Actions That Nullify One's Faith and Islam
By Shaykh ‘Abd Al 'Azeez ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)
Here we are referring to those actions that nullify one’s Eeman (faith) after one has already entered into a state of faith; here are some of these actions:
1 - If one rejects the belief in Allaah’s Lordship, or anything that comes under that belief, one’s faith becomes void:
وَقَالُوا مَا هِيَ إِلاَّ حَيَاتُنَا الدُّنْيَا نَمُوتُ وَنَحْيَا وَمَا يُهْلِكُنَا إِلاَّ الدَّهْرُ وَمَا لَهُمْ بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْم ٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَظُنُّونَ
And they say: “There is nothing but our life of this world, we die and we live and nothing destroys us except Ad-Dahr (the time).” And they have no knowledge of it, they only conjecture.
(Surah Al-Jathiyah, 45:24)
2 - Being too proud and haughty to worship Allaah. Allaah Almighty says:
لَنْ يَسْتَنكِفَ الْمَسِيحُ أَنْ يَكُونَ عَبْدا ً لِلَّهِ وَلاَ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ وَمَنْ يَسْتَنكِفْ عَنْ عِبَادَتِه ِ وَيَسْتَكْبِرْ فَسَيَحْشُرُهُمْ إِلَيْهِ جَمِيعا فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِه ِ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ اسْتَنكَفُوا وَاسْتَكْبَرُوا فَيُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيما ً وَلاَ يَجِدُونَ لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيّا ً وَلاَ نَصِيرا
The Messiah will never be proud to reject to be a slave to Allaah, nor the angels who are near (to Allaah). And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself. So, as for those who believed (in the Oneness of Allaah - Islaamic Monotheism) and did deeds of righteousness, He will give their (due) rewards, and more out of His Bounty. But as for those who refuse His worship and were proud, He will punish them with a painful torment . And they will not find for themselves besides Allaah any protector or helper.
(Surah An-Nisa’ 4:172-173)
3 - Associating partners with Allaah in worship, either by dedicating some acts of worship to other than Allaah, or by taking intercessors or intermediaries, asking them instead of Allaah, relying on them, or asking them for intercession. Allaah Almighty says:
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلاَ يَنْفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَاؤُلاَء شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ قُلْ أَتُنَبِّئُونَ اللَّهَ بِمَا لاَ يَعْلَمُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلاَ فِي الأَرْضِ سُبْحَانَه ُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
And they worship besides Allaah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allaah.” Say: “Do you inform Allaah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!
(Surah Yunus, 10:8)
In another verse, Allaah Almighty says:
لَه ُ دَعْوَةُ الْحَقِّ وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُونَ لَهُمْ بِشَيْء ٍ إِلاَّ كَبَاسِطِ كَفَّيْهِ إِلَى الْمَاءِ لِيَبْلُغَ فَاه ُ وَمَا هُوَ بِبَالِغِه ِ وَمَا دُعَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ إِلاَّ فِي ضَلاَل
For Him (Alone) is the Word of Truth (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He). And those whom they (polytheists and disbelievers) invoke, answer them no more than one who stretches forth his hand (at the edge of a deep well) for water to reach his mouth, but it reaches him not, and the invocation of the disbelievers is nothing but an error (i.e. of no use).
(Surah Ra’d, 13:14)
4 - Rejecting anything that Allaah has affirmed for Himself or that the Prophet (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has affirmed for Him. Also ascribing to someone from creation some of those qualities that are specific to Allaah, such as knowledge of the Unseen. And finally affirming something that Allaah has negated about Himself or that the Prophet (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has negated about Him. Addressing the Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), Allaah Almighty said:
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَه ُ كُفُواً أَحَد
Say (Oh Muhammad): “He is Allaah, (the) One. Allaah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks). He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”
(Surah Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-4)
And Allaah Almighty says:
وَلِلَّهِ الأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوه ُ بِهَا وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِه ِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.
(Surah Al-A'raf, 7:180)
رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَاعْبُدْهُ وَاصْطَبِرْ لِعِبَادَتِه ِ هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَه ُ سَمِيّا
Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, so worship Him (Alone) and be constant and patient in His worship. Do you know of any who is similar to Him? (Of course none is similar or coequal or comparable to Him, and He has none as partner with Him). [There is nothing like unto Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer].
