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Who Has The Right To


Make Takfir al-Muayyin
(Takfir Of An Individual)
Of Muslims & The
Kuffaar

By Abdul Kareem Ibn


Ozzie
The takfires (those who make unjustified takfir al-muayyin (takfir of
an individual) of Muslims) claim any one can make takfir al-muayyin
(takfir of a particular individual) and it is incorrect to claim only that
only the scholars can make takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a particular
individual). The reason they say this is because they always make
takfir of individual Muslim rulers but the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah
(who they take their fiqh, tafsir, hadeeth checking and aqeedah from
etc) do not make takfir of the Muslim rulers.

Due to the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah not making takfir on today’s


Muslim rulers, the takfires have decided they and other Muslims (lay
men, daaeeis and student s of knowledge) can make takfir on
individual Muslims especial the Muslim rulers.

The issue of who can make takfir of a specific individual is one that
needs clarification however the takfires never clarify the issue, this
helps them distort the issue of can make takfir so they can justify
their own position.

The people who takfir can be made of are different and therefore
those who have the right to make takfir of each type of people are
different. Those who can make takfir of a person/the people who
takfir can be made of, has different categories. So some people only
the scholars can make takfir of and some people every Muslim can
and has to make takfir of as it is obligatory upon every Muslim to
make takfir of these people.

These categories are:

First: The Original Kaafir

They are dived into two.

1. Making takfir of an individual with no religion: Atheist (those who


do not believe in Allah and agnostics (those who believe in Allah but
reject all religions including Islam) – All Muslims (lay men, daaeeis,
students of knowledge and scholars) can (and have to) make takfir of
a person who belongs to this group based on their actions and beliefs
because their actions are major kufr (disbelieve) and their beliefs are
major kufr and Allah and his messenger have made takfir of these
people in the Quran and Sunnah. Also there is an ijmah (consensus)
of the Muslims on this group being kufr based on their actions and
beliefs.

Shaykh Ubaid al-Jabiree said in regard to these people they are


kuffaar because they have not accepted the words of Allah. The
shaykh said, “Every Muslim should know there are two types in the
religion, those who have accepted the words of Allah and they are the
Muslims and those who haven't and they are the Kuffaar, this is based
on evidence from the Quran, the Sunnah and the ijmah (consensus of
the Scholars).”

2. Making takfir of an individual who follows another faith like


Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and any other religion. All
Muslims (lay men, daaeeis, students of knowledge and scholars) can
(and have to) make takfir of a person who belongs to this group
based on their actions and beliefs because their actions are major kufr
(disbelieve) and their beliefs are major kufr and Allah and his
messenger have made takfir of these people in the Quran and
Sunnah. Also there is an ijmah (consensus) of the Muslims on this
group being kufr based on their actions and beliefs. Also there is an
ijmah (consensus) of the Muslims on this group being kufr based on
their actions and beliefs.

Shaykh Ubaid al-Jabiree said in regard to these people “those


who have not responded to the call of Allah they are the Jews, the
Christians and the Hindus..; and these are the kuffaar (disbelievers)
due to the evidence in the Quran, the Sunnah and the ijmah
(consensus of the Scholars).”
Imam Mohammed Ibn Abdil Wahab states in his ten nullifiers
of Islam (in regards to those with no religion and follows of other
faiths). The third nullifier is: Whoever does not hold the mushriks (or
any other type of kaafir) to be disbelievers, or has doubts about their
disbelief or considers their ways and beliefs to be correct, has
committed kufr (disbelief). Muallafaat al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn
Abd al-Wahhaab, 212, 213

Second: The Apostate From Islam

Making takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a particular individual) of


Muslims (including Muslim rulers) claiming they have apostated
from Islam, is a type of takfir that is only for the scholars and it is not
for the Muslim lay men, daaeeis or students of knowledge. Because
unlike the other categories this type of takfir is of an individual who
claims to believe in the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of
emaan.

So in the Quran and Sunnah this type of person has not been made
takfir of unlike the individual who belongs to the other two categories.
The reason for this is that they outwardly appear to be Muslim and
claim to hold Islamic beliefs. Therefore this type of person can only be
made takfir of on an individual basis when the proof is established
against him, the conditions for takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a
particular individual) are fulfilled and the impediments (preventative
factors of making takfir al-muayyin (takfir of a particular individual))
are negated.

