03 & 04 Refuting Extremism – Abu Abdur Rahman


Refuting Extremism

Study Notes (no3 & 4)
Abu Abdur Rahman

Note: The revision notes below should not be solely relied upon. They are to be utilised along with their corresponding explanations delivered during the lessons.

Chapter two cont..

That a Muslim is not pronounced a disbeliever (kaafir) by what he says or does or believes until the evidence is established against him,1 and his doubts disappear and all the conditions of takfeer apply and all the conditions that negate takfeer are negated.
So this principle dictates that we submit to the withholding of pronouncing takfeer upon the one who rejects, denies, or opposes something from the religion that is known by necessity up until the proof is established against him.


The evidences for this principle are too many to mention however of the evidences that prove this sixth principle is the saying of Allaah:

“And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).”
[Al-Isra (17):15]

Then, verily! Your Lord for those who do evil (commit sins and are disobedient to Allaah) in ignorance and afterward repent and do righteous deeds, verily, your Lord thereafter, (to such) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [A-Nahl (16):119]

“Say (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam): “What thing is the most great in witness?” Say: “Allaah (the Most Great!) is Witness between me and you; this Qur’aan has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.” [Al-An’aam (6):19]

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:
“Also the women who had continual bleeding and said: “I have continual heavy bleeding which prevents me from prayer and fasting.” So he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) ordered her to pray during the period of continual bleeding and did not order her to make up for the prayers she had missed.” [Al-Udar bi Jahal of Shaykh Ahmad Fareed]
“Also when the messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) made hijrah to Medina the prayer was increased for the residents but those who were far from him, such as those in Mecca and Abyssinia, used to pray two rak`at and he did not order them to repeat their prayers.” [Al-Udar bi Jahal of Shaykh Ahmad Fareed]
Further evidence: “When Mu’aawiyah ibn Al-Hakam as-Sulamee (radiyallaahu anhu) spoke in prayer after the forbiddance, being ignorant of it. So he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said “this prayer of ours – nothing from the speech of humans”, and he did not order him to repeat the prayer.” [Majmoo Al Fataawa 22/41-42]
Imaam Al Qurtubee (rahimahullaah) said:
“So just as the kaafir does not become a believer except by choosing imaan over kufr, then likewise a believer does not become a kaafir through something by which he did not intend kufr nor choose it. There is ijmaa upon this.” [Tafseer Ul-Qurtabi 7/6128]
Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:
“..As for the kufr of ignorance when the proof has not been established and of one who has not been able to reach the truth, then Allaah has denied punishment for such a one until the proof brought by the messenger is established.”
Imaam Ash-Showkaani (rahimahullaah) said:
“..Whoever prostrates to other than Allaah out of ignorance, he does not become a disbeliever.” [Naylul Awtaar 6/210]
And there are many more statements from our salaf and the scholars of Ahla Sunnah wal Jammat establishing that proof has to be established upon a believer before pronouncing takfeer upon him. I refer the noble reader to the book Aludhar-bil-jahal` by Shaykh Ahmad Fareed.


We judge the rulers only by that which is apparent, and leave that which is not apparent to Allaah for indeed He alone knows the inner most affairs of all people.
This principle dictates that we cannot venture into the leaders hearts, and speak of those things which we have no apparent evidence for, so we would indeed be sinning if we spoke of his actions which pertain to his heart, i.e love, hope, fear, etc. we can only speak of the apparent effects of this.2


Imaam At-Tahaawi (rahimahullaah) states in his famous book of Aqeedatut- Tahaawiyyah:
“And we do not testify against them with kufr nor with shirk nor hypocrisy just so long as these are not apparent from them and we leave their unapparent affairs to Allaah.”3
So in explanation of this Ibn Abi Izza said: “This is because we have been ordered to judge that which is apparent and we have been prohibited from suspicion, and following that which we have no knowledge of, as Allaah said:

“O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former..” [Al-Hujuraat (49):11]

And Allaah also said:

“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins..” [Al-Hujuraat (49):12]

And Allaah said:

“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allaah).” [Al-Israa’ (17):36]

