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Am I Starting to Be a Disbeliever for Not Crying Anymore Regarding Bad Thoughts Towards Allah and His Messenger?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

I always have bad thoughts regarding Allah and his messenger (peace be upon him). At first these thoughts were making me crying but now, even if I still hate these thoughts they don’t make me cry anymore. Am I getting accustomed to them? Am I starting to be a disbeliever?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You are a Muslim. Remember that “bad thoughts” also arose in the minds of the Companions (sahab) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

They said, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.” [Muslim]

However, continue seeking repentance, as this is the sign of those who are close to Allah Most High, and strive to seek out ways to increase in worship, knowledge and remembrance, gradually, whilst not omitting any responsibilities you have.

Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.” [Sea Without Shore]

Please see: Passing Blasphemous Thoughts Leading to Despair and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is Not Praying in Congregation After Hearing the Adhan Disbelief?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

There is a Hadith that mentions that not praying in congregation after hearing the call to prayer is Kufr.

Is this Kufr that takes you outside of Islam?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I have been unable to locate the narration you have mentioned. Regardless, scholars have offered a variety of interpretations for such narrations, which do not lead to considering people actual disbelievers or hypocrites.

For example, it has been posited that such strong wording has been used to deter people from neglecting praying in congregation after hearing the call; or that the intent was to compare a person who would leave a congregational prayer after hearing the call to a disbeliever or hypocrite, who could be expected to do something like this; or that behaving in such a manner could lead to disbelief or hypocrisy; or a combination of the above.
In short, scholars have not tended to interpret such language literally.

Please see the following for a discussion on the use of ‘disbelief’ in a similar narration: Are the People Who Fought After the Prophet’s Death Disbelievers?

Shuaib Ally

Is Asking a Question About Uttering Statements of Disbelief Disbelief in Itself?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaikum

Someone has thoughts of disbelief and, in order to know the ruling, asks a scholar by writing saying that he has uttered this statements of disbelief.

Does writing this question make him a non muslim?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, this does not make one a non-Muslim.

What would take a person outside the faith is denying that which brought him into it, namely the testimony of faith and all that it entails of that which is necessarily known to be of the religion.

As for misgivings and passing thoughts of disbelief, they are no consequence as Sheikh Nuh Keller writes in Sea Without Shore, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.”

Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih collection that some of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless
him and give him peace) came and asked him, “We find in ourselves [thoughts] that any of us would consider too enormous to even mention.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “And you all have found it?” and they said yes. He said, “That is pure faith.”

Please see: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I Have Entertained Thoughts About The Disbelief of Another Muslim: Am I Still Muslim?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Salam, today I got very angry with someone and through my anger I felt that he had pride. I thought how can a muslim have pride when he knows he will enter hell for that? Then I thought maybe he is not muslim. But I heard that if a believer calls another believer a disbeliever then he is disbeliever himself. Am I still Muslim?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, you have not committed apostasy.
The Hadith of Pride
The Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No one with the slightest particle of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man remarked, “But a man likes his clothes to be nice and his sandals good.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily, Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is refusing to acknowledge what is right and considering others beneath one.” [Muslim]
The scholars explain that what is apparent is that they will not enter Paradise without punishment, and not that they won’t ever enter Paradise, as the believers in their entirety will enter Paradise eventually, even if after a time. [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]
With that, it is not our duty nor right to judge other people. If there needs to be judgement, it should be a good opinion (husn al-dhann). This is the adab of Islam. Anything else is foolishness and false piety. [see: Is He a Muslim?]
Calling another Muslim a Disbeliever
The Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “If someone says to his fellow Muslim, ‘You unbeliever,’ one of them deserves the name.” [Bukhari]
Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki writes, ” There is scholarly consensus that it is unlawful to charge with unbelief anyone who faces Makkah to pray, unless he denies the Almighty Creator, Majestic and Exalted, commits open polytheism that cannot be explained away by extenuating circumstances, denies prophethood, or something which is necessarily known as being of religion, or which is mass transmitted (mutawatir), or which there is scholarly consensus upon its being necessarily known as part of the religion.” [Keller, Reliance of the Traveller: w47.1, from Alawi’s Mafahim yajibu an tusahhaha]
It is classically deemed a state punishable offence. Because of the danger of this matter and the potential rife it could cause, as well as the outward purport of the tradition of the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), such matters should be left to the scholars of Islam and, where applicable, the state.
Please also see: What is the Islamic Understanding of Pride? and: Making 70 Excuses for Others in Islam – A Key Duty of Brotherhood and: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Doubts Regarding the Authenticity of the Qur’an: I Really Need Help

