Takfir is the accusation of “Kufr and Shirk” upon Majority of Muslims by certain people who assume that their personal set of beliefs are correct whereas that of others constitute shirk. This is a major strife which has been lurking around in Muslim Ummah since ages. Some people go to the extent of accusing the great Hanafi Muslims as a whole (including Barelvis/Deobandis) as Mushrikeen, let alone Shi’ites who are worse than pagan Hindus in their books.
Let us see how the Prophet (Peace be upon him) looked at Shirk in Muslim Ummah as compared to the self assumed Tawhid of certain extremists who show up with different names but mostly they belong to the same La Madhabiyyah (no school of thought) sect.
The way Prophet (Peace be upon him) looked at concept of “Shirk” amongst Muslims
أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم خرج يوما فصلى على أهل أحد صلاته على الميت ثم انصرف إلى المنبر فقال إني فرط لكم وأنا شهيد عليكم وإني والله لأنظر إلى حوضي الآن وإني أعطيت مفاتيح خزائن الأرض أو مفاتيح الأرض وإني والله ما أخاف عليكم أن تشركوا بعدي ولكن أخاف عليكم أن تنافسوا فيها
Translation: Narrated ‘Uqba bin ‘Amir: One day the Prophet went out and offered the funeral prayers of the martyrs of Uhud and then went up the pulpit and said, “I will pave the way for you as your predecessor and will be a witness on you. By Allah! I see my Fount (Kauthar) just now and I have been given the keys of all the treasures of the earth (or the keys of the earth) “BY ALLAH! I AM NOT AFRAID THAT YOU WILL WORSHIP OTHERS ALONG WITH ALLAH AFTER MY DEATH, BUT I AM AFRAID THAT YOU WILL FIGHT WITH ONE ANOTHER FOR THE WORLDLY THINGS.”
►Volume 2, Book 23, Number 428: (Sahih Bukhari)
Three Important points are to be noted from this hadith:
(A) This hadith itself proves that Prophet (Peace be upon him) has been granted “all” the keys to the treasures of the earth, the ironic thing is that this itself is shirk according to the extremists because they believe Prophet was an ordinary man who did not know of future. If you look carefully the hadith says that Prophet was watching his fount right from the earth, this proves the great Basarat (sight) of this mighty Prophet and If these claimants who say Prophet was just an ordinary man like us have any shame in them, then they should prove that they also see Jannah right from the earth.
(B) The Prophet (Peace be upon him) took an oath upon Allah, yes note again “OATH UPON ALLAH” and said that he is not afraid we will worship others along with Allah after his death, now these extremists are in actual claiming to know more than Prophet (Peace be upon him) who settled it once and for all by taking oath that we will not worship others along with Allah after his passing away.
(C) The Prophet (Peace be upon him) explained that We will fight with one another for “WORLDLY THINGS” !So how does this fighting start? It starts by calling other Muslims as Kafir, tell us one Muslim on this earth who would like to be called as Kafir?
Note: Some people misinterpret this hadith by saying that it refers to the tenure of Sahaba only. However they forget to read the last part of this same hadith which states: “BUT I AM AFRAID THAT YOU WILL FIGHT WITH ONE ANOTHER FOR THE WORLDLY THINGS”…hence had this hadith only applied to the tenure of Sahaba then Shi’ites would become right in claiming that Sahaba fought over worldly matters (like supremecy in caliphate, wealth etc.).
باب قتل الخوارج والملحدين بعد إقامة الحجة عليهم وقول الله تعالى
وما كان الله ليضل قوما بعد إذ هداهم حتى يبين لهم ما يتقون وكان ابن عمر يراهم شرار خلق الله وقال إنهم انطلقوا إلى آيات نزلت في الكفار فجعلوها على المؤمنين
Translation: Allah T’ala said: And Allah will not mislead a people after He hath guided them, in order that He may make clear to them what to fear (and avoid)- for Allah hath knowledge of all things. (Al-Qur’an, 9:115)
Bukhari relates from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) “Ibn `Umar considered the Khawarij and the heretics as the worst beings in creation, and he said: They went to verses which were revealed about the disbelievers and applied them to the Believers.[Sahih Bukhari, Chapter of Killing the Khawarjites and Mulhideen, Volume No. 6, Page No. 2539]
This hadith is very important and it exposes the evil nature of the extremist sect like a bright sun. You will always see them misusing the Ayahs revealed for Kufaar and applying them upon Muslims, wait a minute “EVEN UPON THE PROPHET” yes I say again even “UPON THE PROPHET” so rest assured that their attribute is that of Khawarij who apparently looked and still look very religious, who recite Quran beautifully, who pray as If our prayers are inferior to theirs but in reality they pass through the religion just like an arrow passes through the target.
