KUFR, SHIRK, BID’AA.
Are there various kinds of major
kufr that puts one beyond the pale of Islam? Please give some examples
The reality of kufr and its various kinds is a lengthy topic, but we may sum it up in the following points:
1 – The importance of knowing what kufr is and the forms it may take:
The texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicate that faith is not valid and is not accepted unless two conditions are met – which are what are implied by the testimony that there is no god except Allah. These two conditions are submission to Allah alone (Tawheed), and denouncing and shunning all kinds of kufr and shirk.
A person cannot denounce or shun anything unless he knows what it is. From this we understand the importance of knowing what Tawheed is, so that we may act accordingly and attain Tawheed, and knowing what kufr and shirk is so that we may avoid them and steer clear of them.
2 – Definition of kufr:
Kufr in Arabic means covering and concealing something.
In shar’i terminology it means “not believing in Allah and His Messenger, whether that is accompanied by denial or it is not accompanied by denial but rather doubt, or turning away from faith out of jealousy or arrogance, or because one is following whims and desires that prevent one from following the message.
So kufr is the attribute of everyone who rejects something that Allah has commanded us to believe in, after news of that has reached him, whether he rejects it in his heart without uttering it, or he speaks those words of rejection without believing it in his heart, or he does both; or he does an action which is described in the texts as putting one beyond the pale of faith. See Majmoo’ al-Fataawa by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, 12/335; al-Ihkaam fi Usool al-Ahkaam by Ibn Hazam, 1/45.
Ibn Hazam said in his book al-Fasl: “Rejecting something for which there is sound proof that there can be no faith without believing in it is kufr, and uttering words for which there is proof that uttering them is kufr is kufr. Doing any action for which there is proof that it is kufr is also kufr.”
3 – Kinds of major kufr which put one beyond the pale of Islam
The scholars divided kufr into a number of categories, under which they listed many forms and kinds of shirk. These are as follows:
1- The kufr of denial and rejection.
This kufr may sometimes take the form of disbelief in the heart – which occurs rarely among the kuffaar, as Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said – and sometimes it takes the form of outward or apparent rejection, which means concealing the truth and not submitting to it outwardly, whilst recognizing it and knowing it inwardly, such as the Jews’ rejection of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Allah says of them (interpretation of the meaning):
“...then when there came to them that which they had recognized, they disbelieved in it...” [Al-Baqarah 2:89]
He also said (interpretation of the meaning]:
“Those whom We have given the Book, recognize him as they recognize their sons, and a party of them most surely conceal the truth while they know (it)” [Al-Baqarah 2:146]
That is because rejection only happens which a person knows the truth and refuses it. Hence Allah stated that the kuffaar’s disbelief in the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was not disbelief in the true sense of the word, because their disbelief was only outward and verbal, and inwardly they recognized the truth.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“....it is not you that they deny, but it is the Verses (the Qur’aan) of Allah that the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) deny” [Al-An’aam 6:33]
“And they belied them (those Ayaat) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their ownselves were convinced thereof....” [An-Naml 27:14]
Similar to this is the kufr of permitting that which is forbidden. Whoever regards as permissible something which he knows that Islam has forbidden has disbelieved in the Messenger (PBUH) and in that which he brought. The same applies to one who forbids something which he knows that Islam has permitted.
2- The kufr of turning away in arrogance, such as the kufr of Iblees of whom Allah said:
“… except Iblees (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allah)” [Al-Baqarah 2:34]
And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“They (hypocrites) say: ‘We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger (Muhammad), and we obey,’ then a party of them turn away thereafter, such are not believers” [An-Noor 24:47]
So Allah has stated that those who do not act in accordance with faith are not believers, even if they utter the words of faith. The kufr of turning away means that one ignores the truth and does not learn it or act in accordance with it, whether it is the matter of words, actions or beliefs. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“....But those who disbelieve, turn away from that whereof they are warned” [Al-Ahqaaf 46:3]
Whoever turns away verbally from that which the Messenger has brought is like one who says “I will not follow him.” The one who turns away by his actions is like one who runs away from hearing the truth which he brought, or puts his fingers in his ears so as not to hear, or who hears it but turns away in his heart and refuses to believe, and who refuses to act upon it. He has disbelieved in the sense of the kufr of turning away.
3- The kufr of hypocrisy.
This takes the form of not believing in the heart and not acting, whilst submitting outwardly in order to show off to people. This is like the kufr of Ibn Salool and the other munaafiqeen (hypocrites) of whom Allah said (interpretation of the meaning):
“And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: ‘We believe in Allah and the Last Day,’ while in fact they believe not.(8)They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not!(9) In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allah has increased their disease. A painful torment is theirs because they used to tell lies.(10) And when it is said to them: ‘Make not mischief on the earth,’ they say: ‘We are only peacemakers.’(11)Verily, they are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not. [Al-Baqarah 2:8-12]
And when it is said to them (hypocrites): ‘Believe as the people (followers of Muhammad, Al-Ansaar and Al-Muhajiroon) have believed,’ they say: ‘Shall we believe as the fools have believed?’ Verily, they are the fools, but they know not.(13)And when they meet those who believe, they say: ‘We believe,’ but when they are alone with their Shayaateen (devils — polytheists, hypocrites), they say: ‘Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking.’ (14) Allah mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doing to wander blindly.(15)These are they who have purchased error for guidance, so their commerce was profitless. And they were not guided. [Al-Baqarah 2:13-16]
Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire; then, when it lighted all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in darkness. (So) they could not see.(17)They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the Right Path). (18) Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder, and lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunderclap for fear of death. But Allah ever encompasses the disbelievers (i.e. Allah will gather them all together). (19) The lightning almost snatches away their sight, whenever it flashes for them, they walk therein, and when darkness covers them, they stand still. And if Allah willed, He could have taken away their hearing and their sight. Certainly, Allah has power over all things” [Al-Baqarah 2:17-20]
4- The kufr of doubt,
Which means hesitating with regard to following the truth and being uncertain as to whether it is true, because what is required is certainty of faith (yaqeen) that what the Messenger brought is truth with no hint of doubt in it. Whoever thinks that what he brought may not be true has disbelieved, in the sense of kufr of doubt, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And he went into his garden while in a state (of pride and disbelief), unjust to himself. He said: ‘I think not that this will ever perish. (35) And I think not the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), I surely, shall find better than this when I return to Him.’ (36) His companion said to him during the talk with him: ‘Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust (i.e. your father Adam), then out of Nutfah (mixed semen drops of male and female discharge), then fashioned you into a man? (37) But as for my part, (I believe) that He is Allah, my Lord, and none shall I associate as partner with my Lord.’” [Al-Kahf 18:35-38]
From this we may conclude that kufr – which is the opposite of eemaan or faith – may take the form of feelings in the heart, such as hating Allah or His signs, or His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); this contradicts love and faith which support the actions of the heart. Kufr may also take the form of spoken words, such as insulting Allah, or it may be an outward action, such as prostrating to idols, or offering sacrifices to someone other than Allah. Just as faith takes the form of actions of the heart, words on the tongue and outward physical actions, so too kufr may take the form of actions of the heart, words on the tongue and outward physical actions. We ask Allah to keep us safe from kufr and its branches, and to increase us in faith and make us guided and cause us to guide others… Ameen. And Allah knows best.
