Are We to Refrain from Making Takfir Completely?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


I read one of your PDFs on takfir and it was very beneficial, however I would like to ask some further related questions.

Based on the article it’s absolutely not my right to make takfir of anyone, however what is said about Qadiyanis who believe that there was another Prophet after our Prophet. Can I not even declare them to be Kafir? 

Also what about people these days who make the Haram into halal such as homosexuality…are we still to refrain from making takfir on such people?


I pray you are well.

The Declaration of Takfir

Takfir, the declaration of a particular individual to be a disbeliever, is the role of a judge. This is because there are rulings connected to it, such as the division of inheritance, ‘idda, etc. 

It is not the job of the layman to be declaring another to be a kafir. There are nuances and positions of other scholars which are to be considered. Most people are now aware of these things, so it is best to stay clear of such matters unless one has the requisite training and authority. (Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al Muhtar)

Identifying Disbelief

Beyond this, on a general level, it is permissible to identify an idea or action as being kufr? Yes – but it should not be directed towards an individual. 

Allah said, “Indeed, those who said, ‘God is [Jesus] the Messiah, the son of Mary’ have truly disbelieved.” (Quran, 5:17) For a believer to assert this is permissible, and to identify someone who believes this, such as the Pope, as a disbeliever according to the standards of Islam is permissible.

Stating that anyone who believes in the another Prophet after the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) and highlighting the Qadiyani group is permissible. 

With regards to homosexuality, it is important to be clear on your terms. Male to male anal penetration is haram, and declaring that to be halal would be disbelief, as it would contradict the primary texts. For someone to have homosexual tendencies is not intrinsically haram. There are people who have them, yet they do not act upon them. This is not haram. It is a test for them.

Focus on Character

It is better to focus on improving your character through learning about the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). This will help one a great deal in this life and the next. One of the first and foremost things one should learn about is the harms of argumentation.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ”I am the guarantor of a house in the outskirts of Paradise for someone who leaves arguing – even if he is right.” (Abu Dawud) Reflect on that.

Unfortunately, arguing about sects and who is and is not a disbeliever becomes a favourite religious hobby for many. Focusing on takfir is one of the matters which fuels this fire.

No good comes from a group of laymen who focus on takfir, sectarianism, and such matters. Either pay the price to discuss these matters by studying a full, structured curriculum with qualified teachers – which comes with other responsibilities too, or focus on what will help you in your din.

I personally know someone who was obsessed with sectarian matters – which do not nourish one’s faith – who almost ended up leaving Islam to become a Sikh. Learning about this topic for personal clarity is not a problem. Delving into it when it is not one’s role is a problem.

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.