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Ruling By Other Than What Allaah Has Revealed
  Ibn al-Qayyim on the Types of Kufr and Ruling by Other than What Allaah has Revealed
Author: Ibn al-Qayyim
Source: Madarij us-Salikin (Vol 1 pp.335-338) (trans. Abu Iyaad)`
Article ID : MNJ050006  [24973]  
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Chapter: About the Impurities that need to be Repented from:


And as for kufr it is of two types:

Kufr akbar (major kufr) and kufr asghar (minor kufr).

So kufr akbar - this necessitates eternity in the Hellfire.

And the (kufr) asghar: Necessitates the fulfilment of the threat (of Hellfire) without eternally abiding in it. As occurs in the saying of the Exalted - and it used to be from what was recited and then it was abrogated :

"And do not detest/hate your fathers, for that is disbelief from you"

and his (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) saying in the hadeeth:

"There are two matters in my ummah, by which (my) Ummah falls into kufr: Reviling the genealogy and wailing/lamenting (over the dead)"

And his saying in the Sunan:

"Whoever comes to a women from her anus has disbelieved in what was revealed upon Muhammad" and in another hadeeth: "Whoever comes to a sorcerer or a diviner and believes in what he says has disbelieved in what Allaah revealed upon Muhammad"

and his saying

"Do not become disbelievers after me, striking the necks of one another".

And this is the explanation of Ibn ‘Abbaas and the generality of the Companions regarding the speech of Allaah:

And whoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, then they are the disbelievers (5:44)

Ibn Abbaas said: "It is not the kufr that takes one out of the religion. Rather when he does it then it is [an act of] disbelief, and he is not like the one who disbelieves in Allaah and the Last Day" and Taawoos said the same and Ataa said: "It is disbelief less than disbelief, oppression less than oppression and rebellion less than rebellion"

And amongst them are those who interpreted the verse to mean the one who abandons the rule of Allaah while opposing and rejecting it (jahidan lahu) and this is the saying of Ikrimah! And this is a defective saying, since just the mere denial (juhud) of it is disbelief, regardless of whether he ruled by it or not.

And amongst them are those who explained it to mean abandoning ruling by all of what Allaah revealed, he said, and who enters into this the judgement of Tawhid and Islam! This is the interpretation of Abdul-Aziz al-Kinani, and this too is far from what is correct!! Since the threat (contained in the verse) is for the negation of ruling by the revealed legislation, and this can apply to abandoning all of the legislation of just some of it.

And amongst them are those who explained it to mean to rule in opposition to the text, deliberately, without being ignorant of it and nor due to error in understanding or interpreting it. Al-Baghawee quoted this from the scholars generally.

And amongst them are those explained to refer to the Ahl ul-Kitaab. And this is the saying of Qataadah, Dahhaak and others. And this is far (from what is correct) - and it is in opposition to the apparent wording - so it is not to be inclined towards.

And amongst them are those who explained it to mean the kufr that takes one out of the religion!

And what is correct is that judging by other than what Allaah has revealed is both types of kufr (disbelief) - kufr asghar (the minor disbelief) and kufr akbar (the major disbelief) - and [which of the two it is] depends on the condition of the ruler. If he believes in the obligation of judging by what Allaah has revealed n this situation but turned away from it - out of disobedience - and while acknowledging that he is deserving of punishment then this is kufr asghar. And if he (i’taqada) believes that it is not obligatory and that he has a choice in the matter - along with his firm belief that it is the judgement of Allaah - then this is kufr akbar - and if he was ignorant in the matter or made an error then he is one who errs (mukhtee’) and his ruling is as the same for those who err (i.e. one reward).

And the intent here is: That sins, all of them are of the minor form of kufr (kufr asghar). For they are the opposite of gratefulness - which is to act in obedience to Allaah. And the striving (of a person), either it constitutes gratefulness (shukr) or disbelief (kufr), or a third matter which is neither this or that (i.e gratefulness or disbelief), and Allaah knows best.


And as for the Major Kufr (kufr akbar) - then it is of five types :Kufr of takdheeb (rejection), kufr due to arrogance and pride whilst one acknowledges the truth (tasdeeq), kufr of I’raad (turning away), kufr of shakk (doubts) and kufr of nifaaq (hypocrisy).

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