What are the common SHIRKS we do in our daily life. If possible please give the possible list?
The Bigger Shirk is the act of associating someone with God, whether in His actual Divinity or in worshiping Him. This type of Shirk is the one referred to in the Qur'an in Surah Luqman (31) verse 13. On the other hand, there is another form of Shirk known as the Smaller Shirk. This type of Shirk is hidden and concealed such as being hypocrite because Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: " the least (degree) of hypocrisy is shirk".
The first type of Shirk (the bigger shirk) is considered a Kufur or an outright disbelief in God, while the other type of Shirk (the smaller Shirk) is known as Fisq (or being sinful and transgressing the boundary of God). Among the very common smaller type of shirk people commit is to pray or fast or give charity or perform pilgrimage to show off, or to let people speak good about the person who does them.
First we define the Tauhid (oneness) in which if somebody doubts or is against then they are all shirk.
a) Tauhid Al-Rabubia : It is to believe that Allah is the creator and sustainer of all that exists.
b) Tauhid Al-Ullohiyat : It is to believe that Allah is the only one to be worshipped and prayed.
c) Tauhid Al-Asmaul Husna : It is to believe that what Allah & His messenger described His names and qualities, they are unique to Him, and no human has qualities equal to Him.
Anybody attributing somebody else having above qualities will be a Major Shirk. Major shirk can be divided into four categories: As generally people don’t associate anybody else in creation and sustenance of universe (except atheists whose ignorance does not come in this as they don’t believe in God itself, so no question of shirk) so we will describe other shirks.
1. Associating in supplication
The first category of major shirk is “associating in supplication”, which involves directing one’s supplications to other than Allah as a means of gaining provisions or being cured from a sickness or obtaining help during a crisis or for any other purpose.
2. Associating in intention
The second category of major shirk is “association in the intention”, that is, performing deeds that may be good in themselves but which are done for the sake of this worldly life and not for the sake of Allah.
All deeds acceptance by Allah depends on intentions by heart. If someone intentions are not pure for the sake of Allah, his/her deeds will not be accepted and if his/her intention is to please someone, or through someone else other than Allah, then he/she is committing shirk.
3. Associating in loving Allah
Association in loving Allah means, to love someone or something else more than or as much as one loves Allah.
Allah says: “There are men who take others besides Allah as equal with Him. They love them as much as they should love Allah. But the believers have more love for Allah....” (Al-Baqarah 2:165)
There are people who recognize Allah as the Creator, the Owner and the Sustainer of the universe, and yet love others more than Him. Some people love money more than they love Allah and for this reason, they do not pay zakat or they gain their money from unlawful sources. They are the slaves of Dirhams and Dinars, or in today’s terminology, the slaves of Dollars. The Prophet, (PBUH), said: “He who became the slave of the Dinar or the Dirham will perish and be destroyed.” (This is part of a hadith related by Al-Bukhari).
Some people love their desires more than they love Allah. Consequently, they would follow their desires even when they lead to disobeying Allah: “Do you see the one who is taking as his lord his own desires?....” (Al-Furqan 25:43). Therefore, loving Allah and His Messenger more than anything is a precondition for tasting the sweetness of faith.
It has been narrated in an authentic hadith that the Prophet (PBUH), said: “There are three qualities whosoever has them will taste the sweetness of Iman: loving Allah and His Messenger above all else, loving someone solely for the sake of Allah, and hating to return to disbelief after Allah has rescued him from it, as much as he would hate being thrown into Hellfire.” (Related by Al-Bukhari).
Allah has put two criteria to test whether one’s love for Him is more than the love of anything else. The first is the following of the Sunnah of the Prophet, (PBUH). Allah says: “Say (Muhammad), if you do love Allah, follow me, Allah will love you (in return) and forgive your sins....” (Aale-Imran 3:31). Thus, following the Sunnah in all aspects of our lives is absolutely essential.
The second criterion to know if one’s love of Allah is more than anything else is through jihad for the sake of Allah: “Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives or your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline or the houses in which you delight, are dearer to you than Allah or His Messenger, or the jihad for Allah’s sake; then wait until Allah brings about his decision; and Allah does not guide the rebellious,” (At-Tawba 9:24).
4. Associating in obedience of Allah
Association in obedience” means, to obey people when they make unlawful things lawful, and to believe that it is permissible to follow those who make such legislations. Allah says:
“They take their priests to be their lords besides Allah,....” (At-Tawba 9:31).
A hadith of the Prophet, (PBUH), relates that when Adiyy Ibn Hatim heard the Prophet reciting this verse, he said to him: “But they did not worship them (their priests)!” The Prophet, (PBUH), said: “Didn’t those priests make lawful some of the things that Allah has made unlawful and they didn’t make unlawful some of the things that Allah has made lawful? And didn’t they follow them in that respect? That is how they worshipped them.”
So whoever obeys scholars or rulers when they legislate these kinds of laws while knowing that they are changing the religion of Allah and still believes that they have the authority to do so, is in fact committing an act of disbelief. However, if he does not believe that they have the authority to do so, but still follows them in disobeying Allah, he is committing a sin for which he may be punished according to the gravity of the sin. As for the scholar who makes this judgment while trying his best to find the truth with the intention of following the rule of Allah and following the Prophet, (PBUH), and he fears Allah as much as he could but did not find the truth, he will not be punished for his mistake but he will be rewarded for his ijtihad, i.e. the effort he exerted in searching for the truth. However, the scholar or a Muslim who knows what the rule of Allah should be in the matter under consideration but nevertheless chooses otherwise, has fallen into “the shirk of association in obedience” specially if he has been following his desires and has been propagating his ideas with the means at his disposal.
Today in many communities there are people who get close to and even fall into one of these types of shirk, especially the shirk of obedience. If the rule of Allah coincides with their own desires, they will rush to apply it. But if it does not, they will shop around for a fatwa (legal ruling) that suits their whims. Eventually they may find a shaikh who will give them the fatwa they desire even though this does not legalize what Allah has forbidden. Unfortunately, we find such shaikhs gaining popularity. They are described to be the ones who are moderate, who are understanding, who can deal with the requirements of modern life, when in fact, they are following the desires of the people.
In Sahih Muslim, Jabir, radhiallahu `anhu, reported that a man came to the Prophet, (PBUH), and said: “O Messenger of Allah, what are the two essential matters?” the Prophet, (PBUH), said: “Whoever dies without associating any partner with Allah will enter Paradise and whoever dies associating anybody with Allah will enter Hellfire.”
Can you explain SHIRKS in details?
Polytheism is a belief in and worship of many deities. Islam considers shirk illogical and totally unacceptable when referring to deity.
“If there were in the heavens and the earth other gods beside Allah, there would be confusions in both (heaven and earth) but glory be to Allah, the Lord of ,the throne; high is He above what they attribute to Him. (Al-Anbiya 21:22)
As the verse above makes very clear, the order of the universe, the ecological balance and the oneness of the Creator is more logical than many gods and indeed several wills and authorities.
