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Is there scholarly consensus on all ten things which nullify Islam that were mentioned by Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab?

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Publication : 06-01-2016

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Question

Is there scholarly consensus on all ten things which nullify Islam that were mentioned by Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab?

Praise be to Allah

The things that nullify Islam are ten; they were mentioned by Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab, and there is scholarly consensus on all of them except one, namely sihr (magic, witchcraft), which is subject to further discussion, but with regard to some forms of it, the scholars are unanimously agreed that it nullifies Islam, as we shall see below. 

We may sum up these things that nullify Islam as follows: 

1. Shirk or associating others in worship with Allah, may He be exalted

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases”

[an-Nisa’ 4:48]

“Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) there are no helpers”

[al-Maa’idah 5:72]. 

That includes: calling upon the dead, seeking their help, and making vows and offering sacrifices to them. 

The evidence for this in the Qur’an and Sunnah is more than can be listed, and the scholarly consensus on this point is well established. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The basis of shirk (ascription of partners to Allah) is when you equate Allah, may He be exalted, with His creation in terms of some of that which He alone deserves to have ascribed to Him, because no one ever equated anything to Allah in all respects. So whoever worships anything other than Him, or puts his trust in that thing is a mushrik who has associated something else with Him.

End quote from al-Istiqaamah (1/344) 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Haadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If a person comes to the bier of a dead person, calling upon him instead of Allah and seeking his help, this is shirk and is haraam according to Muslim consensus.

End quote from as-Saarim al-Munki (p. 436) 

2. Ascribing intermediaries to Allah

Whoever makes intermediaries between him and Allah, calls upon them, asks them to intercede for him and puts his trust in them, is a disbeliever according to scholarly consensus. 

The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allah.’ Say: ‘Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?’ Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!”

[Yoonus 10:18].

 Whoever does that is akin to those who worship idols. 

Hence Ibn Muflih (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Furoo‘ (3/553):

Because that is like the deeds of idol worshippers who say: We only worship them so that they may bring us closer to Allah. End quote. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Whoever makes the angels and Prophets intermediaries, calling upon them, putting his trust in them, asking them to bring benefits and ward off harm – such as asking them for forgiveness of sins, guidance, relief of distress and meeting of needs – is a disbeliever according to Muslim consensus.

End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (1/124) 

The scholars learned about this consensus from Shaykh al-Islam, and confirmed it in their books, in the chapters on the rulings on apostates, as was quoted by al-Mirdaawi in al-Insaaf (10/327), where he says:

The same ruling applies if he makes intermediaries between himself and Allah, putting his trust in them, calling upon them and asking of them. That is according to scholarly consensus. End quote. 

See: Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘ by al-Bahooti (6/168); al-Furoo‘ by Ibn Muflih (3/553) 

For more information, see the answer to question no. 153666 

3. Not regarding the mushrikeen as kuffaar (disbelievers)

Whoever does not regard the mushrikeen as kuffaar (disbelievers) and doubts whether they are disbelievers, or regards their beliefs are sound, is himself a disbeliever. 

With regard to this nullifier of Islam, there is scholarly consensus that the one who does this is a disbeliever. What is meant by the “mushrikeen” here is one who was originally a disbeliever. Connected to them are those who commit an act of apostasy on which the scholars are unanimously agreed that it is definitely apostasy, with regard to an issue that is well-known to be a fundamental part of the religion, such as one who denies the resurrection, or who rejects a verse of the Book of Allah, and other clear causes of apostasy concerning which there is no ambiguity.

Al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated that there was scholarly consensus on this matter, and he said:

There is consensus that one who does not regard any of the Jews and Christians as disbelievers, or does not regard anyone who leaves the religion of the Muslims as a disbeliever, or does not take a stand with regard to this issue, or is unsure about it, is himself a disbeliever. 