Ibn Taymiyyah said in his Majmoo al-Fataawa (12/466), “It is not


proper for a person to declare anyone a Kaafir from amongst the
Muslims… until the evidence is established against him…”

Ibn Taymiyyah also said, “Indeed takfir has conditions and


impediments (that) are negated in regards to an individual (if it is
proven using the conditions of takfir that he is kaafir).” Majmoo al-
Fataawa 12/487, 488

Shaykh Muhammad Umar Bazmul explained clarified the two


statements of Ibn Taymiyyah above regarding making takfir of an
individual when he said, “And a specific individual does not become a
kaafir in their view (Ahlus Sunnah) except with the fulfilment of the
following matters:

1: Establishment of the proof (from Quran, Sunnah and Ijmah (of the
sahaba or the scholars)

2: Affirmation of the [fulfilment] of the conditions are:


• (Ilm) Acquisition of correct knowledge
• (Qasd) Corroboration of the wilful intent (to utter the saying or
perform the action)

3: The absence of any barriers (preventative factors of making takfir


al-muayyin (takfir of an individual), which are four, and which are
incompatible with (cancel out) the conditions (of ilm and qasd)
• Ignorance that negates knowledge
• Compulsion (hat negates wilful intent
• Error which negates wilful intent
• Faulty interpretation that negates wilful intent

So no judgement of disbelief upon a specific individual is not made


until these matters are corroborated, as opposed to (the case) of takfir
al-mutlaq (general takfir).”

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Indeed the takfir al-Mutlaq (general takfir)


does not necessitate takfir al-muayyin (takfir on an individual),
unless (the proof is first established on the individual and) the
conditions (of takfir al-muayyin) are met and the impediments
(preventative factors of making takfir al-muayyin) are negated.”
Majmoo al-Fataawa 12/487, 488
The above conditions:
1. establishment of proof,
2. conditions for takfir al-muayyin being fulfilled
3. impediments (preventative factors of making takfir al-muayyin
being negated,
are only for takfir of an individual MUSLIM NOT TAKFIR OF AN
INDIVDUAL KAFFIR because they are kuffaar simply by stating
and believing that they are not Muslims and Islam is not the truth,
so conditions for their individual takfir is not needed.

Qadi Iyad said, “We (all the Muslims) regard as a kaafir everyone
who follows a religion other than the religion of the Muslims
(including an individual with no religion i.e. an Atheist (those who do
not believe in Allah) or an Agnostic (those who believe in Allah but
reject all religions including Islam))…” Al-Shifaa’ bi Ta’reef Huqooq
al-Mustafaa, 2/1071

Due to the conditions (establishment of proof, conditions for takfir al-


muayyin being fulfilled and the impediments (preventative factors of
making takfir al-muayyin being negated) which are needed before
takfir of an individual can be declared. Making takfir upon other
Muslims is reserved for those who have a lot of Islamic knowledge
such as the scholars.

Based on this Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said, “The judgement of


apostasy and expelling someone from the religion is only appropriate
for the people of knowledge (scholars) who are firmly grounded in
knowledge, and they are the judges in the various shariah law courts,
and those who are able of giving legal verdicts. And this is just like the
other matters, and it is not the right of every person, or from the right
of those who are learning, or those who ascribe themselves to
knowledge, but who have deficiency in understanding. It is not
appropriate for them to make judgements of apostasy (upon others).
Since mischief will arise from this, and sometimes a Muslim might be
judged as an apostate but he is not actually so the takfir of a Muslim
who has not committed one of the nullifications of Islam contains
great danger. Whoever says to his brother “O Kaafir” or “O Faasiq”,
and he is not like that, then the words will fall back upon the one who
said them. Hence, the ones who actually judge with apostasy are the
legislative judges (the scholars) and those who are able and fit for
giving legal verdicts. And as for those who enforce the judgements
they are the leaders of the Muslims (wullaat al-amr). As for whatever
is other than this, then it is mere confusion.” Maraaji'aat fee Fiqh il-
Waaqi... (comp. by Abdullaah bin Muhammad ar-Rifaa'ee

Also Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan stated: “It is obligatory for the


ignoramus not to speak and to keep quiet and fear Allah, The Exalted
and Majestic, and to not speak without knowledge, Allah says,
“Say, My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is
apparent of then and what is concealed – and sin (any
unlawful action), and oppression without right, and that
you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent
down authority, and that you say about Allah that which
you do not know.” {al’A’raaf (7): 33}

So it is not permissible for the ignoramus to speak in issues of


knowledge especially in regards to major issues such as takfir, jihad
and al-walaa wal-baraa (allegiance and association). As for slander
and backbiting in regards to the honour of the people in authority and
the honour of the scholars, then this is the most severe type of
backbiting and as a result is not permissible. As for current events
which have passed or are taking place then these are affairs for the
people in authority to research and seek counsel over and it is for the
scholars to explain its Divinely Legislated ruling.

