Mocking the rituals of Islam is Kufr
Fatwa No: 246388

  • Fatwa Date:31-3-2014 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 30, 1435
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Question

As-salaamu 3laikum, I know that mocking or making fun of any aspect of Islam is kufr. I need a detailed explanation of how to know the difference between a joke which is considered mocking and making fun, and a joke which involves some aspects of Islam but is not mocking or making fun. This issue has been bothering me for a long time and I have not been able to find an explanation which goes into details on this. I often hear Muslims making jokes or lighthearted statements and even Islamic scholars or speakers make jokes sometimes during their lectures on Islam. Personally to be on the safe side I try to stay away from that totally but I want to know how to understand the ruling on what other people are saying. I don’t know why this issue is not clear to me. I have seen fatawa on this site and others where people are asking about jokes they have made involving aspects of Islam and it has not been ruled as kufr. The fact that I have doubts about statements and jokes made by almost every Muslim I know makes me wonder if I am getting waswaas about this, but at the same time I fear that this is something that may have become widespread among some Muslim communities and because people are unsure they do nothing to stop it. I feel that I need a detailed explanation and I am really worried about this issue. Jazaakumu Allahu khair.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The scholars stated that mocking one of the rituals of Islam is Kufr (disbelief) even if the person who does so is joking. Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Mughni: “If a person insults Allaah Almighty, then he has committed Kufr, whether he does so seriously or jokingly. The same applies to the person who mocks Allaah, the Exalted, His verses, His Books or His Messengers. Allaah Almighty says (what means): {And if you ask them, they will surely say, "We were only conversing and playing." Say, "Is it Allaah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?" Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief.}[Quran 9:65-66]

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 23340.

Ibn Al-‘Arabi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his interpretation of the above verse: “Such things are said either seriously or jokingly, but in both cases it is Kufr. Joking with words of Kufr is Kufr and there is no difference of opinion among the scholars about it. Saying something seriously is akin to knowledge and truth, and saying something jokingly is akin to falsehood and ignorance. So if a person mocks Allaah, or mocks the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) or mocks the religion, while he is in a sound mind and is not forced to do so, then he becomes a disbeliever, and this is considered apostasy...

Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Allaah informed them that they disbelieved after they had believed even though they said that they uttered words of Kufr without believing in them; rather they said we were just joking and playing, and Allaah clarified that mocking the signs of Allaah is Kufr, and that this cannot be said except by a person who finds these words acceptable. If he had belief in his heart, this would have prevented him from speaking such words.

Therefore, if joking includes mocking a religious rite, then it is Kufr regardless of the intention of the sayer. However, if he did not intend to mock the Sharee’ah but rather to mock the person who represents it for another consideration, then he is not accused of Kufr. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in answer to a question about the ruling on someone who mocks the people who abide by the religion of Allaah: “Mocking the Sharee’ah is Kufr, but if they mock them (some Muslims) because of their personality or their dress regardless of their following the Sunnah, then they do not become disbelievers by this because a person may mock another person regardless of his deeds and actions, but they are still in great danger; rather, it is an obligation to encourage and help those who abide by the Sharee’ah of Allaah, and guide them if they commit a mistake so that they would correct their mistake.”

Anyway, a Muslim should avoid errors of the tongue in any case, because giving free rein to the tongue may lead to destruction. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that he heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saying: “A person may utter a word thoughtlessly and, as a result, he will plummet into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.”” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Finally, what you feel is not necessarily a kind of Waswaas (obsessive whispering), but be careful that thinking about this matter too much does not lead to you having Waswaas or doubts based on minor reasons or any notion that comes to mind.

Allaah Knows best.

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