Is It Permissible to Curse People in the Qunut Prayer?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

Can I curse my uncle and cousin who misbehave and disrespect me while reading the Qunut prayer of Fajr/Witr?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him.

Instead of cursing them, pray that Allah guides them and protects you from the harm of which you speak. Seek help if you need to and do not tolerate abuse. May Allah assist you in your test. Cursing them in the way you described is not permitted, and Allah knows best.

Islam is Not About Hate

Islam is a religion of love and beauty and not hatred. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I was not sent to curse people. I was only sent as a mercy.” [Muslim] And he said, “Do not curse the dead. They have already gone on to that which they put forward for themselves.” [Bukhari]

Cursing Individual Persons

Imam Ghazali tells us that cursing a specific corrupt person is not permissible. [Ghazali, Ihya Ulum al-Din]

Cursing a particular believer is a major sin [kabira], according to Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in his work on major sins. [Haytami, al-Zawajir ‘an Iqtiraf al-Kaba’ir, 2/93]

Cursing Unbelievers, Oppressors, and Satan

It is permitted to curse the disbelievers and the sinful in general, though not specific individuals, except those about whom it is undoubtedly known that they died in a state of disbelief.

Ibn ‘Abidin states in his Radd Al-Muhtar, “The reality of cursing (la’n) is to distance [someone] from Allah’s Mercy, which cannot be for other than an unbeliever (kafir).” [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

“Because of this, it is not permitted to curse a particular individual unless it is known that they died in a state of disbelief, with proof. As for Iblis (Satan) and the likes of Abu Jahl [who we know are in the Fire], it is permitted to curse them.”

“It is also permitted to curse non-specific individuals, such as wrongdoers and liars, because what is understood is these people as a category, and it necessarily includes those who shall die in disbelief. In such cases, the purpose of cursing would be to show that such a trait is a trait of unbelievers to warn and keep people away from it. One may not intend to curse every one of such a group because if cursing one particular individual, such as a given wrongdoer, is not permitted, then how would cursing every single oppressor be allowed?” [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, 3/416, K: al-Talaq, B: al-Raj‘a]

I pray that this answer benefits and Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.