My brothers: know that there are reasons for entering the hellfire, which Allah has clarified in the Qur’an and on the tongue of his Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam). That is so people may avoid it and protect themselves from it. And these are of two kinds:
First: Causes that make a person a kafir, which take him from eman to kufr. This obligates upon such a person to abide in hell forever.
Second: causes that make a person a Fasiq, and he deserves to enter hell, but he will not stay there forever.
We will mention some cases for the first category.
First: To commit shirk, by making a partner to Allah in His rububiyah, uluhiya, or attributes. So whoever thinks there is another creator partnering with Allah or by himself, or thinks there is another God that deserves worship, or devotes some kind of worship to a false god, or that someone has knowledge, power, etc…, like Allah’s, then this person has committed major shirk, and will abide in hell forever. Allah says, “But you will see those in whose hearts is a disease hastening towards them, saying: We fear lest a calamity should befall us; but it may be that Allah will bring the victory or a punishment from Himself, so that they shall be regretting on account of what they hid in their souls.”
Second: Kufr in Allah, or his angels, or books, or messengers, or the Day of Judgment, or Qadr, so whoever disbelieves in one of these either by denying it, or doubting it, then he is kafir, who will stay in hell forever. Allah says, “Surely those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and (those who) desire to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and desire to take a course between (this and) that. These it is that are truly unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement.” And, “Verily Allah has cursed the Unbelievers and prepared for them a Blazing Fire, To abide therein for a long time; they shall not find a protector or a helper, On the day when their faces shall be turned back into the fire, they shall say: O would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger! And they would say: “Our Lord! We obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us as to the (right) Path. “Our Lord! Give them double Penalty and curse them with a very great Curse!””
Third: Disbelieving in one of the five pillars of Islam, so whoever disbelieves in tawheed, or in the Prophet, or that Islam is general for all mankind, or the obligation of prayer, fasting, zakah, or hajj, then he is a kafir because he is denying Allah, his messenger, and the ijmaa’ of the Muslims. Likewise, whoever denies that shirk is forbidden, or killing an innocent soul that Allah has forbidden to be killed, or that zina and homosexuality are forbidden, or anything else that is very clear in the Qur’an and sunnah to be haram. This is because he is denying Allah and his Prophet. But if a new Muslim denies that one of these is forbidden out of his ignorance, he doesn’t become a kafir until he learns more about the religion, then still denies it after his knowledge.
Fourth: Mocking Allah or his religion or Prophet, Allah says, “The Hypocrites are afraid lest a Sura should be sent down about them, showing them what is (really passing) in their hearts. Say: “Mock ye! But verily Allah will bring to light all that ye fear (should be revealed). And if you should question them, they would certainly say: We were only idly discoursing and sporting. Say: Was it at Allah and His communications and His Messenger that you mocked?”
Fifth: Cursing Allah or his religion or Prophet. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Whoever curses Allah or the Prophet then he is a kafir, regardless if he thought it to be halal or haram to say it.” Our companions said, “He becomes a kafir if he was joking or serious.” This is the correct position, and it is narrated on Ishaq bin Rahawyah that he said, “The Muslims agreed that whoever curses Allah or his Prophet or denies something that Allah revealed then he is a kafir, even if he obeys what Allah revealed.” And the ruling in cursing any Prophet is the same as the ruling on cursing the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam)
As for cursing other than the Prophet, then if their intention is to curse the prophet, for example if someone curses the Sahaba intending to curse the Prophet, because they were imitating the Prophet. Or if someone accuses one of the Prophet’s wives of zina, then he is a kafir because he is defaming the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam), Allah says, “Bad women are for bad men and bad men are for bad women. Good women are for good men and good men are for good women”
Sixth: Ruling by other than what Allah revealed, thinking it is more correct and beneficial, or that its equal to what Allah revealed, or that its permissible to rule by. He is a kafir, because Allah says, “Whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unbelievers.” Like wise if someone thinks that ruling by other than what Allah revealed is better than Allahs rules, or thinks that it is equal, or that it is permissible to rule by it, then he is a kafir, even if he rules by what Allah revealed, be cause the is denying Allah’s statement, “But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah?”
