies, then they should do so. But if they see that there is no
benefit in it, or that there is some benefit but the harm in it is greater,
then they should not do so.

This is why Allaah said: "Then the proper people (the scholars
as they are the oolul-amr) would have investigated and
evaluated the matter from them."
Meaning: That they (the scholars) would (have) evaluated it with
there sound understanding, there firm and correct knowledge.

So in this is an evidence for an important principle which is: If there


arises a need to investigate a particular issue, then it is obligatory that
it is left to those who are qualified for it (the scholars), and no one
should precede them in this - and this is what is closer to what is
correct, and safer from error.

And in this also is a prohibition of being hasty and impatient in


spreading the news as soon as they hear it.

Likewise there is a command to reflect and consider before speaking,


so he looks into it to see if there is a benefit in doing so, if so he
embarks upon it, and if not, he abstains from it."

If a person understands the words of Imaam as-Sa'dee properly then


they would understand that when issues of public safety and security
arise such as takfir especially takfir of the Muslim ruler this issue
should be referred to those who possess knowledge, understanding,
sound advice, intellect, maturity and composure; those who
understand the affairs and have knowledge of the associated benefits
and harms.

Those people are the scholars and the laymen, daaeeis or students of
knowledge are not from the people of who possess knowledge,
understanding, sound advice, intellect, maturity and composure;
those who understand the affairs and have knowledge of the
associated benefits and harms.

The reason for this they have been commanded by Allah to turn to the
scholars, so how then can they (the laymen, daaeeis or students of
knowledge) be people who can issue verdicts of takfir on individual
Muslims, when this is an issue of public safety on which only the
scholars can speak and have to agree upon.

Shaykh Dr Baasim bin Faysal al-Jawaabirah explained that the


scholars are to be referred to in regards to newly-arisen issues.

He said, “There is no doubt that the scholars are the inheritors of the
Prophets except that they are not infallible and Allah instructed that
they be resorted back to

(Allah said), “Ask the people of remembrance (i.e. the


scholars) if you do not know.” {an-Nahl (16): 43)...”

Therefore after a SCHOLAR has issued takfir on an individual


Muslim and this SCHOLAR believes he has fulfilled the pervious
conditions of takfir (which have been discussed early). THEN ALL
THE SCHOLARS OF AHLUS SUNNAH HAVE TO LOOK
INTO HIS TAKFIR TO SEE IF THEY AGREE OR DISAGREE
with this takfir then IF THERE IS IJMAH (SCHOLARLY
CONSENUS) on his takfir being correct and then his takfir of this
individual Muslim will be an established fact in the Ummah which no
one from the Muslims can deny or disagree with.

Even though the verdict of takfir may be issued by a scholar and held
as correct by some others it is not considered a binding fact upon
every Muslim to hold takfir of this individual as correct and
something to be followed unless ALL THE SCHOLARS OF
AHLUS SUNNAH AGREE on this individuals takfir. So takfir of no
Muslim can be established in this ummah as a fact if the scholars
differ over this person’s takfir.

Ibn Abdul Barr said, “The Quran and the Sunnah clearly forbid
making tasfeeq and takfir of a Muslim without ambiguity. Whoever’s
Islaam is affirmed at any given time according to the consensus of the
Muslims and then commits a sin or makes a false interpretation then
after that they (the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah) differed
over whether the person had left Islaam or not.

But their difference was only after their consensus with a proof (that
the person did commit kufr of action (minor kufr) but uncertain
whether this person did kufr of belief (major kufr)), for one is not
agreed upon to have been expelled from Islaam except with another
agreed upon ruling (by the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah), or
with an affirmed Sunnah which does not contradict the ruling.
Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, who are the people of fiqh and athar, have
agreed on the fact that one is not expelled from Islaam due to
committing a sin, even if it be major.

The people of innovation differed from this and what is obligatory


upon inspection is that takfir is not made except when all (the
scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah) have reached a
consensus on the person’s takfir or when there is an evidence
justifying the person’s takfir from the Book and the Sunnah (which in
turn will lead to a consensus on the person’s takfir).” At-
Tamheed fi’l-Muwatta’ min al-Ma’aani wa’l-Asaaneed (Morocco:
Wazeerat ul-Awqaf al-Maghribiyyah, 1967 CE), vol.17, p.22

Ibn Aabideen stated: “One should not judge a Muslim with


kufr especially when his words can possibly be good (have a meaning
other than that of major kufr), or there was a difference of
opinion in regards to the person’s kufr even with a weak
narration. Based on this, most of the relayed terms of takfeer do not
justify takfeer and I myself adhere to not give these rulings.”
Haashiyat Ibn ’Aabideen (Daar ul-Fikr, 1399 AH, 2nd Edn.), vol.4,
p.224

Shaykh Uthman ibn Fodio said, “The judgment of one’s faith


(whether you’re a Muslim or a kaafir apostate) is built upon
the outward in this world in accordance with the Book [Quran],
the Sunnah and the Consensus [ijma] of the Scholars. Allah
says, “Do not say to those who give you the greetings of peace: ‘You
are not a believer.” Ihyas Sunnah wa Ikhmadul Bida

Imam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhaab said “We (the scholars


of Ahlus Sunnah) do not make takfir except in accordance with what
the all of the scholars have agreed upon (amount to major
kufr)” Ad-Durur as-Sunniyyah, vol.1, p.102.

