Disbelief in Islam

The Koran on non-Muslims Part 2

By Jon MC

To make this article shorter the Koran references have been omitted, but the detailed textual analysis is available to anyone who wants wants it. A BTL request will suffice and I will reply with the requested details.


In Part 1, I wrote about the words “Kaffir”, “Mushrikoon” and “Zalimoon” and showed how each of those words applies to all non-believers in Islam, even though they have distinct meanings.
I shall now consider other words used (primarily) of non-believers, though as we shall see, such words increasingly apply to “bad” Muslims.

Note: In this context a “bad” Muslim is one who does not believe whole-heartedly in the Koran, Sunnah, Tafseer and Sharia, i.e. one who does not hold fully orthodox beliefs and/or fully practise Islam also.


According to the Quranic Arabic Corpus “Fasiqoon” is derived from the triliteral root “fa sin qaf” which is found 54 times in the Koran. The words derived from this root carry meanings of “defiance”, “disobedience”, “rebelling”, “wickedness” and “sinning”.
Fasiqoon is translated as those who are “defiantly disobedient”(Q, SI), “disobedient” (E,HK), “evil-doers” (SD, P), “rebellious” (HK), “forsake the path [of Islam]”(S) , “immoral persons” (I), “infidels” (E), “iniquitous” (MA), “miscreants” (P), “perverse” (Y), “transgressors” (M, S, Y), “ungodly” (A).

A fasiq is a person who is in rebellion towards Allah by not following his revelations or prophets (in history ante-Islam) and more narrowly by not following Allah/Mohammed post-Islam. Thus, today, all non-Muslims are fasiqoon (Jews and Christians are explicitly included).
Kaffirs are called “fasiqoon” and thus have the attributes of the fasiq, which include inferiority to Muslims, practising “evil, wicked and filthy deeds” – this explains translations of “fasiqoon” such as “evil-doers”, “immoral persons”, “iniquitous” etc.
Jews are the group most frequently reviled as fasiqoon.

Fasiqoon also include various groups of Muslims:
1.Those not willing to “fight in the way of Allah” in sword-Jihad. Thus any pacifist Muslim is a fasiq.
2.Those who are “half-hearted” or who pay “lip-service” to Islam, i.e. non-orthodox Muslims. To avoid this epithet a Muslim must unquestioningly submit to Allah/Mohammed with no reservations.

The above leads to a further point: it provides some “justification” for the practice of “Takfir” – that is one Muslim group declaring another “apostate” or similar for “not being Muslim enough”. I should add that this practice, though widely used and especially so by Wahhabi/Salafi groups, is generally frowned upon in Islamic theology.
Homosexuals are “fasiqoon”. This partly explains (but does not justify) the vicious and violent homophobia found within much of Islam.
The property (and women) of a fasiq is “legitimate” war-booty to be despoiled.

To put it in a sentence: The fasiqoon are peaceful,“cultural” or half-hearted Muslims as well as the Kaffirs – all of whom are filthy, immoral, iniquitous, perverted evil-doers who are inferior to true Muslims and who are to be despoiled by Muslims in jihad and the worst examples of fasiqoon are homosexuals, closely followed by the Jews (or perhaps that’s the other way around).


According to the Quranic Arabic Corpus “Mujrimoon” is derived from the triliteral root “jim ra mim” which is found 66 times in the Koran. The words derived from this root – with only a handful of exceptions – all mean “criminal”(s) or “crime(s)”. Encompassed within this is the overtone of sin (It should be remembered that Sharia law often does not distinguish between crime and sin either.)
The first occurrence (Sura-wise) is in 6:55 which HK render thus: “And thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail, that the way of the Mujrimoon (criminals, polytheists, sinners), may become manifest.” Mujrimoon is also translated as “sinners” (A, MA,Y); “unrighteous” (P); “guilty/culprits” (E, M, P, S, Y); “criminals” (I, M, SI), “wicked” (SD) and “evildoers” (P, SD). Here HK include “polytheists” in the Mujrimoon on the grounds that being a polytheist is “shirk” (see Mushrikoon) which is a sin; thus polytheists (and idolators) are sinners, which means they are criminals, which means they are Mujrimoon. See also 44:37.

A “mujrim” is a criminal in the eyes of Islam. Implicit in this is an element of sin as well thus mujrimoon are “criminal sinners”.
Anyone who rejects “Allah’s verses” – the Koran – is a mujrim. Therefore all non-Muslims are “mujrimoon”, i.e. criminals/sinners.
Verses explicitly extend “mujrimoon” to include:
2.Jews (again!),
3.(some) Muslim apostates (Probably those that do not repent and revert – the text is unclear),
4.homosexuals (again!),
5.the Zalimoon (who are also both Mushrikoon and Kaffirs!),
6.non-orthodox Muslims, since failing to follow Islam (the “way”) makes you a mujrim.


