Tuesday, January 5, 2016



The Quran and Sunnah clearly highlight the status of the mother in Islam. It is very important for a Muslim to contemplate about why the Deen has given her such a high status. The following narration can give us a hint to this:

Sa'id ibn Abi Burda said, "I heard my father say that Ibn 'Umar saw a Yamani man going around the House while carrying his mother on his back, saying, 'I am your humble camel. If her mount is frightened, I am not frightened.' Then he asked, 'Ibn 'Umar? Do you think that I have repaid her?' He replied, 'No, not even for a single groan she made in pain."

The status of the mother is very high in Islaam for it is her who endures so much pain just to bring a new life into this world (by the permission of Allah alone of course). It is the mother who carries the responsibility of taking care of this new soul and nurturing it with love and care.  It is the mother who is to be the main teacher and guide for this soul and if she is corrupt then most likely her child will also grow up corrupt and if she is righteous and strong her child will grow up righteous. Why? Because the mother as the poet said, is a madrasa (school) and if you prepare her very well then you prepare a nation with good foundations.

Just look throughout history. All of the greatest men were raised mainly by women or households run mainly by a mother figure. Musa (as) grew up in the house of Firawn but it was none other than Aasiyyah who raised him to be the great man he was. Eesa (as) was raised by Maryam (as), the greatest woman to walk this earth. Muhammad (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) was raised by Umm Ayman (Baraka Al Habashiyyah)  for a good number of years after his mother's death. And he (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) did also live under the care of the bedouin woman Haleema as - Sa'diyyah who nursed him and took care of him the first 6 years of life. The great taabi'ee Rabia ar-Ra'y, who was the teacher and shaykh of Imam Malik ibn Anas and who taught in the masjid of the prophet, was raised by his mother for nearly 30 years after her husband went off for jihad in the sake of Allah.  Imam al Shafi'ee was raised by his mother after his father's death and it was she who sent him to learn under the ulema from a very young age.  And there are countless other examples. 

Therefore, the status of the mother should never be undermined by anyone. The mother is truly the backbone of the household while the father is its main head and Ameer. Their example is like that if the captain of a ship and his crew. The husband is the captain while the mother is the example of the crew. The captain cannot drive the ship without his crew, he cannot make the journey alone. A father cannot raise children alone but he needs a  mother for these children to grow righteous and strong. It is interesting to note that a man cannot really raise a child alone while a mother on the other hand can. This is because the child is with the mother from the very first second of his life. The child relies on the mother for survival. She breastfeeds the child and her milk is not just sustenance for him but immunity from diseases and other sicknesses as well. The mother stays up many nights with her child, feeding and taking care of him. Yes you may have dark circles under your eyes from lack of sleep.  Yes you may complain of constant back pain from your birth labor and from cleaning a lot. Yes you may be puked on and may constantly have to change your clothes. Yes you may have to wake up in the middle of the night and in the early mornings to change stinky diapers but who cares.  All of that is for the one you love and this new experience of motherhood should only increase you in shukr to Allah for having blessed you with this beautiful blessing in your arms. 

Motherhood comes with great rewards if the mother has ikhlaas (sincerity) in her actions and if she is patient and strong.  The scrumptious bundle of joy you have in your hands brightens your day as soon as you see his beautiful smile and dimples on his cheeks. The beautiful shiny eyes and chubby cheeks  seem to cast a spell on you as it makes you forget the lack of sleep or backache or house chores you were complaining about a few seconds earlier. So I ask Allah to reward all of our mothers for what they went through to bring us to this world and what they endured in raising us to the best of their abilities and may Allah make us righteous mothers who will raise the next generation of ulema and warriors. May Allah use us for His Deen and protect us and our families from all fitan (trials and tribulations). Aameen yaa Rabb al aalameen! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Muslim in This World

The Muslim in this world is free and was born free. The Muslim should live free and die free. The Muslim in this world should never accept humiliation, oppression, and defeat. The Muslim never bows down to the Taaghut and oppressor even in the worst situation. How can oppression, humiliation, and such lowly states be connected to the Muslim when Allah swt created him free and honored him/her with the greatest of blessings, Islam?! How can the Muslim walk with his head lowered knowing his tawheed is the only thing lighting up this world? How can the Muslimah with her hijaab of honor and dignity walk with her head lowered in embarrassment knowing she is the daughter and descendant of the likes of Maryam Bint Imraan, Aasiyah the wife of firawn, the Mothers of the believers, and such great women who all practiced this hijaab? The women who are truly dishonored and humiliated are the disbelieving women who have no dot of Emaan in Allah in their hearts. What will their ending be? 

The word "humiliation" and "oppression" should not be tied to the Muslim when he is the best of people in this Dunya,having been honored with this mighty religion.  O Muslim, whether you are pious or corrupt remember you have a greater status in the eyes of Allah  than the greatest disbeliever! Why? Because of "la ilaha illa Allah!" Yes, because of your Tawheed. If you are pious and more God fearing than you are also more beloved to Allah than your fellow Muslim who is not practicing the Deen as he/she should be. This is what our prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said; 

The strong beliver is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, and there is good in both." [Sahih al Bukhari and Muslim]

The Muslim is honored by being a follower of the best of creation to walk this Earth, Muhammad ibn Abdillaah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam). He is the  best of prophets and seal of prophethood, the most beloved of Allah and the leader of mankind on the Day of Judgment. The Muslim should be honored to be a part of the best of nations brought forth for mankind, the ummah of our Rasul (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam)  like the Most High said;

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient. [Surah Aal Imraan ayah 110]

We are the last ummah but the first on the Day of Resurrection as our Prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) has informed us, "We are the last (but) we would be the first on the Day of Resurrection, and we would be the first to enter Paradise…" [Sahih Muslim from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayra]

O Muslim, are you not proud to be a descendant of the best of people after the prophets? The sahabah and their followers? What is it then that makes you walk with your head lowered in humiliation? Is it because you have realized that we have failed to follow in their path and are living in the worst of humiliation now? Yes you are right. This is the greatest shame for us. 

How is that a few centuries ago this ummah was leading the world and filled the Earth with guidance and light and now it is being attacked from every corner and has become the lowest of nations? Whose fault is it? How did we fill this world with justice and guidance and now it is rampant with falsehood and the darkness of oppression and injustice roams its different corners? 

O Muslim, do not point fingers at the enemy first but look to yourself first. We left the guidance and so Allah humiliated us at the hands of our enemies. The prophet told us that if we stick to two things we would never go astray, " The Book of Allah and My sunnah." Look at the state of the ummah now. Many Muslims do not even pray 5 times a day, we are all chasing the Dunya, and how many of us end up selling our Deen for a little temporary gain and enjoyment? Wallahi what a great loss for one who says "la ilaha illa Allah Muhammadur Rasul Allah."

O Muslim, We need to turn back to our Deen, we need to turn back to our creator and master. Now is the time for change. If not now then when? Do we honestly think Paradise is that cheap? 

Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet made evident those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast? [Surah Aal Imraan ayah 142]

The prophets and awliyaa of Allah where tested in the greatest forms. Some prophets were killed by their own people such as the many messengers and prophets who were sent to the Bani Israail. Some of the followers of the prophets like the Ashaabul Ukhdood (People of the Ditch, refer. Surah al Buruj) were killed by their evil tyrannical king. Many of the sahabah were tortured and killed by the Mushrik Arabs like Sumaya who was brutally killed by Abu Jahl, Bilal who was tortured and had a stone placed on his chest by Ummayah ibn Khalaf or like Az-Zubayr who would be taken out to the outskirts of Makkah and whose uncles tortured him there. And of course we have Khubayb ibn Adiy who was crucified by Quraysh in the midst of everyone. And there are many more examples. They were sincere and firm in their Islaam and they lived and died for La ilaha illa Allah.  So we ask Allah to make us follow in their footsteps and to give us firm belief and yaqeen in Him and in His promised victory. 

