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Distinguishing Between Declaring Sayings and Actions as Kufr and Declaring Specific Individuals as Kafirs
Shaykh Muhammad Umar Bazmul, in his refutation of one of the chiefs of extremism in Takfir in our times, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (Isaam Barqawi), wrote in his excellent book (مذكرة الرد على كتب مشبوهة), pp. 14-15, in explanation of the usool (foundations of Ahl us-Sunnah) in the issue of Takfir of a specific individual:
ومن هنا فرّق أهل السنة والجماعة بين تكفير المعين وتكفير غير المعين. فقد يطلق على القول والفعل أنه كفر، و لا يلزم من ذلك الحكم على فاعله أنه كافر؛ لأن تكفير القول والفعل من باب تكفير غير المعين.
و لا يكفر المعين عندهم إلا بعد توفر الأمور التالية: قيام الحجة ، ثبوت الشروط ، وهي حصول العلم الصحيح، و تحقق القصد ، انتفاء الموانع، وهي أربعة تنافي الشروط ، وهي التالية أ - الجهل المنافي للعلم ، ب - الإكراه المنافي للقصد ، ج - الخطأ، المنافي للقصد ، د - التأويل المنافي للقصد.
فلا يحكم بكفر المعين إلا بعد تحقق هذه الأمور، بخلاف التكفير لغير المعين
And from here did Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah separate (distinguish) between Takfir of a specific individual, and Takfir of other than a specific individual. For it can applied to a saying or action that it is kufr, and the judgement of being a kaafir (disbeliever) upon the one who [falls into] that action is not necessitated by that.
This is the summary of the position of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah and these conditions, requirements and barriers and the details concerning them will be covered in more detail in other articles inshaa'Allaah.
A Few Brief Notes
These principles come into effect when it is established, through textual evidences, that what a person has fallen into of statement and action, is indeed something that is major kufr. For the Takfiris, they very often make Takfir based upon things that are not even major kufr, such as trade relations, and treaties and agreements made between Muslim states and non-Muslim states, the presence of major sins (like usury, prostitution, gambling) in an organized way in Muslim lands, which they consider to be making istihlaal of these sins, and again, these doubts will be covered in future articles.
Also, Ahl us-Sunnah distinguish as is clear from the above, between declaring a saying or action to be kufr, which is referred to as "takfir ul-qawl wal-fi'l" (takfir of the saying and action), "takfir bil-wasf" (takfir through a description or quality), "takfir bil-itlaaq" (takfir in generalized, unrestricted terms) and between a person being judged a kaafir which is referred to as "takfir bil-ayn", "takfir al-mu'ayyan", both referring to Takfir of a specific individual.
And also, the preventative barrier of "jahl" (ignorance) does not apply to all forms of major kufr, or in all occurrences of major kufr from individuals, and its application may also be determined by other factors such as if a person was new to Islam, or if people are living in a time in which there is great jahl (ignorance) and the reality of the deen of the Messengers has not been sufficiently propagated such that they know they are in opposition to it. So in short, the barrier of "jahl" is not absolute and has further details to it and that will be covered in further articles inshaa'Allaah.
Meanwhile Here's the Qutbiyyah ...
On 2nd January 2010, we published the following article, take note of the article title, which is based upon what is established with Ahl us-Sunnah that they distinguish between Takfir upon a saying or action and Takfir of a specific indvidual:
Thus, in compliance with these principles we wrote "takfir upon the saying" in the title to make clear this is takfir bil-wasf, takfir ul-qawl, takfir bil-itlaaq, so as not to leave any impression whatsoever that Takfir of a specific individual is being made, otherwise the Qutbiyyah would have ran, sailed and flown with that for a couple of years, as is typical of them, and even to this day, they are desperate to get a statement of "Takfir" which they can then use as part of their pro-qutb propaganda.
Now, regarding the title of that article, a group from the Ignorant Qutbiyyah started mocking this title and here is some of their mockery:
Poor souls. Unfortunately, this is the level of the people we are dealing with. You have to understand that this mockery (based upon jahl, ignorance) is coming from the direction of individuals who ten years ago were accusing Imaam al-Albani of having the Irjaa' of al-Jahm bin Safwaan based upon the very same jahl, ignorance you are seeing above - displaying ignorance regarding Takfir bil-wasf on the one hand and takfir bil-ayn in which the speech about ilm and qasd is from the angle of affirmation of the conditions. Shaykh al-Albani adheres to these usool of Ahl us-Sunnah and this is very clear in his statements, amongst them, that which is found in the casssette "Fitnah of Takfir":
And amongst the actions are those on account of which a person actually disbelieves with the kufr of belief (i.e. apostatizes). This is because such actions show his disbelief with certainty and decisiveness in the sense that when a person commits them, it is as if he is actually expressing his disbelief with his tongue, such as the one who kicks the Qur'an while he knows it is the Qur'an and intending to kick it, deliberately...
In this statement, Shaykh al-Albani has affirmed kufr is through action and has established that takfir bil-ayn takes place with the conditions of ilm and qasd.
And here is a saying of Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah in as-Saarim al-Maslool (p.513-515), also affirming the two conditions of deliberate intent and knowledge:
So whoever uttered a statement of kufr without having any need for uttering it, doing it deliberately, knowing that it is a statement of disbelief, then he becomes a disbeliever through that both externally (dhaahiran) and internally (baatinan) and it is not permissible for it to be said that it is possible for him to still remain a believer internally...
Coming back to the article (regarding "takfir of the saying"), we then changed the title of the topic slightly so as to not to make it so difficult for these (ignorant) people to understand what is being said:
In short, they fell into mocking an issue that pertains to the religion which is discussed by the Scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah in their works.
Finally, worthy of mention is that the extreme Takfiris, like Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, make a display of differentiating between Takfir bil-wasf and takfir bil-ayn - and this is in order to ward off the accusation of Khaarijiyyah from themselves. However, whilst they claim they adhere to these usool of the Takfir of a specific individual, they actually make Takfir on account of what amounts to major sin and not major kufr, and this is from their talbis (deception) and that will be the subject of other articles inshaa'Allaah.
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