International conference "takfir: a diachronic perspective" (24-26 October 2011, Madrid-Spain)


  • Kadir Gömbeyaz Uludağ University

Abstract International Conference: "Takfir: A Diachronic Perspective," 24-26 October 2011, organized by Camilia Adang, Hassan Ansari, Maribel Fierro and Sabine Schmidtke as part of the project "Rediscovering Theological Rationalism in the Medieval World of Islam," at the Center for Human and Social Sciences (CCHS), Ma-drid-Spain (First paragraph) Takfīr, the act of accusing an individual or group that self-identifies as muʾmins/believers of in fact being kāfirs/unbelievers because of their beliefs and/or acts, is not simply a practice of nam-ing. Rather, it has serious theological, legal, and social consequences. Thus branding someone as an unbeliever entails that that person will be subject to the special laws governing unbelievers, including prohibitions against marrying or remaining married to a Muslim, inheriting from a Muslim, being buried in a Muslim graveyard when he/she dies, and so on. Therefore, the practice of takfīr should not be undertaken lightly. It should be kept in mind that the act of naming someone as kāfir in takfīr is a label given by the other, and is not a self-appellation. Faith and unbelief are, however, inner states, and cannot be known by other individuals. To declare that someone is an unbeliever is to claim to know his/her inner beliefs, sincere thoughts, and feelings. However, how could that be possible for a human being? If it is not possible, why issue the accusation of unbelief? Because takfīr is a useful weapon, which allows someone to get rid of his/her op-ponents instead of having to encounter them intellectually. Declaring that someone is an unbeliever trivializes what that person says or suggests regarding religious issues.




How to Cite

Gömbeyaz, K. (2012). International conference "takfir: a diachronic perspective" (24-26 October 2011, Madrid-Spain). Ilahiyat Studies, 2(2), 258–264. Retrieved from



Conference and Symposium Reports