In Islam, shirk is the greatest sin. It is the only sin that cannot be forgiven by Allah (s.w.t.) on the Day of Judgment. As said in the Qur'an:
“Verily, Allah forgives not that rivals should be set up in the worship with Him. He forgives save that (anything else) to whom He pleases and whoever set up rivals with Allah he has indeed done a tremendous sin”. (An-Nisa 4:48)
Why does shirk occupy such a serious position in Islam?
Several of the main reasons are:
1. Shirk causes the greatest downfall of human status and dignity
Man is the best creation of Allah (s.w.t.), created in 'the highest of forms' (At Teen:4). He is the khalifatul fir ardh [the vicegerent of Allah (s.w.t.)]. He falls 'to the lowest of the low' (At- Teen:5) when he takes any other creation of Allah (s.w.t.) as deities or gods.
“Turn unto Allah (only), not ascribing partners unto Him, for whoso ascribes partners unto Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky and the birds had snatched him or the wind had blown him to a far off place”. (Al Hajj 22:31)
2. Shirk is the root of evil and superstition
It is because of shirk that man can believe in the powers of jinn, spirits and particular human beings. Some believe that they can predict future events or cause an event to occur or not to occur. All these can give rise to various forms of evil or ignorant practices.
3. Shirk is tyranny and injustice
An injustice is to withhold someone's rights or treat someone in an unfair manner. In praising and worshipping deities that have no power whatsoever to control his life, man forgets Allah's (s.w.t.) sole right to be worshipped. He ignores his Creator, Who had given him his life and thus is ungrateful and unjust to Allah (s.w.t.).
“When Luqman said to his son while advising him "Oh my son! Do not ascribe partners to Allah. Indeed shirk is a great injustice." (Luqman 31:13)
4. Shirk is the cause of anxiety and fear
Because the mushrik believes in the powers of his various deities, he is always living in constant fear, whereas the only one to be feared is Allah (s.w.t.), as all other things are dependent upon Him.
“We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe partners unto Allah for which no warrant has been revealed” (Aale-Imran 3:151)
5. Shirk denies rewards in the hereafter
For those who associate partners with Allah (s.w.t.), heaven has been made haram for them.
“Indeed they do blaspheme those who say that Allah is Jesus, the son of Mary, but Jesus said "O children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord". Whoever joins other gods with Allah, Allah will forbid him heaven and the fire will be his abode....” (Al-Maidah 5:72)
FORMS OF SHIRK
There are two forms of shirk. One is known as shirk akbar and another as shirk asghar.
Shirk akbar is a 'major' act of shirk that cannot be forgiven by Allah (s.w.t.) and whoever dies while committing it will not be able to enter Jannah.
Shirk asghar are 'minor', more unnoticeable acts of shirk that, if done continuously, might take one 'out of' iman.
There are two kinds of shirk akbar -
1. Shirk akbar jali (clear)
This type of shirk akbar is to worship a god or several gods besides Allah (s.w.t.). These 'gods' can be in any kind of form, whether cosmic objects, animals, spirits, jinn or human beings such as priests, kings or rulers.
2. Shirk akbar khafi (subtle)
These types of major shirk include:
* when one prays or supplicates to something other than Allah (s.w.t.)
For example: pious ancestors, dead persons, saints etc. Some say that praying or supplicating to them does not necessarily mean worshipping them. However, Islam stresses that praying or supplicating to something or someone else is actually worshipping. (Refer to Tafsir Al Mu'minum:60)
* when one takes a lawgiver or lawmaker other than Allah
This includes all kinds of laws governing human life. The right to make something halal or haram, or to judge in human affairs belongs solely to Allah (s.w.t.). This pertains to both 'religious' and 'secular' in life in Islam. According to Islam, obeying someone while disobeying Allah (s.w.t.), even in the realm of mundane life, is like worshipping it.
There are many forms of shirk asghar or minor shirk. The term 'minor' here does not mean that they are not as grave or serious. Rather it means that these forms of shirk are more inconspicuous and unnoticeable compared to the others. This form of shirk has been described by the Prophet (s.a.w.s.):
Shirk in the Muslim nation is more inconspicuous than the creeping of the black ant on a black rock in the pitch darkness of the night.
Hence, Muslims should shun and guard themselves very carefully from these kinds of shirk because the most 'minor' shirk may incur a heavier penalty than the most serious sin in Islam. Committing or practicing any act of shirk, whether major or minor, can make one's deeds unacceptable by Allah (swt).
Common forms of shirk asghar:
* To swear with names other than Allah
This was a common practice of the Arabs during the Prophet's (s.a.w.s.) time. They used to swear with the Ka'aba's name, with a pious ancestor's name, or more commonly, with the names of the idols they worshipped, e.g. Al-Latta, Az-Uzza etc. This is shirk because indirectly it gives some recognition of power or glorification to the being named. Says the Prophet (s.a.w.s.): Whoever swears with other than Allah, he has committed an act of shirk and kufr.
* To adorn something that is believed to be a form of 'protection from misfortune'
Again, this was a common practice of the early Arabs and is to some extent still prevalent today. Wearing certain bangles, necklaces and amulets was believed to be able to weaken jinn or evil spirits or protect oneself from 'al-ain', misfortune etc. From Imam Ahmad, narrated by Umran bin Hussain:
Once the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saw a man wearing a yellow bangle and asked him, "What is this?" The man answered, "It is al-wahinah (that which weakens)." The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, "Take it off! Verily it will not increase you in anything, except sickness and if you die adorning it, no happiness will come to you forever."
This emphasis and serious attention given by the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) shows the need to shun all forms of shirk and close all doors that might lead to it.
*To practice, involve or believe in any form of sihir (sorcery) including charms, incantations, astrology etc.
This is stated in a Hadith:
There are three kinds of people that will not enter paradise: the drinker, the one who acknowledges sorcery and the one who breaks silaturahim (kinship). (Ahmad and Ibn Habban)
Astrology is said to be part of this because of the Hadith:
Whoever partakes in one part of astrology (the art of the stars), verily he has partaken in sorcery. (Abu Dawood)
This, however, does not include using the stars in navigation, traveling, etc.
* To believe in 'Fortune-Telling'
From a Hadith by Muslim, the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) once said:
Whoever approaches a fortune-teller, inquires him/her and acknowledges him/her, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days.
A Hadith by Abu Dawood relates:
Whoever approaches a fortune-teller and acknowledges him/her that person has committed kufr to revelation from Allah.
* To believe in Evil Omens
This happens when a person intends to do something, but decides not to do it because of experiencing or 'seeing' certain evil signs or omens. Says the Prophet (s.a.w.s.):
"Whoever cancels one's intention to do something because of attiyarah (an evil omen), that one has committed shirk". The companions asked, "What is its kafarah (penalty for repentance)?" The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) answered, saying, "O Allah, there is no good except from You and there is no misfortune except from You. Indeed, there is no god but You".(Imam Ahmad)
* To have Riya
This means to perform acts or to show off in order to gain praise or fame, or for worldly purposes.
* to have no Redha (contended)
This implies being inwardly dissatisfied with an inevitable condition that has been ordained for one by Allah (s.w.t.); to continuously lament that if one had not done such and such a thing, one would have had a better result.
