Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kufr (Infidelity)~ Its Definition and Types

a. Definition: Kufr, linguistically means covering or concealing. Legally (in the Sharee'ah): antonym of Eemaan, is Kufr or infidelity is disbelieving in Allah and His Messenger, whether the disbelief is associated with denial or not, rather with doubts, suspicion, aversion, jealousy, arrogance, or following some whims which deters from adhering to the Message. Even though the denier's infidelity is worse than others, so is the one who disbelieves and denies out of jealousy while he recognizes in his heart the veracity of the Messengers. [Majmoo al-Fatawa, Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, vol. 12, p. 335]

b. The types of Kufr are two:

The first type: The greater Kufr which constitutes apostasy and is of five kinds:

1. Kufr of denial, as referred to in the following verse: "And who is more unjust that he who forges a lie against Allah, or rejects the truth when it comes to him? Is there not an abode in Hell for those who disbelieve?" [Soorah (29): 68]

2. Kufr of arrogance with acknowledgement, as proven by the words of Allah, the Exalted:"And when We said to the angels: 'Prostrate yourselves before Adam,' and they all prostrated except Iblees (Shaytaan), he refused and was proud and was on of the Kafireen (arrogant, disobedient to Allah)." [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 34]

3. Kufr of doubtfulness, as mentioned in the Words of Allah: "And he entered his garden while he was wronging himself (through arrogance). He said, 'I do not think this will ever perish; not do I think the Hour will ever come. And even if I am ever brought back to my Rabb, I shall, surely, find a better resort than this. His companion said to him while he was arguing with him, 'Do you disbelieve (Kafarta) in Him Who created you from soil, then from a sperm-drop, then fashioned you into a perfect man? But as for me, I believe that Allah Alone is my Rub, and I will not ascribe a partner to my Rab." [Soorah (18): 35-38]

4. Kufr of aversion. Its proof: "And those who (kafaru) disbelieve turn away from what they have been warned with aversion." [Soorah (46): 3]

5. Kufr of hypocrisy, as proven by the Words of Allah: "This is because they first believed, then (kafaru) disbelieved. So a seal was set upon their hearts and consequently they do not understand." [Soorah al-Munafiqeen (63): 3]

Second Type: The minor Kufr, or the practical Kufr, does not constitute apostasy, but it can lead to major kufr if one remains totally careless about it.

This type of Kufr comprises of sins that are referred to in the Book and the Sunnah as Kufr, but do not reach the level of major Kufr, such is expressing ungratefulness to the favors of Allah, as Allah say: "And Allah sets forth for you a parable of a city which enjoyed security and peace; its provision came to it easefully from everywhere; but it (Kafarat) denied the favors of Allah." So Allah made it taste hunger and fear which were made to cleave to it because of what they used to do. [Soorah an-Nahl (16): 112]

And fighting of Muslims against each other, which is referred to in the Hadeeth of the Prophet (salallahu alaihe wa-sallam), "Reviling of a Muslim is an act of disobedience and fighting him is Kufr." [Bukhari and Muslim]

And in his saying: "Do not revert after me (Kufran) like the infidels killing each other." [Bukhari and Muslim]

Likewise, swearing by other than Allah. The Prophet * said: "He who swears by other than Allah, commits an act of Kufr, or Shirk." [Tirmidhee]

Allah, the Exalted, declared a Muslim who commits a major sin as a believer. He says: "O you who believe! Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder." [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 178]

Hence, Allah, the Exalted, did not exclude the murderer from the believers, rather He referred to him as the brother of the slain's guarding saying (in continuation of the verse): "Therefore, one who is granted remission by one's brother, then he should pursue that matter in a kind manner and pay the blood-money with kindness (when he excepts blood-money) with fairness."

'Brotherhood' which is referred to in the above verse, doubtlessly means brotherhood in faith. Allah, the Exalted, says: "And if two parties of believers fight against each other, make peace between them." [Soorah al-Hujurat (49): 9]

And if after that one of them transgresses against the other, fight the party that transgresses until it returns to the command of Allah. Then if it returns, make peace between them with equity, and act justly. Allah loves the just.

"Surely all believers are brothers. So make peace between brothers." [Soorah al-Hujurat (49): 10]

End of the Abridged Commentary from al-Aqeedah at-Tahawiyyah.

Summary of the Differences between the major and minor Kufr:

1. The major Kufr constitutes apostasy, and nullifies the good deeds. While the minor Kufr neither constitutes apostasy nor nullifies good deeds, but it diminishes them.

2. The major Kufr condemns one who commits it to eternal abode in Fire. While one who commits the minor Kufr, he commits a major crime or sin, if he enters Fire, he would not remain in it eternally. It may be that Allah forgives him later.

by Shaikh Saalih Al Fawzaan

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