All perfect praise is for Allaah alone. We beseech His peace and blessings upon Muhammad (sollaLloohu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
In continuation, Shaykh Muhammad Noosirudeen Al-Albaanee (rohimohuLlaah) said, while discussing issues regarding making takfeer and tabdee’ of the Muslims, “I MENTIONED EARLIER, THE REALITY THAT WHOEVER DECLARES A MUSLIM TO BE A DISBELIEVER, HAS HIMSELF DISBELIEVED. AND I ADDED TO IT THAT WHOEVER DECLARES A MUSLIM TO BE AN INNOVATOR (IS ALSO HIMELF AN INNOVATOR), BECAUSE IN REALITY, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KUFR AND BID’AH.”
Muhammad ‘Aliyy Jabata al-Khoorijee (Mr ‘tatment’ and ‘grammer’), Rosheed Mustopha al-Khoorijee (the trees and birds professor) and some other Jabatawiyyoon are used to quoting the statement, ‘THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KUFR AND BID’AH’ out of context and romancing it when trying to establish their falsehood. This statement is very clear and easy to understand within the context of this conversation. Shaykh Al-Albaanee (rohimohuLlaah) meant by this that if one declares a Muslim as a kaafir (while the accused is free from the declaration), then he himself (the one who made the wrong declaration) becomes a kaafir, with respect to the narration regarding this; this is also applicable to declaring a person as an innovator. It was under this explanation that he (rohimohuLlaah) said, “BECAUSE IN REALITY, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KUFR AND BID’AH”. With this statement, Shaykh meant that there is no difference between the fact that if you declare a Muslim as a kaafir (the ruling falls back on), and if you declare a Muslim as mubtadi’h (the ruling falls back on you). Therefore none of the two should be ruled out when misapplied. This explanation is needed to clarify the misguidance of those who hold that the ruling is only applicable for takfeer and not for tabdee’. This is what the Shaykh clarified. What is the fuss with the statement? We ask Allaah to save us from being parochial in intellect.
Even more important, it is illogical to jump into a conversation and expunge a statement in order to establish a ruling. That’s unjust. We understand the statements of the scholars by reading them between the lines, under the tutelage of the people of knowledge. This simple and comprehensive explanation is what we find in the book of Shaykh ‘Amroo ‘Abdulmun’im Saleem (al-monhaju ssalaf ‘inda ash-shaykh Noosiruddeen al-Albaanee). He mentioned this conversation and gave similar explanations. We ask you to mention the scholars under whose tutelage you learnt that Shaykh Albaanee was affirming that there is no difference of any kind between bid’ah and a major kufr.
In addition, I found this simple explanation on Ustaadh Murtadho Adedokun’s timeline. He (hafidhohuLlaah) said, “All sins are broadly divided into either ma’siyah (wrong doing) or shirk (associating partners with Allaah). The scholars say no difference exists between shirk and kufr. These two terms mean exactly the same thing and each is either minor or major. Major shirk is also major kufr and nullifies Islaam. Minor shirk is also minor kufr and does not nullify Islaam but attracts punishment. A bid’ah involves making a legislation into the deen without proof. It amounts to playing Allaah and is therefore shirk, if minor they are minor shirk and if major they are major shirk. Replace “every bid’ah is shirk” with “every bid’ah is kufr” if you like, as long as you understand that not all kufr takes one out of Islaam. In other words, the least category of a bid’ah is to be a minor shirk (minor kufr) and its highest category is to be a major shirk (major kufr). I hope that answers the question whether or not every bid’ah is kufr. When the heretics use this statement though, they mean that every bid’ah is a major kufr and that is a fallacy.” This explanation is in support of this statement of Shaykh Muhammad Soolih Al-‘Uthaymeen, “BID’AH IS A FORM OF SHIRK BECAUSE THE INNOVATOR ESTABLISHES HIMSELF AS SOMEONE WHO CAN LEGISLATE IN THE DEEN, TASHRI’I (LEGISLATING IN THE DEEN) IS A FORM FROM AMONGST THE FORMS OF SHIRK.” [SHARH IQTIDOO’ AS-SIROOTUL MUSTAQEEM LI MUKHOOLAFAH ASHAAB AL-JAHEEM] As earlier mentioned with a succinct but very comprehensive explanation, shirk is not of the same level. We have from shirk, the major one and the minor one. Therefore, what is to be understood here is that the least category of bid’ah is to be a minor shirk (if you like call it a minor kufr) and its highest category is to be a major shirk (if you like call it a major kufr). And Allaah knows best.
We advise you (Rosheed Mustopha) to stop attributing your khowaarij ideologies to our noble scholars, the same way we earlier advised some of your students. The take of the scholars of Sunnah on this issue is very clear. May Allaah ease our tasks and grant us steadfastness on His path. We also beseech Allaah to guide those who have been misguided by this erroneous ideology.
I beseech Allaah to show us the truth as being the truth and to grant us its following, and to show us misguidance as misguidance and to make it easy for us to abstain from it.
May prayers and peace be upon Muhammad (sollaLloohu ‘alayhi wa sallam), his respected households and companions, and on the generality of the Muslims till the end of time.
Aboo Aaishah Al Odeomeey