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Zehni Irtidaad – Intellectual Apostasy

ً ‫ﻓﻼ ورﺑﻚ ﻻ ﻳ ْﺆﻣﻨ ۡﻮن ﺣ ٰ! ﻳﺤﻜﻤ ۡﻮك ﻓ ۡﻴﻤﺎ ﺷﺠﺮ ﺑ ۡﻴﻨ ْ ﺛﻢ ﻻ ﻳﺠﺪ ۡوا ﰲۡ ۤ اﻧ ۡﻔﺴ ْ ﺣﺮ‬
‫ ْﺴﻠ ۡﻴ ًﻤﺎ‬, ‫ﺴﻠﻤ ۡﻮا‬-‫ﺟﺎ ﻣﻤﺎ ﻗﻀ ۡﻴﺖ و‬

ُ ‫ ﻻ ﻳـُﺘﱠـﺒَ ُﻊ ﻓﻴﻪ‬- ‫ وﻻ ﺗُ ْﺪرُﻛﻮا زﻣﺎ‬- ‫ اﻟﻠﻬﻢ ﻻ ﻳُﺪرْﻛ ِ ْﲏ زﻣﺎ ٌن‬D : ‫ﻗﺎل رﺳﻮل ﷲ‬
‫ﻢ ﻗﻠﻮب اﻷﻋﺎﺟﻢ وأﻟﺴﻨﺘﻬﻢ‬5‫ ﻗﻠﻮ‬، ‫اﻟﻌﻠﻴﻢ وﻻ ﻳُ ْﺴﺘَ ْﺤﻲ ﻓﻴﻪ ﻣﻦ اﳊﻠﻴﻢ‬ ِ ِ
( ٥١٨/٣٧ C ‫ ﻣﺴﻨﺪ أﲪﺪ‬D ) . C ‫أﻟﺴﻨﺔ اﻟﻌﺮب‬

Gauge of Imaan:
‫ ﻓﻘﺎل رﺳﻮل ﷲ‬، ‫ﰲ ﺷﺮاج ﻣﻦ اﳊﺮة ﻛﺎ ﻳﺴﻘﻴﺎن ﺑﻪ ﻛﻼﳘﺎ‬ ‫ إﱃ رﺳﻮل ﷲ‬... ‫ﻋﻦ ﻋﺮوة ﺑﻦ اﻟﺰﺑﲑ أن اﻟﺰﺑﲑ ﻛﺎن ﳛﺪث أﻧﻪ ﺧﺎﺻﻢ رﺟﻼ‬
ِ
: ‫ﻓﺘﻠﻮن وﺟﻪ رﺳﻮل ﷲ ﰒ ﻗﺎل‬ ّ . ‫ رﺳﻮل ﷲ ! أن ﻛﺎن اﺑﻦ ﻋﻤﺘﻚ‬V : ‫ ﻓﻐﻀﺐ اﻷﻧﺼﺎري ﻓﻘﺎل‬، C ‫ زﺑﲑ ﰒ أرﺳﻞ إﱃ ﺟﺎرك‬V ‫ اﺳﻖ‬D : ‫ﻟﻠﺰﺑﲑ‬
‫ وﻛﺎن رﺳﻮل ﷲ ﻗﺒﻞ ذﻟﻚ أﺷﺎر ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺰﺑﲑ ﺑﺮأي ﺳﻌﺔ ﻟﻪ‬، ‫ ﻓﺎﺳﺘﻮﻋﻰ رﺳﻮل ﷲ ﺣﻴﻨﺌﺬ ﺣﻘﻪ ﻟﻠﺰﺑﲑ‬، C ‫ اﺳﻖ ﰒ اﺣﺒﺲ ﺣﱴ ﻳﺒﻠﻎ اﳉﺪر‬D
‫ وﷲ ﻣﺎ أﺣﺴﺐ ﻫﺬﻩ اﻵﻳﺔ‬: ‫ ﻗﺎل اﻟﺰﺑﲑ‬: ‫ ﻗﺎل ﻋﺮوة‬. ‫رﺳﻮل ﷲ اﺳﺘﻮﻋﻰ ﻟﻠﺰﺑﲑ ﺣﻘﻪ ﰲ ﺻﺮﻳﺢ اﳊﻜﻢ‬َ ‫ ﻓﻠﻤﺎ أﺣﻔﻆ اﻷﻧﺼﺎري‬، ‫وﻟﻸﻧﺼﺎري‬
ْ
( ٣٧٣/١ C ‫ ﺻﺤﻴﺢ اﻟﺒﺨﺎري‬D ) ١ . ‫ْ اﻵﻳﺔ‬ ‫ذﻟﻚ ﻓﻼ ورﺑﻚ ﻻ ﻳﺆﻣﻨ ۡﻮن ﺣ ٰ! ﻳﺤﻜﻤ ۡﻮك ﻓ ۡﻴﻤﺎ ﺷﺠﺮ ﺑ ۡﻴﻨ‬ ‫ﻧﺰﻟﺖ إﻻ ﰲ‬
This aayat serves as a gauge of imaan, i.e. a person must be totally pleased with the laws of deen and not have
the slightest reservation in his heart regarding any command of Allah Ta‘ala or decision of Rasulullah (sallallahu
‘alaihi wasallam).
Now the need is for us to measure ourselves according to this gauge; do we and our subordinates qualify as
genuine Mu’mins or do we fail, due to having doubts and reservations regarding some fundamental/s of deen.
If it is the latter, then according to this aayat, we do not qualify as true Mu’mins although we may appear to be
Muslim.

Intellectual Apostasy:
When we hear of some person/people becoming murtadd, we take it very seriously, and rightfully so. However,
now we have a neo-irtidaad that is happening in perhaps every community and in nearly every family; where
people are outwardly Muslim, coming to the musjid, offering salaah etc. but they have serious doubts and
reservations regarding fundamentals and injunctions of deen. This is an intellectual apostasy, which at times
leads to a person even leaving the fold of Islam.

Examples:
1. Recently a youngster came to a Mufti enquiring if he could marry a girl who he is interested in. The reason
for his hesitation was that she says that – Allah Ta‘ala forbid – we cannot believe that the Quraan is
definitely a divine book, since we are taking the word of one man (i.e. Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)
regarding it. The most that can be said is that it is a book of morals and ethics2.

1
Summary: Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) once came with an Ansaari to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). They were
disputing over the water canal which they would both use to irrigate their farm. The canal would enter the land of Zubair
(radhiyallahu ‘anhu) first and then emerge to flow on to the land of the Ansaari. Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would block
the outgoing - canal long enough for the water to irrigate sufficiently and then remove the blockage allowing the water to
reach his neighbour. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), “Irrigate (a bit less), O
Zubair, then leave the water for your neighbour.” The Ansaari was upset at this and remarked, “O Rasul of Allah! (Your
decision) is merely because he is your cousin.” This remark greatly angered Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) as his
suggestion to Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) actually entailed him foregoing some of his due right. Despite the decision being
in favour of the Ansaari, he accused Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) of injustice and favouritism. The blessed face of
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) changed colour with anger and he said to Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), “Irrigate, O
Zubair, and hold the water back until you have used whatever you require.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had
therefore now instructed Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to use the full amount of water to which he was entitled. Zubair
(radhiyallahu ‘anhu) says that the above aayah was revealed on that occasion.
2
Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (rahimahullah) mentioned:
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2. Not very long ago, many people objected to the fact that a disbeliever will be doomed forever in Jahannum,
despite the acts of kindness and the humanitarian works that he may have carried out. They say that Islam
cannot be such an unjust religion. This type of thinking is directly against the Quraan Majeed.
3. Many people have reservations regarding the justice system of Islam, and claim that it is barbaric, Allah
Ta‘ala forbid. In actual fact, Islam is so called ‘barbaric’ to the criminal and compassionate to the innocent,
whereas the Western system on the other hand is ‘compassionate’ to the criminal and barbaric to the
innocent.
4. Another issue, in which many people are unclear, is regarding Islam’s treatment of women. They say that
Islam is been unjust to a woman by only allotting half of the man’s share to her in the estate, by not giving
her the right of divorce and by not allowing her to participate in salaah with jamaat etc. Although this is a
very vast topic, in essence we need to understand that Islam does not advocate ‘equality’ rather ‘justice’.
There are many other examples of this nature; where people who appear to be Muslim have serious doubts,
such as Darwin’s theory of evolution, Islam’s stance on zina, homosexuality, etc.

