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The Principles of Takfir
  Shaykh Salih al-Fawzaan On Those Who Ought To Pronounce Takfir and Establish the Hadd Punishment
Author: Shaykh Salih al-Fawzaan
Source: Maraaji'aat fee Fiqh il-Waaqi... (comp. by Abdullaah bin Muhammad ar-Rifaa'ee, trans. Spubs.Com)
Article ID : MNJ090004  [21405]  


Question: O Respected Shaykh, who is the murtadd (apostate)? We hope for you to define it in a clear manner, for sometimes the judgement of apostasy can be made upon a person while there is some doubt that he had.

Shaykh Salih al-Fawzaan: “The judgement of apostasy and expelling someone from the religion is only appropriate for the people of knowledge who are firmly grounded in knowledge, and they are the judges in the various Sharee’ah law courts, and those who are able of giving legal verdicts. And this is just like the other matters, and it is not the right of every person, or from the right of those who are learning, or those who ascribe themselves to knowledge, but who have deficiency in understanding. It is not appropriate for them to make judgements of apostasy (upon others). Since, mischief will arise from this, and sometimes a Muslim might be judged as an apostate but he is not actually so. And the takfir of a Muslim who has not committed one of the nullifications of Islaam contains great danger. Whoever says to his brother “O Kaafir” or “O Faasiq”, and he is not like that, then the words will fall back upon the one who said them. Hence, the ones who actually judge with apostasy are the legislative judges and those who are able and fit for giving legal verdicts. And as for those who enforce the judgements they are the leaders of the Muslims (wullaat al-amr). As for whatever is other than this, then it is mere confusion.”

Question: Some of the students of knowledge are a bit lax towards applying the word of apostasy (riddah) to a Muslim, and this person might sometimes be asked by the Muslims to carry out the hadd punishment for apostasy – when the Sultaan does not carry it out – upon the one they consider deserves it, the one who has been judged with apostasy.

Shaykh Salih al-Fawzaan: “Meting out the punishments is only appropriate for the leader of the Muslims and it is not for every person to establish the punishment, since confusion, and corruption necessarily follows from this, and also the cutting off of the society, tribulations and provocations occur. Establishing the punishments is appropriate (i.e. befits only) to the Muslim leader. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Pardon each other for the punishments that are between you, but when the execution of the punishment reaches the [authority of the] Sultaan, then Allaah curses both the one who seeks intercession and the one who grants the intercession [i.e. to revoke the punishment]”. And from the responsibilities of the Sultaan in Islaam, and from those matters that befit him is the establishment of the punishments after they have been established legislatively, via the Sharee’ah law courts, upon the one who fell into the crime for which the legislator has designated a specific punishment, such as for stealing. So what has been said is that establishing the punishments (i.e. meting them out) is from the rights of the Sultaan, and when the Muslims do not have a Sultaan amongst them, then they should just suffice with commanding the good and forbidding the evil, and calling to Allaah, the Might and Majestic, with wisdom, good admonition and arguing with that which is best. And it is not permissible for individuals (in the society) to establish the hudood, since that, as we have mentioned, will bring about chaos, and also provocations, and tribulations will arise, and this contains greater corruption than it contains rectification. And from amongst the Sharee’ah principles that are submitted to is, “Repelling the harmful things takes precedence over bringing about the beneficial things”.


 


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