Things that Nullify One’s Islām

Shaykh al-Islām Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb

Know and understand these ten nullifiers so you may protect yourself from them.
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Know that the things that nullify one’s Islām (nawāqiḍ) are ten things:

The first: shirk in one’s worship of Allāh. Allāh the Most High has said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ ‎﴿١١٦﴾‏

Verily Allāh does not forgive that partners be ascribed to Him, while He forgives what is less than that for whomever He wants.
[al-Nisāʾ, 4:116]

And He, the Most High, has said:

 إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ ‎﴿٧٢﴾

Verily whoever ascribes a partner to Allāh, then Allāh has made Paradise ḥarām (impermissible) for him (i.e. He will never enter it), and his abode is the Fire. And there are no helpers for the oppressors whatsoever.
[al-Māʾidah, 5:72]

And from it (this first nullifier) is to slaughter (an animal) for other than Allāh, like the one who slaughters for a jinn or for a grave.

The second: Whoever sets up intermediaries between himself and Allāh, calls on them, asks them for things, and places his trust in them, then he has disbelieved, by way of scholarly consensus.

The third: Whoever does not declare the polytheists to be disbelievers, or he doubts their disbelief or approves of their way, then he has disbelieved.

The fourth: Whoever believes that guidance other than Muhammad’s (ﷺ) is more complete than his, or that the rulings of others are better than his rulings, like the one who prefers the rulings of at-ṭawāghīt 1 over his rulings, then he is a disbeliever.

The fifth: Whoever hates something that the Messenger (ﷺ) came with, even if he acts according to it, then he has disbelieved.

The sixth: Whoever mocks anything from the Religion of the Messenger or Allāh’s reward or punishment has disbelieved. The proof is the Statement of Allāh the Most High:

قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ ‎﴿٦٥﴾‏ لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ ۚ ‎﴿٦٦﴾

Say: ‘Was it Allāh, His Verses, or His Messenger you w ere mocking? Make no excuse, verily you have disbelieved after your belief.
[al-Tawbah, 9:65-66]

The seventh: Magic, like as-sarf and al-ʿatf 2 , whoever practices it or is pleased with it, has disbelieved. The proof is His Statement:

وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَا تَكْفُرْ ۖ ‎﴿١٠٢﴾

And they (the two who taught magic) did not teach anyone before first saying, ‘We are merely a tribulation, so do not disbelieve.
[al-Baqarah, 2:102]

The eighth: Trying to give the polytheists victory and assisting them against the Muslims. And the proof is His Statement:

وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ ‎﴿٥١﴾‏

And whoever of you takes them (the Jews and Christians) as allies, then he is from them. Verily Allāh does not guide the oppressive people.
[al-Maʾidah, 5:51]

The ninth: Whoever believes that some people are allowed to go against the Sharīʿah of Muhammad (ﷺ) like how al-Khadhir went against the Sharee’ah of Mūsá (عليه السلام), then he is a disbeliever.

The tenth: Turning away from the Religion of Allāh, not learning it and not acting by it. And the evidence is His Statement:

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِ ثُمَّ أَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا ۚ إِنَّا مِنَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُنتَقِمُونَ ‎﴿٢٢﴾

And who is more oppressive than the one who is reminded with the Verses of his Lord and then he turns away from them? Verily, We will get retribution from the criminals.
[al-Sajdah, 32:22]

And with respect to these things that nullify one’s Islām, there is no difference between the one who did them in jest, the one who did them intentionally, and the one who did them out of fear, except for the one who was forced. And all of them are from the most dangerous affairs and the most common that actually occur. So it is befitting that the Muslim be warned of them and be afraid of falling into them.

Imām Muḥammad Ibn ʿAbdul-Wahhab

We seek refuge in Allāh from things that bring about His Anger and His severe punishment. And may Allāh raise the rank of the best of His creation, Muhammad, and that of his family and companions, and may He grant them peace.

Endnotes:

  1. At-ṭawāghīt is the plural of at-ṭāghūt. Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān mentions: “The meaning of at-ṭāghūt is every kind of rule other than Allaah’s rule, whether it be tribal laws, laws of the disbelievers, secular laws of France or England, or tribal customs. All of this is taaghoot. Similarly, to rule based on what fortune tellers say (is also at-ṭāghūt).”
  2. Genuine and illusionary
  3. Translation by Shaykh Mūsá Richardson
Published: November 28, 2021
Edited: January 6, 2022

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