Homosexuals (and Jews) are singled out as the worst of all Mujrimoon criminal/sinners. Again this is a further explanation (but not justification) of the vicious and violent homophobia and Jew-hatred found within much of Islam.
Mujrimoon are destined to be destroyed by Allah (or perhaps Muslim armies) and/or will dwell forever in hell.

To put it in a sentence: A “Mujrim” is a person who has committed the crime and sin of being a Kaffir or of not being a fully orthodox Muslim AND the worst examples of the mujrimoon are the Jews, closely followed by homosexuals (or should that be the other way around).


According to the Quranic Arabic Corpus “Mufsidoon” is derived from the triliteral root “fa sa dal” which is found 50 times in the Koran. The words derived from this root are all variations on the theme of corruption and “corrupters” (those who corrupt others).
This word first appears in 5:64, a verse about the Jews; (HK) “Every time they [the Jews] kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and they (ever) strive to make mischief [Arabic: fasadan, lit: spread corruption] on earth. And Allah does not like the Mufsidoon (mischief-makers).” The first point to make is that in this verse even HK tone the translation down, replacing “spread corruption” with “make mischief” and calling the “Mufsidoon” ‘mischief-makers’ rather than “corrupters”.
These two words, “fasadan” and “Mufsidoon” are translated in this verse (respectively) as: “mischief …mischief-makers” (E, HK, M, S, Y); “corruption … corrupters” (A, MA, P, SD,SI) and “havoc … havoc” (I). Elsewhere, “mischief-makers” is also used by (I).

A Mufsid is a “corrupter”. Someone who either seeks to corrupt the Koran, the practice of Islam or Muslims themselves. This latter-most either by getting them to adopt un-Islamic practices/beliefs or by luring them away from Islam in total.
Once again, homosexuals are singled out, this time as “corrupters”.
Again there are verses that link Mufsidoon to Zalimoon, Mujrimoon, Mushrikoon and thus ultimately to Kaffirs. Thus in the eyes of Islam all non-Muslims are “corrupt” and will seek to corrupt Muslims.

To put it in a sentence: All non-Muslims are Mufsidoon who seek to corrupt Islam and Muslims, but the worst of all such corrupting people are homosexuals.


According to the Quranic Arabic Corpus “Musrifoon” is derived from the triliteral root “sin ra fa” which is found 23 times in the Koran. The words derived from this root carry meanings of “excess” or “extravagence” and “transgression”.
The first occurrence is found in 6:141 (S): “And He it is Who produces gardens (of vine), trellised and untrellised, and palms and seed-produce of which the fruits are of various sorts, and olives and pomegranates, like and unlike; eat of its fruit when it bears fruit, and pay the due of it on the day of its reaping, and do not act extravagantly [NB this word is from the same root]; surely He does not love the Musrifoon.” Other translators render the two words as: “excess…wasters” ( , Y); “prodigal … prodigal” (A, P); “wastefully … wastefully” (E, MA, SD); “overdo … extravagant” (I); “spendthrift … spendthrift” (M); “excessively … excess” (SI).
This verse is clearly a warning against “excess”.

A Musrif is someone who is extravagant, excessive and/or wasteful. This “extravagance” can be in wealth, ostentation, consumption etc. Implied here is the wastage of worldly resources for excess pleasure etc. This definition applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims, though Muslims are strongly warned not to be Musrifoon.

Note: The Mussalman and his large Hareem of sex-slaves seems contra-indicated by this verse, but since it is given explicit Koranic permission, this is one excess that does not count, according to Allah.

A second “layer” of meaning, one mostly implicit, is that a non-believer – i.e. a kaffir, is a Musrif since s/he “wastes” the opportunity to become Muslim. This type of Musrif, is also declared to be a Mufsid, which in turn links back to the term Kaffir.

Musrifoon are also liars and doubters. Although applicable to both “classes” of Musrifoon, the tenor of the Koran is such that Muslims are warned against this, whereas non-Muslims are declared to be liars and doubters.

In a sentence: A Musrif is a lying spendthrift of a Kaffir who wastes life’s resources and opportunities (particularly that of becoming Muslim) and good Muslims are warned not to emulate this sort of behaviour.