Quran states: O ye who believe! When ye go abroad in the cause of Allah, investigate carefully, and say not to any one who offers you a salutation: “Thou art none of a believer!.. (4:94)
What a beautiful ayah, even when we go for Jihad and if someone offers us salutation then we are ordered not to call them disbelievers, but look at the extremists who call even Muslims as disbelievers let alone other.
Narrated Usama bin Zaid: Allah’s Apostle sent us towards Al-Huruqa, and in the morning we attacked them and defeated them. I and an Ansari man followed a man from among them and when we took him over, he said, “La ilaha illal-Lah.” On hearing that, the Ansari man stopped, but I killed him by stabbing him with my spear. When we returned, the Prophet came to know about that and he said, “O Usama! Did you kill him after he had said “La ilaha ilal-Lah?” I said, “But he said so only to save himself.” The Prophet kept on repeating that so often that I wished I had not embraced Islam before that day.”
►Volume 5, Book 59, Number 568: (Sahih Bukhari)
Subhan Allah this is an explicit proof that any Muslim who testifies by saying “La Ilaha Il Allah” cannot be declared as Mushrik, do the extremists still claim to know more than Prophet (Peace be upon him), rather Quran itself?
عن أنس بن مالك قال
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ثلاث من أصل الإيمان الكف عمن قال لا إله إلا الله ولا نكفره بذنب ولا نخرجه من الإسلام بعمل والجهاد ماض منذ بعثني الله إلى أن يقاتل آخر أمتي الدجال لا يبطله جور جائر ولا عدل عادل والإيمان بالأقدار
Translation: Anas bin Malik (ra) narrates from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) who said: Three things are the roots of faith (1) To refrain from (killing) a person who says “La ILaha IL Allah” (2) Not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits (3) and also not to declare him out of Islam due to a deed. Jihad continues from the day I was sent as Prophet to the day that last member of my community fight with the Dajjal. The tyranny of any tyrant and the justice of any just (ruler) will not invalidate it. One must have faith in Divine Decree. [Sunnan Abu Dawud, Volume No. 2, Hadith # 2170]
أن حذيفة يعني ابن اليمان رضي الله عنه حدثه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم «إن مما أتخوف عليكم رجل قرأ القرآن حتى إذا رؤيت بهجته عليه وكان رداؤه الإسلام اعتراه إلى ما شاء الله انسلخ منه ونبذه وراء ظهره وسعى على جاره بالسيف ورماه بالشرك» قال قلت يانبي الله أيهما أولى بالشرك المرمي أو الرامي ؟ قال «بل الرامي»
Translation: Hudhaifa i.e. Ibn al Yaman (ra) said that the Prophet (saw) said: Verily, I fear about a man from you who will read the Qur’an so much that his face will become enlightened and he will come to personify Islam. This will continue until Allah desires. Then these things will be taken away from him when he will disregard them by putting them all behind his back and will attack his neighbor with the sword accusing him of Shirk. The Prophet was asked – which of the two will be deserving of such an accusation? – The attacker or the attacked? The Prophet replied – the attacker (the one accusing the other of Shirk)
►Narrated by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, Tahqiq Nasir Albani, Volume 001, Page No. 200, Hadith Number 81] Nasir Albani said: ‘this hadith is hasan’ also see [Silsilat al-ahadith al-sahihah – Albani Volume 007-A, Page No. 605, Hadith Number 3201] Click Here for Scanned Page (80)
►Narrated by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, Volume No. 1, Page No. 282,
►Bukhari in his Tarikh ul Kabir, Volume No. 4, Page No. 301,
►Haythami in Majma Az Zawaid, where he declared its chain to be “Hassan”, Imam Ibn Kathir declared the Chain as “Jayyid (strong)” in his Tafsir al Quran al Azim, Volume No. 2, Page No. 266]
Note: This hadith is also a backbone breaker of those who accuse other Muslims of Shirk. According to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) the accuser is more deserving to be a Mushrik than the accused. May our parents be taken ransom for Prophet of Mercy who has closed all doors for misguided people who go around calling majority of Muslims as Mushrikeen.
كنت في حلقة بالكوفة إذا رجل يحدث قال كنا جلوسا مع ابي هريرة فمر فتى فقال رجل من الحلقة هذا كافر من أهل النار فقام أبو هريرة حتى أتى الفتى فقال من انت انا فلان بن فلان رحم الله اباك قال فجعل الفتى يلتفت فقال إلام تلتفت قال لم أصل قال وتصلي فقال سبحان الله فقال وتقول سبحان الله قال لا إله إلا الله قال وتقول لا إله إلا الله فقال ما أريد أني تركت الصلاة وأن لي ما على وجه الأرض قال رحمك الله رحمك الله ثم جاء حتى أخذ مجلسه
فقال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول . من شهد على مسلم بشهادة ليس لها بأهل فليتبوأ مقعده من النار
Translation:“We were sitting in a circle in Kufa with Abu Hurayra whereupon a young man passed by. A man sitting with us said: ‘This is a Kafir from among the people of the Fire.’ Abu Hurayra rose and went to speak with the young man, asking him: ‘Who are you?’ He replied: Son of so-and-so.’ Abu Hurayra said: ‘Allah have mercy on your father!’ The young man was looking around, so he asked him: ‘What are you looking for?’ He replied: ‘I have not prayed yet.’ Abu Hurayra said: ‘So you pray?’ The young man replied: ‘Subhan Allah!’ Abu Hurayra: ‘And you say Subhan Allah?’ He said: ‘La Ilaha illAllah!!’ Abu Hurayra: ‘And you say La Ilaha illAllah?’The young man said: ‘I would prefer not to leave Salat even if I were given all there is on the face of the earth.’ Abu Hurayra said: ‘Allah have mercy on you. Allah have mercy on you. Allah have mercy on you.’ Then he came back to his seat in the circle and said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Whoever bears testimony against a Muslim of which the latter is not deserving, let him prepare for himself a seat in the Hell fire.” [Imam Ibn Asakir in Tibyan al Kadhib al Muftari, Page No. 373]
عن عبيد الله بن عمر عن نافع أن رجلا قال لإبن عمر أن لي جارا يشهد علي بالشرك فقال قل لا إله إلا الله تكذبه
Translation: From `Ubayd Allah ibn `Umar, from Nafi`: A man said to Ibn `Umar: “I have a neighbor who bears witness against me that I commit shirk.” He replied: “Say: ‘La Ilaha ill Allah,’ you will make him a liar.”[Imam Ibn Asakir in Tibyan al Kadhib al Muftari, Page No. 373]
عكرمة يعني ابن عمار قال ثنا سوار بن شبيب الأعرجي قال كنت قاعدا عند ابن عمر فجاء رجل فقال يا ابن عمر إن أقواما يشهدون علينا بالكفر والشرك فقال ويلك أفلا قلت لا إله إلا الله قال فقال أهل البيت لا إله إلا الله حتى ارتج البيت
Translation: Akrama i.e. Ibn Ammar said that he heard Sawwar ibn Shabib al-A`raji say that he was sitting in Ibn `Umar’s house when a man came and said: “O Ibn `Umar! There are groups of people bearing witness against us and attributing to us kufr and shirk.” Ibn `Umar replied: “Woe to you! Did you not say: ‘La Ilaha IllAllah’?!” Whereupon the entire household began to say La Ilaha Ill Allah until the house was shaking.[Ibid]
ثنا الأعمش عن أبي سفيان قال أتينا جابر بن عبد الله وكان مجاورا بمكة وكان نازلا في بني فهر فسأله رجل فقال هل كنتم تدعون أحدا من أهل القبلة مشركا قال معاذ الله وفزع لذلك قال هل كنتم أظنه تدعونه كافرا قال لا
Translation: From al-A`mash, from Abu Sufyan:We came to see Jabir ibn `Abd Allah who lived in Makkah and resided with the Banu Fihr. A man asked him: “Did you [the Companions] use to call anyone from the People of the Qibla [i.e. Muslims], ‘Mushrik’?” He replied: “I seek refuge in Allah.” The man continued: “Did you call anyone from them ‘Kafir’?” He said: “No.”[Ibid]
Muslims should exclaim loudly : “Subhan Allah” and “La Ilaha il Allah” till all of us make a roar, then Alhamdulillah we will make the accusers as liars themselves!