Also Shaykh Uthaymeen transmitted that takfir is not an issue


which is disputed, in al-Qawaa’id al-Muthla he said, “You will find
from many people today, from those who attach themselves to the
religion and to protecting the religion of Allah, making takfir of those
who neither Allah made takfir of or His Messenger. Rather indeed,
unfortunately, some people have begun to discuss their rulers and try
to impugn them with kufr due to them having merely done something
which those people believe is haraam. Yet the matter could be
one about which there is a difference of opinion…”

This understanding is based on he fact that to make takfir of an


individual Muslim a person needs to see clear explicit disbelief
(kufran bawaahan) as in the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim the
prophet explained to the sahaba do not oppose the command of the
Muslim ruler, the prophet said, ‘‘except if you were to see clear
explicit disbelief (kufran bawaahan) about which you have a
proof from Allah.’’ Imam Nawawi stated inRiyadh us-Saaliheen
when explaining the word ‘buwaahan’ meaning ‘clear and explicit’
and it does not need any interpretation. So clear and explicit means
no one scholar should differ over this person’s takfir if his kufr
(disbelief) is clear and explicit about which all the scholars have a
proof from Allah.

How Should The Ummah Act After Takfir Has Been Made
Of A Muslim Individual & All The Conditions Of Takfir Have
Been Fulfilled

After all of the above conditions have been fulfilled and agreed upon
by all the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah, then and only then
can the students of knowledge, the daaeeis and the lay people believe
in their hearts and declare on their tongues that this person who was
made takfir of is a kaafir.

How Should The Ummah Act After Takfir Has Been Made
Of A Muslim Individual But Not All Of The Conditions Of
Takfir Have Been Fulfilled

If takfir of a Muslim person is declared by a scholar (takfir declared


by a student of knowledge, a daaeei or a layman is always rejected as
it is a condition of takfir that only a scholar can issue takfir as stated
previously in this article) on someone but only some, none or not all
of the conditions of takfir are fulfilled then it is not allowed for the
scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah, the students of knowledge,
the daaeeis and the lay people to believe in their hearts and declare on
their tongues that this person who was made takfir of is a kaafir.
The correct position is for the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah,
the students of knowledge, the daaeeis and the lay people to believe in
their hearts and declare on their tongues that this person who was
made takfir of is still a Muslim. The scholar who declared this takfir
has made a mistake as he has not fulfilled the conditions of takfir on
this Muslim so his takfir is invalid.

The Reason Why These Conditions Must Be Followed

Takfir of a Muslim if it is correct makes the blood; property and


honour of a Muslim lawful so due to this these conditions of takfire
above must be adhered too in order not to make a mistake as the
Muslims blood; property and honour are sacred.

As Once the Prophet (Mohammed) was riding his camel and a man
was holding its rein. The Prophet asked, "What is the day today?" We
kept quiet, thinking that he might give that day another name. He
said, "Isn't it the day of Nahr (slaughtering of the animals of sacrifice
i.e. Eid al-Adha)" We replied, "Yes." He further asked, "Which month
is this?" We again kept quiet, thinking that he might give it another
name. Then he said, "Isn't it the month of Dhul-Hijja?" We replied,
"Yes." He said, "Verily! Your blood, property and honour
are sacred to one another (i.e. Muslims) like the sanctity of
this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this city of
yours (I think the city is Mecca but it may be Medina Allah
knows best)." Recorded in Bukhari & Muslim.
Side Point: Warning Against Takfir

Takfires and any Muslims influenced by them who makes unjustified


takfir (takfir but with out fulfilling the conditions of takfir outlined in
this article) of individual Muslimsby saying things like you kafir or
you muwnafiq etc, should known that takfir is such a dangerous and
serious matter that it has been warned against by the prophet
Mohammed and a number of scholars. A Muslim must not take the
issue of takfir against other individual Muslims lightly or in jest.