* To be excessive in one's reverence, respect and 'glorification' of prophets, pious leaders, sheikhs or imams
This has brought to the practice of rituals and ceremonies in glorification of these people and the act of beautifying, building upon, lighting up and even worshipping their graves.
* To use ambiguous words that might involve shirk
This includes phrases like 'In the name of Allah and the name of so and so' (e.g. a leader), or 'if it was not for so and so', or to use a name that is exclusively Allah's (s.w.t.) in naming something or even to curse Allah's creation.
Belief in monotheism and purification of one's servitude to Allah (s.w.t.) can be achieved by:
* not worshipping anything or anyone other than Allah (s.w.t.) nor glorifying something or someone as one glorifies Allah (s.w.t.)
All that is worshipped and glorified other than Allah (s.w.t.) should be 'dethroned'. From the Qur'an:
“....That we do not worship other than Allah and we do not associate Him with any other and we do not make others as gods beside Allah....”. (Aale- Imraan 3:64)
* not taking anything besides Allah (s.w.t.) as one's protector and benefactor and loving it as one should love Allah (s.w.t.)
“And amongst man there are those who worship others beside Allah and they love them as they should love Allah....” (Al Baqara 2:165)
The early Arabs, for example, had loved and revered their idols and their leaders and had felt both fear and awe towards them. This kind of love and glorification should be given only to Allah (s.w.t.).
* not taking a lawgiver besides Allah (s.w.t.) nor giving obedience to any other as one obeys Allah (s.w.t.)
Verily, the decider for all human affairs should be Allah (s.w.t.). he alone has the best knowledge about His creation; has the deepest love for them and has full knowledge of what is right and wrong, good and evil.
The Qur'an has stated that whoever judges with other than Allah (s.w.t.) and His Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has actually fallen out of Iman into obedience to shaytan. (See Al Nisa:60-61)
We must think and realize that there are many traps in our society which could lead us to all forms of shirk.
As Muslims, we must also be careful not to follow the ways of the non-believers.
We must lead our lives as true Muslims, following Islam as correctly as we can, being conscious of these traps of shirk that the world invites us to.
What are the actions which, if a Muslim does them, he will be an apostate from Islam?
Answer : : Praise be to Allah.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allah ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Note that Allah has commanded all people to enter Islam and to adhere to it and to beware of whatever is contrary to it. He sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to call mankind to that. He tells us that those who follow him will be guided and that those who turn away from him have gone astray. In many verses He warns against the means that lead to apostasy and all forms of shirk and kufr. The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) have said, when discussing apostasy, that a Muslim may apostatize from his religion by doing many acts that nullify Islam, which makes it permissible to shed his blood and seize his wealth, and which will put him beyond the pale of Islam.
Among the most serious and most common of these things are ten which were mentioned by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab and other scholars (may Allah have mercy on them all). We will mention them in brief here, so that you and others can beware of them, in the hope that you will be safe and sound. We will also explain a little about them after mentioning each one.
1– Shirk or associating others in worship with Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills, sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, has indeed strayed far away” [An-Nisa’ 4:116]
“....Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode” [Al-Maa’idah 5:72]
That includes praying to the dead, seeking their help, making vows and offering sacrifices to them or to the jinn or to the grave.
2 – Whoever sets up intermediaries between himself and Allah, asks them to intercede, and puts his trust in them, is a kaafir according to scholarly consensus.
3 – Whoever does not regard the mushrikeen as kaafirs, or doubts that they are kaafirs, or regards their way as correct, is a kaafir.
4 – Whoever believes that anything other than the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is more complete than his teachings, or that the rulings of anyone else are better than his rulings – such as those who prefer the rule of false laws to his rulings – is a kaafir.
5 – Whoever hates any part of that which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought, even if he acts in accordance with it, is a kaafir, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down (this Qur’aan and Islamic laws); so He has made their deeds fruitless” [Muhammad 47:9]
6 – Whoever makes fun of anything in the religion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or makes fun of any texts that refer to rewards or punishments, is a kaafir. The evidence for that is the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“....Say: Was it at Allah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking? (65) Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed....” [At-Tawbah 9:65-66]
7 – Sahr (witchcraft) – including spells to turn one person against another or to make someone love another. Whoever does this or approves of it is a kaafir. The evidence for that is the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“....but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, ‘We are for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us)....’” [Al-Baqarah 2:102]
8 – Supporting the mushrikeen and helping them against the Muslims. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)” [Al-Maa'idah 5:51]
9 – Whoever believes that some people are allowed to operate outside the law of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) just as al-Khidr operated outside the law of Moosa (peace be upon him) is a kaafir, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” [Aale-‘Imraan 3:85]
10 – Turning away from the religion of Allah, not learning it and not acting in accordance with it. The evidence for that is the verse :
“And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, then turns aside therefrom? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the Mujrimoon (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners)” [As-Sajdah 32:22]
With regard to all of these acts that nullify Islam, it makes no difference whether a person is joking, serious or afraid, unless he is forced to do it. All of them are very serious, and they all happen a great deal. The Muslim should beware of them and fear falling into them. We seek refuge with Allah from the things that may incur His wrath and painful punishment. May Allah send blessings and peace upon the best of His creation, Muhammad, and upon his family and companions.
The other category includes those who believe that the systems and laws devised by men are better than the sharee’ah of Islam, or equal to it; or that it is permissible to refer to them for judgments and rulings, even if he believes that referring to sharee’ah is better; or that the Islamic system is not fit to be applied in the twentieth century; or that it was the cause of the Muslims’ backwardness; or that it should be limited to a person’s relationship with his Lord and not have anything to do with the other affairs of life
This category also includes those who think that carrying out the ruling of Allah by cutting off the hand of the thief or stoning the married adulterer is not appropriate in the modern age.
That also includes: everyone who believes that it is permissible to rule according to something other than the laws of Allah with regard to interactions, hudood punishments or other matters, even if he does not believe that that is better than the ruling of sharee’ah, because by doing so he is regarding as permissible something that Allah has forbidden according to consensus, and everyone who regards as permissible something that Allah has forbidden and is well known to be forbidden in Islam, such that no Muslim has any excuse for not knowing that it is forbidden, such as adultery, alcohol and riba, and ruling by something other than the sharee’ah of Allah, is a kaafir according to the consensus of the Muslims. And Allah knows the best.
In a discussion with a friend, I told him that a person who deliberately omits to offer obligatory prayers is considered a non-Muslim. I have heard from scholars that the criterion which distinguishes Muslims from non-Muslims is prayer. My friend argues that we cannot call anyone a 'kafir'. Please explain.
A person who denies the obligation of prayer is certainly a non-believer, or 'kafir'. We have no hesitation in describing him as such because he denies an essential point of our religion which is commonly known to all.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Between a person and kufr and shirk stands the abandonment of prayer.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2766. Classed as saheeh by Ibn Maajah, 1078, and by al-Albaani)
In another hadith the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
"Allah has made five prayers obligatory upon His servants. So whosoever will perform them and will not miss any of them out of negligence, he has the pledge of Allah that He will enter him in Paradise. And whosoever will not perform them, Allah has no pledge with him. If He wills He may punish him, and if He wills He may forgive him." (Reported by An-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud and Ahmad).
