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Fabricated, Distorted, Clipped and Misinterpreted Quotes Used by Takfīrī Khārijites to Justify Takfīr and Khurūj in Muslim Lands: Part 2 - Quote from Al-Qāḍī Bakr Bin ʿAlā Al-Qushayrī

Posted by Abu Iyaad
Sunday, Apr 14 2024
Filed under Khārijites

RESENTING THE SUNNAH that a Muslim ruler, no matter how sinful or oppressive, is not to be rebelled against and removed, until and unless clear manifest kufr is observed from him, openly, with Muslims having strength and there not resulting greater evil and harm in the process, the Takfīrī Khārijites work to ideologically justify their blanket takfīr of rulers and governments and their open calls to rebellion and revolt in Muslim lands, and making this an individual obligation (farḍ ʿayn) upon every Muslim by using the issue of ruling by other than what Allāh revealed. This is a detailed and complex topic in which a person can easily slip and fall into errors.

In some of the forms of not ruling by what Allāh revealed, there are differing views among the scholars, and this differing is employed in order to justify the broad methodology of the Khārijites, the Ikhwānīs, the Taḥrīrīs and their likes, who call to revolutions, coups and overthrows as the only means of reform and establishing Allāḥ’s religion and His legislation.

The Takfīrī Khārijites compile long lists of quotes from scholars on this subject matter, not free of fabrications, misquotes, misinterpretations, and statements clipped or taken out of context, or words inserted into these quotes.

Sadly, there are young, impressionable youth, who, desiring and seeking truth, find their way into the cyberkennels of the Takfīris, be that on social media or the tube, and then they are drawn into this web, without having the knowledge, the means or the understanding of basic principles to make verification and to distinguish truth from falsehood.

In this series we address some of these quotes.

Removal of Context From a Quote From al-Qāḍī Bakr bin ʿAlā al-Qushayrī

This is a quote from Aḥkām al-Qurʾān of al-Qāḍī Bakr bin ʿAlā al-Qushayrī al-Mālikī (d. 344H):[1]

Al-Qadhi Isma’il Ibn Ishaq رحمه الله said: “And this saying is an agreement by ‘Umar and ‘Ali that whoever legislates law that contradicts the Book of Allah, he has the ruling of those who preceded him who opposed the Kitab.” (Ahkam al-Qur’an, p. 487, Surah al-Maa'idah, from Qushayri)

Though the translation is accurate enough, the context is missing. The intent of whoever originally put this quote in the compiled list is to convey to the reader that mere legislation of a law opposing the Book of Allāh is major disbelief that expels from the fold of Islam, and that the tafṣīl (detail, distinction, clarification) of the Salaf and the scholars wherein this may or may not be major disbelief is not applicable here, and hence the rulers are disbelievers and it is an individual obligation therefore upon every Muslim to revolt against them and remove them.


One should understand these words—“abolish a law”, “legislate a law”, “institutes a law”, “replace a law”—are ambiguous in translation when the surrounding context which provides the true and real meaning and intent (in the quoted speech) is not accurately conveyed with sufficient explanation. This is what allows the quote-mining Takfīrī Khārijites to deceive people into thinking that they have valid, sufficient grounds for takfīr and khurūj which they present as an individual obligation (farḍ ʿayn) in the present time.

So let us provide the background context of this quote and what it really means:

01  In this section, starting on page 480, al-Qushayrī provides the context for the revelation of the passage in question (5:41-) to (5:48-) which includes the verses regarding those who do not judge by what Allāh revealed, that they are the disbelievers (5:44-), oppressors (5:45-), sinners (5:47-). This is a very useful context through which many things become clear about the reality of these verses and who or what they apply to. We summarise the essence of it in what follows:

02  These verses were revealed in relation to the Jews, when a man committed fornication with a woman. So they discussed among themselves that they would go to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) because ease in legislation was revealed upon him, and they said that if he gives us a lenient ruling (in accordance with his legislation) we will accept and we will use it as a proof with Allāh and if he he judges with stoning we will not accept it. So they came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and asked him about his view on a man and woman who committed fornication. At that time, the ruling in Islām for fornication was the first of three rulings, which was blackening of the face and flogging. Then, it was confinement to the home for women who commit fornication. And finally, it was stoning for the adulterer and lashing for the (unmarried) fornicator.

The Jews would also apply the lenient ruling of blackening the face and lashing to their aristocracy, to their rich, but apply stoning to their poor. So when they came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) seeking his judgement in the issue, it was at a time when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was not given dominion and authority over them, and the verse of jizyah (9:29-) had not been revealed. However, the ruling in this matter was clearly in their Torah (5:43-) and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was ordered to judge in accordance with what Allāh revealed.

