Why Does Mocking Religion and Prostrating Idols Constitute Disbelief?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


I had a question regarding what constitutes kufr. I read on a SeekersGuidance fatwa that the only thing that constitutes kufr is negating something necessarily known by the religion. The thing is, I’ve also read that mocking the religion is kufr, prostrating in front of an idol and saying you are a kaffir whether joking or not.

So my question is, how can these things be kufr when that which is kufr is a denial of what is necessarily known, and these things are acts, not beliefs?


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

The premise that disbelief (kufr) is “only” negating what is necessarily known from the religion is not entirely true. [Tahawi; al-Aqida al-Tahawiyya]

Additionally, voluntary actions are generally representations of one’s beliefs. Thus if one does an action that is meant for worship and directs that action to an idol, this outward action is indicative of an inward belief.

Furthermore, we were commanded to judge by the outward, as matters of the heart are veiled from us. Allah Most High, however, will judge each person by what is in their hearts. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Judging by Outward

‘Umar bin al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) narrated, saying, “People used to be judged via revelation at the time of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace). Revelation has ceased. Now we judge people according to what is apparent to us of your deeds. Whoever makes apparent good, we give them safety and draw them near. We have nothing to do with their inner states; Allah will take them to task for their inner states. And whoever makes evil apparent, we don’t grant them any guarantee of safety, and we will not believe them, even if they say their inner states are good.” [Bukhari]

The same thing applies to intentionally mocking religion. One would only do such a thing if they disbelieved in it. Therefore, the action is given the same ruling as disbelief itself, as the two are consequently related.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.