A person who omits to offer one prayer every now and then cannot be described as a non-believer or a 'kafir', because he acknowledges the duty of prayer and he practices it. Its omission is certainly a sin of which he should repent properly. Such a repentance cannot be described as proper unless it is accompanied by stopping the omission completely. Your friend is correct in being careful with regard to who can be described as non-believer. He is not right, however, in saying that we cannot call a non-Muslim a 'kafir', because the term 'kafir' means a non-Muslim.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )
What is the Islamic ruling on someone who is a Muslim (who is in Islam) but converts to some other religion later on?
Answer : : Praise be to Allah.
Apostasy (riddah) means disbelieving after being Muslim. There is no bad deed that cancels out all good deeds apart from apostasy. If a person dies in a state of apostasy all his good deeds will be wiped out, but if he returns to Islam, the reward for his good deeds will be restored and he does not have to make up any prayers or fasts that he missed during the period of his apostasy.
Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said:
With regard to apostasy from Islam, whereby a person becomes a kaafir, whether a mushrik or a Jew or Christian, if he dies in that state then all his good deeds will be wiped out, according to scholarly consensus, as the Qur’aan says in more than one place. For example Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“....And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter....” [Al-Baqarah 2:217]
“....And whosoever disbelieves in Faith, [i.e. in the Oneness of Allah and in all the other Articles of Faith i.e. His (Allah’s) Angels, His Holy Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection and Al‑Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], then fruitless is his work” [Al-Maa’idah 5:5]
“....But if they had joined in worship others with Allah, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them” [Al-An’aam 6:88]
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/257, 268)
With regard to the shar’i rulings on apostates, if the apostate does not return to Islam, he must be executed.
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul (i.e., punishment for murder), a married man or woman who commits adultery, and one who leaves his religion and separates from the jamaa’ah (main body of Muslims).” (Al-Bukhaari, 6484; Muslim, 1676)
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever changes his religion, execute him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6922).
Then if he is executed, he has died as a kaafir, so he is not to be washed or shrouded; the funeral prayer is not to be offered for him, and he is not to be buried in the Muslim graveyard. On the Day of Resurrection he will be one of the people of Hell who will abide therein for eternity.
The earth rejected the body of an apostate during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as a lesson and a warning to the onlookers.
It was narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “There was a Christian man who became Muslim. He used to recite al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan, and he used to write down (the revelation) for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Then he returned to Christianity and he used to say, “Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him.”
Then Allah caused him to die, and the people buried him, but in the morning they saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, “This is the doing of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and took his body out of it because he had run away from them.” They again dug the grave deeply for him, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, “This is the doing of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and threw his body outside it, for he had run away from them.” They dug the grave for him as deep as they could, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. So they realized that what had befallen him was not done by human beings and they had to leave him thrown (on the ground).
What is “Bidda” and its consequences? What about the saying of 'Umar (RTU) saying, “ I AM PLEASED WITH THAT BID'AH”?
Allah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam says, "Beware of the newly-invented matters, for every such matter is a bid'ah and every bid'ah leads astray, and everything that leads astray is in the Fire," [Reported by Aboo Daawood, Tirmidhee and others]
Some people claim that there also exists good innovation, just as quoted in your question.
The sharp sword against the people of innovation
Now I can sense that there is in your hearts a creeping doubt saying, 'But what about the words of the Chief of the Believers 'Umar bin al-Khattab radiallaahu 'anhu who succeeded in achieving something good when he ordered Ubayy ibn Ka'b and Tameem ad-Daaree to lead the people in prayer during Ramadan. Hence he left having united the people behind a (single) Imaam, and so said, "I am happy with this innovation, but the part of the night they used to sleep through is better than the part they use to pray in." [Reported by al-Bukhaaree vol. 3, HP. 126, no.227).]
The reply to this is from two angles. Firstly, it is not permitted for anyone to oppose the saying of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam by preferring the opinion of any other -be it the opinion of Abu Bakr who is better than anyone else in this ummah after its Prophet, or that of 'Umar who is the second best after its Prophet, or 'Uthmaan who is the third best after its Prophet, or 'Alee who is the fourth best after its Prophet or that of anyone else. As Allah, the Most High, says:
"....So let those who oppose his (Muhammad's PBUH) command beware that they will be afflicted with a trial or a painful punishment." (An-Noor 24: 63)
Imaam Ahmad rahimahullaah said, 'Do you know what the trial mentioned here is? The trial is shirk - perhaps when someone opposes the Prophet's saying, some deviation may affect his heart such that he will be destroyed.' And Ibn Abbaas radiallaahu 'anhu said, 'Stones are about to be sent down from the sky! I say that, Allah's' Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said so and so ...' while you reply with what Aboo Bakr and 'Umar said!'
Secondly, we know for certain that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab radiallaahu 'anhu was one of the strongest in glorifying the Words of Allah's and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and he was famous for halting short of the limits laid down by Allah's, the Most High. To the extent that he was attributed with being a warden and safe-guard of the Speech of Allah's, the Most High.
And what about the story of that woman who opposed him, (assuming it is authentic), when he wanted to limit the dowries, by an unknown amount? Then a woman opposed him using the Saying of Allah's, the Most High:
"....And (even if) you gave one of them a huge amount (of gold)...." [An-Nisa 4:20]
Hence 'Umar abandoned his wish to limit the dowries. However, the authenticity of this story needs to be looked into. But the point is clear - that 'Umar would safeguard the limits laid down by Allah's, the Most High, and would not transgress them. So it would not be befitting for 'Umar radiallaahu 'anhu being who he was, to oppose the words of the best of mankind, Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam by saying 'What a pleasing innovation about any bid'ah. So can this innovation be that which Allah's' Messenger was referring to when he said that "... every innovation leads astray ..."? No. Rather it can be said with certainty that this innovation about which 'Umar said, 'I am pleased with this innovation ...' falls outside what was intended by Allah's' Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam when he said, "... every bid'ah leads astray." Thus when 'Umar said, 'I am pleased with this innovation ...' he was referring to the effect - that the people had gathered together behind one Imaam while before that, they were (praying) in separate groups. And this praying (behind a single Imaam) during Ramadan had its origin from the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as is proven from that which is reported by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from 'Aa'ishah, may Allah's be pleased with her, that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam led the people in prayer for three nights and then hesitated doing so on the fourth night, saying, "Indeed I feared that it would become obligatory upon you, but you would not be able to cope with that." [Reported by Bukhari vol.1, no.696 and Muslim (Eng. trans. vol.1, no.1666].
Thus performing the night prayer in Ramadan. as a single Jamaa'ah is from the Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and 'Umar radiallaahu 'anhu referred to it as a 'bid'ah' considering the fact that after the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam had left leading the prayer, the people became separated such that one person praying alone, two, or three together, would be praying in Jamaa'ah. So throughout the mosque there were people praying alone and in groups, so 'Umar, the chief of the Believers, had the idea - and this idea was perfectly correct - to gather the people to pray behind a single Imaam.
