There are many different views in Islam, but all Muslims have major things in common:

  • Belief in Allah as the one and only God who created the world
  • Belief in Quran as the messages of Allah to the human
  • Belief in prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the last prophet sent by Allah
  • Belief in Ka'ba as the unique Qibla to pray towards
  • Belief in all the previous prophets including Adam, Noah, Ibrahim, Musa and Isa
  • Belief in the future life, the day of judgement, heaven and hell
  • And many other things

So this is my question: If there is another group of people who believe in Allah as the unique God, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the last prophet, and the holy Quran, is another Muslim allowed to call them unbeliever (Kafir)? - By Kafir I mean Kufr-Ul-Kibr as stated in @DanAndrew answer below.

  • 1
    Just FYI, I don't believe God is a unique god. I believe God is the only God (the one and only; creator and architect).
    – user206
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 20:49
  • 1
    A more precise question would go along the lines of whether a Muslim can be described as being Kafir, or what are the conditions under which this is allowed. "Group" thinking (as in the title) has different rules than individuals or scholars (e.g. whether the verdict can be publicized).
    – Hosam Aly
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 22:11
  • @HosamAly Thanks for the useful comment, I updated the question
    – Ali
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 22:17
  • Of course not, also see here.
    – owari
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 2:22

2 Answers 2

  • Common people may not issue the verdict of Kufr on a Muslim, unless he explicitly confirms it.
  • A Muslim may be described as "doing an action of Kufr" if that is clearly the case, but that does not make him a Kafir. An example of such an action would be to abandon praying completely.
  • To claim Kufr of a Muslim, an Islamic judge has to go through a number of very strict steps to confirm it. For example, in the aforementioned case of abandoning prayers, the judge has to make sure the accused understands all the following:
    • The accusation and its cause.
    • The rules that make performing this action obligatory.
    • The proofs (Quran, Hadith, Tafseer, Fiqh, etc.) that make abandoning this action an action of Kufr.
    • The accused has to confess that he denies the obligation of such an action, and that he is not leaving it out of laziness for example.

The rules above are neither comprehensive nor decisive, but you get the idea.

  • Would you please also add if a group of muslims can be called Kafir? not a single person
    – Ali
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 23:19
  • Just to add regarding abandonment of prayer, there is a difference between scholars regarding it, as to whether the person is a disbeliever or not.
    – Abdullah
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 7:15
  • @Abdullah You're right, thanks for the link. The difference is relatively minor though, in that all the points above apply, except that verdict is issued if the accused confesses to believe obligation but denies to perform it. That is a clear case of Kufrul-Kibr as quoted by @DanAndrews.
    – Hosam Aly
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 8:46
  • @Ali I will do isA when I have some time, but the short answer is yes, except that this is a general verdict for the group, and should not be applied directly to individuals.
    – Hosam Aly
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 8:48

Quoting Wikipedia:

Types of kufr (disbelief) - Adapted from 'Tafseer ibn Katheer The Qur'an uses the word kufr to denote a person who covers up or hides realities, one who refuses to accept the dominion and authority of God (Allāh). There are several types of Al-Kufr al-Akbar:


  • Kufrul-Kibr: Disbelief out of arrogance and pride. The disbelief by the devils (Iblees) is an example of this type of Kufr. Kufrul-Juhood: Disbelief out of rejection.This applies to someone who acknowledges the truth in his heart, but rejects it with his tongue. This types of kufr is applicable to those who calls themselves Muslims but who reject any necessary and accepted norms of Islam such as Salaat and Zakat. Allaha says: They denied them (OUR SIGNS) even though their hearts believed in them, out of spite and arrogance. [Soorah Naml (27), Ayah 14]

Considering someone Kufrul-Kibr should be used with great caution as it is extremely offensive. For example, I have a Muslim friend who drinks beer. He knows he shouldn't, but he does (and feels bad). This is not a case for Kufrul-Kibr.

  • Your separation between two types of Kurf was great and I updated the question accordingly. So would you state when a muslim is allowed to say some group of other muslims have Kurf-Al-Kibr?
    – Ali
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 22:45
  • yes what your friend does is called Fisq and not Kufr (addressing Kufr ul-Kibr)
    – owari
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 2:35

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