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Invalidating Takfiri Doubts: Part 1 - Concerning al-Iltizaam (الإلتزام) and al-Imtinaa' (الإمتناع) - Part 1 of 2
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Wednesday, February 10 2010 - by Takfiris.Com
Key topics: Abu Zubair Saleem Beg Takfiris Sahwah Islamic Awakening Khawarij Kharijites

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Background to the Origins of 20th Century Takfiri Polemics, Argumentation and Deduction of Evidence

First a little background regarding where todays Takfiris are coming from, from an ideological perspective. We have documented extensively with proofs in other places that Sayyid Qutb was "gulping" down the Western materialist (secular atheistic) philosophies for 15 years of his life between 1925 and 1940 (see here); that when he started turning to Islam, this past nurturing affected his ideology and doctrine; that a major influence upon him was Marxist-Socialism; that he considered Islam to be made up in part of Communism (see here and also here); that on the basis of a Communist perspective of "Social Justice" and a [Communist] critique of Capitalism (see here), Sayyid Qutb reviled and attacked Uthmaan, Mu'awiyah, Amr bin al-Aas (radiallaahu anhum) and negated Islam from Bani Umayyah (see this series), continuing to publish his attacks upon Uthman and Bani Umayyah right until his death; that he launched a Socialist revolution in 1952 along with the Free Officers, helping Jamal Abdul-Nasser coming to power as a result, (this revolution being planned in Qutb's own house); that despite being refuted by Shaykh Mahmood Shakir in 1952 for his attacks upon the Companions he persisted upon displaying the Communist-Marxist-Socialist ideologically motivated attacks upon some of the Companions right up until his death (see here, here and here); that Qutb, having already been behind one Leninist type Socialist revolution in 1952, began to pen down the ideology of revolution in the late 1950s, along with the takfiri fikr in the late 1950s and early 1960s in his works az-Zilal and Milestones (a Leninist Manifesto for Muslims) - see this article. This went alongside and was built upon his mass Takfir of the entire Ummah which is known and acknowledged by prominent figureheads amongst the "Muslim Brotherhood" (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and Qutb essentially believed that all Muslims, societies and states had become apostates (except him and those upon his doctrines) and that the greatest obligation was to remove them with general revolutions. This understanding became mixed with and labeled with "Jihad", but it is an innovated, heretical, evil notion of Jihad, that has nothing to do with the Shari'ah Jihad.

For the justification of this particular notion of Jihad, which has continued today and has taken on its own polemical landscape, many quotations are brought from the Scholars of the Sunnah that are twisted and made to apply to situations they do not actually apply to, and these types of citations form the basis of many of the doubts that are propagated by the Takfiris in order to give legitimacy to their methodologies and activities.

In this series we will be looking at the multitude of doubts spread through a Takfiri discussion forum run by Abu Zubair Saleem Beg from Croydon, Surrey (UK) in which he allows, upon a secular qaanoon, people of all persuasions and backgrounds to spread their misguidance, in particular, the Khawarij, but with many other sects present and participating, very often without any hindrance or objection to what they say - this is in the name of "freedom of speech".

What has led them to this state is that these people are poisoned by that 20th century "fikr" and "harakah" which came to them through Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. It is essentially a distillation of western materialist philosophies (violent revolutions, mass-populist pluralist politics and so on) that came through in the writings and actions of these Jahmite Ash'ari and Sufi individuals in 20th century Egypt. Sayyid Qutb made Takfir of all Muslim societies and governments without exception and called for Leninist type revolutions against them to "establish the khilaafah". Hasan al-Banna, having the same objective in mind, spent efforts to bring together all the sects and groups of innovation, including the Jahmiyyah, Rafidah, Sufiyyah and so on, in order to effect the same result, establishing the khilafah through working within the existent (secular) political framework. Essentially we have the violent revolutionary method of Qutb and the mass-populist, pluralist method of Banna.

