Fatwas of Kufr against prominent early Muslims

[ BACK ]

"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 Prophet's 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 Shafi`i: 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 820 C.E.].

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' or `created'.

Imam Malik: A resident of Madina, he too was imprisoned and flogged.

Bukhari [Collector of Hadith]: He was exiled and died in 256 A.H. [circa 871 C.E.].

Nasa'i [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 Qayyimimprisoned and exiled.

Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind [d. 1624 C.E., mujaddid in India]: called kafir.

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."

(Tulu'-i-Islam, August 1969)