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The War Within Islam (08 Sep 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Concept of Takfir – Declaring a Muslim a Disbeliever – Is a Very Modern Propaganda Weapon of Al-Qaeda and Daesh Having Its Roots in 7th Century – The Khawarij And Murji’a Groups

By Francesco Bergoglio Errico

September 6, 2018

The concept of Takfir – declaring a Muslim a disbeliever – is a very modern propaganda weapon of al-Qaeda and Daesh. But its origins are to be found in distant times. Indeed, in order to better understand this concept, it is essential to travel all the way back to the 7th Century roots – the Khawarij and Murji’a groups.

The Khawarij emerged from the battle of Siffin in 657 AD, where the fourth caliph ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and his successor Mu’awiya bin Abi Sufyan clashed. During the battle, Mu’awiya’s troops, outnumbered and facing almost certain defeat, called on ‘Ali and his troops to accept arbitration between the two parties. ‘Ali took up the offer, but some of his own troops rejected it. They thought that ‘Ali had been swayed by Mu’awiya rather than divine guidance and that such an action should actually be seen as an affront to God’s order. These troops then seceded from ‘Ali’s camp and became the Khawarij group, the name they also applied to themselves.

The group’s first distinctive tenet concerned the possibility of revolt against Muslim rulers who had been deemed insufficiently pious. When ‘Ali agreed to arbitration with Mu’awiya, the separatists, the people later known as Khawarij, reportedly shouted “La Hukm Illa Li-Llah”, “judgement is God’s alone”. Only God has the authority to arbitrate, they held, not human beings. Not even the caliph ‘Ali, in fact.

Later on, the slogan came to represent their broad view that all judgements and rulings should be left to God. Applying Qur’anic rulings very strictly, they fought Muslims who were deemed guilty of major sins and expelled them from their community.

The consequences could not be more serious. Since they believed sinful Muslims to be Kuffar (disbelievers), they immediately applied Qur’anic lines concerning jihad against non-Muslims. This meant that, according to the Khawarij, the application of jihad was not just limited to ordinary people. If necessary, it could even include the caliph. Indeed, they assassinated ‘Ali in 661 AD.

The second tenet of Khawarij ideology addressed their conception of Iman (faith) and disbelief. In particular, what is faith? And when does a Muslim become a Kafir, a disbeliever? One of the greatest questions was whether A’mal, or deeds, acts or works, were an integral part of the faith or not. Some theologians of Islam’s early years, including Abu Hanifa, believed they were not a part of it. As a result, he equated Iman with the belief residing in the heart and its profession by tongue.

Conversely, other scholars, including Mu’tazilites and Hanabalites, believed that deeds, acts or works were indeed an integral part of Iman and that this Iman would not be complete without them.

Among other outcomes, this dispute led to what may be called the orthodox Sunni view, as well as almost all Salafi views, according to which Iman consists of assent to the Iman in the heart, its verbal confirmation by the tongue, and corresponding acts with the limbs. Respectively, Tasdeeq Bi-L-Qalb, Iqrar Bi-L-Lisan and A’mal Bi-L-Jawarih

As for the Khawarij themselves, even though they too believed that Iman consisted of these three elements and others, they placed more emphasis on A’mal than mainstream Sunnism does.

The question of what actually constitutes Iman is very important when defining enemies as unbelievers. On the one hand, if A’mal is not an integral part of Iman, sinful acts cannot undermine that Iman by themselves. On the other, if A’mal is an integral part of the Iman, sinful acts can definitely compromise faith.

Moreover, while Sunni scholars have separated major sins, Kaba’ir, from less severe ones, the Khawarij have included A’mal among major sins, such as killing one’s child, adultery and especially polytheism and idolatry, or shirk.

Scholars later separated shirk from other Kaba’ir, establishing that only an act of shirk would immediately turn a Muslim into an unbeliever, or Kafir, and therefore justify his or her excommunication from Islam, Takfir. Additionally, any further proof of a person’s unbelief through verbal confirmation was not necessary. Other major sins were certainly still considered serious and deserving of punishment, but they were not enough to turn a believer into a disbeliever – further proof was needed.

