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LET US KNOW OUR LEVELS







By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

The fact that a scholar declares someone to be an innovator or a disbeliever is not a license for us who are not even up to the status of pupil of knowledge to also rush to do so. It is very important for us to know our limitations. Allaah will question us individually. As Allaah will ask the scholars, He will ask students too how they arrive at their conclusions. The excuse that it was so or so scholar that I followed may not be tenable because at least, we have the option of silence upon what we are ignorant of or what we have no tool to dabble into. Everyone would be responsible for his own declarations on the Day of Judgment. This matter is a very serious one.

When Sheikh Saalih Fawzaan حفظه الله was discussing the creed of the salaf relating to punishment and enjoyment of the grave, and he mentioned that anyone who disbelieves in it will fall short in one of the foundations of Islaam. He said if a person knows the relevant texts and yet disbelieves in it delibrately without any excuse, he is a Kaafir. But if he rejects it out of ta'weel (poor interpretation) or taqleed (blindfollowership) or jahl (ignorance), such a person is not to declared Kaafir. He can only be said to be one who is misguided. Some people hardly put these conditions in consideration. They just declare people to be Kafir or Mubtad' anyhow. Even people who are known to be upon Sunnah and trying their best to call to Sunnah based on their capacity have become victims of this hasty declarations in recent time.

The point here is that you can hardly find scholars outrightly pronouncing individuals to be Kaafir (or Mubtadi') because of the conditions attached to it. Most times, it is not that scholars do not know that someone has fallen into one kufr (or bid'ah) or the other, they only try to guard themselves against the fitnah of takfeer and tabdee' by not outrightly making the declaration. They prefer to say whoever does so and so has disbelieved or has fallen into innovation than to say so and so (mentioning the name) is a Kaafir (or Mubtadi' as the case may be). They hardly say this. Even Sheikh Rabee' حفظه الله in his explanation of Usul us Sunnah didn't declare Sayyid Qutb رحمه الله to be a Kaafir outrightly because he knew the implication of doing so. Although he didn't seek mercy upon him, he only explained his areas of misguidance and warned the Ummah against reading his books or following his dangerous ideologies. The scholars prefer to use descriptive method of explaining kufr than the direct method of pronouncing individuals to be Kaafir. 

It is however unfortunate that today, the border of Islaamic jurisprudence is so porous that just anyone haste to make takfeer or tabdee' indiscriminately of anyone they feel has fallen into acts of kufr or bid'ah respectively without proper evaluation, patience or without following the laid down rules and regulations as adumbrated by scholars. Even if anyone is to make takfeer or tabdee', it is the work of scholars with deep knowledge and understanding and not just anybody who thinks he can read Arabic and understand or one who merely listens to lectures of scholars. Yet, you will still see scholars and students of knowledge running from making outright or careless declaration in this regard. 

It is evident in an audio conversation between Dr. Faadhil Abiola حفظه الله with a brother who called him on a related issue, that it is unsafe and  reckless to make outright pronouncements on people just anyhow without being armed with the relevant shuroot (conditions). The Sheikh, may Allaah preserve him upon goodness said since he started doing da'wah and up till now, he has not been able to make takfeer of someone. But these days, takfeer and tabdee' is very quick in the mouth of many young people who can hardly recite the Qur'an correctly or even read and translate common Arabic texts. If you ask them why they are making tabdee'or takfeer without having the tools to do so, they say, Sheikh Fulaan did so. Is this a tenable excuse to enter into this dangerous area of knowledge that even scholars run  away from? If this is not fitnah, then, what is it?

I have not written this to defend anyone or to bring about any fruitless argumentation that are common these days on our social media platforms. Anyone who gives this a meaning it doesn't deserve would be responsible for his own thought and consequential actions. I have penned this sincerely to wake us all up once again that the tread of hasty takfeer or tabdee' is getting dirtier day by day, and the earlier the better our teachers and scholars warn against this fitnah collectively.

May Allah guide us aright.

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