So this action was an innovation in the sense that it was new and different to how the people were before, i.e., praying in separate groups. Hence this bid'ah was relative and subjective - not original and absolute, being set up by Umar radiallaahu 'anhu, as this sunnah was there during the time of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. So it indeed was a Sunnah (not a bid'ah), which had been abandoned since the time of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, until Umar radiallaahu 'anhu revived it.
As a result of all this, it should never be possible for the People of Innovation to use this saying of 'Umar, as a way to condone their bid'ah.
AHKAAM AL-MAQAASID (Purpose of Ruling)
Now someone could say: There are a number of innovated things that the Muslims have approved of and acted upon that were not known of during the time of the Prophet, such as religious schools, compiling books and the like. These innovations have been condoned by the Muslims and they have acted upon them and considered them to be some of the most excellent ideas. So how can you harmonise this - where the Muslims are almost unanimous in considering these things to be good - with that saying of the Leader and Prophet of all the Muslims, the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds (Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, where he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "..every bid'ah leads astray"?
In reply, we say that these things in these circumstances are not innovations, rather they are a means towards achieving that which is already from the sharee'ah. And these means will differ according to the location and the time, but there are established rules for them. One such rule is that their permissibility depends on the goal, i.e., those means that are used to achieve a prescribed matter are themselves prescribed; those means that are used to achieve something that is not ordained are themselves not ordained; and those means used to achieve the forbidden are themselves forbidden. Even something good maybe evil and forbidden if it necessarily leads to evil. Listen to Allah's, the Mighty and Glorious, when He says:
"Do not insult those whom they call upon, instead of calling upon Allah, for they may insult Allah's out of hostility and ignorance" [Al-Anam 6:108]
Yet cursing the gods of the mushriks is not wrong, rather it is correct and quite proper. However cursing the Lord of all the Worlds is indeed wrong, improper, hostile and a transgression. Therefore, where this praiseworthy insulting of the gods of the mushriks is a cause that leads to Allah's being insulted, then it becomes prohibited and forbidden. I have put this forward to show that the means are according to their related goal. Hence regarding schools, writing down knowledge and compiling books, then even though they are innovations, in the sense that they were not found during the time of Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, nevertheless they are not goals in themselves, but are means, and the means are according to their goals. For example, if someone were to set up a school to teach forbidden matters, then this act of setting up the school would be forbidden. If a person were to set up a school in order to teach knowledge of the sharee'ah, then this act would be good and sanctioned by Islam
What about the saying of the prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam "whoever enacts a good sunnah ..." ?
What if someone asks: How do you respond to what the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said i.e., "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islam, he will get the reward of it and of all those who act upon it up to the Day of Judgment,".
The reply to this is: Who is the one who said, "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islam ... ?" He is the same one who also said, "... every bid'ah leads astray." It is not possible for a phrase to eminate from someone who is truthful and proven to be truthful, such that it would deny and negate another phrase of his, and it is absolutely impossible for any speech of Allah's' Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam to be self-contradictory, nor is it possible to refute any particular meaning by claiming it to be contradictory. Whoever thinks that the words of Allah's' Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam are self-contradictory, then let him look again, for indeed this kind of thought emanates, from a person possessing thoughts that are either deficient or limited. Indeed it is completely impossible that one would find a contradiction in the words of Allah's, the Most High, or that of His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
If this is so, then it should be clear that the hadith, "... every innovation leads astray ..." does not contradict the hadith "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islam ..." for the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islam..," while innovations are not from Islam And he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said "... a good sunnah ..." while innovation is not good. So he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam made a distinction between enacting a Sunnah on the one hand and enacting an innovation on the other.
In any case, there is a reply that no one should have a problem with - that the meaning of, "Whoever enacts a sunnah ..." is, 'Whoever revives a sunnah that was present and then was lost.' Therefore it means that a matter has been revived, and thus in this way "... enacting a sunnah ..." is relative and secondary just as (in the case of 'Umar, where his use of) the word bid'ah (innovation) was relative and secondary in the sense that it involved the revival of a sunnah that had been abandoned.
There is even a second reply that can be given: That is the background of the whole hadith, for it is a story concerning the tribe that came to see the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam while being in exceptionally difficult circumstances. So the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam urged that donations be given to them, and hence one man form the Ansaar came forward with a bag of silver in his hand which was almost too heavy for him to carry. He placed it down before the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam This made the face of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam glow with joy and happiness and so he said, "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islam will have the reward of it, and the reward of all those who act upon it, until the Day of Resurrection." So we have here that the meaning of " ... enacting a sunnah ..." means to enact an action in the sense of implementing it and not in the sense of setting up a new thing into the sharee'ah. Hence the meaning of his sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam saying, "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islam ..." turns out to be, 'Whoever acts upon a good sunnah in the sense of implementing it, as opposed to introducing a new thing in the sharee'ah,'.
Imam An-Nawawi as well as other scholars has listed five types of Bid`ah (Innovation) amongst which Fard and Wajib are included. Then, why do some ignorant people say that all innovations are misguidance?
As regards your question, we’d like to state that Muslim scholars have cited two different definitions of Bid`ah (innovation). The first one is linguistic, whereas the second is technical.
Those who try to understand the concept of Bid`ah in its linguistic sense maintain that the root of the word includes that which is new and unprecedented. Hence, they define Bid`ah as everything that has been introduced following the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the golden eras of his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all).
aforementioned linguistic definition encompasses what is good and what
is bad, acts of worship (`Ibadat) and others that are otherwise.
Those who follow this definition argue that the word Bid`ah as
well as the acts related to it are praised in certain religious contexts
while condemned in others. This may explain why some scholars have
dubbed certain innovative acts as being religiously recommended while
classifying others as being religiously condemned.
2-Religiously recommended innovation, such as building schools.
On the other hand, those who adopt the technical definition of Bid'ah state that innovation includes things that apparently resemble Shari`ah, but genuinely they don’t. On the basis of this definition, all innovations are strongly condemned, and hence they can not include the five categories mentioned by Imam Al-`Izz ibn `Abdus-Salaam above. This may explain the Prophetic saying, "Every innovative act is an aberration."
Also, Imam Malik stated that he who innovates something in Islam while deeming it to be a good innovation has alleged that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was unfaithful in disseminating his message as Allah Almighty says: "This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you Al-Islam as religion. Whosoever is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (Al-Ma'idah 5:3)
Hence, the innovations that are unlawful in Islam include the following:
1) Being innovated, in the sense that the innovation does not take place during the early Islamic period.
2) The innovation is considered unlawful when it contradicts one of the primary sources of Islam, such as the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
As a result, things that are new and unprecedented, but go in line with the spirit of Islam, and do not contradict its basics are not considered innovations. It is recorded that some of the Prophet's Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) would say the Talbiyah (during Hajj) in a formula different from that said by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). For example, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) would say, "Labbayka Haqqan Haqqa Labbayka Ta`abbudan Wa sedqa." ‘Truly I am at your service O Allah; I am at your service in true worship of You.’
Also, `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have gathered people to perform Tarawih (Ramadan night prayer) in congregation. It is noteworthy here that the same act did not exist during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
Is the following bid'ah?
