at-Tazkirah: التذكرة

“And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers.” (51:55)

The Types of Kufr and Kaafirs

The purpose of this post is not to make Takfir, but I’m posting this for educational reasons and to highlight how important it is to correct one’s beliefs. By the way two words our eternally blessed Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) always tried to avoid “Talaq” (divorce) and “Kafir” (infidel). That’s why in the Indo-Pak Sub Continent Ulema prefer to refer to Non Muslims as “Ghair”.

There are four kinds of كفر (kufr), viz., Kufr Jahl, Kufr Juhood, Kufr Shakk and Kufr Ta’weel.

There are seven types of كافر (kaafirs): Munaafiq, Murtad, Kitaabi, Mushrik, Dahriyyah, Muattil and Zindeeq. (A zindeeq is also known by the names baatini and mulhid.)

The one guilty of any of these types of kufr is described as a kafir in the Shari’ah.


Kufr Jahl: This means kufr occasioned by ignorance. Islam or the teachings of Islaam are denied on the basis of ignorance. The rejector believes that the claim of Islam is false. This was the type of kufr of Abu Jahl and his companions.

Kufr Juhood: This means deliberate kufr. The denial of Islaam or its teachings is occasioned deliberately, inspite of realizing its truth. This type of kufr is the result of rebellion and obstinacy. This was the type of kufr of the Ahl-e-Kitaab (the Jews and Christians). This is also the kufr of Iblees (Shaitaan).

Kufr Shakk: This means kufr occasioned by doubt. The denier doubts the truth of Islam.

Kufr Ta’weel: This means kufr by way of interpretation. The kufr is not committed by outright rejection, but is rendered by means of interpretation. A belief or teaching of Islaam is distorted or given an interpretation or meaning other than what was the meaning ascribed to it by Rasoolullah (SAW).

Of the four types of kufr, the last, viz., Kufr Ta’weel is the most common nowadays among those who were born Muslim. Corrupt interpretation is widely employed by Muslims to distort the true beliefs and teachings of Islam. By such baatil ta’weel (baseless and corrupt interpretation), Qur’aanic verses and Ahaadith are given meanings which conflict with their true and original meanings explained by Rasoolullah (SAW). By means of this type of kufr numerous born Muslims have become kafirs.

It is imperative that Muslims exercise extreme caution and totally refrain from interpreting the beliefs and teachings of Islam. The result of an interpretation which conflicts with the explanations of Rasoolullah (SAW) is kufr.


MUNAAFIQ: One who verbally claims to be a Muslim, but in his heart is not so, is termed a Munaafiq.

MURTAD: A Muslim who renounces Islaam is termed a murtad.

MUSHRIK: One who subscribes to or believes in more than one Divine Being is termed a mushrik. One who associates another as a partner with Allah is also termed a mushrik.

KITAABI: One who follows a previously revealed, divine religion which Islaam has abrogated, is termed a kitaabi, e.g. Jews and Christians.

DAHRIYYAH: One who believes in the eternity of time and ascribes creation to time is termed dahriyyah.

MUATTIL: One who denies the existence of the Creator is termed a Muattil.

ZINDEEQ: A Zindeeq is a person who acknowledges the Nubuwwat of Rasoolullah (SAW) and proclaims the Shiaar (salient features, e.g. Salaat, Hajj) or Islaam, but at the same time adheres to beliefs which are unanimously branded as kufr in the Shari’ah.

According to this definition the term zindeeq will apply to all persons who proclaim themselves to be Muslims while at the same time subscribing to kufr beliefs. The majority of baatil sects fall in this category of kufr.

[Source: Kitaabul Iman, Mujlisul-Ulama of South Africa]

I know this is very brief but I have left out the examples and further detailed explanations.


Filed under: 1. 'Aqaid

7 Responses

  1. Ashraf Anam says:

    Jazakallah for the information.

  2. Prof. MIbrahim Jeelani says:

    Zindeeq: In modern days muslims accepts non-muslims invitation for festivals, marriages. He respects their religion and joins in merry making. This is not Zindeeq. Scholars who have imperfect and 8nsufficient study on Islam, call this socio-cultural gathering as non-Islamic. It’s neither kufr nor any kind of it. Prof. MI Jeelani

  3. avenger says:

    @Prof. MIbrahim Jeelani You are a pathetic apologetic retard. where’s your basic sense of loyalty to your Lord? How can you believe in something firmly yet go around cdlebrating others denial of it? Here’s an easy analogy for shit heads like you. Say you believe your mother is your real mother, and other people have different belief regarding her. some say she isn’t, some say she’s not a woman, but a transgender… etc. Would you go around sitting with them and engaging in their talks about her like that? or would you stick to your belief and avoid those people who you know are lying or are misinformed? If the first, then you obviously aren’t convinced about your own religion and linger in doubt. you need to recheck ur faith and rectify urself. if the second, then you’re a pathetic apologetic retard as I mentioned earlier. You need to shut up and stop talking your mind as stupid and illogical as it is.

  4. Amer says:

    Assalamo Alaykom;

    What is the differences between, Zindeeq, Murtadeen, Apostates?

  5. Ansari says:

    Allow me to ask a Question: Is it permissible to a muslim to work in a Piggery company or mall, but this worker does not; carry, sell, or deliver the pork, what is the Shari’ah ruling, dhaleel in Qur’an, and Dhaleel in hadith as well? This is my facebook accnt. name: Ansari Amin

  6. Ansari says:

    Question: I have read a question above, which states as, “are Shia are kaafir”.

    Allow me also to as another Question: Are the Shia Rafidah “Ithna Ashari” Kaafirs, apostates, zindeeq, and mushrikoon?

  7. Syed says:

    I heard a bayaan of ahle Hadees then came to google for the research. I read the above post and got confused. Someone say 6 kufr and some say 7 and the meaning is also all different. I will post the link so that others can verify.

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