Shaykh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi – Warning from widespread mistakes in Takfeer

1. Not differentiating between the general Takfeer (Takfeer al Muthlaq) (1) and the Takfeer of the individual (Takfeer ul Mu’ayyan) (2) or Kufr of the type (Kufr an Naw’) (3) and Kufr of the individual (Kufr al Ayn).

2. Takfeer based on a rule which says that “The people are basically originally upon Kufr” because the land is Dar ul Kufr (land of Kufr). (4)

Note: As for the rule that “The original ruling on the soldiers of the Taghut and their helpers is Kufr) then there is no mistake in this.

3. Not permitting prayer behind a Muslim whose condition is hidden, until his Aqeedah (5) becomes known.

4. Takfeer solely based on someone merely praising the Kuffar or making dua for some of them without considering the details.

To be noted: The mistake of some of those who are hasty and the extremists is that they make Takfeer on a Muslim just merely because of the Kuffar praising him or his manners.

5. Takfeer on the one who does not give pledge (Bay’ah) to a certain leader.

6. Restricting the saved group to be a certain gathering, or an organization, or a party or a group from amongst the general Muslims.

7. Takfeer based on texts whose meanings indicate a possibility but which are not an explicit evidence for Takfeer.

8. Takfeer based on sayings or actions which show a possibility (for being made Takfeer on) without looking towards what was intended by the person who said it or did it.

9. Not differentiating between the symbols of the Kufr and its apparent causes and between its methodology and signs with which one of them alone is not enough for Takfeer. (6)

10. Takfeer based on suspicion and doubts without verifying and without paying attention to the methods of verification mentioned in the Shareeah and charging of Kufr even if the one who is accused has turned back from it.
To be noted:

-Requirement of complete clarity is only for declaring Takfeer but not for warning against such people.
-The widespread reports regarding an evil person can be accepted in forming an opinion regarding him. (7)

11. Applying unrestrictedly the principle “whoever does not make Takfeer on a Kaafir is a Kaafir himself” without looking at the details.

12. Takfeer based on the outcome or the implications of a statement.

13. Takfeer on the one who dies upon a sin which he did not repent from.

14. Mixing and not distinguishing during Takfeer between that which is the fundamental of Imaan (aslul imaan) (8) or the nullifier of it (nawaaqid ul imaan) (9) and that which is from the Imaan which is necessary (imaan ul waajib) (10) or that which is recommended (imaan ul muatahaab) (11).

Five important points:

1. That Takfeer is only over a branch of apparent aslul Imaan (basic essential imaan as judged from the outside) (12)
2. Many of the warnings of punishment imply a nullifier of the basic Imaan or a nullifier with regards to the wajib (obligatory) Imaan. And it is necessary to examine this. (13)
3. What the scholars mean by the statement that “It negates the completeness of Imaan” in many cases means that which negates the completeness of the Wajib (obligatory) Imaan, not that which is Mustahab (recommended).
4. The condition of Istihlaal (saying something is halal) is not stipulated for the nullifiers of the fundamentals of Imaan during Takfeer, but rather (the condition of Istihlal is) only for sins that negate the Wajib (obligatory) Imaan.
5. Distinguishing between complete Imaan (imaan ul mutlaq) (14) and the incomplete Imaan and complete Tawheed (tawheed up muthlaq) and the incomplete Tawheed. (Muthlaq u tawheed) (15)

– Caution is to taken against the mistake of the one who refuses to acknowledge Tawheed of the Muslims other than his specific brothers or group or rejects brotherhood with them.

15. Not distinguishing between the actual Imaan and the Imaan which is judged; (16) and the difference between real sincere Tawba (repentance) and the apparent Tawba which is judged.

Note – There is a difference of opinion in accepting the Tawba of the Zindeeq. (17)

16. Not differentiating between the Tawalli (alliance) which is Kufr and between dealing with the Kaafir with goodness (which is not Kufr).

17. Confusing between the Tawalli (alliance) that which is Kufr and the flattery which is haram or the flattery which is permissible.

18. Confusing between the Tawalli which is Kufr and the Taqiyya (deception) which is permissible.

19. Takfeer based on the claim that silence regarding the rulers means being pleased with their Kufr and not considering the case of weakness.

20. Generalizing the rule of Takfeer and its implications upon the wives and children of the soldiers of shirk and manmade laws or similar such Murtadeen, and not considering the case of weakness.

21. Not differentiating the implications of Takfeer between the Kaafir who has power and between the powerless one who has been subjugated.

Point of note: – There is a difference between apostasy that does not fight against Islam and between apostasy that fights against Islam.

22. Takfeer on everyone who works in a job under the disbelieving governments without examining the details.

23. Takfeer on everyone who seeks help from the Tawaghit or their helpers or goes to their courts in the absence of Islamic authority, without considering the details. (18)

24. Not differentiating between following the administrative systems and going to them for judgement and between seeking judgement from the Kufr legislation.

Two points:

Differentiating between criticizing the legislators of our times unrestrictedly, including those amongst them who legislate the administrative system on the one hand and those who abide by those systems out of fear or by having interpretations.

Differentiating between criticizing unrestrictedly the one who legislates laws even if it matches with the Shareeah due to them originating from the legal documents of the Taghout in their legislation and between the one who seeks judgement from or judges by them thinking that they agree with the Shareeah.

25. Not differentiating between judging by other than what Allah has sent down and between avoiding some of the judgements of Allah sometimes in practice which is a sin.

26. Takfeer on all those who participate in elections without looking at the details. (19)

27. Not giving excuse of ignorance (Uzr bil Jahl) in the unclear issues and its likes.

28. Takfeer on everyone who differs with the Ijma (consensus) without looking at the details.

29. Not differentiating between the Kufr of apostasy and the Kufr of misinterpretation and saying they are the same.

30. Not differentiating between the innovations which causes one to exit the religion and other than it of sins and innovation in branches of the Deen.

31. Takfeer on everyone who does not make Takfeer on the Tawaghit, claiming that he did not disbelieve in them.

32. Not differentiating between the reasons of Takfeer in speaking ill of the religion and between speaking ill of the people.

33. Takfeer on those who differ based solely on their affiliation to one of the groups of Irja. (20)

End of quote from At Thalaatheeniyyah by Shaykh Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi , May Allah Protect him.

Original Arabic (PDF): التحذير من أخطاء شائعة في التكفير


Footnotes (by translator Al-Muwahideen Media:

(1) Takfeer ul Muthlaq is to make a general statement of Takfeer in regards to an action. For example, “Whoever does this is a Kaafir” or “The Raafidhi Shias are Kaafirs” without specifying the individual.

(2) Takfeer ul Mu’ayyan is to say about a specific person that he is a Kaafir. For eg., “Bashar Al Assad is a Kaafir”.

(3) Kufr an Naw’ is to call a specific action as Kufr. But the one who does this Kufr action may not necessarily become a Kaafir and he may be excused due to some interpretations he had.

(4) Daar ul Kufr is the land that is not ruled by the Shareeah.

(5) Aqeedah refers to the essential beliefs of a Muslim as agreed upon by Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.

(6) For example, wearing the clothes of the disbelievers that are specific to them is a sin but does not necessarily make the one who wears it a Kafir. However, if they wear a garment that is a symbol of their Kufr, like the wearing of a cross or anything which represents their Kufr beliefs, then the one who has worn it has fallen into Kufr. Similarly, carrying the passport of a country or being its citizen is also not a reason for Kufr. Similarly is the case with the one who holds the nationalistic flag of his country or stands in honour of it. He has committed a sin but it is not Kufr since merely standing in honour for an object is not necessarily an act of worship. It becomes worship only when it is accompanied by love, fear and hope that it will benefit him or protect him from harm when he reveres it or by praying to it as it is like in the case of idol worship.

(7) This is called Hukm bil Istifaada. Here, if a person is widely known and confirmed to be of evil and immoral character, then the widespread reports regarding some of his evil which are narrated widely by the people can be used as a basis in warning the people against him. For eg., the stories regarding the oppression and evil of Hajjaj bin Yusuf, Mukhtar, Abdulla ibn Saba etc. are widespread and they do not require proofs since these people are known for their evil and oppression and the reports regarding their evil are widespread. Similarly is the case with regards to the righteousness of Umar bin Abdul Aziz etc. which also are known to the people merely because of their fame.

(8) Asl ul Imaan or the basic essential Imaan refers to the minimum level of faith below which one cannot be a believer. It includes those actions which if not carried out causes the person to be outside the fold of Islam. For eg., Testifying to the truth of the Quran and the Prophet, love and submission by the heart, the obligatory prayers etc.