1 – Praying more than 8 rak’ahs in Taraaweeh is not considered to be bid’ah, on the condition that one does not single out certain nights for increasing the number, such as the last ten nights. The number of raka’hs during the last ten nights should be the same as the number during the other nights. The last ten nights should be characterized by making the rak’ahs longer.
2 – Fasting on the day which one believes to be the day of the Mai’raaj is not permissible, and comes under the heading of bid’ah. Even if a person is not sure, but he fasts this day for the sake of being on the safe side, it is as if he is saying, ‘If it is really the day of the Mi’raaj, then I will have fasted it, and if it is not, it will still be a good action that I have done, and if I will not be rewarded for it then I will not be punished.’ This attitude means that a person is committing bid’ah, and he is a sinner who deserves to be punished. But if his fast is not because it is the day of the Mai’raaj, but is rather because it is his habit to fast alternate days, or to fast Mondays and Thursdays, and that happens to coincide with the day known as the day of the Mai’raaj, there is nothing wrong with him fasting it with that intention, i.e., the intention of fasting on Monday or Thursday, or a day on which he usually fasts.
3,4 – What we have said about fasting on the day of the Mi’raaj also applies to fasting on the day of Shab'e Baraat. If any Muslim says that fasting on the day of the Mai’raaj or on the day of Shab'e Baraat is not bid’ah because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us these acts of worship, so what is wrong with fasting any day apart from the days on which it is haraam to fast? Our response to that is:
If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us these acts of worship, then where is the evidence (daleel) for singling out the day of the Mai’raaj or any other day for fasting? If there were any evidence that it is prescribed to fast on these two days, no one would be able to say that fasting on these days is bid’ah. But what is apparent is that those who say this mean that fasting is an act of worship in general terms, so that if he fasts he has done an act of worship for which he will be rewarded, so long as it is not on one of the days when fasting is not allowed, such as on Eid. This would be correct if the person who is fasting did not single out a day which he believes is a day of virtue, such as the day of the Mai’raaj or the day of Shab'e Baraat. What makes this the matter of bid’ah is the fact that one is singling out these days. If there was any virtue in fasting these two days, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would have fasted them, and he would have urged us to fast them. It is known that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah were more keen to do good than we are; if they had known that there was any virtue in fasting these two days, they would have fasted them. Since we find no reports to that effect from them, we know that this is an innovated bid’ah, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not a part of this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected,” i.e., it will be thrown back on the one who does it. Fasting these two days is an action which we find no report of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) enjoining, so it is to be rejected.
5 – The “salat tasbeeh nafil” is to be regarded in the same way as the matter discussed above, in the fullest sense. Acts of worship that have no evidence (daleel) to support them are to be rejected. It has not been proven in the Book of Allah or in the Sunnah of His Chosen Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that there is any prayer in which “Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad” is to be recited 100 times, so doing that is an innovated bid’ah for which the one who does it will be punished. And Allah knows best.
Can we call people who do shirk and bid'ah as Muslims?
This question involves two issues, bid’ah (innovation) and shirk (polytheism, association of others with Allah).
This issue may be divided into three topics:
1. Definition of bid’ah
2. Categories of bid’ah
3. Rulings on one who commits bid’ah – does that make him a kaafir or not?
1. Definition of bid’ah.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “According to sharee’ah, the definition is ‘Worshipping Allah in ways that Allah has not prescribed.’ If you wish you may say, ‘Worshipping Allah in ways that are not those of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or his rightly guided successors (al-khulafaa’ al-raashidoon).’”
The first definition is taken from the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Or have they partners with Allah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not ordained?” (Ash-Shooraa 42:21)
The second definition is taken from the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said:
“I urge you to adhere to my way (Sunnah) and the way of the rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-raashidoon) who come after me. Hold fast to it and bite onto it with your eyeteeth [i.e., cling firmly to it], and beware of newly-invented matters.”
So everyone who worships Allah in a manner that Allah has not prescribed or in a manner that is not in accordance with the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or his rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-raashidoon), is an innovator, whether that innovated worship has to do with the names and attributes of Allah, or to do with His rulings and laws.
With regard to ordinary matters of habit and custom, these are not called bid’ah (innovation) in Islam, even though they may be described as such in linguistic terms. But they are not innovations in the religious sense, and these are not the things that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was warning us against.
And there is no such thing in Islam as bid’ah hasanah (good innovation).” (Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 2, p. 291)
2. Categories of bid’ah
Bid’ah may be divided into two categories:
(i) Bid’ah which constitutes kufr
(ii) Bid’ah which does not constitute kufr
If you ask, what is the definition of Bid’ah which constitutes kufr and that which does not constitute kufr?
The answer is:
Shaykh Haafiz al-Hukami (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The kind of bid’ah which constitutes kufr is when one denies a matter on which there is scholarly consensus, which is widely-known, and which no Muslim can have any excuse for not knowing, such as denying something that is obligatory, making something obligatory that is not obligatory, or making something haraam to halaal, or making something halaal to haraam; or believing some notion about Allah, His Messenger and His Book when they are far above that, whether in terms of denial or affirmation – because that means disbelieving in the Quran and in the message with which Allah sent His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Examples include the bid’ah of the Jahamiyyah, who denied the attributes of Allah; or the notion that the Quran was created; or the notion that some of the attributes of Allah were created; or the bid’ah of the Qadariyyah who denied the knowledge and actions of Allah; or the bid’ah of the Mujassimah who likened Allah to His creation… etc.
The second category, bid’ah which does not constitute kufr, is defined as that which does not imply rejection of the Quran or of anything with which Allah sent His Messengers.
Examples include the Marwaani bid’ahs (which were denounced by the greatest Sahaabah who did not approve of them, although they did not denounce them as kaafirs or refuse to give them bay’ah because of that), such as delaying some of the prayers until the end of the due times, doing the Eid khutbah before the Eid prayer, delivering the khutbah whilst sitting down on Fridays, etc.
(Ma’aarij al-Qubool, 2/503-504)
3- The ruling on one who commits bid’ah – is he regarded as a kaafir or not?
The answer is that it depends.
If the bid’ah constitutes kufr, then the person is one of the following two types:
(i) Either it is known that his intention is to destroy the foundations of Islam and make the Muslims doubt it. Such a person is definitely a kaafir; indeed, he is a stranger to Islam and is one of the enemies of the faith.
(ii) Or he is deceived and confused; he cannot be denounced as a kaafir until proof is established against him, fair and square.
If the bid’ah does not constitute kufr, then he should not be denounced as a kaafir. Rather, he remains a Muslim, but he has done a gravely evil action.
If you ask, how should we deal with those who commit bid’ah?
The answer is:
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “In both cases, we have to call these people – who claim to be Muslim but who commit acts of bid’ah which may constitute kufr or may be less than that – to the truth, by explaining the truth without being hostile or condemning what they are doing. But once we know that they are too arrogant to accept the truth – for Allah says (interpretation of the meaning), ‘And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge…’ (Al-An’aam 6:108) – if we find out that they are stubborn and arrogant, then we should point out their falsehood, because then pointing out their falsehood becomes an obligation upon us.