Seventh: Nifaq, which is to be kafir in the heart, but to appear externally as a Muslim, whether by words or deeds. Allah says, “Surely the hypocrites are in the lowest stage of the fire and you shall not find a helper for them.” this category is greater than the previous ones, so its punishment is more severe, they will be in the lowest depths of hell, because their kufr is a combination of kufr, deceit, and mockery. Allah says about them, “And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are not at all believers. They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive. In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves). And when it is said to them, Do not make mischief in the land, they say: We are but peace-makers. Are not they indeed the mischief-makers? But they perceive not. : And when it is said to them: Believe as the people believe they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do not know. When they meet those who believe, they say: “We believe;” but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: “We are really with you: We (were) only jesting.””
Nifaq has many signs, from them: Doubting what Allah revealed, even if he makes himself appear to be a believer, Allah says, “They only ask leave of you who do not believe in Allah and the latter day and their hearts are in doubt, so in their doubt do they waver.” Also, to hate Allah and his messenger, Allah says, “Have you not seen those who assert that they believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you? They desire to summon one another to the judgment of the Shaitan, though they were commanded to deny him, and the Shaitan desires to lead them astray into a remote error. And when it is said to them: Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger, you will see the hypocrites turning away from you with (utter) aversion.” Also, to hate the superiority of Islam, and its victory and to be happy at it’s losses, Allah says, “If good befalls you, it grieves them, and if hardship afflicts you, they say: Indeed we had taken care of our affair before; and they turn back and are glad.” and “Lo! you are they who will love them while they do not love you, and you believe in the Book (in) the whole of it; and when they meet you they say: We believe, and when they are alone, they bite the ends of their fingers in rage against you. Say: Die in your rage; surely Allah knows what is in the breasts. If good befalls you, it grieves them, and if an evil afflicts you, they rejoice at it; and if you are patient and guard yourselves, their scheme will not injure you in any way; surely Allah comprehends what they do.”
Likewise, to want fitna and division between Muslims, and to like that, Allah says, “Had they gone forth with you, they would not have added to you aught save corruption, and they would certainly have hurried about among you seeking (to sow) dissension among you, and among you there are those who hearken for their sake; and Allah knows the unjust.” Also, to love the enemies of Islam and the leaders of kufr, and to praise and commend them, and to spread their opinions, Allah says, “Have you not seen those who befriend a people with whom Allah is wroth? They are neither of you nor of them, and they swear falsely while they know.”
Likewise to find fault with the believers, and to criticize their ibadah “They who taunt those of the faithful who give their alms freely, and those who give to the extent of their earnings and scoff at them; Allah will pay them back their scoffing, and they shall have a painful chastisement.” So they accuse those who work hard of showing off, and those who do less of not doing enough. Also, to be arrogant regarding the du’a of the believers, and to belittle and doubt it. “And when it is said to them: Come, the Messenger of Allah will ask forgiveness for you, they turn back their heads and you may see them turning away while they are big with pride.” Also, to be lazy with the prayer. “Surely the hypocrites strive to deceive Allah, and He shall requite their deceit to them, and when they stand up to prayer they stand up sluggishly; they do it only to be seen of men and do not remember Allah save a little.” The prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “The heaviest prayers on the munafiqeen are Isha and Fajr.” (Agreed upon) Also, to harm and annoy Allah and the Prophet. Allah says, “And there are some of them who molest the Prophet and say: He is one who believes every thing that he hears; say: A hearer of good for you (who) believes in Allah and believes the faithful and a mercy for those of you who believe; and (as for) those who molest the Messenger of Allah, they shall have a painful punishment.” and “Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment. And those who speak evil things of the believing men and the believing women without their having earned (it), they are guilty indeed of a false accusation and a manifest sin.”
So these are some of the signs of the munafiqeen, we mentioned them so that we can beware of having these signs in ourselves.