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Since the end of Ramadan, I try to maintain good habits that I took during Ramadan. My belief in the Quran was so high a that time but now I am overwhelmed with doubts regarding its authenticity. I’m always trying to pray the best way but I have to break my prayer many times and repeat it again and again to make it perfect. Doubts regarding the Qur’an have made my worship very difficult. I really need help.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
(1) It is not permitted to break your prayer because “it is not perfect enough.” Pray once.
(2) I’d advise reading: The History of the Qur’anic Text by Mustafa al-Azami
(3) Ignore such whisperings. All of them are from the devil who wants nothing better than to confuse you and make you leave your religion.
(4) Misgivings of such a nature arise from a lack of knowledge, a lack of study, and a lack of asking the scholars of the religion.
Please read the following: How Do We Know That the Qur’an Is Inimitable and Thus From Allah? and: Tormented by Thoughts of Disbelief and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Thoughts of Disbelief While Being Delirious

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,
At one point in my life I became delirious and at that point I had a thought that Allah does not exist and that the purpose of Prayer is to gain control over the mind. Immediately after I asked Allah for forgiveness. Is this considered to be major shirk?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Yes, you are a believer.
Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.” [Sea Without Shore]
Please see: Passing Blasphemous Thoughts Leading to Despair and: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Tormented by Thoughts of Disbelief

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalāmu’alaykum
When I first got close to Islam, words cannot even describe how I felt…I was crying in my prayer…It was just beautiful.
But now I get waswasa about shirk. For example, someone will say “look at the weather today, it’s so miserable”, and then I will say “I know.” but then immediately think “Oh no! I’ve disrespected Allah and committed kufr”.
I love Islam so much. I don’t want to commit shirk or kufr. Please help. 
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Misgivings are from the devil. He is your sworn enemy and would like nothing better than to confuse you, mess with your life, and have you drown in doubts until he ends up causing you to forget whose slave you are. This is his mission, and he is very good at what he does. How is it that somebody with so much presence, love, and tears in their prayer can end up after a time depressed, in constant fear, and doubting whether they are a Muslim or not? The devil.
The way of the sunna is to ignore such whisperings and misgivings, and to focus on what really matters: Allah. You need to have sound knowledge and understanding of the religion before you can make judgements on issues. Making up rulings only fuels the devil and his work.
As such, make it a point to:
1. Remove the unlawful from your life.
2. Repent from all sin.
3. Attend at least one gathering of knowledge or remembrance a week.
4. Send blessings upon the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) one hundred times daily.
5. Take a class somewhere.
6. Find some righteous company.
7. Get up at night when others are asleep and ask Allah to remove the troubles in your life.
If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to send them. We’re here to serve.
Please see: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud? and: Satanic Whisperings (Waswasa) as a Trial from Allah: Punishment or Blessing?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Waswas [Baseless Misgivings] Regarding Apostasy and Purity

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I suffer from waswas regarding impurity and apostasy.
1) Regarding impurity: I have doubts regarding the cleanliness of a place or an area. For example I get a tought that I know that on this area of the bedsheet I wiped pus. That spot where I have wiped it has no signs of taste, colour nor smell but this place now gets wet with water. Will it make me impure?
Also where I live hairspray is used a lot. It gets on the floor and I wonder if it is impure or not because I have doubts regarding the spray containing impure substances or not. Also touching washroom doorknobs and all becomes hard for me. How do I deal with this?
2) Regarding apostasy: I am really confused about what kind of actions put someone out of the fold of Islam. So I experience a lot of waswas regarding a lot of actions and I have a tendency to overanalyse them by fear of committing Kufr. So I would like some knowledge regarding this subject.It would really help me.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
(1) You should ignore all of it. The sunna with misgivings and doubts is to completely ignore them. Even strong doubts are not acted upon. We act on the basis of certainty, and this is the sunna and what is called for. All else is contrary to the sunna and a sure way to make way for further woes.
(2) What takes you out of the fold of Islam is denying that which brought one into it. See ​: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?
Please see: I Have Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) About the Soundness of My Faith and My Marriage…
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is Someone Who Persists in Committing a Sin Considered a Muslim?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Is someone who is persistent in sin classed as Muslim. I always believed so but I recently came across this briefly:
1.Istihzaa- that is making a mockery of Deen.
2.Islihlaal- That is to regard something halal which is clearly haram in Shariah for example Interest.
3.Istikhfaaf- that is to treat the laws of Shariah lightly and with total disregard.
Is it correct to say that enjoying a sin (persistently/not persistently), such as watching a tv program with sin (violence) would constitute Istihzaa and therefore Kufr, even though they still believe the act is haraam and have not denied it? Could you also elaborate on point 3 on when this would occur?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, somebody who persists in sin remains a believer.
Doubts about Faith
Works alone do not take one out of the fold of Islam. And the basis is that someone is a believer. When in doubt, one should consult about the specifics. [see: What is the Ruling For Someone Who Has Thoughts of Disbelief Without Saying Them Aloud?]
Doubts and misgivings are nothing new. The devil has been in work for some time now, and he is well-aware of how to confuse people and sow the seeds for their self-destruction.
Some of the Companions once came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said, “We find within ourselves such notions that overwhelm any of us from speaking about it.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked: “Do you also experience it?” The Companions replied, “Yes.” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied “That is real faith.” [Sahih Muslim]
Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “As long as one has fear and disgust for passing thoughts of unbelief (kufr) and the like and does not make them convictions, they do no harm.”
[see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and: Good Deeds & Salvation: Putting Our Works Into Perspective ]
Disdain (istikhfaf) of the Religion
As for istikhfaf, of its meanings is disdain, scorn, neglect, or contempt which is defined as, “the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration.” [Oxford]
Somebody who has istikhfaf of Allah, His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), or of anything he came with has committed apostasy.
Disdain (istikhfaf) can be with beliefs, words, or actions. For example, abuse or disdain of the sunna prayers, whether by heart or tongue, would be included here.
[al-Mawsu`ah al-Fiqhiyya al-Kuwaitiyya; `Ala’ al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]
Repentance and Turning to Allah
Returning to Allah is straightforward: sincere repentance and rectifying one’s error. It has three conditions: (a) to leave the sin, (b) remote of having committed the sin, and (c) to resolve never to return to it.
The door of repentance will remain open until the sun rises from the West. [see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)]
Allah Most High says: “Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [39.53]
And He says, “Will they not then turn towards Allah in repentance and ask His forgiveness? And Allah is Ever-forgiving, All-merciful.” [5:74]
It is from the Supreme Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah that bad deeds are completely erased through repentance. And the sign of a truly sincere repentance is that you never return to that sin again.
Veneration and Respect
Veneration (ta`dhim) and deep respect of the symbols of Allah is from the religion. In general, this is venerating everything that has an ascription to Allah.
Allah Most High says, “Whoever honours God’s symbols shows the piety of their hearts.” [22.32] There is a connection between god-consciousness (taqwa) and veneration (ta`dhim). Increases in the former lead to increases in the latter.
Whatever happens in life, we should never forget this beautiful hadith of the beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace): ’What an extraordinary thing the business of the believer is! All of it is good for him. And that only applies to the believer. If good fortune is his lot, he is grateful and it is good for him. If something harmful happens to him, he is steadfast and that is good for him too.’” [Muslim]
See also: Does Neglecting the Prayer Entail Disbelief? and: Performing Tarawih Prayers Again as an Imam
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Prostrating to Other Than Allah

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: My sister was taken to a saint’s shrine (darbar) when she was small. She said that they all prostrated (sajda) and she didn’t know what was going on and she prostrated too. Is prostrating out of reverence (Sujud al-Ta`dhim) to other than Allah impermissible (haram)? Is she sinful for doing this? Are they disbelievers (kafirs) now and will they be in Hell forever?

Answer: In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

It is a foundational belief of Islam that worship is only directed to Allah Most High. This is a direct implication of the statement of faith: la ilaha illa’l Llah — there is no god but God, whose meaning is, “There is none worthy of worship but God.” [Bajuri, Tuhftat al-Murid `ala Jawharat al-Tawhid]

Prostration is an act of worship, and therefore impermissible for other than Allah. Allah Most High says, “Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon. Rather, only prostrate to God, who created them–if you indeed are true in worshipping Him.” [Qur’an, 41.37]

A Matter of Consensus
There is scholarly consensus that it is not permitted to prostrate to other than Allah. Without the intention of worship it is not outright disbelief (kufr), though it remains one of the greatest of sins. The adults would bear the sin until they repent.

Imam Ahmad Raza Khan has written a treatise entitled al-Zubdatul Zakiyyah li Tahrimi Sujud at-Tahiyyah concerning the prostration of reverence. In this treatise he has clearly shown with reference and evidence from the Qur’an and Hadith that:

1. The prostration of worship (sajda al-`ibada), for other than Allah, is undeniably disbelief (kufr);

2. The prostration of reverence or greeting (tahiyya), for other than Allah, is unlawful and a major sin.

And Allah knows best.

Faraz Rabbani