The Dangers of Falsely Accusing Muslims of Disbelief
Regarding a Muslim as a disbeliever is a thing that only Allah has the right to do, for not all that it is designated as disbelief can refer to doctrinal disbelief. Also, People are not allowed to designate any Muslim as a disbeliever unless they have crystal clear evidence from the Quran and Sunnah that he is actually a disbeliever, hence no one is allowed to judge people’s hearts based on suspicion and conjecture.
Therefore, the Prophet, peace be upon him, urged Muslims to bear good intentions when judging people, and warned them from rushing into the accusation of disbelief and said, in the Hadith narrated from Abu Hurayrah, “If a man says to his brother, O disbeliever! Then surely one of them is such.” And said “Anyone who called his brother, “O disbeliever”, then it [the designation] would return to one of them. If it was as he said, [if the person accused is actually a disbeliver] or it would be returned to him [The man f would become a disbeliever if he falsely accused his brother Muslim of disbelief]”
Thus, Islam set a lot of conditions about the matter of disbelief so that people would not rush into falsely accusing their brother Muslims of disbelief, for sometimes a Muslim may unconsciously utter a word of disbelief out of joy or fury, when he did not even intend to fall into disbelief, as in the story of the man who said, “O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your God.He committed this mistake out of extreme joy”.
Moreover, rushing into accusing Muslims of disbelief would contribute to a lot of formidable consequences, such as, the violation of rights, blood and funds of innocent Muslims, terrorism, chaos, bloodshed, insecurity and instability, and therefore the Prophet, peace be upon him, warned us from accusing others of disbelief in the Hadith narrated by Ubada Bin Samet, “We swore allegiance to Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, to hear and obey; in time of difficulty and in prosperity, in hardship and in ease, to endure being discriminated against and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity regarding which there is a proof from Allah.” Thus, this Hadith calls Muslims to distinguish between doctrinal disbelief and the action of disbelief, for major sins such as, drinking alcohol, adultery and usury are great sins that do not make sinners fall in doctrinal disbelief, and thus people are not allowed to accuse sinners of disbelief.
To conclude, rushing into falsely accusing Muslims of disbelief poses a great threat to the Muslim community, as Allah said, “Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.” [al-Arraf: 33].