The point is, Jannah is not cheap. It is expensive and if we want the good of both this temporary world and the everlasting eternal one then we should focus on our Deen. Allah swt created us for one main purpose and that is to worship Him.

And I did not create Jinn and Mankind except to worship Me. [Surah al Dhaariyat ayah 56]

Can We Say That Someone Who Died As A Disbeliever Is In the Fire

Can We Say That Someone Who Died
As A Disbeliever Is In the Fire
By Haytham Sayfaddîn



بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

I recently received a question along the lines of the following:

As-Salâmu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullâhi Wa Barakâtuh,

Nowadays, the following has become common in our community, especially amongst those who say they are calling people to the Religion of Allâh: When a well-known kâfir dies, they say we don't know his destination. They claim that some scholars incline to the view that Allâh will never punish a people until He Sends a Messenger. Therefore, we don't know if he received correct Islâmic Da’wah, and due to this we cannot say that he will go to the Hellfire, even though we know they died a kâfir. My question is: Is it permissible to say about such a kâfir that he will go to the Hellfire or should we refrain from this?

Wa ‘Alaykum as-Salâm Wa Rahmatullâhi Wa Barakâtuh,


There are a few things that should be known before delving into this issue:

Îmân (Faith) Must Be Inward and Outward; Statements, Actions and Beliefs

Firstly, if a person says this statement because they believe that Îmân is only in the heart and we don’t know if this person believed in his heart or not, then this is completely rejected. This is because there is a consensus that in order for someone to be a Muslim, they must have Îmân in their heart, upon their limbs (i.e. in their actions) and upon their tongue (i.e. in their statements).

A Disbeliever’s Good Deeds Do Not Affect This Topic

Secondly, if a person makes this statement due to the fact that a disbeliever may have done some deeds that are considered by the Sharî’ah to be good, this does not have an effect on the topic. This is based upon the following:

On the authority of Al-‘Abbâs Ibn ‘Abdil-Muttalib, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, that he said to the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:

"مَا أَغْنَيْتَ عَنْ عَمِّكَ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ يَحُوطُكَ وَيَغْضَبُ لَكَ؟" قَالَ: "هُوَ فِي ضَحْضَاحٍ مِنْ نَارٍ وَلَوْلَا أَنَا لَكَانَ فِي الدَّرَكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنْ النَّارِ."
“What have you benefited your uncle, as he used to protect you and become angry on your behalf?” He (i.e. the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said: “He is in a shallow place in the Fire. And had it not been for me, he would have been in the lowest depth of the Fire.”

Also, on the authority of Abû Sa’îd al-Khudrî who said: I heard the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, when his uncle (Abû Tâlib), had been mentioned in his presence, saying:

"لَعَلَّهُ تَنْفَعُهُ شَفَاعَتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَيُجْعَلُ فِي ضَحْضَاحٍ مِنَ النَّارِ يَبْلُغُ كَعْبَيْهِ يَغْلِي مِنْهُ دِمَاغُهُ."
“Maybe my intercession will help him on the Day of Resurrection so that he may be put in a shallow place in the Fire, with fire reaching his ankles and causing his brain to boil.”

And on the authority of ‘Â’ishah who said:

قُلْتُ: "يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ابْنُ جُدْعَانَ كَانَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ وَيُطْعِمُ الْمِسْكِينَ فَهَلْ ذَاكَ نَافِعُهُ؟" قَالَ: "لَا يَنْفَعُهُ إِنَّهُ لَمْ يَقُلْ يَوْمًا رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي خَطِيئَتِي يَوْمَ الدِّينِ."
“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, in Jâhiliyyah, Ibn Jud’ân used to keep the ties of kinship and feed the poor. Would that be of any avail to him?’ He said: ‘It will be of no avail to him as he did not ever say: O my Lord, pardon my sins on the Day of Resurrection.’

No Disbelievers Will Enter Jannah

Thirdly, only Muslims will enter Jannah. This is based upon the following:

On the authority of Abû Hurayrah that the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

"يَا بِلَالُ قُمْ فَأَذِّنْ لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مُؤْمِنٌ."
“O Bilâl, stand up and call out: ‘No one will enter the Jannah except for a Believer.’”

