It was something I learned very young: Never say the word kaafir. I didn't know Arabic at the time, but I knew it was worse than a curse word. It was the most evil word you could possibly utter. Call a person anything you want, but never this.

A kaafir was evil.

A kaafir was a monster.

A kaafir was doomed to Hell forever.

These ideas floated around in my mind whenever I heard the word, and the sensation I felt upon even thinking of it was like the repulsion one would feel upon having a jinn-like beast sharing a single cover with you at night.

So naturally, in my world, a kaafir didn't exist. People who believed a kaafir did exist—and who had the audacity to use the term in connection to an actual human being—were shunned, whispered about, and referred to as “misguided” and their thinking reprehensible.

As for how my friends and I dealt with Muslims who used the word, we didn't associate with “those” Muslims. We didn't go to the masjid with “those” Muslims. We were better than “those” Muslims…

Because we didn't use profanity.

They did.

We didn't say horrible words like kaafir.

They did.

As I grew older and eventually befriended some of “those” Muslims, I was surprised that they weren't revolting or evil, as I'd once thought. And I was even more surprised that they didn't seem angry or spiteful when they used the word kaafir. In fact, if anything, my friends and I were more obviously spiteful when we talked about “those” Muslims for using the word at all.

Nevertheless, like my jolt upon hearing for the first time a dog groomer use the word bitch in its appropriate context, I was a bit taken aback when I first heard the word kaafir used in the Islamic context by some of my new friends. And as was the case with my understanding bitch as simply meaning “a female dog”, I began to understand that—at least to these Muslims—the word kaafir simply meant non-Muslim.

The Qur'an as the Judge

Allah doesn't use profanity. That was probably my first epiphany that the word kaafir couldn't possibly be the unutterable, monstrous curse word that I'd thought it to be. Moreover, if the word did in fact occur in the Qur'an, then certainly it applied to someone. And Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) obviously wanted us to know who. Otherwise, why mention it at all?

Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make a distinction between Allah and His Messengers, saying, 'We believe in some but reject others' and wish to adopt a way in between. They are in truth disbelievers…” [Al-Nisaa; 150-151]

“Surely, disbelievers are those who say 'Allah is the third of three [in a Trinity]…'” [Al-Maa'idah; 73]

“Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] and among the pagans were not going to leave [their disbelief] until their came to them clear evidence, a Messenger from Allah…” [Al-Bayyinah; 1-2]

 Of the believers and Islam itself, Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not…” [Al-Hujuraat; 15]

“Anyone who seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers.” [Ali'Imraan; 85]

Hadith As Further Clarification

In the famous “hadith of Jibreel” recorded by imam Muslim, the Angel Gabriel (Jibreel) came to Prophet Muhammadṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in the form of a man and said, “O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.”  The Messenger of Allahṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Islam is to testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayers, to pay the Zakat, to fast [the month of] Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to the House if you have the means to do so.”

The Angel Jibreel said further, “Tell me about emaan (belief or faith).” He [the Messenger of Allah]ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) responded, “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day and to believe in the divine decree, [both] the good and the evil thereof.”

In another hadith recorded by imam Muslim, the Messenger of Allahṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “By Him in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, any person of this Community, any Jew, or any Christian who hears of me and dies without believing in what I have been sent with will be an inhabitant of hell.”

Are Non-Muslims Going to Paradise?

It is well-known that all who believe in Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) while joining no partners with Him and while not disbelieving in any of His prophets or revelations—and while believing in every aspect of religious truth that comes to them during their lifetime—are Muslims and will thus enter Paradise. It is also well-known that the believers of previous generations who believed in and followed their respective messengers are Muslims and will thus enter Paradise.

Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

“Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabians, those who believed in Allah and the Last Day and worked righteousness, will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [Al-Baqarah; 62]

There has been much discussion by religious scholars and laypeople surrounding who these believers are specifically, some Muslims going as far as to openly claim that many non-Muslims of today are of these groups such that many open non-Muslims are over-praised and given the rights that belong only to believers, such as our praying for their forgiveness and openly hoping for their entry into Paradise.

However, regardless of who these believers are as individuals, whether in the past or present (or both), one undeniable fact remains: not a single one of us knows who they are by name, as this knowledge rests with Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) alone; thus it is impossible to speak of these people specifically.

Furthermore, given that Allah's Book contains no contradictions and that our entire faith is based on complete belief in Allah's revelations, without exception, there are only two possibilities concerning this group discussed in the Qur'an:

  1. They are the Muslims of earlier times who believed in their respective prophets and messengers while making no exceptions regarding their belief in what Allah revealed. (It is a fundamental part of the Islamic faith that the message of Islamic monotheism began with our father Adam'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), and that Prophet Muhammadṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) did not bring a new faith; he was merely the seal of a long line of prophets and messengers before him.)
  2. They are people of both the past and present who believed in Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and all they knew of His prophets and revelations, but the knowledge of certain aspects of faith (such as the specific teachings of Prophet Muhammadṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) never reached them during their lifetime.

In other words, these people are not an exception to the requirement of being Muslim; they are merely further proof of it.

Thus, it is inconceivable for any Muslim to claim that any descendent of Adam'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), whether in the past or present, can hear of any of Allah's Books or prophets and reject a single one of them and still retain the label as “believer” in front of Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), as rejecting any divine book or prophet is tantamount to disbelief and is the very essence of kufr itself—regardless of which time period a person lived.

You Can Be Muslim, Too…If We Like You

One of the most amazing things that is occurring today is many Muslims proclaiming, at leisure, that some non-Muslims are “Muslims in their heart” or that they embody “the spirit of Islam” while openly praying for Allah's mercy, blessings, and forgiveness for people who did not accept Islam.

Though we can use conjecture and dabble in the possibility that the non-Muslims we happen to like or admire—whether because they are our family or friends, or because they are worldly renowned for their stances on justice and freedom—could be of the group of believers referred to in the above ayah, the fact remains that it is not our place or right to make such a claim, let alone act upon it through speaking of a non-Muslim's “Muslim heart” or praying for their blessings or forgiveness. And if we proceed to do so, we will be called to account for openly violating the guidelines of our religion.

In Islam, it is forbidden to pray for Allah's mercy or forgiveness for disbelievers, and this is well-known, so much so that the Prophetṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) himself was not allowed to pray for his own parents—and they died before He received revelation. Moreover, logically-speaking, if there are any non-Muslims who deserve our praise and admiration such that we could pray for their souls, the ones foremost in this right would be the ones who lived alongside the Prophet himself and sacrificed their personal safety and risked their very lives in protecting Allah's Messenger from harm while ensuring that the message of Islam was spread unobstructed throughout the world. How can we claim any act of goodness by a non-Muslim that is greater than this? Yet the one foremost in this very act of goodness, namely the Prophet's uncle Abu Talib, the believers are not allowed to pray for. In fact, Abu Talib, despite this undeniably great act, will never enter Paradise, as Prophet Muhammadṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) informed us.

Who then are we to raise a non-Muslim—based on our own whims and desires—to a status that even Abu Talib did not deserve?

Be Careful with the New F-word

The Qur'an is quite unambiguous regarding who is a mu'min (believer) and who is a kaafir (disbeliever), and this is clear to anyone who has read Allah's Book in full. Nevertheless, it is not our job to carelessly toss around the label kaafir. Just as it is against Islam to label non-Muslims believers and give them the rights reserved only for Muslims, it is also against Islam to claim knowledge of the Unseen and carelessly label people kaafir, especially in reference to someone's soul after death.

A person can live his or her life as a disbeliever then accept Islam in private before death. A person can also live his or her life as a believer then reject Islam in private before death. Thus, ultimately, we don't know the state of anyone's soul—even that of professed Muslims.

Therefore, it is possible to act upon only one thing in this life: that which is apparent. So if a person professes belief in Islam, we treat them as a believer; and we pray for their soul and hope Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) grants them Paradise after death (as the Prophetṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) showed us during his lifetime). But if a person does not profess belief in Islam, we treat them as a disbeliever; and we do not pray for their souls or openly hope Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) grants them Paradise after death (as the Prophetṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) clearly showed us with his parents and his uncle Abu Talib). As for whether or not certain people lived secretly as Muslims or whether or not they heard the message of Islam before death, these are matters of the Unseen, and we should not delve into them.

As for the word kaafir itself, it is not an unspeakable, evil curse word; and if we think of it as such, we are accusing our Lord of profanity and of His asking us to recite profanity, as Allah's Book is replete with ayaat discussing disbelievers.

Rather, what is required of us regarding the meaning of the word kaafir is the same that is required of us regarding everything mentioned in the Qur'an, and that is this:

“We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” [Ali'Imraan; 7]

 

Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of the If I Should Speak trilogy and the novels Realities of Submission and Hearts We Lost.  To learn more about the author, visit themuslimauthor.com or join her Facebook page.

Copyright © 2013 by Al-Walaa Publications.  All Rights Reserved.

109 Responses

  1. Dreamlife

    Off topic, but related anyway: here in South Africa, the k work actually IS an “f-word”. Under Apartheid, the ruling Afrikaaners used it as a derogatory term for black people – in the same way that in the U.S., the “N” word was used to insult black people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_(racial_term)

    In your article, you say:
    “In Islam, it is forbidden to pray for Allāh’s mercy or forgiveness for disbelievers, and this is well-known, so much so that the Prophetṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) himself was not allowed to pray for his own parents—and they died before He received revelation. ”

    Could you please clarify – with proofs – whether this applies ONLY to when the non-Muslims / disbeliever is actually dead? (as was the case with Abu Talib) I’ve never been able to find a conclusive answer about praying for them while they’re alive.

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    • Areej

      Assalamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you)

      Yes, we are allowed to make dua for those who are alive- as long as they’re still alive. Once they are dead however, Allah will deal with them.

      I hope I answered your question :)

      Wassalam

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      • Dreamlife

        Walaikum salaam

        JazakAllah – that does answer partly, but would you mind backing up the answer with examples / proof? That’s really the key here.

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    • nadia

      Yes, any study into the seerah of the Prophet s.a.w shows clearly how he prayed for the non-muslims to be blessed with guidance, but mercy and forgivness for a non-muslim is upto Allah not for us to make dua until they believe i think

      wsrb

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      • Visitor

        Assalaam alaykum. How about prophet Ibrahim, when Allah forbade him to pray for his Father (Azaar). Was his father dead or alive? And are there specific dua we should pray for Non-Muslims or not?

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  2. GC

    A good article but it is a little confusing at points.

    We are not sure(as Muslims) that “non-Muslims” will not enter into Jannah.

    “Non-believers” means something completely different, as in referring to no believe in Allah at all.

    The Jews and Christians are non-Muslims, but they are still “people of the book” and they adhere to portions of what Allah has revealed to mankind.

    If someone does not get to hear the message of Islam in their lifetime before they pass, then these people can not be held accountable for rejecting a truth in message that was never delivered to them.

    These people will be tried under different circumstances during Judgement Day.

    We also have to ask the questiion: “Is hell forever for the believers that are non-Muslim”?

    That is something that only Allah knows for sure and which we can only comtemplate.

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    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Dear GC

      Our Comments Policy requires a valid name or Kunyah to be used when commenting. You may also use a blog handle provided your blog is linked, the email address is a valid one, and it is not advertising a product.

      Best Regards
      Comments Team

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    • Basmah

      GC :

      When I can’t find answers , I tell myself – Allah is THE BEST JUDGE . Alhamdulillah . He would take care of everything and do not an atoms weight of injustice or less :)

      We simply do our part and share it ( islam) with others .

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      • Mahmud

        Bismah, Allah and His Messenger made the most important of matters-our fate in the akhirah-quite clear.

