التوحيد at-Tawhid

Author Topic: THE RULING OF TASHABUH (IMITATING & FOLLOWING THE PRACTICES) OF THE KUFFAR  (Read 952 times)

Fahm'us Salaf

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The Ruling of Tashabuh (Imitating & Following the Practices) of the Kuffar

Bismihi Azza wa Jalla;

One of the most important Rukn (pillar) of the Islamic Aqidah (creed) is al-Wala wa’l Bara (loyalty including friendship and disavowal including the hostility). Among one of the most important issues of al-Wala wa’l Bara is, the matter of Tashabuh (imitating) the Kuffar. As showing Wala (friendship) to the Kuffar has different levels; Tashabuh itself has different levels as well.

It was narrated that Ibn Umar (radiyallahu anhum ajmain) said: Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:


مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ

Whoever imitates a people is from them. (Abu Dawud, #4031)

Shaykh'ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah after mentioning the Isnaad (chain) of this Hadith being Jayyid (good) and also Imam Ahmad and others quoted this Hadith as evidence, said the following:


وهذا الحديث أقل أحواله  أن  يقتضي تحريم التشبه بهم، وإن كان ظاهره يقتضي كفر المتشبه بهم كما في قوله: {وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ} [المائدة: 51] وهو نظير ما سنذكره عن عبد الله بن عمرو أنه قال  من بنى بأرض المشركين وصنع نيروزهم ومهرجانهم  وتشبه بهم حتى يموت حشر معهم يوم القيامة .
فقد يحمل هذا على التشبه المطلق فإنه يوجب الكفر، ويقتضي تحريم أبعاض ذلك وقد يحمل على أنه منهم في القدر المشترك الذيشابههم فيه فإن كان كفرا، أو معصية، أو شعارا لها كان حكمه كذلك


This Hadith at the very least implies that it is Haraam (unlawful) to imitate them (i.e., the Kuffar) even though the Dhahir (apparent) of this Hadith as it was in the Ayah: And if any amongst you takes them (i.e., Jews and the Christians) as Awliya (friends), then surely he is one of them. (al-Ma’idah 5/51) necessitates imitation of them to be Kafir. This is similar to the view of Abdullah ibn Amr (radiyallahu anhum ajmain) which we will be quoting it later: “Whoever builds (a building and settles) in the land of the Mushrikin and celebrates their (festival of) Nawroz (new year) and (festivals of theirs) Mahrajaan and imitates them until he dies will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.” This may be interpreted as referring to absolute imitation which implies Kufr and necessitates parts of it to be Haraam. Sometimes it may be interpreted as meaning that he is one of them to the extent that he imitates them. If it (i.e., imitating concerning) is in ideas of Kufr, Masiyah (sin) or the Shiar (signs and partaking in a ritual) then its Hukm (ruling) will be accordingly. (Iqtida’us Siraat’il Mustaqim, 1/271)

Therefore imitating the Kuffar is not always Kufr. If an individual consented to the Kuffar with regards to Kufr then he will be Kafir too; if he imitates the Kuffar with regards to the issues that are less than Kufr then he will be ruled accordingly. Ibn’is Salah (rahimahullah) said:


فان من تشبه بِقوم فَكَأَنَّهُ مِنْهُم والتشبه بالكفار قد يكون مَكْرُوها وَقد يكون حَرَامًا وَذَلِكَ على حسب الْفُحْش فِيهِ قلَّة وَكَثْرَة وَالله

Whoever imitates a people is like them. Imitating the Kuffar can be (in some cases) Makruh (disliked) and (in some cases) Haraam. This will be changing accordingly to the whether less or more Fuhsh (evil) in it. (Ibn’is Salah, Fatawa Ibn’is Salah, 2/473)

According to this, the forbidden Tashabuh (imitation) to the Kuffar (imitating them concerning things that are unique characteristics of their religion and that have not been referred to in Islam) is of different levels:

1- Makruh (disliked) type of Tashabuh (imitation): As it is, praying during the time of Karahat (such as; sunrise, sunset and when the sun is at its zenith until it moves slightly to the west).

2- Haraam type of Tashabuh (imitation): As it is in cutting the beard since it was said in the Hadith: Lengthen the beards and trim the mustache and differ from the Mushrikin (polytheists). (Bukhari, #5892; Muslim, #259-260)

3- Kufr type of Tashabuh (imitation): Imitating the Kuffar –including the I’tiqaad- absolute imitation in every manner. If s/he performs an act or utters something that does not ascribe other than affirmation of Kufr without Ikrah (coercion) even if s/he did so without believing it in his/her heart.

Also there are acts that the Ulama (scholars) made Ikhtilaaf (disagreement) concerning whether they are Kufr or Haraam. Amir as-Sanani stated this Ikhtilaaf concerning the Tashabuh (imitation) of the Kuffar and said:


وَالْحَدِيثُ دَالٌّ عَلَى أَنَّ مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِالْفُسَّاقِ كَانَ مِنْهُمْ أَوْ بِالْكُفَّارِ أَوْ بِالْمُبْتَدِعَةِ فِي أَيِّ شَيْءٍ مِمَّا يَخْتَصُّونَ بِهِ مِنْ مَلْبُوسٍ أَوْ مَرْكُوبٍ أَوْ هَيْئَةٍ، قَالُوا: فَإِذَا تَشَبَّهَ بِالْكَافِرِ فِي زِيٍّ وَاعْتَقَدَ أَنْ يَكُونَ بِذَلِكَ مِثْلَهُ كَفَرَ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَعْتَقِدْ فَفِيهِ خِلَافٌ بَيْنَ الْفُقَهَاءِ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ قَالَ: يَكْفُرُ وَهُوَ ظَاهِرُ الْحَدِيثِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ قَالَ: لَا يَكْفُرُ وَلَكِنْ يُؤَدَّبُ.

The Hadith indicates that anyone who imitates the Fussaq (immoral people) becomes one of them. He also becomes like the Kuffar (disbelievers) or Mubtadi (innovators) in religion if he dresses, rides, or appears like them. It is said: If he (i.e., the Muslim) dresses like the Kuffar and believes that he is like them, he becomes a Kafir (disbeliever). If he does not believe that then there is Khilaf (disagreement) between the Fuqaha (jurists). Some of them (i.e., the Fuqaha) said he is a disbeliever in the Dhahir (outwardly) indicated by the Hadith. Some amongst them (i.e., the Fuqaha) said that he does not become a Kafir, but he should be disciplined. (as-Sanani, Subul’us Salaam, 2/647)

Within this manner the Ulama made Ikhtilaaf concerning the ruling of wearing the Shiar of the Kuffar such as the cross, the Zunnar (a rope girdle) etc. Ibn Muflih, a student of Shaykhu’l-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, narrated the statement of one of the greatest Fuqaha of the Hanbali Madhhab, Abu’l Khattab al-Kalwazani in his book al-Furu:


وَفِي الِانْتِصَارِ: مَنْ تَزَيَّا بِزِيِّ كُفْرٍ مِنْ لُبْسِ غِيَارٍ وَشَدِّ زُنَّارٍ وَتَعْلِيقِ صَلِيبٍ بِصَدْرِهِ حَرُمَ وَلَمْ يُكَفَّرْ

It was said in the book Intisar: Whoever wears the dress of the Kuffar by wearing the turban (of the Kuffar), Zunnar and hangs a cross on his chest would perform Haraam and he will not be Kafir. (Ibn Muflih, al-Furu, 10/191)

Both Ibn Muflih and al-Mardawi who wrote Hashiya (footnote or side notes on margins) to the book of Ibn Muflih, al-Furu, narrated this form Abu’l Khattab without any critique.

The following is said in al-Iqna which is one of the most reputed Hanbali Fiqh concerning the ruling of the one who wears the dress of the Kuffar such as the cross etc.:


وَإِنْ تَزَيَّا بِهَا مُسْلِمٌ أَوْ عَلَّقَ صَلِيبًا بِصَدْرِهِ حَرُمَ  وَلَمْ يَكْفُرْ

If a Muslim wears these or hangs a cross on his chest will commit Haraam and will not be a Kafir. (Hajjawi, al-Iqna, 2/48)

In Kashshaf’ul Qina which is the Sharh (commentary) of al-Iqna the following is given while the explanation given to this statement:


وَلَمْ يَكْفُرْ بِذَلِكَ كَسَائِرِ الْمَعَاصِي وَالْخَبَرُ لِلتَّنْفِيرِ

With this (e.i., the cross) as it was with regards to other Masiyah (sin), he will not be Kafir, the narration was to cause hatred. (Bahuti, Kashshaf’ul Qina, 3/128)

Therefore the owner of Kashshaf’ul Qina, Bahuti also affirms that wearing the cross is not Kufr but Haraam. He took the Hadith: ‘Whoever imitates a people is from them’ as a Taghliz meaning to avoid. Bahuti, stated this view in his book Sharh'ul Muntaha’l Iradaat (3/395) as well.

