Who Has The Right To Make Takfir al-Muayyin (Takfir Of An Individual) Of Muslims & The Kuffaar

The takfires (those who make unjustified takfir) claim any one can make takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a particular individual) and it is incorrect to claim only that only the scholars can make takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a particular individual). The reason they say this is because they always make takfir of individual Muslim rulers but the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah (who they take their fiqh, tafsir, hadeeth checking and aqeedah from etc) do not make takfir of the Muslim rulers.

Due to the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah not making takfir on today’s Muslim rulers, the takfires have decided they and other Muslims (lay men, daaeeis and student s of knowledge) can make takfir on individual Muslims especial the Muslim rulers.

The issue of who can make takfir of a specific individual is one that needs clarification however the takfires never clarify the issue, this helps them distort the issue of can make takfir so they can justify their own position.

The people who takfir can be made of are different and therefore those who have the right to make takfir of each type of people are different. Those who can make takfir of a person/the people who takfir can be made of, has different categories. So some people only the scholars can make takfir of and some people every Muslim can and has to make takfir of as it is obligatory upon every Muslim to make takfir of these people.

These categories are:

First: The Original Kaafir

They are dived into two.

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).”

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

Second: The Apostate From Islam

Making takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a particular individual) of Muslims (including Muslim rulers) claiming they have apostated from Islam, is a type of takfir that is only for the scholars and it is not for the Muslim lay men, daaeeis or students of knowledge. Because unlike the other categories this type of takfir is of an individual who claims to believe in the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of emaan.

So in the Quran and Sunnah this type of person has not been made takfir of unlike the individual who belongs to the other two categories. The reason for this is that they outwardly appear to be Muslim and claim to hold Islamic beliefs. Therefore this type of person can only be made takfir of on an individual basis when the proof is established against him, the conditions for takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a particular individual) are fulfilled and the impediments (preventative factors of making takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a particular individual)) are negated.

Ibn Taymiyyah 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…”

Ibn Taymiyyah also said, “Indeed takfir has conditions and impediments (that) are negated in regards to an individual (if it is proven using the conditions of takfir that he is kaafir).” Majmoo al-Fataawa 12/487, 488

Shaykh Muhammad Umar Bazmul explained clarified the two statements of Ibn Taymiyyah above regarding making takfir of an individual when he said, “And a specific individual does not become a kaafir in their view (Ahlus Sunnah) except with the fulfilment of the following matters:

1: Establishment of the proof (from Quran, Sunnah and Ijmah (of the sahaba or the scholars)

2: Affirmation of the [fulfilment] of the conditions are:

  • (Ilm) Acquisition of correct knowledge
  • (Qasd) Corroboration of the wilful intent (to utter the saying or perform the action)

3: 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)

  • Ignorance that negates knowledge
  • Compulsion (hat negates wilful intent
  • Error which negates wilful intent
  • Faulty interpretation that negates wilful intent

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).”

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Indeed the takfir al-Mutlaq (general takfir) does not necessitate takfir al-muayyin (takfir on an individual), unless (the proof is first established on the individual and) the conditions (of takfir al-muayyin) are met and the impediments (preventative factors of making takfir al-muayyin) are negated.” Majmoo al-Fataawa 12/487, 488 

The above conditions:

  1. establishment of proof,
  2. conditions for takfir al-muayyin being fulfilled
  3. impediments (preventative factors of making takfir al-muayyin being negated,

are only for the takfir of an individual MUSLIM NOT TAKFIR OF AN INDIVDUAL KAFFIR, because they are kuffaar simply by stating and believing that they are not Muslims and Islam is not the truth, so conditions for their individual takfir is not needed.

Qadi Iyad said, “We (all the Muslims)  regard as a kaafir everyone who follows a religion other than the religion of the Muslims (including an individual with no religion i.e. an Atheist (those who do not believe in Allah) or an Agnostic (those who believe in Allah but reject all religions including Islam))…” Al-Shifaa’ bi Ta’reef Huqooq al-Mustafaa, 2/1071

Due to the conditions (establishment of proof, conditions for takfir al-muayyin being fulfilled and the impediments (preventative factors of making takfir al-muayyin being negated) which are needed before takfir of an individual can be declared. Making takfir upon other Muslims is reserved for those who have a lot of Islamic knowledge such as the scholars.