As for the general and common people and beginning students it is


not their issue. Allah says, “And when there comes to them
something (I.e. information) about (public) security
or fear, they spread it around. But if they had only referred
it back to the Messenger or to those in authority among
them, then the ones who can draw correct conclusions from
it would have known about it. And if not for the favour of
Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed
Satan, except for a few.”{an-Nisaa (4): 83}
So it is incumbent to refrain the tongue in speaking about the likes of
such issues, especially takfir, allegiance and disavowal. And humans
are mostly ignorant of its application and can apply it incorrectly and
thus judge a person with misguidance and kufr, and the ruling could
thus return upon the claimant. So if a person says to his brother “O
kaafir, O fasiq” and the man is not like that (i.e. neither a kaafir nor a
fasiq) the ruling can return upon the one who said it, and Allah’s
refuge is sought. This is a very dangerous issue, so it is upon the one
who fears Allah to refrain his tongue except if he is from those who
are entrusted to deal with such issues, from the people in authority or
the scholars.” Muhammad bin Fadh al-Husayn (editor and compiler),
al-Ajabaat ak-Muhimmah fi’l-Mashaakil al-Mumilah (Riyadh:
Mataabi’ al-Humaydee, 1425 AH/2004 CE, Second Edition), pp.56-
58

So in conclusion the issue of can make takfir can be summed up as


follows:

1. Making takfir of those with no religion. It is obligatory on all


Muslims (lay men, daaeeis, students of knowledge and scholars)
to make takfir generally and specifically of these people.
2. Making takfir of those who follow other faiths. It is obligatory on
all Muslims (lay men, daaeeis, students of knowledge and
scholars) to make takfir generally and specifically of these
people.
3. Making takfir of Muslims. It is obligatory only on the scholars to
make takfir of these people the other Muslims can not and must
make takfir of these people. So the lay men, daaeeis and students
of knowledge must with hold from making takfir of these people
in general and specifically.

The takfires think because they can make and Allah has made it
obligatory to make takfir of those with no religion and those who
follow other faiths that it must also by obligatory upon them and
everyone to also make takfir of Muslims who do an act or hold a
belief of kufr.

But this is not the case for one simple reason. The individual with
no religion and the individual who follows another faith rejects and
denies the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of emaan and they
state they are not Muslim so to make takfir of such a person is
obligatory on all Muslims (scholar or other than a scholar) because
it requires hardly any knowledge of Islam what so ever. Even a new
Muslim automatically understands that those who are not Muslim
and reject and deny the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of
emaan are kuffaar.

On the other hand making takfir of individual Muslims like the


Muslim rulers is only the right of the scholars. The reason for this is
making takfir of a Muslim who believes in the five pillars of Islam
and the six pillars of emaan, says they are Muslim and do may be
not all but a least some of the obligatory and recommend acts of
Islam out of their own free will requires a great deal of knowledge.
They need knowledge of:
• the types of kufr the ruling on each type,
• the factors that prevent takfir like ignorance and mistake (non-
will full intent) etc,
• they need the ability to explain the verse from the Quran and
hadeeth from the Sunnah that help the one being made takfir
understand why he is being made takfir of,
• high level of Arabic language (grammar etc)
• and many other branches of knowledge relate to takfir of
general groups of Muslims and specific individuals.
Also the one making takfir of a Muslim could be wrong and because
the matter of takfir is so serious, and mistakes therein are so grave
the every Muslim who is not a scholar should refrain from indulging
in that. Instead he should focus on acquiring beneficial knowledge
that will set his own affairs straight in this world and the hereafter.

In conclusion all Muslim can and must make takfir of the kuffaar
however only the scholars can make takfir of Muslims due to;

1. The level of knowledge needed to make takfir of a person who


says, claims to believe in the in Allah and his prophet, and acts
upon this believe, even if it is only by praying on Fridays
(jummah), fasting in Ramadan, and by going hajj and doing
nothing else, is vast. The reason why the level of knowledge
needed to make takfir of a Muslim is so much is because of all the
proofs that need to be established upon the person/group and
preventive factors which need to be looked in to.
2. The other reason only the scholars can make takfir of Muslims is
because takfir is something which a scholar or a layman could get
wrong. The danger, the problems and the tribulation that would
result from an incorrect takfir being made of an individual/group
is great. So to minimise the danger of takfir being made
incorrectly the right to make takfir of Muslims has been left with
the scholars as they are least like to get takfir incorrect as they
have the most knowledge and the best understanding of the
Quran, the Sunnah and the Islamic principals in regard to takfir
of Muslims.

Those Muslims who from the laymen, daaeeis or students of


knowledge who wish to make takfir of the Muslim rulers and Muslim
governments or takfir of any other individual Muslim should with
hold his tongue. If he makes takfir he is from the Ruwaybidah.
The Messenger of Allah said: “There will come upon the
people years of deceit wherein the liar will be regarded as
truthful and the truthful will be considered a liar and the
dishonest will be trusted and the trustworthy one will be
considered dishonest and the Ruwaybidah will begin to
speak!” Then it was asked: “What are the Ruwaybidah?”
He replied: “The foolish insignificant man who speaks
about general affairs.” Ibn Maajah, Saheeh

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