Amongst those matters whose mention and quotation will bring benefit is that I met with some of those who used to be with Jamaa'at ut-Takfir and Allaah the Mighty and Majestic guided them. So I said to them: "You declared some of the rulers to be disbelievers but what led you, for example, to declare as disbelievers [also] the imaams of the masjids the khateebs of the masjids, the mu'addhins of the masjids and also those looking after the masjids? And what led you to declare as disbelievers the teachers of the Shari'ah knowledge in the schools and elsewhere?"
They replied: "Because they were content and happy with the rule of the rulers, those who ruled by other than what Allaah has revealed!!"
So I say: If this contentment with the rule of
other than that which Allaah revealed was a contentment of the heart, then in
this case the kufr in action would have turned into the kufr in belief!
Therefore, whichever ruler judges by other than what Allaah has revealed and he
considers and holds it as his belief that this rule is a rule that befits and is
suitable for this era and that the rule of the Shari'ah whose source is the
texts of the Book and the Sunnah is not suitable, then there is no doubt that
the kufr of this ruler is the kufr in belief and is not just the kufr in action
Then I said to them: "And you, first of all, will not be able to make judgement over every ruler who judges by the western laws of disbelief, or by a fair number of them, such that if he was to be questioned about ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed, that he would reply: "Because ruling by these [foreign] laws is the truth and is correct for this particular era! And that it is not permissible to rule by [the laws of] Islaam!!" Because if they were to say that, then they would become disbelievers in truth, without doubt or hesitation.
"And when we look at the subjects of the ruler - and amongst them are scholars and righteous people and others - how can you make the judgement of kufr upon them [as well] purely because they live under a rule which encompasses them just like it encompasses you! But you announce that they are disbelievers and apostates, and that ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed is obligatory! And then, seeking to make an excuse for yourselves, you say: Opposing the Shari'ah law in one's actions alone does not necessitate the ruling upon a person that he is an apostate?!
"And this is the exact same thing that people besides you say, save that you go a bit further, without any justification or due right, and make the judgement of disbelief and apostasy [over them]!!!
Of the matters that makes apparent their error and uncovers their misguidance is that it is said to them: "When can it be judged against a Muslim who testifies that there is none which has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is His Messenger and who prays that he has apostatised from his religion? Is one instance [of ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed] enough? Or is it necessary for him to announce that he has become an apostate?
Indeed, they do not know an answer to this! And will never reach what is correct!! We are compelled then to strike the following example for them.
So we say: A ruler (qaadee) judges by the Shari'ah, this is his habit and part of his system. However in a particular ruling he erred and made a judgement in opposition to the Shari'ah, meaning that he judged in favour of the oppressor and did not give the favourable ruling to the one who had been oppressed. This ruler has definitely judged by other than what Allaah has revealed! So would you say that he has disbelieved with the kufr of apostasy?
They will say in reply: No, because this only occurred from him once.
We then say: If this same ruling occurred from him a second time, or another ruling in which he opposed the Shari'ah, has he disbelieved?
Then we repeat this to them: Three times! Four times! When is it that you will say that he has disbelieved (apostatised)? They will not be able to place a limit to the number of his rulings in which he opposed the Shar'iah, then they cannot be able to declare him a disbeliever on account of them!! Whereas they could perfectly do the opposite of that when it is known from this ruler that in the very first ruling he made, he preferred ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed, holding that to be lawful, whilst disapproving of the Shari'ah. At that moment the ruling of apostasy can be applied to him, correctly, at the very first time (he opposed the Shari'ah).
And again, in the situation opposite to this: If we observed from this ruler many rulings in a variety of different issues in which he opposed the Sharee'ah and we were to ask him, "Why have you ruled by other than what Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, has revealed?" Then if he were to reply, "I feared for myself!" or "I was bribed", for example, then this is one is much more evil than the first (i.e. the first example of the ruler given above). But despite this we are not able to declare him a disbeliever until he makes known what is in his heart that he does not deem ruling by what Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has revealed to be correct or suitable. In such a situation we would be able to say that he is a disbeliever with the kufr of apostasy.
From "Fitnah of Takfir"