Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.

RELIGION, FREEDOM OF - Freedom within Islamic circle

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word takfir means accusing someone of being a disbeliever, and takfir al-muslim is an attribution of disbelief to a Muslim. The Islamic Shariah forbids the attribution of disbelief, blasphemy or heresy to a Muslim.

The dividing line between a Muslim and a kafir or between believer and unbeliever is confession of the unity of God and the Prophethood of Muhammad (la ilaha ill-Allah Muhammad-un-Rasulu-llah). A man becomes a Muslim or believer by making such confession, and so long as he does not renounce his faith, he remains a Muslim or believer technically, in spite of any opinion or interpretation he may profess on any religious matter. Islam forbids an attribution of disbelief to a Muslim (takfir al-muslim). Ibn Hazm writes in al-Fisal fi'l Milal wa'l Ahwa wa'l Nihal (Cairo, 1932, 3:138) that, "Any one who has uttered the testimonial of faith (Kalimat al-Shahadah), and declared his or her faith in the mission and guidance of the Prophet, is a Muslim and this bond with Islam cannot be severed by allegations of any kind unless his or her disbelief is proven by indisputable evidence." The Koran and hadith are quite clear in this context. The Koran says: "And do not say to any one who offers you salutation, you are not a believer" (4:94). The Muslim form of salutation

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