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Did I Commit Wrongful Takfir?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if calling saying or thinking that a Muslim is non-Muslim wrongfully puts one outside of the fold of Islam.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I once typed a message saying some Muslims I do not like were not true Muslims, whispering the words to myself as I typed them. but then I remembered that Muslim laypeople are not allowed to say that and deleted the message. Did I still commit the sin of wrongful takfir? Does that make me a non-Muslim as that one hadifh said?

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

The only way you leave Islam is by rejecting what made you a Muslim to begin with.

That said, we should all be very careful about what we say, because throwing words and labels around is not permissible.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

How Do I Deal With a Person With Schizophrenia Who Claims to Be Muslim?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I work as a support assistant, with adults with Schizophrenia. I have one individual that I support who claims to be a Muslim, but he says things like “I am God”. Also, I have seen him praying to Hindu gods. I still treated him like a Muslim, i.e. I asked him whether the meat he was eating halal. How should I deal with him?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Thank you for your question.

As a care-giver, your role is to support and assist the person with diligence and ihsan, regardless of their faith. If the patient is Muslim in origin, or has said he is Muslim during his sane state, then you should treat him as a Muslim and ignore his words during his schizophrenic episodes.

There does not seem to be any need in your capacity of work to ascertain the patient’s faith, and one should not make takfir of anyone, especially if they are mentally unwell. However, if your role includes choosing what food the patient eats by buying or preparing the patient’s food yourself, then you should choose halal meat for him.

If there are other religious considerations, then I advise you consult his family and discuss his background and history.

May Allah make your work easy and cure our hearts and minds.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

You Kafir! – The Rising Trend Of Declaring Muslims As Disbelievers

In recent times, the phenomenon of declaring other Muslims disbelievers (kafir) has spread among the Muslim community. But what does sound classical Islamic scholarship say about it?

Many people have adopted a very lax approach concerning the declaration of disbelief, such that hearing to the expression: “you disbeliever” has become the norm. Such laxity has caused the spread of tribulation, the audacity to shed blood, the violation of human dignity, disobedience towards parents and severing of family ties. Many such people have even taken to fighting, on the misconceived grounds that it is their obligation to correct ‘invalid’ Islamic doctrine. Many Muslims have fallen prey to this bizarre notion, due to widespread religious illiteracy, as well as tactful scheming by proponents of such ideas.

Find out more in Issue 2 [PDF] of the Sanad Network’s Misreadings of the Wayward series.

 

Further resources for seekers

Has My Father’s Joke Made Him a Disbeliever?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Once I was leading my father in prayer and I accidentally said something in English. I have since repeated the prayer but when I asked him about it he jokingly told me not to worry as Allah does not speak English. Is my father Muslim after this joke?

Answer: assalamu `alakum

Your father is certainly a Muslim. Alhamdulilah. His statement is not one that renders him a disbeliever, nor one that is disbelief.

Islam is not something that individuals can be “removed” from so casually. When someone enters Islam, that person becomes inviolable; his/her person, his/her honor, his/her wealth etc.. This inviolability is magnanimous in the eyes of God, His Prophet (God bless him), and the early Muslims. Indeed, as the Prophet, Ibn Umar and others gazed upon the Ka’aba they would state, “the inviolability of a believer is greater with God than your inviolability.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi; Sunan Ibn Majah]

Those who are quick to engage in throwing people outside the fold do not understand this inviolability. Given the various prophetic traditions in explicit condemnation of anathema (takfir), such as, “accusing a believer of disbelief is akin to killing him,” it is often surprising to see how individuals can entertain it so easily

This manner of thinking is not only contrary to the religion of Islam because it fails to recognize the rank of the believer, but it it also involves ill-opinion, false testimony, suspicion, causing division, and much more that the religion warns against. This is why we must always be cautious and circumspect when it comes to such judgments, which, for the most part, do not concern us as laymen.

For some more details on this issue, please refer too:
What Takes a Person Out of the Fold of Islam?

What Are the Consequences of an Oath of Disbelief?

Please also not that the reproachful nature of the answer is not meant to be directed at you as an individual but simply to get across the seriousness of engaging in takfir.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Consider a Muslim an Unbeliever?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaikum,

1) Is it permissible to preemptively assume that a Muslim is a disbeliever, without clear evidence?

2) Is it permissible to reject the invitation to one’s own brother’s wedding meal due to such an assumption?

3) Are the Shia disbelievers? Are all Shia restaurants haram?

4) Is somebody who calls for demonstrations or elections a disbeliever?

Answer: Assalāmu ʿAlaykum,

I hope that you are well.

It is not permissible – nor logical – to pre-emptively consider someone who appears to be a Muslim a polytheist or disbeliever, without clear evidence of this being the case. People are dealt with based on their outward characteristics, not what a person believes about them without just cause.

It is not permissible to reject a wedding invitation of a Muslim on this assumption.

Calling for political participation is not polytheism.

Shias are Muslims, not polytheists.

It is permissible to eat the sacrifice of Muslims as well as the People of the Book (Jews and Christians). Consuming the sacrifice of any other, including polytheists, is impermissible.

Please see: What Takes a Person Out of the Fold of Islam? and: Universal Validity of Religions and the Issue of Takfir and: Is Voting Permitted?

wassalam,
Shuaib Ally

Photo: Jordi Bernabeu Farrús

"Stop Cherry-Picking From Islamic Texts To Justify Hatred"

SeekersHub seminars are unmissable. Broadcast live from Toronto, anyone, anywhere can log in and benefit. To receive a reminder before the next seminar on Refuting Radicalism, register your interest today.
In the meantime, watch a brief teaser of what’s in store. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani speaks unequivocally on the dangers of cherry-picking hadiths and verses of the Qur’an to further an understanding that goes against the spirit of Islam.

