Consequences of a Muslim Identifying as a Non-Muslim in Jest or Otherwise


Question: What if a Muslim said jokingly or knowingly that I'm a Hindu, Yahudi, Christian etc or a Kaafir/non Muslim? Kisi Musalman ka mazaq me ya kisi tarah khud ko Hindu, Yahudi, Eisayi waghaira ya kaafir kehna? किसी मुस्लमान का मज़ाक़ में या किसी तरह ख़ुद को हिंदू, यहूदी, ईसाई वग़ैरह या काफ़िर कहना?

Answer by Mufti Muhammad Shahid Barkati

Understanding the Consequences of a Muslim Identifying as a Non-Muslim in Jest or Otherwise

In the realm of Islamic teachings, words hold profound significance, especially when they pertain to one's faith. A question arises: What are the implications for a Muslim who, jokingly or under any circumstance, claims to be a Hindu, Christian, Jew, or a non-Muslim (Kaafir)? This issue is not just a matter of casual conversation but one that holds considerable weight in Islamic jurisprudence.

The Gravity of the Matter:

It's crucial to understand that in Islam, the declaration of faith (Shahada) is the cornerstone of a Muslim's identity. When a Muslim, in full awareness and sound state of mind, declares themselves as a non-Muslim, it is a matter of serious concern. Whether said in jest, anger, or any other emotion, the implications are severe.

Reaffirming Faith and Repentance:

For an individual who has fallen into this situation, the path to return involves sincere repentance (Tawba) and the redeclaration of the Shahada to re-enter the fold of Islam. If married, they must also renew their marriage contract, as apostasy affects the validity of the marital bond in Islam.

Islamic Jurisprudence on the Issue:

Referencing key Islamic books such as "KITAB AL BAHRUR RAIQ" Volume Number 5, Safa Number 133 and "Fatawa Alamgiri"  Volume 2 Safa 279, the rulings from prominent Islamic scholars, the gravity of this act is evident. In "KITAB AL BAHRUR RAIQ", it is mentioned that a person declaring themselves as non-Muslim, even in jest, is considered to have left the fold of Islam. This act, known as apostasy, requires the individual to reaffirm their faith in Islam. (For more details, Refer the below Video by Mufti Muhammad Shahid Barkati)

The issue of a Muslim identifying as a non-Muslim, whether in jest or seriousness, is not to be taken lightly. It's a matter that directly impacts one's faith and standing in the Islamic community. This blog post aims to enlighten and remind Muslims of the weight of their words and the importance of maintaining their identity in faith, even in casual or emotional moments.

For those seeking further guidance or have questions about this topic, consulting knowledgeable Islamic scholars or reaching out to reliable Islamic jurisprudence resources is highly recommended.

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