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What makes you a Mushrik?

I‘lm ut-Tawheed (knowledge of Tawheed) is the noblest of sciences in I’lm ud-Deen

(sciences of the Deen), and knowledge of its, pillars, conditions and negations is the
noblest of deeds. For this reason we find that Imam Abu Hanifah called his collection of
studies in Usul ud-Deen (Tawheed, Wala and Bara, Izhaar ud-Deen) ‘Al-Fiqh ul-Akbar’
(The greatest fiqh).

The knowledge of Tawheed will lead us to study the topic of what makes you a Mushrik
i.e. what negates Tawheed? This too is a vital topic as most Muslims know what is
required of a person to be Muslim, but not what can make you a kafir, hence they commit
that which makes a person kafir. We need to study this in order for us not anger Allah by
committing that which negates our Tawheed.

A question that often arises is: Can a person become kafir without to know and what is
the evidence for this? The answer is yes. Allah could test us from time to time with kufr
in order to shake us and make us firm. Those who cannot pass the tests of Allah will fail
and will fall into kufr and shirk, hence eventually become a Mushrik. The evidences for
this are below:

Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:

ْ َ‫ج ُنبْنِي َو َبنِيّ أَن ّن ْعبُدَ ال‬
ْ ‫ل هَـذَا ا ْلبَلَ َد آ ِمنًا وَا‬
ْ َ‫جع‬
ْ ‫َوِإذْ قَالَ ِإبْرَاهِيمُ َربّ ا‬

‘…O Allah make this city (Makkah) aamina (peaceful) and save me and my children
from worshipping the idols…’(EMQ Soorah Ibraheem, 14: 35)

In this verse Ibraheem (as) made du’a to Allah to protect him and his children from
becoming Mushrik by committing shirk. We must also not forget the fact that the children
of Ibraheem (as) were Isma’eel and Is-haaq, who were all Prophets. If the prophets were
afraid of being Mushrik and committing shirk, then should not we be too?
Allah (swt) also says in the Qur’an:

‫ت ِبمُ ْؤ ِمنِين‬
َ ْ‫َومَا َأ ْكثَرُ النّاسِ وَلَوْ حَ َرص‬

‘…Even if you are so keen to invite them to Islam most of the people will not become
believers…’(EMQ Soorah Yusuf, 12: 103)


َ‫َومَا يُ ْؤمِنُ َأ ْكثَرُهُ ْم بِالّ ِإلّ وَهُم مّشْ ِركُون‬

‘…most of the believers in Allah are Mushrik…’(EMQ Soorah Yusuf, 12: 106)

Ibraheem (as) felt that no obedience could help him if he becomes Mushrik by
committing shirk, and he has the right to believe so as Allah (swt) warns us that if we
associate with him he will never forgive us and all our good deeds will be voided:

Innallah laa yaghfiru an yushrakabihi. Wa yaghfiru maa douna dhaalikalamaiyyasha ‘…

Allah does not forgive Shirk but he may forgive anything less than that…’ (EMQ Soorah
An-Nisa’, 4: 48)

Therefore it is obligatory to know what leads us to kufr and shirk in order not to fall
down into their fiery pits. The proof that a person can become kaafir without to know is
documented in Soorah At-Tawbah verses 64 to 66. Allah (swt) speaks about an incident
where a group of individuals were mocking Islam by making jokes about those who used
to memorise the Qur’an:
ْ َ‫ج مّا ت‬
ٌ ‫ل مُخْ ِر‬
ّ ‫س َتهْزِؤُواْ إِنّ ا‬
ْ ‫حذَرُ ا ْل ُمنَافِقُونَ أَن ُتنَزّلَ عََل ْيهِمْ سُورَ ٌة ُت َنبّ ُئهُ ْم ِبمَا فِي قُلُو ِبهِم ُقلِ ا‬
ْ َ‫ي‬

َ‫س َتهْزِؤُون‬
ْ َ‫ب قُلْ َأبِالّ وَآيَاتِهِ وَ َرسُولِ ِه كُنتُ ْم ت‬
ُ َ‫سأَ ْل َتهُمْ َليَقُولُنّ ِإّنمَا ُكنّا نَخُوضُ َونَ ْلع‬
َ ‫َوَلئِن‬

َ‫ل َت ْعتَذِرُو ْا َق ْد كَفَ ْرتُم َب ْعدَ إِيمَا ِنكُمْ إِن ّنعْفُ عَن طَآئِفَ ٍة مّنكُ ْم ُن َعذّبْ طَآ ِئفَ ًة بَِأّنهُ ْم كَانُو ْا مُجْ ِرمِين‬

“The hypocrites fear lest a Soorah (chapter of the Qur'ân) should be revealed about them,
showing them what is in their hearts. Say: "(Go ahead and) mock! But certainly Allâh
will bring to light all that you fear."

If you ask them (about this), they declare: "We were only talking idly and joking." Say:
"Was it at Allâh (swt), and His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations,
etc.) and His Messenger (SAW) that you were mocking?"

Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you,
We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimeen (disbelievers,
polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.).”(EMQ Soorah At-Tawbah, 9: 64-66)

Another evidence is the hadith in Sahih Muslim Volume 1, page 110. It is narrated by
Abu Hurairah that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) described a person can become kafir
without to know: ‘Start to do all the good deeds! There will be many tests…a man will
wake up in the morning a believer and go sleep a disbeliever; or he may go to sleep as a
believer and awake disbeliever. He will sell his Deen by any offer of the dunya.’

A person is always subject to become kaafir unless he does what Allah asks him to do.
Allah (swt) may facilitate shirk to reach him and the obedience of the servant will be
tested by ma’aasie (evil), and evidence for this is when Sayyidina Yusuf (as) was offered
something (adultery) in private.
Some of us could sell his Deen even by a joke, or even when a person says: ‘I do not
know what I would do without you’ instead of saying Al-hamdulillah. Even if a person
says that someone is the richest of all people, when only Allah is Al-Ghanee – the richest,
who needs nobody. These kind of statements that are often made by people contain
hidden shirk, something the Prophet Muhammad (saw) feared of most for his Ummah.

The Messenger Muhammad (saw) also said: ‘From among this Ummah will come those
whom you will look down in comparison to their own prayers, your recitation to their
own recitation and your deeds to their deeds. They will say the best of the sayings from
the people of the Earth and will recite the Qur’an very softly and kindly but it will never
reach their own throats. They think that it will be reward for them but it will testify
against them. They will come out of the Deen like the arrows from the bow and they will
never return back to the Deen. They are the most evil and hated of creations to Allah...’
(Sahih Bukhari, hadith number 6352, Volume 6, page 2540 and in Kitaab ul Fadaa-il ul
Qur’an, volume 6, hadith 578)

This hadith describes how there will be people who have beautiful recitation and apparent
good deeds. In comparison to a good worshiper they will look superior yet they are really
disbelievers, though they will believe they are Muslim. They will become apostates and
leave the Deen at the speed of an arrow that leaves a bow and they are the worst of

Again, this re-iterates the point that if a person can become a kaafir without to know, we
must know what actions take you outside the fold of Islam. There are two types of Kufr:
kufr akbar (great kufr) and kufr asghar (small kufr). One negates Imaan whilst the other
weakens or decreases it.

Al-Kufru kufran – the kufr is of two types

Kufr is opposite to eemaan and like shirk, there are two types:

Al-Kufr al-akbar (or kufr I’itiqaadi) – takes one outside the fold of Islam
Al-Kufr al-asghar
The difference between kufr and shirk is that when a person commits kufr, he does an
action that negates his eemaan, whereas shirk is worse than kufr as it involves associating
somebody or something with Allah and negates his eemaan.

There are 5 types of kufr akbar:

1. Kufr At-Takdheeb – kufr of denying or disbelief

And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allâh or denies the truth
(Muhammad SAW and his doctrine of Islâmic Monotheism and this Qur'ân), when it
comes to him? (EMQ Al-‘Ankaboot, 29: 68)

2. Kufr al-Ibaa wat-Takabbur – kufr of rejection and arrogance to submit to Allah’s


And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves before Adam." And
they prostrated except Iblîs (Satan), he refused and was proud (had Takabbur) and was
one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allâh). (EMQ Al-Baqarah, 2: 34)

3. Kufr ash-Shak waz-Zann – the kufr of conjecture and doubt

And he went into his garden while in a state (of pride and disbelief) unjust to himself. He
said: "I think not that this will ever perish.

And I think not the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on
the Day of Resurrection), I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him."
His companion said to him, during the talk with him: "Do you disbelieve in Him Who
created you out of dust (i.e. your father Adam), then out of Nutfah (mixed semen drops of
male and female discharge), then fashioned you into a man?

But as for my part (I believe) that He is Allâh, my Lord and none shall I associate as
partner with my Lord.” (Al-Kahf, 18: 35-38)

4. Kufr al-I’irad – the kufr of turning your back to Allah and his deen

… But those who disbelieve turn away from that whereof they are warned. (EMQ Al-
Ahqaaf, 46, 3)

5. Kufr an-Nifaaq – the kufr of hypocrisy

That is because they believed, then disbelieved, therefore their hearts are sealed, so they
understand not. (EMQ Al-Munafiqoon, 63: 3)