These two ideologies and ways of thinking , (which we can label as "Qutbitude" (takfiri, revolutionary strain) and "Bannaawitude" (mass-populist, pluralist strain), and the multitude of methodologies, principles, arguments, evidences and polemics that follow on from them, are found today in many people claiming to follow Salafiyyah. These are "Ikhwanis" wearing the gown of Salafiyyah. Subsequently, they go to the books of the Scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah, such as Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, to seek evidence for much of their falsehood. In this series we will be exposing their intellectual and academic frauds, and the freedom of the Scholars from their falsehood. Most of these doubts in relation to the Takfiri strain come from the followers of the Takfiri Kharijites such as Abu Qatadah, Abu Baseer Mustafa Haleemah, Nasir al-Fahd, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and others, and the website(s) of Abu Zubair Saleem Beg al-Azzami (by way of example) are the platforms from which these doubts are disseminated or have been disseminated over the years.

Concerning al-imtinaa' and al-Iltizaam

Over the past 15 years we have seen the Qutbiyyah, the Takfiri Leninist Kharijites utilize much from the speech of Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah to justify their falsehood. They take quotes which they don't even understand, or if they do, they use them with a view to deceiving unsuspecting people who do not know Arabic and may not be familiar with the meanings of specific words in Arabic which would be crucial to understanding the actual meaning and intent of such quotations. Two such words are (الإمتناع) and (الإلتزام), which we can loosely translate in English, "withholding" and "adhering", even though these words clearly do not convey the real meanings of these words.

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah often speaks with these two words in the context of disbelief and fighting certain factions. The Qutbiyyah, Takfiris, Khaarijiyyah, use such statements to make Takfir of the rulers (primarily), or other than them, who fail to act upon something from the Sharee'ah. This is used to justify the Takfir and rebelling and taking up of arms. As we will see, all of these instances are examples of "Take Qutb's Leninist fikr as being the truth firstly, then go and find evidences for it in the books of the Scholars secondly", or to put it more concisely, "Believe first, then seek evidence after."

Here is an example of such "citations" that are used to this end from that Qutbi, Takfiri platform:

By dissecting this from a number of angles, we will see the rampant academic fraud present amongst Takfiris in general. And this fraud, even in just a single citation, is operative on multiple levels. And from past experience, we can tell you that this applies to the majority of the so-called evidences these deluded dishonest people bring in order to deceive and misguide the Muslims.

What is taking place in this article, and what follows below is an annihilation of one of the major taghuts (false principles) of the Takfiris, and when this becomes clear, a large body of so-called evidence they cite from Ibn Taymiyyah and others, is rendered obsolete and invalidated.

The Meaning of al-Imtinaa' and al-Iltizaam

Before we dissect this fraudulent use of the speech of Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, we need to first clarify the actual meanings of "al-Imtinaa'" (الإمتناع) and "al-Iltizaam" (الإلتزام). The meaning of iltizaam briefly for now (to help understanding of the text to follow) is "to accept that one has been addressed by an obligation" or "acceptance of the ruling" and the meaning of imtinaa' is "to deny that one has been addressed by an obligation (alongside accepting it is an obligation)".

The Saying of Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah

Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah says in Majmoo al-Fataawaa (20/97):

وتكفير تارك الصلاة هو المشهور المأثور عن جمهور السلف من الصحابة والتابعين . ومورد النزاع هو فيمن أقر بوجوبها والتزم فعلها ولم يفعلها وأما من لم يقر بوجوبها فهو كافر باتفاقهم

And the Takfir of the abandoner of prayer is well-known and reported from the majority of the Salaf amongst the Companions and Successors. The point of dispute is regarding the one who affirmed its obligation and made iltizaam of its performance, but did not perform it. As for the one who did not affirm its obligation then he is a disbeliever by their consensus...

Note that there is a difference between making iltizaam of an obligation, and performing that obligation, as Shaykh ul-Islam has clearly indicated, and this is based upon the true and real meanings of iltizaam and imtinaa' which do not actually equate to the performance or refraining from the performance the obligation itself, respectively. This is because the meaning of iltizaam, as will become more clear as you read further in this article, is to accept that you are being addressed by an obligation, and it is a matter that pertains to the heart.

وليس الأمر كما يفهم من إطلاق بعض الفقهاء من أصحاب أحمد وغيرهم أنه إن جحد وجوبها كفر وإن لم يجحد وجوبها فهو مورد النزاع

... and the affair is not as it is understood from the absolution of some of the jurists from the companions of Ahmad and others that when he rejects its obligation he is a disbeliever by consensus and that if he does not reject its obligation, that this is the point of dispute.

