What is the criteria to declare a person to be Munafiq (Hypocrite). And is it allowed for a person who is not even a student of knowledge to declare a person to be Munafiq ?
The matter of attributing Kufr or Shirk or Nifaq to a specific person is a dangerous matter. It is must that the conditions are met (for the ruling) and the issues that prohibits the ruling are not present. And we don’t close the door of Riddah (declaring a person to be Kafir) and also we don’t take the path of hastiness the people of Takfeeriyyoon (who declares muslims to be kuffar unjustly) and Khawarij (who wage war against rulers), who declare people to be kuffar because of sins.
And this matter, it is must to be returned to the well grounded people of knowledge who weighs the matters properly as Allah told :
“When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed Shaitan (Satan), save a few of you. “ (An-Nisa – 83)
But there are signs for Nifaq and the Nifaq is divided into two types :
1) Nifaq I’tiqadi : Nifaq in belief, that is keeping the Kufr inside the heart and showing outside the Islam
2) Nifaq Amali : Nifaq in actions, as is mentioned by Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam in his saying that, if he talks he lies and if he promises if breaks and if he is relied upon he cheats and if he argues he behave immoral. And also who ever didn’t fight in the path of Allah and doesn’t have intention of fighting in path of Allah then he died, he dies having a portion of Nifaq in him.
And who dislikes the deen of Allah Jalla wa A’ala and who dislikes the victory of Islam then he is Munafiq. As Allah has told :
“That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down (this Quran and Islamic laws, etc.), so He has made their deeds fruitless.” (Muhammad – 9)
And it is not permissible for a person who is not a student of knowledge for this declarion as Allah has told :
“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. ones saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah).” (Al-Isra – 36)
But he takes from rulings of Scholars and rulings of the righteous callers to the Deen who have the knowledge. As Allah has told :
“O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done. “ (Al-Hujurat – 6)
Answered by : Shaykh Abu Ishaaq Al Qaisee