teacher and student


What Makes A Person Kafir?

If we are not to brand anyone even if they slander Our Master ﷺ, Ahl Bayt, Suhabas and Awliyas, as Kafir, then what are we supposed to do with these people?? Tolerate them and let them walk free without any fear on Allah's earth??

The penalty of insulting the Holy Prophet ﷺ is death, no doubt about it. So will this person becomes Kafir or not?? Is it all right for general Muslims to see and tell him as a Kafir?


The general Muslim has to defer that grave judgement to those who know precisely what makes a person kafir without doubt, lest he make a mistake and commit irreparable damage to his soul.

Why did not Sayyidina ʿAli - Allah be well-pleased with him - label the Khawaarij as Kafir and even said: "They are far from Kufr; however, they are disobedient"?

Why did not Sulayman ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab in the long fatwa he gave against his brother's views, titled Fasl al-Khitab - also known as al-Sawaʿiq al-Ilahiyya - not declare the Wahhabis kafir but only as innovators?

Why did not Ibn ʿAbidin in his Hashiya label the Wahhabis as Kafir but instead said they are disobedient and similar to Khawaarij?

Why did not al-Sawi in his Hashiya label the Wahhabis as Kafir but instead said they are disobedient rebels similar to the Khawaarij?

The answer is, because they were fearful of the huge punishment in case they did not have a right to call kafir those who pray the 5 prayers towards the same Qibla as we do. And the definition of Khawaarij is "A large, powerful group of *Muslims* whose IJTIHAD brings them out of the obedience of the Khalifa and in armed hostility against him and the Muslims."

Did Sayyid ʿAlawi al-Haddad of Tarim who wrote *Refutation of the Najdi Innovator* in 1802 or any of the Ahl al-Bayt in the Hijaz, al-Ahsa', and Hadramawt in all their books against the Wahhabiyya call them kafir?

Did Sayyid Ahmad Dahlan - from Ahl al-Bayt - in his numerous books against the Wahhabiyya call them kafir?

Did Jamal Sidqi al-Zahawi in his 1905 book *al-Fajr al-Sadiq* (available in translation at ASFA Publications) call them kafir?

Did Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifaʿi in his 1999 epistle *Advice to our Brothers the Ulama of Najd* call them kafir? LINK:

None of them called them kafir to our knowledge, yet they were and are far more knowledgeable of their position and its consequences in the Religion than us.

It is so easy to make a misjudgement with light utterances of the tongue in a few seconds, or light taps of the fingers on a keyboard. Rasulullah ﷺ said that most judges will be in the Fire. Spare yourself that terrible risk and hold your tongue, leave it to those who know better than you - and they also held their tongue!

This is the way of our Shuyukh just as it is the way of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamaʿa. As for the way of the Khawarij - both past and contemporary - it is characterized by takfir of Ahl al-Qibla, i.e. calling Muslims "unbelievers". And Allah is Most Knowing,

wal-ʿAqibatu lil-Muttaqin.

Hajj Gibril

GF Haddad ©



- Kafir, kufr; Sh. Fadel Soliman [transcr.]
- Who is a kafir? Omar KN
- Who Are The Disbelievers? Sh. Hamza Yusuf [sum.]

- Is Religion The Opiate Of The Masses? Sh. Fadel Soliman [transcribed]




latest update: 2016-10-05
* living ISLAM – Islamic Tradition *