All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the creation; and there is no aggression except against the tyrants. Blessings and much peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and companions. To proceed;
A question reached us from some brothers regarding the ruling upon honoring, hosting, and receiving some of the deviants, and giving them the opportunity to propagate their deviant thoughts and foul, modernist etiquette, from the likes of Mahmoud Darwish the Palestinian modernist and a member of the communist Rukah party in Israel. He says in some of his poetry: "Sleep, for Allah's eye is asleep." And the likes of Samih al-Qasim of the Druze and a member of the same party, who says in some of his poetry: "To what cave can Allah escape, covered with dust, smoke, and flames." And the likes of the liberal Turki al-Hamad, who says in his novel al-Karadib: "Suicide is victory over Allah." And the likes of others from this faction.
We were also asked about our opinion regarding he who states that these quotations are "literary passages, thereby no ruling can be made upon a person based upon these quotes." And the statement, "freedom of speech necessitates no takfeer of people, therefore we must surrender their condition to their creator."
So I say, seeking aid from Allah: the response to this is from a number of angles:
1. Empowering the likes of these deviants to propagate their thoughts and opening the media and educational pulpits for them is a great evil and haram action. Preventing these likes from propagating their deviance (not considering that it might include mockery of Allah or His Messenger (ﷺ) or the Religion and its followers) is from the most obligatory of obligations upon the scholars, rulers, and commanders of good and forbidders of evil, nay, upon all the Muslims. None of the scholars differ over this as far as we know.
It is well known that he who speaks speech of Kufr, such as mocking Allah, His Messenger (ﷺ) or the religion of Islam, then it is obligatory to execute the sentence for apostasy upon him immediately, without requesting his repentance, and this is the opinion of many of the scholars because of the Prophet's (ﷺ) statement,
Whoever changes his religion, then kill him.
And his statement,
The blood of the Muslim is not permitted except in three cases, the adulterer, the killer for his killing, and he who abandons his religion, leaving the Muslim community.
And the story of Mu'adh (رضي الله عنه) when he joined Abu Musa in Yemen and found a jailed man, and said, "what is this?" Abu Musa responded, "He accepted Islam, then became a Jew." Mu'adh said, "I will not sit until he is killed; this is the rule of Allah and His Messenger." All these narrations are in the Saheeh.
So if this ruling is such according to many of the scholars, then how is it permissible according to the Shar' to honor them and empower them to propagate their deviance? There is no doubt that this is a great opposition to Allah Ta'ala and His provident law.
2. The speaker of kufri speech or speech composed of innovation and deviance, or speech that contains fisq (sin) and perversion, then it is obligatory to chastise the speaker according to the consensus of the scholars, whether we rule that the speaker of kufr is a kafir or we don't rule such. The obligation of chastisement must be established in any case.
Claiming that these passages are literary texts, therefore it is not correct to make a ruling upon their authors based upon these texts, then the best that can be said regarding this claimer is that he is ignorant of Allah's Subhanahu wa Ta'ala law. And it is not permissible to make statements about Allah without knowledge especially in matters as dangerous as these.
As for the authors of these texts that they label literature composed of what necessitates kufr, then he either believes in what he writes, intending the meanings of what is written, or he wrote them in such a manner where he describes what his self composes of emotions and ingenuous images, as they claim, or other purposes.
If his condition is the first described, then we rule upon him based upon his statement and writing. This is the consensus of the scholars, all of them. We mentioned earlier the ruling of the scholars that the mocker of Allah Ta'ala or His Messenger (ﷺ) or the Religion, that he is an apostate to be killed immediately without requesting his repentance. The scholars mentioned in the chapters on apostasy and its punishment in the books on creed what is related to this matter and what expels the person from Islam. So my advice for he who claims this claims and its likes is to return to the scholars before he speaks about Allah without knowledge.
As for the speaker and author who claims who says such only for literary purposes, ingenuity, and the likes, and he is not from the first group, then he is held responsible for what he wrote and said, and he is ruled upon by the text of the Qur'an (9:66): "If you were to ask them, they will say, 'we were only jesting and joking.' Say, 'With Allah, His verses, and Messenger you were jesting? Make no excuse, you disbelieved after belief.'" So this verse is clear in ruling upon these likes with kufr because of their speech, even if they claim it was out of jest or entertainment, as is clear in the cause of the verse's revelation.
So how can excuse be made thereafter for the mocker of Allah Ta'ala or His Messenger (ﷺ) or something from the symbols of the religion simply because these passages are just ingenuity and sentimental or only literary creation.
3. The claim of freedom of speech, if it leads to kufr, then it is invalid according to the Qur'an and consensus of the Ummah. And we mention previously the verses and narrations indicating such. If freedom of speech was permissible in the Shar', there would have been no point for execution for apostasy, yet there is no book of fiqh that forgets to mention this punishment. Nay, the dhimmi or kafir with a pact, if he mocks Allah or His Messenger, his pact is voided and it becomes obligatory to kill him according to the majority of the scholars.
As for he who says, "leave the people to their creator" then this is fine, if the person does not display anything that necessitates rebuking, for the investigating of people's intents and uncovering of what is in their chests is not permissible. The prudent Shar' ordered us to interact with people according to what they display of statements or actions, and rule upon them according to such. One is blameworthy until he rebukes them, orders their repentance, and executes their sentence for apostasy, if something is displayed that necessitates such. If he repents and declares his repentance, then we raise the sentence from him and leave his matter to Allah, even if we are not certain about the sincerity of his repentance, unless his statement or action is not effected by repentance. Then he is executed in this world, and his repentance is between him and his Lord, and this is the opinion of many of the scholars. And Allah Ta'ala knows best.
I ask Allah, the Lofty and Mighty to aid His religion, raise His word, and to support with truth the Mujahidin for His cause, the commanders of good, the forbidders of evil, the sons of this Religion. He is the arranger of such and capable. And our last words are: "All praise is due to Allah."
Dictated by the noble Shaykh, Prof. Hamud bin 'Uqla' ash-Shu'aybi 15/1/1421 A.H.