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Guest Safiah!

Kufr.

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Guest Safiah!

The term can be used pretty loosely around MM, and I thought this was pretty interesting.

 

Kufr or Infidels

 

If you look at the English dictionary meaning of infidel, you would find that it means someone who does not have a faith or does not believe in Allah. Does the Quran say that the Jews and Christians do not believe in Allah? No. In Surat Al-Ankabut (29:46), Allah says that the God of Christians, Jews, and Muslims is one and the same. The word infidel is an inaccurate translation of the word kafir in this case.

 

The term kafir, referring to a person, or kufr, referring to an act, is used in the Quran in a variety of contextual meanings. It is not clear from the English terms non-believer or disbeliever what is the object of unbelief or disbelief, is it God, a particular prophet, or others?

 

It is prefered to use the term non-Muslim, as it applies to various categories of kufr, whether it refers to knowingly rejecting the message of Islam (disbelief) or being a non-Muslim due to the lack of awareness of the authentic message of Islam (unbelief). Following are examples of the varied contextual uses of the term kufr in the Quran as follows:

 

Kufr is sometimes used in a positive sense. A good believer can also be a kafir. How so? The Quran says [Faman yakfur bil taghut wayu'mim billah] (Whoever rejects (yakfur) taghut (oppression) and believes in Allah) (Al-Baqarah 2:56). Anyone who believes in one thing is a kafir (rejecter) of its opposite.

 

Kufr can be used in a neutral or benign sense, as the origin of kufr in the Arabic language means "to cover up." A farmer who puts a seed in the ground and covers it up is performing kufr. Spiritually, deliberate deviation from the true and authentic prophets is a form of "covering-up" the truth.

 

The word kufr can also be applied to Muslims who do something wrong, although not necessarily something that would place them outside the state of belief in Islam. For example, a Muslim who is able to go for Hajj but does not go, without denying the need to go, would be committing an act of kufr in a sense of their being ungrateful to Allah (3:96-97).

 

Kufr is used in the Quran as the opposite of shukr (to be grateful) (Luqman 31:12).

 

Kafir is used in the Quran, not only to refer to Jews or Christians, but also those who rejected the prophets and denied the existence of God. It has been used to refer to the people of Noah and the people of Abraham. It has also been used to refer to those who denied prophethood and rejected the existence of Allah altogether, which obviously is not the case with Christians and Jews.

 

Kafir can also be used in a more serious sense, but with a variety of meanings. It refers to the rejection of Islam. It describes one who knows the truth, but rejects it out of pride or vanity. It describes a person who knows the truth in his or her heart and deliberately rejects it.

Nonetheless, we cannot clearly assess this situation. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave Muslims very clear instructions after one incident when people assumed to know why someone had professed belief in Islam. He asked them whether they had opened up his heart, and if they knew whether what was in his heart was sincere or not. The bottom line is that we have to leave judging people's faith to Allah; only Allah knows the sincerity of a particular person's acceptance. Allah is All-Knowing, and He is the only Judge of all of us.

 

Source:

"Muslim and Non-Muslim Relations: Reflections on Some Qur'anic Texts" - Jamal Badawi

(but I found it at http://www.youngmuslims.ca/ymfn/ )

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Walaykumus Salam,

 

Interesting. The uses of the term Kufr can be varied as mentioned above, but when we use the term in an Islamic context, we need to distinguish between the literal meaning and shar'ii meaning.

 

Literally,

Kufr is derived from the root word “ka-fa-ra” which means ‘to cover up to the extent that something is destroyed”.

 

According to Sharee’ah,

it means “absence of Iman from a person, even if his heart believes ”.

 

Sharee'ah meaning is related to the literal meaning since Kufr = extremely ungrateful acts covering up the blessings of Allah, or covering up one's own fitrah.

 

I disagree on what is mentioned above about christians and jews. Quran says that there are only two categories of people, Mumin and Kaafir. Allah (swt) says in Surah Taghabun, Ayah 2:

 

“He it is Who created you, but one of you is an unbeliever (kaafir) and another of you is a believer (mumin); and Allah sees what you do.” (64:2)

 

If we claim that christians and jews are not kaafir, it implies that they are mu'min, which is not true.

 

But I agree that we shouldn't use the term "kaafir" loosely. One of the reasons is because even if someone is committing an act of kufr, it does not necessarily imply that he/she is a kaafir.

 

Wa Allahu 'alam.

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Guest Safiah!

What do you mean? The passage above said that infidel is an INaccurate translation of 'kaffir', meaning it is NOT an appropriate translation given that the term 'infidel' does not apply to those who believe in God (any God), whereas 'kaffir' can.

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wow... i didn't realize there were so many different uses of the word "kaffir" or "kufr." quite interesting... kinda makes me think about my own actions in accordance to what my heart knows and believes...

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I disagree on what is mentioned above about christians and jews [not being kafir].  Quran says that there are only two categories of people, Mumin and Kaafir.  Allah (swt) says in Surah Taghabun, Ayah 2:

 

“He it is Who created you, but one of you is an unbeliever (kaafir) and another of you is a believer (mumin); and Allah sees what you do.”  (64:2)

 

If we claim that christians and jews are not kaafir, it implies that they are mu'min, which is not true. 

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sirat, to me, you are infamous for taking things out of context. the terms mumin and kafir have been used loosely here in this aya (64:2). if you deny the truth of creation (which is the context of this aya), then you are a kafir, but if you, seeing that there is purpose in your creation, accept the fact of creation, as it is inherent w/in your very being, then you are a mumin. the jews and cristians cannot be considered kuffar because they have accepted the prophets sent to them, even though they practice kufr by not accepting the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). but as safia mentioned, even a muslim can practice kufr, yet he/she cannot be called a kafir. therefore, if you do not have explicit proof from the quran that jews and christians are kaffir, then i would reserve that judgement if i were you. in addition, if you stick w/ this view of yours, believing every jew and christian to be kafir, then you would have to explain the many verses in the quran that permits so-called kuffar (i.e., jews and christians) to junnah (paradise).

