Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Fadil Lankarani


Accepting that there are incontrovertible and clear reasons for the necessity of Muslim unity under the current conditions, what is your Excellency’s opinion on the use of the term ‘Islamic ummah’ for the followers of Islamic sects such as: the four sects of the Ahl al- Sunnah, and others such as the Zaydis, the Zahiris, or the Ibadis, all of whom believe in the principles of the religion of Islam?

Is it permissible or not to denounce them as unbelievers (takfir)? What are the limitations and criteria that should govern practicing takfir at the present time? We pray to Almighty God for your Excellency’s success, and a long life in the service of Islam and Muslims especially in the Shi‘i world.


As long as they do not deny the principles and necessary aspects of the clear religion of Islam or, God forbid, insult the pure Imams, all of these sects are considered sects of Islam1.

  • 1. Ghazi ibn Muhammad ibn Talal, Ijma‘ al-Muslimin ‘ala Ihtiram Madhahib al-Din, pp. 245-256.