The Albaani Site

Translation from the Works of the Reviver of this Century

Category: On Eemaan and Issues of Takfeer

Al-Albaani on How Careful The Scholars Are Before They Declare Someone to be a Non-Muslim


Questioner: O Shaikh, for example, a person who declares the Companions to be disbelievers, for example, he says that Yazeed ibn Mu’aawiyah is a faasiq or a faajir and likewise his father, ya’ni, is such a person a disbeliever [due to what he said] or a faajir or a faasiq?

Al-Albaani: It differs, Yaa akhi, according to the person: is he ignorant, is he a scholar, has the proof been established against him from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of Allaah’s Prophet , is he someone who is obstinate [in his opinion], is he someone who has misinterpreted [the texts]? All of these things prevent the people of knowledge from [both] rushing to call him a disbeliever or from rushing to state that he is not a disbeliever. All of these checks have to be implemented so that after them we will have the ability to state whether he is a disbeliever or not.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 342.

Was al-Hajjaaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi a Kaafir?

Questioner: What is the correct view regarding al-Hajjaaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi?  Was he a kaafir?

Al-Albaani: Even though we attest to the fact that al-Hajjaaj was a profligate oppressor, we do not know that he denied anything known to necessarily be from the religion.  So it is not allowed to declare him to be a disbeliever based only on the fact that he was wicked, oppressed and killed innocent Muslims.

Fataawaa al-Madinah, 14.

Is There a Difference Between Kufr [Disbelief] and Shirk [Polytheism]?

Al-Albaani: The reality is that the case with every beginner student of knowledge, and I was like that and probably still am, I used to read this hadith and it would be problematic, because in some narrations [there occurs], “There is nothing between a man and disbelief except abandoning the prayer. So whoever abandons the prayer has disbelieved,” and in some narrations, “… then he has committed shirk.”

Interjection: Subhaanallaahil-Adheem.

Al-Albaani: I used to ask how can he have committed shirk? Yaa akhi, this person who has left praying, especially the one who does so out of laziness, how has he committed shirk?

I used to think that maybe there was a mistake on behalf of the narrator [of the hadith], I was a student of knowledge, then later our Lord granted me success in understanding, even if it was when I was older alhamdulillaah, [he granted me success in understanding it] such that I recognized that legislatively, as opposed to linguistically, there is no difference between kufr and shirk.

So all kufr is shirk and all shirk is kufr there is no difference between them legislatively, linguistically there is, because in the language kufr means to cover. Shirk is to make something a partner of another, like the polytheists who make equals with Allaah.

But later I came to recognise that every unbeliever, even if he wasn’t a polytheist linguistically, he was in reality. No unbeliever is free from being anything but a polytheist [mushrik], our Lord said, Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire? [Jaathiyah 45:23] He took as his god his own desires, so, everyone who follows his desires has made it a partner with Allaah, thus, any kufr–[for example] if someone were to reject a letter from the Noble Quraan it would mean that he has put his intellect in charge and has taken it as a god and it is from this angle that the shirk has come.

So, the one who said that all disbelief is polytheism and all polytheism is disbelief spoke truthfully, not like the one who says that not all kufr is shirk like you heard from at-Tahawi.

In reality this is knowledge which is very rare and is something through which many, many problems are resolved, from them being the verse, Indeed, Allaah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.” [Nisaa 4:48]

I read [a mention of] a problem about this verse in the Al-Manaar magazine which Sayyid Rashid Rida used to publish.  An objection came his way which stated that the meaning of the aayah is that these unbelieving Europeans who believe in ‘nature’, they call it nature, i.e., that this universe has a creator and who do not know any more than that, it is possible that Allaah will forgive them because they are not polytheists. And so Sayyid Rashid Rida at that time was not able to give an answer like this one which if he had known then would have been the conclusive judgement, [i.e., that] all kufr is shirk and all shirk is kufr.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 341.

Answering Those Who Accuse Ahlus-Sunnah of Having Irjaa

The PDF: Accusing Ahlus-Sunnah of Having Irjaa.

Questioner: Our Shaikh, some books have surfaced which talk about the issue of declaring others to be disbelievers [takfir], and they cite some proofs regarding the issue of eemaan with which they accuse the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in this issue as being that of the Murji’ah, and they mention some statements of Ibn Abil-Izz and at-Tahaawi. So what is your response to this doubt [they raise]? May Allaah reward you with good.

Al-Albaani: Our answer is that firstly, the fundamental difference between the real Ahlus-Sunnah and the real Murji’ah is from two angles: that Ahlus-Sunnah believe that righteous actions are from eemaan, the Murji’ah do not believe that and openly state that eemaan is to acknowledge with the tongue and to attest to that with the heart–but that righteous actions are not from eemaan, and through that they reject many texts which, now at the very least, we are not in need of mentioning, unless compelled to.

This is the first point in which the Murji’ah oppose the real Ahlus-Sunnah.

