KUFR AL-MASHKUK - كفره المشكوك
A being in doubt about ones kufr, as is explained in the following part.
“Question: If it is asked: there is such dreadful suffering and fear in dhalâlah, it is not receiving pleasure from life, the kâfir should not be able to live even. He should be crushed by the pain and be absolutely terrified. For although by reason of his humanity he desires innumerable things and loves life, due to kufr, he constantly sees before him death as eternal extinction and everlasting separation, and the passing of beings and deaths of his friends and those he loves as annihilation and eternal parting, so how can such a man live? How can he receive pleasure from life?
The Answer: He deceives himself through the shaytan's extraordinary sophistry and lives. He supposes he receives a superficial pleasure. We shall allude to the reality of this through a well-known comparison.
It is related that they said to the ostrich: 1 "You've got wings, so fly!" But it folded its wings and said: "I'm a camel," and did not fly. So it fell into the hunter's trap, and not wanting the hunter to see it, stuck its head in the sand. However, it left its huge body in the open and was the target of the hunter. They later said to it: "Since you say you're a camel, carry loads." Whereupon it opened its wings and said: "I'm a bird," and was saved from the hardship of carrying loads. But having neither protector nor food, it was pursued by the hunters.
In exactly the same way, the kâfir gave up kufr al-mutlaq in the face of the Qur'an's samâwî proclamations and descended to kufr al-mashkuk. If he is asked: "You think death is eternal extinction. How can a person live when he perpetually sees before him the gallows on which he is to be hanged? What pleasure can he receive?" Due to the portion he has received from the Qur'an's universal rahmah and all-encompassing nûr, the man replies: "Death is not extinction; there is a possibility of eternity." Or else he plunges his head in the sand of ghaflah like the ostrich so that the appointed hour will not spot him and the grave will not watch him and the perishment of things will not let fly their arrows at him!
In Short: When like the ostrich he sees death and perishment to be extinction, due to his kufr al-mashkuk, the certain news of the Qur'an and samâwî scriptures concerning 'îmân in the âkhirah' afford him a possibility. The kâfir clasps onto the possibility and is not subjected to that ghastly pain. If it is then said to him: "Since one will go to an everlasting ‘âlam, for a good life there, one has to suffer the difficulties of the religious obligations here," due to his kufr al-mashkuk, the man says: "Perhaps there is no such world, so why should I work for something that does not exist?" That is to say, because of the possibility of eternity afforded by that decree of the Qur'an, he is saved from the pain of eternal extinction, and because of the possibility of non-existence afforded by kufr al-mashkuk, he is faced with the hardship of religious obligations; he clings onto the possibility of kufr and is saved from the hardship. That is to say, from this point of view, he supposes he receives more pleasure from this life than the mu’mins, for due to the possibility afforded by kufr he is saved from the hardship of the religious obligations, and due to the possibility afforded by îmân, he does not expose himself to everlasting pains. However, this shaytanic sophistry is extremely superficial, temporary, and without benefit.
Thus, Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm has a sort of manifestation of rahmah in respect of the kâfirs also which to a degree saves their lives in this world from being Jahannam; it induces doubt in them, so they live through doubt. Otherwise, they would have suffered the torments of a sort of ma’nawî Jahannam in this world too, recalling the Jahannam of the âkhirah, and they would have been compelled to commit suicide.
And so, O people of îmân! Enter under the protection of the Qur'an with îmân and confidence, which will save you from eternal extinction and the Jahannams of this world and the âkhirah. And submissively and appreciatively remain within the bounds of the Sunnah as-Saniyyah. Then you will be saved from both misery in this world and torment in the âkhirah!” The Flashes ( 112)
(Please refer to the Compilation of Kufr)
1 (In Turkish ostrich is called “camel-bird”)