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al-Walaa` wal-Baraa` as Revealed in Surat aal-'Imraan (2/2)

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

by Khaalid al-Ghareeb

Peace accords with Zionists, American colonialism and crusade in the Gulf, sincere scholars tortured and kept behind bars, are only some of the serious contemporary violations of Allah's Code, Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara', practised by those who are in our authority!! This is expectable when hypocrisy raises its voice and tries to disfigure the meaning of some Qur'anic Rulings to brain-wash the general Muslim masses. For Islam to triumph again, the Ummah must firstly interpret the Holy Qur'an the way that our righteous predecessors interpreted it: clearly, honestly and prophetically, fearing no one except Allah.

118. O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitanah (advisers, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc.) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses) if you understand.

119. Lo! you are the ones who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the Scriptures [ie. you believe in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), while they disbelieve in your Book, the Qur'an]. And when they meet you, they say, "We believe". But when they are alone, they bite the tips of their fingers at you in rage. Say: "Perish in your rage. Certainly, Allah knows what is in the breasts (all the secrets )."

120. If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqun (the pious and righteous persons), not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.

In part 1 of this article, we defined the term Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' in the Islamic Creed and exposed the rank of this great belief, guided by Ayaat 28 and 29 of Surat Al-Imran. Here we continue to examine the implications of Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' and reveal the rights and dimensions of this fundamental concept.

The Occasion of Revelation

Allah warned the Muslims to guard against the hypocritical attitude of the Jews who lived in the suburbs of Al-Madinah. The two clans, 'Aus and Khazraj, had been on friendly terms with them from very ancient times and kept sincere relations with them even after embracing Islam. In contrast to this, the Jews, who had turned into the enemies of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his Mission, could not be friendly with anyone who had joined the new Movement. Accordingly, they kept up an outward show of friendship with the Ansaar, but in their hearts they had become their bitter enemies. They, however, exploited this outward friendship and tried to sow seeds of dissension and create chaos in the Muslim community. They also tried to draw out secrets from the Muslims and pass them on to their enemies. That is why Allah has warned the Muslims that they should not take such people into their confidence.

The General Meaning of the Verses

In the discourse preceding these verses, Allah (s.w.t.) clearly describes the miscreant behaviour and false arguments of the People of the Book and how they conceal hatred to Muslims and try their best to fight them. After this, comes the Eternal and Divine Warning; to take not those outside our religion into our confidence by revealing our secrets to them and regarding them as our Bitanah (advisers, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc.) since they will never miss an opportunity to exploit any of our weakness and they ever desire our harm. We have seen and are seeing this malice so many times from their speech, but what they conceal in their hearts is far worse.

This Qur'anic insight into the nature of the dark souls and the hidden feelings of our enemies, casts a light for our consciousness pertaining to every time and place in order that we learn from these signs and become wise and cautious in our relations with them. Yet, the people of this living Qur'an are still in inadvertence and negligence, while their hostile enemy continues to deceit and conspire against them during the night anday. It is strange and ironic that we show love to people, who reject our Book and proclaim their grievance against us!

The Rights of Al-Wala'

Any Muslim who claims to have Iman must fulfil its conditions and requirements in order to deserve that title. Undoubtedly, fulfilling the rights of Al-Wala' (to love, support, help, follow, defend, etc. Islam and Muslims) and fulfilling the rights of Al-Bara' (to despise, desert, denounce, maintain innocence of and immunity from, etc. Kufr and Kuffar) is the true manifestation of the Muslim's adherence to this Deen. The rights of Al-Wala' towards Islam and Muslims can be concisely presented by the following:

  • The migration from a non-Musilm land to a Muslim land to safeguard the Religion, with exception to those who are weak and oppressed, and those who cannot migrate due to geographical and contemporary political reasons. Also in strict exemption are those who migrate to a Disbelievers land to spread Islam, seek medical treatment, business or necessary knowledge provided that that Muslim is knowledgeable in Islam and is able to preserve his religion, openly practice Islamic rituals without compromise and maintain the rights of Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara'.