Here Ibn Taymiyyah is simply clarifying that on the issue of abandonment of prayer, it is not the case as some of the jurists presented it that there are only two situations, one in which there is agreement by everyone and the other which is the point of dispute. Rather, Ibn Taymiyyah explains, there is a little more detail to the matter, because there is a difference between juhood (جحود)and imtinaa' (إمتناع), as we shall see. This will actually lead us to three situations in reality, not two.

Then Ibn Taymiyyah explains:

بل هنا ثلاثة أقسام : أحدها : إن جحد وجوبها فهو كافر بالاتفاق

The first: That he rejects its obligation, such a one is a disbliever by consensus.

So a person rejects that it is obligatory to begin with. This is clear, he is a disbeliever, its a matter of consensus. Ibn Taymiyyah now mentions a second situation:

والثاني : أن لا يجحد وجوبها لكنه ممتنع من التزام فعلها كبرا أو حسدا أو بغضا لله ورسوله فيقول : اعلم أن الله أوجبها على المسلمين والرسول صادق في تبليغ القرآن ولكنه ممتنع عن التزام الفعل استكبارا أو حسدا للرسول أو عصبية لدينه أو بغضا لما جاء به الرسول فهذا أيضا كافر بالاتفاق فإن إبليس لما ترك السجود المأمور به لم يكن جاحدا للإيجاب فإن الله تعالى باشره بالخطاب وإنما أبى واستكبر وكان من الكافرين . وكذلك أبو طالب كان مصدقا للرسول فيما بلغه لكنه ترك اتباعه حمية لدينه وخوفا من عار الانقياد واستكبارا عن أن تعلو أسته رأسه فهذا ينبغي أن يتفطن له ومن أطلق من الفقهاء أنه لا يكفر إلا من يجحد وجوبها فيكون الجحد عنده متناولا للتكذيب بالإيجاب ومتناولا للامتناع عن الإقرار والالتزام كما قال تعالى : { فإنهم لا يكذبونك ولكن الظالمين بآيات الله يجحدون } وقال تعالى : { وجحدوا بها واستيقنتها أنفسهم ظلما وعلوا فانظر كيف كان عاقبة المفسدين } وإلا فمتى لم يقر ويلتزم فعلها قتل وكفر بالاتفاق

The second: That he does not reject its obligation, but he witholds from performing it out of pride, jealousy, or hatred for Allaah and His Messenger, so he says, "I know that Allaah has obligated it upon the Muslims and the Messenger is truthful in his conveying the Qur'an", but he withholds from making iltizaam of the action, out of arrogance, or jealousy, or due to partisanship to his (current) religion or out of hatred of what the Messenger came with. This one is also a disbeliever by consensus because Iblis was not a denier (jaahid) of the obligation when he abandoned the commanded prostration (to Aadam), for Allaah addressed him directly, but he refused and was arrogant and he became of the disbelievers. And likewise Abu Talib, he believed (in the truthfulness) of the Messenger in what he conveyed, but he abandoned following him out of protection of his religion, and fearing the humiliation of [showing] compliance [to what the Messenger brought], and out of arrogance that his bottom should rise higher than his head (i.e. arrogance from prostrating).

Pay attention to the fine details here. He has already mentioned the case of one who clearly rejects the obligation of the prayer, that is now clear. Here, he is mentioning the case where a person affirms the obligation of the prayer, but withholds from performing out of affairs in the heart that are disbelief, such as arrogance, jealousy against the religion, or hatred of what the Messenger (alayhis salaam) brought, and the likes.

Then Ibn Taymiyyah clarifies that those jurists who held there were only two views which are a) the one who rejects the obligation, and b) the one who affirms it but does not perform it, then these jurists include within the meaning of "juhood" (rejection, denial) these first two (of the three) situations that Ibn Taymiyyah is discussing:

This is what is desirable to be grasped well, and whoever from the jurists made absolute [the saying] that no one disbelieves except the the one who rejects its obligation, then [the meaning] of al-jahd (rejection) includes takdheeb (denial, rejection) of the obligation, and it also includes imtinaa' (withholding) from affirmation (of the obligation) and making iltizaam of it, just as He, the Exalted said, "For they do not reject you, but it is the signs of Allaah that the oppressors reject" (An'aam 6:33), and He, the Exalted, said, "And they rejected [the signs] out of injustice and arrogance, even though their souls were convinced thereof, so look and see what was the end of the mischief-makers" (Naml 27:14), and otherwise, when he does not affirm and make iltizaam of its performance (accept he is being addressed by the obligation), then he is killed and he disbelieves by consensus.

