The Nullifiers of Faith
We are already aware that anybody who affirms the Kalimah-i- Tayyibah “La Ilaha IllAllah Muhammadur Rasulullah” [There is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger] by the word of mouth and testifies to it from his inner self enters the fold of noble faith of Islam. At the same time, we must also learn what are the matters which may cause the exclusion of a faithful from the fold of Islam, with a view to keeping guard against them. A rudimentary point is that the mere occurrence of any idea, thought, conception, word or deed which is contrary to this affirmation of the faith in any way will ipso facto nullify the faith. The simplest meaning of “La Ilaha IllAllah” is that one must acknowledge and affirm the sovereignty and divinity of Allah, His names and attributes, and his obedience by the word of mouth as well as by conviction. The implication of the second part of this affirmation viz., “Muhammadur Rasulullah” is that one should unreservedly affirm and accept the code of life revealed to the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as well as to affirm and believe in all those matters which belong to the realm of the occult [unknown]. If after adhering to this affirmation of faith anybody takes to any view in regard to the sovereignty and divinity of Allah, His names and attributes or His obedience, or makes any addition to or deletion there from or makes any alteration therein he instantly puts his faith in jeopardy. In fact, he becomes guilty of reneging from his earlier commitment and derogating from his faith. Thus, his faith stands nullified. Likewise, if somebody takes a stand contrary to his earlier affirmation of the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or his prophet hood or creates doubts about his mission or contradicts any principles or practices of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) which are proven as true and binding by virtue of the consensus among the Companions of the Prophet and their successors. In this case the culprit will stand excluded from the religion of Islam.
Nullification of Tawhid al Rubu`biyah (the Belief in Oneness of the Lordship of Allah) : Belief in the Oneness of the Lordship of Allah means, that, one should whole-heartedly believe, that Allah alone is the sovereign lord of the whole universe, without, the partnership of any other entity; that He is the Creator of all and the ruler of all; that He alone governs the entire process of this universe; that He has the sole control over life and death; and that He alone provides livelihood to all. This is the Belief in Oneness of the Lordship of Allah. If, however, contrary to this belief, somebody says that there is no God or if there is a God who has co-partners or co-sharers; or if he holds about the creation that this universe has come into being by an accident; or that the physical nature is the supreme force; or believes that matter is eternal and that this universe has existed from eternity and will continue in eternity; or that it is not Allah Almighty who provides the livelihood but somebody else or somebody else is co-partner of Allah in this respect. All such assumptions and beliefs go contrary to the pristine belief in the in Oneness of the Lordship of Allah. Anybody who indulges in such thoughts becomes guilty of committing disbelief and gets excluded from the sphere of Islam. Pharaoh was one such person who had claimed to be the supreme lord of the universe. It is stated in the Quran:
فَقَالَ أَنَا رَبُّكُمْ الأَعْلَى (24) (النازعات:24)
(Translation of meaning) [“So he said I am your supreme lord”(An-Naziat:24)].
Even, if somebody testifies a person who holds such belief and considers him to be true and correct, he is excluded from the sphere of Islam.
Nullification of Tawhid al `Uluhiyyah (the Belief in the Oneness of the Worship of Allah): Only Allah Almighty is worthy of our devotion and worship. All loyalty and obedience is reserved for Him alone. If, however, contrary to this, somebody believes in worship of any other deity or entity or actually worships any others; or holds partially or wholly views akin to this he will become guilty of denying the right of Allah and committing disbelief. Such a person shall stand excluded from the fold of Islam forthwith. That is the basis of the deviation of people in the past and the present. People do affirm that Allah is the Creator of the universe, the Supreme Lord, the bread-giver and the governor of the universe. But at the same time, they contravene this belief. Thus it has been declared in the Quran:
وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ (87) (الزخرف:87)
(Translation of meaning) [“And if thou ask them who created them, they will surely say: Allah. How then are they turned away?” (Az-Zukhruf: 87)].
Nevertheless, in spite of this affirmation, it is generally observed that people fail to fulfil the requirements of this commitment. When they should have worshipped Allah Almighty sincerely, they either desist from it or take co-partners of Allah, even if, this co-partner be their own self. This is the stage for the trial of the believers. This is a very delicate and risky stage. This is the stage of interplay of disbelief and shirk. Although, people accept the oneness of Allah [Tawhid] as a doctrine still they lag behind in fulfilling its practical requirements in their actual life and thus they get enmeshed with acts of disbelief and shirk. Now the starting point of this tragedy is that people first lose the fear of Allah and then they are ultimately led to believe that there is no need of fearing Allah. As soon as their bond with Allah is disrupted they move to other worldly gods for support and succour. Or else, under the influence of atheistic propaganda they begin making fun of the Islamic rituals of salat, fasting, zakat and Hajj and other devotional matters and think that Islam is an obsolete system of thought which cannot adjust with the requirements of the modern age. In their view the Islamic Shariat and the religious norms appear to be a particular point in the evolution of human civilization and that the same is unfit in the modern times. Thus, even if they look like Muslims but as a matter of fact they stand excluded from the sphere of Islam because the Islamic Shariat and its norms are but the practical manifestations of monotheism. It has been declared in the Quran:
إِنْ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلَّهِ (40) (يوسف:40)
(Translation of meaning) [“Verily, governance belongs to Allah”(Yusuf: 40)].
