Muhammad ibn Al Hasan Al Shaybaani, the mujtahid scholar and companion of Abu Hanifah, said in his “As Siyar Al Kabir” (which is one of the 6 highly authenticated books called Thahir al Riwayah in the Hanafi school): “If a woman said to the judge, “Verily I heard my husband say, ‘The Messiah is the son of God’,” and the husband said, “I only meant to narrate what the people who say this say” but admitted that he had not said anything else, (such as ‘they say’, or the christians say) then his wife is separated from him.” (Sharh Al Siyar Al Kabir 5/2024 #4063)
In other words, the man has fallen out of Islam, so his wife is no longer his wife. This is because a person who willingly says a kufr statement without relating it to someone else falls out of Islam. The scholars understood this from several proofs, among them:
Allah said in the Qur’aan:
“مَنْ كَفَرَ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ إِيمَانِهِ إِلاّ مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإِيمَانِ وَلَكِنْ مَنْ شَرَحَ بِالْكُفْرِ صَدْرًا فَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ”
This might be translated in meaning as: “Whoever blasphemed after believing – except the one that was forced to do so and his heart was firm in belief, not the one who accepted the act of blasphemy – Allah has willed punishment for them and they will will be put under a tremendous torture.” (An-Nahl,106)
Note that the compulsion meant in this aayah is the threat of losing one’s life or a limb if one does not do or say something kufr. A slight beating or losing property does not count as compulsion in this case.
Note also that the aayah exempted only the one that was forced to blaspheme and his heart was firm in belief….” it did not exempt the one that was not forced to blaspheme and his heart was firm in belief. In other words, the act of blasphemy was named blasphemy, despite the heart being firm in belief. This means it is possible to commit blasphemy by actions other than those of the heart, namely acts of the body and the tongue.
To clarify further, the one that says kufr while under compulsion to do so, does not fall out of Islam, provided that he rejected it in the heart before, after and during the kufr act or saying. This is the only case Allah exempted, so in all other cases the person falls out of Islam by saying kufr (such as saying that Allah is limited) or doing kufr (such as stepping on the Quran). These cases are:
Commiting kufr by an act or a statement while not under compulsion to do so, and rejecting the kufr in the heart.
Accepting to say or do kufr in the heart, whether one is under compulsion or not.
Accepting a kufr belief in his heart comes in addition to these as being kufr without exception.
Another proof is that Allah said in the Qur’aan:
“وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآَيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ ¤ لا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ”
Meaning: “And if you ask them, they will say ‘We were only talking idly and joking around. Say <O Muhammad> ‘Were you mocking Allah, His signs <proofs, aayah’s of the Quran etc.> and His Messenger? Do not make excuses for yourselves, you have committed blasphemy after believing.” (At-Tawbah, 65-66)
The great Hadith Master and Maliki scholar Ibn Al Arabi commented on the above statement in the Quran saying: “What those people said was either in seriousness or without being serious (not meaning it), and it is in any case blasphemy, because to say something that you understand a blasphemous meaning from is kufr, even if you do not mean it.” (Tafsir Al Qurtubi 8/197).
Another proof is that Allah gave us the judgment in the Quran that those that say that God is three, or Jesus is the son of God, or Jesus is God are blasphemers. This is without regard to what they intend to mean; they commit blasphemy merely by saying that. Allah said:
“وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ عُزَيْرٌ ابْنُ اللَّهِ وَقَالَتِ النَّصَارَى الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُمْ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ يُضَاهِئُونَ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ”
Which might be translated to mean: “The Jews said: “`Uzayr is the son of God,” and the Christians said “the Messiah is the son of God.” This is what they say by their tongues. Their saying is like that of those who blasphemed anciently. Allah has cursed them. How extreme they are in their lies!” (Al Tawbah, 30)
Another proof is that Allah said in the Qur’aan:
“وَتَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِكُمْ مَا لَيْسَ لَكُمْ بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَيِّناً وَهُوَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمٌ”
Meaning: “And you say by your mouths what you have no certain knowledge of, and you think it is a simple matter, while it is in Allah’s judgment gruesome.” (An-Nuur, 15)
Note, however, that the above is all if one said the words one uttered intentionally. If one had a slip of the tongue, in the sense that one wanted to say something, but said something else, then one is not accountable for those words. For example, if someone wanted to say “Muhammad is my prophet,” and instead said by a slip of the tongue “Muhammad, I am his prophet,” then he has not committed kufr. This is because we are only accountable for the words we intentionally say.
ولو أن امرأة قالت للقاضي : إني سمعت زوجي يقول : المسيح ابن الله ، وقال الزوج : إنما قلت ذلك حكاية عمن يقول هذا فإن أقر أنه لم يتكلم إلا بهذه الكلمة بانت منه امرأته
شرح كتاب السير الكبير ج 5 ص 2024
شرح السير الكبير ، اسم المؤلف: محمد بن الحسن الشيباني الوفاة: 198هـ ، دار النشر : معهد المخطوطات – القاهرة – – ، الطبعة : – ، تحقيق : د. صلاح الدين المنجد
قال القاضي أبو بكر بن العربي : لا يخلو أن يكون ما قالوه من ذلك جدا أو هزلا وهو كيفما كان كفر فإن الهزل بالكفر كفر لا خلاف فيه بين الأمة (تفسير القرطبي ج 8 ص 197)
الجامع لأحكام القرآن ، اسم المؤلف: أبو عبد الله محمد بن أحمد الأنصاري القرطبي الوفاة: 671 ، دار النشر : دار الشعب – القاهرة
-Shams al Din As-Sarkhasi. Sharh Al Siyar Al Kabir. 5 vols. Cairo, Egypt: Daar Al Makhtutat.
-Al-Qurtubi (671 AH). Tafsir Al Qurtubi. 20 vols. Cairo, Egypt: Daar Al Sha`b.
Author: Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji