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Kafir (Arabic: كافر‎ kāfir; plural كَافِرُونَ kāfirūna, كفّار kuffār or كَفَرَة kafarah; feminine كافرة kāfirah; feminine plural كافرات kāfirāt or كوافر kawāfir) is an Arabic term (from the root K-F-R "to cover") meaning "infidel", "rejector", "disbeliever", "unbeliever", "nonbeliever".


  • ‘Kafir’ is derived from the word ‘kufr’, which means to conceal or to reject. In Islamic terminology, ‘Kafir’ means one who conceals or rejects the truth of Islam and a person who rejects Islam is in English called a ‘non-Muslim’. If a ‘non-Muslim’ considers being called a ‘non-Muslim’ or ‘Kafir’, which are one and the same, an abuse, it is due to his misunderstanding about Islam. He or she needs to reach out to proper sources of understanding Islam and Islamic terminology, and not only will he not feel abused but appreciate Islam in the proper perspective.
  • To the Muslims, a Hindu (and any non-Muslim) is a Kafir. A Kafir (non-believer in Islam) is not worthy of respect. He is a low born and without status. That is why a country ruled by the kafir (non-muslim) is a ‘Dar ul harb’ (i.e. the land of war) to a Muslim, which must be conquered, by any means for the Muslims and turned into ‘Dar ul Islam’ (i.e., land of Muslims alone). (p. 301)
    • BR Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • 'Muslims,' says the Hidayah 'should allow the narrowest passage to the Kafirs going on throughfares.'
  • “Being kafir is a defect in both ghulam and bandi as by nature the Musalman detests to associate with or keep company of a kafir.”
    • Ashraf-ul-Hidayah, Deoband, VIII, 138-39. quoted from K.S. Lal Slave system in medieval india, 1994.
  • The honour of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One who respects the kafirs dishonours the Muslims… The real purpose of levying jiziya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It is intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honour and might of Islam.
    • Ahmad Sirhindi in S.A.A. Rizvi, Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Agra, 1965, pp. 248-249. Quoted from Goel, Sita Ram (1995). Muslim separatism: Causes and consequences. ISBN 9788185990262
  • But merely refraining from befriending and associating with kafirs is not enough. Enmity against the enemies of Allah and the Prophet is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim, declare the ulema. In the Fatawa-i-Rizvia the fatwas on kafirs are grouped under the heading, ‘Nafrat ke Ahkam’ — the ‘Ordinances of Hatred.’ Anyone to whom the struggle between Islam and kufr is ‘just a quarrel between clerics’ is himself a kafir: he is out of Islam, his wives are out of his nikah, declare the fatwas.
    • Fatawa-i-Rizvia cited in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • ‘And among these Kafirs too there are gradations,’ declares the Fatawa-i-Rizvia in its Nafrat ke Ahkam, the Ordinances of Hatred. ‘One hard kind of basic kufr is Christianity; worse than it is Magianism; worse than that is idolatry; worse than that is Wahabiyat; and worse than all these and more wicked is Deobandiyat.’
    • Fatawa-i-Rizvia cited in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • A Kafir cannot be better than a Muslim under any circumstances. A Muslim is better than Kafirs in all circumstances.
    • Mufti Kifayatullah quoted in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)

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