        Whoever fails to enter Islam after it reaches him is a disbeliever and will be in the fire of Jahannam for an eternity.

        This is an answer you already have-so be grateful for Islam, and call to it!

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    • Saad

      Dear GC.

      You made a classic mistake in using the word “mu’min” (i.e. believer). Every word in the Qur’an has a linguistic meaning and Shari’ah meaning. With critical words such as “mu’min” (believer), “kaafir” (disbeliever) and Muslim, you have to use the Shari’ah meaning, NOT the linguistic meaning. Taking the word “mu’min”, if you use only the linguistic meaning, then Abu Jahl is a mu’min because he prayed to Allah before going to the battle of Badr. Iblees is a mu’min because he asked Allah (after the incident with the command to prostrate before Adam(as)) for life until the Day of Judgment. Fir’aun prayed to Allah when he saw the sea about to engulf him. Christians believe in God the Father, Jews believe in Hashem, Hindus believe in Bhagwan. Are they believers??? Absolutely not.

      They are not believers because they do not meaning the Shari’ah definition. The Shari’ah definition of the word “mu’min” is “one who believes in Allah ALONE and makes absolutely no kind of partner with Allah whatsoever: partner in rububiyyah, partner in uluhiyyah nor partner in any of Allah’s divine attributes.

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      • Mahmud

        Saad, that was a wonderful explanation. JazzakAllahu khair for complementing the article with a correct explanation to remove any misconceptions.

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      • Moses

        I am a “ma’amin” but not a “mu’min”; I’m not a “kofer” but I suppose I am a “kaafir”. Weird! For the record, Judaism does not ascribe any partnership to Hashem, whatsoever. It’s also making a false distinction to refer to Hashem as opposed to Allah, since Jews of Arab lands also use the word Allah much as English speaking Jews use the word God.

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    • Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      GC, unfortunately that is quite incorrect. Non-believers are EVERY non-Muslim who Islam reached be he/she failed to enter Islam.

      And yes, ALL Jews and Christians who Islam reaches and failed to enter Islam are disbelievers.

      It is ijma of the Ulema that whoever fails to accept the kufr of Ahlul Kitab and the rest of the Mushrikeen are themselves disbelievers even if they profess Islam and believe Islam is the true deen.

      So please research more.

      As for those whom Islam has not reached, they will be tested.

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    • Parvez Khan

      @ GC

      your statement “Is hell forever for the believers that are non-Muslim”? Is really confusing! What i have learnt about Islam is that there is no such person who is a believer yet a non-muslim…

      If a person believes (has Iman) thus its understood that the person is a Muslim (has submiited to Allah).

      Regardless whether the teachings of Islam reached a person or not, if the person is a non muslim such as athiest or polythiest or ahle kitaab, then its clear that they are kaafirs.

      The extra test on day of Judgment is only for those who were monothiests who tried to seek the truth and the teachings of Islam didnt reach them and the test is for those who were born mentally deficient….

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  3. Cara

    It would be helpful if instead of saying “it is well known that” you actually provide textual evidence (Qur’an or at least sahih hadith) for your statement. After all, there are a lot of things that are “well known” that are actually false. “Well known” doesn’t mean much at all.

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    • Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Please read the Quran, the ahadith on the subject and the statements of the scholars. It is the ijma of the Ummah, not just the scholars, that all non-Muslims who Islam reaches and they fail to enter Islam, are destined to Jahannam.

      And I don’t see why you are requesting that-the author DID provide ayat and sahih hadith-so what exactly are you asking for?

      It is the consensus of all four madhabs of Islamic fiqh that whoever fails to accept the kufr of the people of the Book and the rest of the mushrikeen are themselves disbelievers.

      So this is a very important subject.

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    • Mahmud

      Again Cara, I’m really surprised at your statement because the author DID provide textual hadith from the Quran and hadith! I want to know, what more do you want? What is it that we have failed to provide? Tell us so that we can show you.

      But if you want more evidence, here you go:

      1) And on the authority of ‘Abdullâh Ibn Mas’ûd that the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

      “إِنِّي لَأَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا نِصْفَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ وَذَلِكَ أَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ لَا يَدْخُلُهَا إِلَّا نَفْسٌ مُسْلِمَةٌ.”
      “I have hope that you will be half of the people of Jannah, and that is because no one but a Muslim Soul will enter Jannah.”
      Narrated by Al-Bukhârî (#6,528)

      It’s know that this Ummah is two thirds of Paradise-that leaves the previous smaller Ummahs of Muslims!!!!

      2)So they state that Allâh has told us that whoever dies as a kâfir will be in the Fire, so when we say that a kâfir is in the Fire, we are only following what Allâh has Told us.

      And on the authority of Abû Hurayrah, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, that the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

      “وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ وَلَا نَصْرَانِيٌّ ثُمَّ يَمُوتُ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ.”
      “By Him in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, no one from amongst this Ummah hears of me; not a Jew nor a Christian, then dies and does not believe in what I came with, except that he will be from the denizens of Hell-Fire.”
      Narrated by Muslim (#153)

      3) On the authority of Anas Ibn Mâlik, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, who said:

      كَانَ غُلَامٌ يَهُودِيٌّ يَخْدُمُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَمَرِضَ فَأَتَاهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَعُودُهُ فَقَعَدَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَسْلِمْ فَنَظَرَ إِلَى أَبِيهِ وَهُوَ عِنْدَهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَطِعْ أَبَا الْقَاسِمِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَأَسْلَمَ فَخَرَجَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَنْقَذَهُ مِنْ النَّارِ
      “A Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, and he became sick. So the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, went to visit him. He sat near his head and said to him: ‘Embrace Islâm.’ The boy looked at his father, who was with him, then he (i.e. the father) said: ‘Obey Abul-Qâsim.’ So he embraced Islâm. The Prophet came out saying: ‘Praise be to Allâh, the One Who saved him from the Fire.’”
      Narrated by Al-Bukhârî (#1,356)

      4) The Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, gave instructions to give disbelievers tidings of the fire when passing by their graves

      It was narrated from Sâlim that his father said:

      جَاءَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ:”يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ أَبِي كَانَ يَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ وَكَانَ وَكَانَ فَأَيْنَ هُوَ؟” قَالَ: “فِي النَّارِ.” قَالَ: فَكَأَنَّهُ وَجَدَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ: “يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَأَيْنَ أَبُوكَ؟” قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “حَيْثُمَا مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِ كَافِرٍ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِالنَّارِ.” قَالَ: فَأَسْلَمَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ بَعْدُ وَقَالَ: “لَقَدْ كَلَّفَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَعَبًا مَا مَرَرْتُ بِقَبْرِ كَافِرٍ إِلَّا بَشَّرْتُهُ بِالنَّارِ.”
      “A Bedouin came to the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, my father used to uphold the ties of kinship, and so forth and so forth, so where is he?’ He said: ‘In the Fire.’ So it was as if he found that difficult to bear. Then he said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh. Where is your father?’ The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said: ‘Whenever you pass by the grave of a kâfir, give him tidings of Fire.’ The Bedouin later became Muslim, and he said: ‘The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, gave me a difficult task. I never pass by the grave of a kâfir except that I give him tidings of Fire.’”
      Narrated by Ibn Mâjah (#1,562) and others. This was declared “Sahîh” by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Sunan Ibn Mâjah”, (#1,288)

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    • Mahmud

      Perhaps the ayah 2:62 is confusing you and you feel you have not read enough ayat or Sahih Hadith on the matter. Maybe that is what you were asking for……….

      Well, here is a Sahih hadith for you. As you may know, there are multiple narrations which differ in wording slightly, and there are numerous reasons for that. For example, you may find more than one hadith on the intercession of an-Nabi(S)(which is for this Ummah alone, and this Ummah alone is two-thirds of Paradise-that leaves some room for the Muslims of previous Messengers)

      In any case, Salman al-Farisi was a Sahabi but before he was a Sahabi he was a magian who converted to Islam. He had encountered the people of the book before as was wondering about their fate.

      Salman Al-Farisi reported: I asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, about the people of religion who had been with me, mentioning their prayers and acts of worship. Then, Allah revealed the verse, “Verily, those who believe, those who are Jewish, Christian, or Sabians – whoever believed in Allah and the Last Day and worked righteousness – they will have their reward with their Lord and they will not fear nor grieve.” (2:62)

      Source: Tafseer Ibn Abu Hatim, verse 2:62

      Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Ibn Taymiyyah and Al-Busiri

      قَالَ سَلْمَانُ سَأَلْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ أَهْلِ دِينٍ كُنْتُ مَعَهُم فَذَكَرَ مِنْ صَلاتِهِمْ وَعِبَادَتِهِمْ فَنَزَلَتْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالنَّصَارَى وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِر

      2:62 تفسير ابن أبي حاتم سورة البقرة قوله إن الذين آمنوا والذين هادوا

      المحدث ابن تيمية خلاصة حكم المحدث صحيح

      المحدث البوصيري خلاصة حكم المحدث إسناده رواته ثقات

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      • Mahmud

        Correction: I’m not sure if the intercession of an-Nabi(S) also extends to Muslims of previous times as well. In any case, this is a minor point and doesn’t affect the subject at hand.

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    • O H

      Although I enjoyed sister Umm Zakiyyah’s article, I would have to say some VERY important points are raised in this rebuttal regarding some of the points addressed and conveyed in the article. Everyone should read it after reading Umm Zakiyyah’s article. Even I was confused in the part where it was mentioned regarding treating a kaafir as kaafir but not labelling them kaafir :S. Was it that she meant we treat them as a disbeliever whilst not dooming them to Hellfire for eternity.

      Maybe the wording could have been better with a misunderstanding in what she was trying to convey.

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    • Umm Zakiyyah

      The Shardul of Allah,

      Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my post. However, I am a bit puzzled as to why, prior to writing an entire response, you didn’t post this simple question, “Do you mean that we should *not* label non-Muslims as kuffaar?” And this would have saved yourself time and energy, not to mention accountability in front of Allah for falsely accusing me (and MuslimMatters).

      I find your “reservations” expressed in your post odd at best and preposterous at worst, given that the entire purpose of my post was the very point you say I wasn’t making: that all professed non-Muslims are indeed to be labeled and treated as disbelievers, as this is how the Qur’an and Sunnah labels them.
      Yet, after I use Qur’an and Sunnah proofs, as well as logic based on Abu Talib and the parents of the Prophet (sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam), to make the very point you say I wasn’t making, you take a single section and sentence of my post to accuse me of refuting the entire point of my own post. The sentence you quote as “proof” did not even mention the word “non-Muslims.” It mentioned caution against labeling PEOPLE. I said, “…it is also against Islam to claim knowledge of the Unseen and carelessly label *people* kaafir, especially in reference to someone’s soul after death.”

      In practical application this means if I walk past a PERSON on the street, I don’t label them kaafir because I don’t know what religion they profess (as every Muslim doesn’t *look* Muslim, whatever that means). Also, my point was, even in the case of a professed non-Muslim (i.e. kaafir), we don’t know for sure how they died, so we should limit the label “kaafir” to how we treat them regarding our worldly affairs (i.e. we don’t pray for them or offer janazah), but we should *not* say, for example, “So-and-so will be in the Hell Fire forever because they died as a disbeliever.”

      Regarding your erroneous blog, I’m thankful that one commenter (“R” ) understood my point well and shared it eloquently, maashaAllah. But your response to the commenter causes me greater concern than your original post. May Allah help you and guide you.