In another place it is stated:
فَالْحُكْمُ لِلَّهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْكَبِيرِ(12) (غافر:12)
(Translation of meaning) [“So sovereignty belongs to Allah the Highest and the Greatest”(Ghafir:12)].
It must be remembered, very well that worshipping any entity other than Allah is patent disbelief and to ask others to worship oneself is also disbelief. Similarly, demanding of others to prostrate or bow before him or consider him as their mainstay or claim divine attributes is absolute disbelief. Likewise, it is also disbelief that one creates a code parallel to the code of the divine Shariat. For instance, tampering with the norms of halal and haram or legitimizing adultery or legalizing the profession of prostitution and taking of usury. Similarly, all attempts at doing with the divinely ordained sanctions and punishments are tantamount to pretentions to become Allah the Almighty oneself and are prima facie disbelief.
So far as the names and attributes of Allah are concerned the slightest non-deference to them leads to disbelief. The meaning of tawhid with reference to the names and attributes of Allah is that whatever names or attributes of perfection and beauty have been ascribed to Allah in the Quran and the Prophetic tradition must be accepted and must be reserved to Him alone and that these qualities should not be attributed to any entity other than Allah. Likewise, the Quran and Hadith have declared the entity of Allah as being pure and free of any shortcoming or defect. This should also be accepted absolutely. If this is not done it will be tantamount to disbelief. For instance, both Quran and Hadith have affirmed the omniscience, omnipresence, omnicompetence of Allah Almighty and His knowledge of everything in the past, present and the future, etc. Now if anybody denies these qualities is a disbeliever [Kafir]. For instance, if somebody says that knowledge possessed by Allah is but a summary knowledge bereft of the particulars and minute details is guilty of committing kufr. Similarly, assimilating the divine attributes to human attributes is also tantamount to kufr. In the same way, if someone believes that Allah has a wife and children or that he sleeps or dozes like humans or that He is subject to death are all heretic thoughts. Likewise, to claim a share in the wisdom or knowledge of Allah is pure kufr. To claim that one knows as much as Allah knows or is as much wise as Allah is and to confirm such claims is tantamount to kufr.
Denial of the Prophetic Mission is also kufr : The Prophet was the medium through the matters of the occult, the demands of Allah and his commandments were revealed to the mankind. Any word spoken or written which denies the truth and credibility of the Prophetic mission and divine revelation will nullify the faith of the utterer. By affirming the second part of the Kalimah “Muhammadur Rasulullah” [Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah] we affirm and attest his innocence and immunity from human weaknesses. Unless we believe that he was immune from human shortcomings and defects he cannot be accepted as the true and trusted carrier of the divine message. To us he was an honest, trustworthy, pious, pure and chaste person. To diminish any of his qualities will be a cause of heresy. To denigrate or make fun of or find fault with any of his acts is tantamount to a denial of his status which we affirm through the second part of the Kalimah. All such acts will land one in kufr. In the same way it is incumbent upon us to believe absolutely in all such matters pertaining to the occult described in the Quran, even if they appear to us as supernatural and incomprehensible. Thus to doubt or deny the matters of the occult as laid down in the Quran and the traditions (hadiths) of the Prophet is tantamount to kufr. Similarly, denial of the divine commandments and prohibitions as laid down in the Quran and the traditions (hadiths) of the Prophet nullifies one’s faith. For instance, if one refutes the prohibition of adultery, theft, liquor, etc or deny the obligatory nature of slat, fasting, zakat or Hajj, or makes any additions to or deletions from the ordained practices. The norms of the Shariat are immutable and cannot be changed except by the divine law-giver Himself. Thus one can interpret and apply them but one cannot change or modify or dilute them save at the cost of the nullification of his faith. In the same vein, it is essential to believe in the mission of all messengers of Allah preceding Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Not believing in any one of them is heresy. Likewise, one must believe that Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the seal of all messengers, that is, he is the last messenger of Allah on the earth after whom no prophet will be sent to the mankind. So the denial of the finality of his prophethood or making a claim to be a prophet or to testify to such claims is also tantamount to kufr. For instance, the Bahais and Qadianis have nullified their faith by believing in the prophethood of their leaders after the Last Messenger.