Fatwas of Kufr
| Translators Note:
One chief argument advanced by our opponents is
that Ahmadis are kafir because the leaders of various Muslim
groups have issued fatwas (rulings) against them, describing
them as kafir. But the fact is that all these sects have
also issued fatwas of the same sort against each other. Their
fatwas declare Muslims to be kafir on the most trivial
grounds. Therefore by this argument, every Muslim in the world can
be proved to be a kafir! This Section first quotes examples
of fatwas of kufr issued by various Sunni sects against
each other in recent times. It then shows that the great Muslim
religious figures in history were all persecuted and branded as
kafir by the religious leaders and the Muslim governments
of their times. The fact that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has been
subjected to similar treatment is more an indication of his truth,
rather than proving him to be a kafir.
Ghulam Ahmad Pervez of Lahore is a well-known Pakistani Islamic thinker
and writer, representing the Ahl-i Quran tendency, and founder
of the Idara Tulu-i-Islam (Institute of the Dawn of Islam).
In the monthly journal of this institute, entitled Tulu-i-Islam,
dated August 1969, there is an extensive article headed Fatwas of
Kufr (Rulings of Heresy) quoting fatwas of various Sunni
groups condemning one another as kafir. A long extract from this
article is given below in translation.
The Sunnis are divided into two main sects: Non-conformists (ghair
muqallid), commonly known as Ahl-i Hadith, and conformists
(muqallid), commonly known as Hanafis. The conformists are
divided into two groups: Deobandi and Barelvi. Also among the conformists
are the various Sufi orders. Now let us see how these sects are declaring
each other as kafir.
START OF QUOTE
Fatwas of conformists against non-conformists
- The non-conformist (ghair muqallid) sect, whose distinctive
outward manner [of prayer] in this country is saying Amen aloud,
raising the hands [during the prayer], folding the arms on the chest,
and reciting the Al-Hamd behind the Imam, are excluded from
the Sunnis, and are like other misguided sects, because many of their
beliefs and practices are opposed to those of the Sunnis. It is not
permissible to pray behind them. To mix with them socially and sit
with them, and to let them enter mosques at their pleasure, is prohibited
in Islamic Shariah.
(This bears the seals of nearly seventy Ulama. Reference
the book: Arguments with regard to the expulsion of Wahabis from
mosques, p. 8.)
- He who calls conformism (taqlid) as prohibited, and
conformists as polytheists, is a kafir according to Islamic
Shariah, and in fact a murtadd [apostate].
(Book: Discipline of mosques with regard to the expulsion of
mischief-makers from mosques)
- It is obligatory upon the Ulama and Muftis
that, by merely hearing of such a thing, they should not hesitate
to issue fatwas of heresy and apostasy. Otherwise, they themselves
would be included among the apostates. (ibid.)
- Ahmad Raza Khan, the Barelvi leader, has quoted the beliefs of
all sections of the non-conformists, and given the fatwa:
All these groups are murtadd and kafir. He
who doubts their being kafirs, is himself a kafir.
(Book Hisam al Haramain)
Fatwas of non-conformists against conformists
Not only Hanafis, but all of them:
- Question: What say the Ulama and the Muftis
regarding the conformist (muqallid) group, who follow only
one Imam [i.e. Hanafis]. Are they Sunnis or not? Is it valid to pray
behind them or not? Is it permissible to allow them into mosques,
and to mix with them socially?
Answer: Undoubtedly, prayers are not permissible behind
conformists because their beliefs and practices are opposed to those
of the Sunnis. In fact, some of their beliefs and practices lead
to polytheism, and others spoil prayers. It is not correct in Islamic
Shariah to allow such conformists into mosques.
This bears the seals of nineteen priests. (Reference the book:
Collection of Fatwas, pp. 54 55)
- The late Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan wrote:
The word polytheist can be applied to conformists,
and polytheism can be applied to conformism. Most people
today are conformists. The Quranic verse, Most people believe
not, they are but polytheists, applies quite well to them.
