Actions that Nullify a Muslim’s Belief

Knowing the meaning of one’s testimony of faith is necessary but not enough. One should also know the causes that may lead a person to nullify this testimony. In other words, one should know the causes that lead to DISBELIEF in the religion of Islam.

The following are among the more prevalent causes of DISBELIEF in our times.

1) To Associate Others with Allah or "Shirk"
The first cause of disbelief is to commit shirk. Allah said in the Qur’an: "Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives anything else to whomsoever He pleases, and whoever sets up partner with Allah in worship, he has indeed forged a mighty sin." (4:48)

And He said : "Verily, whosoever associates with Allah anything, for him Allah has forbidden Paradise, and the Fire will be his abode; and the wrongdoers shall have no helpers." (5:72)

There are four types of Shirk:

- Shirk through one's prayers: “And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him only: but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship to others.” (29:65)

“And when harm touches you upon the sea, t hose that you call upon vanish from you except Him. But he brings you safe to land, you turn away. And man is ever ungrateful.” (17:67) see ibn Kathir’s Book of Tafsir as regards to this verse about Ikramah bin Abi Jahl.

- Shirk through one's intent in his acts of worship: “Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter, to them We shall pay in full their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire and vain are their deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.” (11:15-16)

They take their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah) and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Mary, while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded (in the Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) to worship none but One (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory is to Him from having the partners they associate (with Him).” (9:31)

- Shirk through one's love: “And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others beside Allah s rivals. They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more. If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment.” ( 2:165)

- Shirk through love of this world above Allah and His messenger: "Say (to them O Muhammad): 'If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, your possessions that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear may slacken, and dwellings you love, if these are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and to struggle in His Way, then wait until Allah brings about His Command (Punishment). And Allah guides not the people who are al fasiqun (rebellious and disobedient to Allah).'" (9:24)

2) To Deny the Finality of the Prophethood

The second cause of disbelief is denial of finality of Prophethood with the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam. Whoever claims Prophethood or believes the claim of a false prophet has left the fold of Islam. For example, in our time,those who believe the claims of prophethood of Ghulam Ahmad, Elijah Poole, or Rashad Khalifa have left the fold of Islam.

3) To Deny the Binding Nature of the Sunnah

The third cause of disbelief is denial of the Sunnah. For example, those who claim that Islam is only the Qur'an have left the fold of Islam.

4) To Judge by Other than Shari'a

The fourth cause of disbelief is to judge by other than the Shari’a that Allah sent down to the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam. For example, those who believe that the systems and laws devised by men are better than the Shari'a. Likewise, believing that it is permissible to judge by other than the Shari'a even if one does not believe that judgment to be better than that of the Shari'a. Another example is that Islam should be restricted to the private relationship between an individual and His  Lord without entering into the other aspects of life.

5) To Ridicule Any Aspect of Islam The fifth cause of disbelief is to ridicule or make fun of any aspect of Islam, such as women wearing niqab or men having long beards among other things, its rewards or punishments. Allah said: "And if you (O Muhammad) question them, they (the hypocrites) will say: "We were only talking idly and jesting."

Say(to them o Muhammad), "What, then were you mocking Allah and His Signs and His Messenger. Make no excuse you have disbelieved after you have believed." (9:65-66)

Whoever ridicules a Muslim woman or man for sticking to and applying the teachings of Islam is a disbeliever. This is regardless of whether it is concerning woman's hijab or any other matter of the Shari’a. This is based on the following narration from ibn Umar: At a gathering during the Battle of Tabuk, one man said, "I have not see anyone like our Qurin speech 'anic readers who is more desirous of food, more lying and more cowardly when meeting the enemy." A man said, "You have lied and you are a liar. I shall definitely tell the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about that." That news was conveyed to the Messenger of Allah and the Qur’an was revealed. Abdullah ibn Umar added, “I saw the man holding on to the bag of the camel of the Messenger of Allah and the dust was striking him while he was saying, 'O Messenger of Allah, we were just joking and playing. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was simply saying the verse of the Qur’an], "Was it Allah, and His Signs and His Messenger you

were mocking? Make no excuse, you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others among you because they were sinners".

So ridiculing believers has been equated with ridiculing Allah, His Signs and His Messenger.

6) To Hate Any Aspect of Islam

The sixth cause of disbelief is to hate any aspect of Islam. Allah said: "That is because they have been averse to what Allah has sent down, so He has made their deeds to fail." (47:9)7

7) To Perform or to be Pleased with Sorcery

The seventh cause of disbelief is to perform sorcery or to be pleased with the performance of sorcery like bringing a man and a woman to love or hate one another.Allah said: "The devils disbelieved, they teach people sorcery.” (2:102)

8) To Believe that One May Obtain Salvation by Following Other than the Shari'a of the Prophet. The eighth cause of disbelief is to believe that one may obtain salvation by following other than the religion of Islam. Refusing to call the non-believer, like he Jews and Christians, “kafir”, or to doubt their unbelief, or to say their religion is still correct constitutes disbelief. Allah said: "The true religion with Allah is Islam." (3:19)

"Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him and in the Hereafter he shall be among the losers." (33:85)

"And they say, "Be Jews or Christians then you shall be guided." Say: "Nay, rather the religion of Abraham, a man of pure faith, and he was not of idolaters." (2:135)

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: "By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad's soul is, anyone of this community, Jew or Christian, who hears of me and then dies without believing in me, will be among the inhabitants of the Hellfire." [Muslim]

9) To Turn Away from Islam by Neither Learning no Acting Upon its Teachings

The ninth cause of disbelief is to turn away from the religion of Islam by neither learning it or acting upon it. Allah said: "And who does greater evil than he who is reminded of the signs of His Lord, then turns away from them? We shall take vengeance upon the criminals."



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