Extremely Serious:
Some may feel that what’s so serious if a person has a few doubts and reservations? The following incident
explains the seriousness of it:
A great scholar of Makkah Mukarramah, Shaikh Dahhaan, related that a learned man who lived in Makkah
Mukarramah passed away. Sometime later, his grave was re-dug to bury another person. To the utter
amazement of those present, there lay in his grave the body of a beautiful European looking girl. Coincidently,
there was a man from Europe among the crowd who identified this girl. He said, “This girl is from France and

I was once addressing a group of women at a certain venue. The man of the house approached me and said: “My wife
wishes to pose a question to you on condition that I must not be present.” I declared: “You have the option of staying or
leaving, but a few other males will remain with me.” He agreed to this request and his wife, speaking from behind a
curtain, began her questioning.
She commenced by pointing out that she had forwarded this question to various other ‘Ulama, but received no
satisfactory answer. “I believe,” she started, “that whatever is contained in the Quraan is correct, but it is my opinion that
it was not directly revealed from Allah Ta‘ala, but compiled by Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and thereafter he, Nabi
(sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), declared that it was from Allah Ta‘ala merely to pacify the people.”
Where did this drivel emanate? These types of thoughts and lopsided reasoning are the fruits of English secular education.
The teachers in the secular schools are devoid of any understanding of deen and, combined with the secular school
curriculum, the child is influenced to reason along these lines that the Quraan is not the divine word of Allah Ta‘ala, etc.
Now, what is to be expected of the state of one’s imaan? One of the fundamental beliefs of Islam is to unequivocally
believe that the Quraan was revealed by Allah Ta‘ala and is the source of guidance for all.
“Tell me,” I asked. “Have you read the seerat (biography) of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)?” “Yes,” she instinctively
replied. “I have read it in Urdu and English.” “Then tell me,” I pointed out. “Did you come across in the seerat that two
distinguishing qualities of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) were his honesty and truthfulness?” “Yes,” she admitted. “I
have come across this many a times.” “Then your question has been answered!” “How? I do not understand,” she said,
puzzled. I then explained: “To claim that something was revealed by Allah Ta‘ala, but in reality was not, is dishonesty and
an honest person will not make such a claim. An honest person will never hide that which was revealed to him no matter
how beneficial or detrimental it may prove to be to the general people. If an honest son quotes his father, he will not
attribute anything to his father that he thinks will benefit the listener without pointing out that he has added this
statement from his own side. Similarly, to suggest that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had declared that the Quraan was
revealed by Allah Ta‘ala, merely to pacify the people, is ludicrous because such an audacious claim will eventually be
exposed. Your reasoning belittles the intellect of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) because it concludes that Nabi
(sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not consider the possibility that people will eventually realise that the Quraan was indeed
not revealed by Allah Ta‘ala and the years of toiling and striving he had undertaken, to spread the message, will be
rendered useless. Na‘oozubillah! Not considering the final outcome of one’s actions depicts one’s level of intelligence, and
intelligent people generally think about the end result of their words and actions.” “Now I understand,” she said.
This woman had acquired English secular education! The point that I wish to draw your attention to is that if we are going
to dispatch our daughters to secular schools, they will be indoctrinated with negative sentiments and ideologies about
Islam. They will deny the revelation of the Quraan, the prophethood of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the existence
of the malaa’ikah. They will opine that salaah, sajdah, ruku’ and other ‘ibaadaat are dogmatic actions and they will not
observe purdah, but dress immodestly, shamefully exposing their bodies. What will be the outcome of this? Utter
ruination in this world and the Hereafter! (Discources of Faqeehul Ummat vol. 2, pg. 190)

