This book comprises the religiously legal injunctions (fatawa) of grand maraji‘ al-taqlid and prominent Shi‘i religious scholars concerning the legal prohibition (hurmat) – according to the Qur’an and the hadith – of insulting revered Islamic figures and calling the People of the Qiblah [Muslims] unbelievers.
This compilation of rulings by contemporary Shi‘i scholars was first published in Farsi and Arabic as a response to the growing concern over takfir, or proclamations of excommunication of Muslims by other Muslims. These Shi‘i scholars, who are at the upper echelon of Shi‘i leadership and comprise the majority of the current and late twentieth-century maraji‘, concur on the necessity of emphasising the concept of Muslim unity, regardless of sect, in Shi‘i thought, and of promoting the importance of thoughtful social interactions between Muslims of varying sects in order to further a sense of genuine compassion and unity. This is all the more important in this day and age with the growing spectre of sectarian violence, particularly in regions ravaged by war. First published in 2015, it remains a current snapshot of the latest views of top Shi‘i scholars.
Today, apart from what its external enemies are doing, the divisiveness of extremism and takfirism (proclaiming Muslims as non-believers) has caused irreparable damage to Muslim society and the Islamic awakening. Not a day goes by without extremists hurling insults against what another madhhab (Islamic school of thought) holds in reverence. At the slightest excuse, the sullied hands of takfirists spill the innocent blood of Muslims and destroy the holy sites that have been etched in their identities. They are like the Kharijites, who in their misuse of the verses of the Holy Qur’an went on to kill and plunder Muslims; concerning the Kharijites, Imam ‘Ali (A) said, “They used truth to promote falsehood.” The puritanical attitude of the takfirists and extremists in their interpretation of religious teachings leads them to spill Muslim blood, seize their property and violate their honour. By inappropriately attributing some of these issues to the founders of madhhabs and inflating the untoward behaviours of some people, they stoke the fires of discord and disunity among Muslims and hurt their religious sentiments. The spread of a negative atmosphere and intra-Muslim strife are the results of these actions.
The ‘ulama, the maraji‘ al-taqlid, and followers of the School of the Ahl al-Bayt (A) maintain that insulting revered Islamic figures and proclaiming the followers of other sects as infidels are impermissible. Without hesitation, they have issued fatwas declaring these actions to be haram (forbidden). For this reason the Secretariat of the Congress on the Danger of Extremist and Takfirist Currents in cooperation with the Jurisdiction of the Representation of the Wali al-Faqih on Matters of Hajj and Ziyarat (Hawzeh-ye Namayandegi-ye Vali-ye Faqih dar Umur-e Hajj va Ziyarat) have resolved to publish the fatwas of Shi‘i maraji‘ as an important step in the direction of strengthening the foundations for inter-madhhab convergence and bringing together as many of the ‘ulama and scholars of other madhhabs as possible to intellectually confront extremism and takfirism and their crimes.
This book comprises the religiously legal injunctions (fatawa) of grand maraji‘ al-taqlid and prominent Shi‘i religious scholars concerning the legal prohibition (hurmat) – according to the Qur’an and the hadith – of insulting revered Islamic figures and calling the People of the Qiblah [Muslims] unbelievers. We hope that with the efforts and cooperation of all the ‘ulama in the world of Islam, we will witness the eradication of the strife of extremism and takfirism in the two spheres of thought and action from the Muslim world.
Title: Prohibiting Takfir: Fatwas of Shi’i Scholars
Compiler: Secretariat of the Congress on the Danger of Extremist and Takfirist Currents
Translator: Ahmed Haneef
Publisher: Islamic Centre of England
Pub. Date: January 1, 2018