Sunday, 8 December 2013

Takfir: Rulings

Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Ibn Hajar in his work, "al-I'lām bi Qawati' al-Islam" mentions that accusing other Muslims as infidels is a major sin of the major ones which will lead one who commits it to kufr himself. This is based from the hadiths of the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w who condemns this action.

"When a Muslim labeled the other as kufr, and it will return to him; Whoever says to a Muslim, 'Hey infidel or hey you the enemy of the God while the person accused is not an infidel, thus the label which he uttered to the other will return to his very self; Whoever accuse a believer, then it is equal to he kills him; Whoever says to his brother, 'O infidel, thus it will definitely makes one of them (who utter that) an infidel; Three basis of the Faith are refraining oneself from hurting those who recite the testimony of Faith; refraining from calling him as a disbeliever or an infidel and refrain from judging him as a disbeliever or an infidel with the vices committed..."  

There are many hadiths with the same significance to these compiled hadiths....

According to Ibn Hajar, takfir is an action of equating one self to kufr in any way either by derogatorily saying to him, "You are an infidel or saying O you infidel while he has the belief that the other Muslim accused by him is an infidel". Included within this action is, accusing or labeling other Muslims as the enemies of the God the Highest.

Shafi'i School View

He later quoted the opinions of clerics with regard to the rulings of takfir from the basis of hadiths and traditions. Most of all from the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence, since Ibn Hajar of Ashkelon is an adherent of this school of jurisprudence just like the majority of the people in our country and also in Hadramawt region in Yemen.

Abu al-Qasim Abdul Karim bin Muhammad al-Rafi'i of Qazvīn says, "A Muslim who says about other Muslims, 'o infidel' without any ta'wil thus he becomes an infidel himself. This happens because he is also naming the Path of Islam as a blesphemy. Ta'wil in this sense is referred to the word kufr whether it is an accusation of the Kufr al-Ni'mah or the Kufr al-'Amaly. Not a reference to the Kufr al-Haqīqī which would make a certain Muslim, an apostate".

Al-Nawawi in his book, al-Raudha also has the same opinion with the previous one. This opinion is held by almost all famous clerics within the school of jurisprudence for e.g Ibn al-Rifah, Abu al-'Abbas Najm al-Din Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Makki bin Yasin al-Qamuli, al-Asnawi, al-Asfirmani, Ibn Daqiq al-'Eid and many more. 

Ibn Hajar further explains that this accusation of kufr either with or without the ta'wil is prohibited by the councils of clerics. If the person who commits it legalize this, then he becomes a disbeliever; since "everybody among the Muslims knows that hurting other Muslims especially with this despicable word as something which is aram!" (Ibn Hajar in al-I'lām, pp. 339-342).

Maliki School View

Malik bin Anas was also a teacher of Abu Idris al-Shafi'i so basically they learned from each other on the practices of the people of Medina. The practices of the people of Medina are deemed with great honor and many generations of tabi'in learned from them in the matter of the "Path" and its practices.

Abu al-Walid bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Rushd (1126-1198) among the scholars from this school of jurisprudence interpreted those hadiths mentioned above and says:
"Whoever commits that (accusing other Muslims as infidel), then he becomes an infidel if he has the belief that his brother who is a Muslim, really is an infidel (not kufr al-Ni'mah)". 
The gravity of this action is that if the defendant really an apostate, then the charge of the plaintiff is true. However, if the defendant is not an apostate and is still a Muslim by heart and by practices, then the plaintiff automatically becomes an infidel. Having the belief that Faith is a blasphemy is a blasphemous thought.

Enormity of the Issue

The discussion above displays the enormity of this question of takfir within Muslim society as according to Islamic view. It is hazardous for the religion and the creed of the plaintiffs and those involved with them. The implication of this accusation is enormous. It involves several issues as it poses spill-over effects such as on the questions of the blood of the defendants, matrimonial issues, guardianship, slaughtering of the sacrifice for meat consumption and so on. 

While a person who is a Muslim by inheritance and those who testify their faith on the God the Highest through the revelation upon Muhammad s.a.w are Muslims by confidence and through the decisions of the majority of clerics involved in jurisprudence and law; where the basis comes from the traditions...

Says the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w which more or less means, "I was commanded by the God the Highest to defend the "Word of Testimony" that there is no gods but only the God the Highest and they would return to Him with the teachings that I am revealed with.. Their safety is under my safeguard and their possessions are under my guardianship except with the security keeping rights; and the judgement is submitted only to the God the Highest!

The majority of our clerics agreed that those whose safety and security being supervised under our administration and guardianship with the Word of Testimony as those who submit themselves to the God the Highest, the Muslims.

The question on the legalization of other Muslims' blood is not a small matter within the framework of Islamic view. It could be reviewed in the literature of Ibn Hajar in his al-Zawajir; 2:88-95) through the hadith:
"If the whole dwellers of the heavens and earth associate themselves to spill the blood of a believer, thus they would certainly be thrown into the Hell! Killing a believer is heavier within the view of the God the Highest as compared to the destruction of the world; Whoever involves himself in the spilling of the blood of a Muslim although it is only with their speech, and in between his two eyes being stamped with "driven out from the mercy of the God the Highest!"
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!  

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