Mocking the religion is major disbelief

Q: “With regard to mocking the religion, which was mentioned in Allaah’s Statement: {Say: Was it Allaah and His Aayaat (verses, revelations, proofs, lessons, signs) and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed},[1] is the disbelief here kufr i`tiqaadi (disbelieving by one’s heart) or kufr `amali (disbelieving by one’s limbs)?”[2]

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“No doubt, this is kufr i`tiqaadi, indeed this is disbelief with two horns (i.e. it is clear disbelief) because it is not possible for a believer – no matter how weak his eemaan (faith) is – to mock the Aayaat of Allaah عز وجل. And this type of disbelief is what falls under our previous statement when we were saying that it is not permissible to declare a Muslim to be a disbeliever unless he utters something which would show us what is settled in his heart. So here, his mocking the Aayaat of Allaah عز وجل is the greatest confirmation from him that he does not believe in that which he is mocking. Hence, he is a disbeliever who has committed kufr i`tiqaadi.”


[1] Surat ut-Tawbah 9:65-66
[2] “Whoever does an act of disbelief due to his opposing the Legislation while disbelief in it is also settled in his heart, then this is kufr i`tiqaadi: the disbelief that Allaah does not forgive, and its doer will dwell in the Fire forever. But if this act of disbelief is contrary to what is settled in his heart such that he believes in the judgment of his Lord but he opposes it (only) by his action, then his disbelief is only kufr `amali and not kufr i`tiqaadi: so he is under the Will of Allaah تعالى; if He wills, He will punish him, and if He wills, He will forgive him” – Shaikh al-Albaani, Silsilat ul-Ahaadeeth is-Saheehah 6/112

[silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor 672/3 / asaheeha translations]

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Mocking the religion is major disbelief

Ruling on one who abandons the prayer – Part 2/5

Hudhaifah ibn al-Yamaan said that Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “Islaam will be effaced just as the decoration of a garment is effaced (over time), until it will not be known what fasting is, nor prayer, nor the rites of Hajj, nor charity; and one night the Book of Allaah عز وجل will indeed be taken away and not a single aayah from it will remain on earth. And some people will remain – old people – saying: ‘We found our forefathers saying this statement: laa ilaaha illallaah (none has the right to worshiped but Allaah), so we say it too.’

Then Silah bin Zufar said to Hudhaifah: ‘What help will laa ilaaha illallaah be to them when they don’t know what prayer nor fasting nor the rites of Hajj nor charity is?’ Hudhaifah turned away from him. Then Silah repeated it to him three times, and every time Hudhaifa would turn away from him. Then he turned to him on the third time and said: ‘O Silah! It will save them from the Fire’ three times.”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“This hadith contains an important benefit of fiqh: that testifying to laa ilaaha illallaah (none has the right to worshiped but Allaah) saves the one who says it (sincerely) from dwelling forever in the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, even if he didn’t use to perform any of the remaining four pillars of Islaam at all, such as prayer and so on. And it is known that the scholars have differed about the ruling on one who abandons the prayer especially while believing in its being legislated. So the majority of the scholars are of the opinion that he has not disbelieved because of that, but rather disobeyed Allaah by committing major sin; and Ahmad -in one report- was of the opinion that he has disbelieved and that he is to be killed due to apostasy not as a prescribed punishment (hadd). And it is has been authentically reported -by at-Tirmithi and al-Haakim- from the Companions that they did not consider leaving any of the actions to be disbelief except the prayer.[1]

And I believe that the correct view is that of the majority, and that what was mentioned from the Companions is not an unequivocal text proving that they meant by ‘disbelief’ here to be the disbelief which would make the one who commits it dwell forever in the Fire and which he could not be forgiven by Allaah. How can that be when this is Hudhaifah ibn al-Yamaan -one of the foremost of those Companions- responding to Silah bin Zufar, who was about to understand the matter as Ahmad’s understanding of it and said: ‘What help will laa ilaaha illallaah be to them when they don’t know what prayer is. . .’ then Hudhaifa replied to him after his turning away from him: ‘O Silah! It will save them from the Fire’ three times. So this is an unequivocal text from Hudhaifah  proving that one who abandons the prayer -and likewise the other (three) pillars- is not a disbeliever but rather a Muslim who will be saved from dwelling forever in the Fire on the Day of Resurrection. So remember this, for you may not find it in other than this place.”