      I don’t know what you hope to achieve by your wild assertions in response to the commenter regarding the alleged neo-Islamist conspiracy of me and MuslimMatters , but my prayer is that, for the sake of your soul, you take down your blog and repent to Allah before He takes your soul, as your slander does not harm me in the least. At “worst”, I’ll meet you on the Day of Judgment and get some of your good deeds and/or you’ll take some of my sins. And what more could a believer want on the Day when we’re all in dire need of good deeds and erasing of sins?

      May Allah help you and heal you regarding whatever is confusing you and troubling your heart.

      Was salaamu’alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

      Regards,
      Umm Zakiyyah
      ummzakiyyah.com

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      • The Shardul of Allah

        Quote
        In practical application this means if I walk past a PERSON on the street, I don’t label them kaafir because I don’t know what religion they profess (as every Muslim doesn’t *look* Muslim, whatever that means). Also, my point was, even in the case of a professed non-Muslim (i.e. kaafir), we don’t know for sure how they died, so we should limit the label “kaafir” to how we treat them regarding our worldly affairs (i.e. we don’t pray for them or offer janazah), but we should *not* say, for example, “So-and-so will be in the Hell Fire forever because they died as a disbeliever.”
        UNQUOTE

        I have made it very clear that pronouncing takfeer on any Muslim is a grave matter and an average Muslim should never pronounce takfeer on another Muslim.

        At the same time, I have not asked to label any random person from the street as kaafir without first knowing his or her faith.

        However, if Tom, Dick, or Harry says that he is a Christian, then it is part of my belief that I declare him as a kaafir, and I will not shy away from it saying that I do not have the knowledge of unseen or by saying that it is not possible to know the absolute state of his inner faith. Please read the explanations of Shaykh Saleh Al-Fawzaan and Shaykh Abdul Azeez bin Abdullaah al-Raajihee, which I have posted in my blog.

        If Tom, Dick, or Harry dies while professing non-Muslim faith, then even after death, I will say that Tom, Dick, or Harry was a kaafir. However, I will not say that the person will be in Hell Fire, because that is a knowledge that belongs to Allah.

        You have mixed up two things here: labeling someone who professes to be a non-Muslim as kafir is different than saying that someone will be in paradise or hell fire. The former does not require knowledge from unseen. If someone claims to be a non-Muslim, then or he or she is a kaafir. Also, if he or she dies while professing non-Muslim faith, then even after death, I will say that he or she was a kaafir. Like I say here that Rabindranath Tagore or Steve Jobs was a kaafir. But I will not speak about their destination in the hereafter, as that is the knowledge that belongs to Allah.

        That is why I have specifically asked you the question: Do you say that Tagore or Jobs is kaafir or not?

        At the same time, if I accede to your argument that we should stay silent and should not label non-Muslims as kaafir after their death, who died while professing non-Muslim belief, then how did Shykah Yasir Qadhi titled a lecture ‘Legacy of a Kaafir’ about Mutim ibn Adi? Since we do not know the faith Mutim died upon at the last moment of his life, according to your argument, do we now just stay silent and refuse to say that he was a kaafir?

        As for the issue of slandering, I firmly believe that I have not slandered anyone in my blog.

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  4. Mahmoud

    One small note/advice to share: there is one dua you absolutely can make (and *should* make) for the non-Muslims you love and wish mercy and paradise upon: “May Allah SWT guide them to Islam and give them death as Muslims.”

    There is no better dua you can make for a non-Muslim person between you and Allah SWT. If you truly love them, that is the dua that was made for you and them in this situation.

    The validity of this dua is of course attested to in countless ahadeeth where the Prophet SAW made dua for countless enemies of Islam (“one of the two Omars”) and their children (e.g. the people of Ta’if), amongst many others.

    Once they have passed away, la hawl walla qowat ellah billah; they are in Allah’s hands and it is His judgement they will face and His mercy they will need. Wallahu a’lam.

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    • Dreamlife

      Of course – that’s totally logical. But duas for them in OTHER issues – for stuff other than guidance (e.g. normal worldly things like jobs, marriage, etc)? THat’s what I’d like to know – with proofs.

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    • Mahmud

      “and His mercy they will need”

      That cannot have something he has made haram on them. Jannah is haram to every kaffir.

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  5. O H

    Jazaki Allaahu Khair sister for the great article. Increasingly the modernists and rationalists have tried to make this word a taboo and also the concept of calling those who profess Kufr a Kaafir. It is as if they read a part of the book and deliberately ignore a part of the book-we all know which sort of group did exactly that of the people who came before us.

    They are over sympathetic over the fate of people whom Allaah will deal with justly and overpraise the kuffaar’s charitable acts, etc ignoring that those same people are committing the ultimate sin of Shirk and Kufr. Whether they have received sufficient knowledge and if ignorance is a valid reason on their behalf is of the unseen but as the author has stated the principle taught by the Prophet (peace be upon him) which is that we judge by what is apparent. We should not make dua for Micheal Jackson, Paul Walker, Nelson Mandela etc after their death nor do we doom them to the Hellfire for eternity. We treat them as disbelievers upon whom the judgement will be made like everyone else as Allaah’s justice is unquestionable. I hope the same people who staunchly oppose the word ‘kaafir’ and condemn those who treat the ones who have died on apparent kufr as disbelievers, strongly defend the Muslims and overpraise and support them when they are being abused and oppressed.

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  6. Toyeeb Adejumo

    Salaam alaykum,

    To Sister Umm Zakiyyah and the rest of Muslim Matters team, I remind you that even the Prophet( sallalahu alehi wa salaam) was criticized. A man with bony cheek and coarse look said to the Prophet: ”Fear Allaah”. So if Rasollulah was afflicted with the same, then alhamdulillah you are with good company.

    Ma shaa Allah, your efforts is of great benefit to us, our Muslim community here in America and across the globe. And may Allaah reward you in full. Great Article.
    ” … And We already know that your mind is troubled because of what they say, you just continue to glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate, and worship your Lord until there comes to you certainty(death).” —Hijr: 97-99

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    • Mahmud

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Your comments are a pleasure to read. I know this is a bit of a tangent….but brother, where are you from? Just curious.

      And thanks for that ayah! This subject distressed me greatly(Hence the blitzkrieg of my comments on this article….which I really hope will get through just like my brother OH kind of blitzkrieged…) as there are those who are Muslims but ignorant of the matter(and we should try to give them the excuse of not knowing) and they say things which would have them beheaded for apostasy at the time of Umar RA!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, I believe there would be three days to repent so they would have enough time to have everything explained to them.

      Anyways, a good reminder of what I should be doing instead of stressing over what others say. JazzakAllahu khair

      and JazzakAllahu khair to the author.

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  7. Toyeeb Adejumo

    The believers in the One and only God prior to the advent of Prophet of Muhammad will not see their efforts on the Day of Judgment go to waste; they would be rewarded by Almighty God in accordance to the sincere faith they had in God and the righteous deeds they did. And although they might be referred to as an adherent of a specific religion, they in fact, did follow the religion of God which has always been Islam, and they were to God, Muslims. Names and labels are just for human beings; Almighty God knows best those who submitted to his will; those who worshiped him without partners. We read in the Qur’aan:
    “Verily! Those who believe, and those who are Jews and the Nazarenes, the Sabians, whosoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day and do righteous deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” Q2:61
    This verse confirms the above explanations. The Jews who believed in and followed the message of God delivered by Moses during Moses’ time would have no fear on the Day of Resurrection and they would not be asked about Muhammad. Similarly, the Nazarenes, followers of Christ who were Unitarians in their doctrine about God will be rewarded for their beliefs and efforts. Almighty God will never allow a sincere belief to go to waste. And that applies to the Sabians too.
    Both the Jews and the Nazarenes (Christians) are jointly referred to as Ahl’ul Kitaab( people of the book) in the Qur’aan. Some of them were true believers, but most of them were rebellious people. Those among the true believers who witnessed the emergence of Prophet Muhammad did not hesitate to accept his message as they knew it was the truth from their Lord. The Qur’aan quotes them in Suratu Qasas 28:52:
    “When it (Qur’an) is recited to them, they say: ‘’we believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been Muslimeen( those who submit to God’s will).”
    The righteous people from Ahl’ul Kitaab(Jews and Chrstians) who because of their time of existence or any other reason did not have the blessing of receiving the final message of God brought by Prophet Muhammad would be those referred to in Qur’an 2:61, they would have no fear, nor will they grieve, they will be rewarded according to their deeds. The keyword being they explicitly said they had been Muslims even before the advent of Prophet Muhammad.
    As for those righteous people from amongst the Jews and Christians who received the final message of God brought by Prophet Muhammad and accepted it as the truth by following the divine guidance; Qur’aan, would be of those referred to by the 52nd verse of Suratu Qasas (28), they would be rewarded twice for every good deed they do. Almighty God in continuation of the verse said:
    “These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend (in charity) what we have given them.”
    Those among the Jews and Christians who received the message of God through Prophet Muhammad but still disbelieved in it and denied God’s revelation would be of the likes of those mentioned in the 9th verse of Al Ma’idah(5) :
    They who disbelieve and deny Our Ayah (verses, proofs, lessons, evidences, signs, revelations e.t.c) are those who would be the dwellers of the Hellfire.

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    • Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Brother, it was an absolute pleasure skimming/quickly reading through this comment of yours! I would appreciate it far more if you used paragraphs and spacing!

      But you made a wonderful explanation. May Allah have mercy on you. You are my favorite poster here, along with OH who is really helping me calm down(he doesn’t know it) because he has been patiently responding to everybody else!

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      • O H

        May Allaah reward you both for your efforts. It’s scary to have erroneous set of beliefs in this crucial matter of Iman and Kufr. Sad to see many people neglect their Aqeedah studies and engage in all sorts of other studies which are important down the line only after the knowledge of Aqeedah is strengthened. Even the study of Aqeedah is taboo among many Muslims these days :S

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  8. Riz Khan

    As for as my knowledge is concerned (I may be wrong as I am still studying) the term kafir is used for those who fully know that Islam is the true religion-ther reason /logic/conscious have reached the conclusion… but still do not accept it. All others are just non-muslims. We certainly do not know which non-muslim is kafir and which is not because such knowledge is only with Almighty Allah. We can not know which non-muslim is at what stage about understanding Islam. But even the word non-muslim is a strong word

    “Verily the only acceptable religion to Allah is Islam.” [Quran 3:19]
    And Islam is what Quran and Sunnah teach. So non-muslims are clearly at loss.

    So my view is when we can not definitely say about a non-muslim that whether or not he is a kafir then we simply can not call someone (muslim or non-muslim) kafir because we can not know about the situation of his/her Batin (inner).

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    • O H

      Got this from an earlier post:

      Saleh al-Fawzaan حفظه الله said:

      من لم يُـكَــفِّـر المُشرِكينَ أَوْ شَكَّ في كُـفْرِهِم أَوْ صَـحَّـحَ مَذْهَـبَـهُمْ كَفَر

      Whoever does not declare the polytheists to be disbelievers, or he doubts their disbelief or approves of their way, then he has disbelieved.

      This is in line with what sister Umm Zakiyyah has said. We judge by what is apparent as the Prophet (peace be upon him) has taught us. This is not the same as saying they will be doomed for eternity (which has also been mentioned by the author) which is dependent on various factors.

      There is a misconception among many of the Muslims that people of the book are not polytheists. The term “polytheists” is general and includes all of the various types of disbelievers. Therefore, every disbeliever is a polytheist. So whoever does not hold a disbeliever to be as such, then he himself is a disbeliever, just like him. Whoever does not consider the Jews or the Christians or the Magians (Majoos) or the idol worshippers etc to be disbelievers then he himself is a disbeliever. We all need to have strong knowledge of Aqeedah and not use our intellect or be over apologetic and compromising when it comes to these matters of belief. Once again this does NOT mean we say that he or she is ending up in Hellfire which depends on a host of factors although we do know some names who will be in the Hellfire from the mushrikeen such as Abu Lahab, Abu Talib as mentioned in the Qur’an and ahadeeth etc

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      • Riz Khan

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • O H

        The Jews and Christians are both kaafirs and mushrikeen. They are kaafirs because they deny the truth and reject it. And they are mushrikeen because they worship someone other than Allaah.

        Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, refuting those who say that the word mushrikeen cannot be applied to the People of the Book:

        It is most likely that the people of the Book are included among the mushrikeen, men and women alike, when this word is used in general terms. because the kuffaar are undoubtedly mushrikeen. Hence they are forbidden to enter al-Masjid al-Haraam, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

        “O you who believe (in Allaah’s Oneness and in His Messenger Muhammad)! Verily, the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah, and in the Message of Muhammad) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al‑Masjid Al-Haraam (at Makkah) after this year”

        [al-Tawbah 9:28]

        If the People of the Book did not come under the general heading of mushrikeen, then this verse would not apply to them, and Allaah would not have referred to the beliefs of the Jews and Christians in Soorat Baraa’ah (al-Tawbah) where He says (interpretation of the meaning):

        “they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Ilaah (God — Allaah) Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)”

        [al-Tawbah 9:31]

        So they are all described as mushrikeen, because the Jews said that ‘Uzayr is the son of God and the Christians said that the Messiah is the son of God; and because they took their priests and rabbis as lords instead of Allaah. All of this is the worst form of shirk. And there are many similar verses. End quote.

        Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 4/274

        Source: http://islamqa.info/en/67626

        Please check the link if you want more info with evidences.

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      • O H

        From http://www.fatwaislam.com/fis/index.cfm?scn=fd&ID=584

        Question:

        Is it permissible to declare a Jew or a Christian to be a kaafir (disbeliever)?
        Answer:

        It is permissible for a Muslim to say that a Jew or a Christian is a kaafir because Allaah has described them with this attribute in the Quraan. And this is known to the person who reflects upon the Quraan. From this is His – the most High – statement:
        Indeed those who disbelieved (kafaroo) from the People of the Book and the Polytheists are in the Fire of Hell to reside therein forever. They are the worst of all Creation. (al-Bayyinah 98:6)

        And the People of the Book are the Jews and the Christians.

        Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
        Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
        Shaykh `Abdullah bin Ghudayaan
        Shaykh `Abdullaah bin Qu`ood
        Shaykh `Abdur-Razzaaq al-`Afeefee

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      • Mahmud

        Riz, the last two are disbelievers because they have not yet entered Islam. This is the consensus of the Ummah Riz. May Allah guide me and you.

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      • Parvez Khan

        Anyone who is an athiest, agnostic or polythiest is a kaafir.

        This is because they went against their own fitra (innate disposition) and rejected Tawhid. This is same regardless whether the person was introduced to Islam or not.

        This is why many kaafirs before the revelation of the Quran were still regarded as those astray and liable to punishment in the hereafter.

        Regarding those who reject Islam then the Quran and hadith is so clear that those disbelievers will definetly enter Hell fire.

        Regarding those who misunderstand Islam because of watching media and news then its the person’s responsibility to seek knowledge from the correct sources (Quran and Hadith) and also ask the muslim scholars. Thus the person who only blind follows the media will still be considered kaafir since he only folllowed the misguided path of his people and didnt truly seek the truth.

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      • Hamayoun

        Salam

        “Regarding those who misunderstand Islam because of watching media and news then its the person’s responsibility to seek knowledge from the correct sources (Quran and Hadith) and also ask the muslim scholars. ”

        Mr Parvez Khan, very strange how you put ALL the responsibility on the non muslims to learn what Islam really is, AND NONE ON YOURSELF. If the Prophet(SAW) had this attitude God forbid, none of us would be muslims today.

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    • Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Riz Khan, unfortunately that is falsehood. Disbelievers are those who reject Islam, whether or not they know it is the truth. It would be foolish indeed to say that they have an excuse because the evidence presented by Allah and His Messenger is not enough to convince them!

      SubhanAllah Riz, Muslims judge by what is apparent. Every non-Muslim who Islam reaches, and they fail to enter it will be in the fire of hell forever.

      There are so many ayat and hadith on the matter it’s mind-boggling people are still refusing to accept it.

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    • Mahmud

      Riz, it is quite clear you are wrong.

      1) And on the authority of ‘Abdullâh Ibn Mas’ûd that the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

      “إِنِّي لَأَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا نِصْفَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ وَذَلِكَ أَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ لَا يَدْخُلُهَا إِلَّا نَفْسٌ مُسْلِمَةٌ.”
      “I have hope that you will be half of the people of Jannah, and that is because no one but a Muslim Soul will enter Jannah.”
      Narrated by Al-Bukhârî (#6,528)

      2)So they state that Allâh has told us that whoever dies as a kâfir will be in the Fire, so when we say that a kâfir is in the Fire, we are only following what Allâh has Told us.

      And on the authority of Abû Hurayrah, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, that the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

      “وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ وَلَا نَصْرَانِيٌّ ثُمَّ يَمُوتُ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ.”
      “By Him in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, no one from amongst this Ummah hears of me; not a Jew nor a Christian, then dies and does not believe in what I came with, except that he will be from the denizens of Hell-Fire.”
      Narrated by Muslim (#153)

      3) On the authority of Anas Ibn Mâlik, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, who said:

      كَانَ غُلَامٌ يَهُودِيٌّ يَخْدُمُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَمَرِضَ فَأَتَاهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَعُودُهُ فَقَعَدَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَسْلِمْ فَنَظَرَ إِلَى أَبِيهِ وَهُوَ عِنْدَهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَطِعْ أَبَا الْقَاسِمِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَأَسْلَمَ فَخَرَجَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَنْقَذَهُ مِنْ النَّارِ
      “A Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, and he became sick. So the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, went to visit him. He sat near his head and said to him: ‘Embrace Islâm.’ The boy looked at his father, who was with him, then he (i.e. the father) said: ‘Obey Abul-Qâsim.’ So he embraced Islâm. The Prophet came out saying: ‘Praise be to Allâh, the One Who saved him from the Fire.’”
      Narrated by Al-Bukhârî (#1,356)

      4) The Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ,

      Gave Instructions to Give Disbelievers Tidings of the Fire When Passing by Their Graves

      It was narrated from Sâlim that his father said:

      جَاءَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ:”يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ أَبِي كَانَ يَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ وَكَانَ وَكَانَ فَأَيْنَ هُوَ؟” قَالَ: “فِي النَّارِ.” قَالَ: فَكَأَنَّهُ وَجَدَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ: “يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَأَيْنَ أَبُوكَ؟” قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “حَيْثُمَا مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِ كَافِرٍ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِالنَّارِ.” قَالَ: فَأَسْلَمَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ بَعْدُ وَقَالَ: “لَقَدْ كَلَّفَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَعَبًا مَا مَرَرْتُ بِقَبْرِ كَافِرٍ إِلَّا بَشَّرْتُهُ بِالنَّارِ.”
      “A Bedouin came to the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, my father used to uphold the ties of kinship, and so forth and so forth, so where is he?’ He said: ‘In the Fire.’ So it was as if he found that difficult to bear. Then he said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh. Where is your father?’ The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said: ‘Whenever you pass by the grave of a kâfir, give him tidings of Fire.’ The Bedouin later became Muslim, and he said: ‘The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, gave me a difficult task. I never pass by the grave of a kâfir except that I give him tidings of Fire.’”
      Narrated by Ibn Mâjah (#1,562) and others. This was declared “Sahîh” by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Sunan Ibn Mâjah”, (#1,288)

      So please adopt the right way. Erring in this is very dangerous as it can lead to kufr.

      What’s clear is that, whoever knowingly fails to accept the kufr of the disbelievers is himself a disbeliever.

      And yes, every non Muslim who Islam reaches and they fail to enter it are disbelievers. Allah made it clear in the Quran he will NEVER accept any other deen from any one. They will be imprisoned in the fire forever.

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    • Parvez Khan

      @ Riz khan

      I have to reject ur statement that the term “kaafir is used for those who fully know that Islam is the true religion-there reason /logic/conscious have reached the conclusion… but still do not accept it. All others are just non-muslims.”

      This is because there were mushriks in Makkah during the time of Prophet Muhammad (saw) that were still called as kaafirs in the Quran even though they had a lot of misunderstanding of Islam and couldnt even understand the possibility of Hereafter. ofcourse those kaafirs didnt fully know that Islam is true.

      Having said that there are some people who are non-muslims but may follow athiesm or a religion other than Islam, they are still called as kaafirs in the Hadith literature because they rejected tawhid. Thus its prohibited to pray for them when they die in that state.

      But for those monothiests who were unaware of Islam and were as a whole good morally living people then maybe they are simply called people of fitra. Allah knows best

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  9. Riz Khan

    I also add that for dawah purposes we should be nice and courteous to non-muslim so that we can effectively communicate with them. We just can not give dawah like .. Mr.Timothy you are kafir and going to hell so accept Islam. So we should present to them the message of Islam in the best possible way and in this regard using words like kafir are simply no advisable/recommended.

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    • O H

      Sadly we see things black and white. Just because we deem someone as kaafir does not mean we should not give dawah to them in a wise and kind manner. Just how it is an important part of our deen to consider a kaafir as kaafir, it is also part of our deen to give dawah in an appropriate manner. I am sure Mr Timothy, unless is an Arab non-muslim, will not understand the word kaafir :)

      We should explain the deen with good manners but in clear terms without compromising on its fundamental teachings just to look good. We have to inform them of the main tenets of faith , which includes conditions of entry into Jannah and Jahannam and what constitutes belief and disbelief and who can be considered a believer and who cannot.

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  10. Ali

    The rebuttal given by a brother above has a very tricky ruling by a Shaikh. It says someone who does not consider a disbeliever to be be a disbeliever has commited disbelief himself. This is what some extremists, who consider Shias to be non-Muslims propagate. That if you do not consider them to be Kafir, then you have committed Kufr yourself.

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    • Mahmud

      First of all, not all Shias are kuffar.

      Secondly, yes, it is ijma and this Ummah is not gathered upon error. Any Muslim who is shown evidence that he must believe Islam is the only way to Jannah then does not accept that has left Islam.

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  11. idel

    Asalamualaykum, JazakAllah kyr for this post, but can you cite the proof where Allah s.w.t forbade the Prophet S.A.W to pray for his parents?

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    • O H

      Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I had sought Allah permission to allow me to beseech forgiveness for my mother, but He did not allow me to do so, and I sought Him permission to allow me to visit her grave and he allowed me to do so.” [Sahîh Muslim (976)]

      Anas relates that a man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Messenger of Allah, where is my father?”

      The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “In the Fire.” When the man left, the Prophet (peace be upon him) called to him and said: “My father and your father are in the Fire.” [Sahîh Muslim (203)]

      For more info check this link: http://en.islamtoday.net/quesshow-14-1798.htm

      This part below of the shaykhs answer (from the link) is also relevant to the discussion of the word Kaafir for those reluctant to use the word.

      “It is possible that these hadîth intend only that people who die on other than monotheism and faith must be treated as disbelievers in this life; so it will not be allowed for anyone to pray for them or beseech forgiveness for them. This is because they appear to us as unbelievers. However, their true fate rests with Allah.”

      May Allaah grant us all sound knowledge of Aqeedah and protect us from being corrupted by other ideologies or innovated beliefs wide spread among Muslims. Ameen

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  12. Abimbola Zakariyah

    Why is it considered “new”?! Part and parcel of the deen and ideology.

