Ibn Taymiyyah on Takfeer: The scholars would not excommunicate those who excommunicated them

August 5, 2014

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Thus, the scholars and people of the Sunnah would not excommunicate (takfeer) those who opposed them even if their opponents declared them to be unbelievers, for the matter of unbelief is a legal judgment and a person may not punish with the like of it, such as if someone lies against you or commits adultery with your family it would not be permissible for you to lie against him or commit adultery with his family. Fornication and falsehood are unlawful by the right of Allah. Likewise, excommunication is the right of Allah, so we do not excommunicate anyone except those whom Allah and His Messenger have declared to be unbelievers.”

Source: Ar-Radd ‘ala Al-Bakri 1/381

قال ابن تيمية فلهذا كان أهل العلم والسنة لا يكفرون من خالفهم وإن كان ذلك المخالف يكفرهم لأن الكفر حكم شرعي فليس للإنسان أن يعاقب بمثله كمن كذب عليك وزنى بأهلك ليس لك أن تكذب عليه وتزني بأهله لأن الكذب والزنا حرام لحق الله تعالى وكذلك التكفير حق لله فلا يكفر إلا من كفره الله ورسوله

1/381 الرد على البكري