  • Supporting and helping any Muslim community, whether it is by our sayings, souls or wealth in all matters of Deen and Dunia. Allah (s.w.t.) Says: ".. but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance." [8:72]

  • Sharing the times of joy and the times of agony with other fellow Muslims. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: "The believers in their mutual love, are like the human body where when the eye is in agony, the entire body feels the pain; when the head aches, all the body will suffer." [Muslim] Showing concern in Muslims' issues and circulating their news in the media is included in this category.

  • The Muslim must like for his brethren the acquiring of good and repelling of evil, in the same way that he loves these for himself. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: "None amongst you (truly) believes till he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself." [Muslim]

  • The abstinence from abusing, mocking or backbiting other Muslims. Allah (s.w.t.) has likened this to eating the flesh of the Muslim [49:11-12].

  • To belong to the Muslim Jama'a (community) in unity and to avoid division as Allah Orders "And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (ie. this Qur'an), and be not divided among yourselves." [3:103] and by the Prophets (s.a.w) saying: "Whoever dissociates oneself from the Jama'a by the span of the hand will die a Jahili (the age of ignorance) death."

The Rights of Al-Bara'

To become a Mu'min, it is not sufficient for the Muslim to merely fulfil the rights of Al-Wala' towards Islam and Muslims, he must also sincerely fulfil the rights of Al-Bara' towards Kufr and Kuffar. The most important of these rights include:

  1. Despising Kufr (disbelief), Shirk (polytheism), and their people; and to maintain your enmity towards them as stated in Allah's Words: "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'." [60:4]

  2. Taking not the Kuffar as Awliya' (supporters, helpers, etc.), dealing with them in affection because Allah (s.w.t.) commands: "O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies (ie. disbelievers and polytheists, etc.) as friends, showing affection towards them." [60:1]

  3. Migrating from their lands and not travelling to it except in necessity. Narrated Samurah bin Jundub (r.a.a.): Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) said: "Anybody (from among the Muslims) who meets, gathers together, lives, and stays (permanently) with a Mushrik (polytheist or a disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah, etc.) and agrees to his ways, opinions, etc. and (enjoys) his living with him (Mushrik) then he (that Muslim) is like him (Mushrik). [Abu Dawud]

  4. Not to imitate the Kuffar in their religious rituals or their way of life as stated by the Prophet (s.a.w.): "Whoever imitates a (group of) people, then that person is one of them." The Prophet (s.a.w.) taught us that: "Jews and Christians do not dye their hair so you should do the opposite of what they do." [Bukhari]

  5. Avoiding their company and friendship as Stated by Allah: "And incline not toward those who do wrong, Lest the Fire should touch you , and you have no protectors other than Allah, nor you would then be helped." [11:113], especially with those who mock and ridicule Islam.

  6. In dealing with the Kuffar, no compromise in religion for the sake of courtesy and respect should be offered. Allah (s.w.t.) Said: "They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so they (too) would compromise with you." [68:9] Furthermore, the Monotheist must not ask Allah forgiveness and mercy for the Kafir as Commanded by Allah: "It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's Forgiveness for the Mushrikun even though they may be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief)." [9:113]

It should be remembered, that our enmity for the Kuffar as regulated by Al-Bara' does not mean that the Muslim can be unjust and offend those Kuffar who are not transgressors. Allah (s.w.t) Commands justice and beneficence, "Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily Allah loves those who deal with equity." [60:8] Notice that Allah Said 'to deal justly and kindly' with them and did not Say, 'to show them love and take them as Awliya'.

Finally, we should be amongst those who Allah Praises: "You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such he has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Ruh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself. And We will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Verily, it is the Party of Allah that will be the successful." [58:22].


  • The Meaning of the Qur'an, S.Abul A'la Al-Maududi
  • In the Shade of the Qur'an, Sayyid Qutb
  • Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' fil-Islam. Muhammad Al-Qahtani

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