We would like to conclude our article with these verdicts from Imam Ibn Abideen ash-Shami (rah) and Allama Ahmed Sawi (rah)
Imam Ibn Abideen ash-Shami (rah)
قوله : ويكفرون أصحاب نبينا صلى الله عليه وسلم ) علمت
أن هذا غير شرط في مسمى الخوارج ، بل هو بيان لمن خرجوا على سيدنا علي رضي الله تعالى عنه ، وإلا فيكفي فيهم اعتقادهم كفر من خرجوا عليه ، كما وقع في زماننا في أتباع عبد الوهاب الذين خرجوا من نجد وتغلبوا على الحرمين وكانوا ينتحلون مذهب الحنابلة ، لكنهم اعتقدوا أنهم هم المسلمون وأن من خالف اعتقادهم مشركون ، واستباحوا بذلك قتل أهل السنة وقتل علمائهم حتى كسر الله تعالى شوكتهم وخرب بلادهم وظفر بهم عساكر المسلمين عام ثلاث وثلاثين ومائتين وألف )
(رد المحتار على الدر المختار (4/ 262) كتاب البغاة)
Translation: (Ibn ‘Abidin:) His words and who consider the Companions of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to be disbelievers are not a condition for someone to be a kharijite, but rather are a mere clarification of what those who revolted against ‘Ali (Allah Most High be well pleased with him) in fact did.Otherwise, it is enough to be convinced of the unbelief of those they fight against, as happened in our own times with the followers of [Muhammad ibn] ‘Abd al-Wahhab, who came out of the Najd in revolt, and took over the sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina. They followed the Hanbali madhhab, but believed that they were the Muslims, and that those who believed differently than they did were polytheists (mushrikin). On this basis, they held it lawful to kill Sunni Muslims (Ahl al-Sunna) and their religious scholars, until Allah Most High dispelled their forces, and the armies of the Muslims attacked their strongholds and subdued them in 1233 A.H.  [Ibn Abideen – Rahimuhullah in Radd ul Mukhtar ala Dur al Mukhtar, Volume No.4, Page No. 262]
Imam Ahmed al Sawi (Rahimuhullah)
Imam Ahmed al Sawi (Rahimuhullah) in his magnificent commentary over Tafsir al Jalalyn by Imam Jalal ud din Suyuti (rah) explains this verse : Truly, the Devil is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy: he only calls his party to become of the inhabitants of the blaze” (Qur’an 35:6) as:
وقيل هذه الآية نزلت في الخوارج الذين يحرفون تأويل الكتاب والسنة ويستحلون بذلك دماء المسلمين وأموالهم كما هو مشاهد الآن في نظائرهم، وهم فرقة بأرض الحجاز يقال لهم الوهابية يحسبون أنهم على شىء ألا انهم هم الكاذبون، استحوذ عليهم الشيطان فأنساهم ذكر الله أولئك حزب الشيطان ألا إن حزب الشيطان هم الخاسرون، نسأل الله الكريم أن يقطع دابرهم
Translation: It is said this verse was revealed about the Kharijites [foretelling their appearance], who altered the interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah, on the strength of which they declared it lawful to kill and take the property of Muslims—as may now be seen in their modern counterparts; namely, a sect in the Hijaz called “Wahabiya, (فرقة بأرض الحجاز يقال لهم الوهابية)” who “think they are on something, truly they are the liars (Kadhibeen). Satan has gained mastery over them and made them forget Allah’s remembrance. Those are Satan’s party, truly Satan’s party, they are the losers” (Qur’an 58:18–19). We ask Allah Most Generous to extirpate them completely [Hashiya al-Sawi ‘ala al-Jalalayn, 3.255]
May Allah, Most High, save the Umma from this scourge and unit us on the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his Companions (Allah be pleased with them), and the ‘Ulama who follow them with integrity till the final hour. Amin.