Allah created us by nature to love being honoured, respected, and supported. One is not blameworthy for seeking it. The problem arises, however, when a person seeks it from other than Allah, or through the wrong means.
One of the characteristics of the hypocrites is that they seek honour by allying with the disbelievers, as Allah mentioned in Surah Al-Maa’idah and Surah An-Nisaa.
The Issue of الولاء و البراء – Loyalty and Disloyalty
الولاء -> To have love, friendship
البراء -> Disassociation
There are many evidences which indicate the obligation of allegiance and loyalty with the believers, and disassociation from the disbelievers – whether they are Jews, Christians, Hindus, Hypocrites, etc. (Note: Non-Muslim family members have different rulings).
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“The believers, men and women, are Auliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”
Surat Al Mumtahanah Verse 4
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۖ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
“Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah Alone,” except the saying of Ibrahim (Abraham) to his father: “Verily, I will ask for forgiveness (from Allah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah.” Our Lord! In You (Alone) we put our trust, and to You (Alone) we turn in repentance, and to You (Alone) is (our) final Return”
The Aspects of Legislated and Illegal Loyalty
الولاء المشروع – Legislated Loyalty
١) محبة جميع المؤمنين في جميع جميع الأماكن و الأزمان و من أي جنسية كانوا من أجل إيمانهم و طاعتهم لله تعالى و هاذه المحبة واجبة على كل مسلم
1) Loving all the believers from all places, times, nationality, because of their faith and obedience to Allah. This is obligatory upon every Muslim.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “You will not enter Paradise until you believe and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I show you something that, if you did, you would love each other? Spread peace between yourselves.” [Muslim]
The Muslim should beware of showing hostility or enmity to the other believers, because of the Dunya, or for the sake of Madh’hab, etc.
In a Hadith Qudsi:
“من عادى لي ولياً فقد آذنته بحرب مني…”
“Whoever shows hostility to the beloved believing person of mine, I will declare war against him…” [Bukhari]
٢) نصرة المسلم لأخيه المسلم إذا ظلم أو اعتدي عليه في أي مكان و من أي جنسية كان، و ذالك بنصرته باليد، و بالمال، و بالقلم، و باللسان فيما يحتاج إلى النصرة فيه
2) Supporting one’s Muslim brothers and sisters if any oppression incurs on them or they are transgressed in any place and of any nationality. The Muslim is obliged to help either physically, with money, with pen, or with tongue.
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or is being oppressed.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, we help the one being oppressed but how do we help an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By seizing his hand.” [Agreed upon]
> If enemies attack a Muslim country, and that country is unable to defend itself, it is obligatory on the rest of the Muslims to help them.
-> It is obligatory on the Muslim to help his brother take his rights from those who oppressed him.
-> It is obligatory for us to defend the honour of our Muslim brother if he is backbit against or defamed.
The above are all considered collective duties. If one performs it, the rest of the Muslims are exempted. But if no one does it, everyone is responsible.
٣) مساعدتهم بالنفس و المال عند أضطرارهم إلى ذالك
3) To help the Muslims at time of need physically and financially.
E.g. A Muslim traveler was cut off from all resources during the middle of the journey. It is a must on the Muslims to help him continue the journey.
This is considered a collective duty. If one performs it, the rest of the Muslims are exempted. But if no one does it, everyone is responsible. However, if there is only one that can help, then it is an individual obligation on him.
٤) التألم لما يصيبهم من المصائب و الأذى، و السرور بنصرهم، و جميع ما فيه خير لهم، و الرحمة لهم و سلامة الصدر نحوهم.
4) To feel pain for what calamities befall the Muslims, rejoice when they are victorious and for all the good that occurs to them, to have mercy for them, and clear, sound hearts towards them.
Allah described the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ in Surat Al Fath Verse 29
مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ
“Muhammad ﷺ is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves….”
The Prophet ﷺ said:
لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لِأَخِيهِ أَوْ قَالَ لِجَارِهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ
“None of you has faith until he loves for his brother or his neighbor what he loves for himself” [Agreed upon]
“Six are the rights of a Muslim over another Muslim. It was said to him: Allah’s Messenger, what are these? Thereupon he said:
1) When you meet him, offer him greetings;
2) When he invites you to a feast accept it
3) When he seeks your council give him,
4) When he sneezes and says:” All praise is due to Allah,” you say Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah show mercy to you),
5) When he fails ill visit him;
6) and when he dies follow his bier.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
There are two types of illegal loyalty:
1) الموالاة الكفرية – Allegiance which takes a person out of the fold of Islam
2) الموالاة المحرمة غير الكفرية – Allegiance which is Forbidden, but does not take a person out of the fold of Islam
١) الموالاة الكفرية
1) Allegiance which is considered كفر (Disbelief) and brings a person out of the fold of Islam.
١) الإقامة ببلاد الكفر اختياراً لصحبتهم مع الرضى بما هم عليه من الدين، أو مع القيام بمدح دينهم، و إرضائهم بعيب المسلمين، فهذه الموالاة ردة عن دين الإسلام.
1) Settling in disbelieving countries, willingly choosing to accompany the disbelievers, along with pleasure on what they are upon (of religion), or along with praising their religion, or pleasing them by defaming the Muslims. This is Allegiance which takes a person out of the fold of Islam.
