Shaykh ‘Aasim al-Qaryooti
All praise is due to Allaah, whose ruling none can criticise, and may peace and salutations be upon his trustworthy prophet, the seal of the prophets and messengers, after whom there is no prophet.
In these times, the Islaamic nation is passing through some of its darkest days and the most difficult of these are those that emanate from within, under the cover of a veil by which a number of the Muslims can be fooled.
One of these matters that the Ummah has been afflicted by is that which is related to takfeer and what can result in going to extremes in it without concern for boundaries, or regard for the principles of the Sharee’ah by which it is bound.
Under this subject, minds have erred and pens have failed to hit the mark; those who do not comprehend it, and are young, speak of it; those who are not adept in the principles of takfeer and its conditions wade into it, without any fear of making takfeer of those who differ with them in the slightest issue or, at the other end of the spectrum, those who are lax with regards to making takfeer and have no honour over Allaah’s religion. In this way, the truth is mixed with falsehood in the view of a number of the people and they consider as part of the Ummah those who are not from it, and include in Allaah’s religion that which is not from it.
The rulings of the Sharee’ah are rely upon scholars and judges – especially that which is related to rulings around the ruling of takfeer – whether it is being made upon an individual or a group. This is due to the dangerous ramifications that result from it. So, only those who are qualified should approach it. There is enough warning the Muslim against its dangers in the hadeeth of the messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,
‘Whoever says to his brother ‘O kaafir’, it will be true for one of them.’
And since ignorance has crept between the people due to their distance from the two great sources of revelation – the noble Qur’aan and the exalted prophetic Sunnah and the sources of knowledge emanating from unknowns and those who are not its people, this matter [of takfeer] has been taken from those who are not fitting. As a result, trials and catastrophes have resulted in the form of making takfeer of the Muslim community, bombings and destruction and other than these great evils and ugly outcomes.
The consequences of such outcomes have led to oppression and enmity towards Islaam and its people – and ascribing these actions to the people of the Sunnah, the callers to tawheed, Salafiyyah and the da’wah of Muhammad Ibn Abdil Wahaab is oppression and wrongdoing. It is libellous and untrue – as they are actually free from them – those who act irregularly, from those who ascribe to Islaam, do not represent it.
The ‘allaamah Abdul Lateef bin Abdir Rahmaan bin Hassan aal-a’Shaykh, may Allaah have mercy upon him, clarified the falsity of these claims in his book ‘misbaahu thulaam fir radd ‘ala mun kathaba ‘ala shaykh al-Imaam wa nasibahu ‘ila takfeer ahlil eemaan w’l islaam’.
Discussion concerning takfeer is from the great and intricate matters of the legislation – from the matters of names and rulings – like Imaan, tafseeq [the labelling of someone as a sinner] and tabdee [labelling someone a person of innovation] and have relation to the promise of paradise and torment in the hereafter and matters of associating, having enmity, fighting, protection and other than these rulings that relate to apostasy.
It is obligatory for the seeker of the truth in this area and other than it from the areas of knowledge to stop, entirely, at all the evidences of the Book and Sunnah, following the path of the believers – that which was manifest in the manhaj of the Salaf as Saalih, may Allaah’s pleasure be upon them.
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, ‘It is obligatory to be removed and separated from making takfeer of the Muslims due to their sins and errors, for it was the first innovation that arose within Islaam – its people make takfeer of the Muslims, making their blood and wealth lawful.’ Majmoo al-Fataawa (13/31).
He also said, ‘It is impermissible to make takfeer of the Muslims due to a sin they have committed or a mistake they have made, like in the issues about which the people of the Qiblah differ.
And the Khawaarij, who the prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered to fight, were fought against by the leader of the believers ‘Ali, one of the rightly-guided khulafaa. The Imaams of the religion, from the Sahaabah, taabi’een and those who came after them were in agreement with regards to the legitimacy of fighting them. However, ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib, S’ad bin Abi Waqaas and other than them from the Sahaabah, may Allaah be pleased with them, did not make takfeer of them – rather, they considered them from the Muslims.’ Majmoo al-Fataawa (13/282-283).
Abu Haamid al-Ghazaali, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, ‘Takfeer is the endeavour of the ignorant – none hasten towards it except them. So as far as an individual is able to, they should stay away from it, because to make the blood and wealth of those who pray towards the Qiblah and explicitly state ‘laa illaaha ill Allaah, Muhammadur rasoolUllah’ lawful, is a mistake. And to err in leaving off the takfeer of a thousand disbelievers is lighter than to shed a drop of a Muslim’s blood.’
To conclude: I ask Allaah by His beautiful names and lofty attributes to give victory to Islaam and its people; to protect the blood of the Muslims; to guide those among us who have gone astray and to return us beautifully to His deen.
Translated by Akeel Ahmed