And on the authority of ‘Abdullâh Ibn Mas’ûd that the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

"إِنِّي لَأَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا نِصْفَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ وَذَلِكَ أَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ لَا يَدْخُلُهَا إِلَّا نَفْسٌ مُسْلِمَةٌ."
“I have hope that you will be half of the people of Jannah, and that is because no one but a Muslim Soul will enter Jannah.”

So if a person makes the statement that you have mentioned based upon any of these false arguments, then their statement is rejected and they have contradicted the ‘Aqîdah of the Muslims.

Now, with regards to the specific question, there are two general opinions on this subject:

First Opinion: We Cannot Say That a Specific Disbeliever Is In The Fire

The first is that we cannot say that a person who dies as a kâfir is in the Fire. This is based on the following argument:

This Is From the Unseen Knowledge (Ghayb)

We do not know if he repented before his death, or if he may have an excuse on the Day of Judgement and so forth.

The evidence used by those who hold this view is as follows:

Allâh, تَعَالَى, said:

﴿وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record. ﴿

And He said:

﴿عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
All-Knower of the unseen and the seen! Exalted be He over all that they associate as partners to Him! ﴿

So they state that knowing if someone is in Jannah or the Fire is from the Ghayb, and no one knows the Ghayb except Allâh.

This Is a Guarantee on Allâh’s Behalf

They also use the following Hadîth:

On the authority of Jundub Ibn ‘Abdillâh:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَدَّثَ أَنَّ رَجُلًا قَالَ: "وَاللَّهِ لَا يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لِفُلَانٍ." وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَالَ: "مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَتَأَلَّى عَلَيَّ أَنْ لَا أَغْفِرَ لِفُلَانٍ فَإِنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِفُلَانٍ وَأَحْبَطْتُ عَمَلَكَ."
That the Messenger of Allâh,صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ , told of a man who said: “By Allâh, Allâh will not forgive so and so.” And Allâh, تَعَالَى, said: “Who is it that makes a guarantee on My Behalf that I will not forgive so and so? Indeed I have Forgiven so and so and Made your deeds void.”

So they state that we do not know the Ghayb, and saying that a person is in the Fire forever is a judgement that Allâh will not Forgive him. So by stating that he is in the Fire, we fall under this Hadîth.

We Do Not Know If the Person Received the Message Of Islâm

They also argue that we do not know if they received the Message of Islâm. And if they have not received the Message of Islâm, then we can’t say that they will be punished. This is based upon the following:

Allâh, تَعَالَى, said:

﴿وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً
And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning). ﴿

And on the authority of Al-Aswad Ibn Sarî’ on the authority of the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, who said:

"أَرْبَعَةٌ يَحْتَجُّونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: رَجُلٌ أَصَمُّ وَرَجُلٌ أَحْمَقُ وَرَجُلٌ هَرِمٌ وَرَجُلٌ مَاتَ فِي الْفَتْرَةِ فَأَمَّا الأَصَمُّ فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ لَقَدْ جَاءَ الإِسْلامُ وَمَا أَسْمَعُ شَيْئًا وَأَمَّا الأَحْمَقُ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ قَدْ جَاءَ الإِسْلامُ وَالصِّبْيَانُ يَحْذِفُونَنِي بِالْبَعَرِ وَأَمَّا الْهَرِمُ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ لَقَدْ جَاءَ الإِسْلامُ وَمَا أَعْقِلُ وَأَمَّا الَّذِي مَاتَ فِي الْفَتْرَةِ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ مَا أَتَانِي لَكَ رَسُولٌ. فَيَأْخُذُ مَوَاثِيقَهُمْ لَيُطِيعُنَّهُ فَيُرْسِلُ إِلَيْهِمْ رَسُولا أَنِ ادْخُلُوا النَّارَ قَالَ: فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ دَخَلُوهَا كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ بَرْدًا وَسَلامًا."
“Four will present excuses on the Day of Resurrection: A deaf person who did not hear, a mentally incapacitated man, a senile old man and a man who died in a Fatrah (i.e. a time between two Prophets). As for the deaf person, then he will say: ‘O my Lord, Islâm came and I could not hear anything.’ As for the mentally incapacitated man, then he will say: ‘My Lord, Islâm came and the children were throwing dung at me.’ As for the senile old man, then he will say: ‘My Lord, Islâm came and I could not comprehend.’ As for the man who died during a Fatrah, then he will say: ‘My Lord, no Messenger of Yours came to me.’ So He (i.e. Allâh) will Take their covenant to obey Him. Then He will Send a Messenger to them (commanding them) to enter the Fire (as a test).” He (i.e. the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) then said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if they enter it, it will be cold and safe for them.”