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...The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave Muslims very clear instructions after one incident when people assumed to know why someone had professed belief in Islam. He asked them whether they had opened up his heart, and if they knew whether what was in his heart was sincere or not. The bottom line is that we have to leave judging people's faith to Allah; only Allah knows the sincerity of a particular person's acceptance. Allah is All-Knowing, and He is the only Judge of all of us.

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thank you for saying that! i've been trying to say that in the ahmadi post, but there too much kufr going on there. but, unfortunately, ppl don't give a damn about the sunna, and instead, choose to follow their emotions. i don't care how many so-called "knowledgeable scholars" have called ahmadis kafir, they can't make that judgement! according to sunna, anyone who calls another muslim kafir is closer to kufr him or her self. hence, to me (by following the sunna), these knowledgable scholars are kuffar and will be closer to the fire of hell than ahmadis in the hereafter.

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What do you mean? The passage above said that infidel is an INaccurate translation of 'kaffir', meaning it is NOT an appropriate translation given that the term 'infidel' does not apply to those who believe in God (any God), whereas 'kaffir' can.

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Assalamu Alaykum,

 

No, what I meant is that the article says, "If you look at the English dictionary meaning of infidel, you would find that it means someone who does not have a faith or does not believe in Allah."

 

My point was that christians/jews are those who don't have faith. Which means yes they are "non-muslims", but there is nothing wrong with calling them "infidels".

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sirat, to me, you are infamous for taking things out of context. the terms mumin and kafir have been used loosely here in this aya (64:2). if you deny the truth of creation (which is the context of this aya), then you are a kafir, but if you, seeing that there is purpose in your creation, accept the fact of creation, as it is inherent w/in your very being, then you are a mumin. the jews and cristians cannot be considered kuffar because they have accepted the prophets sent to them, even though they practice kufr by not accepting the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). but as safia mentioned, even a muslim can practice kufr, yet he/she cannot be called a kafir . therefore, if you do not have explicit proof from the quran that jews and christians are kaffir, then i would reserve that judgement if i were you. in addition, if you stick w/ this view of yours, believing every jew and christian to be kafir, then you would have to explain the many verses in the quran that permits so-called kuffar (i.e., jews and christians) to junnah (paradise).

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If u wanna quote me, just refer to my post :lol:

 

I said the same thing here:

 

But I agree that we shouldn't use the term "kaafir" loosely. One of the reasons is because even if someone is committing an act of kufr, it does not necessarily imply that he/she is a kaafir.

 

About jews/christians, what you say is a common misconception that yasir qadhi clarified to us in one of our Al Maghrib classes. ANyways, I'll refrain from posting more evidences of those, seeing (from the ahmadi thread) that you lack the manners of proper discussion <_<

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Surah Maida verse 17

 

"Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary). Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), his mother, and all those who are on the earth together?" And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things."

 

Verse 73

 

"Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity)." But there is no ilah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God -Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them."

 

The Christians and Jews are indeed Kufar in the shari meaning of the word ( the linguistic meaning is to cover something up. the Shari meaning is the Absence of Iman from a person, even if his heart believes). There are many types of Kufr - some are that of doubt, arrogance, denial, hippocract ect.

 

In terms of fiqh there are special rulings that apply to the jews and the christiancs as they are people of the book.

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Guest Safiah!

Walaikum Assalam, sirat.

 

Buddy, uhm, Christians & Jews, they do have faith....just not in Islam. They also believe in Allah but differently. While they're not infidels (based on the definition of 'infidel'), they would be kafir. THUS it can be concluded that kafir =/= infidel.

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Walaikum Assalam, sirat.

 

Buddy, uhm, Christians & Jews, they do have faith....just not in Islam. They also believe in Allah but differently. While they're not infidels (based on the definition of 'infidel'), they would be kafir. THUS it can be concluded that kafir =/= infidel.

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Oh ok, Jazakillah khayr for clarifying. I thought we were talking abt faith in Islam.

 

Actually, in that case, no one can be called infidel, since every one has faith in some god or another (except maybe the athiests).

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Surah Maida verse 17

 

"Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allah is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary). Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Who then has the least power against Allah, if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), his mother, and all those who are on the earth together?" And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. He creates what He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things."

 

Verse 73

 

"Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity)." But there is no ilah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God -Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them."

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#1: the above verses refer to the christians only, not the jews.

#2: these verses still do not refer to the christians as kuffar. it uses the word kufr in the verb form (i.e., they practice it, but aren't necessarily kaffir), which as EM mentioned, has even been applied to muslims. the infamous translators intentionally translated verse 73 of sura Maida as disbelievers, making it seem though the christians are kaffir, but unfortunately for them they didn't fool anybody. these translators have a bad reputation for altering the words of the quran to make it in accordance with their personal beliefs.

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which translators? It would be good if you can name them.

 

In the second point you raised: you admit that christians/jews commit acts of kufr, but they're not kaafir. Yes, it is true that we cannot call someone kaafir just because they committed acts of kufr, but only in specific circumstances. I'm not sure if you're aware of those or not. I'm sure you agree with me that this is not true all the time.

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muhsin khan and hilali are the questionable translators i'm talking about. yo sirat, do you know of any verses though that refer to all jews and christians as kuffar explicitly. i mean, it uses that word and doesn't say that they engage in kufr b/c we seem to agree that you cannot call someone who commits kufr a kafir?

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