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the daughter of a Christian. She had accepted Islam secretly and studied some deeni books from me. All of a
sudden she fell ill and passed away.”
Half the mystery was solved, that her body was moved to the blessed land of Makkah Mukarramah since she
was a pious Muslim girl. Now the question remained, “Where is the body of the learned man?” They said to the
Muslim from Europe, “Please dig the grave of this girl on your return and see if the body of the learned man is
there?”
When he returned, he explained the entire episode to the girl’s parents. They were extremely surprised and
eventually decided to dig her grave. When the grave was dug the body of the girl was nowhere to be seen. In
its place lay the decomposing rotten body of the learned man who was buried in Makkah Mukarramah.
When the news reached Makkah Mukarramah, the people were perplexed. The reason for the girl’s body being
relocated to Makkah Mukarramah was understandable but what was the reason for the learned man’s body
being rejected from Makkah Mukarramah and moved to the land of the disbelievers?
They concluded that the best person to ask would be his wife. So they approached her and inquired, “Did your
husband have any trait of disbelief?” She replied, “Not at all, he was a devoted worshipper who would recite
the Quraan and perform tahajjud prayers.” They said to her, “Think carefully. There has to be something
seriously wrong in him against Islam for his body to be moved.”
After some thought she said, “Oh yes! There was something that I was always uneasy about. After having
relations with me, when he required an obligatory bath, he would say, ‘How nice for the Christians, they don’t
need to bath!’”
The people said, “This is definitely the reason for his body being rejected from Makkah Mukarramah and
thrown amongst such people whose ways and traditions he loved.” (Khutubaate Hakeemul Ummat, vol. 22, pg.
415)
Thus, if disliking one aspect of Islam – which is not even of such a fundamental nature as the issues that were
raised above – led to this disastrous outcome, what then will be the consequence of doubting the
fundamentals of deen?
This is the greatest threat facing the Ummah, since it is not an issue of some wrong character or weak ‘ibaadat,
rather an issue of imaan and kufr and a clash between Islamic and non-Islamic culture.

Cause:
When the Islamic world weakened in the 19th century and the deeni standards dropped, the West promoted a
philosophy and culture to the educated and influential. A philosophy which is tantamount to irtidaad – material
is the be all and end all; it is the supreme power and controller. This results in a person ‘rejecting’ a creator and
the concept of Aakhirat and nubuwwat. He then doubts many injunctions of deen and no more believes,
although he will choose to remain in the Muslim community. This becomes his ‘religion’, though he will deny it
being a religion. Discussing with the person will reveal these realities.

Method:
One of the very common methods that they use is that of the media. Through their media, they control our
minds and make us believe whatever filth they want. An even more effective method of theirs, although we
may not be too happy to accept, is that of the education system. There are many facts and incidents to prove
this. Some are listed below:
1. Recently, in a prominent family, the grandfather took his grandchildren along for ‘Umrah. When they
approached Makkah Mukarramah and he explained to them that we are going to the house of Allah Ta‘ala,
our Lord, one of the grandchildren exclaimed: “Dada! But isn’t Jesus our Lord, since this is what we say
every morning in school.” The grandfather was shocked and phoned his son there and then instructing him
to immediately remove his child from the private Christian school that he was attending.
2. In the beginning of Ramadhaan, an extremely wealthy man advised his two sons - one studying in another
country and the other in another province – to observe fast and offer salaah. Their reply was that we don’t
even know if we are Muslim.
3. One youngster from a strong Muslim community, who has learned people in his family as well, was selected
in a school exchange program to study in a Western country. His father was strongly advised against it but
he did not heed. When he returned and his father asked him to join him for salaah, his reply was: “I don’t
believe in that”.
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4. When the English left India, they very clearly stated that although we are leaving the country, we have left
behind our education system which is such that if any Muslim or Hindu has to go through it, he will
definitely have doubts regarding his religion. Thus he will be left with a Muslim Christian mind.3
5. When the first group of Arab youngsters were taken over to the West to study, their Jewish professor would
initially remind them of salaah times and emphasise on them to offer it diligently. Once he won their
confidence, they were indoctrinated to such an extent that when they were interviewed upon their return,
they said that if they were given the authority, one of the first tasks that they would accomplish would be to
destroy this house (i.e. the Ka’bah) – Allah Ta‘ala forbid -, since it has kept the Arabs behind.
These and many other examples, clearly highlight the negative effect that this education system can have on a
person’s imaan. Let alone having doubts and reservations, many of the examples above are of clearly
denouncing Islam.

Solution:
Though we understand the negatives of this education system, we are fully aware that most of us cannot avoid
it. Hence the solution would be to give our children very sound maktab education4 when they are younger and
to link them up to learned and righteous ‘Ulama when they grow up. We also need to have a very strong link
with the ‘Ulama and clear the smallest doubts that crop up in our minds. Insha-Allah through this our and their
imaan and deen would be safe.

Du‘aa of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam):


This solution is understood from the du‘aa of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in which he prophesised
and even sort protection from a time in which people would appear to be Muslim, and would even be fluent in
the Arabic language, yet their mentality and outlook would be that of the Kuffaar (i.e. intellectual apostasy).

ُ ‫ ﻻ ﻳـُﺘﱠـﺒَ ُﻊ ﻓﻴﻪ‬- ‫ وﻻ ﺗُ ْﺪرُﻛﻮا زﻣﺎ‬- ‫ اﻟﻠﻬﻢ ﻻ ﻳُﺪرْﻛ ِ ْﲏ زﻣﺎ ٌن‬D : ‫ﻋﻦ ﺳﻬﻞ ﺑﻦ ﺳﻌﺪ أن رﺳﻮل ﷲ ﻗﺎل‬
، ‫اﻟﻌﻠﻴﻢ وﻻ ﻳُ ْﺴﺘَ ْﺤﻲ ﻓﻴﻪ ﻣﻦ اﳊﻠﻴﻢ‬ ِ ِ
( ٥١٨/٣٧ C ‫ ﻣﺴﻨﺪ أﲪﺪ‬D ) . C ‫ﻢ ﻗﻠﻮب اﻷﻋﺎﺟﻢ وأﻟﺴﻨﺘﻬﻢ أﻟﺴﻨﺔ اﻟﻌﺮب‬5‫ﻗﻠﻮ‬
He explained in this du‘aa that one of the main factors that would cause this intellectual apostasy is that they
would refuse to follow the ‘Ulama and would desire to be free in accessing the Quraan and hadeeth
independently.
Thus, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) not only advocated that there should be a ‘monopoly of the clergy’
rather he begged Allah Ta‘ala not to show him that era when the ‘Ulama will not be followed.

3
Lord Macaulay said: “It is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We
must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class
of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may
leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the
Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the
population.” http://tinyurl.com/nbom5gc
He also said: “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who
is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we
would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural
heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians
think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native
self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.” http://tinyurl.com/3hykk8g
4
Hazrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Ishaq Saheb (daamat barakaatuhum) mentioned: When I was lecturing at the Rand
Afrikaans University, a professor, who was head of the department, mentioned to me, during a conversation: “The day the
Primary Level Religious Institutions (Makaatib) do not exist, the Muslim community will exist as a professional community
and as a business community – but they will not exist as a Muslim community anymore.” It was at that point that I realized
the agenda and planning of the enemies of Islam. They were systematically trying to break down the structure of deen,
which had been established in South Africa. Their foremost effort was and is drawing the Muslims to their secular
institutions – primary, secondary and tertiary - where they would further break down the individual’s deen – until the
mind-set, the lifestyle and the beliefs become secular! Then we would be Muslim in name, but not in identity and not in
our outlook – perhaps not even in belief. May Allah Ta‘ala protect us all. http://tinyurl.com/on5ns9y
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