Monday, 20 March 2017

Fallacy of ‘takfeeri’ Doctrine

‘Takfeeri’ Doctrine states that Muslims who do not practically apply Islamic commandments/principles in their lives are disbelievers/ ‘kafir’, and as such do not remain a part of Muslim Ummah. This Doctrine is primarily based, among other arguments, on following Quranic verse:
“Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light…………… So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price. And whoever does not judge/ ‘yahkum’ by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the  'kaferoon'” (al-maidah-44).
Let us analyze this doctrine in the following lines.

In Quranic terminology, various derivatives from word ‘kafara’/ ‘kufr’ have been used with various meanings including to deny something, to remove something, to be ungrateful,  and to deny faith. Thus in Quran we find word ‘kufr’ has been used for people who deny something, who show ungratefulness, who undertake wrong-doings, and who deny faith (‘kufr bil eman’). It may be appreciated that word ‘kufr’ has not been used with the meanings of ‘kufr bil eman’ in all cases in Quran though it has been used with meanings of ‘kufr bil eeman’ in dozens of verses. Quran staes:

“………And whoever denies the faith (kufr bil eeman) - his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers” (al-maidah-5).
In this verse,  ‘kufr bil eman’/ denial of faith has been mentioned.

“O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers - they are the wrongdoers” (al-baqra-254).
In this above quoted verse, it is stated that ‘kaferoon’ are those who are wrong-doers.  
“……..will they then believe in vain things, and be ungrateful for Allah's favours?” (al-nahl-72).
……..but it denied the favors of Allah……. (al-nahl-112).
“So remember Me, and I will remember you; and be thankful to Me; and be you not ungrateful towards Me” (al-baqra152).
In all three above quoted verses, ‘kufr’ has been used with meaning of  ungratefulness.
Thus we find that, in Quran, word ‘kufr’ and its variants have been used with the meanings of ‘kufr bil eeman’ in so many verses which state about ‘kufr’ relating to Allah, His Attributes, His verses and His deeds; which state about ‘kufr’ relating to ‘Aakhira’, Angels, revealed Books and resalah; and verses which state about ‘kufr’ relating to Quran and sayings/actions of our Nabi/ rasool and our Nabi’s attributes mentioned in Quran. In all such cases, word ‘kufr’ has been used with meanings of ‘kufr bil eeman’. But what is to be appreciated is that this word ‘kufr’ has also been used in Quran with the meanings other than ‘kufr bil eeman’; for instance, as mentioned above, this words ‘kufr’ has also been used with meanings like ‘ungratefulness’ and ‘wrongdoings’.
A person cannot be excluded from Muslim Ummah on the basis of wrong acts/ sins, until and unless he commits ‘kufr bil eeman’. As long as a person has faith/ ‘eeman’, he cannot be excluded from Muslim Ummah because this Muslim Ummah has been established on the basis of ‘eeman’ only. In the verse al-maidah-44, the people committing wrong acts/ sins have been mentioned; they are not the people committing 'kufr bil eeman'. Therefore word 'kaferoon' means ungrateful or wrong doers. Quran states Hazrat Ibraheem a.s. prayers in the following words:
   “And [mention] when Abraham said, "My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits - whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day." [Allah] said. "And whoever disbelieves - I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination (al-baqra-126)"
It were these people of faith/ 'eeman' which were named as Muslim Ummah in the second next verse. Quran states Hazrat Ibraheem’s a.s words:
Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim Ummah [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful (al-baqra-128).

From above qouted two verses, it is clear Muslim Ummah which was established out of Hazrat Ibraheem's and hazrat Ismaeel's a.s. descendants was established on the basis of eeman/faith. It does not mean actions do not impact eeman; they do impact eeman. According to our Nabi's s.a.w.w. Hadith, eeman increases and decreases with actions. 'Kufr bil eeman' is a state of mind where righteousness of Allah's and our Nabi's s.a.w.w. sayings and deeds is challenged.

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique r.a. fought Munkareen e zakah who challenged righteousness of zakah. Similarly Imam Ibn e Taimia passed verdict to do ‘qattal’ against Mongols who challenged appropriateness of Islamic Shariah.

From the foregoing, we may conclude that in Quran word ‘kufr’ has been used not only with meanings of ‘kufr bil eeman’ but also with meanings of ungratefulness and wrongdoings. The word ‘kaferoon’ used in verse al-maidah-44 does not mean the people who have committed ‘kufr bil eeman’; word ‘kaferoon’ in this verse may mean ungrateful people or the people who are wrong-doers.  A person cannot be excluded from Muslim Ummah on the basis of wrong acts/ sins unless he commits ‘kufr bil eeman’ because Muslim Ummah has been established on the basis of ‘eeman’, not on the basis of actions. It does not mean actions are not required by Muslims; certainly Muslims are required to live their lives according to ‘eeman’ but if they do not live their lives according to their faith/ ‘eeman’, they will be labeled as sinner as long as they do not commit 'kufr bil eeman'; but  such sinners cannot be excluded from the Muslim Ummah.

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