So they say that those who have not received the Da’wah will have a chance on the Day of Resurrection to be tested and enter Jannah.

Ahl as-Sunnah Does Not Declare Any Individuals to Be In Jannah or the Fire, Other Than Those Specified In the Qur’ân and the Sunnah

And they quote statements from a number of scholars in which they mention the rule of Ahl as-Sunnah about not declaring anyone to be in Jannah or the Fire except those that have been named in the Qur’ân and the Sunnah. For example:

Imâm Ahmad stated: “And we do not declare anyone from the People of the Qiblah (i.e. Muslims) to be in Jannah or the Fire, except those whom the Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, testified to them being in Jannah.”

At-Tahâwî stated: “And we believe that Salât is to be performed behind every righteous and wicked person from the People of the Qiblah, as well as (performing Salât) upon whoever dies from them. And we do not declare any of them to be in Jannah or the Fire.”

So they argue that declaring someone to be in Jannah or the Fire is not possible except through a Text.

Second Opinion: We Can Say That a Specific Disbeliever Is In the Fire

The second opinion is that if someone dies and his Thâhir (outward appearance) is that he is a kâfir, it is permissible to declare that he is in the Fire.

The evidence used by those who hold this view is as follows:

Allâh Judged That Whoever Dies As a Disbeliever Will Be In the Fire

Allâh, تَعَالَى, said:

﴿إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَى إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا
Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allâh in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. ﴿

And He said:

﴿إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allâh, then Allâh has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Thâlimîn there are no helpers. ﴿

So they state that Allâh has told us that whoever dies as a kâfir will be in the Fire, so when we say that a kâfir is in the Fire, we are only following what Allâh has Told us.

And on the authority of Abû Hurayrah, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, that the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

"وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ وَلَا نَصْرَانِيٌّ ثُمَّ يَمُوتُ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ."
“By Him in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, no one from amongst this Ummah hears of me; not a Jew nor a Christian, then dies and does not believe in what I came with, except that he will be from the denizens of Hell-Fire.”

So they argue that someone hearing of the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, and then not following him will be in the Fire. So if a person dies as a kâfir, he has obviously not followed the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, so he is in the Fire.

On the authority of Anas Ibn Mâlik, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, who said:

كَانَ غُلَامٌ يَهُودِيٌّ يَخْدُمُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَمَرِضَ فَأَتَاهُ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَعُودُهُ فَقَعَدَ عِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَسْلِمْ فَنَظَرَ إِلَى أَبِيهِ وَهُوَ عِنْدَهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَطِعْ أَبَا الْقَاسِمِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَأَسْلَمَ فَخَرَجَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَنْقَذَهُ مِنْ النَّارِ
“A Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, and he became sick. So the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, went to visit him. He sat near his head and said to him: ‘Embrace Islâm.’ The boy looked at his father, who was with him, then he (i.e. the father) said: ‘Obey Abul-Qâsim.’ So he embraced Islâm. The Prophet came out saying: ‘Praise be to Allâh, the One Who saved him from the Fire.’

The Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, Gave Instructions to Give Disbelievers Tidings of the Fire When Passing by Their Graves

They also quote the following Hadîth:

It was narrated from Sâlim that his father said:

جَاءَ أَعْرَابِيٌّ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ:"يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ أَبِي كَانَ يَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ وَكَانَ وَكَانَ فَأَيْنَ هُوَ؟" قَالَ: "فِي النَّارِ." قَالَ: فَكَأَنَّهُ وَجَدَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ: "يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَأَيْنَ أَبُوكَ؟" قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: "حَيْثُمَا مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِ كَافِرٍ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِالنَّارِ." قَالَ: فَأَسْلَمَ الْأَعْرَابِيُّ بَعْدُ وَقَالَ: "لَقَدْ كَلَّفَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَعَبًا مَا مَرَرْتُ بِقَبْرِ كَافِرٍ إِلَّا بَشَّرْتُهُ بِالنَّارِ."
“A Bedouin came to the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, my father used to uphold the ties of kinship, and so forth and so forth, so where is he?’ He said: ‘In the Fire.’ So it was as if he found that difficult to bear. Then he said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh. Where is your father?’ The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said: ‘Whenever you pass by the grave of a kâfir, give him tidings of Fire.’ The Bedouin later became Muslim, and he said: ‘The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, gave me a difficult task. I never pass by the grave of a kâfir except that I give him tidings of Fire.’”

So they say that here, by giving tidings of the Fire to any disbeliever who is in a grave that you pass by, this is obviously stating that he is in the Fire.

They argue that the only thing that prevented this person from being in the Fire was that he embraced Islâm before dying. Had he not done so, he would have been in the Fire.

Abû Bakr, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, and the Sahâbah with Him Judged That Specific Disbelievers Were in the Fire

They also cite a Hadîth from Târiq Ibn Shihâb who said:

جَاءَ وَفْدُ بُزَاخَةَ مِنْ أَسَدٍ وَغَطَفَانَ إِلَى أَبِي بَكْرٍ يَسْأَلُونَهُ الصُّلْحَ فَخَيَّرَهُمْ بَيْنَ الْحَرْبِ الْمُجْلِيَةِ وَالسِّلْمِ الْمُخْزِيَةِ فَقَالُوا: "هَذِهِ الْمُجْلِيَةُ قَدْ عَرَفْنَاهَا فَمَا الْمُخْزِيَةُ؟" قَالَ: "نَنْزِعُ مِنْكُمُ الْحَلْقَةَ وَالْكُرَاعَ وَنَغْنَمُ مَا أَصَبْنَا مِنْكُمْ وَتَرُدُّونَ عَلَيْنَا مَا أَصَبْتُمْ مِنَّا وَتَدُونَ لَنَا قَتْلَانَا وَيَكُونُ قَتْلَاكُمْ فِي النَّارِ وَتَتْرُكُونَ أَقْوَامًا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَذْنَابَ الْإِبِلِ حَتَّى يُرِيَ اللَّهُ خَلِيفَةَ رَسُولِهِ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ أَمْرًا يَعْذُرُونَكُمْ بِهِ." فَعَرَضَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ مَا قَالَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ فَقَامَ عُمَرُ فَقَالَ: "قَدْ رَأَيْتَ رَأْيًا وَسَنُشِيرُ عَلَيْكَ أَمَّا مَا ذَكَرْتَ..." - فَذَكَرَ الْحُكْمَيْنِ الْأَوَّلَيْنِ - قَالَ: "فَنِعْمَ مَا ذَكَرْتَ وَأَمَّا تَدُونَ قَتْلَانَا وَيَكُونُ قَتْلَاكُمْ فِي النَّارِ فَإِنَّ قَتْلَانَا قَاتَلَتْ عَلَى أَمْرِ اللَّهِ وَأُجُورُهَا عَلَى اللَّهِ لَيْسَتْ لَهَا دِيَاتٌ" قَالَ: "فَتَتَابَعَ الْقَوْمُ عَلَى مَا قَالَ عُمَرُ."
“The delegation of Buzâkhah from Asad and Ghatfân came to Abû Bakr asking him for a Sulh (truce). So he gave them the choice between a bankrupting war and a humiliating peace. So they said: ‘This bankrupting (war), we know it, but what is the humiliating (peace)? He said: ‘We will take all weapons and riding animals away from you. We will keep what we took from you as spoils of war and you will return to us what you took from us. You will pay the Diyah (i.e. blood money) for our dead, and your dead will be in the Fire. And you will be left as a people who follow the tails of the camels until Allâh shows the Khalîfah of His Messenger and the Muhâjirîn, something that they can excuse you with.’ So Abû Bakr presented to the people that which he said, then ‘Umar stood up and said: ‘You have taken an opinion, and we will advise you. As for what you mentioned…” And he mentioned the first two rulings: “…then what you mentioned is good. As for ‘…you pay the Diyah for our dead and your dead will be in the Fire’, then our dead fought upon the Matter of Allâh, their rewards are incumbent upon Allâh, (so) they do not have Diyahs.’ He (i.e. Târiq Ibn Shihâb) said: ‘So the people followed that which ‘Umar said.’”

