Please clarify the difference between Non-Muslims & Kafirs. Which peoples are Non Muslims & Kafirs. Please tell me in detail in the light of Quran & Sunnah.
Thank you very much
From the perspective of the life of this world ‘non-Muslim’ is primarily a legal term implying a person, who does not ascribe to the Islamic faith. In contrast, the word ‘Kaafir’ – literally: rejecter – is used by the Qur’an for people, who are guilty of rejection or non-acceptance of the truth, even after it has become fully apparent to them.
Keeping the foregoing clarification in mind, it should be clear that calling someone a ‘non-Muslim’ can, in some cases, be a simple legal and generally acknowledged fact – as, for instance, where a Christian or a Jew or a Hindu is called a non-Muslim. In other words, calling someone a ‘non-Muslim’, in some cases, does not involve any degree of value judgment about an individual or a group. Just as calling a Muslim a ‘non-Jew’ or a ‘non-Christian’ etc. does not involve any degree of value judgment. On the contrary, calling someone a ‘Kaafir’ does involve a degree of value judgment about that individual or group. When we call someone a ‘Kaafir’, it means that we are passing a judgment about that person’s acceptance or rejection of the Truth as he has perceived and understood it. Obviously, no human being is qualified to pass this judgment. Only God, with His absolute knowledge about each and every individual, can pass the judgment as to whether or not that individual has lived his life according to the Truth, which that individual has understood.
I hope this helps.
June 22, 2002