The Khawarij disagreed with this last point since, according to their beliefs; a Muslim culpable of any Kaba’ir should be avowed a Kafir, with or without further proof. This creed thus heightened ordinary major sins to the level of Kufr, making its adherents swifter to apply Takfir than those endorsing the movement later known as Sunnism.

The last relevant point about the concepts of Iman and Kufr concerns the effects of sinful acts on a person’s Iman. Not considering sins as equal to shirk, many scholars believed faith to be diminished by sinful acts and increased by good ones. This led to an understanding of Iman as flexible. The Khawarij, by contrast, believed that iman could not fluctuate. It was either present or lost as a whole through major sins. This made the Khawarij radically different from other groups, and this was reflected in their use of jihad against other Muslims holding what the Khawarij saw as aberrant ideas of iman, which made them legitimate targets, up to and including the rulers and the caliph.

Another important group criticized the beliefs of Khawarij – the Murji’a. According to most scholars, the genesis of the Murji’a can traced back to the conflicts between the third caliph, ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan, and his successor ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. At that time, the Murji’a refused to take sides and opted for postponement of judgement, irja’, in such matters. In their view, only God could decide on these subjects. Before taking the name of Murji’a, this group were called Ahl-Al-‘Adl Wa-L-Sunna, or “the people of justice and Sunna”.

The Irja’ “postponers” concept was later dated back to the Qur’an itself by the Murji’a, in particular by referring to Sura 9:106. This verse provided them with a conceptual basis for avoiding taking sides in the conflict. In time, the Irja’ term became the most important tenet of the Murji’a.

In that regard, there are two important relevant points. The first is the development of the term Irja’. While it was initially applied to political conflicts such as the battle between ‘Uthman and ‘Ali, between the 18th and 19th Centuries it acquired a theological meaning. In particular, Irja’ was applied to people’s Iman; in other words, judgments on anyone’s faith was postponed and left to God. For that reason, unlike the Khawarij, adherents were generally loyal to rulers and only rarely supported riots against them.

The second point regards their conception of what constitutes faith and disbelief. Once again, unlike the Khawarij, they felt that Iman only consisted of the belief residing in the heart and its confirmation by the tongue, not concrete acts. Consequently, acts alone do not establish whether an individual is a believer or a disbeliever. When the takfir of such an individual was justified, then, they could ask.

In fact, from the Murji’a perspective, the Kaba’ir intrinsically could not throw someone out from Islam, except in the case of a sinner verbally confirming his disbelief, including shirk. Additionally, unlike the Khawarij and orthodox Sunni, they didn’t believe that faith could be altered by sinful acts and therefore excluded A’mal from Iman.

All of this contested history of the Takfir concept flows down to our own times.  Al-Qaeda and Daesh both use the ancient concept to justify their goals and their jihadi attacks on Muslims they see as disbelievers, including rulers. In their view, these people are enemies who are destroying the true Islam and the whole Ummah (community of believers), so jihad is warranted, indeed mandated. They defend this position by manipulating many passages of the Qu’ran and Hadith.

It is very important to underline this, because an increasingly high number of people now take the manipulations as truth, radicalizing themselves, embracing jihad, and becoming fascinated and indoctrinated by terrorist propaganda that promises salvation of the soul and access to paradise to those who embrace the “true way” or the “true Islam”.

This makes it crucial to understand what Takfir is and how the concepts of Takfir and jihad are used by the terrorist groups, not only to better comprehend how they justify their existence and their bloodshed, but also, above all, in fact, to improve strategies of disengagement and deradicalisation.

Related Article:

Demolish Kafir/ Mushrik/ Munafiq-Manufacturing Factories, Says Sultan Shahin, Defending New Age Islam against Talibani Onslaught

Source: eeradicalization.com/the-road-to-daesh-the-history-of-the-takfir-and-its-interpretations/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/the-war-within-islam/francesco-bergoglio-errico/the-concept-of-takfir-–-declaring-a-muslim-a-disbeliever-–-is-a-very-modern-propaganda-weapon-of-al-qaeda-and-daesh-having-its-roots-in-7th-century-–-the-khawarij-and-murji’a-groups/d/116321


  • Was it a demolition job to start with, or was it an indiscriminate act of violence and destruction typical of what terrorists do? Was the perfect demolition a result beyond their wildest dreams? 