They argue that Abû Bakr, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, stipulated that the people who came to him seeking a truce accept that those of them who were killed while following Tulayhah al-Asadî (the false prophet) are in the Fire. And this statement is not referring to disbelievers as a general group, a spefici religion of disbelievers (i.e. Jews or Christians) or even people fighting for disbelief in general. Rather, it is referring to specific individuals who were known and were killed by the Muslims in this war as disbelievers.

We Are Required To Judge Based Upon the Thâhir (Outward Appearance)

And they argue that, even though we don’t know the condition of the person when he died (i.e. that he may have repented), we are only able to judge on the outward appearance and based on information that we have. They quote the following evidences:

Allâh, تَعَالَى, said:

﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلاَمَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًا تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللّهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ كَذَلِكَ كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا
O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the Cause of Allâh, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you (by saying Salâm): “You are not a believer”; seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and booties with Allâh. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before till Allâh conferred on you His Favours (i.e. guided you to Islâm), therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allâh is Ever Well-Aware of what you do. ﴿

And on the authority of Usâmah Ibn Zayd, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, who said:

بَعَثَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي سَرِيَّةٍ فَصَبَّحْنَا الْحُرَقَاتِ مِنْ جُهَيْنَةَ فَأَدْرَكْتُ رَجُلًا فَقَالَ: "لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ." فَطَعَنْتُهُ فَوَقَعَ فِي نَفْسِي مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَذَكَرْتُهُ لِلنَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: "أَقَالَ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَقَتَلْتَهُ." قَالَ قُلْتُ: "يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّمَا قَالَهَا خَوْفًا مِنْ السِّلَاحِ." قَالَ: "أَفَلَا شَقَقْتَ عَنْ قَلْبِهِ حَتَّى تَعْلَمَ أَقَالَهَا أَمْ لَا." فَمَا زَالَ يُكَرِّرُهَا عَلَيَّ حَتَّى تَمَنَّيْتُ أَنِّي أَسْلَمْتُ يَوْمَئِذٍ.
“The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, sent us in a platoon. We raided the Huraqât of Juhaynah in the morning. I caught hold of a man, then he said: ‘There is none worthy of worship but Allâh.’ Then I attacked him with a spear. It once occurred to me and I mentioned it to the Prophet, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ. The Messenger of Allâh, صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said: ‘Did he testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allâh, and (even then) you killed him?’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, he only said it out of the fear of the weapon.’ He said: ‘Did you tear open his heart in order to find out whether it had said it (i.e. testified to it) or not?’ And he went on repeating it to me until I wished I had embraced Islâm that day.”

A Number of Scholars Have Declared Specific Disbelievers to Be In the Fire

And they also use some statements of various scholars to show that they understood this issue in this way.

Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhâb mentioned the following words of Ibn Taymiyyah concerning those who refused to pay the Zakât: “And it is narrated that groups from amongst them accepted the obligation – the obligation of Zakât – yet despite this, the conduct of the Khulafâ’ concerning them is all one in the same. And it (i.e. their conduct) was killing those of them who fought, capturing their women and children, taking their wealth as spoils of war (Ghanîmah) and testifying that those of them who were killed are in the Fire.”

Then Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhâb said: “So contemplate his words concerning declaring a specific person to be a kâfir and testifying that he is in the Fire if he is killed.”

Ibn Taymiyyah also stated: “Confirming the kufr of a specific person is like confirming him being punished in the Hereafter; and that has (specific) conditions and defenses which we have explained in detail in their rightful place.”

So he applied the same rules of declaring a person to be a disbeliever to the issue of declaring that someone will be punished.

And when speaking about ‘Atâ’ al-Muqanna’, who was a magician who claimed divinity, Imâm Ath-Thahabî stated: “Then he took some poison and died, so he will drink it in the Fire of Jahannam, forever in it for all of eternity, as the Hadîth has been confirmed concerning.”

Also, Ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafî stated: “As for Ibn ‘Arabî (i.e. the Sûfî Imâm who claimed that Allâh is everything and everything is Allâh) and the likes, then they are hypocrites, Zindîqs (i.e. hypocrites who have displayed their disbelief) and pantheists at the lowest depths of the Fire.”

A Number of Scholars Have Declared It Permissible To Curse (La’n) a Disbeliever After He Dies

Another point that they argue is that many scholars have permitted cursing (La’n) a disbeliever after he dies, because we are able to see that he died upon kufr. From amongst these were:

Ibn al-‘Arabî (who also permitted it while he is alive), Abû Hâmid al-Ghazâlî, Ibn Taymiyyah, and others.

So they argue that when we permit the La’n of a disbeliever, we are essentially stating that Allâh will not show him His Mercy.

Not Judging Upon a Specific Individual to Be In Jannah or the Fire Applies To Muslims, Not Disbelievers

They also state that the quotes cited from Imâm Ahmad, Ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafî and others regarding not declaring someone to be in Jannah or the Fire, are clearly discussing making this judgement upon a Muslim. This is because they use the phrase “Ahl al-Qiblah”. And the reason for this stipulation for Muslims is because there is the possibility of the person being a hypocrite, so he wouldn’t be in Jannah at all, or that he is a Muslim but is punished in the Fire before being entered into Jannah. However, with the disbeliever, these situations are not present.

Excuses on the Day of Resurrection Are For Those Who Did Not Have the Ability to Seek the Truth

And they argue against the usage of the Hadîth of the four who will come with excuses on the Day of Resurrection by saying that all four of these types of individuals did not have the ability to learn Islâm. One did not have a Messenger or the remnants of the Da’wah of a Messenger. Two did not have the mental capacity to understand the Da’wah that came during their time. And one was not able to hear the Da’wah. However, those who have the ability to seek out the truth but do not do so, and even more so, those who have some of the Truth reach them but do not pursue learning more about it, do not fall under the rulings of this Hadîth.

Ibn al-Qayyim stated: “The Ummah has agreed that this level are disbelievers, even if they are ignorant and are blindly following their leaders and their Imâms. Except what has been mentioned from some of the people of innovation, that they did not judge upon them as being in the Fire, and they made them at the level of those whom the Da’wah has not reached. And this is an opinion that none from the Imâms of the Muslims has taken; not the Sahâbah, nor the Tâbi’în, nor those who came after them. Rather, it is only known from some of the people of Kalâm (i.e. philosophers) who innovated in Islâm.”

And when speaking about the need to call people to Islâm before attacking them, Imâm Ahmad said: “I do not know of anyone who is to be called today. The Da’wah has reached everyone. As the Da’wah has reached the Romans and they know what is expected from them.”

From all of this, what appears to be the stronger opinion is the second. This is based on the Hadîth of Abû Bakr, رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ, as well as the rule of judging upon the outward appearance.

And Allâh Knows Best.

Haytham Sayfaddîn
5th, Rabî’ al-Awwal, 1435 H.
Edmonton, Alberta