(9) The nullifier of the basic essential Imaan refers to those actions which if carried out causes the person to be outside the fold of Islam. For eg, mocking the religion, praying to and seeking help from other than Allah, fighting in the path of Thaghout, objecting to the prohibitions and obligations stated by the Shareeah etc.

(10) Imaan ul Waajib or the obligatory Imaan is that which is above and beyond the Aslul Imaan or the basic Imaan. It refers to doing all the obligatory actions and abandonment of all what has been prohibited. However the one who disobeys in this is a sinner but not a Kaafir. And the one who has Imaan ul Waajib is of a higher level than the one with only the basic Imaan or Aslul Imaan.

(11) Imaan ul Musthahabb or the recommended Imaan is what is above and beyond Imaan ul Waajib or the obligatory Iman. It refers to all the recommended actions which are not obligatory and abandonment of all the discouraged actions which are not sin and hence he is not a sinner if he abandons this type of Imaan. The one who has Imaan ul Musthahabb is of a higher level than the one who has Imaanul Wajib or the obligatory Imaan.

(12) It means Takfeer is made only on those sins that are Kufr in and of itself and over those actions which are necessary for one to become a believer and without which one cannot be a Muslim.

(13) For example, when the Hadeeth says, “The one who betrays us is not one of us” does not mean that he is a Kaafir but that he has exposed himself to the anger of Allah and His punishment; So not every warning which negates one’s Imaan implies Takfeer or that he is outside the fold of Islam.

(14) Imaan ul Muthlaq is the complete perfect Imaan that is a combination of the basic, obligatory and recommended Imaan. But Muthlaq ul Imaan refers to the incomplete Imaan that is deficient due to committing sins. So when the Hadith says that the one who commits adultery or steals is not a believer during the act of adultery or stealing, then it is talking about the Imaan ul Muthlaq or the complete Imaan, meaning that he is deficient and does not have Imaan ul Muthlaq or the complete Imaan. So these type of people who commit major sins are excluded from the category of those believers regarding whom Allah says, “Allah is the supporter of the believers” (3:68), “Successful indeed are the believers” (24:1) and “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely” (8:2). In other words they are not from the category of believers praised in the Quran. But they are still included in those verses which refers to those having the basic Imaan such as the verse “The freeing of a believing slave” (4:92) and “If two groups of believers fight” (49:9) and the Hadith which says “A believer is not killed for a Kaafir” etc.

(15) Muthlaq u Thawheed refers to that which all the monotheist believers basically believe in including both the righteous as well as the sinners, the elite and the general public who all believe in Allah and reject worship of the Taghout or the false gods even if they may not have fulfilled its implications and obligations which are not from its essential basics like preaching this Thawheed or fighting for it. But Thawheed ul Muthlaq means the complete perfect Tawheed combined with fulfilling its implications and obligations like waging Jihad against the Thaghout, having enmity to the Thagout and its allies and striving to eradicate Shirk and bringing the people out from it. Nevertheless, these are terminologies that most people are not aware of.

(16) The actual Imaan refers to the Imaan in one’s heart which Allah alone knows. The Imaan which is judged is the apparent Imaan which is used as basis for treating the people in this life.

(17) A Zindeeq is a person whose has fallen into a worse and a greater type of apostasy.

(18) Many scholars including Sheikh Abdullah Azzam (ra) permit going to non Islamic courts for gaining one’s rights in case of one being deprived of it.

(19) An example for this is the issue of democracy. Even though the fundamental principles of democracy are founded on Kufr which says that man is the sole legislator and there is none above him who can govern him, there are still many Muslims who do not know the actual foundation of democracy and they think that democracy just means the opposite of tyranny and the opposite of autocracy and monarchy. Many Muslims just consider democracy to be a system of government that gives the right for the people to choose their leaders and elect them. These people are not to be called as disbelievers since some of these aspects of democracy in reality match with that of Islam and many Muslims are confused because of that. This is why we need to be cautious of falling into making a blanket Takfeer on Muslim masses or groups just because they call for democracy. The same is the case with many of those participating in elections and who are either fooled regarding the reality of democracy and are given a wrong interpretation of it by some preachers. Hence we need to classify the people who take part in democracy and elections and divide them between those who consider democracy merely to mean freedom for the people to choose their leaders and between those who believe or say that religion has no role in politics and that man can legislate and implement laws in any way he wishes even it is not from Islam. These second type of people are Kaafirs and outside the fold of Islam.

(20) An innovative group that denies that actions are part of Imaan.

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