والثالث : أن يكون مقرا ملتزما ; لكن تركها كسلا وتهاونا ; أو اشتغالا بأغراض له عنها فهذا مورد النزاع كمن عليه دين وهو مقر بوجوبه ملتزم لأدائه لكنه يمطل بخلا أو تهاونا

The third: That he affirms (muqirr) and makes iltizaam (of the prayer) but he leaves it out of laziness and neglect, or due to being preoccupied away from it due to objectives he has. This is the point of dispute, such as [in the case of] the one who owes a debt, and he affirms its obligation and makes iltizaam of its fulfilment, but he postpones it out of miserliness or neglect.

Here, Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) mentions the third case where a person affirms the obligation (i.e. he affirms that it is an obligation that has come in the revealed texts), and he makes iltizaam of it (i.e. he accepts that he is being addressed by the command and that he comes under it), but he does not perform it, not out of something that constitutes kufr like in the second case (such as arrogance, hatred, pride and so on) but out of laziness and neglect. It is this particular situation that Ibn Taymiyyah clarifies is the actual point of dispute.

There are many statements of Ibn Taymiyyah that clarify this matter, we can provide one more for the sake of brevity. Whilst explaining that the straight path is in between the innovated asceticism (rahbaaniyyah) and the way of indulgence in sin, he speaks of those who fall into this asceticism and he says about them (Majmoo' 14/460):

يقول أحدهم : لله علي ألا آكل طعاما بالنهار أبدا ويعاهد أحدهم ألا يأكل الشهوة الملائمة ويلتزم ذلك بقصده وعزمه وإن لم يحلف ولم ينذر . فهذا يلتزم أن لا يشرب الماء وهذا يلتزم ألا يأكل الخبز وهذا يلتزم ألا يشرب الفقاع وهذا يلتزم ألا يتكلم قط وهذا يجب نفسه وهذا يلتزم ألا ينكح ولا يذبح . وأنواع هذه الأشياء من الرهبانية التي ابتدعوها على سبيل مجاهدة النفس وقهر الهوى والشهوة

One of them says: Allaah has [a right upon me] that I do not eat food during the day every again, and one of them makes a covenant that he will not eat out of blameworthy desire and he commits to that through his intent and determination, even if he does not swear or make an oath (for that). Thus, this one makes iltizaam that he will not drink water, and this one makes iltizaam that he will not eat bread, and this one makes iltizaam that he will not drink barley juice, and this one makes iltizaam that he will never speak again, and this makes obligatory upon himself, and this one makes iltizaam that he will never marry or sacrifice (an animal), and the likes of these things from the asceticism that they innovated through the path of striving against the soul and subduing the desire and lust.

Again we see the meaning here through the use of the word "iltizaam" which is to "make obligatory or binding upon oneself", which is something other than the actual performance of the act. To make this more clear, we can move on to another nice explanation of this issue:

Explanation from Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh

Shaykh Salih Al ash-Shaykh explains this matter very well in (نواقض الإيمان عند أهل السنة والجماعة وضوابط ذلك ), at the end of this treatise, in addressing some of the doubts that the contemporary Kharijites fall into, and speaking about certain words such as "istihlaal" and "iltizaam" and "imtinaa'" (p. 25):

أن هناك ألفاظ تتصل بهذا البحث، ومن أهمها لفظا الالتزام والامتناع؛ لأن الالتزام والامتناع راجع إلى الاعتقاد

... that there are words connected to this study, and from the most important of them are the two words, al-iltizaam and al-imtinaa', because al-iltizaam and al-imtinaa' return back to belief (i'tiqaad)...

The Shaykh then goes on to clarify the meanings of these two words over the next couple of pages:

والالتزام معناه قبول الحكم، والامتناع معناه رد الحكم، وليس الامتناع هنا الطائفة الممتنعة، امتنع من أداء كذا، بمعنى منع، فالامتناع يقابل في نصوص أهل العلم بالالتزام، والالتزام معناه القبول وهو غير الجحد؛ يعني القبول هو أن يكون ملتزما بهذا، يعني أن يكون مخاطبا بهذا.

