Conditions for the statements or actions of kufr or shirk to be excused

Question :

If a person is coerced to commit disbelief, is this individual excused by Allaah subhaanahu wa ta ‘ala if he’s forced to commit disbelief or to speak a word of disbelief?

Answer :

Shaykh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ibn Hizam, may Allaah preserve him, replied by saying, Allaah subhaanahu wa ta ‘ala tells us:

Surah Nahl, “Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is compelled and whose heart is at rest with Imaan. However, those who open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allaah, and theirs will be a great torment (Nahl 16:106)”

And so this ayah declares that a person who is truly coerced and forced to utter a statement of disbelief or to fall into an act if disbelief; he’s forced to do so, then this individual is excused. However, the means of coercion must be truly established, meaning he’s truly being forced to do so. Whereas he knows for surety that if he doesn’t do this act of disbelief or utter this statement of disbelief then this form of torture will happen to him or this unbearable form of punishment will occur and/or this imprisonment will take place or he will get killed in any way shape or form. If this individual knows for surety that this will take place, then it is okay for him to say that you heard.

However, if they are just assumptions that he had. Or he’s just assuming that it’ll take place, or there is not a good chance that they will not actually take place. Then in this case it is impermissible for him to utter statements of disbelief or do acts of disbelief. So he has to have a surety or he has to know for a fact that this unbearable form of torture will take place, or imprisonment or killing will take place.

And likewise they shouldn’t just be mere scare tactics that they’re using for you to fall under that state of disbelief. And from the conditions that were mentioned from the scholars as well, is that that in which you do or commit of that form of disbelief has to be something which would repel that torture or that form of punishment or imprisonment or killing from yourself.

Or if you do that act of disbelief or say or utter those statements of disbelief however, and that doesn’t help your situation and they’re going to kill you any way, or torture you or imprison you any way. Then in this case as well, it is impermissible for you to utter those statements of disbelief or act upon those of actions of disbelief.

And likewise this torture or imprisonment or whatever the case may be needs to be established. Or if they are threatening you that it will take place at that time then this is when it is permissible for the individual to do that in which you heard. However if they are like just as we said, using scare tactics or they are saying that this will happen to you in the future or that this will happen to you at this time or that time. If they are talking about the future, then this is not a means or excuse for you to take part in those matters.

Answered by : Shaykh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ibn Hizam, may Allaah preserve him