    In any case a conspiracy on a scale that Naseer sab envisages is incomprehensible and a result of a sick fantasy. Not a single reputable investigative journalist or security expert has joined the conspiracy theory crowd!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/20/2018 12:28:03 PM

  • That the public has believed in the mother of all miracles of not one, but three WTC buildings, collapsing to the ground on their foot-print, in the manner of a perfectly executed job of controlled demolition, and not in the manner of a demolition job gone awry as it should have been,  is hardly surprising. The government went about its business taking the gullibility of the people for granted. To crown it all, WTC7 was not even hit by a plane, and it is the only building in the world, that collapsed because of an office fire, if are to believe what we are told! To uncover the falsehoods takes very little knowledge, but even this very little knowledge is too much for most people. The government knows this and cynically makes use of this weakness.

    Behavioural economists and evolutionary psychologists have demonstrated that most human decisions are based on emotional reactions and heuristic shortcuts rather than on rational analysis. Not only rationality, but individuality too is a myth. People rarely think for themselves. Rather, they think in groups.

    People think they know a lot, because they treat knowledge in the minds of others and in the books as if it were their own. This is the illusion of knowledge. We rely on the expertise of others for most of our needs. This is the result of extreme specialization facilitated by globalization. We consume very little of what we produce and most of what we consume, is produced by others. Most people know very little beyond what they produce. We have progressed as a civilization by developing the ability to place our trust in others and cooperate with them. From an evolutionary perspective, trusting in the knowledge of others has worked extremely well for us

    This condition of the people – inability to think for themselves from lack of knowledge and their complete reliance on groupthink placing their trust in experts, is cynically exploited by the powerful government supported by the media and the establishment experts. The gullible public unsurprisingly consumes whatever the government backed by its crony “experts” produces. After all, they put their trust in the government by voting it to power, and they would not like to appear stupid by being proved wrong. To distrust the government or their parents or other loved ones is extremely painful for people, and they will rather believe in delusional myths, than face the truth.

    “Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.”
    Michael Parenti, American political scientist, historian and culture critic.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/20/2018 7:05:50 AM

  • Conspiracy theorists will never understand that carrying out such a grand, megalomanic and surreptitious a plot as a 9/11  "controlled demolition" fraud  would be the greatest miracle in the history of the world! Well, let them believe what they want to believe! I do not want to waste any more of my time on this.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/19/2018 12:14:28 PM

  • Washington can lie as long as they wish and admit the truth or declassify the information kept secret whenever they wish.
    How could they keep lying about WMDs even  after having invaded and occupied Iraq and not found any?
    It is easy to lie and make the gullible public believe in the lies for even millenniums. Haven't many myths from religion survived for several millenniums?
    GM sb has flipped from calling official lies "conspiracy theory". It is an old habit of his.
    Watch the video and see for yourself how the official liars make a fool of themselves by contradicting each other.
    Every theory has a flaw except the truth which is a controlled demolition.
    Only a miracle can make a building hit by a plane come down in the manner of the most perfectly engineered and executed controlled demolition. We may as well start believing in miracles!
    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/19/2018 1:54:29 AM

  • For anyone to carry out an implosion or deliberate demolition of two of the best guarded towers in Manhattan and to keep it a secret for 16 years is an impossibility. Neither the U.S. government nor any other world entity is that efficient. Washington could not keep secret either the Pentagon Papers or the absence of WMD's in Iraq or CIA's ouster of Mossadeg. 

    But these conspiracy theories will persist. It is a big business. Some creators of conspiracy theories have become very rich. People who are taken in by conspiracy theories abound in every country. As P.T.Barnum reportedly said, "There is a sucker born every minute".