With regard to boycotting them, that depends upon the bid’ah. If it is a bid’ah which constitutes kufr, then it is obligatory to boycott the person who does it. If it is of a lesser degree than that, then it is essential to examine the situation further. If something may be achieved by boycotting the person, then we do it; if no purpose will be served by it, or if it will only make him more disobedient and arrogant, then we should avoid doing that, because whatever serves no purpose, it is better not to do it. And also in principle it is haraam to boycott a believer, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘It is not permissible for a man to forsake [not speak to] his brother for more than three [days].’”
(Adapted from Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 2, p. 293)
B. Shirk, its types and the definition of each
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
“Shirk is of two types, major shirk which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, and lesser shirk.”
The first type, Major Shirk, is “Every type of shirk which the Lawgiver described as such and which puts a person beyond the pale of his religion” – such as devoting any kind of act of worship which should be for Allah, done towards someone other than Allah, such as praying to anyone other than Allah, fasting for anyone other than Allah or offering a sacrifice to anyone other than Allah. It is also a form of major shirk to offer supplication (du’aa’) to anyone other than Allah, such as calling upon the occupant of a grave or calling upon one who is absent to help one in some way in which no one is able to help except Allah.
The second type is Minor Shirk, which means every kind of speech or action that Islam describes as shirk, but it does not put a person beyond the pale of Islam – such as swearing an oath by something other than Allah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that whoever swears an oath by something other than Allah is guilty of kufr or shirk.”
The one who swears an oath by something other than Allah but does not believe that anyone other than Allah has the same greatness as Allah, is a mushrik who is guilty of lesser shirk, regardless of whether the one by whom he swore is venerated by people or not. It is not permissible to swear by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or by the president, or by the Ka’bah, or by Jibreel, because this is shirk, but it is minor shirk which does not put a person beyond the pale of Islam.
Another type of minor shirk is showing off, which means that a person does something so that people will see it, not for the sake of Allah.
The ways in which showing off may cancel out acts of worship are either of the following:
The first is when it is applies to an act of worship from the outset, i.e., the person is not doing that action for any reason other than showing off. In this case, the action is invalid and is rejected, because of the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah which was attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), which says that Allah said, “I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.” (Narrated by Muslim, Kitaab al-Zuhd, no. 2985)
The second is when the showing off happens later on during the act of worship, i.e., the action is originally for Allah, then showing off creeps into it. This may be one of two cases:
The first is when the person resists it – this does not harm him.
For example, a man has prayed a rak’ah, then some people come along during his second rak’ah and it occurs to him to make the rukoo’ or sujood longer, or makes himself weep, and so on. If he resists that, it does not harm him, because he is striving against this idea. But if he goes along with that, then every action which stemmed from showing off is invalid, such as if he made his standing or prostration long, or he made himself weep – all of those actions will be cancelled out. But does this invalidation extend to the entire act of worship or not?
We say that either of the following must apply:
Either the end of his act of worship was connected to the beginning (with no pause); so if the end of it is invalidated then all of it is invalidated.
This is the case with the prayer – the last part of it cannot be invalidated without the first part also being invalidated, so the whole prayer is invalid.
Or if the beginning of the action is separate from the end of it, then the first part is valid but the latter part is not. Whatever came before the showing off is valid, and what came after it is not valid.
An example of that is a man who has a hundred riyals, and gives fifty of them in charity for the sake of Allah with a sound intention, then he gives fifty in charity for the purpose of showing off. The first fifty are accepted, and the second fifty are not accepted, because the latter is separate from the former.”
Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, and al-Qawl al-Mufeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed, vol. 1, p. 114, 1st edition
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/index.php?ln=eng
What is the ruling on making fun of the beard, short clothes and other aspects of the Sunnah? What is your opinion on those who, when these acts of worship are enjoined upon them, point to their hearts and say “Piety is here”?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
Making fun of the beard or clothes whose length etc. is in accordance with the Sunnah or other aspects of the Sunnah makes a person a kaafir, if he knows that this was proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), because he is thereby making fun of the words and actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). In this case he is opposing the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and making fun of his Sunnah, and the one who makes fun of the Sunnah and knowingly mocks things that are proven to be part of the Sunnah is not a Muslim.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"If you (O Muhammad) ask them (about this Quran), they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?’ (65) “Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed ………” (Al-Tawbah 9:65 - 66)
If a person is called to observe one of the rulings of Islam and says that piety is in the heart but he does not follow the shar’i ruling, he is an evil liar. For faith includes both words and deeds, it is not simply the matter of what is in the heart. This view is the same as that of the evil innovators of the Murji’ah who restricted faith to the heart and said that it had nothing to do with outward actions. Moreover, if the heart is sound and filled with faith, that will be manifested in a person’s actions. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In the body there is a piece of flesh which, if it is sound, the entire body will be sound, and if it is corrupt, the entire body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 52; Muslim, 1599). And he also said: “Allah does not look at the outward appearance or wealth of any one of you; rather he looks at your hearts and deeds.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2564)
Whatever the case, these words of those who stubbornly refuse to follow the truth and carry out the commands of Islam is a sign of their lack of faith by means of which they want to stop those who seek to call them to Islam and advise them.
with slight modifications, from:
What is the ruling on one who says “I am a communist” without understanding it?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
Words matter according to the great religion of Allah: by means of a word a person speaks, Allah may raise him in status, and by means of a word he speaks he may be doomed to Hell.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)” (Qaaf 50:18)
Al-Bukhaari (5996) and Muslim (5304) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A person may speak a word, not realizing what he is saying, and he will fall because of it into the Fire further than the distance between the East and West.”
Al-Tirmidhi (2241) narrated in a report which he classed as saheeh, that Bilaal ibn al-Haarith said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “One of you may speak a word that pleases Allah, and not know how far it reaches, but Allah will decree that He is pleased with him until the Day he meets Him. And one of you may speak a word that angers Allah, and not know how far it reaches, but Allah will decree that He is angry with him, until the Day he meets Him.”
Al-Nasaa’i (3712) narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn Buraydah that his father said: the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever says ‘I have nothing to do with Islam’ and is lying, he is as he said, and if he is telling the truth, he will never come back to Islam soundly.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’ (2576).
Communism is a kind of atheism that is based on denial of the existence of God and veneration of the material, which it regards as the basis of all things. It does not value religion in general, any religion. Rather they regard religion as people's problems or as they say, the opium of the people, meaning that it distracts them from their material aims which form the basis of their ideology.
Undoubtedly this is one of the most dangerous kinds of kufr in the modern age, by which many people have been deceived and which has persecuted many people of religious commitment and faith.
We suggest that any advice given to those who have been deceived by this ideology should be given in a kind and gentle manner, debating in a good way and explaining the evidence for that from sharee’ah. The one who is engages in that should have sufficient understanding of this kaafir ideology and be skilled in debating and arguing, because most of those who are deceived by this ideology are very capable in argument and debate.
If he is indeed ignorant of this group and its origins, or he is ignorant of how it conflicts with the faith that is required of people, then he is excused for his ignorance. But if he persists, after things are explained to him, then he is a kaafir and an apostate.
We ask Allah to protect our faith and to help us avoid fitnah, both apparent and hidden.
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/