According to the Quranic Arabic Corpus “Maqbuhoon” is derived from the triliteral root “qaf ba ha” and is found only once in the Koran. The Quran Corpus translates this as “the despised”, but the root of the words actually means “ugliness”.
Other translators use: “the spurned” (A); “the loathed and despised (Y); “hateful” (P); “hideous” (I, S,); “they will be in an ugly condition” (E); “despised” (M, Q, R, SI); “bereft of all good” (MA); “exiled” (SD).

Note: Strictly Irving and Shakir translate this as “made to appear hideous”, but there is no “made to appear” in the Arabic which is “hum mina al-muqbuhina”, literally “they of the ‘Muqbuhina’”. Thus they interpolate “made to appear” to soften it from “they of the hideous”. I think it is poor translation, however Irving and Shakir choose to render it. The root of ”Muqbuheen ” literately means ”Ugliness ”. The Quran calls the Pharaoh and his people, “Maqbuheen,” i.e. ” Uglies” because they are considered to have ” ugly souls ” for not believing Moses.
“they will be in an ugly condition”, meaning here, I think, “in a bad place” – i.e. hell.
Asad adds a footnote to say: “i.e., among those who by their own actions will have removed themselves from God’s grace: a meaning given to the term maqbuh, in this context, by most of the classical commentators and philologists.”

The verse containing this word is 28:42: “And We made a curse to follow them in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection, they will be among Al-Maqbuhoon (those who are prevented to receive Allah’s Mercy or any good, despised or destroyed, etc.).” (HK). The context is Allah’s destruction of Pharaoh and his army and their being sentencing to hell and residing “among the maqbuhoon”.
Thus most translators render this word with a meaning within Yousaf Ali’s translation “loathed and despised”.
According to this passage Pharaoh et al will be among the “loathed and despised” in hell. Thus all persons in hell are “loathed and despised”. Thus all those apart from “true believer” Muslims have “ugly souls” and who are, therefore, to be “loathed and despised” (according to most translations).

Summary: since all kaffirs go to hell they are the “ugly souls” whom Muslims should loathe and despise.




According to the Quranic Arabic Corpus “jahiloon” is derived from the triliteral root “jim ha lam” which is found 24 times in the Koran. The words derived from this root all mean “ignorant/ignorance” etc. From this same root we also get the word “jahilliyah” meaning the “time of ignorance (before the coming of Islam)”.

Words with meanings related to “ignorance” are used in several ways.
1.If Muslims do wrong out of ignorance (of ritual etc.) they are forgiven.
2.Time before the advent of Islam is the “time of ignorance”.
3.Un-Islamic actions, desires etc. are also “ignorant”.
4.Non-Muslims are “ignorant” when they don’t convert to Islam. This is a willed “ignorance” since they are practising “Kufr”.
Setting aside its usages with respect to Muslims, we can see that non-Muslims are deemed “ignorant” for not converting to Islam.

In these verses people who don’t (fully) believe in Islam are said to have “diseased hearts”. Thus Allah states that anyone who isn’t a “true-believer Muslim” is “diseased” in some way. Clearly since Kaffirs do not believe at all, they are the most diseased of all.


In part one I showed how Kaffiroon (Kaffirs), Mushrikoon and Zalimoon are operational synonyms in that the Koran states that Mushrikoon are also Zalimoon and all Kaffirs are Mushrikoons (and thus Zalimoon also).
Similarly we now find that Kaffirs are identified as the Fasiqoon, and thus that all Kaffirs are also Fasiqoon; Mujrimoon and Mufsidoon are Zalimoon and all Kaffirs are thus both Mujrimoon and Mufsiqoon.
Musrifoon are linked to Mufsidoon and hence, via Zalimoon, to all Kaffirs and there is also a more direct link between Musrifoon and Kaffirs.
The Maqbuhoon are those in Hell – i.e. Kaffirs and finally the phrase “…hearts is a disease” is used of Kaffirs.

Thus the Koran has a web of words, all interlinked and all derogatory at best and hateful at worst, to describe “those who do not believe” – i.e. the Kaffirs or non-Muslims. All these words are linked to each other in the Koran, mostly with direct “equations”, but otherwise at “one remove” (i.e. the Koran says A = B and B = C therefore A = C ). Thus all the words ultimately become descriptors of non-Muslims in general.


What we find in the Koran is a web of words used to describe non-Muslims. Although each word has its own meaning, the Koran binds them all together by the way it uses these different words, thus Mushrikoon (“associators”), Zalimoon (“evil-doers”), Fasiqoon (“defiant, rebellious, immoral, wicked, sinful” people), Mujrimoon (“criminals”), Mufsidoon (“corrupters”), Musrifoon (“profligates, transgressors”), Maqbuhoon (“loathed, ugly, despised” people) and “those with diseased hearts” become different epithets for the various characteristics of the “Kaffirs” – the non-Muslims.

