Creed [Aqaid]

Is Yazid in the Islam a disbeliever and can we curse him?

Question: What is the verdict of the noble scholars and the great jurists in these questions1:

  1. One person Molvi Ashraf Ali Sakin from Tilhar in Shajahanpur and another person Hakim Abdullah who lives in Tilhar. Hakim’s statement is, “Yazid was not a corrupt culprit. He should not be called bad and Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) should not have gone to the place, why did he go? And this was a civil war.” Secondly, after the fajr prayer, the Muslims wanted to shake his hand, but he did not shake [musafaha] and said it was an innovation [bidah]. Isn’t Hakim’s statement completely wrong? Did he not insult the great honour of Sayyid al-Shuhada (may Allah be pleased with him)? Wasn’t he telling a lie? Refusing to shake hands because he does not testify to it because he takes the meaning of innovation as a bad innovation and is this act like the Wahabis?
Questioner: Ziya al-Din Saheb, Tilhar in Shajahanpur from India.
Answer: We have no use with said persons.2 The regulations of Islamic law are widely applied. Those who commit these matters fall into this ruling, no matter who it is, be it soil or grass. On this generality, we will answer. If so-and-so person complies to it, then he will certainly be indebted in this ruling, otherwise to anyone who qualifies for it.
وَاللَّهُ يَقُولُ الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ يَهْدِي السَّبِيلَ وحَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
And Allah proclaims the truth and it is He Who shows the path [33:4]. Allah is Sufficient for us – and what an excellent (reliable) Trustee (of affairs) is He! [3:173].
The polluted Yazid, may he get what he deserves, is unequivocally and unanimously agreed amongst the Ahl al-Sunnah as a transgressor [fasiq], corrupt [fajir], undismayed [jariy] and a major sinner. At this level the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah are united. There is only disagreement about his religious excommunication [takfir] and curse [la’an].
It is said that Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal (may Allah be pleased with him) and his fellows call him a disbeliever [kafir] and particularly curse him by taking his name. They take this blessed verse as proof,
فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَن تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ فَأَصَمَّهُمْ وَأَعْمَىٰ أَبْصَارَهُمْ
So do you portray that if you get governance, you would spread chaos in the land and sever your relations? It is these whom Allah has cursed, so He made them deaf to the Truth and blinded their eyes. [47:22-23]
No doubt Yazid spread schism as a ruler. He severely dishonoured the two blessed cities, even the sanctified Kaaba and the pure prophetic mausoleum. In the noble mosque, he tied horses and their urine and faeces scattered around the pure minbar. The Prophet’s mosque (peace be upon him) was without Azan and prayer for three days. Thousands of companions and the people of the one generation after them [tabi’] were unjustly martyred in Mecca, Medina and the Hijaz. The sanctified Kaaba was thrown with stones and the blessed Kiswah [ghilaf] was torn and burned. He made the sacred Medina halal upon his army for three nights. He tyrannised the blessed offspring [Husayn] of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) placing him without water for three days along with his followers, making them thirsty whilst slaughtering them. After his martyrdom, the tender body that emerged from the Prophet’s bloodline was placed on a running horse losing all the blessed bones. The blessed head that the Prophet (peace be upon him) kissed was beheaded whilst being lifted on a spear and thrown far away. The noble and pure womenfolk were prisoned and brought before the tyrant with dishonour. What could be a greater loss of mercy and earthly schism than this? Woe to him who does not think that these cursed deeds are corrupt.
It is in the glorious Quran manifest that,

لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ
upon them is Allah’s curse. [33:57]
Therefore, Imam Ahmad and his fellows cursed him and our Imam al-Azam [Abu Hanifa] (may Allah be pleased with him) precautionarily kept silent against cursing [la’an] and religious excommunication [takifr]. Because his immorality has been mass-transmitted [mutawatir], but his disbelief has not been mass-transmitted. And ascribing major sins [to someone] based on assumption is not even allowed, nor religious ex-communication [takfir], and the possibility of ascertainment of repentance [tawba] on one’s death as Allah states,
فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيًّا إِلَّا مَن تَابَ
So they will soon encounter the forest of Gai in hell. Except those who repented. [19:59-60]
And mumbling repentance on the deathbed is accepted, and there is no ascertainment of it upon his demise and this is the very precautionary and sound position. But denying his immorality, tyranny, the blame of oppressing the Imam [Husayn] is contrary to the necessary tenets of the Ahl al-Sunnah, and it is manifest deception and deviation. It is rather fair that a heart with trivial love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) cannot comprehend it.
No doubt his statement is from the infidel Nasibi and an enemy of the Ahl al-Sunnah. Complaining about the issue of handshake [musafaha] with such a deviant person has no benefit. His extremity is such that it was against the authentic statement, and not shaking hands without legitimate reason, he made manifest to the heart of a Muslim. But by that accursed statement, he made it clear to Sayyida Batul al-Zahra, Ali al-Murtada and even the Prophet (peace be upon him). He had already angered Allah the One, the Subduer.
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا
And for those who trouble the Noble Messenger of Allah, is a painful punishment. [9:61] Indeed those who trouble Allah and His Noble Messenger – upon them is Allah’s curse in the world and in the Hereafter, and Allah has kept prepared a disgraceful punishment for them. [33:57]
al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
18-Safar-1339 || ≈ 31-Oct-1920
al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 14, p. 591-593, #208
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Question: What is the judgment of the Ahl al-Sunnah scholars in this matter that will Yazid receive salvation according to the judgment of Allah and His Messenger?



There are three views of the Ahl al-Sunnah scholars on the corrupt Yazid. Imam Ahmad and the seniors and so on consider him a disbeliever [kafir], so he will not get salvation at all. And Imam al-Ghazali3 and so on say he is a Muslim, so no matter how much punishment he gets, at the end there is surely salvation. And our Imam [Abu Hanifa] was silent, that we do not say that he is a Muslim, nor a disbeliever [kafir]. That is why [we] are also silent here. And Allah knows best.


al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
Ahkam-e-Shariat: p. 152, #18
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  1. We have separated the questions for the sake of easy reading.
  2. Author is referring to the questioner using real names instead of pseudonyms
  3. Imam al-Ghazali said: If it is asked whether it is permissible to curse Yazid for being the murderer of Imam Husayn (Allah be pleased with him) or has given the order to kill him. Then we would say that this has not been proven by veracity. Until it is not proven, then it cannot be said that he is the murderer or the commander [of the murder], even though it is about cursing him. Because it is not permissible to ascribe a Muslim to a major sin without proper investigation. Indeed, saying this is permissible that Ibn al-Muljam martyred Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) and Abu Lulu to Sayyiduna Umar (Allah be pleased with him), as this has been proven by mass-transmission [tawatur], so ascribing a Muslim without proper investigation towards transgression or disbelief is absolutely not allowed. [Ihya al-Ulum: 3/125] [al-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: 10/193]
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