Remember to register to take a course with SeekersHub online academy. There are over 30 brilliant ones on offer and no one is turned away for lack of funds.

Resources on ISIS and related issues for seekers:

The Modern Extremists – Who Are They? What Are The Consequences?

Who are the modern extremists and are they a recent phenomenon? How can we understand them and their motivations? And what are the utterly devastating consequences of their words and actions?
Shaykh Ahmed Sa’ad Al-Azhari, Director of the Ihsan Institute, gives a detailed and engaging explanation at this event hosted by SimplyIslam of Singapore.

Send Your Zakat To Besieged Scholars of Sacred Knowledge

Did you know SeekersHub actively provides financial support to traditional scholars whose lives – and ability to teach, have been utterly devasted or disrupted by the acts of violent extremists? These scholars are zakat-eligible – contribute your zakat today and earn the rewards from these noble efforts.

sh_saadShaykh Ahmed Sa’ad Al-Azhari is the Founder and Director of the Ihsan Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies (United Kingdom). He was born into a family of scholars whose lineage goes back to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and became a master of the Qur’an at a very young age. Shaykh Ahmed was the SeekersHub Ramadan Scholar in Residence in 2015 and much of the content can be found on the SeekersHub archives.

Resources for Seekers:

Modern Day Khawarij: Dissociate Yourself from them! – Dr. Hamid Slimi

Imam Hamid SlimiA khutbah delivered by Dr. Hamid Slimi, of the Sayeda Khadija Center, Canada, stressing on understanding the similarities and common ideas between the historical khawarij/kharijites (secessionists) and today’s new groups that claim to do things on behalf of Islam including breaking the laws of the countries where they live or visit, killing innocent people – Muslim and non-Muslim – as well as doing takfir (excommunicating Muslims from their faith). The message here is loud and clear: learn who we are dealing with and dissociate yourself and your families and loved ones from such people and such dangerous ideologies.

 

Resources for Seekers:

Do you recommend the Study Quran?

Study-Quran-Syed-Hossein-NasrThe Study Quran is a 2000 page discussion of the Qur’an, by 15 contributors led by renowned scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Containing maps, annotations, timelines and indices, it is said to offer a rigorous analysis of the Qur’an’s theological, metaphysical, historical, and geographical teachings and backgrounds.

Scholars and commentators from around the world have lauded The Study Quran as “perhaps the most important work done on the Islamic faith in the English language to date.” Read the reviews here.

Others, such as Dr Shadee Elmasry have expressed grave concern over The Study Quran‘s promotion of perennialism and for being “dishonest with the evidence” while Imam Suhaib Webb has said, “I’m concerned about certain positions taken in the text and encourage those who have it to read it with a local scholar, using them to clarify any concerns. Let me add that this is the first edition. The translation of Yusuf Ali has gone through a number of editions and is still lauded till this day. My over all experience with this edition has been a positive one and I’m hopeful that further editions will continue in that direction.”

 

faraz rabbaniShaykh Faraz Rabbani was asked if he would recommend The Study Quran, and responded with:

The brief answer is yes, but with consideration.

Yes, because it is a deep, rich, valuable study companion for any English-speaker seeking to deepen their understanding and appreciation for the Book of Allah.

The consideration or caution is that this is not meant to be an authoritative reference work. It presents a range of views–Sunni, Shia, mainstream and sometimes (such as on the issue of perennialism–the “universal validity of all religions”) non-mainstream. Its editors, such as Joseph Lumbard, whom I respect and consider a friend from a distance, have said as much.

Thus, I would recommend this impressive work. Benefit from it in your connecting to the Quran, and in your gaining understanding of its guidance and beauty but don’t take it as “the final word” or an authoritative reference on matters of theology or law. It isn’t meant to be this.

Rather, it remains our duty–for each and every concerned believer–to find reliable teachers, and to learn our religion with clarity. Study Islamic beliefs, worship, spirituality, and other core sciences with qualified teachers who themselves studied–with contiguous chains connecting back to the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk). This will give you clarity and will nurture your certitude, as you navigate the challenges of life, and the nuances of knowledge, writings, books, and opinions.

May Allah reward the editors of The Study Quran for their work and service. May He accept its good and place benefit in it. And may He grant us the insight and awareness to take this benefit, and to recognize the Truth and uphold it.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

 

Resources for seekers:

Are the People Who Fought After the Prophet’s Death Disbelievers?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Are the people who fought after the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) death disbelievers because of this hadith:
“Do not become disbelievers after me, striking the necks of one another” (Bukhari)?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

There are various narrations reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Do not become disbelievers [variant narration: misguided] after me, striking the necks of one another (Bukhari).

Scholars, such as Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, have explained that while the Prophet’s use of ‘disbelief’ might seem to indicate real disbelief, the apparent legal meaning is not intended. Proof of this is that the overwhelming majority of the Muslim community did not take it literally, and did not use these incidents as cause to, for example, stop praying behind others, or following their orders, in the case of community leaders.

Rather, Ibn Hajar posits, ‘disbelief’ is used in this and similar narrations to:

-Emphasize the gravity of the matter, and to strictly warn against and keep others from perpetrating such an act. He likens it to a Qur’anic verse that speaks of murder: Do you believe in some of the Book, and disbelieve in part? [Qur’an, 2.85], showing that some actions might be denoted disbelief in a manner of speaking, due to the seriousness of the crime.

-Compare such an act to actual disbelief, because killing believers is something that disbelievers do.

-Indicate that such an action can lead to disbelief, because a person who commits major sins will find that they drag him into committing others, leading him astray

In all cases, scholars have not considered the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to be literal, and have not considered people who have committed such acts to be disbelievers in the legal sense of the word.

Source: Fath al-Bari

Shuaib Ally