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  13. Mahmud

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    There seems to be a lot of confusion over 2:62. That’s because some deviants would like to make it seem that this ayah refers to Jews and Christians of today.

    SubhanAllah.

    Brother Andrew Booso from Suhaib Webb.com has thoroughly refuted all the batil expressed by certain deviants.

    Please note Muslims, that if you are confused about this topic, after enough evidence has reached you, you HAVE to accept that all Jews and Christians and all the other non-Muslims who fail to enter Islam after the message has reached them are not only disbelievers but are destined to the fire of Jahannam where they will remain.

    SubhanAllah.

    May Allah have mercy on Andrew Booso for explaining this!

    Andrew Booso’s article on Suhaib Webb.com
    http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/islamic-law/opposition-to-islams-finality-with-recourse-to-the-quran/

    The contemporary world, in which religious studies and Scriptural analyses are not known to respect historical orthodoxies, has witnessed a variety of writers oppose the finality of Islam, whilst claiming to be representatives of Islam. These claims usually fall on deaf ears because most Muslims are adherents of the orthodox position. Nevertheless, a literalist and unscholarly reading of the Qur’an can lead to some confusion, and this has been the case with the method of writers adhering to perennial philosophy.
    The first verse that causes confusion to one unfamiliar with orthodoxy is Qur’an 2:62, whose confusion is eliminated by the following translation from Saheeh International through the use of ungainly, yet necessary, comments in square brackets:

    ((Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.))

    The relevant exegesis of this verse from the Tafsir (exegesis, or interpretation) of Tabari, on the authority of Suddi and Mujahid (the student of Ibn ‘Abbas, may God be well pleased with him and his father), establishes the orthodox position from the earliest period of Muslim history:

    The Suddi Hadith

    Suddi relates the lengthy story of Salman the Persian’s coming to Islam, telling of his conversion first to Christianity from Zoroastrianism after meeting a Christian monk, and how he travelled to one sage after the next, serving each until their death, until the last one told him that a prophet was about to appear, saying: “I do not think that I shall live to see him, but you are a young man, and are likely to live to see him. He will come forth in the land of the Arabs.” The account continues to when at last Salman meets the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) in Medina, and:

    while he was talking with him, Salman remembered his former companions, and told the Prophet ﷺ how they had been, saying, “They used to fast, pray, and believe in you, and they testified that you would be sent as a prophet.” When Salman had finished praising them, the Prophet ﷺ told him, “Salman, they are of the denizens of hell.” And that distressed Salman greatly, for he had said to him, “Had they met you they would have believed and followed you.” So Allah revealed this verse: “‘Surely those who believe, those of Jewry, the Christians, and the Sabaeans—whoever has faith in Allah and the Last Day . . .” (Tabari, 1.323).

    The Mujahid Hadith

    The second hadith (record of the words or actions of the Prophet ﷺ) is from Mujahid, also about the conversion of Salman to Islam and the subsequent revealing of the verse “Surely those who believe…” In this account:

    Salman told the Prophet ﷺ about those Christians and what he had seen of their works, and he replied, “They did not die upon Islam.” Salman said, “The whole earth darkened around me,” and he recounted their spiritual rigors. Then this verse was revealed, so the Prophet ﷺ summoned Salman and told him, “This verse has been revealed about your companions.” Then he added, “Whoever dies upon the religion of Jesus and in submission [lit. “upon Islam”] before he hears of me is in goodly state. But whoever hears of me today and does not believe in me has perished,” (Tabari, 1.323).

    Tabari comments:

    Therefore, the correct interpretation (ta’wil) of the verse is what we have just mentioned from Mujahid and Suddi; that those who believe of this Umma [community], and those who were Jews, and the Christians, and Sabaeans: whoever believed—of the Jews, Christians, and Sabaeans—in God and the Last Day, “their wage awaits them with their Lord; no fear shall be upon them, nor shall they sorrow.” The interpretation we first mentioned [in his Qur’anic exegesis a few pages earlier, that “whoever believes in and acknowledges the Resurrection after death on Judgement Day, and does good deeds, obeying God, shall have their reward with their Lord”] is closest to the literal content of the text, for Allah (exalted is His praise) has not chosen one segment of humanity above the rest in rewarding good works when they are accompanied by true faith. [Tabari, 1.320, 323–24, trans. Keller]

    Ibn Kathir also states in his Tafsir:

    [After narrating that the verse was revealed as mentioned by Suddi] The faith of the Jews was that of whoever adhered to the Torah and the sunnah [tradition] of Moses (upon whom be peace) until the coming of Jesus. When Jesus came, whoever held fast to the Torah and the sunnah of Moses without giving them up and following Jesus was lost.

    The faith of the Christians was that whoever adhered to the Evangel and precepts of Jesus, their faith was valid and acceptable until the coming of Muhammad ﷺ. Those of them who did not then follow Muhammad ﷺ and give up the sunnah of Jesus and the Evangel were lost.

    The foregoing is not contradicted by the hadith relating that the verse “Surely those who believe, those of Jewry, the Christians, and the Sabaeans—whoever has faith in Allah and the Last Day…” (2:62), was followed by Allah’s revealing: “Whoever seeks other than Islam as a religion shall never have it accepted of him, and he shall be of those who have truly failed in the next life,” (Qur’an 3:85), for the hadith merely confirms that no one’s way or spiritual works are acceptable unless they conform to the Sacred Law of Muhammad ﷺ now that he has been sent with it. As for people prior to this, anyone who followed the messenger of his own time was guided, on the right path, and was saved. [Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim, 1.283, trans. Keller]

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    • Mahmud

      Note-by deviants, I don’t at all mean any Muslims who don’t know the ayat and ahadith on the matter and may make strange statements, including anyone on this article, I am referring to a certain group of people known as Perennialists who would like Muslims to believe that people from other faiths can enter Paradise even if they fail to enter Islam after it has reached them.

      As a matter of fact, the relevant explanation by Ibn Abbas RA shows that every non-Muslim is a mushrik and that only Muslims can enter Paradise.

      Ibn Kathir:

      رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ

      (How much would those who disbelieved wish) Here Allah tells us that they will regret having lived in disbelief, and will wish that they had been Muslims in this world. Regarding Allah’s saying,

      رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ كَانُواْ مُسْلِمِينَ

      (How much would those who disbelieved wish that they had been Muslims.) Sufyan Ath-Thawri reported from Salamah bin Kuhayl, who reported from Abi Az-Za`ra’, from `Abdullah, who said: “This is about the Jahannamiyyun (the sinners among the believers who will stay in Hell for some time), when they ﴿the disbelievers﴾ see them being brought out of Hell.”

      رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ كَانُواْ مُسْلِمِينَ

      (How much would those who disbelieved wish that they had been Muslims.) Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn `Abbas and Anas bin Malik explained that this Ayah refers to the Day when Allah will detain the sinful Muslims in Hell along with the idolators. He said: “The idolators will say to them, `What you used to worship on earth has not helped you.’ Then by virtue of His mercy, Allah will be angry for their sake, and He will remove them ﴿from it﴾. That is when

      رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ كَانُواْ مُسْلِمِينَ

      (How much would those who disbelieved wish that they had been Muslims).”

      So Allah has divided humanity into two groups when all is said and done-those who will be in Paradise forever and those who will be in the fire forever.

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  14. Hamayoun

    Salam

    I see a distinct lack of compassion in these comments. If we spent as much effort on giving dawah as we do on writing long, uncompassionate posts about people going to hell, I think our time would be better spent. If you really understood what hell is, you would be more concerned with saving them from it than debating endlessly.

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    • O H

      Part of saving a person from hell is to inform what constitutes kufr and who are considered to be within the realms of Islam and who isn’t. As Muslims our da’wah extends to both Muslims and non-muslims informing them of Iman and Kufr and clearing misconceptions. Secondly we should have good assumption of those who are exerting their effort to clear misconceptions rather than put them down. Who knows maybe they do give Da’wah to people on the streets whilst giving Da’wah online as well. Lastly but not least the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in his first speech to the Quraish said “I warn you of a great torment”. Great Torment=Hellfire if one is unsure. Would you say the Prophet, who is our best role model, lacks compassion for starting of his Da’wah with a warning of Hellfire? Informing people of the Hellfire and what leads a person to Hellfire is the practice of the Prophets and the call of Tawheed. May Allaah guide us all to the straight path and give us perspective. Ameen

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      • Hamayoun

        Salam

        You miss my point. The Prophet(SAW) WARNED people, as you say, and did not allow winning arguments on blog comments to get in the way. And the Prophet used to almost die in grief when he thought about people going to hell (Read Surah Kahf). Whereas on this blog, there seem to be many comments almost gleeful of the fact that kaafirs are going to hell forever. Again, where is the compassion? If you are a doctor, do you get gleeful of patients dying, or do you try and cure them? If we are muslims, should we get gleeful of kaafirs going to hell, or maybe try to bring them to Islam?

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      • Mahmud

        “and did not allow winning arguments on blog comments to get in the way”

        “Whereas on this blog, there seem to be many comments almost gleeful of the fact that kaafirs are going to hell forever. Again, where is the compassion?”

        Repent for both of those.

        The compassion here is that we are showing Muslims the way to the truth. If you were lost and needed to find your way, you would consider the person who shows you the way compassionate.

        So there is the compassion.

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      • O H

        Allaah Subhana Wa ta’ala has told in Surah Hujurat to avoid evil assumption of others. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales which is a segment of a longer hadith. Just because people are writing comments on here refuting the false concepts as part of their obligation to enjoin good and forbid evil, you don’t try to judge them as being insincere or just trying to ‘win arguments’. Where is the compassion for your fellow Muslim? Secondly how do you come to the conclusion the ones who are trying to clear misconceptions here are happy and gleeful that the Kuffar will go to Hellfire? Try having husn dhann (good assumption) of your fellow Muslim-that is an obligation. Just because a group of people re-iterate what is in the Qur’an and Ahadeeth does not make them insensitive or an extremist. If any of us have any issues or qualms with the fundamentals of our religion, then we should really check ourselves. Let’s leave the inner intentions and emotions to Allaah, the Knower of the Hidden.

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      • Mahmud

        Hamayoun in your estimation has spoken the truth or was it O H?

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      • erg

        We do not want to convert. We simply want to live our lives in peace. If we are to go to hell, let God deal with us. Why don’t you just live as you wish and allow us to do the same?

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      • Mahmud

        erg-by all means, there is certainly enough space for you and everyone like you.

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    • Mahmud

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Yes, if only there weren’t so many confused Muslims who have this belief and are excused for ignorance(otherwise it’s blatant kufr to fail to accept the disbelief of non-Muslims who Islam has reached according to the scholars.)

      Then we can focus all our efforts here into other things.

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  15. Hamayoun

    Salam

    And remember that the mission of the Prophet(SAW) was to save people from hell, not send them to hell.

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    • Parvez Khan

      It is only Allah (swt) who saves some from hell and sends some to hell.

      The mission of Muhammad (saw) was Islam thus those who believed in him will be saved by the grace of Allah (swt).

      But those who reject Islam then according to the Quran they will surely enter hell fire.

      regarding those who did not hear about Islam but were either athiests, polythiests, agnostics and diests; and die in that state then they will also be punished in hell because the did kufr and rejected Tawheed and covered up their fitra by lowly desires and spiritual darkness.

      Thus those who did not hear abt Islam but were athiests, agnostics or polythiests; they are still kaafirs due to their covering up the truth which is in their fitra (innate disposition) and rejecting One-ness of God.

      regarding the diests they also corrupted their fitra and rejected many asects of Tawheed. they disbelieved in many attributes of Allah (swt).

