Hadith on Labeling: Consequences of labeling a Muslim as an unbeliever

📖Sahih Muslim 60 b | Sahih Bukhārī 5753
It is reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) said: Any person who called his brother: “O unbeliever” (has in fact done an act by which this unbelief) would return to one of them. If it were so, as he asserted (then the unbelief of man was confirmed but if it was not true), then it returned to him (to the man who labeled it on his brother Muslim).

  • According to this hadith, if a person calls his Muslim brother an unbeliever, then one of two things will happen. If the person he labels as an unbeliever is actually a believer, then the label of unbelief will return to the one who made the accusation. In other words, the person who falsely accused his brother of unbelief will be considered an unbeliever himself. On the other hand, if the person he labeled as an unbeliever is actually an unbeliever, then the label of unbelief will not return to anyone, as it is an accurate description of that person’s state. Therefore, this hadith teaches us to be cautious with our words and to avoid labeling our fellow Muslims as unbelievers without valid reasons. We should also be careful not to make false accusations or judgments, as it can have serious consequences on our own faith and relationships.