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/18/2018 1:01:22 PM

  • Height of columns 1362 feet and not as incorrectly stated in my previous comment as 362 feet.
    A collapse caused by an accident would look like one of the poorly executed demolitions as in the video below:
    Also look at some of the better executed demolitions. in the following video:
    You will not find a more perfect job than the WTC job when a disaster caused by the crash should have looked like a poorly executed demolition if at all the buildings came down because of it!
    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/18/2018 3:49:23 AM

  • Implosion normally refers to a controlled demolition technique. However, this theory has also been forwarded to explain the collapse. The collapse of a floor drew the outer columns inward causing an implosion is how they try to explain. It is a strange theory. The collapse of one floor was enough to cause an implosion while the remaining 109 floors could not prevent it! Even if such an impossible event did take place, you would still have the 59 columns 362 feet high in one piece collapsing on the neighbouring buildings and not breaking into hundreds of smaller pieces and collapsing in a heap on the footprint of the building. The difference between a controlled demolition and an unplanned collapse caused by a disaster is precisely in the way the building collapses.

    Large buildings, are destroyed by building implosion using explosives. This is very fast—the collapse itself only takes seconds and it is as fast as a free fall—and an expert can ensure that the structure falls into its own footprint, so as not to damage neighboring structures.  A dangerous scenario is the partial failure of an attempted implosion. When a building fails to collapse completely the structure may be unstable, tilting at a dangerous angle.

    The worst that could have happened to the WTC building is that the top floors above the floor that was hit, tilting. Nothing can cause the steel columns to break in smaller pieces except cutting them with oxy acetylene torch with temperature of 3773 degrees centigrade which takes considerable time, or faster with explosives.  Just try cutting structural steel by a fire caused by aviation fuel or kerosene.  No amount of burning will have any significant effect as the temperature will never cross 300 degrees centigrade. Steel loses half its strength only at 600 degrees. Also, the fire affected only a few floors and not the entire building and only for an hour before the edifice crumbled.  A controlled demolition is the only plausible explanation else what explains the floors unaffected by fire crumbling as they did?

    The WTC collapse, is the most perfect example of a controlled demolition and nothing else can explain the very orderly collapse on its own footprint in just a few seconds (in exactly the time that it takes an object falling through thin air from the top of the building hitting the ground) without leaving any part of the building standing or any of the 59 steel columns 360 feet long not cut into hundreds of pieces. A steel column may be melted completely (only theoretically because this is practically impossible) but how can it get cut into several pieces? Only by cutting them with oxy acetylene torches (very slow process) or explosives (extremely fast) as in a controlled demolition.

     It is a waste of time to discuss anything with GM Sb. He goes by groupthink on every subject - not this alone, since he lacks the skills and knowledge to think for himself. In this case, it may not even be groupthink but group position. The group of American Muslims kowtowing to their new masters can only faithfully parrot the official lies.  

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/18/2018 1:10:46 AM

  • They did not use any "unbelievable skills" on 9/11 to "implode" the World Trade Center. They flew two passenger planes full of jet fuel straight into the twin towers. How much skill does that take?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/15/2018 11:31:27 PM

  • The term Free-fall and Implosion is often juxtaposed. It is highly technical, scientific, engineering and art skill of using explosives to collapse a tall building in controlled manner on the ground in sequence to fall within its own footprint.

    In 1988 two years before 9/11 al Qaida or its affiliates claimed to have bombed the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dares-salaam; the softest targets in the world for them at the time. The damage there to the buildings could hardly be said as skilfully carried out but the loss of lives of the innocent citizens was phenomenal in comparison!

    So just in short period of time, for them to belatedly claim to have acquired the unbelievable skills to accomplished 9/11, seven seas away can only be accepted by those who believe that Moses miraculously split the Red Sea just by hitting it with his walking stick, the Rod/A'saa.

    By Skepticle - 9/15/2018 6:42:10 PM

  • Naseer saheb should send to the U.S. government his proposal for an experiment to prove his conspiracy theory regarding 9/11.
    He says that the video in which Osama bin Laden gloats over his success in bringing down the World Trade Center is fake!
    Such conspiracy theorists abound on the internet. Talking to them is a waste of time.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/15/2018 1:20:14 PM

  • GM Sb says “By the way the best explanation for the free fall of the World Trade Center was given by Osama bin Laden himself in a videotape which Naseer sahib should see if he has not seen it already. As you know Osama was an engineer.