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  16. Riz Khan

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    (I may be wrong as being a fallible human being)

    While making the comments on January 18, 2014 at 11:48 PM, January 19, 2014 at 7:48 AM, January 19, 2014 at 12:18 AM, I was just explaining my position on the matter and by the response of Brothers OH, Mahmud and Parvez Khan it seems that there is a misunderstanding.

    First a non-muslim can/may be a mushrik and kafir etc. Using the word non-muslim does not mean that the non-muslim can not be a mushrik or kafir. If he/she associate partners with Almighty Allah then he/she is clearly a mushrik. If someone call the Hadrat Isa (Peace Be Upon Him) as God then he/she is doing shirk.If someone call Hadrat Ezra as “the son of God” then he/she is doing shirk.So by using the word non-muslim, I do not mean that he/she is not a mushrik or kafir. He/She can be a kafir or mushrik.

    Now come the main point of contention. First we have to define the word “kafir”. I take it as someone who rejects or deny the truth (Islam). let us define rejection or denial.

    Denial or rejection is essentially linked to an order or request or an offer. You cannot deny or reject anything unless an offer has been made to you or you have been ordered or requested something. If I ask someone to bring me a glass of water and he rejects my request I can say that he has rejected my request or denied it. I have no right to claim he has denied if I did not ask or requested him in the first place.

    Question! do you agree with this definition of denial or rejection?

    So a non-muslim can be a kafir only when he/she is offered Islam in a best possible way and then he/she rejects it. The process of offering Islam and accepting or rejecting it is something which may take a day, a monty , year or years. A non-muslim can not be termed as kafir as long as he/she has not rejected the faith (Islam).

    Since it is humanly impossible for a person to determine whether some person is denying the truth or not, it is only on the basis of information provided by the Almighty that a person can be called a Kafir. In the times of His Rusul, He chose to impart this information to his Rusul through Wahi; however, after the departure of the last Prophet Hadrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), people who have knowingly denied the truth cannot be pinpointed since the institution of Wahi has been terminated.

    Any meaningful discussion should be based on the definition of term “kafir” and the question that can anybody except The Almighty Allah and His Prophets declare someone as kafir.

    A muslim brother
    Riz Khan

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    • Parvez Khan

      @ Riz Khan

      What do u mean when u stated; “So a non-muslim can be a kafir only when he/she is offered Islam in a best possible way and then he/she rejects it….A non-muslim can not be termed as kafir as long as he/she has not rejected the faith (Islam).”??

      Regardless if the person is introduced to Islam or not, if the person is an atheist, agnostic, diest or polythiest then they are kaafir. Because they rejected monothiesm thus going against their own fitra (innate disposition).

      That is why in sahhih Muslim its confirmed by hadith that the parents of Muhammad (saw) will enter hell fire! Ofcourse they will be punished because they went against their fitra

      Regarding those that reject islam then they are confirmed kaafirs and if they die in that state then they are definetly going to be punished in hell as based in Quran and hadith.

      Prophet Muhammad (saw) said; “Anyone who rejects me will definetly enter Hell fire.” [Bukhari - Book on Iman]

      Quran; “”But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein.” [Surah Al Baqarah verse 39]

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      • ZAI

        “Regardless if the person is introduced to Islam or not, if the person is an atheist, agnostic, diest or polythiest then they are kaafir. Because they rejected monothiesm thus going against their own fitra (innate disposition).”

        So being born into a Muslim family is like hitting the Lotto?
        How many of us would be Muslim or recognize our fitra if we hadn’t been
        born into Muslim families?

        “That is why in sahhih Muslim its confirmed by hadith that the parents of Muhammad (saw) will enter hell fire! Ofcourse they will be punished because they went against their fitra”

        I thought people aren’t punished if a messenger has not come to them or they
        are in a period between messengers or before the final message? Doesn’t the Qur’an say, for instance, to turn away from idolatry “once you know”?

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      • Mahmud

        Zai, that matter is entirely irrelevent. If Allah chooses to bless some by being born in Muslim families, that’s his choice.

        It’s not a matter of birth in any case. Muslims born in Muslim families are only Muslim because they were born on fitrah and guided by Allah to remain on it.

        So yes, the overwhelming majority of this Ummah is Muslim by birth+raising.

        What else did you expect?

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      • ZAI

        Br. Mahmud,
        Frankly, I do not have enough knowledge about this issue to
        participate in the discussion…although from what little I have
        read on the matter I tend to lean towards Imam al Ghazali’s position.
        I could be wrong though.

        I do however absolutely disagree with the sentiment that
        mushriks, atheists, agnostics or anyone else who did not even have Islam reach them are kafir. It is ridiculous to expect that people will somehow work out monotheism on their own due to fitra. That is asking too much and setting a high bar…thus my question “how many of US would be Muslim if we weren’t born into Muslim families and TAUGHT Islam?”.

        This position just ventures into cruelty and maximizing the hell-bound. I have never heard from any Imam, scholar or anyone teaching me from youth until now that people who did not even receive/hear a message are kafir and destined for hell because they shoulda remembered fitra on their own. In that case being born Muslim is hitting the Lotto…because if we’re not even responsible for spreading the message, non-Muslims are doomed at birth. I cannot believe that a just and merciful God operates that way. Sorry.

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      • Mahmud

        And even I don’t operate that way………………those who don’t receive the message are under a different category.

        On the authority of Al-Aswad Ibn Sarî’ on the authority of the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, who said:

        “أَرْبَعَةٌ يَحْتَجُّونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: رَجُلٌ أَصَمُّ وَرَجُلٌ أَحْمَقُ وَرَجُلٌ هَرِمٌ وَرَجُلٌ مَاتَ فِي الْفَتْرَةِ فَأَمَّا الأَصَمُّ فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ لَقَدْ جَاءَ الإِسْلامُ وَمَا أَسْمَعُ شَيْئًا وَأَمَّا الأَحْمَقُ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ قَدْ جَاءَ الإِسْلامُ وَالصِّبْيَانُ يَحْذِفُونَنِي بِالْبَعَرِ وَأَمَّا الْهَرِمُ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ لَقَدْ جَاءَ الإِسْلامُ وَمَا أَعْقِلُ وَأَمَّا الَّذِي مَاتَ فِي الْفَتْرَةِ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ مَا أَتَانِي لَكَ رَسُولٌ. فَيَأْخُذُ مَوَاثِيقَهُمْ لَيُطِيعُنَّهُ فَيُرْسِلُ إِلَيْهِمْ رَسُولا أَنِ ادْخُلُوا النَّارَ قَالَ: فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ دَخَلُوهَا كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ بَرْدًا وَسَلامًا.”
        “Four will present excuses on the Day of Resurrection: A deaf person who did not hear, a mentally incapacitated man, a senile old man and a man who died in a Fatrah (i.e. a time between two Prophets). As for the deaf person, then he will say: ‘O my Lord, Islâm came and I could not hear anything.’ As for the mentally incapacitated man, then he will say: ‘My Lord, Islâm came and the children were throwing dung at me.’ As for the senile old man, then he will say: ‘My Lord, Islâm came and I could not comprehend.’ As for the man who died during a Fatrah, then he will say: ‘My Lord, no Messenger of Yours came to me.’ So He (i.e. Allâh) will Take their covenant to obey Him. Then He will Send a Messenger to them (commanding them) to enter the Fire (as a test).” He (i.e. the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) then said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if they enter it, it will be cold and safe for them.”
        Narrated by Ibn Hibbân in his “Sahîh”, (#7,516) and others. This Hadîth or others similar to it were accepted by Ibn Hibbân in his “Sahîh”, (#7,516), Al-Bayhaqî in “Al-I’tiqâd”, (#185), Ibn al-Qayyim in “Ahkâm Ahl ath-Thimmah”, Vol. 2/1139, Ibn Kathîr in his “Jâmi’ al-Masânîd was-Sunan”, (#443), Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalânî in “Fat’h al-Bârî”, Vol. 3/291, Al-Albânî in “Sahîh al-Jâmi’ as-Saghîr”, (#881), Al-Wâdi’î in “As-Sahîh al-Musnad”, (#19) and others. Some based this on individual chains and others based on the chains strengthening each other.

        Here it is fleshed out in detail:

        http://islamqa.info/en/1244

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      • Parvez Khan

        i disagree with the creed of asharism. they undermine the fitra.

        The Quran clearly states that all who pass away as kaafirs will go to hell.

        all athiests, polythiests and agnostics are kaafirs because they reject their fitra and the signs of Allah manifested in His creation.

        Regarding the verse abt We dont punish until We send a messenger; it refers to the punishment in this world that . but no kaafir can avoid the hell fire

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      • Parvez Khan

        If anyone knows and hears about Islam and rejects it they are held accountable and they will be punished. At the same time the concept of fitrah (natural disposition to believe in one God) that was imbedded in every single person when they were created is something that every non-Muslim will have to answer for:

        “And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.” [Quran 7:172]

        thus its clear from Quran and hadith that all who die as athiests or polythiests will go to hell as they are kaafir.

        The position of asharism is strange and it goes against the Quran. they basically reject fitra or claim its an irrelevant concept! Astaghfirullah

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    • O H

      Wa alaykumassalam wa Rahmatullaahi wa barakaathu.

      In Islam we have a linguistic meaning and the Shari’ meaning and this also applies to the word Kaafir. If you scroll up the page you will see brother Saad’s post on this issue. If you see what scholars have said in this matter you will see that they have NOT made a condition for a non-muslim to be labelled as a kaafir on the basis of whether they have been exposed to the real teachings of the deen or not and if the burden of proof has been established or not. Everyone who is NOT a Muslim is a KAAFIR in this deen of ours and there is nothing wrong in labelling those, who do not subscribe to Islam, as kuffaar.

      Check this fatwa below by the head scholars of Saudi Arabia. We should always refer to the rightly guided scholars for the matters of religion.

      Q: Is it permissible to declare a Jew or a Christian to be a kaafir (disbeliever)?
      Answer:

      It is permissible for a Muslim to say that a Jew or a Christian is a kaafir because Allaah has described them with this attribute in the Quraan. And this is known to the person who reflects upon the Quraan. From this is His – the most High – statement:
      Indeed those who disbelieved (kafaroo) from the People of the Book and the Polytheists are in the Fire of Hell to reside therein forever. They are the worst of all Creation. (al-Bayyinah 98:6)

      And the People of the Book are the Jews and the Christians.

      Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
      Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
      Shaykh `Abdullah bin Ghudayaan
      Shaykh `Abdullaah bin Qu`ood
      Shaykh `Abdur-Razzaaq al-`Afeefee

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      Reply
    • Mahmud

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      “So a non-muslim can be a kafir only when he/she is offered Islam in a best possible way and then he/she rejects it. The process of offering Islam and accepting or rejecting it is something which may take a day, a monty , year or years. A non-muslim can not be termed as kafir as long as he/she has not rejected the faith (Islam).

      Since it is humanly impossible for a person to determine whether some person is denying the truth or not, it is only on the basis of information provided by the Almighty that a person can be called a Kafir. In the times of His Rusul, He chose to impart this information to his Rusul through Wahi; however, after the departure of the last Prophet Hadrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), people who have knowingly denied the truth cannot be pinpointed since the institution of Wahi has been terminated.”

      Unfortunately, this is also false.

      We Muslims judge by what is apparent.

      Remember, whoever of the Jews and Christians hears of an-Nabi(S) and doesn’t believe in him will take his seat in the fire.

      You cannot just make up your own theories on who is a kaffir or who isn’t, and unfortunately, this is exactly what you are doing.

      By this same logic of yours, since we don’t know who is a Mumin or a munafiq, we can’t call anyone Muslim.

