The evidence of this generality is taken from the verse itself and also from
the narrations that have been reported from the Salaf may Allah be pleased with
them all in explanation of this verse. For the statement of the saying of Allah,
the Sublime and the Most High:
gives evidence to the generality (i.e. includes everybody). And this particle
"man" is one of the words which indicates generality in the
view of the People of Knowledge, since it is one of the nouns of condition
(ism ush-shart) and so therefore it refers to all of those being
And whoever restricts it to the ruler only then he has fallen into a very big
As for the generality of its application to the second entity, then that
is its application to all of the rules and laws of Allah, the Most High and
Sublime. Therefore, every ruling, whether it is small or large, is for Allah and
is included in this verse, due to its generality.
Taking interest for example, or drinking alcohol, or eating with the left
hand, and letting the lower garment hang below the ankles, or having intercourse
with ones wife during her menses, the laws of Allah have come for all of these
matters and all of the laws of Allah regardless of whatever they may be, whether
those that we have just mentioned as examples or those that have not been
mentioned, come under this verse.
And the evidence for the generality here is the saying of Allah:
And whoever does not judge by WHATEVER Allah has revealed
The word ma again has the meaning of generality in view
of the People of Knowledge. Therefore the statement of Allah, "
whatever Allah has revealed
" includes all of the laws and rules of
Allah, the Sublime and Almighty, regardless of whether it is his ruling
concerning adultery, or for the one who drinks with his left hand.
And the Salaf, when they understood the meaning of this verse, in the manner
described above, since it is from the language of Arabs with which they actually
spoke and in which the Book of Allah was revealed, when they understood this
from the verse, they said concerning the statement of Allah in the verse,
then they are the disbelievers":
"Kufr less than kufr, that which does not eject a person from the
This then is the asl (foundational pillar) concerning ruling by other than
what Allah has revealed. And it is reported with an authentic chain of narration
which has no defect in the view of the People of Knowledge, from Ibn
Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said,
"It is kufr in the [particular] rule itself and is not kufr in Allah,
His Angels, Books or Messengers."
This narration has been reported by at-Tabari from Ibn Sari who said,
"Waki ibn al-Jarrah" narrated to us, "my father narrated
to me from Sufyan from Amr bin Rashid from Ibn Tawus from his father from Ibn
Abbas.." and this isnad reaches perfect authenticity.
And at-Tabari also reported that a man said concerning this verse, "So
whoever does that has he disbelieved?" so Ibn Abbaas replied to him,
"When he does that it is kufr only in that action of his, and he is not
like the one who disbelieves in Allah and the Last Day."
And in the Mustadrak of al-Hakim from Ibn Abbas also that he said,
"Verily it is not the kufr which you tend to, it is not the kufr which
ejects a person from the religion, "and whoever does not rule by
whatever Allah has revealed" then this is kufr less than
So these are authentic and very explicit narrations from the explainer of the
Quran and the erudite scholar of the ummah, Ibn Abbas, may Allah
be pleased with him.
And what has come from Ibn Abbaas has also come from others besides
him, from the Salaf of this Ummah and from its scholars. To give examples, what
has been reported by at-Tabari in his tafsir, that a group of the Ibadiah
sat with Abu Mijliz and they said to him, Allah says, "whoever does not
judge by what Allah has revealed, they are the disbelievers, they are the
oppressors, they are the rebellious" Abu Mijliz replied, "Certainly
they do what they do and they know that it is a sin. And this verse was revealed
concerning the Jews and the Christians." They replied, By Allah you do not
know what we know but you only fear them." He replied, You have more reason
to do that than we do, as for us we do not know what you know but you know