An ignorant or mistaken Muslim committing an act of disbelief
Fatwa No: 317023

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2016 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 23, 1437
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Question

Shaykh, is the following saying of Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn Al-Arabi, may Allaah be pleased with him, true? ''The ignorant and erring person from this ummah, even if that person commits acts of kufr (disbelief) and shirk (polytheism), does not become a mushrik (polytheist) and infidel since lack of knowledge and mistake are the justification for it!'' (''Tafsir Al-Qasimi'' 5 / 1307).

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 statement cited by Al-Qaasimi on the authority of Ibn Al-ʻArabi is correct and this view has been established by many scholars. When a Muslim commits an act of disbelief entailing taking the doer out of the fold of Islam, be it a statement or act, he is not declared a disbeliever unless the due conditions of takfeer (declaring a Muslim individual or group non-Muslim) are met and the impediments to it have been eliminated.

Some scholars made an exception with regards to the Muslim who openly rejects apparent and established prohibitions while living among the Muslims. In this case, he is not excused because of ignorance. The same applies to the person who commits blasphemy against Allaah, The Exalted, or the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) for instance.

We have previously detailed this topic in fataawa 39870, 91372, 23340 and 17875.

Allaah knows best.

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