      The reality is, your opinion fails because it cannot be used consistently.

      Please read the ahadith I posted so that you understand.

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      Reply
    • Mahmud

      “knowingly denied the truth”

      The kaffir doesn’t have to be someone who knows Islam is the truth and denies it. Anyone who rejects Islam is a kaffir.

      Remember Riz, 999 out of every thousand humans will be in the fire. Remember that this Ummah of Muslims alone is two-thirds of Paradise.

      Also please understand that the theory of yours in the last two paragraphs has absolutely no basis in the Quran or Sunnah or the practice of an-Nabi(S), the Sahaba, the rest of the Salaf, the classical scholars and so on.

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      Reply
      • Riz Khan

        (I may be wrong as being a fallible human being)

        So far two things have come up from the above comments. One is about fitwas. It seems to me that on the day of judgement the people would made excuses before Almighty Allah that they did their deeds due to the fitwa of a Shaykh and they would hope to be pardoned.

        The other thing is that we can declare a kafir by appearance. While in the case of a non-muslim we can decide by appearance that Mr. so and so is a Jew, Christian , Hindu etc. It is possible . But deciding about someone being kafir just by appearance is not possible-for this you should be able to look into the hearts and minds of people. A kafir can be any non-muslim (whether Jew, Christian, Hindu etc) who deny and rejects the faith and this can not be established by appearance alone. I have posted a few cases of non-muslims in the above comments where it is not so clear to declare them kafirs.
        As ordinary human beings have no power to know about the heart of another human being.

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      • Riz Khan

        Brothers Mahmud, Parvez and OH are of the opinion that every non-muslim is kafir. I have tried to understand their position but so far I do not find myself to be able to share their opinion though I have learnt a lot from them . I have given my reasons in the above comments. Anyhow at the end it is our niyyah, which is important. Each and every step in understanding our religion is a step toward Jannah. May Allah guide us all towards/along the right path.

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      • Parvez Khan

        “Anyone who seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers.” [Ali'Imraan; 85]

        “The example of those who disbelieve in their Lord is [that] their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day; they are unable [to keep] from what they earned a [single] thing. That is what is extreme error.” Quran surah Ibrahim verse 18]

        Thus all athiests, polythiests and agnostics and those who reject the Quran are kaafirs.

        maybe those who believed in One God and were morally upright and were unaware of Islam maybe called people of fitra. Allah (swt) knows best

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      • Parvez Khan

        @ riz khan

        Quran explicitly states that the disbelievers do not know all the truth. thus ur definition of a kafir that if a person knows all the truth and then rejects it can only be called kaafir has no basis in the Quran.

        “Those who do not know say, “Why does Allah not speak to us or there come to us a sign?” Thus spoke those before them like their words. Their hearts resemble each other. We have shown clearly the signs to a people who are certain [in faith].” [Quran 2:118]

        thus the kafirs wont be able to know all truth since the Quran states that some verses of the Quran can only be known to believers who are deep in knowledge.
        Again refuting your argument.

        “It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others allusive. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will only follow that of it which is allusive, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah and those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.” [3:7]

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      • Mahmud

        Ok, here are a few bits for some thought Riz.

        لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ۖ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
        They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

        Waaaaaaaaait a minute……..why is Allah saying they have disbelieved when the only crime mentioned in this ayah is their shirk……could it be……….they are disbelievers anyways?

        Riz, if there is anyone who Islam reached and he did not enter it, he is a disbeliever. If there is any mushrik who Islam hasn’t reached, he is being ungrateful and rejecting the fitrah he was born with.

        I’ll leave you with this and hope it’s enough:

        وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ ۛ شَهِدْنَا ۛ أَن تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَٰذَا غَافِلِينَ
        And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.”

        أَوْ تَقُولُوا إِنَّمَا أَشْرَكَ آبَاؤُنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا ذُرِّيَّةً مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ ۖ أَفَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الْمُبْطِلُونَ
        Or [lest] you say, “It was only that our fathers associated [others in worship] with Allah before, and we were but descendants after them. Then would You destroy us for what the falsifiers have done?”

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      • Mahmud

        “But deciding about someone being kafir just by appearance is not possible-for this you should be able to look into the hearts and minds of people.”

        We decide on what is apparent-why would Umar RA cry when this happened?

        Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Burqani narrated from Abu `Imran Al-Jawni that he said, ” `Umar bin Al-Khattab passed by the monastery of a monk and he said: `O monk!’ Then the monk came out, and `Umar looked at him and began to weep. Then it was said to him: `O Commander of the faithful! Why are you weeping’ He replied: `I remembered the statement of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, in His Book,

        عَامِلَةٌ نَّاصِبَةٌ – تَصْلَى نَاراً حَامِيَةً

        (Laboring, weary. They will enter into Fire, Hamiyah.) So that is what has made me cry. ”’

        Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said,

        عَامِلَةٌ نَّاصِبَةٌ

        (Laboring, weary.) “The Christians.”

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      • Riz Khan

        (I may be wrong as being a fallible human being)

        Brother Parvez Khan! you wrote..

        “Anyone who seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers.” [Ali'Imraan; 85]
        “The example of those who disbelieve in their Lord is [that] their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day; they are unable [to keep] from what they earned a [single] thing. That is what is extreme error.” Quran surah Ibrahim verse 18]

        Where and how does these sacred verses condone calling/declaring someone “kafir”. Do you have some rational explanation?

        Brother Mahmud! you wrote

        لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ۖ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
        They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

        Waaaaaaaaait a minute……..why is Allah saying they have disbelieved when the only crime mentioned in this ayah is their shirk……could it be……….they are disbelievers anyways?

        A question arises. Does doing “shirk” or “kufar” automatically make one a “kafir”. Even a muslim can do kufar or shirk out of ignorance ? what do you think about such muslim.. is he kafir? let me cite you the same site which you have quoted in an earlier post. islamica.info
        http://islamqa.info/en/123484 you can read the whole article there
        i would just give an excerpt

        Uttering Words of Kufr (disbelief) Ignorantly

        …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 kafir (disbeliever) and an apostate.

        what they say it is justified. if a muslim is ignorantly do a kufr then he is excused. that means doing kufr does not automatically make you a kafir.

        Now take up the case of a non-muslim who has not received the message of Islam in a comprehensible way. That is indeed a case of ignorance. Why he is not excused? Why the justice provided to a muslim does not apply to a non-muslim just because he is non-muslim. Following the same logic given in the above answer from islamqa a non-muslim should also be excused for ignorance and should not be called a ‘kafir”. First he must be conveyed the message of Islam in a way which he/she can understand. if he/she make some questions, they should be adequately answered. Only when all the truth is fully revealed to him/her and he/she fully understand it and know that Islam is the true religion. Only and only then if he/she reject it; he/she may be declared as “kafir”. And being human beings we can not know whether or not someone has become aware of the truth as we do not have power to look into the hearts and minds of other. Therefore we can not declare anyone as “kafir”. That is my point of view and position. Now I hope that you would have fully understand my position

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      • Parvez Khan

        @ Riz Khan

        Where did i say that i can call any non-muslim a kaafir?!

        Abdullah Ibn Abbas (RA) said; “Allah (swt) does not accept any deed or work from anyone, unless it conforms to the Law of Muhammad that is, after Allah sent Muhammad. Before that, every person who followed the guidance of his own Prophet was on the correct path, following the correct guidance and was saved.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

        Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

        “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, no body who hears of me then dies without having believed in that with which I was sent, but he will be one of the people of the Fire.” [Sahih Muslim]

        Some Muslims also try to say that non-Muslims will go to paradise or that they will be forgiven but rationality and proofs dictate otherwise. If anyone knows and hears about Islam and Muhammad they are held accountable and they will be punished. At the same time the concept of fitrah (natural disposition to believe in one God) that was imbedded in every single person when they were created is something that every non-Muslim will have to answer for:

        “And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.” [Quran 7:172]

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      • Parvez Khan

        @ Riz Khan

        you said; “Only when all the truth is fully revealed to him/her and he/she fully understand it and know that Islam is the true religion. Only and only then if he/she reject it; he/she may be declared as “kafir”. ”

        I have to disagree with ur invention since there is no verse in the Quran or sahih hadith that supports it.

        if i agree with ur own (mis)interpretation than that means nobody is a kaafir because no human or jinn knows every truth!! because only Allah has full knowledge! Also no person now can claim that he knows everything about Islam.

        “And say, “Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart.”” [Quran 17:81]

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      • Riz Khan

        Brother Parvez Khan! you wrote
        If anyone knows and hears about Islam and Muhammad they are held accountable and they will be punished.

        what do you mean by “knows and hears”. I quote from my earlier comment
        “First he must be conveyed the message of Islam in a way which he/she can understand. if he/she make some questions, they should be adequately answered. Only when all the truth is fully revealed to him/her and he/she fully understand it and know that Islam is the true religion. Only and only then if he/she reject it; he/she may be declared as “kafir”.”
        Do you agree that the above quote falls under “knows and hears”. If yes then you agree with me. If not then define “knows and hears”.

        Brother Parvez Khan! you wrote
        At the same time the concept of fitrah (natural disposition to believe in one God) that was imbedded in every single person when they were created is something that every non-Muslim will have to answer for:

        But the shaykhs of islamqa.info/en/123484 do not agree with you. Excerpt
        “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 kafir (disbeliever) and an apostate.”
        In easy language they are saying a muslim is excused for his ignorance. Why he is ignorant when the truth is in his fitrah. Do you agree with them. Do you accept their reply. So can a non-muslim be also ignorant in the same sense?

        Brother Parvez Khan! you wrote
        I have to disagree with ur invention since there is no verse in the Quran or sahih hadith that supports it.

        I would tell you Quran and Sunnah fully support it. Almighty Allah is Just and Merciful. (My Sufi friend always adivse me to ask/pray for His Mercy and not Justice. It would Almighty Allah Mercy which would Isnshallah move us to Jannah). My View and position is based on Justice and Mercy of Almighty Allah.

        Brother Parvez Khan! you wrote
        if i agree with ur own (mis)interpretation than that means nobody is a kaafir because no human or jinn knows every truth!! because only Allah has full knowledge! Also no person now can claim that he knows everything about Islam.

        I only say we can not declare someone as kafir whether that someone is kafir or not.. that is something which only Almighty Allah know.

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      • Mahmud

        “Only when all the truth is fully revealed to him/her and he/she fully understand it and know that Islam is the true religion. Only and only then if he/she reject it; he/she may be declared as “kafir”.””

        Riz that is entirely false. Do you think all disbelievers know Islam is the true religion? No! Most of them don’t know the truth!!!!

        Allah aza wa jal says

        أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً ۖ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ ۖ هَٰذَا ذِكْرُ مَن مَّعِيَ وَذِكْرُ مَن قَبْلِي ۗ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْحَقَّ ۖ فَهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ

        In it is “aktharahum la yalamoonal haqq”

        Most of them don’t know the truth!!!!

        Riz, if we were to follow your idea, then that means we would say that Allah has not given enough evidence for the disbelievers to enter Islam!!!! SubhanAllah!!!! This is far from the truth.

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      • Mahmud

        Riz, when Islam has reached a person and they do not enter it, they are disbelievers and if they die in that state, they will burn in Jahannam forever.

        SubhanAllah, it’s their own fault, if they do not realize it is the truth after the evidence is presented to them. It is their fault if they are blind and don’t know Islam is the truth!!!

        What you have said is falsehood to the highest degree. Are you truly saying that a disbeliever can say “Nope, sorry, not enough evidence for me, I don’t know Islam is the truth, I’m not a disbeliever”

        Kufr is rejecting Islam, whether the disbeliever knows it’s the truth or not!!!!!!!!!!!

        أَفَمَن يَعْلَمُ أَنَّمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ الْحَقُّ كَمَنْ هُوَ أَعْمَىٰ ۚ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
        Then is he who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth like one who is blind? They will only be reminded who are people of understanding –

        Here you go Riz-ponder this hadith very carefully. This is evidence you can call disbelievers for what they are.

        It was narrated from Sâlim that his father said:

        جَاءَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ:”يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ أَبِي كَانَ يَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ وَكَانَ وَكَانَ فَأَيْنَ هُوَ؟” قَالَ: “فِي النَّارِ.” قَالَ: فَكَأَنَّهُ وَجَدَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ: “يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَأَيْنَ أَبُوكَ؟” قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “حَيْثُمَا مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِ كَافِرٍ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِالنَّارِ.” قَالَ: فَأَسْلَمَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ بَعْدُ وَقَالَ: “لَقَدْ كَلَّفَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَعَبًا مَا مَرَرْتُ بِقَبْرِ كَافِرٍ إِلَّا بَشَّرْتُهُ بِالنَّارِ.”
        “A Bedouin came to the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, my father used to uphold the ties of kinship, and so forth and so forth, so where is he?’ He said: ‘In the Fire.’ So it was as if he found that difficult to bear. Then he said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh. Where is your father?’ The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said: ‘Whenever you pass by the grave of a kâfir, give him tidings of Fire.’ The Bedouin later became Muslim, and he said: ‘The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, gave me a difficult task. I never pass by the grave of a kâfir except that I give him tidings of Fire.’”
        Narrated by Ibn Mâjah (#1,562) and others. This was declared “Sahîh” by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Sunan Ibn Mâjah”, (#1,288)

        Therefore Riz, whenever I pass by the grave of a kaffir, I will have the right to give him tidings of the fire.

        By the way Riz, it is haram for you to make dua for dead disbelievers. So are you going to disobey Allah and make dua for them by saying “I don’t know if they are kuffar or not”

        Because other people can do the same thing” It’s not riba, it’s trade, it’s not wine, it’s beer”

        And so on and so forth.

        I really hope this evidence is enough for you.

        قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالًا
        Say, [O Muhammad], “Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?

        الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا
        [They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.”

        أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَائِهِ فَحَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا
        Those are the ones who disbelieve in the ayat of their Lord and in [their] meeting Him, so their deeds have become worthless; and We will not assign to them on the Day of Resurrection any importance.

        Allah condemns all those who disbelieve in his ayat that they will be in the fire of Jahannam forever. So if any ayat come to a person and they disbelieve it, all their deeds are nullified and they will be in hell forever. even if they “think this are doing well in work.”

        And yes, we absolutely can and must call them disbelievers because non of the righteous predecessors had this belief of falsehood that we cannot call disbelievers disbelievers!!!!

        Riz, by your logic, we cannot call Muslims as Muslims! So, please be consistent and don’t call anyone Muslim if you want your invented theory(and yes, I swear by Allah, unfortunately it is invented!!!!) to be consistent.

        According to your logic Riz, I can’t be called a Muslim and you can’t be called a Muslim.

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      • Parvez Khan

        @riz

        When the prophet (saw) stated that anyone who hears of my message and rejects me will enter hell. obviously it implies that the fundamental teachings of Islam such as Tawhid and risala reached a person and if he still rejects it then that person is kaafir who will go to hell.
        that is also why abu talib is going to hell.

        also i reject asharism creed that states that as long as the person is unaware of Islam then he is safe even if he is an athiest or polythiest!!

        if thats true then why are the parents of Prophet Muhammad (saw)
        destined to hell fire?

        i noticed that you didnt use a single verse from the Quran to support ur bizarre explanations.

        you keep on saying that only if the person knows all truth about Islam and then rejects then he is a kaafir. so which person do u know in the history of Islam after the time of the sahabas that know all the truth?!!

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      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        JazakumAllahu Khairin to Riz Khan, Parvez Khan, OH, and Mehmud for your valuable comments on this issue. We would like to request you to conclude this discussion as we don’t see much progress in the comments and new comments are not adding further value to the content. We thank you for taking the time to read our content and provide your valuable insights on the subject at hand.

        WasSalamuAlaikum
        -Aly

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  17. أمّ المنطق

    “Kafir” was never a compliment to begin with. If they find it offensive, then they find Allah(swt) offensive, because He uses the word a lot. He isn’t ashamed to tell it like it is, Allahu Akbar.

    This article is depressing. Muslims have never been ashamed of their religion like they are in these times. I will not stop calling a kafir a kafir just because it’s politically incorrect in these secular times. I won’t put my tail between my legs and hide to please the kuffar.

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    • erg

      You spread so much hate and then you wonder why people are getting fed up? If you hate kaffirs so much why do you not move to and islamic country? You know what you do not realise? If people like you get what you want, all you will do is fight each other to death. But you will not get what you want in the west. The west will get tired and send extremists away. And yes if you believe all non-muslims are kaffir, do not deserve prayer and will go to hell, you are an extremist. The only sad things is in the process you are hurting all the good muslim people who leave in peace and harmony with everyone else. Your comments make other people believe all muslims hate westerners and then more racism spreads. My heart goes out to all the good muslims in the world who have to deal with the likes of you.

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  18. Umm ZAKAriyya

    Let’s remind ourselves that One doesn’t have to be a kafir to taste hellfire or the torment of the grave . Though eventually , all muslims go paradise.

    Let’s not detract from our good deeds by arguing .
    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    “He who gave up disputing while he is right, a palace of high rank in Paradise will be built for him.
    …..At tirmidhi

    May Allah bless and guide all of us . And put in our hearts love and mercy for eachother .and make us wise with an increased understanding of the deen.Ameen.

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      May Allah bless umm zakiyya and all the brothers and sisters for sharing knowledge .
      It’s amazing how much there is to know .and how differently each one of us can see it . Allahu Akbar!

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      • Mahmud

        Amazing also how some can be conflate legitimate disagreement with illegitimate disagreement.

        Ameen to your dua and jazzakAllahu khair for the reminder

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  19. Meraj Khan

    Assalam Alaikum sister,

    Firstly, great article! May Allah reward your efforts – Ameen.

    I had a question about this part of the article:

    “In Islam, it is forbidden to pray for Allāh’s mercy or forgiveness for disbelievers, and this is well-known, so much so that the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself was not allowed to pray for his own parents—and they died before He received revelation.”

    I am not disputing your claim since I don’t know myself, but does this mean that the Messenger (SAW) himself couldn’t have prayed for his own parents? Is there any citation for this? Just out of curiosity.

    JazakAllah,
    Meraj Khan
    @mkhan_mvp

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    • Mahmud

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Yes-

      Imam Muslim (976) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for my mother, but He did not give me permission. And I asked Him for permission to visit her grave, and He gave me permission.”

      http://islamqa.info/en/47170

      This to me only adds to the honor and highness of an-Nabi sallahualayhiwasalam. That would take some time for me to explain.

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    • Parvez Khan

      “Anyone who seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers.” [Ali'Imraan; 85]

      “The example of those who disbelieve in their Lord is [that] their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day; they are unable [to keep] from what they earned a [single] thing. That is what is extreme error.” Quran surah Ibrahim verse 18]

      Thus all athiests, polythiests and agnostics and those who reject the Quran are kaafirs.

      Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I had sought Allah permission to allow me to beseech forgiveness for my mother, but He did not allow me to do so, and I sought Him permission to allow me to visit her grave and he allowed me to do so.” [Sahîh Muslim (976)]

      Anas relates that a man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Messenger of Allah, where is my father?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “In the Fire.” When the man left, the Prophet (peace be upon him) called to him and said: “My father and your father are in the Fire.” [Sahîh Muslim (203) and Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

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  20. Pony

    This article is so far fetched to me. Really, you were warned to not associate with people because they said the “k-word”?

    Or was it because someone recognized that those who were constantly using it were on their high horses spewing racism, sexism, and classism?

    Yes we as Muslims should know that “Kuffar”/”kaffir” isn’t an automatic cuss word, but your article sidesteps how Muslims actually use the word as a tool to hurt other people.

    Yes, you slightly acknowledge it but you fail to recognize that actually THAT is the problem and that is why some of us more tolerant Muslims, who have no interest in spreading these “isms”, don’t want to be around other Muslims who constantly use the word because we can clearly see through their smoke and we are no dummy to what their intentions really are. But of course, we are then labeled as the “softies” who don’t want to acknowledge that Person X is a non-believer. No, you have completely wrong.

    We don’t want to be around people who see a group of Western youth and think its okay to call them “Kuffars”. We don’t want to be around people who think because someone is speaking a foreign language it is okay to call them “Kuffar.” We don’t want to be around people who think that Muslims only come from certain countries, only play certain sports, only speak certain languages, and only do certain activities. We don’t use the excuse that because most people from country X aren’t Muslim, it’s okay to call person X from that country a “Kuffar” as a general term until we get to know them.

    This is like you writing an article saying “Fat is the new f-word” and then citing dictionaries for the definition of “fat” and then saying “it’s okay to call people fat, it’s not a cuss word”— completely ignoring the reality of how it is actually used to belittle people.

    Oh and before people say something like “well this is just one perspective” that the author is entitled to write about, I want to go ahead and say articles like this is why Muslims seem to really fail at diplomacy. We like to dedicate our time to writing and voicing about “problems” that aren’t the real problems that keep us in the dark ages.

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    • Rabia

      This is an great reply and I would like to add one more thing. The western world indulged us so long we grew a sense of superiority. But I see now more and more that they are fed up and they have a right to be. We believe that Islam will rule the world but it will not. Starting now I see more and more people rising up against backward tendencies. This kind of behaviour will no longer be tolerated.

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      • Mahmud

        Rabia-even if you hate it, Muslims WILL rule the world. We WILL dominate over the disbelievers one day and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop that, even if you try your utmost. So be angry or be patient, Allah’s word will be fulfilled.

        هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ

        It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah dislike it.

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  21. Abu Milk Sheikh

    The author’s discussion and conclusions are precisely why Muslims need to maintain their Islamic identity and differentiate themselves from the kuffaar as much as possible. This was explained in detail by Sheikh Ahmad Musa Jibril (born and raised mostly in America) in his talks on Walaa and Baraa – goo.gl/VIup2Y and goo.gl/dSypB8

    Instead the prevalent discussion among Muslims in the West is how they should ‘assimilate’ more and more into their environment of kufr. This is contrary to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    The example has already been given of ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab’s ضي الله عنه statement on dealing with people according to what is apparent.

    Another example, one that is even more of a hujjah, is how Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم dealt with his uncle Al-Abbas رضي الله عنه after the battle of Badr. Al-Abbas رضي الله عنه was taken captive as a POW and Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم demanded the ransom from him, even though Al-Abbas claimed to be a Muslim and claimed that the Quraysh forced him to come out. Al-Abbas fought with the Quraysh against the Muslims – this is what was apparent – so he was treated as an enemy combatant.

    Interaction with our environment takes place based on what is apparent, the information that is immediately available to us. To claim that we should deal with people according what we cannot see, i.e. their internal condition, is silly and counter to human nature.

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  22. Habiba

    I’m Confused! I know your not allowed to make duas for deceased non-muslims but can you not also for living non-muslims? I’ve heard of a hadith where the prophet prayed for a non-muslim directly to have a beautiful face and hence forth even in old age, the man had a youthful face so I just assumed you could pray for non-muslims. Is this not the case? Would appreciate it if you can clarify

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    • Mahmud

      Living non-Muslims is fine. Make dua for their guidance as they need it the most.

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