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Accusing Someone of Infidelity and Rejection


روي ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: إذا قال الرجل لصاحبه "يا كافر" فإنها تجب على أحدهما. فإن كان الذي قيل له كافر فهو كافر. وإلا رجع إليه ما قال.

It is narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, "When a man says to his companion 'O you Kaafir,'1 then this would be necessarily binding upon one of the two. If the man who was called a kaafir is actually one,2 then he would be a kaafir; otherwise3 whatever the caller said would return upon him."4

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General Notes

  1. That is, infidel or rejecter.

  2. That is, he is actually a rejecter or an infidel in the sight of God and is not a believer.

  3. That is, if the person has been falsely accused of rejection and infidelity.

  4. If a person falsely accuses or declares another person to be an infidel or a rejecter, then the accuser shall face the consequences of his false accusation. The consequence of such an accusation implied in the narrative is that the accuser would himself be deemed a rejecter or an infidel and would be treated as such. History bears witness that carelessly declaring others - persons and groups - to be kaafirs has sown the seed of discord, disharmony and hatred among the various Muslim groups. Every group considers itself to be the standard of righteousness and considers even the slightest differences - even in matters of interpretation and juristic Ijtihad - to be adequate grounds to charge another group with infidelity and rejection.

In the referred narrative, the Prophet (pbuh) has warned the Muslims to refrain from such grave accusations against their brethren, as carelessness in this regard can easily render themselves infidels and rejecters in the sight of God.

Notes on the Text of the Narrative:

This narrative has been reported in Ahmad ibn Hanbal, narrative no. 5824. It has also been reported, with some variations,in Bukhariy (narrative no. 5752,5753), Muslim (narrative no. 60,) Mu'atta (narrative no. 1777), Tirmidhi (narrative no. 2637), Ahmad ibn Hanbal (narrative no. 4687, 4745, 5035,5077,5259,5260,5914,5933,6280), Ibn Hibban (narrative no. 248, 249,250), Bayhaqiy (narrative no. 20691), Abu Dawood (narrative no. 4687), Humaidiy (narrative no. 698)

The referred text has been reported differently in various narratives. In some narratives, as in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no.5035 the word "لصاحبه" (i.e., 'to his companion') has been replaced with the word "للرجل" (i.e., 'to another person').

In some narratives, as in Abu Dawood's narrative no. 4687, the narrative has been reported as "أيما رجل مسلم أكفر رجلا مسلما فإن كان كافرا وإلا كان هو الكافر" (i.e., 'when a Muslim man declares another Muslim man to be a kaafir, then if the person so declared is actually a kaafir [then it is alright], otherwise the person who makes such a declaration would be a kaafir.)  

In some narratives, as in Muslim 's narrative no. 60 , it has been reported  as "إذا كفر الرجل أخاه فقد باء بها أحدهما"  (i.e., 'when a man declares his brother to be a kaafir, then one of them definitely returns as a kaafir'); in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 6280, it has been reported as "من كفر أخاه فقد باء بها أحدهما" (i.e., 'whoever declares his brother to be a kaafir, then one of them is surely going to return as a kaafir'); in Bukhariy's narrative no. 5753, it has been reported as "أيما رجل قال لأخيه يا كافر فقد باء بها أحدهما" (i.e., 'when a man calls his brother 'o you kaafir', then one of them is bound to return as a kaafir'); in some narratives, as in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 4687 it has been reported as "إذا أحدكم قال لأخيه يا كافر فقد باء بها أحدهما" (i.e., 'when one of you calls his brother 'O you kaafir', then one of them surely returns as a kaafir'); while in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 5260, it has been reported as "أيما رجل كفر رجلا فأحدهما كافر" (i.e., 'When a man declares another to be a kaafir, then one of them is indeed a kaafir').

In some narratives, as in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no.5259 the word "رجل" (i.e., 'a man') has been replaced by its synonym "امرئ".

In some narratives, as in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 5035, the last part of the narrative has alternatively been reported as "إن كان كما قال وإلا رجعت على الآخر" (i.e., 'If he [i.e., the person who has been called a kaafir] is actually as he has been called - i.e., a kaafir - then it is alright, otherwise the accusation would return on the other person').

In Ibn Hibban's narrative no. 248, the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said:

 

ما أكفر رجل رجلا قط إلا باء أحدهما بها إن كان كافرا وإلا كفر بتكفيره.

Never does a man declare another to be a kaafir but one of the two would surely return as a kaafir. If the person so declared is actually a kaafir [then it is alright], otherwise the person making such a declaration shall be considered a kaafir, because of his declaration.

(This write-up is prepared by the Hadith Cell of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi)

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 December 2010 16:56