Takfeer

What is Takfeer?

Takfeer means considering or declaring a particular person or group a disbeliever and a non-Muslim (kaafir). It is sometimes translated as “excommunication.”

Doing takfeer is part of the Islamic creed without which a person cannot be a Muslim. It is compulsory to consider as disbelievers any individual or group whose disbelief is stated in the Qur’an or the Sunnah.

Examples are followers of any other religion apart from Islam, after the coming of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Also, individuals or groups who are unanimously declared disbelievers by scholars of Ahl-us-Sunnah must be deemed so by all knowing Muslims because it is not possible for the ummah to agree on a false view.

Allah says:

{ ومن يبتغِ غيرَ الإسلامِ ديناً فلن يُقبلَ منه وهو في الآخرةِ مِنَ الخاسرين }

“Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the hereafter he will be one of the losers.” (3:85)

However, it must always be remembered that takfeer, whether general or specific, is the domain of qualified scholars and it has averters which may prevent a person from taking its ruling. Therefore, laymen and students of knowledge are prohibited to engage in takfeer of individuals and groups whose disbelief is not clearly stated in the Qur’an and the authentic Hadeeth or agreed upon by the scholars of Ahl-us-Sunnnah.

Thaabit ibn Dahhaak (radiyallaahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Accusing a believer of disbelief is like killing him!”.[1]

And Allah knows best.

Reference:

[1]  Reported by al-Bukhaari (6047)

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