Praise be to Allaah Who has guided us and blessed us with the blessing of Islam. I started to become religiously committed a few months ago, but my father is opposing me in that. My father does not pray, because he does not acknowledge that prayer is obligatory. He even reviles some of the Sahaabah and speaks against ‘Aa’ishah, and he speaks ill of some of the righteous such as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah. He doubts any hadeeth and he favours the Shi’ah. He treats me, my mother and my siblings badly, and he even mistreats my mother and humiliates her. He does not let my younger brother go to the mosque on the grounds that he should study, and he does not let me speak to my siblings about religious matters. He does not like anyone to advise him, and he cannot bear to listen to Qur’aan or to religious programs, and he thinks they are tools of misguidance. Every time he sees me watching a religious programme, he changes the channel.
What is the Islamic ruling concerning him? How can I deal with him? Please note that I treat him kindly, praise be to Allaah, and I pray for him, but he mistreats me and humiliates me, and he tells my siblings that I am a terrorist, and he encourages them to listen to music and not to watch religious programs or listen to me.
I hope that you can answer my question. May Allaah reward you with good.
We ask Allaah to increase your reward for the hardship that you are going through, and we ask Him to guide your father before his life ends.
As for the ruling on your father, he has done and said things some of which imply that he is a kaafir who is beyond the pale of Islam, so how about if they are taken all together? That includes not praying even if that is due to laziness, and denying that prayer is obligatory. These two things constitute kufr and put one beyond the pale of Islam. With regard to the former, according to the correct scholarly view, that applies even if one does not pray because of laziness, and the latter is something on which there is scholarly consensus. There is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that the one who does not pray because he denies that it is obligatory is a kaafir who is beyond the pale of Islam.
Shaykh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The scholars are unanimously agreed that the one who does not pray and denies that it is obligatory is a kaafir, and that he should be executed as a kaafir if he does not repent.
Adwa’ al-Bayaan (4/335).
Your father is not failing to pray because he is lazy, rather he is failing to pray because he denies that it is obligatory. Even if he failed to pray due to laziness he would still be a kaafir, so how about if does not pray because he denies that it is obligatory?
As for his reviling some of the Sahaabah, it seems that he only spares some of the Sahaabah and reviles some of the others. It seems to us from your question that your father is a believer in the evil Raadifi school of thought, which accuses the Sahaabah of being apostates apart from a very few of them. This means that they are kaafirs, and those scholars who did not rule that they are kaafirs ruled that they should be imprisoned until they repent or die.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Reviling the Sahaabah falls into three categories:
1 – Reviling them by saying that most of them were kaafirs or that all of them were evildoers. This is kufr because it is a rejection of the praise of Allaah and His Messenger for them and their approval of them. The one who doubts that such a person is a kaafir is himself a kaafir, because this view implies that those who transmitted the Qur’aan and Sunnah were kaafirs or evildoers.
2 – If he reviles them by cursing them, then there are two scholarly views as to whether he is a kaafir. According to the view that he is not a kaafir, he is still to be flogged and imprisoned until he dies or recants what he said.
3 – If he reviles them in a way that does not reach the level of doubting their religious commitment, such as saying that they were cowardly or miserly. He is not a kaafir, but he should be given a disciplinary punishment (ta’zeer) to serve as a deterrent. This was stated by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah in al-Saarim al-Maslool, where he narrates on p. 573 that Ahmad said: It is not permissible for anyone to mention any of their bad qualities or to criticize any of them for a fault or shortcoming. Whoever does that should be disciplined, then if he repents all well and good, otherwise he should be flogged in prison until he dies or recants.
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (5/83, 84).
One of the implications of criticizing the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) is that one is criticizing the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and Islam, and the Lord of mankind, may He be glorified and exalted.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Reviling the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) is not only an insult against the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), rather it is an insult against the Sahaabah, against the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), against the laws of Allaah and against Allaah Himself, may He be glorified and exalted.
- As for its being an insult against the Sahaabah, that is clear.
- As for its being an insult against the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), that is by suggesting that his companions, confidants and successors as rulers of his ummah were among the worst of people.
It is also an insult against the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in another sense, which is that it is a rejection of what he said about their virtues and good qualities.
- As for it being an insult against the laws of Allaah, that is because the intermediaries in the transmission of the sharee’ah from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to us were the Sahaabah. If they were not of good character, then the sharee’ah that they transmitted cannot be trusted either.
- As for it being an insult against Allaah, may He be glorified, that is by suggesting that He sent His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to the worst of mankind and chose them to be his companions and to convey his sharee’ah to the ummah.
Look at the serious issues that are implied by reviling the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them).
We disavow the way of these Raafidis who revile and hate the Sahaabah. We believe that loving the Sahaabah is obligatory and that refraining from speaking ill of them is obligatory. Our hearts – praise be to Allaah – are filled with love for them, because of the faith and piety that they had, and because they spread knowledge and supported the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
And we disavow the ways of the Naasibis (such as the Khawaarij) who revile the Ahl al-Bayt in word or deed.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (8/616).
So it comes as no surprise that the scholars of Islam described as a heretic everyone who criticized the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The imam of his age, Abu Zar’ah al-Raazi – one of the greatest of Muslim shaykhs – said: If you see a man criticizing any of the companions of the Messenger of Allaah, then you should know that he is a heretic, because the Messenger is true, the Qur'aan is true, and what he brought is true. All of that was transmitted to us by the Sahaabah, so whoever criticizes them is intending to prove that the Qur’aan and Sunnah are false. So he is the one who most deserves to be criticized and the ruling that he is a heretic who has gone astray and is a liar and evildoer is more apt.
Al-Sawaa’iq al-Muhriqah (2/608).
The same may be said about slandering the Mother of the Believers ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) – the one who does that is a kaafir and apostate.
For more details please see the answer to question no. 954.
If the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) are not safe from a person, then the imams of guidance who came after them will not be safe from him either, such as the Taabi’een and those who followed them, such as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah. By reviling the Sahaabah and criticizing their religious commitment, he has proven that he follows a religion other than ours.
As for how to deal with your father:
You have to use different ways of explaining the truth to him and strive to guide him. Do not despair or give up. By his beliefs, words and actions he has gone out of Islam altogether, but you have to do what you think is best for him. We advise you to do several things such as the following:
1- You have to disavow his beliefs, words and deeds.
2- Be gentle in conveying the truth to him.
3- Use various means of calling him and explaining the truth to him. There are debates that have taken place between Ahl al-Sunnah and the Raafidis, in which they were roundly defeated. So you can make use of them to convince him to watch and listen to them. There are also audio tapes and books that may suffice to call those who criticize the Sahaabah and refute their specious arguments.
4- Strive not to let your father influence your mother and siblings, so that the influence of kufr and apostasy will not spread any further.
5- Defend yourself by means of your good attitude and good manners with him and your family.
6- Do not despair about him being guided, and continue to call him, either directly or through others of Ahl al-Sunnah whom you know and trust.
7- Always pray for him and choose good times such as the last third of the night, and good situations, such as when prostrating in prayer.
The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked:
How should we deal with a man who reviles the three companions?
The companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) are the best of this ummah, whom Allaah praised in His Book. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the foremost to embrace Islam of the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allaah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success”
“Indeed, Allaah was pleased with the believers when they gave the Bay‘ah (pledge) to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As‑Sakeenah (calmness and tranquillity) upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory”
And there are other verses in which Allaah praises the Sahaabah and promises them admittance to Paradise. Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Ali are among the foremost to embrace Islam and those who swore allegiance (bay’ah) to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) under the tree. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) himself swore allegiance on behalf of ‘Uthmaan [who had been sent as a envoy to negotiate with Quraysh in Makkah] which was testimony in his favour and a sign of his trust in him, and this oath of allegiance was stronger than the oath of others to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), according to many ahaadeeth, especially the oath of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Ali. They were given the glad tidings of Paradise along with a number of other Sahaabah, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against reviling them, as he said: “Do not revile my companions, for if one of you were to spend the equivalent of (Mount) Uhud in gold, that would not equal the mudd of one of them, or even half of it.” Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh via Abu Hurayrah and Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri. Al-Bukhaari also narrated it from Abu Hurayrah.
The one who reviles or insults the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), especially the three: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan, who are asked about here, has gone against the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and has contradicted them by reviling them. He will be deprived of the forgiveness which Allaah has promised to those who follow them and pray for forgiveness for them and pray to Allaah not to allow hatred in their hearts towards the believers.
Because of his criticism of these three and their like, he must be advised and told of their virtue and status, and their seniority in Islam. If he repents, then he is one of our brothers in faith, but if he persists in reviling them, then he must be disciplined, whilst paying attention to the shar’i policy of denouncing according to what one is able to do; the one who is unable to denounce with his tongue or hand (i.e., by speaking out or taking action) must do so with his heart, but this is the weakest of faith, as is proven in the saheeh hadeeth.
Fataawa Islamiyyah (1/12).
We ask Allaah to help you in your efforts and to make you steadfast in adhering to the truth, and to guide your father.
And Allaah knows best.