Imaam At-Tahaawi (rahimahullaah) also said:
“And we do not pronounce takfeer upon anyone from the people of Qibla by these sins, as long as they do not make them halaal, and we do not say that one who sins his imaan is not harmed.” 4 (This is also a refutation of the Murjia whom we are accused of being)
What is meant by “people of Qibla” in his above saying is: We name our people of the Qibla Muslims, Mu’mins [as long as they hold up to what the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) came with knowingly, and that they believe in everything he said, and informed of]. The shaykh (rahimahullaah) is pointing out by this statement a refutation to the Khawaarij who pronounce takfeer on the one who does sin.5


Major Kufr (disbelief) can be in belief, and saying, and action.
This dictates that an individual can have a belief which is major kufr, or say something that is major kufr, or do an act of major kufr, which could make him a kaafir, a disbeliever [after the establishment of the proof against him].
Major Kufr in belief – Like believing that Allaah has a partner, or believing that Allaah has defects with His Names or Attributes, or believing that the Companions had defects in their religion or believing fornication and wine are Moobaaha (permissible).
Major Kufr in saying – Like reviling Allaah, or his messenger, or the angels, or the religion of Islaam. This also includes making fun of Allaah or His Verses or His messenger. All these sayings are major kufr no matter how it was: with seriousness or out of laughter, making it permissible or not making it permissible. These actions take one outside the fold of Islaam after the establishment of the hujjah (proof).
Major Kufr in action – Like prostration to a statue, a grave, the sun or moon and throwing the Qur’aan into rubbish. This again only after the establishment of the Hujjah.
And there are other acts of major kufr in belief, action, and sayings but something which is imperative for one to understand here in this principle is that
“Not judging by what Allaah has revealed” is not included in these acts of major kufr, which do not need one to make permissible before acknowledging that this is major kufr. However, takfeer cannot be applied on major kufr until the proof is established first.
The reason for this is because all the acts of kufr mentioned above fall under kufr al akbar (major kufr) and are connected to action of the heart however “not judging by what Allaah has revealed” cannot be understood to be kufr al akbar connected to the heart, until the proof is established against him first.


The saying of Allaah:

“If you ask them (about this), they declare: “We were only talking idly and joking.” Say: “Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?” “Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed…” [At-Tawba (9):65-66]

“Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) there are no helpers.”
[Al Maa’ídah (5):72]

“Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allaah, and theirs will be a great torment.” [An-Nahl (16):106]

So all actions of kufr in belief, sayings and actions that reach the level of kufr al akbar, are actions that take one out of the fold of Islam, after the establishment of the proof against the individual. With an exception to the one who is being forced whilst his heart is full of Imaan as in Soorah an-Nahl.


This principle establishes that the verse “And whoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed such are the unbelievers” is general and applicable to all people.
So this means that one cannot restrict this verse to apply only to the Muslim leaders in the world today. It applies to them and the head of a house, and head of an organisation rather every single individual. This means if a father does not order his mature daughter to wear the hijaab, then the verse is applicable to him, just as much as it is to a ruler.


Our beloved Shaykh, Shaykh Alee Hasan, gave a very clear explanation of this from the verse of Surah Al-Maa’idah. He said: “..where Allaah said: “wa man..” which means “and whoever..” this shows it is general for anybody without any exception…” 6
He also mentioned that where Allaah said: “..bi maa..” which means “..with whatever..” this shows that it is referring to any issue of legislation not just politics, or legislated punishments or jihaad. So it is as the principle states: “the evidence is in the generality of the wording not in the specific reason of its revelation.” 7
The saying of Al-Qurtubee (rahimahullaah):
“And Ibn Masood, and Al-Hassan said: “It is general for everyone that does not judge by what Allaah has revealed. Meaning, believing in that, and making that halaal.” [Al Jaami le Ahkaam al Quraan 6/190]
And As-Su’oodee and Ibraheem An-Nakhee said similar. [See Tafseer At-Tabari 10/356-357]

1 That his kufr of action and saying is connected to his belief and heart.
2 Every action does not necessarily dictate the action of the heart. i.e. a father smacking his child (an action of the limbs) does not mean he hates ( an action of the heart) his child.
3 Sharhul Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah p-378 by Ibn Abi Izza al Hanafi checked by Shaykh Naasirud-Deen Al-Albanee
4 Sharhul Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah p-316 by Ibn Abi Izza al Hanafi
5 Sharhul Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah p-316 by Ibn Abi Izza al Hanafi
6 One exception is that it is not applied upon the Muslim rulers [see chapter four]
7 Even if we were to look into the specific reason of its revelation we find that it was specific to the Jews. [see chapter three]