[1] Saheeh at-Tirmithi 2622

[silsilat ul-ahaadeeth is-saheehah 87 / alalbaany.com]

Ruling on one who abandons the prayer – Part 2/5

Ruling on one who abandons the prayer – Part 1/5

Q: “What is the ruling on the one who abandons the prayer? And what is the difference between kufr `amali (disbelief of the limbs) and kufr i`tiqaadi (disbelief of the heart)?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

The one who abandons the prayer has two states: either he believes that the prayer is legislated or he denies it. So in this second state, he is a disbeliever by consensus of the Muslims. The same goes for whoever denies a matter that is ma`loom min ad-deen bidh-dharoorah (known by every Muslim to be part of the religion without having to study it in order to know it) – for instance, whoever denies fasting then such a person is a disbeliever, or whoever denies Hajj, or any other matter that is ma`loom min ad-deen bidh-dharoorah. So there is no difference of opinion about this: whoever denies the prayer’s being legislated is a disbeliever.

But if there is a man who does not deny the prayer and acknowledges its being legislated, but when it comes to practice he does not perform it, he does not pray – maybe he does not pray at all or maybe he prays sometimes – so in this case, if we say that this man has disbelieved, this saying would not apply to him at all because disbelief is denial (jahd), and he is not denying the prayer’s being legislated like He تعالى said regarding the disbelievers: {And they denied them though their ownselves were convinced thereof}.[1]

If we take an example of some person who does not pray, but when he is asked ‘Why don’t you pray O my brother?’ he says to you: ‘May Allaah grant me success in making tawbah and forgive me, by Allaah the dunyaa has kept me busy, these children have kept me busy,’ this type of talk. Of course this talk is not an excuse for him at all, but it gives us a beneficial piece of information – which we can’t know because we can’t see what’s in his heart – telling us that he believes that the prayer is legislated, as opposed to if the answer was, may Allaah forbid: ‘O my brother, the time for this prayer is gone, this was during a time when the people were uneducated, they were unclean, they needed a particular type of cleanliness, purity, exercise; and now it’s time has gone, now there are new means that free us of prayer’ – this man has disbelieved and so goes to Hell, {and evil is that destination}.[2] But if the answer was as in the first example: ‘May Allaah grant us success in making tawbah and forgive us…’ and this type of talk that tells us that he does not deny the prayer’s being legislated. So if we said that this man is a disbeliever, we would be contradicting the reality because this man is a believer – a believer in the prayer’s being legislated, a believer in all of Islaam – so how can we declare him a disbeliever?

Hence, we say that there is no difference between the one who abandons the prayer and the one who abandons fasting and the one who abandons Hajj and the one who abandons any physical act of worship with regard to whether he is declared a disbeliever or not. When is he declared a disbeliever? If he denies. When is he not declared a disbeliever? If he believes. So it is not allowed to declare a believer to be a disbeliever by consensus, and as proof there are many hadeeths with the ending: ‘Make whoever (sincerely) said laa ilaaha illallaah enter Paradise’ while he does not have an atom’s weight of good deeds, but he has an atom’s weight of faith (eemaan) so this faith is what prevents him from abiding in the Fire forever, and he enters Paradise even if it is after he becomes a black charcoal.[3] However, this is the one who testifies that none has the right to be worshiped except Allaah and that Muhammad ﷺ is the Messenger of Allaah, and believes in all that has come from Allaah and His Messenger; but he does not pray or does not fast or does not perform Hajj or the like, or he steals or fornicates – there is no difference with regard to all these things when placed on the scales of kufr `amali and kufr i`tiqaadi [i.e. they all fall under the former].

For instance, a man fornicates – do we declare him a disbeliever? You will say, no. I say, no, take it slow. We have to see, does he say that fornication is haraam? Or does he say as some of the ignorant people say: ‘Who cares about haraam and halaal’? If he says this to me, he has disbelieved. Likewise the one who steals, or any sin – for example the man who backbites people and we say to him: ‘Fear Allaah, the Messenger said: ‘Backbiting is you mentioning about your brother that which he dislikes,’[4] and he replies: ‘Who cares about ‘the Messenger said’ and the like,’ then he has disbelieved. It is the same with all rulings of the Legislation whether it is a positive ruling i.e. an obligation or a negative ruling i.e. a prohibition that must be avoided. So if he regards any of these prohibitions to be permissible in his heart, he has disbelieved. But if he commits it in practice while believing that he is disobeying, he has not disbelieved.

Thus, there is no difference with regard to this among all rulings of the Legislation, whether they are obligations or prohibitions. The obligations must be performed and it is not permissible to abandon them. But whoever does so out of laziness, it is not allowed to declare him a disbeliever; and whoever does so out of denial has disbelieved. Likewise, whoever regards any of the prohibitions to be permissible has disbelieved. There is no difference with regard to this at all between the obligations and prohibitions.”