Calling for secularism

The one who thinks man made law is better or similar to Islam or thinks Islam is old
fashioned and not suitable to our time
Whoever thinks that the Deen is just Salat, Siyyam, Zakat, Hajj and Shahadah and
nothing else e.g. no economic system, no foreign policy, no social system etc.
Whoever believes that he can become Jew, Christian, Hindu or Sikh (kaafir) any time he
wants, because they show off that Islam is a favour from Allah
Hating Deen
Fighting the Deen
Mocking the Deen
Rejecting any of Allah’s commands such as rejecting the Hijaab or free-mixing is haram
(that which is known by necessity)
To deny the hukm of having a beard i.e. to say there is no such concept of having a beard
The one who does not understand the meaning of laa ilaaha illalah is not a Muslim. The
Quraish used to say it without to understand it because they used to use the idols to
intercede on their behalf. You need to know the meaning, believe it and act upon it
Turning you back to Islam by not studying it, acting or caring about it
Leaving the salat completely intentionally, even just one salat
The one who makes takfeer on the Sahabah
The one who does not call the Jews or Christians kaafir or doubts that they are so
Alliance with the kuffar and to love and accompany them against Muslims
Becoming a member of any kufr party
Shirk – in a Hadith in Sahih Muslim Allah (swt) says: ‘...he is not needy for any
partners…whoever does any action associating with me I leave him with his partner…’
i.e. without any mercy
Siher – to seek help from the Shaiyateen and the Jinn
Anyone claiming to know the ghaib is Mushrik. For example, to read the palm or tea-
leaves, looking at the stars or to look at someone’s eyes and tell something about him, the
one who claims that he can cure the one who has no children by doing something etc. It is
kufr akbar because it involves contacting the Jinn and Shaiyateen. They usually ask for
the mothers name and some DNA, nails, hair and so on
Slaughtering to different than Allah
Anyone who believes that someone knows the ghaib and he asks him in any way, even by
watching him on TV or reading the magazine or listening to the weather, it is kufr akbar.
‘No one knows what is in the heavens or Earth except Allah.’ (EMQ An-Naml: 55)
The one who denies what is known from Islam by necessity after the hujjah has been
established and he rejects it is a kaafir e.g. alcohol is haraam

Kufr Asghar

Kufr asghar is what decreases the Imaan by doing what Allah has forbidden and the
Shari’ah calls it kufr because it is denying great Haq to somebody, whether to Allah or
another. However it does not make you kaafir.


- To call a Muslim kaafir

- For a wife to disobey her husband, when the woman says to him ‘I never saw one
day nice with you.’

- Fighting Muslims
- A person to attribute himself different to his father

- Kufrun ni’ma - A person who is ungrateful to what Allah has given him – could be
many things e.g. for wife, computer etc. Never says Al-Humdulillah or Jazaak Allah etc.

- Accuse someone’s lineage e.g. your father is such and such a person, or you are
the son of a dirty tribe

- waling for dead people

- Servant to run away from master

- To pray without purity

- To approach wife from the anus

‘…to insult Muslim is a sin but to fight him is kufr…’ Therefore the two are not the same.

Another hadith says: ‘a mu’min cannot be mu’min while he is committing fornication’

but he is not kaafir.

‘The one who has relationship with one during menstruation or in from the back or goes
to a fortune teller becomes kaafir on what Allah has revealed.’

In another hadith: ‘Whoever has relationship during menses let him make Kaffaarah…’
Therefore he must still be Muslim as the kaffaarah is recovery for sin not kufr!

Therefore Kufr Akbar is kufr in belief level which takes one out of the fold of Islam,
whereas the other one is kufr douna kufr or kufr asghar. We can also say that the sins are
of two types the one which makes you kaafir and the one which does not. To practise
some of the Deen and not another is also Kufr:

And (remember) when We took your covenant (saying): Shed not the blood of your
people, nor turn out your own people from their dwellings. Then, (this) you ratified and
(to this) you bear witness.
After this, it is you who kill one another and drive out a party of you from their homes,
assist (their enemies) against them, in sin and transgression. And if they come to you as
captives, you ransom them, although their expulsion was forbidden to you. Then do you
believe in a part of the Scripture and reject the rest? Then what is the recompense of those
who do so among you,

Saying and actions which are haram but could make you kaafir:

‘So and so man can do whatever he wishes (is capable of doing anything he wants).’
Allah says in the Qur’an that he does whatever he wishes and nobody else. Or to say ‘The
richest of all rich people’ or ‘the king of all kings.’
‘O Allah forgive me if you wish’ – this is not asking for forgiveness because the hadith in
Muslim (No. 2678 from Anas Bin Malik, p2063) states that the Messenger Muhammad
(saw) said: ‘If any one of you ask Allah let him have ‘azeema, and do not say ‘forgive me
if you wish’ there is nothing that Allah dislikes from your request or that he cannot do.’
Imam Shaafi’ee said: ‘If anyone says to his Muslim brother ‘you are an enemy of Allah’
or ‘you Jew’ that is kufr Asghar and if there is no cause that could lead to kufr akbar
‘The nature decided it’ or ‘it was lucky for me’ or ‘that is the destiny’s wish’
‘The man does not deserve that sickness or calamity.’ This is dangerous because you are
accusing Allah of injustice, rather we say kaffaarah Insha-Allah
‘So and so man is far from any forgiveness or far from any guidance or far from Jannah.’
In Muslim, Volume 4 p2023, the hadith of Jundoub state that the Messenger Muhammad
(saw) said: ‘Regarding a man who said that Allah will never forgive so and so man, Allah
said: ‘who made judgement for me? I forgive so and so and vanish all your good deeds.’’
‘May Allah oppress you’
‘Allah remembered him and took him’ or to say to Allah ‘what did you do for him?’
‘Tomorrow I will do so and so’ without to say Insha-Allah
‘If we did so and so’ or ‘if we did not do so and so then…