(Surah Maryam, 19:65)
5 - Disbelieving in anything that the Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) came with; Allaah Almighty says:
وَإِنْ يُكَذِّبُوكَ فَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَبِالزُّبُرِ وَبِالْكِتَابِ الْمُنِيرِ ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ
And if they belie you, those before them also belied. Their Messengers came to them with clear signs, and with the Scriptures, and the book giving light. Then I took hold of those who disbelieved, and how terrible was My denial (punishment)!
(Surah Fatir, 35:25-26)
6 - Believing that the Prophet’s guidance is incomplete, disbelieving some of Allaah’s Commands that were revealed to him, believing that another system of laws is better and more suitable to mankind, believing that any other law or system of laws is equal to Allaah and His Messenger’s laws, or believing that it is permissible to rule by other than what Allaah revealed. Allaah Almighty says:
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُوا بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يَتَحَاكَمُوا إِلَى الطَّاغُوتِ وَقَدْ أُمِرُوا أَنْ يَكْفُرُوا بِه ِ وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلاَلا ً بَعِيدا
Have you seen those (hyprocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot (false judges, etc.) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaitaan (Satan) wishes to lead them far astray.
(Surah An-Nisa’, 4:60)
فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجا ً مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيما
But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (Oh Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.
(Surah An-Nisa’, 4:65)
وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَائِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
…And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers.
(Surah Al-Ma'idah, 5:44)
7 - One’s faith is nullified by not deeming the polytheists and disbelievers to actually be disbelievers, or even to doubt whether they are disbelievers, because that is to have doubt in what the Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) came with. Allaah Almighty says:
أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَبَأُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ قَوْمِ نُوح ٍ وَعَاد ٍ وَثَمُودَ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَرَدُّوا أَيْدِيَهُمْ فِي أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَقَالُوا إِنَّا كَفَرْنَا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِه ِ وَإِنَّا لَفِي شَكّ ٍ مِمَّا تَدْعُونَنَا إِلَيْهِ مُرِيب
Has not the news reached you, of those before you, the people of Nooh (Noah), and 'Ad, and Thamud? And those after them? None knows them but Allaah. To them came their Messengers with clear proofs, but they put their hands in their mouths (biting them from anger) and said: “Verily, we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent, and we are really in grave doubt as to that to which you invite us (i.e. Islaamic Monotheism).”
(Surah Ibraheem, 14:9)
8 - Mocking or making fun of Allaah, of the Qur'an, the Religion, Islamic rewards or punishments, the Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), some of the Prophets and so on, regardless of whether one is mocking jokingly or seriously. Allaah Almighty says:
وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِه ِ وَرَسُولِه ِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ لاَ تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ
If you ask them (about this), they declare: “We were only talking idly and joking.” Say: “Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?” Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed…
(Surah At-Tawbah, 9:65-66)
9 - Helping and backing the disbelievers against the Musims; Allaah Almighty says:
وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنَّه ُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
…And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya’, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Dhaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust).
(Surah Al-Ma'idah, 5:51)
10 - Believing that it is permissible for a certain person to not follow the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam); Allaah Almighty says:
وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينا ً فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
And whoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.
(Aali Imran, 3:85)
11 - Turning away, either completely from Allaah’s Religion, or turning away from those actions that are necessary to the correctness of one’s Islaam - neither learning nor applying those actions. Allaah Almighty says:
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ ذُكِّرَ بِآيَاتِ رَبِّه ِ ثُمَّ أَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا إِنَّا مِنَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُنتَقِمُونَ
And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, then he turns aside therefrom? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the Mujrimoon (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, etc.).
(Surah As-Sajdah, 32:22)
12 - Hating anything that the Prophet (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) came with, even if one practices that which he hates. Allaah Almighty says:
ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَرِهُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالَهُمْ
That is because they hate that which Allaah has sent down (this Qur`an and Islaamic laws, etc.), so He has made their deeds fruitless.
(Surah Muhammad, 47:9)
13 - Practicing Magic or being pleased by magic. Allaah Almighty says:
وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّى يَقُولاَ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَة ٌ فَلاَ تَكْفُرْ
…But neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:102)
These are the most common actions or beliefs that nullify one’s faith. However, there are many others, even though most of them return to rejecting the Qur`an or a part of the Qur`an, doubting in the fact that it is a miracle, debasing the Qur`an or a part of it, deeming something lawful when there is a consensus that it is unlawful - such as fornication, or drinking alcohol - finding fault in the religion or cursing it, or abandoning the prayer. And we seek refuge in Allaah from misguidance. And Allaah Almighty knows best.
[Source: Shaikh Ibn Baaz’s Explanation of Important Lessons (for Every Muslim), pages 148-154, Second Edition]