Praise be to Allah.
Reviling the faith or the religion or
Islam is major kufr (disbelief), according to scholarly consensus. The one
who does that should be asked to repent. If he repents, all well and good,
otherwise he should be executed, Allah forbid. See questions no.
With regard to reviling the religion of a
particular Muslim person, such as saying “May your religion be cursed” or
“May the religion of your mother be cursed “ – if his mother is a Muslim –
is also reviling the religion, as appears to be the case, which is kufr as
stated above. Some of the scholars suggested that it may be interpreted
differently, and that what is referred to is the person and his religious
commitment. This may be based on circumstantial evidence. In this case he
should be punished and disciplined. In any case he should be asked to repent
and the matter should be discussed with him.
It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah: The
fuqaha (jusrists) are unanimously agreed that the one who reviles Islam or
the religion of the Muslims is a kafir (disbeliever). As for one who reviles
the religion of a Muslim, the Hanafis said, as mentioned in Jaami’ al-Fusooleen:
The one who reviles the religion of a Muslim should be denounced as a kafir,
but his insult may be understood as referring to that person’s bad attitude
and bad treatment of others, not Islam itself [because the word ‘deen’ in
the phrase under discussion may refer to one’s religion or to one’s way and
conduct], in which case he should not be denounced as a kafir. End quote.
Shaykh ‘Ulaysh al-Maaliki said: In it [in
al-Barzali] there is another issue, which is if a man ridicules the prayer
and people who pray, and many people testify against him, some of whom are
credible witnesses and some are not. If it is interpreted as ridiculing the
worshippers because he thinks ill of them, then it is to be regarded as
reviling the Muslims, so he should be disciplined as the judge sees fit. If
it is interpreted as ridiculing the worship itself, the correct view is that
this is apostasy, because he has done that openly and many people knew about
that, which is different than heresy, and the ruling on apostasy should be
applied. End quote.
I say: From this ruling it may be
understood that the one who reviles Islam or the religion or a madhhab
(school of thought) is that this is often done by some of the dregs of the
common folk, such as donkey-drivers, camel-drivers and servants, or it may
be done by others. If he was referring to the sharee’ah (religious laws) and
the rulings that Allah has prescribed for His slaves on the lips of His
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), then he is definitely a
kafir. If he does that openly then he is an apostate who should be asked to
repent; if he repents, all well and good, otherwise he should be executed.
If he does not do it openly then he is a heretic who is to be executed even
if he repents.
If he was referring to an individual
person and his religious commitment, then this is reviling a Muslim and he
should be disciplined as the judge sees fit. The two cases may be
differentiated on the basis of confession and circumstantial evidence. Some
scholars said that the ruling is the same in the second case as in the
first. In al-Badr it is narrated that Bahraam said concerning apostasy: If
the one who does not pray says to the one who tells him to pray: When you
enter Paradise, lock the door behind you – if what he meant is that prayer
has no effect on one’s religious commitment then he has apostatized,
according to scholarly consensus, but if he meant that the prayer of the
speaker has no effect because it does not stop him from committing immoral
and evil actions, then there are two views as to whether he is an apostate.
It is well known that the Holy Quran is
also part of the religion, and reviling it is kufr as was stated by al-Barzali
in several places. End quote from Fath al-‘Aliy al-Maalik fi’l-Fatwa ‘ala
Madhhab al-Imam Maalik.
The other possibility that he mentioned
may occur rarely, but the basic principle is that cursing a person’s
religion is cursing Islam, and no one would do that but a reckless person
who is so audacious that he transgresses the sacred limits of Allah and
commits this grave evil that may lead to his doom. Because the other
possibility is unlikely to be the case when someone utters these words,
Shaykh ‘Ulaysh (may Allah have mercy on him) did not mention it anywhere
else, when he was asked: What do you say about a man who curses the religion
of another, and a man who curses his madhhab, or one who says to him, “May
Allah curse your madhhab, the madhhab of cats” – are they apostates?
I replied: Praise be to Allah and
blessings and peace be upon our master Muhammad the Messenger of Allah
(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Yes, they are apostates because
of that, and they deserve to be executed if they do not repent, according to
scholarly consensus, because reviling religion or a madhhab is only done by
one who is a kafir, and because it is worse than belittling it which implies
kufr, and because it comes under the second category mentioned by Ibn ‘Abd
al-Salaam, al-Qaraafi, Ibn Rushd and others. And Allah, may He be glorified
and exalted, knows best, and may Allah send blessings and peace upon our
Prophet Muhammad. End quote from Fath al-‘Aliy al-Maalik.
The expiation for reviling – whether one
reviled the religion or the person – is sincere repentance. If a person
repents, Allah will accept his repentance. Otherwise the one who reviled
another deserves to be punished and disciplined. Al-Nawawi (may Allah have
mercy on him) was asked: What should be done to one who calls a Muslim a dog
or a pig and other bad words. Is he sinning?
He replied: Praise be to Allah. He is
sinning and he should be punished, and he has to repent. And Allah knows
best. End quote from Fataawa al-Nawawi.
See also question no.
42505 for more information on the repentance of one who reviles the
And Allah knows best.