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Islamophobia 1 - Ep2

Kafir, kufr

Sh. Fadel Soliman

[transcribed by OmarKN]


kafir | disbeliever | compassion | extremists | racism | justice


FSIP1-02 - Sh. Fadel Soliman Islamophobia 1 - Ep2, Kafir, kufr

This is an edited transcript from this → YouTube presentation. Subtitles and footnotes are ours.
Allah knows best and most!

Never call anyone a non-believer!

Only twice were non-Muslims called ’non-believers’ in the whole Quran.

1st situation - in one of these instances the Angels who say this on the Day of Judgement.

{ O you who have disbelieved, make no excuses that Day. You will only be recompensed for what you used to do.} 66-07

Saying you had become non-believers after you were believers…

2nd situation: - when someone tries us to renounce faith: Sura al Kafirun:

{ Say: O ye that reject Faith (disbelievers)! I worship not that which ye worship…} Sura 104

Other than that the Quran addresses the non-believers with the most beautiful names. (nās - people; Banū Israil - children of prophet)

Furthermore the word kafir is not an insult. It is a description of a status, a state of mind regarding a certain context.

Always regarding a certain context one is either believer in something or a non believer in something. ( 2-256: { disbeliever in the Evil one} - in the sense of taking him as Lord.) ( 40-84 { we disbelieve in the idols} - on the Day of Judgement.) ( 60-4 { we have become non-believers in you.}

So as a Muslim I must also be a non-believer: in something else. People are either believers in Islam or non-believers in Islam, but still we should not address them as non-believers.

(Using the same argument when talking to a Christian I am a non-believer in his religion = a kafir in his religion and there is nothing wrong with it.)

Responsibilities Towards Non-Muslims

So what are our responsibilities towards non-Muslims?

To be exceedingly kind and compassionate (birr ) and just with those who do not fight you on account of your religion or try to drive you out of your homes:

{ Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.} 60-8

- so to be kind, compassionate and just to those non-Muslims or non-believers!

birr  is mentioned in the Quran regarding the two situations:
a.) In dealing with our parents
b.) In dealing with peaceful non-Muslims - who are living amongst us.

What does birr or exceeding kindness actually mean?

It is for a Muslim to relinquish - for the sake of his parents - some of the rights which would otherwise be due to him.

So here Allah is imploring Muslims to treat non-Muslims with exceeding kindness - birr - towards parents and towards peaceful non-Muslims who live among them.

On the other hand:

{ Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion - [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.} 60-9

He forbids you from making them your allies.

So as a Muslim I cannot be friends with those who fight me on account of my religion or aided others fighting me and I think that's quite logical.

We don't have to concern ourselves with God's relationship with them, that's not our concern.

VERY IMPORTANT POINT: Whether they believe in His existence or not, whether they worship Him or not, should not affect the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims so long as they are not hostile or oppressive towards Muslims.

Extremists With Misconstrued Understanding

HOWEVER, the problem arises when extremists and other ill-informed fanatics - misguided Muslims telling them that anyone who is a kāfir or an unbeliever should be fought. This is a misconstrued understanding of Islam, this only poisons the minds of those unfortunate Muslim, who are naive and ignorant enough to believe such claims and it consequently gives a negative image of Islam for those people who think that Muslims have a right given by the Quran [to fight or kill the kāfir or disbeliever], this gives a negative image to non-Muslims who often believe therefore that Muslims have this right according to the Quran to mistreat [others].[1]

Salvation In Islam

Am I guaranteed to go directly to heaven? Just because I'm a believer? Actually Islam is the only religion in the world which guarantees hell to its followers if they don't accompany their faith with virtuous deeds.

It's like a bird which can soar with the help of two wings, with one wing only it is sure to fall: faith & good deeds.

Faith and good deeds are always associated with each other in the Quran. There must always be good deeds in order to reach what is known salvation or in other words to attain heaven.

In Islam there is no original sin, first sin came from Satan,

( I am better than him...) 38-76

Pride And Racism

So the original sin in Islam was not about eating a fruit from a tree, it was instead a sort of racism believing oneself to be better than the other because of one's colour, heritage or race. Racists have no place in Paradise.

Actually Satan was not racist because of his intelligence or because he was more handsome; he was racist because he was created from fire and the other [Adam] was created from mud.

Most of the world's problems are now due to racism[2]. Bombing people because they think these people are not even entitled to live, this is a form of racism.

This focus on racism made the abolition of racism and slavery easier in Islam because Islam focuses on eliminating the root cause of the problem of slavery. In fact racism had already been eradicated during the first generations of Muslims. (Story of a ruler of Egypt, this Muslim leader was an African).

In fact racism has been eradicated from the early days of Islam.

It happened so that in the course of 20 years, after the Arabs who had being the most racist people, came to accept diversity.

Among the Arabs those [racist attitudes] became obsolete, because of the teachings of Islam: all people were regarded as equal.

Upholding Justice

God sent His prophets and His holy books for the purpose of upholding Justice. Justice in the world between all people:


{ We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice.} 57-25

So as God's trustees on the Earth, men[3] must establish and maintain justice, and this justice must be there when Muslims deal with Muslims or with non-Muslims.

Story when the Prophet MHMD - sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam was confronted with the case of a Jew who was accused of theft, but actually it was a Muslim youth who [was the guilty person, he] had stolen a bag of food. His relatives pleaded for their boy, to let the punishment instead fall upon the Jew, since (as they said) he only was "a Jew".

Of course this the Prophet ( sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam ) would never do, anyway,

Allah sent these verses from the seven heavens to clear this issue {…that thou mayst judge between mankind/ between the people } 4-105, i.e. not between Muslims only!

▢ This means a Muslim must uphold justice between all people of the world.


The word ’Kafir’ has become a term of abuse, although its original meaning was quite different. These days this term is very much misused. Therefore Muslims should refrain from using it when addressing non-Muslims.

At the same time non-Muslims should not be offended by it, when mentioned in the Quran or in scholarly texts. Since in such instances it is merely cited as the Arabic word meaning non-Muslims.

1: Related text: Youth! Remain Steadfast In Face Of Empty Claims And Promises! This is Not the Path to Paradise! Response to Daesh (not: ”IS/ ISIS”) by Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah

2: Greed has a big part in it, okn

3: men: men and women

Related links

- The Essence of Worship In Islam; Sh. Fadel Soliman [transcr.]
- Religion The Opiate Of The Masses? Sh. Fadel Soliman [transcr.]

- What Makes A Person Kafir? Shaykh Gibril F Haddad
- Who is a kafir? Omar KN
- Who Are The Disbelievers? Sh. Hamza Yusuf [summarized]

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latest update: 2018-05-08

* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *