Types of Kufr (Disbelief): Imam Ibn Katheer

Types of Kufr (Disbelief)
Imaam ibn Kathīr (rahīmahullaah – b. 701 AH – d. 774 AH)

Adapted from ‘Tafseer ibn Katheer’

The Qur’ān uses the word Kufr to denote people who cover up or hide realities. The Qur’ān uses this word to identify those who denied Allāh’s favors by not accepting His Dominion and Authority. Kufr thus is an antonym for īman or disbelief in Allāh and a Kāfir is a non-believer. This type of Kufr is called Kufr al Akbar or major kufr. There are many types of Kufr al Akbar:

1. Kufrul ‘Inād: Disbelief out of stubborness. This applies to someone who knows the truth and admits to knowing the truth and admits to knowing it with his tongue, but refuses to accept it and refrains from making a declaration. Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says:

أَلْقِيَا فِي جَهَنَّمَ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ

Throw into Hell every stubborn disbeliever
[Sūrah Qāf (50), Ayah 24]

2. Kufrul Inkār: Disbelief out of denial. This applies to someone who denies with both heart and tongue. Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says: They recognize the favors of Allāh, yet they deny them. Most of them are disbelievers. [Sūrah Nahl (16), Ayah 83]

3. Kufrul Kibr: Disbelief out of arrogance and pride. The disbelief by the devils (Iblīs) is an example of this type of Kufr.

4. Kufrul Juhūd: Disbelief out of rejection.This applies to someone who acknowledges the truth in his heart, but rejects it with his tongue. This types of kufr is applicable to those who calls themselves Muslims but who reject any necessary and accepted norms of Islām such as Salāt and Zakāt. Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says: They denied them (Our Signs) even though their hearts believed in them , out of spite and arrogance. [Sūrah Naml (27), Ayah 14]

5. Kufrul Nifāq: Disbelief out of hypocrisy.This applies to someone who pretends to be a believer but conceals his disbelief. Such a person is called a Munāfiq or hypocrite. Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says: Verily the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of Hell. You will find no one to help them. [Sūrah An Nisā (4), Ayah 145]

6. Kufrul Istihlāl: Disbelief out of trying to make Harām into Halāl. This applies to someone who accepts as lawful (Halāl) that which Allāh has made unlawful (Harām) like alcohol or adultery.Only Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā has the prerogative to make things Halāl and Harām and those who seek to interfere with His right are like rivals to Him and therefore fall outside the boundaries of faith.

7. Kufrul Kurh: Disbelief out of detesting any of Allāh’s subhānahū wa ta’ālā commands. Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says: Perdition (destruction) has been consigned to those who disbelieve and He will render their actions void. This is because they are averse to that which Allāh has revealed so He has made their actions fruitless. [Sūrah Muhammed (47), Ayah 8-9]

8. Kufrul Istihzaha: Disbelief due to mockery and derision. Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says: Say: Was it at Allāh, His signs and His apostles that you were mocking? Make no excuses. You have disbelieved after you have believed. [Sūrah at Taubah (9), ayah 65-66]

9. Kufrul I’rādh: Disbelief due to avoidance. This applies to those who turn away and avoid the truth. Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says: And who is more unjust than he who is reminded of his Lord’s signs but then turns away from them. Then he forgets what he has sent forward (for the Day of Judgment) [Sūrah Kahf (18), Ayah 57]

10. Kufrul Istibdāl: Disbelief because of trying to substitute Allāh’s Laws. This could take the form of:

(a) Rejection of Allāh’s law (Sharī‘ah) without denying it

(b) Denial of Allāh’s law and therefore rejecting it, or

(c) Substituting Allāh’s laws with man-made laws. Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says: Or have they partners with Allāh who have instituted for them a religion which Allāh has not allowed. [Sūrah Shūrā(42) V. 8] Allāh subhānahū wa ta’ālā says: Say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely (that) is lawful and this is forbidden so as to invent a lie against Allāh. Verily, those who invent a lie against Allāh will never prosper. [Sūrah Nahl (16) V. 116]

(Alternate Spellings: Kathir, Katheer)


7 Responses to “Types of Kufr (Disbelief): Imam Ibn Katheer”

  1. 1 Al-Hanbali November 23, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    asalamu aleykum
    jazaka Allahu khairan

    note, its kuffr istihlal not istihal

  2. 2 Al-Hanbali November 23, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    and yeah will copy this on my blog and cite you if you dont mind :P

  3. 3 danishalhyderabadee November 23, 2006 at 3:58 pm

    wa ‘alaykum as Salaam

    sure no problem inshaAllah,

    jazaakAlaahu khayran for the correction

  4. 4 ahmed November 27, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    salaamu alaikum,

    which part of Tafseer Ibn Kathir is this from?

    jazakum Allahu khairan,

  5. 5 Eagle October 28, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    kind of off topic, but why would the Mufti of jerusalem get all upset when he was asked if it was true that there is no compulsion in Islam, and when he said it was true… he got really angry when it was asked why it was a crime for Muslims to leave Islam??

  6. 6 abu usama February 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    many people deny kufr istibdaal

  7. 7 Abu Yusha March 21, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    The last type : Kufrul Istibdāl : Would mean that most of the Muslim in the today world are being ruled by the kuffar.

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Fiqh As Sawm

Islamic Rulings Surrounding Ramadhan and Fasting. Based on “Manar As Sabeel Fi Sharh Ad Daleel” Of Shaykh Ibraheem ibn Duwaiyan (d. 1353 AH) as explained by Br. Salim Morgan. Transcribed and Edited By Ibn Al Hyderabadee

Prologue Introduction

Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan
1. A pillar of Islam 2. Obligation of Fasting 3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan 4. One reliable witness' presence is sufficient 5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual 6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness 7. Requirements of a valid fast 8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting 9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Permissions and Prohibitions

1. Impermissible to break fast during Ramadhan 2. Prohibited to fast for a woman in her menstrual or post-partum bleedin 3. Obligatory to break it when it is required to save a person’s life 4. Recommended to break fast for one who is ill and fears harm from fasting. 5. Recommended to break fast when one is traveling 6. Permissible for one to break fast who begins a journey while fasting 7. Permissible for a pregnant or nursing (breast feeding) woman 8. Change of condition of a person doesn’t obligate one to refrain from eating and drinking the rest of the day. 9. Prohibited to fast a voluntary fast instead of an obligatory one.

Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast

1. Intentional Intake of anything into the abdomen 2. Intention to break fast 3. Fluctuating Intention to fast 4. Vomiting intentionally 5. Menstruation or Post Partum Bleeding 6. Masturbation 7. Marital Relations 8. Cupping for both parties 9. Death 10. Apostasy 11. Above are Exempted in some cases

Chapter 4: Repayment
1. Missing a day of fast in Ramadhan
2. When does one make up a missed fast
3. If missed fast are not made up until few dats before next Ramadhan
4. Missed fasts first or voluntary?

Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting
1. Recommended Every Other Day Sawn Dawood
2. The three white days of every Islamic month
3. Six days of Shawwaal
4. Month of Muharram and the 10th
5. Ten days of Dhil Hijja and that of Arafat
6. Disliking of the month of Rajab
7. Disliking of the day of Friday
8. Disliking of the 30th of Shabaan
9. Impermissibility of fasting on the two Eids
10. Completing of a voluntary fast is not Wajib



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