And al-iltizaam, it's meaning is "acceptance of the ruling" and al-imtinaa', its meaning is "rejection of the ruling", and al-imtinaa' here, the faction that withholds, which withholds from fulfilling such and such (a thing), with the meaning "to abstain". For in the texts of the people of knowledge (speaking on this matter) al-imtinaa' is the opposite of al-iltizaam, and al-iltizaam, its meaning is "al-qubool" (acceptance), and it is other than "al-jahd" (rejection), so al-qubool means that a person adheres to this, meaning that [he accepts] that he is being addressed [by the Sharee'ah] with this ruling.

فمثلا نقول فلان من الناس ملتزم بأحكام الشريعة، فلان من الناس ملتزم بتحريم الزنا؛ لكن يزني، ما الفرق بينهما؟ الفرق بينهما أنه إذا التزم حرمة الزنا فمعناه يقول نعم أنا مخاطب بأن الزنا محرم وأنا داخل في هذا الخطاب، صحيح، لكن فعله يكون له حكم أهل الكبائر

So for example, we say a person amongst the people he is adhering (multazim) to the rulings of the Sharee'ah, so and so amongst the people is adhering (multazim) to the prohibition of fornication, however he fornicates. What is the difference between them both? The difference between them both is that when he adheres to (makes iltizaam of) the prohibition of fornication then its meaning is that he says, "Yes, I am being addressed [by the Sharee'ah] that fornication is unlawful, and I enter into that address [of the Sharee'ah]. [Yes], this is correct." However, the doing of this act has the ruling of [a person] being from the people of major sins.

أما إذا قال أنا غير مخاطب أصلا كحال الذي نكح امرأة أبيه في زمن النبي صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حديث أبي بردة المعروف فالنبي صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أرسل إليه رجلا ليضرب عنقه وبخمس ماله هل لأنه استحل بالفعل؟ لا، قال العلماء لأنه لم يلتزم الحكم، وكان ذلك الحكم في الجاهلة، فلما نزل قول الله جل وعلا ﴿وَلَا تَنكِحُوا مَا نَكَحَ آبَاؤُكُمْ مِنْ النِّسَاءِ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ﴾ [النساء:22] وخوطب بذلك لم يلتزم وسار على ما كان عليه في الجاهلية، فدل فعله على أنه لم يلتزم، ولا يقال دل فعله على استباحته، دل الفعل على عدم التزامه بحكم الشريعة الجديد الذي يلغي حكم الجاهلية

As for when he says "I am not [being] addressesd at all, fundamentally", such as that [person] who married the wife of his father during the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , [in] the well-known hadeeth of Abu Burdah, for [did] the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) sent a man to him to strike his neck and to take a fifth of his wealth because he made lawful (istahalla) his act? No. The Scholars said because he did not make iltizaam of the ruling, and that [previous] ruling was [present] in Jaahiliyyah (i.e. the permissibility of marrying one's fathers wife), and when the saying of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, was revealed, "And do not marry of those women that your fathers married except for what has passed (in Jaahiliyyah)" (Nisaa 4:22), and so [this man] being addressed by that [command], he did not make iltizaam of it (i.e. consider it binding upon himself), and thus he continued upon what what he was upon in Jaahiliyyah. So this action shows that he did not make iltizaam. And it is not to be said that his act shows that he considered it permissible. The action shows that he did not make iltizaam of the new ruling of the Sharee'ah which abolished the ruling of Jaahiliyyah.

With the above, clear, pay very close attention to the next bit, because it is significant when we come to discuss these quotes that Leninist Kharijites always bring from Ibn Taymiyyah:

ولهذا يتكلم العلماء على الطائفة الممتنعة ويقابلون بين الامتناع و الالتزام

And for this reason the Scholars speak about "al-Taa'ifah al-Mumtani'ah" (الطائفة الممتنعة) (a faction or party that makes imtinaa'), and they contrast between al-imtinaa' and al-iltizaam.

Remember this for later for this will allow us to uncover one of the main taghuts (i.e. false principle) of the Leninist Kharijites used to argue the case for their innovation and misguidance. The Shaykh then spends a paragraph talking about the difference between jahd (juhood, rejection) and the absence of iltizaam, and he illustrates with an example given by Ibn Taymiyyah, so he says:

لهذا شيخ الإسلام في موضع مثّل في الفرق بين الجحد وعدم لالتزام، قال: مثل من لك عليه دين فأتيت تطلبه دينك، عليك على واحد ألف ريال قلت يا فلان عندك ألف، فهنا إذا قال ما عندي لك أصلا ألف، فهذا يسمى جاحد -هذا المثال أورده شيخ الإسلام في الفتوى- إذا قال ما عندي لك ألف أصلا فهذا يسمى جاحدا، إذا قال: نعم عندي لك ألف لكن أنا ملتزم بألف؛ لكن أنا لا أعطيها لك حياتي كلها، هذا يسمى إيش؟ ملتزم بها رافض لأدائها، فإذا قال أصلا أنا ما عندي لك هذا المبلغ، فهذا يكون جاحدا.

For this reason, Shaykh ul-Islam, in a place, he gave an example of the difference between jahd (denial, rejection) and the absence of iltizaam. He said: An example of that is one who owes you a debt, so he came to you, to seek a loan, [he says] "You have over me a debt of 1000 riyals", you say, "O so and so, you have a 1000 (riyals from me)". Now if he says, "I do not owe you 1000 riyals at all", then he is called a "jaahid" (denier), this is the example given by Shaykh ul-Islaam in [Majmoo] al-Fatwa, when he says "I do not owe you a thousand at all", then he is called a "jaahid" (denier). When he says, "Yes, I owe you a thousand (riyals), I make iltizaam of that [debt] of a thousand [riyals], but I am not going to give it to you in all of my life", this one is called what? He is called "multazim" (one who makes it binding upon himself), [but] refusing its fulfilment. And when he says, "I do no owe you this amount at all", then he is a "jaahid" (denier).

The Shaykh then illustrates with the example of prayer itself:

إذا أصلا هذه الصلاة غير واجبة هذا يكون جاحدا، إذا قال الصلاة واجبة على غيري أما أنا فغير ملتزم بها فهي واجبة وأنا مقتنع بأن الله فرض الصلاة ولا شك لكن على غيري، مثل ما يقول غلاة الصوفية يقولون سقطت عنا التكاليف، هنا يكون كفرهم هل هو بالجحد هم يجحدون حكم الصلاة، يجحدون الصلاة واجبة ويجحدون أن الزنا محرم؟ لا، يقولون الزنا محرم؛ لكن لا يلتزم بذلك يعني لا يقول إنه داخل في الخطاب، وهذا معنى عدم الالتزام، يمتنع من الامتثال بمعنى لا يجعل نفسه داخلا في الخطاب، فيقول أنا ممتنع من قبول دخولي في الخطاب أصلا، مثل ما يقول غلاة الصوفية الذي يقولون سقطت علينا التكاليف، فكفرهم جاء ليس من جهة أنهم جحدوا وجوب الصلاة، يقول لا الصلاة واجبة ولازم تصلون ويأمرون الناس بالصلاة؛ ولكن أنهم من جهة أنهم لم يدخلوا أنفسهم في الحكم

When [he says] that this prayer is not obligatory (fundamentally), such a one is a jaahid (denier), when he says the prayer is obligatory upon other than me, but as for me, then I do not make iltizaam of it, it is obligatory and I am satisfied that Allaah has made the prayer obligatory no doubt, but upon those besides me. Like what is said by the extreme Sufis, they say the religious obligations are inapplicable (void) for us. Here their disbelief, is it jahd (denial of the obligation)? Do they reject the obligation of the ruling of the prayer, [do] they deny the prayer is obligatory, or [do] they deny that fornication is unlawful [as another example]? No, they say fornication is unlawful, but they do not make iltizaam of that, meaning he does not say that he enters into the address (i.e. he does not say that Allaah's order applies to him), this is the meaning of "the absence of iltizaam", he abstains from fulfillment with the meaning that he does not make himself as one who enters into being addressed (by the obligation). So he says I withhold from accepting that I come under the address to begin with, such as what the extreme Sufis say, those who say that the religious obligations are not applicable upon us, so their disbelief is not from the angle that they rejected the obligation of prayer, they say "No, the prayer is obligatory, it is binding that you pray and command the people to pray", but that [it does not apply to them] from the angle that they did not include themselves amongst [those being addressed by] the ruling.

فإذن صار من مباحث المهمة في النواقض الاعتقادية مسألة الاستحلال وعلاقة الظاهر والباطن، وأن الاستحلال إنما يكون باعتقاده حله بالقلب كما نص عليه شيخ الإسلام، والانتباه للفظ الالتزام والامتناع، وتقابل ذلك مع لفظ القبول والجحد، وأن هذه الألفاظ الأربعة ليس لها معنى واحدا، القبول له معنى والجحد يقابله، والالتزام له معنى والامتناع يقابله.

Therefore, the issue of istihlaal (declaring something lawful as a matter of belief) is one of the important studies amongst the nullifiers (of faith) that pertain to belief, the issue of istihlaal, and its connection to what is inward and outward, and that istihlaal occurs through his belief in its lawfulness with his heart, as Shaykh ul-Islam has textually stated, and also being aware of the word(s) al-iltizaam and al-imtinaa', and that this is faced (i.e. countered) with the word al-qubool and al-jahd, and that these four words do not have [just] a single meaning. Al-qubool (acceptance) has its own meaning, al-jahd (rejection, denial) has its own meaning, al-iltizaam (to consider something binding upon oneself) has its own meaning, and al-imtinaa' is its opposite.

فإذا سمعت في كلام العلماء تقاتل الطائفة الممتنعة، لا تفهم أن معناها الجاحدة، أو الممتنعة يعني المانعة؟ لا، الممتنعة ليس معناها المانعة، الممتنعة يعني التي تقول أنا غير داخلة في هذا الخطاب، مثل حال مانعي الزكاة، مانعو الزكاة في عهد الصديق قالوا نعم الناس يؤدون لكم، نعم، لكن نحن لا نؤدي ليس من جهة إنكار الحكم أو جحد الحكم لكن من جهة عدم الالتزام به فيقول الناس عليهم أن يؤدوا لكن نحن لا يلزمنا ذلك.

So when you hear in the speech of the Scholars that (الطائفة الممتنعة) al-Taai'fah al-Mumtani'ah (a faction that withholds from an obligation), then do not understand from it that its meaning is that it is rejecting (jaahidah) [the obligation], or withholding meaning preventing. No, al-mumtani'ah (the withholding faction), it's meaning is not that it prevents, al-mumtani'ah (the withholding faction) means the one that says, "I do not enter into this particular address (i.e. being addressed by this obligation)". Like the situation with those who withheld the zakah, the withholders of the zakah in the era of [Abu Bakr] as-Siddeeq, they said "Yes, the people should fulfil it to you, but we do not fulfil it", not from the angle of rejecting the ruling, or denying the ruling, but from the angle of the absence of iltizaam (making it binding upon oneself, accepting one's commitment to it), so he says, "The people must fulfil it but it is not binding upon us to do that".

ولهذا يعبر العلماء بقولهم تقاتل الطائفة الممتنعة غير الملتزمة، فيأتون بلفظي الامتناع والالتزام، وهذا تفصيل لكن مهم كثيرين يحصل عندهم غلط في ذلك.

It is for this reason that the Scholars make this expression through their saying, "The withholding faction (at-Taa'ifah al-Mumtani'ah) which does not make iltizaam (ghayr multazimah) is to be fought against", so they bring the two words al-imtinaa' and al-iltizaam. This is the clarification, it is important, many fall into error in this [matter].

Summary Of the Above

All the words, al-juhood, al-istihlaal, al-qubool, al-imtinaa', al-iltizaam, have very specific precise meanings that are different to each other, and in particular al-iltizaam means, "acceptance of the ruling" in the sense that "one accepts that the obligation applies to oneself", and it is not synonymous with the actual fulfilment of the obligation itself. And al-imtinaa' is to withhold from fulfilling an obligation because of either a) not considering that the obligation applies to oneself, which is the absence of al-iltizaam, or b) out of something that constitutes kufr in an of itself such as al-kibr (pride) al-istikbaar (arrogance), al-bughd (hatred) and the likes, even if one accepts that the obligation applies to oneself.

These are the correct usages of these terms, and this is how the scholars use these terms, both Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and likewise Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab. These types of statements are not in relation to the rulers who make iltizaam of the obligations but fall short in fulfilling them in practice.

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