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Denial about those who Deny 25 February 2008


What is denial? There is a myth that persists throughout the Muslim community, that a non-Muslim is by definition a Kafir. That outlook in some cases, is myopic, and in other cases is idiotic.

There are those who define Islam only in terms of law. These may be the legal scholars or their followers. Law is a field focused on the external far more than the internal. In the external world, then, many follow the paradigm that everyone in the world is either a Muslim or a non-Muslim, with a special category for the People of the Book. In this outlook, then the scholars of law define non-Muslims as Kafir. Unfortunately, that view is myopic and incomplete.

Then, there are those who are unable to see the world except as a conflict between the forces of Muslims on one side, and the enemies on the other side. The enemies here are not only all others, but any Muslims who (in their foolishness) they automatically assume have sided with the enemy. For them, the whole world is a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims. These people are useless fools.

The act of Kufr is the act of rejecting. It is the act of concealing or hiding something. It is an act of ingratitude. A non-Muslim does is not automatically committing any of these. Rather, one who consciously rejects God is committing at least some of these, and maybe all of them.

But why the term Kufr? Because a human is hard-wired to turn to God. A human’s natural tendency is a tendency toward Allah. That is part of your natural design, your fitrah. To reject that tendency is to conceal from ones self. That is Kufr.

A non-Muslim, on the other hand, may indeed be someone who has committed Kufr, and is thus a Kafir. On the flipside, a non-Muslim might be someone who is simply in a state of ignorance. Because of the corrupting influences of a corrupt society, his/her fitrah may be corrupted. Thus, that natural tendency to turn to God has been polluted. Thus, s/he is not in a state of rejection or of concealing.

Now, if you invite a non-Muslim to God, and that person has a moment in which — from within — s/he feels compelled to accept your call, and rejects that sentiment. Then, that person has become a Kafir. If, on the other hand, you call this non-Muslim to God, yet your delivery is repulsive — not because of the person’s state, but because of your own carelessness — then that person does not necessarily become a Kafir if s/he rejects your call.

Thus, we must distinguish between one who has rejected, and one who is a non-Muslim. Let us not be in denial about those who have not denied.

And Allah knows best.



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