However Jumhur (most) of the other scholars stated that wearing the Shiar of the Kuffar such as the cross, Zunnar etc., is Kufr and again they present details for it.

Amongst the Shafii, Imam Nawawi stated the following right after mentioning the Hukm of wishing the Haraam to be Halal:


وَلَوْ شَدَّ الزُّنَّارَ عَلَى وَسَطِهِ، كَفَرَ، وَاخْتَلَفُوا فِيمَنْ وَضَعَ قَلَنْسُوَةَ الْمَجُوسِ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ، وَالصَّحِيحُ أَنَّهُ يَكْفُرُ، وَلَوْ شَدَّ عَلَى وَسَطِهِ حَبْلًا، فَسُئِلَ عَنْهُ، فَقَالَ: هَذَا زُنَّارٌ، فَالْأَكْثَرُونَ عَلَى أَنَّهُ يَكْفُرُ، وَلَوْ شَدَّ عَلَى وَسَطِهِ زُنَّارًا، وَدَخَلَ دَارَ الْحَرْبِ لِلتِّجَارَةِ، كَفَرَ، وَإِنْ دَخَلَ لِتَخْلِيصِ الْأُسَارَى، لَمْ يَكْفُرْ. قُلْتُ: الصَّوَابُ أَنَّهُ لَا يَكْفُرُ فِي مَسْأَلَةِ التَّمَنِّي وَمَا بَعْدَهَا إِذَا لَمْ تَكُنْ نِيَّةً. وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ.

If he wraps the Zunnar on his midst (body) he becomes Kafir. They (i.e., scholars) made Ikhtilaaf concerning one wearing the hat of the Magus (Zoroastrian) on his head. The Sahih (sound) view is its being Kufr. It will be asked to the person who wraps a rope (on his body); if he says ‘this is a Zunnar’ then the Jumhur is on the view that he is Kafir. If he wraps a rope (on his body) and goes to Dar’ul Harb for business he will be Kafir. Rather if he goes to rescue the slaves then he will not be Kafir. I say: If there was no Niyyah (intention) concerning the issue of wish and issues after that, he will not be Kafir. (Nawawi, Rawdat'ut Talibin, 10/69)

For the view of the Malikis, see Hashiyat'ud Dasuki ala’sh-Sharh'il Kabir, 4/301

As it is clearly seen; there is Ikhtilaaf concerning the ruling of the Muslim who wears the Zunnar or the hat of the Kuffar in Dar'ul Islam and also with regards to the place or the purpose. It is because all of these are taken as signs of whether he is consenting with Kufr or not. If there is –even if a slight- possibility that he had not opened his heart to Kufr then it will be kept distant from making Takfir of him. Ruling of all of the matters which are problematic, meaning have possibilities and are included in imitating the Kuffar are the same. But when he commits such acts to worship the cross or utters their clear Kufr statements then Niyyah (intention) will not be looked for. We are narrating all of these so that issues that are based upon Ijmaa (consensus) and issues that there is Ikhtilaaf over are apparent. Also so that by using the excuse of imitating the Kuffar, the Hukm of Kufr shall not be given to any random act nor concerning the matters which there is Ikhtilaaf, the principle ‘whoever does not call a Kafir as a Kafir, will become Kafir himself’ shall not be applied.

In short, the ruling over the one who imitates the Kuffar is dependent upon the act he performs. If he –by imitating the Kuffar- intends to join their rank, to be one of them and he performs something that can not be interpreted nothing but Kufr then this is Kufr with Ittifaaq (agreement). However if it happens without carrying such intention, concerning the ruling of the one who performs acts that are unique to the Kuffar, then there is Ikhtilaaf. The least of its ruling is that it is Haraam.  In reality it is enough for a Mu’min to keep distant from an act of Haraam or something that will cause the punishment of Allah (Ta’ala). It is certainly not as some ignorant people claim, that in order to refrain from something it needs to be Kufr. This will be said only by the one who does not have fear of Allah. Wallahu A’lam (Allah knows the best)!.. Wa’l Hamdulillah (and praise be to Allah)!..
Whosoever desires الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah (honour, power and glory) then to Allah belong all الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah [and one can get honour, power and glory only by obeying and worshiping Allah (Alone)]. To Him ascend (all) الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ al-Kalim al-Tayyib (the goodly words), and الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ al-Amal al-Saalih (the righteous deeds) exalt it (the goodly words i.e., the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds). (Fatir 35/10)

 

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