Accusing others of unbelief
Sayyed Fadlullah: Accusing others of unbelief is
neither religiously justified, nor a lawful reason for execution.
Asked in his weekly seminar the following question:
mentality of rejection that has been lately transformed into a tool
of killing and exclusion has begun to cause a lot of panic in the
Arab and Muslim world, especially in the aftermath of the suicide
operations that are claimed to be martyr ones, even if it targets
How do you view this
phenomenon? And what is the responsibility of Muslims and religious
scholars towards it?
Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah said:
This phenomenon of
accusing others of unbelief that is found in both Sunni and Shiite
circles is a result of historic accumulations of describing certain
interpretations or certain judgments of certain individuals or
groups as being an expression of unbelief, and consequently
isolating, excluding and even killing those who adopt them .
jurisprudence states that the accusation of unbelief could not be
made unless the fundamental principles are rejected. As for denying
other religious necessities, an investigation in its content and
motives should be instituted. Moreover, it should be verified that
whoever made these denials is aware that he is denying that the
Messenger says the truth. If he is not, then he will be one of those
who are led astray, and not a unbeliever.
Depending on a certain
saying of the Messenger to accuse those who do not believe it to be
authentic or those who interpret it in a different way to prove
unbelief is a case in point.
Then fanaticism and
mental backwardness, that imposed themselves on several Muslim
communities, have further expanded this tend, which became very
dangerous as some trends began to believe that claiming that someone
has become an unbeliever is a sufficient justification for executing
him. This is not true because the jurists say it is the engagement
in fighting against Muslims that justifies killing and not unbelief
in itself. Islam has called for the respect of unbelievers who are
in a state of peace with Muslims and called for treating them with
respect and kindness :Allah does not forbid
you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of
(your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that
you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves
the doers of justice.(60 :08)
Those who find it easy
to resort to killing even against Muslims, are in a state of
conceptual perplexity that often leads to a political and military
anarchy that would make Muslims kill fellow Muslims in cold blood,
even if it involves killing innocent children and women. All this
takes place in the absence of a state of war, which of course is
completely different from what is happening in Palestine, where the
Mujahideen do not have any other way to defend their people.
We believe that this
phenomenon has had a devastating effect in the Arab and Muslim
world. It has given the arrogant power in the world, and especially
the United States, the opportunity to claim that it is fighting
terrorism in our world. It has given the arrogant powers the chance
to deprive us of any strength we might have and continue their
eradicating war against the freedom fighters in Palestine and
Lebanon, as well as other peoples that are accused by America of
supporting the liberation movement it considers terrorist.
In its cold blooded
killing of innocents and worshippers as in Karbala and Kazimiah, or
in its targeting of mosques especially some Sunni mosques in Iraq,
this phenomenon is providing the American Administration with a
major free service, since it has already begun to direct the
reactions against these killings towards those who adopt the
revolutionary and conscious line of Islam. It has also started a
wave of confusion and weariness in the Arab and Islamic world.
We say to all who adopt
such mentality: If you are faithful as you claim to Islam and
Muslims, let us engage in an objective dialogue based on Allah’s
saying that we have to refer our differences to Him and His
On the other hand, we
call for a thorough investigation of all what is going on in the
Muslim world. It could well be that some international or regional
intelligence agencies are behind it, for it serves their interests
in disrupting Muslim unity and strength.
On their part, Shiite
and Sunni religious scholars should educate the nation on facing two
kinds of violence: the one that targets Muslims by killing and the
one that targets the others by exclusion.
They also have to hold
the responsibility of confronting this utilitarian mentality and
establish the cultural and political dynamics to face this
phenomenon and safeguard Islamic unity.