     That is a lie. Can GM sb provide the proof? Where is the need for Osama to explain the free fall? If at all, he may have liked to take credit for the attack to bolster his image and go along with the official story which was giving him full credit for the attack and the collapse. Stop fooling around GM sb!

    The videos/audios of Osama however appear to have been fabricated en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videos_and_audio_recordings_of_Osama_bin_Laden

    but this is beside the point. The attack on WTC is a fact, and what is being discussed is not who did it, but whether the plane crashing into the building could have caused the buildings to collapse in the manner of a free fall as they did, or whether such a collapse is possible only by a controlled demolition. If could have been caused by only a controlled demolition, then the plane crashing into the building although true, is only a red herring to camouflage the controlled demolition.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/15/2018 3:23:22 AM

  • Apparently, even school level physics is beyond GM sb . The experts in the video and I have talked about the lies in the official report to explain the WTC collapse which the US government and its loyal supporters such as GM dismiss as “Conspiracy theory”.   


     There is a very simple way for the US government to settle the question if they are telling the truth. High rise buildings are demolished every now and then. For the next high rise building they plan to demolish, let them create the same situation by stocking a floor with as much aviation fuel as the plane that crashed into the WTC had or even more, and hitting this floor with a missile to create an identical or even much greater physical impact and show to the world why their WTC story is not a lie. This is feasible but the US government will never allow it as their lies will stand exposed.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/15/2018 2:02:09 AM

  • I am not going to waste my time answering Hats Off's rubbish post. His unrelenting hate war against progressive Muslims has driven him batty.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/14/2018 1:28:38 PM

  • Naseer saheb is still talking of "conspiracies" of the Western powers when hundreds of articles published to criticize the Viet Nam war, the Iraq war and the Afghan war have hardly any use for that term. "Conspiracy theorists" however is not a phrase applied to Western powers but to those who  believe in crazy and bizarre schemes to explain incidents such as  9/11. Naseer sahib did bring up his 9/11 conspiracy theory, but since he knew he would be shot down, he completely dropped 9/11 and has been dwelling on Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan instead, claiming that the word "conspiracy" properly describes those events. 

    Now he comes back with his "free fall" theory of 9/11 once again. He had mentioned other buildings which were bombed or set on fire but did not have a free fall. How many of those buildings were inundated with jet fuel at the same time they were attacked or set on fire? The passenger jets that flew into the World Trade Center had just started their flights, hence were loaded with jet fuel. But giving such explanations to conspiracy theorists is a waste of time.

    By the way the best explanation for the free fall of the World Trade Center was given by Osama bin Laden himself in a videotape which Naseer sahib should see if he has not seen it already. As you know Osama was an engineer.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/14/2018 1:24:32 PM

  • mr. ghulam mohiyuddin is a highly moderate individual with much to be moderate about.

    frinstance, knowledge, understanding, islamic thingammajig, nonsense, and a hole lot of other thingies such as as relevance. but his vocabulary would put a norman lewis to shame.

    he is of very, very moderate relevance. not only that - he is very moderate in knowledge, understanding, significance and others such parameters.

    perhaps the rarest quality of "moderates" the capacity to talk honestly.

    they will invade friendly countries and prop up hard core islamists and make inane one-liners that completely lose it - all the while why the locals just are sick of them.

    on the fifth hand, mr. naseer ahmed is also very moderate. in scholarship, in honesty and in straight talking. his forte is market, research, null and hypothesis in that order.

    so their bout is as interesting as it is trivial.

    according to the second moderate, no non-muslim is a kuffar (or whatever rot he is always saying without a single "moderate" islamic scholar agreeing with him).

    so much for his wannabe arabicism. but because he has a college degree we should remember that a cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education.

    By hats off! - 9/14/2018 6:56:18 AM

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