(Iqtarab as-Saa, p. 16)
The followers of all the four Imams and the followers of the
four Sufi orders, viz. Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki, Hanbali, Chishtiyya,
Qadiriyya, Naqshbandiyya and Mujaddidiyya are all kafirs.
(Jami al-Shuhood, p. 2)
Fatwa of three hundred Ulama against Deobandis
The Deobandis, because of their contempt and insult, in their
acts of worship, towards all saints, prophets, and even the Holy Prophet
Muhammad and the very Person of God Himself, are definitely murtadd
and kafir. Their apostasy and heresy is of the worst kind,
so that anyone who doubts their apostasy and heresy even slightly
is himself a murtadd and kafir. Muslims should be very
cautious of them, and stay away from them. Let alone praying behind
them, one should not let them pray behind one, or allow them into
mosques, or eat the animal slaughtered by them, or join them on happy
or sad occasions, or let them come near one, or visit them in illness,
or attend their funerals, or give them space in Muslim grave-yards.
To sum up, one must stay away from them completely.
(See the Unanimous Fatwa of Three Hundred Ulama, published
by Muhammad Ibrahim of Bhagalpur)
Deobandis should be declared non-Muslim minority
In March 1953, a poster was put up on walls in Karachi headed: Demands:
Deoband sect should be declared a separate minority. Among other
things it said:
Just as Sikhs originated from Hinduism, but are not Hindus,
and Protestants came from Roman Catholicism, but are not Catholics,
similarly, the Deobandi sect originated in the Sunni community, but
are not Sunnis. The representatives of this minority sect are Mufti
Muhammad Shafi, Sayyid Sulaiman Nadawi, Ihtasham-ul-Haqq, and Abul
Ala Maudoodi, etc.
After this it was demanded that this sect be declared a non-Muslim minority.
It was signed by 28 persons (see Tulu-i-Islam, May 1953,
Fatwa of Deobandis against Barelvis
Maulavi Sayyid Muhammad Murtaza of Deoband has, in his book, tried to
show that Ahmad Raza Khan, the Barelvi leader, was a kafir, a great
kafir, Anti- Christ of this century, murtadd, and excluded
from Islam. (See the booklet Radd at-Takfir ala-l-fahash at-Tanzir.)
The opposite side
Ahmad Raza Khan (Barelvi) has noted the beliefs of Muhammad Qasim Nanotavi
(founder of the school at Deoband) and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (of Deoband),
and then added:
They are all murtadd [apostate] according to the unanimous
view (ijma) of Muslims.
This fatwa bears the signatures and seals of Ulama of Makka
and Madina, and other Muftis and Islamic judges. Three reasons
have been given for calling them kafir:
Hence it is written about them:
- They deny the finality of prophethood;
- They insult the Holy Prophet;
- They believe that God can tell a lie.
He who doubts that they are kafirs, is himself a kafir.
You will have seen that all the sects, whether Hanafis, Ahl-i Hadith,
Deobandi, or Barelvi, and all the Sufi orders such as Chishtiyya, Qadiriyya,
etc., have had fatwas of heresy and apostasy pronounced against
them. And not only sects, but the prominent men of these sects have had
fatwas directed against them individually.
(Hisam al-Haramain, pp. 100 and 113)
Fatwas against individual leaders
Maulana Nazir Husain of Delhi (Ahl-i Hadith) was called disputant,
doubter, follower of base passions, jealous, dishonest and alterer (of
Maulavi Muhammad Husain Batalavi, along with the above Maulana,
was called devil, atheist, stupid, senseless, faithless, etc. This fatwa
bears the seals of 82 Ulama of Arabia and elsewhere. (Book Nazar
Maulana Sana-Ullah of Amritsar (Ahl-i Hadith) had fatwas
directed against him which were obtained in Makka. It is written about
his commentary of the Quran:
It is the writing of a misguided person, one who has invented
new doctrines. In his commentary he has collected beliefs such as
re-incarnation and the doctrines of the Mutazila [an early extreme
Muslim sect]. It is neither permissible to obtain knowledge from Maulana
Sana-ullah, nor to follow him. His evidence cannot be accepted, nor
can he lead prayers. There is no doubt regarding his heresy and apostasy.