So when he asked them about the ruling for adultery in their Torah, they said it is blackening of the face and lashing. He then asked them to bring the Torah to show him, but they covered the verse related to stoning. However, when it was removed, it was established that stoning was the prescribed punishment, so the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) judged with that and the two Jews were stoned in accordance with the Torah. This has been related by Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ and others.

So the Jews first of all made rejection (juḥūd) of the judgement of the Torah that the adulterer is stoned, and juḥūd is to reject something upon knowledge, they knew the ruling and denied it, claiming it is not in their Book, even though it was, and they concealed it. Second, they brought a legislation from themselves, that of blackening the face and lashing, and third they ascribed it to their Torah, they legislated it into their religion, thereby changing and altering it (taghyīr, tabdīl). Hence, they fell into juḥūd, which itself is kufr, and they made tabdīl, which is to legislate something and ascribe it to the Book of Allāh, upon their knowledge it is not from Allāh, and this too is kufr in itself.

If those Jews had said: The ruling in our Torah is indeed stoning for the adulterer, we accept that and know that, but we blacken the face and lash the rich and only stone the poor, due to desires, seeking favour (with the rich) and the likes, and we do not ascribe what we have invented and devised to the Torah, we know it is not from our Torah and not what our Torah commands, then this would not be disbelief, it would not be alteration of the Torah, or abolition of the law of stoning, but it would be oppression and sin.

03  Al-QushayrI then quotes ʿUbayd Allāh bin ʿAbd Allāh bin ʿUtbah:

By Allāh, many people interpret this verse upon other than what it was revealed for. It was revealed regarding the Jews, “And whoever does not judge by what Allāh revealed, they are the disbelievers”, and “they are the oppressors” and “the sinners”.

After this, between pages 484 and 486 al-Qushayri discusses an issue pertaining to the abrogation of their law (Torah) and in what particular context the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) judged between them, since they had come to him, and how he as a judge was to judge between them, and whether our legislation (the Sharīʿah) is to be imposed upon them, and whether this is a violation of the contract between us and them when they pay the jizyah, in that they are to be left upon their legislation.

04  Then he proceeds on page 486 to discuss the explanation of these three verses about those who do not judge by what Allāh revealed. He says:

Some are of the view that it was revealed in relation to the Jews who altered the Book of Allāh (the Torah) and turned away from His rulings. And some of them said: They relate to us and them (the Jews).

Then he says:

Allāh has textually determined [the ruling] regarding the matter in the affair of the Jews, that they altered the words from their proper places and opposed what had been prescribed upon them in the Torah, so Allāh (عز وجل) said: “And whoever does not judge by what Allāh revealed…” so the apparent [meaning and application of that [verse] indicates that whoever does their deed and invents a judgement that opposes the judgement of Allāh and then turns it into religion that is acted upon, then what was binding upon them [of the judgement of disbelief] is binding upon them, whether he is a ruler, or other than a ruler.

In other words, al-Qushayri said that inventing a judgement (be that from oneself, or taken from others), which opposes Allāh’s judgement and then turning it into religion, in other word’s saying this is religion, this is the ruling on this matter in the Sharīʾah, then this brings upon a Muslim—be he a ruler or ruled—the same judgement that Allāh declared upon the Jews.

05  This is stated by Abū Bakr al-Jaṣṣās (d. 370H) states in Aḥkām al-Qurʾān:[2]

... if the intended (meaning) is rejection (juḥūd) of the judgement of Allāh, or ruling by other than it and then informing that it is the rule of Allāh. So this is the disbelief which ejects from the religion, and its doer is an apostate, even if he was a Muslim before that. And built upon this is the interpretation of the one who said: ‘Verily, (these) verses were revealed against Banī Isrāʾīl and they apply to us (also)’. They mean by this: That whoever rejects (jaḥada) the judgement of Allāh, or judges by other than what Allāh has revealed and then says ‘This is the judgement of Allāh’ then he is a disbeliever, just as Banū Isrāʾīl disbelieved when they did the likes of this...and that which is more apparent is (this) first meaning...

06  Then al-Qushayri said at the bottom of page 486:

And ʿAṭā bin al-Sāʾib relates from Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān from ʿAlī who said: “A group from the people of Shām drunk alcohol, they were presided over by Yazīd bin Abī Sufyān, and they said: ‘It is lawful (ḥalāl) for us’, and they interpreted the verse: ‘There is not upon those who believe and do righteousness [any] blame concerning what they have eaten [in the past]…” (5:93-).

So he wrote to ʿUmar (رحمه الله) regarding them, and consulted the people regarding them, and they said: ‘O Chief of the believers, we consider that they have lied upon Allāh and have legislated into His religion that for which He gave no permission, so strike their necks.’ But ʿAlī (رحمه الله) was silent. One said: ‘What do you say O Abā al-Hasan?’

So he said: ‘I hold that their repentance is to be sought. If they repent, I will lash them 80 times for their drinking of alcohol. And if they do not repent, I will strike their necks, for [in that case] they have lied upon Allāh and have legislated into His religion that for which Allāh gave no permission. So they sought their repentance, they repented and were each lashed 80 times.

So what happened here is that a group of Companions and Successors (Tābiʿīn)—and they are Qudāmah bin Maḍḥʿūn and his associates—made a faulty interpretation of a verse and said that it is lawful for them to drink alcohol. They thought that those who do righteous deeds, it is lawful for them to drink alcohol. Thereby, they legislated into the religion what was not from it, through faulty interpretation.

ʿAlī (رضي الله عنه) sought their repentance, for them to repent from the sin of drinking alcohol, and for which they would be punished with 80 lashes. And as for making lawful what Allāh made unlawful and legislating into Allāh’s religion, then if they did not repent, then what this would have established is that this act was not merely due to faulty intepretation (taʾwīl) which is one of the barriers against takfīr, but that it is with knowledge and intent, that is, knowingly making something lawful that they know to be unlawful, after establishment of the proof. So this would have made them disbelievers, and they would have been executed for major disbelief, for making lawful what is unlawful (Istiḥlāl).

07  It is here that al-Qushayri states:

Al-Qāḍī said: This saying [comprises] an agreement from ʿUmar and ʿAlī that whoever legislated a law that opposes the Book of Allāh, he has the judgement of whoever preceded him from those who opposed the Book.

This quote can now be correctly understood because the background context has been provided.

08  The Jews made juḥūd of a legislation—which is rejection of stoning of the adulterer with their full knowldedge it is Allāh’s judgement. They denied and tried to conceal that this is the ruling in their religion, in their Torah. Then they invented a new legislation, blackening of the face and lashing, they brought this from themselves. Then they ascribed this to the Torah, they said this is in Allāh’s religion, this is Allāh’s judgement. So here they made change (taghyīr) and alteration (tabdīl) of the Torah, of Allāh’s judgement and law which He revealed upon them. So they were judged disbelievers.

09  And as for those who made lawful alcohol (istiḥlāl), al-Qushayri made mention of them in the context of the meaning of the verses, “And whoever does not judge by what Allāh revealed…” and they made a faulty interpretation of the Qurʾān, through which they claimed alcohol was lawful for them. So this is istiḥlāl (make the unlawful lawful), which is major disbelief that expels from the religion. However, it was through faulty interpretation, which is a barrier to takfīr. Note that it was not the commission of the sin (drinking alcohol) that would have made them disbelievers, but it is making it lawful in the Sharīʿah, saying that it ḥalāl in the Sharīʿah.

10  Thus the meaning of the statement of al-Qādī, is that whoever legislated a law that opposes the Book of Allāh, in the way of the Jews, with juḥūd and taghyīr and tabdīl of the Torah, or legislated a law through istiḥlāl (making the unlawful lawful), considering this new ruling to be from the religion when it isn’t, then his ruling is as the ruling of the Jews, or as those who made alcohol lawful for themselves, had they not repented from it after their faulty interpretation was made clear to them.

11  Hence, there is nothing in this quote that is of benefit to the Takfīrī Khārijites in their agenda of inciting people to make takfīr upon other than Sharīʿah principles and stirring up strife in Muslim lands by making khurūj an individual obligation upon them.

While we do not deny that a ruler can become a disbeliever when he does not rule by what Allāh revealed, in some of its forms and manifestations—after the establishment of the proof (Iqāmat al-ḥujjah)—we do not accept the lies, distortions, omissions and fabrications of the Takfīrī Khārijites in this subject matter.

As for the issues of taqnīn (devising laws), istibdāl (replacing), and discussion of the statements of the scholars regarding secular laws then that is discussed elsewhere. Here, we have simply established that the Takfīrī Khārijites who translate and compile these lists are dishonest and simply quote-mine in order to justify their methodology of blanket takfīr, takfīr upon other than Sharīʿah principles to incite rebellion in Muslim lands that already suffer from civil strife, hardships, weakness and other affairs, all of which benefits the predators and vultures from among the non-Muslim nations.

1. Aḥkām al-Qurʾān (1/487).
2. Aḥkām al-Qurʾān (4/93-94).

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