The second point, which branches off from the first, is that Ahlus-Sunnah say that eemaan increases and decreases, [that] it increases through righteous action and decreases through disobedience. The Murji’ah deny this legislated reality and say that eemaan does not increase or decrease.

So the accusation of those people you alluded to [in your question]–and the responsibility is on the narrator [of correctly relaying what he is conveying, i.e., the answer I give is based on the question you ask]–the accusation of these present-day writers saying that Ahlus-Sunnah are Murji’ah in the issue of eemaan shows one of two things, and even the better of the two choices is bitter: either that they are ignorant of this reality, or that they are wilfully ignoring it. How can they accuse people who say that eemaan includes righteous actions and that it increases and decreases–how can they accuse them of being Murji’ah?

And the Murji’ah oppose these people [i.e., Ahlus-Sunnah] from the very root, saying that eemaan does not include righteous actions and does not accept any increase or decrease to such an extent that one of their heads used to say, ‘My eemaan is like that of Jibreel,’ عليه السلام, and he might truly believe that, but he has not been truthful with the text of the Book of his Lord by saying, ‘My eemaan is like that of Jibreel,’ because he believes that eemaan has no connection to prayer, worship and piety and that it is just eemaan, and that this eemaan which is just belief does not increase or decrease since if it did decrease below [the level] of certainty [it would mean that] doubt and uncertainty would enter it and then at that stage it would not benefit.

But eemaan does not accept rigidity … like [for example] this light, like this place, every time the light spreads in it the place expands and expands endlessly.

So the accusation of these people against Ahlus-Sunnnah … these people who make these accusations [against Ahlus-Sunnah] and who appear to follow the Khawaarij, [the Khawaarij being] those who make statements like this and who declare people who commit major sins to be disbelievers and who oppose many, very many texts from the Book and the Sunnah in that–how strange it is that they accuse the multitudes of Muslims from the Companions and those who followed them and those who followed them, people whom Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه سلم testified to as being the best of generations, [how strange it is that they] accuse them of being Murji’ah, and by doing so oppose the great multitude of texts from the Book and the Sunnah.

And in my opinion, answering this fabrication does not require more elaboration than what I’ve just mentioned, and maybe in this much there is sufficiency, inshaa Allaah.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 764.

Is a Person who Commites Suicide a Kaafir?

Questioner: His saying عليه الصلاة والسلام as occurs in Sahih Muslim, “Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron will have that iron in his hand, thrusting it into his belly in the Fire of Hell forever and ever,” the hadith. What kind of eternization is it? And does it necessitate disbelief?

Al-Albaani: Yes, what is apparent from the hadith is that it is talking about someone who holds suicide to be permissible, such a person will be in it forever and ever as is described in the hadith.

And we hold disbelief to be of two types as the people of knowledge and verification say: kufr in belief and kufr in actions. So whoever performs an act of the unbelievers and acknowledges the mistake of that action, he believed that he made a mistake in following the Legislation but his desires overcame him and the soul which is a persistent enjoiner of evil overcame him–then his disbelief is in action. As for if he coupled that with holding it to be permissible in his heart then that is kufr in belief and with that a Muslim leaves the religion.

So [a hadith] like this is taken to refer to the one whose kufr was in belief, because no one except an unbelieving polytheist who associates partners with Allaah تبارك وتعالى will abide in the Fire forever.

Questioner: Okay, O Shaikh, where do we take the fact about holding it to be permissible, that when he holds it to be permissible … from the apparent meaning of the hadith?

Al-Albaani: From the noble verse, “Indeed, Allaah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills,” [Nisaa 4:48] and from the description of this punishment, because no-one who has a speck of faith will abide in the Fire forever.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 300.

The Ruling Concerning the One who Mocks the Religion

Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Questioner: Mocking the religion which has been mentioned in His Saying, the Blessed and Most High, “Say, ‘Was it at Allaah, and His Aayat that you were mocking?  Make no excuse, you have disbelieved after you had believed …'” [Tawbah 9:66] is it kufr in belief [kufr i’tiqaadi] or disbelief in actions [kufr amali]?

Al-Albaani: There is no doubt that this is kufr in belief–infact, this is disbelief with two horns.  Because it is not possible for a believer no matter how weak his faith is to mock the Signs [aayaat] of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.  And this type of disbelief is what comes under our previous statement where we would say, “It is not permissible to declare a Muslim to be outside the fold of Islaam except if something emanates from his tongue which shows us what has settled in his heart.”  So here, his mockery of the Signs of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is the biggest confirmation from him that he does not believe in that which he is mocking.  So thus he is a disbeliever who has performed kufr in belief [i’tiqaadi].

Mawsoo’atul-Allaamah, al-Imaam, Mujaddidil-Asr, Muhammad Naasirid-Deen al-Albaani, of Shaikh Shady Noaman, vol. 5, p. 522.

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