Having read the Kalima of Islam does not permit anyone to utter Kufr as much as wanted. The Kalima is not a shield to protect you from becoming a Kaafir (non-believer) through uttering and practicing acts of Kufr. It is to be read, and Imaan is to remain on it at all times.
After accepting Islam, to reject any belief of the Deen which is necessary to believe in (such as monotheism of Allah, Prophethood of the Ambiya, Jannat, Jahannam, Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is Khaatamun Nabiyeen etc.) is Irtidaad (one becomes a Murtad) and it is more severe and worse than original Kufr.
A Muslim is a Muslim until he utters or makes Kufr and a Kaafir is a Kaafir until he brings Imaan and becomes a Muslim. To deem a Muslim to be a Muslim and a Kaafir to be a Kaafir is also from the necessities of Deen. [Bahaare Shariat]
Some people argue that any person who recites the Kalima cannot be called a Kaafir. In response to this, the following indisputable proof from the Holy Qur’an is presented, “Were you mocking at Allah and His Verses and His Messenger? Make no excuses, you have already become infidels after becoming Muslims. [Surah 9, Verses 65-66] The hypocrites referred to in this verse are called Kaafirs even though they recited the Kalima, read Namaaz etc. because of them disrespecting Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Therefore it is in accordance with Allah Ta’ala’s commands that we believe a person to be an infidel if he commits acts of Kufr such as disrespecting Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), irrespective of whether he recites the Kalima, performs Salaah, Hajj etc.
Allah Ta’ala then further states in the Glorious Qur’an regarding the deeds of such a person who becomes an infidel after being a Muslim, “And whoever of you turns back from his faith, and dies while he was a disbeliever, for them their deeds have become worthless in this world and in the hereafter and they are the inmates of the Fire and they will abide therein forever.” [Surah 2, Verse 217]
From this verse we learn that Irtidaad (apostasy) results in the ruination of all of one’s good deeds. Therefore if a pilgrim becomes an apostate and thereafter accepts Islam again, he will have to perform his Hajj again as his first Hajj becomes null and void. Likewise all good deeds performed in the state of apostasy are null and void and not acceptable. However, an original non-believer’s good deeds become worthy of reward after he accepts Islam. Furthermore the apostate loses out in this world in that his wife comes out of his Nikah, he is no longer liable to receive inheritance from his relatives, all forms of love relations with Muslims are forbidden for him and no assistance can be rendered to him by a Muslim, and in the hereafter he is beyond redemption and void of any reward. [Tafseer Noorul Irfaan]
Will merely reciting the Kalima then blanket a Shia who says that the Holy Qur’an is defective and Hazrat Sayyiduna Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) receives Wahi? Will it shield a Wahaabi who performs his five times Salaah yet he believes that Allah Ta’ala can lie and that Shaitaan has more knowledge than Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)? Indeed not!
Thinking rationally also leads a person to conclude that merely reciting the Kalima and performing Salaah is not Islam. If it was the case then the person who reads Salaah once and then prostrates towards idols will remain in the folds of Islam. How can Imaan and Kufr be united?
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “Sometimes a person says something pleasant to Allah and does not concentrate on it (meaning it is not something major in the sight of the person) but through it Allah elevates his rank. Sometimes a person says something unpleasant to Allah and does not think much of it but is thrown into Hell because of it. The area in Jahannam where he is thrown into is more than the distance between the east and the west” [Bukhari Shareef]
Many Muslims in this modern day and age utter words of blasphemy without realizing it and unknowingly lose their Imaan. A few statements of Kufr are mentioned below so that we may be careful of what we utter.
- Saying “Allah has forgot you” to a person who has become sick or is very old and does not die or “When Allah cannot compete against you, how can I,” to an abusive speaker are both Kufr. [Khulaasatul Fataawa]
- To gain the attention of a powerful or rich man or a Haakim some people say, “Allah is above and you below.” This statement is Kufr and should never be said.
- Saying “No” angrily when told by another to fear Allah or “What can he do besides sentencing a person to Jahannam” are both statements of Kufr. [Alamghiri]
- A destitute person reflecting on his impoverishment says, “O Allah! Certain person is Your Banda and has been blessed by You with much blessings. I too am Your bondsman but I have been given much hardship by You. Is this fair?” This statement is Kufr. [Alamghiri]
- Using the name of Allah in a diminutive noun is Kufr. [Bahrur Raa’iq]
- To disrespect the Ambiya (Alaihimus Salaam), or to assert immorality to them is Kufr, e.g. connecting Zina towards Hazrat Yusuf (Alaihis Salaam), Ma’azallah.
- The person who rejects Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to be Khaatamun-Nabiyeen (The Final Prophet), believes that Prophethood can be attained after his time or refutes the meaning of Khaatamun-Nabiyeen in any way is out of the folds of Islam.
- To disrespect or defame anything associated with the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) or to regard it to be defective is Kufr, e.g. to say the clothes of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) are dirty, or deeming an action of his to be unmannerly or even to dislike calabash for the mere reason that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was fond of it, is Kufr.
- Being disrespectful, rude or arrogant towards Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam), Mika’eel (Alaihis Salaam) or any angel is a Kufr. Some ignorant people, on seeing their enemy or a person they dislike say, “The angel of death has come.” This is a statement bordering on Kufr and should never be said.
- To call any Aayat of the Holy Qur’an defective, disrespecting or joking about it is Kufr.
- The person who says that some Aayat, Surah or even one letter of the Holy Qur’an has been added, taken out or changed, is explicitly a Kaafir.
- Uttering any statement that conveys rejection of Namaaz being Fardh or degrading it is Kufr e.g. what benefit is there to read Namaaz, reading or not reading Namaaz is both equal etc. Similarly uttering any statement that conveys rejection of the obligation of fasting in Ramadaan or insulting it is Kufr e.g. When Allah has given us food why should we starve, why should I die starving etc. This is the case of other Fardh Ibaadat as well i.e. Zakaat and Hajj.
- Making fun of, or insulting Laa Howla Wa Laa Quwwata, Subhaanallah or Laa Ilaaha Illallah or saying something that negates their importance is Kufr.
- Teaching a Muslim male or female to make Kufr is Kufr even if done as a joke or in amusement.
- To celebrate Holi, Diwali or Christmas is Kufr as these celebrations are worship of Ghairullah (other than Allah). Similarly to buy goods on the specific day of these celebrations for the mere reason that they are celebrations of Kaafirs or to join them with this reason is Kufr as well. Also, to buy something and send it to the Mushrikeen on the specific day of their celebration as a gift or to congratulate them with the intention of revering their holy day is Kufr. [Bahrur Raa’iq; Bahaare Shariat]
We need to live our lives according to the Holy Qur’an and the teachings of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). In this lies our success in this world as well as the hereafter. Muslims should always be conscious of the deception of Shaitaan who always attempts to lead us away from Islam. We should not have trust in our obedience and Amaal, but rather have faith in the protection of Almighty Allah.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to remain steadfast on the path of Islam and may He in His Infinite Mercy grant us death with Imaan, Ameen.