... His commentary deserves to be cut to pieces. In fact, it is forbidden
to see it except for the purpose of refuting it.
Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani (Deobandi):
(Faisila Makka, pp. 15 20)
Referring to an article of his, the weekly Tarjuman Islam of
Lahore carried the following extract in its issue for 10 November 1961:
Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, Deobandi, was a first-rate scholar
and servant of Quran and Hadith. He needs no introduction. But one
was very shocked by a letter of his which contained the grotesque
idea of the denial of Hadith. This concept goes beyond the Mutazila,
and breaks the records of the ideologies of Chakralvi and Pervez.
All those whose record is said to be broken by Husain Ahmad Madani, have
had fatwas of kufr directed against them. This makes it
clear that Maulana Madani too is considered a kafir.
Abul Ala Maudoodi and his party have been the subject of fatwas
by Ulama of nearly every sect.
Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan [prominent Muslim modernist leader and founder
of the Aligarh University for Muslims, d. 1898]:
- Mufti Muhzar-ullah, of Jami Fatehpuri in Delhi, wrote in his fatwa:
On the very face of it, these things [beliefs of Maudoodis
party] exclude a Muslim from the Sunnis, and lead to divisions among
the believers, and is the basis of making a new sect. But looking
closely, these things take one to heresy. In this case, they do
not make a new sect, but result in ones entry into the group
- Maulana Hafiz-ullah of Aligarh has written:
Whatever was the position of the Zarar mosque, similar
is the position of this [i.e. Maudoodis] party.
[Note: The Zarar mosque was a mosque built by some
hypocrite Muslims in Madina during the Holy Prophets time
for the purpose of conspiring against Islam].
The word kufr is used about the Zarar mosque in
the Holy Quran. Hence the same word applies to these people.
- Maulana Izaz Ali, Deobandi, wrote in his fatwa:
I consider this [i.e. Maudoodis] party to be even
more harmful for the faith of the Muslims than are the Ahmadis.
- Mufti Sayyid Mahdi Hasan, President-Mufti of the theological school
at Deoband, writes in his fatwa:
If an Imam of a mosque agrees with the views of Maudoodi,
it is a hateful matter to pray behind him.
- Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani (Deobandi) wrote in a letter to Maudoodi:
Your Islamic movement is against the righteous
tradition in Islam. It is like the [extremist] sects of old such
as Mutazila, Khwarij and Rafiz. It resembles modern sects
such as Qadiani, Chakralvi [deniers of Hadith], Naturi [rationalist],
and Bahai [i.e. the Bahai religion]. It seeks to make
a new Islam. It is based on principles, beliefs and practices which
are against the Sunnis and Islam.
- The Committee of Ulama of Maulana Ahmad Ali wrote in a poster
His reasoning is devilry against the Quran.
It is then added:
May God save all Muslims from Maudoodi and the evil and
deceit of his so-called Islamic Party.
In his biography Hayat-i Jawaid by Maulana Hali, the storm
of condemnation and takfir against Sir Sayyid is fully detailed.
Read some of these lines:
Sir Sayyid was called atheist, irreligious, Christian, nature-worshipper,
anti-Christ, and many other things. Fatwas that he was a kafir
were prepared, and signatures of Maulavis of every town and city were
obtained. Even those who remained silent against Sir Sayyid as regards
takfir, were called kafir. (p. 623)
A fatwa was obtained from Makka, bearing the seals of Muftis of
all the four schools, in which it was written:
All the Muslim sects in India, be they Sunni or Shiah, conformist
or non-conformist, the seals and signatures of the known and unknown
Ulama and priests of all these are on these fatwas.
This man is an heretic, or he was inclined to unbelief (kufr)
from Islamic law in some aspect. ... If he repents before he is arrested,
and turns away from his misguided views, and there are clear signs
of repentance from him, then he should not be killed. Otherwise, it
is obligatory to kill him for the sake of the faith. (p. 633)
Jinnah and Iqbal [revered in Pakistan as fathers of the nation]:
Sir Sayyid had at least expressed views on religious matters. But
these people also called Jinnah as the great kafir.
Even a true believer like Iqbal had a fatwa of kufr directed
Fatwas of kufr against early savants
The pastime of declaring people as kafir is not a product of the
present age. Unfortunately, this disease is very old, and there can hardly
be anyone from among the great figures of Muslim religious history who
escaped being a subject of such fatwas. Let us look at the great
leaders of religion after the age of the Holy Prophets Companions.
Abu Hanifa: He was disgraced, called ignorant, inventor of
new beliefs, hypocrite and kafir. He was imprisoned and poisoned.
He died in 150 A.H. [circa 768 C.E.].
Imam Shafii: He was called devil and imprisoned. Prayers
were said for his death. He was taken in captivity from Yemen to Baghdad,
in a condition of humiliation and degradation. He died in 204 A.H. [circa
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal: He was kept in prison for 28 months,
with a heavy chain around his feet. He was publicly humiliated, slapped
and spat upon. Every evening he used to be flogged. All this was because
of the controversy regarding whether the Quran was uncreated
Imam Malik: A resident of Madina, he too was imprisoned and
Bukhari [Collector of Hadith]: He was exiled and died in 256
A.H. [circa 871 C.E.].
Nasai [Collector of Hadith]: He was disgraced and beaten
in a mosque so much that he died.
Abdul Qadir Jilani [Saint of Baghdad, d. 1166 C.E.] was called
kafir by the jurists.
Muhiyud-Din Ibn Arabi [great philosopher and saint, d. 1240
C.E.]: The Ulama issued a fatwa against him saying: His
unbelief is greater than that of Jews and Christians. All his
followers were declared kafir, so much so that those who doubted
his unbelief were called kafir.
Rumi, Jami and Attar [now world famous Muslim saints and writers
of Persia] were called kafir, and anyone not calling them kafir
was also called kafir.
Imam Ghazali [philosopher and mujaddid, d. 1111 C.E.]
was called kafir, and burning his books and cursing him was declared
a good deed.
Ibn Taimiyya [Muslim philosopher and mujaddid, d. 1327
C.E.]: The King of Egypt asked for a fatwa to put him to death.
Hafiz ibn Qayyim: imprisoned and exiled.
Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind [d. 1624 C.E., mujaddid in India]:
Shah Wali-ullah [d. 1763 C.E., mujaddid in India]: called
inventor of new beliefs and misguided.
Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi [d. 1831 C.E., mujaddid and military
leader in India]: called kafir.
Shah Ismail Shaheed [deputy of above mujaddid]: Fatwas
of heresy against him obtained from Makka.
END OF QUOTATION
FATWAS AGAINST PERVEZ
Ghulam Ahmad Pervez, founder of the movement which publishes Tulu-i-Islam,
from which the above extract has been taken, was himself the subject of
fatwas such as those quoted below:
- Ghulam Ahmad Pervez is a kafir according to Islamic
Shariah, and excluded from the pale of Islam. No Muslim woman
can remain married to him, nor can a Muslim woman enter into marriage
with him. His funeral prayers cannot be said, nor is it permissible
to bury him in a Muslim grave-yard. This applies not only to Pervez,
but to every kafir. It also applies to any person who is a
follower of his in these heretic beliefs. As he has become an apostate
(murtadd), it is not permitted by the Shariah to have
any kind of Islamic relations with him.
Signed: Wali Hasan Tonki, Mufti and teacher,
Muhammad Yusuf Banori, Shaikh al-Hadith,
Madrasa Arabiyya Islamiyya, New Town, Karachi.
- An organ of Maudoodis Jamaat-i Islami gave the
following fatwa about Pervezs followers:
If they say that Shariah is only that which is contained
in the Quran, and all that is besides this is not Shariah,
then this is clear heresy. It is the same kind of heresy as the
heresy of the Qadianis. In fact it is worse and more extreme than
(article by Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi, in the daily Tasneem,
Lahore, 15 August 1952, p. 12)