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The word Kafir and who is really a kafir

Reader comment on item: Are Christians Infidels (Kafirs)?

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Sep 2, 2007 at 08:11

The root of the word Kafir is KFR and word means means unveliever and that is it (see Hans Wehr and for this see below). Now who is really a kafir or an unbeliever?

1. Atheists, non theists and polytheists. Well this would include Hindus, Buddhists. But it also includes Jews and Christians because in Q9:30 the author of the Qur'an claims that the Jews regard 3Uzair (Ezra) as the son of Allah (sic) and Christians regard Jesus as the son of Allah, therefore Jews and Christians are regarded as being polytheists and for this see Muqatil (notice that in asbab al-nuzul or reasons for revelation Q112 has nothing to do with being anti-Trinity) . And if you read ayat al-sayf or Q9:5 the word iqtoloo or kill the polytheists can very well be read as qatilo or fight which is indeed what it says in Q9:29 to fight ahl al-kitab or the Jews and Christians (and Hindus and Buddhists included if you believe Karen Armstrong).

2. Now if you read the ancient commentaries all a person needed to do was to recite al-Shihada and he/she becomes Muslim and a believer. Enter ibn Taymiyya he believed that a kafir can also be a Muslim if he or she would be a friend of the enemy of Muslims and he/she celebrate the likes of mawlid al-nabi or the birthday of Muhammad. So under certain conditions a Muslim can also be a kafir

So a kafir is: a non-Muslim and under certain conditions he/she can be a Muslim

And no the word kafir does not mean ungrateful. The word ungrateful means: ghayr shukur and ungratefulness means 3adam al-shukr (see Wortabet page 396B) and the opposite word of kafir is mu'min or believer/Muslim and not shakir.

However I give him high marks for not telling us the bogus claim by ignorant tablighees that the word kafir means to cover and let us not forget that a kafr is a village. But again most Muslim Arabs do not have good command of the root system and Arabic garmmar.

References:

1. Wortabet dictionary page 396B and 392B for the word ghayr mu'min or kafir

2. For analysis of the root KFR see 832-833 in Hans Wehr dictionary

3. For a great explanation of who is really a kafir see Ruthven's "Fury for God" pages 134-137

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