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Ahad, Takfir, Hajj

Issue 860 » September 18, 2015 - Zul-Hijja 4, 1436

Living The Quran

Ahad
Al-Ikhlas (The Sincerity) - Chapter 112: Verse 1

"Say: He is Allah, the One and Only."

The first verse of Sura al-Ikhlas is a very comprehensive expression. About Allah it conveys the following concepts:

1. He alone is the Sustainer; no one else has any share or part in providence, and since He alone is the Ilah (deity) Who is the Master and Sustainer, therefore no one else is His associate in Divinity either.

2. He alone is the Creator of the universe; no one else is His associate in the whole of creation. He alone is the Master of the universe, the Dispenser and Administrator of its system, the Sustainer of His creations, Helper and Rescuer in times of hardship; no one else has any share or part whatsoever in divinity which belongs exclusively to Allah.

3. He alone has been, and will be, God forever; neither was there a god before Him, nor will there be any after Him.

The attribute Ahad is not used for anyone except Allah for He alone is the Being Who exists without any plurality in any way. Whose oneness is perfect in every way.

Compiled From:
"Words That Moved the World" - Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, pp. 54, 55

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Takfir

The Shariah forbids the attribution of disbelief, blasphemy or heresy to a Muslim. This is a normative principle which is applied even to cases where one suspects another of disbelief (kufr). Thus, if a believer observes a fellow Muslim uttering words or indulging in acts which might be suggestive of disbelief, he must give him the benefit of the doubt, and avoid charging him with disbelief in all cases which fall short of self-evident proof. Even in the latter event it is strongly recommended that people should avoid charging others with infidelity and disbelief. Apart from the emphatic tone of a large number of prohibitive Hadiths on this subject, the issue is so sensitive and complex that only a judge or jurisconsult (mufti) who is wellversed in theological sciences is authorised to determine what exactly amounts to disbelief.

Since unity in faith is the very foundation of the Islamic fraternity, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has warned the believers to avoid accusing one another of disbelief. Thus, according to a Hadith reported by Abd Allah Ibn Umar: "When a man calls his brother 'kafir' one of them is afflicted with the charge. Either it is as he says or [if the accusation is not true], it befalls the person who uttered." [Muslim]

According to yet another Hadith, reported by Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari: "Whoever charges another person with disbelief, or calls him an 'enemy of God', while this is not so, will have the charge rebound upon himself." [Mishkat]

The message in the preceding Hadiths is not confined to the prohibition of takfir, but extends also to transgression or sin (fisq) and the unfounded attribution of crime and sin to others. A Muslim is thus forbidden from charging others with fisq. This is the purport of another Hadith which declares in the brodest of terms: "No man accuses another of transgression (fisq) or disbelief (kufr) without partaking of it himself if the accused is not what the accusation claims he is." [Mishkat]

All that a person may do when he suspects that disbelief, heresy or apostasy is being committed by another is to give him good advice in the true spirit of the Quranic principle of hisbah (promotion of good and prevention of evil). A person who witnesses the incidence of heresy and disbelief would have fulfilled his duty if he provided the necessary evidence to establish the truth, and then left the matter in the hands of the authorities.

Compiled From:
"Freedom of Expression in Islam" - Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 186-189

Blindspot!

Hajj

Hajj is a unique religious, political, cultural and human event. It is spectacular, indeed the greatest of spectacles ever put on by human beings. No religion and no civilization ever witnessed or sustained a similar event.

The effect of hajj on the participant is always radical. It shatters his personality by convincing him of its futility or vanity; and it reconstructs that personality and orients it towards Allah and His cause. It destroys every vestige of individualism, egotism, every trace of subjectivism and isolationism, every tendency to particularism and nationalism and finally, every touch of inferiority or superiority complex. It restores and instils in the participant's mental health, emotional equilibrium, concern for humans across every boundary or race or colour, of culture, language and social classification. It makes or reinforces his consciousness of himself as an ummatic being endowed with a universal mission. With all this, hajj lifts the participant above the flow of space and time, and confirms him as the guide and leader of that flow.

Compiled From:
Islam: The Way of Revival, "Inner Dimensions of Worship"- Ismail al-Faruqi, p. 178