Statement of Ibn Hazm about ruling on one who mocks Allaah
Fatwa No: 335101

  • Fatwa Date:21-9-2016 - Thul-Hijjah 19, 1437
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Assalaamu alaykum. I have read a statement of Ibn Hazm in which he says that anyone who mocks Allaah is regarded a disbeliever after showing him the evidence. The source is: Al-fasi fi aAl-Malal wal Ahwa wal Nihal 3/299. However, I have often read that there is no excuse of ignorance regarding the disbelief of insulting Allaah or the religion. You said the same in fatwa no. 23340. Therefore, I want to know why Ibn Hazm said that someone might be excused if he insults Allaah or the religion? Is this a valid opinion? Who else said that you can be excused if you mock Allaah or the religion? May Allaah reward you.


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, is His slave and Messenger. 

Ibn Hazm  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him did not say that whoever mocks Allaah is regarded a disbeliever after showing him the evidence. Rather, he said, “It is established by texts that whoever mocks Allaah, The Almighty; one of the angels; one of the Prophets; a verse of the Quran; or one of the obligations of religion - as they are all the signs of Allaah after being shown evidence - is regarded a disbeliever.

What he meant is after the person is shown evidence that what he is mocking is one of the signs of Allaah, and not after he is shown that mocking the signs of Allaah is disbelief, or after educating the mocker himself about Islam. This is because a person may not know that a certain matter is a religious obligation or a ritual of Islam or one of its rulings, so he mocks it while being unaware that it is part of the religion. Such a person is not regarded a disbeliever for mocking the religion. If he is shown evidence that what he mocks is part of the religion and he still mocks it, then this is disbelief - may Allaah safeguard us from it. This is quite different from insulting Allaah, The Exalted, or the religion attributed to Him. It is inconceivable that someone would be unaware of this and thus be excused because of ignorance. Rather, it is ignorance of Allaah that makes a person be regarded a disbeliever even if he claims to be a Muslim. In fact, the disbelief of such a person is worse than that of the original disbeliever. Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Chapter on insulting Allaah, The Almighty: according to the consensus of the scholars, if a Muslim insults Allaah, he must be killed, because he is regarded a disbeliever and apostate, and he is even worse than the original disbeliever, since the latter glorifies the Lord and believes that his false religion is not a mockery of Allaah or an insult to Him.” [As-Saarim Al-Maslool]

Ibn Hazm detailed this issue and refuted the misconceptions raised by the Murji'ah among the Jahmiyyah and those who concurred with them, who said that Eeman (faith) is belief in the heart only, and accordingly they built the view that whoever proclaims explicit disbelief deliberately and willingly may still be a believer on this defective principle. You can refer to his entire statement in Al-Muhalla bil Aathaar, 12/431-440. He said, “Issue: Would the Muslim who insults the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; Allaah, The Exalted; one of the Prophets; one of the Angels; or a pious person be regarded an apostate?” He then detailed the difference of opinion among scholars regarding the one who insults one of the Prophets, and he held that the leading Imaams stated that such a person is a disbeliever. He said in Al-Muhalla (12/434), “Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Ash-Shaafi‘i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Is-haaq ibn Raahawayh, and all Hadeeth scholars and their followers held that such a person is regarded a disbeliever and apostate.

He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him then added:

As for insulting Allaah, The Exalted, no Muslim on the face of the earth would disagree that such an act is plain disbelief, except for the Jahmiyyah and Ashaa‘irah - two sects whose views carry no authoritative weight - who explicitly state that insulting Allaah and proclaiming disbelief is not disbelief. Some of them said, 'But it is proof that he harbors disbelief, not that he decisively is a disbeliever because of insulting Allaah.' Their primary evidence in this regard is wrong and unapproved by the scholarly consensus of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa‘ah, as they (these sects) claim that faith is the acknowledgment by the heart only (excluding the actions from the definition of faith). They maintained that a person is not declared a disbeliever, even if he proclaims disbelief and worships idols in the absence of Taqiyyah (committing blasphemous acts when in fear or at risk of significant persecution or harm) or relating a story about someone else, but he willingly choose the religion of Islam. This is plain disbelief because it is contrary to the consensus of the Muslim nation and the ruling of Allaah and His Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the judgment of all the Companions and those who followed them.

He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him then cited some verses to prove that whoever insults the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or any Prophet of Allaah or an angel, may Allaah exalt their mention, is declared a disbeliever regardless of whether he believes it in his heart or not. For example, Allaah, The Exalted, 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]

- {O you who have believed, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet or be loud to him in speech like the loudness of some of you to others, lest your deeds become worthless while you perceive not.} [Quran 49:2]

- {But no, by your Lord, they will not (truly) believe until they make you (O Muhammad) judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in (full, willing) submission.} [Quran 4:65]

Ibn Hazm then added, “Therefore, based on what we mentioned, anyone who insults Allaah, The Exalted, or mocks Him, or insults an angel or mocks him, or insults a Prophet or mocks him, or insults a verse or sign of Allaah or mocks it - indeed, all the divine laws and the Quran are signs of Allaah - he is declared a disbeliever and apostate, and the rulings pertaining to the apostate apply to him. This is the view that we adopt, and success is only from Allaah” [Al-Muhalla, 12:438]

Allaah knows best.

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