Surat Ali ‘Imran Verse 28
لَّا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَن تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً ۗ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ
“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliya (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return.”
٢) أن يتجنس المسلم بجنسية دولة كافرة تحارب المسلمين
2) To willingly adopt the nationality of the disbelieving country which is at war with the Muslims.
The person who takes the nationality of a disbelieving country, after having his own, swears to abide by the law of that disbelieving country. If that country calls them to fight in the military against another Muslim country, what would their situation be?
There is no doubt in its prohibition, however, some scholars considered it disbelief, while others said it is a Major Sin. As for a person who has no other choice, because he has no other place to go or there is no non-Muslim country that is less evil, then he is excused.
The statement of Al-Lajnah Ad-Daaimah: “It is forbidden for the one who is unable to practice Islam openly to settle in non-Muslim countries if he is able to emigrate to a Muslim country. Allah says in Surat An Nisa 97
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا فِيمَ كُنتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا ۚ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا
“Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): “In what (condition) were you?” They reply: “We were weak and oppressed on earth.” They (angels) say: “Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” Such men will find their abode in Hell – What an evil destination!”
The Prophet ﷺ said, “I disassociate myself from every Muslim who lives amongst the Musgrikeen” [Abu Dawud, Authenticated by Al-Albani]
Ibn Hajar said, “This is with regards to a Muslim who does not feel security with regards to his religion (He is unable to practice his religion openly)”
“The ruling of changing ones nationality from a Muslim country to a non-Muslim country is exactly what making allegiance with the Kaafir is” – Al-Albani
“Adopting the nationality of the non Muslim country for the sake of the Dunya is more severe than imitating them because it includes agreeing to abide by their laws” – Sheikh Saleh AlFawzan
٣) التشبه المطلق بالكفار، بأن يتشبه بهم في أعمالهم ،فيبلس لباسهم و يقلدهم في هيئة الشعر و غيرها، و يسكن معهم، و يتردد معهم على كنائسهم، و يحضر أعيادهم، فمن فعل ذالك فهو كافر مثلهم بإجماع أهل العلم
3) To imitate the disbelievers in all aspects; in their actions, clothes, living amongst them, going to the church with them, attending their feasts and festivals, etc. This is considered disbelief with the consensus of the Scholars.
Abdullah Ibn Amr said:
“من بني ببلاد الأعجم و صنع نروزهم و مهرجانهم و تشبّه بهم حتى يموت و هو كذالك حشر معهم يوم القيامة”
Whoever lives in non-Muslim countries, participates in their Nayrouz (The festival of the Magians) and festivals and imitates them, and he dies in that state will be gathered with them on the Day of Judgement” [Al-Bayhaqi]
٤) أن يتشبه بهم في أمر يوجب الخروج من دين الإسلام
4) To imitate them in a manner which necessitates bringing one out of the fold of Islam.
This includes wearing the cross, strings, amulets, etc.
ه) أن يزور كنائسهم معتقداً أن زيارتها قربة إلى الله تعالى
5) To visit their churches believing that by doing that, he is performing an act which will bring him closer to Allah.
٦) الدعوة إلى وحدة الأديان
6) Calling people to Interfaith [For different religions to unite, saying that all are the same and there is no difference between them]
This is a very serious matter. Allah said in Surat Ali ‘Imran 85
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.”
By calling others to interfaith, you resemble and make equal their false gods with Allah. Thus whoever calls to it calls to falsehood, and is considered a disbelieving polytheist. Ibn Baz mentioned this as one of the matters which nullify the Islam of a person.
Surat Al Kafirun Verse 6
لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ
“To you be your religion, and to me my religion (Islamic Monotheism).”
٧) موالاة الكفار بإعانتهم على المسلمين
7) To ally with the disbelievers by helping them against the Muslims
This can occur either with money, fighting, spying for their sake against the Muslims, etc.
We have to distinguish between two matters:
-> Helping them because the person loves them and wants them to be superior. This is كفر (Disbelief)
-> Helping them because the person is afraid of their harm, or for some worldly interest. This is حرام (Forbidden).
Narrated ‘Ubaidullah bin Abi Rafi`: I heard `Ali saying, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) sent me, Az-Zubair and Al-Miqdad somewhere saying, ‘Proceed till you reach Rawdat Khakh. There you will find a lady with a letter. Take the letter from her.’ “
So, we set out and our horses ran at full pace till we got at Ar-Rawda where we found the lady and said (to her). “Take out the letter.” She replied, “I have no letter with me.” We said, “Either you take out the letter or else we will take off your clothes.” So, she took it out of her braid. We brought the letter to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and it contained a statement from Hatib bin Abi Balta a to some of the Meccan pagans informing them of some of the intentions of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). Then Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O Hatib! What is this?”
Hatib replied, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Don’t hasten to give your judgment about me. I was a man closely connected with the Quraish, but I did not belong to this tribe, while the other emigrants with you, had their relatives in Mecca who would protect their dependents and property . So, I wanted to recompense for my lacking blood relation to them by doing them a favor so that they might protect my dependents. I did this neither because of disbelief not apostasy nor out of preferring Kufr (disbelief) to Islam.”
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), said, “Hatib has told you the truth.” `Umar said, O Allah’s Apostle! Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Hatib participated in the battle of Badr, and who knows, perhaps Allah has already looked at the Badr warriors and said, ‘Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you.”