pl. kafirun. A person who commits kufr. Lit. "the coverer", one who hides or covers the truth. denier of the truth, ingrate, rebel against God, infidel, Generally used by Muslims to refer to those who do not believe in the ministry of Muhammad and the Qur'an.
But they who disbelieve (wa'llazina kafaru), and deny Our revelations, such are rightful Peoples of the Fire. They will abide therein (al-Baqarah 2:39).It was also used of Christians who believe in the divinity of Jesus:
They surely disbelieve (la-gad kafar 'llazina) who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers (al-Ma'idah 5:72).According to Hughes,
The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! (al-Ma'idah 5:75)."the Kamalan say it refers to the Nestorians and to the Malaka'iyah who believe that God is one of three, the other two being the mother and son" (Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p. 260). [It is factually impossible for the Nestorians to accord Mary divinity since they even deny Mary of the title of "God-bearer" (Gk: theotokos)].
According to the Raddu 'l-Muhtar (vol. iii, p. 442), there are five classes of kafirs or infidels:
(Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p. 260)
- Those who do not believe in the Great First Cause,
- Those who do not believe in the Unity of God, as the Sanawiyah who believe in the two eternal principles of light and darkness,
- Those who believe in the unity of God, but do not believe in a revelation,
- Those who are idolaters,
- Those who believe in God and in a revelation, but do not believe in the general mission of Muhammad to the whole of mankind, as the Christians, a sect of the Jews (sic).
Sayid Sharif Jurjani says: "Mankind are divided into two parties, namely those who acknowledge the mission of Muhammad, or those who do not believe in it. Those who do not believe in his mission are either those who reject it and yet believe in the inspiration and divine mission of other prophets, as the Jews and the Christians, and also the Majusi (Fire Worshippers); or those who do believe in any revelation of God's will. Those who do not believe in any revelation from God are either those who acknowledge the existence of God, as the Brahma (Buddhists?), or those who deny the existence of a Supreme Ruler, as the Dahri or atheists.
Those who do not acknowledge Muhammad as an inspired prophet are either those who do it wilfully and from mere enmity, or those who do not acknowledge it from reflection and due study of the subject. For the former is eternal punishment, and for the latter that punishment is not eternal. There are also those who, whiles they are Muslims, are not orthodox in the belief; these are heretics, but they are not kafirs. Those who are orthodox are an-Naji or the salvationists. (Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p. 260)
Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak:
(who was one of the companions who gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet underneath the tree (Al-Hudaibiya)) Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam (i.e. if somebody swears by saying that he is a non-Muslim e.g., a Jew or a Christian, etc.) in case he is telling a lie, he is really so if his oath is false, and a person is not bound to fulfill a vow about a thing which he does not possess. And if somebody commits suicide with anything in this world, he will be tortured with that very thing on the Day of Resurrection; And if somebody curses a believer, then his sin will be as if he murdered him; And whoever accuses a believer of Kufr (disbelief), then it is as if he killed him." (Sahih Bukhari 8.73. also Sahih Bukhari 8.126)
Narrated Uthman ibn Affan:
AbuUmamah ibn Sahl said: We were with Uthman when he was besieged in the house. There was an entrance to the house. He who entered it heard the speech of those who were in the Bilat. Uthman then entered it. He came out to us, looking pale.
He said: They are threatening to kill me now. We said: Allah will be sufficient for you against them, Commander of the Faithful! He asked: Why kill me? I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: It is not lawful to kill a man who is a Muslim except for one of the three reasons: Kufr (disbelief) after accepting Islam, fornication after marriage, or wrongfully killing someone, for which he may be killed.
I swear by Allah, I have not committed fornication before or after the coming of Islam, nor did I ever want another religion for me instead of my religion since Allah gave guidance to me, nor have I killed anyone. So for what reason do you want to kill me? (Sunan Abu Da'ud 39.4487)
Allah's Apostle said, "Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (i.e., an evil-doing), and killing him is Kufr (disbelief)." (Sahih Bukhari 8.70, Sahih Bukhari 9.197)
Narrated Abu Dhar:
That he heard the Prophet saying, "If somebody accuses another of Fusuq (by calling him 'Fasiq' i.e. a wicked person) or accuses him of Kufr, such an accusation will revert to him (i.e. the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent." (Sahih Bukhari 8.71)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
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