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The Definition and Type of Kufr in Islam

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Kufr is one of the attitudes that we must stay away from. Reporting from almanhaj, the following are the understandings and types of kufr and the prohibitions and adzab which have been determined and explained in the Qur’an and hadith.


Understanding of Kufr

Analyzed in language, kufr has the meaning of covering up, but if examined according to syara’ then kufr means not believing in Allah and His Messenger. When someone does not believe in Allah and His Messenger by denying it or not, then that person is the same as Kufr.

Kufr Types

Broadly speaking, kufr is divided into two, namely major kufr and minor kufr. Major kufr is something that is very dangerous because it can cause someone to leave Islam without even realizing it. The causes of major kufr are divided into five types, namely:

  1. Don’t believe in God and All the Truth that Comes from Him

Meaning: “And who is more persecuting than those who fabricate lies against God or deny the truth when those rights come to him? Isn’t there in Hell a place for those who disbelieve?” (Al-Ankabut: 68)

  1. Truly Justifies, But is Unwilling and Arrogant to Admit It

Meaning: “And (remember) when We say to the Angels, ”Submit to Adam.” Then, they submit except the devil, he is reluctant and proud and is he including the unbelievers.” (Al-Baqarah: 34)

The verse above can be an example, in fact, the devils justify what God says and commands because they are on the basis of beings who also submit and acknowledge the oneness of Allah. But, when they were ordered to bow down to Adam, they felt reluctant and boasted about the fact that they were created from fire and Adam was only a creature created from the ground, while the fire was stronger than the ground, they thought. So the demons were expelled by God from heaven because they had committed kufr on what he created by boasting and refused to acknowledge the truth that Adam was His perfect servant.

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  1. Doubts to God

Meaning: “And he entered his garden, while he was persecuting himself; he said, “I think this garden will not perish forever, and I do not think that Judgment Day will come, and if I were returned to my Lord, I would find a good place to return.” His friend (the believer) said to him, “Do you disbelieve in (Rabb) who created you from the ground, then from a drop of semen, then He makes you a man? But I (believe that) He is Allah my Rabb and I do not associate Him with anything.” (Al-Kahfi: 35-38)

The verse above explains that the first person who said had doubted the power of God to destroy his garden and bring a doomsday.

  1. Turn Away From God’s Warning

Meaning: “And those people turned away from the warning that was delivered to them.” (Al-Ahqaf: 3)

Those who turn away or do not want to hear what is said by God are those who are kufr.

  1. Nifaq’s Actions

In terms of terminology, nifaq means to show Islam on a birth basis, but hide kufr or evil in a way that is not visible. Nifaq is the name of the deeds performed by the munafiq people.

Meaning: “That is because they believe (in) the birth and infidel (inwardly), then their hearts are locked to death, therefore they cannot understand.” (Al-Munafiqun: 3)

Minor kufr is kufr which does not cause someone to get out of Islam and in the form of sins that have been mentioned in the Qur’an and hadith in the form of Kufr sins. The degree of kufr’s sins is lower than major kufr but both must be avoided. Examples of small kufr are:

  1. Kufr of Grace

It means denying or unwilling to acknowledge the blessings that Allah has given and not acknowledging that Allah is the one who gives these favors and is the only Giver of Favors.

Meaning: “They know the blessings of Allah, then they deny and most of them are infidels.” (An-Nahl: 83)

  1. Killing Fellow Muslims

The Prophet Sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam said,

Meaning: “Chiding Muslims is wickedness and killing them is kufr.” (Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim History)

And the words of the Sallallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam.

Meaning: “Do not let me go back to being infidels; you will partially cut off the necks of others.” (Hadiths of Bukhari and Muslim History)

  1. Say an Oath with a Name Other than Allah

Meaning: “Whoever swears by a name other than Allah, then he has committed kufr or shirk.” (At-Tirmidhi and is exalted, and dishonored by Al-Hakim)

These sins are classified as minor kufr because people who do them are still considered by God as believers. Like killing, God does not say that the murderer has come out of Islam, but only commands the perpetrator to do the same qishash or retaliation in a murder case. Even the murderer is made a brother to the murdered guardian who has the right to do qishah. If the murdered party forgives, then the killer only has to pay the payment.

Meaning: “O ye who believe, it is obligatory upon you qishash is pleased with those who are killed.” (Al-Baqarah: 178)

Prohibition of Doing Kufr

Allah SWT clearly forbade His people to do kufr in his life. This is written in the Qur’anic proposition, namely:

“Surely Allah defends those who believe. Indeed, Allah does not like every person who betrays and kufr favors.” (Surah Al-Hajj: 38)

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God’s Punishment for People who Do Kufr

People who do major kufr won’t be acknowledge by Islam and abolished every charity they have ever done. If he dies in an unrepentant state, then he will endure in hell. As for the minor kufr, he is still acknowledged by Islam and merit but still got the sin according to what he did and Allah ordered to repent also in the way that Islam was prescribed. For example, if someone kills a fellow Muslim described above, it must be ‘paid’ not by qishash or paying.

Major kufr can cause a person to be eternal in hell, while minor kufr can still be erased by repentance and has a great opportunity to be forgiven by Allah. In Islam, the perpetrators of major kufr must also be shunned so as not to give a bad influence, while the perpetrators of small kufr are simply hated by their crimes, not the culprit.

But, never underestimate the small kufr. Let us take lessons from the Qarun, the kufr favors after Allah gives him wealth and extraordinary knowledge is abundant. In the end, he was drowned with all his possessions into the Earth.

فَخَسَفْنَا بِهِ وَبِدَارِهِ الْأَرْضَ فَمَا كَانَ لَهُ مِنْ فِئَةٍ يَنْصُرُونَهُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُنْتَصِرِينَ

“So We buried Qarun and his house into the Earth. Then, there is no for him a group that helps him against the adzab of Allah. And he is not among those who can defend him.” (Surah Al-Qasas: 81)

Further readings:

Those are the meaning behind Kufr and some types based on its sin. Make sure you understand fully about it and avoid doing things that isn’t allowed by Allah!

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Kategori : Prohibition