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    AQ vs ISIS - The issue of Takfir (excommunication)

    The issue of Takfir (excommunication)

    Shaykh Attiya tullah al-Libi (May Allah have mercy on him)


    What should be the general attitude of a normal Mujahid – who is not a scholar – with regard to the issues of Takfir?


    The issue of Takfir is among those sensitive Sharia’h issues, to which we have always warned the youth because of its dangerousness. We say to our Mujahid brothers that these sensitive issues should be left for the trusted scholars & it is not fit nor allowed for everyone to indulge in these issues. It is that chapter of Knowledge, considering their sensitiveness & dangerousness, even the great scholars & Imams have refrained from many of its practical discussion, & even feared to the application of Takfir on specific individuals (1), & would always resort to a safe option regarding these matters.

    Our predecessors used to say that:  Nothing is dearer to us expect protecting our religion! Thus, for any normal youth, enough is the knowledge to know about the teachings of Allah & His Messenger (SAW) & have a general belief on it & similarly should deny Taghut in a general way. As for the details concerning these matters & to know about the rulings on a specific person or group, whether they are out of the religion or not?…or to dwell into similar details on these matters, then for that one should talk about these considering his own knowledgeable status, because these matters belong to that of rulings, fatwas (verdicts) & Shari judgments.

    Thus, the one who doesn’t have knowledge about these chapters, then he should remain silent or should say [I don’t have the knowledge]. This reply will not lessen his faith nor his religion, but rather to follow this attitude is a salient faith requirement. It is not for an ignorant person to open his tongue regarding these matters or apply these issues on people or to give his opinion on a specific person being a disbeliever & keep a permanent opinion about him, but it is allowed only in case when he follows a scholar & repeats that ruling (of Takfir on an individual or group) while following his opinion (Taqleed).

    The one who doesn’t have the knowledge of religion (Islam), if he is asked of an opinion regarding these issues (of Takfir), then he should clearly say that: [I don’t know, Go & ask the scholars], then if credible scholars makes Takfir of an individual or group by specifically naming them, then following them & doing Taqleed of those renowned scholars known for their (Sharia’h) knowledge, it is allowed for the normal Muslims to repeat the same ruling.

    Verily, it is Allah who gives the generosity to do good.

    Meeting with Sh Attiya tullah al-Libi (ra)

    (Arabic) al-Hisba Jihadi Forum

    Editor’s Note:


    It is important to clear this point here that the discussion of Takfir from theoretical point of view & application of Takfir rulings are two different things. Great majority of scholars have discussed the issue of Takfir from theoretical point of view & have taught this theoretical aspect of it to the masses, but to apply these theoretical aspect of Takfir on individuals or groups is a work to be handled by scholars in totality.

    It is not the right of a normal Muslim that he should interfere in the practical application of these rulings. For example:  it is important for a normal Muslim to know in generality that democracy is a permanent religion different to Islam & because of its basic principles it is clear heresy (Kufr) but to take this theological ruling & start giving verdicts of heresy (Takfir) on individuals or groups, is a work to which a simple Muslim (who is not a scholar) should compulsorily stay afar.

    Arabic Reference:

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