What then does the Koran say are the characteristics of the Kaffir? Taking the ways the above words are used in the Koran we find that the Kaffir is inherently:

1. An actively deceitful and deceptive person – they are “those who cover up (the truth)” (from the literal meaning of the word “Kaffir”)
2. A sort of “quasi-apostate” from Islam. Kaffirs “know” that Islam is ‘true’ in their “heart of hearts”, but refuse to admit it and submit.
3. Someone who makes something other than, or along with, Allah their “deity”. The point here is that this carries with it a strong whiff of “Shirk”, Islam’s unforgivable sin, which along with apostasy, carries the death penalty.
4. A liar – they are accused of making up lies about Allah, one such lie is that they deny him and his prophet.
5. Corrupt. They stand accused of being “corrupters”, particularly of Muslims (given the chance).
6.Defiant, disobedient and rebellious (towards Allah/Mohammed and thus Muslims) – by not being Muslim or Dhimmi.
7. Ingrates – for not receiving Islam (i.e. becoming Muslim) and Allah’s blessings with due humility and gratitude.
8. Sinful, immoral and wicked. Thus underlining the ‘superiority’ of Muslims.
9. Actively seeking to do harm to the Muslim Umma, through oppression, injustice and spreading discord and a corrupting influence on both Islam and Muslims. I must remind the reader that “oppression” and “injustice” both mean – in essence – not supporting Sharia law.
10. Criminal. Again this is related to the Kaffir “resisting” Islam and not supporting Sharia law.
11. A profligate, wasting the resources of this world (which only “belong” to Muslims) and the next (though denial of Islam).
12. An unclean and “diseased” sub-human.
13.  Vile in the eyes of the Koran.

The Kaffir’s “ugly soul” is to be despised and loathed for all the above reasons by the Muslims. As a part and parcel of this the Koran regards Kaffirs as little more than prey for the Umma, it being quite permissible for Muslims to despoil them of their wealth, women and children in war and raids, (something that has been demonstrated by Islam many times within its history, right from its inception).
Homosexuals and Jews come in for particular labelling as being “wicked”, “sinful”, “immoral” “criminal” “corrupt(ing)” etc. In this way the Koran originates and “justifies” the anti-Semitic and homophobic hatreds of so much of the Islamic world.
“Half-hearted” Muslims, those unwilling to kill for Islam, “rationailst”, “moderate”, Quaranite (those that reject the Ahadith, Sirat etc.) or “name only” (cultural) Muslims are almost as severely condemned as Kaffirs. Only orthodox Muslims (who support Sharia and closely follow Mohammed) are “real” or “true-believer” (“Mumin” in Arabic) Muslims.

Before a reader asks “what about Dhimmis?” let me add the following: a Dhimmi or “protected person” also rendered a “tolerated person” is tolerated within the Umma provided that they lead their life as circumscribed by their Dhimmah. In quasi-legal terms we might regard the Dhimmi as being “on parole” – allowed certain freedoms but (potentially) subject to retribution if they fail to abide by their “parole terms”. In all cases the second or third class status of the Dhimmi is clearly established in such treaties.


In several of my articles (including part one of this!) I’ve stated that “disbeliever” is a mistranslation of “Kaffir” since the word is applied to those who have never been Muslim rather than those who have left Islam. Whilst I stand by this from the viewpoint of a non-Muslim considering this linguistically, there is more to this usage than merely poor translation.
If we take seriously the quasi-apostasy of one who ‘hides’ the fact that s/he ‘really’ knows that ‘Islam is the truth’ – and thus is ‘rejecting the facts’ and couple this to K7:172 in which all “the descendants of Adam” were made to testify that Allah is their god, then perhaps the translators who use “disbelievers” for Kaffir (HK, P, Q, SD, SI), actually do regard all non-Muslims as, in effect, apostates from Islam.
Thus I consider that this translation – disbeliever – reflects the theological bias of the translator, rather than merely poor English – since approximately 50% of the translations available to me use this form and some theological “justification” can be made for it.

Note: The corollary of this is that any Muslim who thinks this way must believe that all non-Dhimmi non-Muslims should be killed – unless they “revert” to Islam – since this is the mandated Sharia punishment for apostasy. Fortunately, most of these Muslims will also believe that only the Islamic state (i.e. Caliphate/Imamate) has the legal  authority to execute this sentence.
That said, I maintain that it is basically an inappropriate translation especially for a Koran aimed at a non-Muslim audience, since it is a theologically based translation rather than a linguistically based one; but it can be seen how, from an Islamic Theological perspective, it is possible to equate: Kaffir = apostate = disbeliever.