Two terms are used, ‘kaafir’ and ‘faasiq’. Please explain that whom we call faasiq and whom we call kaafir and what type of actions came under each category. If any of these actions performed by any Muslim unintentionally, will his/her tawbah be accepted in both cases?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
The word Kaafir is derived from the root word Kufr, which means to hide or be ungrateful. If a person does not believe in the Oneness of Allah or His attributes and His Laws as he ought to believe, then he is hiding the truth and is ungrateful to Allah. When a person believes in the Oneness of Allah with His attributes and also submits to the Laws of Allah as Allah wants him to do, he is not a Kaafir.
The word Faasiq is derived from the root word Fisq, which means to transgress. If a believer violates the Laws of Allah, he is a Faasiq.
The jurists explain that if a believer makes a mockery of any aspect of Islam (Istihzaa) or looks down on any aspect of Islam (Istikhfaaf), that contitues Kufr.
The Fuqaha have outlined in detail those issues that lead to Kufr and Fisq.
Allah is Most Merciful. He is Most Forgiving. If a Kaafir or Faasiq honestly makes Tawba and repents, Allah will forgive him. In Islam, one has direct access to Allah. He does not have to confess his wrongs or sins to any person and degrade himself. If he regrets his wrongs and seeks Allah’s forgiveness directly, Allah will forgive him.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah