General Kufr and Its Applications – Dr Saleh as Saleh
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All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, and the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.
If someone makes a statement of kufr or opposition to the Sunnah and he is a practicing Muslim, can we say he is a kafir?
If a person commits an action of kufr or says a statement of kufr, then this person in particular can only be called a kafir only after certain criteria are met. These criteria include:
1. The conditions must be fulfilled that the action and/or statement is kufr and entails kufr.
2. It is necessary to check if there exist certain impediments that prevent the imputing of kufr on this particular person.
Actions and/or statements of kufr can be declared in general as such, however making them applicable on a specific person requires fulfilling the conditions and removing the impediments pertaining to takfeer. This is such because there may be causes which would prevent from imputing kufr on a particular person.
Moreover, it is not left for anyone to indulge in takfeer as this is the right of Allaah, (subhannahu wa ta’ala), and is a very grave matter to the extent that if you impute kufr on a person incorrectly, then the kufr may return on you; this applies to imputing kufr on the common Muslim as well as the rulers. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded the Muslim in the authentic hadith: “Say that which is good or stay silent.”
If this is for general matters, then what about takfeer? Then, by all means, it is necessary to refrain from indulging in this matter and leave it to the grand and reliable scholars of Islaam. They are the ones who can deduce the correct rulings vis-à-vis the kufr of a specific person. Similarly, this is not a matter for even the senior students of knowledge to take part in openly.
It seems nowadays that most people have nothing else to do but speak about the hukaam (the leaders)  and takfeer, day and night, in dreams and in awakness. If we claim to be on the path of the salaf (the righteous predecessors), then Muslims should not engage themselves in this matter. Regrettably, most common Muslims make analysis of the whole world political affairs and make judgments with ease and little fear of Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala). However, none of this is the business of the common Muslim. Their involvement in these matters can only aggravate situations and cause disunity. Some argue that, “Politics is from Islaam; Islaam and politics are the same.” They come through these doors. When you ask them about politics, you will find they read twelve newspapers, watch all the satellite news channels, and sit in countless circles, day and night, analyzing politics and so-called current affairs. This is what they consider as “politics”! At the very least, this is counterproductive and not beneficial for the person who will be responsible for every minute of his life, which he is required to fill with what is good and beneficial. The legislative policies in Islaam are the true “politics.” And this is not for the common Muslims to deal with, not to mention the “media” politics, filled with lies, counter-lies, endless analysis, deceptive statements, emotional speeches, etc. I ask Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) to teach us all that which is beneficial and to save us from all that is evil. Aameen.
All Praise is due to Allaah, and may Allaah’s salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, and the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.
Original material transcribed from understand-Islaam.net
By Br. Abu Abdullah Al-Amreeki.
June 7, 2006
 Please listen to the “The Inverted Priorities” talk on understand-islam.net