The Beginning of the Formation of Making Takfeer without Evidence & its
Causes in the Ummah
Ibraheem bin ‘Amir ar-Ruhaylee
Taken from his book
‘at-Takfeer & its Principles’
Abbas Abu Yahya
The beginnings of making Takfeer without evidence goes back to a very early time in the history of this Ummah; such that the scholars mention that making Takfeer due to sins was the first Bida’ which appeared in this Ummah.
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah said: ‘So this is why it is obligatory to be wary of making Takfeer of the Muslims due to their sins and mistakes; indeed it was the first Bida’ which appeared in Islaam. So its people made Takfeer of the Muslims and they made it permissible to take their blood and wealth.’
The first people, who began Takfeer unlawfully, were the Khawarij. There were a lot of them in the army of ‘Alee -radiAllaah anhu – in the battle of Siffeen and when ‘Alee and Muwayeeyah -radiAllaah anhum – agreed upon arbitration between them, which took place in the month of Ramadan in the 37th year after the Hijra, the Khawarij rejected it. They exaggerated in their condemnation of ‘Alee and they said to him: ‘You had men judge in the matter of the Book of Allaah. There is no Hukm (rule) except for Allaah,’ and then they openly declared Takfeer of him.
Abul -Hasan al-Ashaaree said: ‘The Khawarij are in consensus on declaring ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib -radiAllaah anhu – to be a kafir (disbeliever) because he had men judge in an issue. They differ as to whether his kufr (disbelief) is shirk or not. They are in agreement that every major sin is kufr, except for the an-Najdaat (a group of the Khawarij) since they do not say this statement.’ 
Some of the scholars mention in their research and about sects the consensus of the khawarij in making Takfeer of: ‘Alee, Uthmaan, those who took part in the battle of al-Jaml, those who arbitrated, those who agreed to the arbitration, those who viewed that the arbitrators were correct, or that one of the groups were correct and rebelling against the oppressive leader.’ 
Then after ‘Alee -radiAllaah anhu – returned from the battle of Siffeen, the Khawarij secluded themselves to a place called Huroora, which is why they were called Hurooreeyah. There were 12,000 of them. ‘Alee -radiAllaah anhu – sent Ibn Abbas -radiAllaah anhu – to them and he debated with them. Half of them came back and the rest of them committed aggression by finding fault with the people and made their blood lawful.
The Khawarij killed Abdullaah bin Khubbab bin al-Arrat, then entered his house, killed his son and his slave girl-who was the mother of his son- and then gathered their army in Nahrawaan. So, ‘Alee -radiAllaah anhu – went towards them with 4,000 of his Companions. When he was close by them he sent a messenger to them saying: “give up the killers of Abdullaah bin Khubbab”, they sent a messenger back saying: we all killed him.
‘Alee -radiAllaah anhu – fought them and killed all of them except nine of them who survived while only seven from amongst the Companions of ‘Alee were killed, and it has been said that nine of them were killed.
‘Alee began walking between those killed from among the Khawarij saying: ‘How wretched you are, indeed the one who has deceived you has harmed you.’ his companions asked: ‘O Ameer -ul-Mumineen who has deceived them?’
He answered: ‘Shaytaan! The human self is inclined to evil, deceived by false desires and he beautified sins for them. It was prophesized that they will appear.’ 
Indeed the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – informed his Companions about the Khawarij, that they would rebel and that he desired to fight them. In the Saheeh of Bukhari and Muslim from the hadeeth of ‘Alee -radiAllaah anhu – that he said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allaah – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – saying:
‘During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats and they will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of game.
So, wherever you find them, kill them, for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection‘
There are many Ahadeeth which condemn the Khawarij in many different ways:
Al-Khalaal narrates on the authority of Imaam Ahmad -May Allaah have mercy upon him- that he said: ‘The Khawarij are an evil people, I do not know of a people on the earth more evil than them. The hadeeth about them are authentic on the authority of the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – from ten different angles.’
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -May Allaah have mercy upon him- comments on this saying: ‘Muslim narrates them in his book as-Saheeh and Bukhari narrates some of them.’ 
So, the Khawarij were the first ones who became known for unlawfully making Takfeer of the people of Islaam due to sins. However, this was not limited to just them, rather the Raawafidah participated in this Takfeer – and in other aspects of their beliefs – the Raawafidah are more evil than the Khawarij since the Raawafidah made Takfeer of the best of the Ummah – the Companions of the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – and they believed that the Companions apostated because they left the rule of ‘Alee -radiAllaah anhu – as they claim.
What is mentioned in the book ‘al-Kaafi’, which is the most authentic of their books and trustworthy according to them, on the authority of Abu Jafar – as they claim – that he said: ‘The people became apostates after the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – except three people.’
I asked: ‘And who are those three people?’
He said: ‘al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswaad, Abu Dharr al-Ghafar and Salman al-Farsi.’
Al-Mufeed – one of their senior scholars – mentions the consensus of the Raawafidah in making Takfeer of the Companions: ‘The Imaameeyah, Zaydeeyah and the Khawarij believe that the apostates and the unjust from the people of Basara and Shaam are all Kuffar (disbelievers), misguided and accursed and due to that they are in the Hell-Fire eternally.’
The Raawafidah are the severest of the Ahl-ul-Bida’ in making Takfeer. They make Takfeer of everyone who opposes them. Therefore they make Takfeer generally of the Ummah, of the Companions and Tabi’een and all of the scholars of the Deen and they do not refrain from it at all. This is well known about them, by those who know their ‘Aqeedah and have come across their books.
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah –May Allaah have mercy upon him- says:
‘The Raawafidah made Takfeer of Abu Bakr, Umar, ‘Uthmaan, of the general Muhaajireen and Ansar, and those who followed them in goodness, those whom Allaah was pleased with and they with Him. The Raawafidah made Takfeer of the majority of the Ummah of Muhammad from those who preceded and those who came later.
They made Takfeer of everyone who believed that Abu Bakr, Umar, the Muhaajireen and Ansar were righteous or is pleased with them just like Allaah is pleased with them, or the one who seeks forgiveness for them just like Allaah commands to seek forgiveness for them. So they make Takfeer of the distinguished ones of this Ummah, like: Sa’eed bin al-Mussayib, Abu Muslim al-Kholaani, Awais al-Qarni, ‘Ata bin Abu Ribah, Ibraheem an-Nakhaee and the likes of Maalik, Awzaee, Abu Hanifa, Hamad bin Zaid, Hamad bin Salma, ath-Thawri, ash-Shafiee, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Fudail bin ‘Ayaad, Sulayman ad-Daraani, Maroof al-Karkhee, al-Junaid bin Muhaamad, Sahl bin Abdullaah at-Tustaree, and others as well….
The Raawafidah view that the disbelief of the Companions was more severe than the disbelief of the Jews and Christians, because their disbelief is from the root, and these others were apostates. The disbelief of apostasy is more severe as is known by consensus, even more severe than original disbelief.’ 
Then the contagious sickness of performing Takfeer without evidence transferred from the Khawarij and Raawafidah to the Qadariyyah al-Muatazilah. Their Bida’ appeared in the issue of al-Qadr during the last period of the Companions. The Companions freed themselves from them and their Bida’.
The reason for this was because the people began discussing the ruling about the one who commits a major sin, this was after what the Khawarij innovated the methodology of making Takfeer due to sins. The Qadariyyah spoke about this and they were in agreement with the Khawarij in their ruling about those who sin although they differed in its label.
Regarding this Shaykh ul- Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -May Allaah have mercy upon him- said: ‘Then during the last period of the Companions the innovation of the Qadariyyah appeared. The principle of their Bida’ was due to the weakness of their intellects about understanding the need for having Emaan in the Qadr of Allaah and Emaan in the commands of Allaah and His prohibitions….and the Khawarij spoke about making Takfeer of the sinners from among the people who face the Qiblah when they said: ‘Indeed they are Kuffar who will be in the Hell-fire eternally.’ The people delved into this issue, and the Qadariyyah delved into this after the death of al-Hasan al-Basari.
‘Amroo bin Ubayd and his companions said: ‘They are neither Muslims nor are they kuffar, rather they are in a place between two places and they are eternally in the Hell-fire. So they were in agreement with the Khawarij that those people are eternally in Hell-fire and that they have nothing whatsoever of Islaam and Emaan, although they did not call them Kuffar.’
In this way, the sickness of Takfeer without clear evidence or Sharia’ documentation, began deteriorating from one sect of Ahl-ul-Bida’ to another until it became their distinguishing characteristic and a clear sign of the general sects of the people of Bida’.
Abdul-Qahir al-Baghdadi said: ‘There is no sect from the opposing sects, except that they make Takfeer, one of another, and they free themselves, from one another, like the Khawarij, Rawaafidah and Qadariyyah, so much so that they gathered together in a meeting and they left making Takfeer of one another.’
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah said:
‘Many of Ahl-ul-Bida’ like the Khawarij, Raawafidah, Qadariyyah, Jahmiyyah and Mumathila came to hold a belief which was misguided but they viewed it as the truth and they regarded those who opposed them in this as Kuffar.’
He also says:
‘From the affairs of Ahl-ul-Bida’ is that they innovate sayings. They make these sayings an obligation in the religion, rather they make it a part of Emaan which is mandatory to have. They make Takfeer of those who oppose them and they make their blood lawful, just as the Khawarij, Jahmiyyah, Raawafidah and Mutazilah and other than them did.
Ahl-ul-Sunnah do not innovate sayings, nor do they make Takfeer of those who make mistakes after making Ijtihad, even if they oppose them and make Takfeer of the Ahl-ul-Sunnah, making their blood lawful. Just like the Companions did not make Takfeer of the Khawarij even though they made Takfeer of Uthman and ‘Alee and those who supported them and even though they made the blood of the Muslims lawful.’
Ibn Abul-Izz al-Hanafi -May Allaah have mercy upon him- said: ‘From the shameful aspects of the ahl -ul-Bida’ is their making Takfeer of each other. And from the praiseworthy aspects of the people of knowledge is that they say so and so made a mistake and they don’t make Takfeer.’ (2)
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace
and blessings be upon our final
Prophet Muhammad, his
family, his companions
and all those who
 ‘Majmoo al-Fatawa’ 13/31, refer to ‘Sharh al-Asfahani’ p.225
 Refer to ‘al-Farq bayn al-Firaq’ by al-Baghdadi p.74-76, ‘al-Bidayya wa Nihiyyah’ by Ibn Katheer 10/577 & ‘Majmoo al-Fatawa’ by Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah 13/208
 ‘Makaalat al-Islaameeyen’ 1/167
 Refer to ‘al-Farq bayn al-Firaq’ by al-Baghdadi p.73, ‘at-Tabseer fi Deen’ by as-Safreeni p.45
 Refer to ‘al-Farq bayn al-Firaq’ by al-Baghdadi p.75-78, ‘Majmoo al-Fatawa’ by Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah 13/208
 ‘al-Bidayya w Nihiyyah’ by Ibn Katheer 10/588
 Saheeh al-Bukhari & ‘Fath’12/283 (Hadeeth no.6930) & Muslim 2/746 (Hadeeth no.1066)
 ‘As-Sunnah’ by Khlaal 1/145
 ‘Majmoo al-Fatawa’ 3/279, refer to the hadeeth in Saheeh al-Bukhari & ‘Fath’12/282,283,390 & Saheeh Muslim 2/740-750
 ‘Rowdah min al-Kaafi’8/245-246
 ‘Awail al-Maqaalat’ p.45
 ‘Majmoo al-Fatawa’ 28/477-478
 Refer to ‘As-Sunnah’ by Abdullaah bin Ahmad 2/420, ‘ash-Sharia’ by al-Ajurri 2/851, ‘Sharh asool ‘Itiqaad ahl-ul-Sunnah’ by al-Laalkaiee 2/588
 ‘Majmoo al-Fatawa’ 13/36-37
 ‘al-Farq bayn al-Firaq’ p.361
 ‘Majmoo al-Fatawa’ 12/466-467
 ‘Minhaaj as-Sunnah’ 5/95, refer to some important sayings of Shaykh ul-Islaam in this issue in ‘Majmoo al-Fatawa’ 19/73,75, & ‘Minhaaj as-Sunnah’ 5/158, 239-240, & ‘Radd ala al-Bakri’ 2/487-490
 ‘Sharh at-Tahawi’ p.439