From Abee Dharr that he heard the Prophet say: “If somebody
accuses another person of Fusooq (evil doing) or accuses
him of Kufr, then such an accusation will revert to him (i.e.
the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent of
that.” Bukhaaree hadeeth no. 6045

From Aboo Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah said: “If a man
says to his brother; “O kaafir” then it goes back to one of
them.” reported by Bukhaaree, hadeeth no.6103

In the Two Saheehs from Ibn Umar who said: the Messenger of
Allaah said: “Whenever a man says to his brother: “O
kaafir!” then it applies to one of them or it returns to the
one who actually said it first.” The hadeeth is agreed upon, Al-
Bukhaaree, as-Saheeh, hadeeth no.6104; Muslim, as-Saheeh,
hadeeth no. 111. In the narration of Muslim it is mentioned “if a
man makes takfeer of his brother”.
The Messenger of Allaah said “Whoever curses a believer it is
as if he has killed him and whoever accuses a believer of
kufr it is as if he has killed him.” Bukhaaree, hadeeth no.6105

Shaykh Dr Baasim bin Faysal al-Jawaabirah said “The


conclusion from these ahaadeeth is that if the accused is actually a
disbeliever then he is branded as so in accordance with the principles
of the Divine Legislation and the accuser has spoken the truth. But if
they accused s not a disbeliever then the accusation of kufr will go
back to the accuser who will carry the burden of kufr along with his
sin, this is the most balanced answer as stated by al-Haafidh Ibn
Hajar.” Takfeer: Fee Daw’ is-Sunnah in-Nabawiyyah

al-Haleemee said “If a Muslim said that (you are a kaafir) to


another Muslim then there is two aspects to this:

1. That the deen in which the person believes is kufr (the


person is a follower of another religion) and thus (this person) is
to made takfir of on account of this.
2. Or the accuser intends that the person is a disbeliever
internally (i.e. he is kaafir due to his believes) yet manifests
emaan (actions of a Muslim e.g. praying fasting reading Quran
etc) out of nifaaq (hypocrisy), in this case the accused is not made
takfir of.

If the accuser does not intend anything then the accused is not to be
made takfir of due to what the person manifests outwardly and the
accuser will be accusing without knowing what is in the person’s soul
(however the accuser would have still committed a major sin) .”

Ibn Taymiyyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (3/229), “those who sit


with me know this about me, I am always one of those who most
emphatically forbid describing a specific person (among the Muslims)
as a kaafir, faasiq or sinner, unless it is known that shariah proof has
been established against him, and it has been proven whether he is a
kaafir, a faasiq or a sinner.”

Ibn Abi’l-’Izz al-Hanafi stated: It is from the greatest forms of


transgression to declare that a specific person (wrongly) will neither
be forgiven by Allaah nor shown mercy, and that the person will
remain in Hellfire eternally as this is the judgement on a disbeliever
after death. Al-Iqtisaad fi’l-’I’tiqaad vol.2, p.436

Shawkaanee said, “You should know that the ruling expelling a


Muslim man from the deen of Islaam and applying kufr to him is not
befitting for a Muslim who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to do
except with clear proof that is clearer than the sun. For it is affirmed
in the authentic hadeeth via a group of Sahaabah that whoever says to
his brother “O kaafir!” the statement refers to one of them. Within
these ahaadeeth are the sternest threats and the major admonitions
are with regards to hastiness in takfeer.” Muhammad bin ’Ali ash-
Shawkaanee, Mahmood Ibraaheem (ed.), As-Sayl ul-Jaraar (Beirut:
Daar ul-’Alamiyyah, 1405 AH), vol.4, p.578
Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab said “Generally it is obligatory
for the one who advises his own self to not speak in regards to this
issue except with knowledge and clear proof from Allaah, and in order
to warn those who expel people from Islaam merely on account of
their misunderstandings or what their minds desire. For expelling a
man from Islaam, or his entry, is from the most important matters of
the deen and Shaytaan has caused many people to slip in regards to
this issue.” Abdullaah bin Muhammad bin ’AbdulWahhaab, ad-
Durur as-Saniyyah (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami,n.d.), vol.8, p.217

Al-Qurtubee stated, “The issue of takfeer is a dangerous matter


wherein many people that have tried to establish it have fallen short
and those who have withheld from it have been safe.” 2 Al-Mufhim,
vol.3, p.111 and Fath ul-Baaree, vol.12, p.314

Ibn Aabideen stated, “One should not judge a Muslim with kufr
especially when his words can possibly be good, or there was a
difference of opinion in regards to the person’s kufr even with a weak
narration. Based on this, most of the relayed terms of takfire do not
justify takfire and I myself adhere to not give these rulings.”
Haashiyat Ibn ’Aabideen (Daar ul-Fikr, 1399 AH, 2nd Edn.), vol.4,
p.224

Ibn Hajar al-Haytamee said, “The Mufti should be as cautious as


can be with regards to takfeer due to its great danger. Our Imaams
(meaning from the Shaafi’ee madhdhab) have always been upon this
past and present.” Tuhfat ul-Muhtaaj, vol.4, p.84