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Message Icon Topic: On being a disbeliever (Kufr) Post Reply Post New Topic
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Topic: On being a disbeliever (Kufr)
    Posted: 25 June 2005 at 10:48am

Many times when we are exposed to various beliefs we sometimes look at the spiritual context of those beliefs in contrast to our own. A lot of times when we do make such separations we judged based on the laws of our own. Much of what we say can in fact be two things: right or wrong. There are many schools of thought which make theological constructions on what constitutes belief. The Qur'an, the book in which God has crystallized his word, has declared that the worship of many gods is disbelief.

But what is the criteria? As I have studied I perrsonally believe that the criteria is as simple as what the Qur'an states: the worship of multiple gods besides God. As I have also found that through ignorance and lack of knowledge, there are many of us Muslims who willingly judge others even based on our own limited understanding of other religions. I think it not only sahows our ignorance by doing this, but it also shines a judgement on us when the world sees us. When the world sees Muslims they say "They only talk with weapons and violence"

When many evangelicals see us they say "They want to kill us unbelievers us Jews and Christians for their Allah." Unfortunately for me, because I am not skilled proficiently in the language of Arabic (except reciting Qur'an) I am limited to being a student of Islam rather a renowned scholar of Islam therefore I cannot legitimately comment on this issue except make personal responses to the subject at hand.

Through research and contemplation the excommuication of a Muslim from Islam as follows:

1. If he/she renounces belief in God.

2. If he/she believes in multiple deities.

3. If he/she renounces the legitimacy of the Qur'an

I've only noted three thus far because I found that these three are really important. Many Muslims however would bundle these three into one law. As we see from (1) that it is self-explanatory that in the fold of Islam one is separated if he/she renounces God. When one rejects the existence of God then he/she is out of the fold of Islam. But there are perhaps exceptions to this that maybe God only knows. When one denounces God it has to be with mind/soul. Because the words "I don't believe in God" are uttered is not necessarily enough to excommunicate an individual. The reason being is because it can be circumstantial.

For example a child might have lost his/her parents in an accident at childhood and might grow up resenting God and blaming God which eventually would lead to an angry decleration of disbelief. However this maybe said with the mind/soul but the initial process starts off with resentment which I personally believe can be remedied with Muslim counceling.

In (2) this is also self-explanatory, but it is also arguable. Many of us Muslims disagree with many eastern religions as some present themselves to worship many gods. Within the Abrahamic fold, we Muslims criticize Christianity by saying that Christians worship 3 gods. In commenting on the latter portion, I have to say however true or untrue this maybe we cannot deny that in the Bible the Oneness of God is established, such is the belief that many Christians and Jews share. We may have differences but we cannot allocate polytheism to Christianity just because modern principle of belief was adopted after Jesus. The origin of Christianity stands as a monotheistic religion.

As for hinduism there is really not enough knowledge in the Muslim community to judge such a religious belief, which according to recorded history, is older than the revival of Islam. Hinduism claims that Brahman which is One, is multiplied through various images. Perhaps these images are nothing more than experience but to say this constittues polytheism requires more study. Even Sabeans in the Qur'an historically worshiped stars and planets yet, in the Qur'an are considered "People of the Book."

Finally (3) which like the first two, is also self-explanatory. If a Muslim rejects the Qur'an knowingly that he/she must believe in the value and legitimacy of Qur'an excommunicates themself from Islam. A Muslim is not a Muslim without the Qur'an because by law, one must believe that the Qur'an is from God. Of course you have those who leave Islam for whatever reason, yet maintain a firm faith in One God. This is possible but in the case of being Muslim one cannot be such without the belief in the Holy doctrine.

Islam means "Submission to the will of God." If one professes to such a faith one is called "Muslim" one who is an adherent to Islam and shares in the belief of submitting to God. If a partial of the doctrine is denied it can be judged two ways: either circumstantial (which can be remedied) or legitimate. If it is the latter than one is a Kafr or unbeliever. Because to reject the word of God is to reject God entirely. If it is the previous, then such can be remedied through intervention. I hope many would agree to this, but this is doubtful...

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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 25 June 2005 at 11:24am

Assalamu alaikum,

An interesting post, brother Israfil.  I am no scholar, for sure, but I do have an opinion on this.  I believe that Allah alone knows all the entire life history of each and every human being. 

Our life history consists of all our life experiences and circumstances: influences, traumas and tragedies, education (or lack of), successes and accomplishments, where we live, who we know, what we do, our health, our wealth, our intelligence and so much more.

Each of us is entirely unique.  Allah gave us guidelines to follow through the messages of all the prophets over the ages, ending with the final guidance of the Qur'an and sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).  Allah gave us free will.  With our free will, we each choose how we act, think, and worship.  Sometimes, there is no choosing, the circumstances we are in determine what we do. 

Our life history has a huge impact on how we see the world and react to it and how we see religion or spirituality and how (or whether) we embrace it.

I believe Allah alone can judge each of us, as He alone knows the entire life history that goes with all our actions, thoughts and worship.  Yes, some things are clearly sins, according to the Qur'an.  I believe, however, that the Most Merciful, Oft Forgiving Allah will judge each of us uniquely and individually according to His complete knowledge of us.

What I mean is, we humans are all so quick to judge one another, so quick to condemn or call someone a sinner or worse.  I believe Allah sees the whole picture and in His Mercy will judge accordingly.  There are exceptions to everything, so even someone we might consider an unbeliever bound for the hellfire might be forgiven by Allah (who knows everything about that persons life history).

So, whether circumstantial or legitimate, we should be kind toward the percieved sins or even unbelief of others.  Only Allah truly knows what is in the hearts and minds of humans.  Of course, we should still remind them with gentle reminding and kind words!  Most of all, our good example influences others greatly.

I hope I am not too far off course from the points you were trying to make in your post!  These thoughts I have here are what came to mind as I read it.

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Posted: 25 June 2005 at 6:13pm

Wa' alaikum Salaam,

Your response was great actually and I believe what you said summerizes what I intended to say. As I have said many times here God being the knower of all things knows the inner depths of the human heart. Sometimes our own imperfections tend to overshadow our rational judgement. I hope more Muslims could read this for some light on what their brethren is saying.

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