Based on this 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 (wullaat al-amr). 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 Allaah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allaah 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. Allaah 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 among them, then the ones who can draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it. And if not for the favour of Allaah 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 faasiq” and the man is not like that (i.e. neither a kaafir nor a faasiq) the ruling can return upon the one who said it, and Allaah’s refuge is sought. This is a very dangerous issue, so it is upon the one who fears Allaah 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

So in conclusion the issue of can make takfir can be summed up as follows:

  1. Making takfir of those with no religion. It is obligatory on all Muslims (lay men, daaeeis, students of knowledge and scholars) to make takfir generally and specifically of these people.
  2. Making takfir of those who follow other faiths. It is obligatory on all Muslims (lay men, daaeeis, students of knowledge and scholars) to make takfir generally and specifically of these people.
  3. Making takfir of Muslims. It is obligatory only on the scholars to make takfir of these people the other Muslims can not and must make takfir of these people. So the lay men, daaeeis and students of knowledge must with hold from making takfir of these people in general and specifically.

The takfires think because they can make and Allah has made it obligatory to make takfir of those with no religion and those who follow other faiths that it must also by obligatory upon them and everyone to also make takfir of Muslims who do an act or hold a belief of kufr.

But this is not the case for one simple reason. The individual with no religion and the individual who follows another faith rejects and denies the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of emaan and they state they are not Muslim so to make takfir of such a person is obligatory on all Muslims (scholar or other than a scholar) because it  requires hardly any knowledge of Islam what so ever. Even a new Muslim automatically understands that those who are not Muslim and reject and deny the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of emaan are kuffaar.

On the other hand making takfir of individual Muslims like the Muslim rulers is only the right of the scholars. The reason for this is making takfir of a Muslim who believes in the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of emaan, says they are Muslim and do may be not all but a least some of the obligatory and recommend acts of Islam out of their own free will requires a great deal of knowledge. They need knowledge of:

  • the types of kufr the ruling on each type,
  • the factors that prevent takfir like ignorance and mistake (non-will full intent) etc,
  • they need the ability to explain the verse from the Quran and hadeeth from the Sunnah that help the one being made takfir understand why  he is being made takfir of,
  • high level of Arabic language (grammar etc)
  • and many other branches of knowledge relate to takfir of general groups of Muslims and specific individuals.

Also the one making takfir of a Muslim could be wrong and because the matter of takfir is so serious, and mistakes therein are so grave the every Muslim who is not a scholar should refrain from indulging in that. Instead he should focus on acquiring beneficial knowledge that will set his own affairs straight in this world and the hereafter.

In conclusion all Muslim can and must make takfir of the kuffaar however only the scholars can make takfir of Muslims due to;

  1. The level of knowledge needed to make takfir of a person who says, claims to believe in the in Allah and his prophet, and acts upon this believe, even if it is only by praying on Fridays (jummah), fasting in Ramadan, and by going hajj and doing nothing else, is vast. The reason why the level of knowledge needed to make takfir of a Muslim is so much is because of all the proofs that need to be established upon a person and the preventive factors which need to be looked in to.
  2. The other reason only the scholars can make takfir of individual Muslims is because takfir is something which a scholar or a layman could get wrong. The danger, the problems and the tribulation that would result from an incorrect takfir being made of an individual is great. So to minimise the danger of takfir being made incorrectly the right to make takfir of Muslims has been left with the scholars as they are least like to get takfir incorrect as they have the most knowledge and the best understanding of the Quran, the Sunnah and the Islamic principals in regard to takfir of Muslims.

Those Muslims who from the laymen, daaeeis or students of knowledge who wish to make takfir of the Muslim rulers or takfir of any other individual Muslim should with hold his tongue. If he makes takfir he is from the Ruwaybidah.

The Messenger of Allah said: “There will come upon the people years of deceit wherein the liar will be regarded as truthful and the truthful will be considered a liar and the dishonest will be trusted and the trustworthy one will be considered dishonest and the Ruwaybidah will begin to speak!” Then it was asked: “What are the Ruwaybidah?” He replied: “The foolish insignificant man who speaks about general affairs.” Ibn Maajah, Saheeh

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About Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
This entry was posted in REFUTATIONS OF THE KHAWARIJ CREED and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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