[1] Surah an-Naml 27:14
[2] Surah Aal `Imraan 3:162
[3] Saheeh al-Bukhaari 7439, 7510, 6560; Saheeh at-Targheeb 3639
[4] Saheeh Muslim 2589

[silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor 8/5 / alalbaany.com]

Ruling on one who abandons the prayer – Part 1/5

Every mushrik is a kaafir and every kaafir is a mushrik

Q: “Is every mushrik (one who associates partners with Allaah in that which is only for Him) a kaafir (disbeliever), but not every kaafir a mushrik?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“This is the understanding present in people’s minds save a few. I will explain that with an example: a man testifies that none has the right to be worshiped except Allaah and that Muhammad ﷺ is the Messenger of Allaah, and he prays, fasts, etc., but he denies a verse from the Qur.aan. Has this man disbelieved or not disbelieved? He has disbelieved. Has he associated partners with Allaah? That which is correct is that he has associated partners with Allaah. Every kaafir is a mushrik and every mushrik is a kaafir – there is no difference between the two words whatsoever.

Whoever disbelieves has associated partners with Allaah, and whoever associates partners with Allaah has disbelieved – there is nothing problematic in that. The evidence for this is if we remember the debate between the believer and the disbeliever in Surah al-Kahf: {And put forward to them the example of two men: We granted to one of them two gardens of grapes, and We surrounded both (gardens) with date-palms and placed between them crops. Each of the two gardens brought forth its produce and did not fail in the least therein, and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of them. And he had property, so he said to his companion while debating with him: ‘I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in respect of men.’ And he went into his garden while unjust to himself (with disbelief)} – pay attention now – {And he went into his garden while unjust to himself (with disbelief). He said: ‘I do not think that this will ever perish and I do not think the Hour will come’}. According to your previous understanding, has this man disbelieved or associated partners with Allaah? According to your previous understanding, your wrong understanding, he has disbelieved but not associated partners with Allaah, he (just) denied the Resurrection. {He said: ‘I do not think that this will ever perish and I do not think the Hour will come. And if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this when I return to Him.’ His companion said to him while debating with him: ‘…If you see me less than you in wealth and children, may my Lord give me something better than your garden and send upon it a torment from the sky so it becomes a barren slippery earth, or its water becomes deep-sunken (into the earth) so you would never be able to get it.’ So his fruits/property were encompassed (with ruin), and he began clapping his hands (in regret) over what he had spent on it, while it was empty and fallen upon its trellises, and said: ‘Would that I had not associated any partners with my Lord!’}[1]

Therefore when he denied the Resurrection, he associated partners with Allaah. So whoever disbelieves in anything that has come in the Book or the Sunnah, he is a mushrik at the same time. This is with regard to the Qur.aanic text, so what is the intellect-related aspect? The answer is that He تعالى said: {Have you seen he who takes his own desire as his god?}[2] Hence whoever commits some type of disbelief is a mushrik because he made his own intellect a partner with his Lord تبارك وتعالى. For this reason, do not differentiate between kufr (disbelief) and shirk (associating partners with Allaah in that which is only for Him).

When you know this reality, there won’t be any problem which may sometimes occur to some of those who hear the Messenger’s ﷺ hadeeth with both its wordings: ‘whoever abandons the prayer has disbelieved’ and ‘whoever abandons the prayer has associated partners with Allaah.’[3] How is this? The one who differentiates between kufr and shirk will find the expression ‘associated partners with Allaah’ to be problematic; no that which is correct is to say that he has disbelieved.  Likewise the other hadeeth: ‘Whoever swears by other than Allaah has disbelieved’ and ‘whoever swears by other than Allaah has associated partners with Him.’[4] He has disbelieved, he has associated partners with Allaah. He has associated partners with Allaah, he has disbelieved. There is no difference between the two expressions in regard to Legislative terminology. In regard to linguistic terminology, there is a difference no doubt, but the Legislation illuminates our insight, thinking and understanding. Why is anyone who disbelieves in Allaah عز وجل – committing any type of disbelief – a mushrik? Because he makes his intellect a partner with his Lord عز وجل in those judgments and rulings that it passes.”


[1] Surat ul-Kahf 18:32-42
[2] Surat ul-Jaathiyah 45:23
[3] Saheeh at-Targheeb 568
[4] Saheeh at-Tirmithi 1535

[silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor 727/7 / alalbaany.com]

Every mushrik is a kaafir and every kaafir is a mushrik