End quote from ash-Shifa’ (2/281) 

See also the answer to question no. 210595 

4. Believing that the guidance of someone other than the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is more perfect than his guidance, etc

Whoever believes that the guidance of someone other than the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is more perfect than his guidance, or that the rule of someone other than him is better than his rule, such as those who prefer the rule of man-made laws over the Prophet’s rulings, is a kaafir (disbeliever). 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

This category includes those who believe that the systems and laws invented by people are superior to the sharee‘ah of Islam, or that they are equal to it, or that it is permissible to refer to them for judgement, even if they believe that judging according to sharee‘ah is preferable; and those who believe that the Islamic system is not fit to be applied in the twentieth century, or that it was a cause of the Muslims’ decline, or that it should be limited to a person’s relationship with his Lord, and should have nothing to do with other matters of life. 

That also includes those who think that implementing the rulings of Allah with regard to cutting off the hand of the thief or stoning the previously-married adulterer is not appropriate in the present age. And it also includes everyone who believes that it is permissible to rule by something other than the laws of Allah in the case of transactions, hudood punishments, and other matters, even if they do not believe that that is preferable to the ruling of sharee‘ah, because by doing that they are regarding as permissible that which Allah has prohibited, according to scholarly consensus, and whoever regards as permissible that which Allah has prohibited, and that is one of the well-known fundamental teachings of the religion – such as zina, alcohol, riba, and ruling by something other than the laws of Allah – is a disbeliever according to Muslim consensus. 

End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa ash-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (1/132) 

In fatwa no. 111923 we stated that there is scholarly consensus regarding this nullifier of Islam. 

5. Hating something that was brought by the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)

Whoever hates something that was brought by the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), even if he complies with it, is a disbeliever, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down (this Quran and Islamic laws, etc.), so He has made their deeds fruitless”

[Muhammad 47:9]. 

There is scholarly consensus that the one who hates that which was brought by the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is a disbeliever, as was stated by al-Bahooti in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘ (6/168). 

For more information, please see fatwa no. 148099 

6. Ridiculing any aspect of the religion of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)

Whoever ridicules any part of the religion of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), or its promises of reward or warnings of punishment, is a disbeliever. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“…Say: ‘Was it at Allah and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that you were mocking?’

Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed”

[at-Tawbah 9:65-66]. 

Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan as-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The foundation of Islam is built on veneration of Allah and respect for His religion and His Messengers, and any mockery thereof is contrary to this principle and is in sharp contrast to it.

End quote from Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan (p. 342) 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

All the scholars are unanimously agreed that if the Muslim reviles or criticises the religion, or reviles or criticises the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), or ridicules him, then he is an apostate and a disbeliever, who may be executed and his wealth seized.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (1/139) 

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 163627 

7. Sihr (magic or witchcraft)

Whoever does that or approves of it is a disbeliever. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, ‘We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us)’”

[al-Baqarah 2:102]. 

With regard to this nullifier of Islam, there is no scholarly consensus on all forms of it. 

So if the practitioner of witchcraft does something that constitutes kufr (disbelief), such as disrespectfully handling a copy of the Qur’an, or prostrating to the devils, and the like, then he is a disbeliever according to scholarly consensus. 

But if he does not do any such things, then most of the scholars are of the view that he is also a disbeliever just because of his practising magic or witchcraft. This has been discussed previously in fatwa no. 69914 

We also referred to the difference of scholarly opinion concerning this matter in fatwa no. 13914 

For more information, please see fatwa no. 148099 

8. Supporting the mushrikeen and helping them against the Muslims.

The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust).”

[al-Maa’idah 5:51]. 

What is meant by that is if a Muslim helps, supports and aids the disbelievers against the Muslims, and he forms an alliance with their party, instead of the party of the believers. 

In his commentary on the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning), “Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliya (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:28], At-Tabari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Do not, O believers, take the disbelievers as a source of help and support or ally yourself with them in support of their religion, supporting them against the Muslims instead of the believers, and telling them about the Muslims’ weak points, for whoever does that “will never be helped by Allah in any way”. What is meant is that he has disavowed Allah and Allah has disavowed him because of his apostasy from His religion and his becoming a disbeliever. “except if you indeed fear a danger from them” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:28], that is, unless you are under their rule and you fear that they may kill you, so you pay lip service to giving them support, whilst concealing enmity towards them in your hearts, and you do not support them in what they are following of disbelief or help them against any Muslim in any way.

End quote from Tafseer at-Tabari (3/140) 

The scholars of Morocco issued a fatwa stating that Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah as-Sa‘di, one of the kings of Marrakesh, became a disbeliever when he sought the help of the King of Portugal against his paternal uncle. 

See: al-Istiqsaa’ li Akhbaar Duwal al-Maghrib al-Aqsa (2/70) 

In al-Qada’ min Nawaazil al-Imam al-Burzuli (may Allah have mercy on him) it says that the ruler of the Muslims, Yoosuf ibn Taashfeen al-Lamtooni (may Allah have mercy on him) asked the scholars of his time (may Allah be pleased with them) about Ibn ‘Abbaad al-Andalusi writing to the Franks (i.e., Christians) asking for help against the Muslims. Most of them (may Allah be pleased with them) replied that he was an apostate and a disbeliever.

See: al-Istiqsaa li Akhbaar Duwal al-Maghrib al-Aqsa (5/75) 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on) issued a fatwa concerning those who joined the Tatars and fought the Muslims, stating that such a person was an apostate, and he said: 

If the Sahaabah called those who withheld zakaah apostates – even though they fasted and prayed, and did not fight the main body of the Muslims – then how about those who have joined the enemies of Allah and His Messenger to fight the Muslims? 

End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam (28/530-531) 

9. Believing that it is permissible for some people to go beyond the bounds of sharee‘ah (and follow a religion other than Islam)

Whoever believes that it is permissible for some people to go beyond the bounds of the sharee‘ah of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) (and follow a religion other than Islam) is a disbeliever, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

It is well known in Islam, and all the Muslims are unanimously agreed, that whoever thinks that any religion other than Islam is valid, or that following a set of laws other than the laws of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is acceptable, is a disbeliever. This is like the disbelief of one who believes in part of the Qur’an and disbelieves in part of the Qur’an. 

End quote from al-Fataawa al-Kubra (3/543) 

10.  Turning away from the religion of Allah, and not learning it or acting in accordance with it

The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, then he turns aside therefrom? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the Mujrimoon (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.)”

[as-Sajdah 32:22].

What is meant by the “disbelief of turning away” is turning away from that which the Messenger brought, not paying any attention to it, not learning it from him, and not paying it any heed.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

With regard to the “disbelief of turning away”, it means turning away from the Messenger and ignoring him, neither believing him nor disbelieving him, neither taking him as an ally nor taking him as an enemy, and not paying any attention to what he brought at all.

End quote from Madaarij as-Saalikeen (1/347)

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Lateef ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Hasan Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allah have mercy on him) said, in a detailed response concerning that:

People’s conditions vary greatly, and they vary according to their level of faith. This applies if faith is present in the first place, but negligence has to do with things that are less important than faith, such as some deeds that are obligatory or mustahabb.

But if there is no faith at all – meaning a kind of faith by which a person is  regarded as a Muslim – and he turns away from it altogether, then this is the “disbelief of turning away”, concerning which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And surely, We have created many of the jinns and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones”

[al-A‘raaf 9:179]

“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection”

[Taa-Haa 20:124].

But you should understand that what matters is knowing the reality of faith, even if the expressions and wording vary.

End quote.

See: Nawaaqid al-Eemaan al-I‘tiqaadiyyah by Dr Muhammad ‘Abd al-Wahhaab al-Wuhaybi (128-129).

We have not come across anyone who said that there was scholarly consensus concerning this type of disbelief.

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 142392

And Allah knows best.

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