How can a disbeliever believe after Allah has cursed him and expelled him from His mercy?

Question : 387967


In more than one place in the Holy Quran we find that Allah, may He be exalted, curses the disbelievers or the one who accuses chaste women and the one who speaks ill of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). It is well known that according to Islamic teachings, cursing means expelling and casting a person far away from the mercy of Allah, may He be exalted. So how can one whom Allah, may He be exalted, has cursed become a believer? How can the disbeliever enter Islam when Allah, may He be exalted, has already cursed him and cast him far away from His mercy? I hope you will answer this specious argument.


What is meant by cursing and what it implies

If it is a disbeliever who is cursed, what is meant by that is being cast away far from Allah’s mercy and paradise, and abiding forever in hell- that is, if the person dies in a state of disbelief.

If it is a Muslim who is cursed, or the curse is for doing something that does not constitute disbelief, then what is meant is that he will initially be prevented from entering Paradise. That applies if Allah does not pardon him, because the one who commits a major sin is subject to the will of Allah, so he may die without repenting, yet despite that Allah will forgive him.

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Sahih Muslim: In linguistic terms, cursing refers to being expelled and cast far away. The scholars said that what is meant by cursing here is the punishment that the individual deserves for his sin, and being prevented initially from entering Paradise. This is not the same as cursing the disbelievers, who will be completely cast far away from the mercy of Allah, may He be exalted. End quote.

Allah, may He be exalted, say (interpretation of the meaning):

{Indeed, Allah has cursed the disbelievers and prepared for them a Blaze.

Abiding therein forever, they will not find a protector or a helper} [Al-Ahzab 33:64, 65].

This applies to the disbeliever if he dies in a state of disbelief.

As for the one who repents before he dies, he is no longer subject to the curse.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture - those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse -

Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those - I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful} [Al-Baqarah 2:159, 160].

Thus the gate of repentance and acceptance is open for them, even if they were subject to the curse, for by means of sincere repentance ,the reason for being subject to the curse will no longer apply.

And Allah, may He be glorified, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief and had witnessed that the Messenger is true and clear signs had come to them? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.

Those - their recompense will be that upon them is the curse of Allah and the angels and the people, all together,

Abiding eternally therein. The punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be reprieved,

Except for those who repent after that and correct themselves. For indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful} [Al ‘Imran 3:86-89].

So the gate of Islam and repentance is open to every disbeliever, even though there may be verses which curse him, because his being cast away from Allah’s mercy does not become confirmed except if he dies as a disbeliever.

And Allah, may He be exalted, says regarding the disbelievers of Quraysh who fought the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) at Badr and persecuted him in Makkah (interpretation of the meaning):

{Say to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them. But if they return [to hostility] - then the precedent of the former [rebellious] peoples has already taken place} [Al-Anfal 8:38].

Ruling on cursing a specific individual

Because cursing is like stating that a person will be cast out of Allah’s mercy in the hereafter, the majority of scholars forbade cursing a specific disbeliever, unless it is proven in the religious texts that he is cursed, such as Iblees, or it is known that he died in a state of disbelief. As for the disbeliever who is still alive, he may become Muslim; therefore he should not be cursed by name. Rather it may be said in general terms that Allah cursed the disbelievers, just as it may be said that the disbelievers will abide eternally in the Fire. This can only apply to those who died in a state of disbelief.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in Majmu‘ al-Fatawa (6/511):

Cursing is permissible in general terms, in the case of those whom Allah and His Messenger cursed.

As for cursing a specific individual, if it is known that he died as a disbeliever, it is permissible to curse him.

As for cursing a specific evildoer, it is not appropriate to curse him, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade cursing ‘Abdullah ibn Himar, who used to drink alcohol, even though he had cursed the drinkers of alcohol in general terms. However, with regard to cursing a specific individual if he is an evildoer or a promoter of innovation, there is a difference of scholarly opinion. End quote.

Please see the answers to questions no. 36674 and 83390 .

And Allah knows best.

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