Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Wahhabi Takfir of Those Who Swear by Other Than Allah (s.w.t.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from Imam Jamil Swiddiqi ibn Muhammad Faydhi az-Zahawi al-Kurdi’s (r.a.), al-Fajr asw-Swadiq fi ar-Radd ‘ala Munkiri at-Tawaswswul wa al-Khawariq, “The True Dawn: A Refutation of Those Denying Miracles & Intercession in Islam”.

The Wahhabis are intent on establishing reasons to declare Muslims unbelievers.  They have shown that takfir is their highest ambition.  We see them declaring as disbelievers persons who implore Allah (s.w.t.) for the sake of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and seek his help by intercession to Allah (s.w.t.) to accomplish their needs, while not feeling the slightest shame in seeking help from unbelievers of foreign states in order to carry out their plans which are to subject the Muslims to their control, make war against them, and, in rebellion from the authority of the Commander of the Faithful, renounce allegiance to him and the obedience to him which Allah (s.w.t.) has Ordered in the Qur’an.  They have taken the enemies of Islam as intimate friends, asking them to aid them with military support in their corrupt purpose and using that support to perpetrate their stubborn harassment and error.

It is established that it is the practice of the Wahhabis is to declare all Muslims disbelievers.  They claim they are unbelievers because they implore Allah (s.w.t.) for the sake of prophets and saints and, in addition, call on them for help. Wahhabis also claim that Muslims are unbelievers if they swear by the name of someone else than Allah (s.w.t.) and make vows to other than Him and sacrifice animals for their sake.

For the sake of argument, let us grant that certain doctrines which the Wahhabis attribute to Muslims are held by them and do in fact constitute disbelief, and that it is correct to say that the person asserting them has acted contrary to Islam.  Even then, it would still not be correct to pronounce the entire community of Muslims guilty of unbelief or even a specific Muslim individual.  For the latter might have made such a statement lacking knowledge of whatever texts would obligate acknowledgment of the truth.  Or it might be the case that such knowledge has not been suitably established in his view.  Or perhaps he has not understood it and had what confuses him laid out in a fashion that allows him to beg Forgiveness before Allah (s.w.t.) and seek proper excuses for his error.  For the one who believes in Allah (s.w.t.) and His Messenger (s.a.w.), Allah (s.w.t.) is the Forgiver of sins whether committed in thought, word, or deed.  As for the more severe aspect of what He has Revealed in the Qur’an concerning those who perpetrates those sins, it comes in the form of Threats:


If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein: and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful Penalty is Prepared for him. (Surah an-Nisa’:93)

And:


Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: they will soon be enduring a blazing Fire! (Surah an-Nisa’:10)

And:


But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire to abide therein: and they shall have a humiliating punishment. (Surah an-Nisa’:14)

In his Madarij as-Salikin, Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) has made the statement, the gist of which is, “The adherents of the sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) are in complete agreement that Allah’s Friendship and Enmity might be found in the single individual in two different respects: there might exist in him faith and hypocrisy, as well as faith and unbelief together.  In addition, he will be close to Allah in one respect more than the other.  Hence, of the people in one respect the Qur’an Says, “They were that day nearer to unbelief than to faith.”  Associating a partner with Allah, shirk, falls into two classes: hidden and manifest.  Hidden shirk might be Forgiven.  As for manifest shirk, there is no Forgiveness for it without express repentance.”


And the hypocrites also.  They were told, “Come, fight in the Way of Allah, or (at least) drive (the foe from your city).”  They say, “Had we known there would be a fight, we should certainly have followed you.”  They were, that day, nearer to unbelief than to faith, saying with their lips what was not in their hearts.  But Allah hath Full Knowledge of all they conceal. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:167)

Now swearing by someone other than Allah, as Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) continued, does not remove the one who does it from Islam, even though there is mentioned in a hadits narrated on the authority of ibn ‘Umar (r.a.) that, “Whoever swears by someone other than Allah has associated a partner with Him.”  This is a swahih hadits related by Imam Abu Dawud (r.a.), and Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.).

And in another narration of the same hadits, “Whoever swears by someone other than Allah has committed an act of kufr.”  The leading scholars of hadits in the schools of the Shafi`i, Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali law all construe kufr here to mean kufr an-ni’ma or the failure to acknowledge Allah’s (s.w.t.) Favour or Blessing.  As for the shirk mentioned in the first narration, they find it to be shirk al-khafi’ or the kind that is hidden rather than manifest such as occurs when one performs an act of piety in order to show off.  That does not remove a person from Islam.  Yet it defeats the religious purpose of that act.  On this much, the ‘ulama have reached a consensus so that those who follow the school of Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.), for example, say that it falls into the category of what is makruh tanzihan or reprehensible for purposes of scrupulous observance, rather than makruh tahriman or reprehensible to the point of prohibition and reprobation.  Therefore, the mode of swearing about which the ‘ulama disagree over whether it is reprehensible or prohibited cannot be said to make its perpetrator an unbeliever and thus remove him from Islam.

Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) wrote in Kitab asw-Swalat of al-Madarij that about shirk akbar, Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


… Whoever joins other gods with Allah ― Allah will Forbid him the Garden and the Fire will be his abode.  There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. (Surah al-Ma’idah:72)

And also:


… if anyone assigns partners to Allah he is as if he had fallen from heaven and been snatched up by birds or the wind had swooped (like a bird on its prey) and thrown him into a far-distant place. (Surah al-Hajj:31)

About showing off, He Says:


… whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner." (Surah al-Kahf:110)

Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) also wrote, “On this same subject of shirk aswghar, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Whoever swears an oath by other than Allah has associated something with Him.”  This was related by Imam Abu Dawud (r.a.) and others.  However, it is well known that swearing an oath by something other than Allah (s.w.t.) does not take one out of the ummah of the Muslims, and it does not make someone a disbeliever.  In the same vein, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Shirk in this ummah is stealthier than creeping ants.”  Tis is recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (r.a.).

As for the vow to someone other than Allah (s.w.t.), both Shaykh Taqi ad-Din ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) and Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.), who are among the most critical concerning this question, said that it is not permissible and that it constitutes an act of disobedience.  Neither said that it constitutes an act of unbelief or of shirk such as would remove one from Islam.  Their position is that fulfilling such a vow is not allowable, but that if the vow is to give alms to some deserving person among the poor, then, it is good for him in the Sight of Allah (s.w.t.).  Now, if the one making the vow to someone other than Allah (s.w.t.) were an unbeliever then they would not have ordered him to perform an act of charity since charity is unacceptable from an unbeliever.  Rather, they would have ordered him to renew his Islam.


As for the sacrifice for the sake of someone other than Allah (s.w.t.), Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) categorised it under things prohibited, not under act of unbelief, except when one sacrifices to something worshipped besides the Creator.  Similarly, those versed in knowledge record that it is prohibited because it is for the sake of someone other than Allah (s.w.t.).  Nevertheless, they do not declare the one who performs such a sacrifice an unbeliever.


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