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Praising disbelievers and philosophy

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by FatwaCentre.org

Last year, in french class exam, we had to talk about a french poet that says really bad things and sometimes « insults God ». We had to write an essay about him in general and I said that he is a « genius » and things like that. Is it kufr to praise disbelievers like him and do I have to take back what I wrote from the school to destroy it??
Also, this year, I have a crazy philosophy teacher (philosophy is compulsory) who talks about religions and sometimes asks questions like « does God exists » and we have to write a long essay about these questions. What do I have to answer to this type of questions. Please answer fast as I am saddened about all this.


If a non-Muslim is, in fact, a genius, there is nothing wrong with stating this. However, if the individual is an enemy of Islam or insults Allah, words like genius should be avoided. This is because genius is a character judgement; you are attaching the adjective to the individual. On the other hand, if you were to write that their work/poetry is seminal, ground-breaking, pivotal, the adjective is ascribed to their work. This would be a better approach.

On philosophy, it is a sad reality that many RE or philosophy teachers in the UK are hard atheists and our Muslim youth are often severely challenged in these environments. It is a good sign that these challenges sadden you as this demonstrates firm faith. I would console you that these questions are not new– they have been discussed for centuries, and the Islamic tradition has a rich history of engaging with these discussions.

The Whitethread Institute runs a programme called “Crisis in Faith” which may be of benefit to you. However, in the times we are living in, it is necessary for all individuals to keep in regular contact with scholars, seeking their guidance. This is fundamental for all individuals throughout the various life stages. Therefore, seek out the advice of a local scholar on these matters and keep in contact with them. Your local imam or previous maktab teachers can be your first point of contact.

Answered by:
Maulana Ikramul Hoque Miah

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel

This answer was collected from FatwaCentre.org, which is overseen by Dr. Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera.

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