Whoever commits blatant kufr is a kaffir regardless of what he believes

1011794_259535970874856_1908741708_n Question: Can a person who insults the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) be denounced as a Kafir merely for speaking that insult, or must he also be shown to believe that his action is permitted? Answer: Praise be to Allah. The Sahabah, Tabi’een and the Ahl al-Sunnah who came after them were unanimously agreed that whoever says or does something which is blatantly Kufr is a Kafir, without any need to show that he believes it to be permissible. The scholars agreed that kufr may take the form of denying, disbelieving or turning away. This may be a verbal action, such as insulting Allah or His Messenger (salallahu alayhi wasallam),or mocking the religion and its rulings; or it may be a physical action, such as prostrating to idols, circumambulating graves, or offering sacrifices to the jinn and idols. Or it may be an act of omission, such as not doing a certain kind of action at all. Ishaq ibn Raahawayh and others narrated that the Sahabah were agreed that the one who does not pray deliberately is a Kafir. It was narrated in Sahih Muslim via Ibn Jurayj from Abu’l-Zubayr al-Makki from Jabir that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) sai: {“Between a man and shirk or al-kufr there stands his neglecting the prayer.”} The use of the definite article al- here indicates that Major Kufr (al-Kufr al-Akbar) is being referred to. But there are some differences among the Imams of the Madhahib concerning the Kufr of one who does not pray. Some said that he does not become a Kafir in a complete sense so long as he does not deny that prayer is obligatory. Others said that he is guilty of Major Kufr, because there was consensus among the Sahabah on that point, although there were differences as to the point at which he becomes guilty of Kufr by not praying. Some said that he is a Kafir if he neglects to pray one prayer until the time for it is over; others said that he is not a Kafir unless he neglects prayer completely. To sum up, Ahl al-Sunnah do not regard a person as a Kafir for general sins or for every sin, as the Khawarij and Mu’tazilah said when they denounced people as kaafirs for major sins. They regarded as sins some things that are not sins, and applied the rulings of kufr in such cases. Sometimes they would condemn people for the apparent meaning of their words (i.e., they were too quick to judge). This is what many of the later Khawarij and Mu’tazilah do, because when judging people they do not differentiate between the action and the person, or between one issue and another. They may denounce as a Kafir anyone who does not agree with them in these deviations. They were described by the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wasallam): {“They kill the people of Islam and leave alone the people who worship idols.”} (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed). The Ahl al-Sunnah tread a middle path between the Khawarij and the Murji’ah. They do not denounce those who commit major sins as Kuffar, so long as they do not believe their actions to be permissible. Neither do they agree with the view of the Murji’ah, that sin does not undermine a person’s faith at all, and that no one can be denounced as a Kafir unless he is known to believe that his action is permitted. This is false according to the Qur’an, Sunnah and scholarly consensus (ijmaa’). So anyone who insults Allaah or His Messenger (salallahu alayhi wasallam) is a Kafir, with no need to show that he believes his action to be permissible. Scholarly consensus on this point was narrated by more than one scholar. Ishaq ibn Raahawayh said that the scholars were unanimously agreed that whoever insults Allaah, may He be glorified, or slanders His Messenger (salallahu alayhi wasallam), or rejects anything that Allah has revealed, or kills one of the Prophets of Allah – even if he believes in that which Allah has revealed – is a Kafir. And Allah knows best. Sheikh Sulayman Ibn Nasser al-’Alwaan

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