Regarding I’tizal and Mukhalatah
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmān ibn Hasan Āl Ash-Shaykh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) said:
“So the Hunafā’ are the People of Tawhīd: They do I’tizāl (withdraw) from the mushrikīn, because Allāh has obligated upon the People of Tawhīd to do I’tizāl (withdraw) from them, and to declare Takfīr upon them (proclaim them as infidels), and disassociate (Barā’ah) from them, as Allāh has mentioned regarding what His Intimate Friend, Ibrāhīm (peace be upon him), said:
وَأَعْتَزِلُكُمْ وَمَا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ
… Till the verse:
فَلَمَّا اعْتَزَلَهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ
And He mentioned:
إِنَّا بُرَاء مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاء أَبَدًا
حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ
And He mentioned regarding the People of the Cave:
وَإِذِ اعْتَزَلْتُمُوهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ
Hence, the People of Tawhīd do not complete (their obligations from) Tawhīd, except by doing I’tizāl from the People of shirk, and by being hostile against them, and declaring Takfīr upon them. Thus, (the People of Tawhīd) are “Mu’tazilah” in this context [i.e. meaning they are “withdrawers”, the literal meaning of the word “Mu’tazilah” – he does not mean the heretical sect] – and this is because the People of Tawhīd withdraw from the People of shirk; just as the Intimate Friend Ibrāhīm (peace be upon him) withdrew from them.”
Shaykh Is’hāq ibn ‘Abdir-Rahmān Āl Ash-Shaykh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) said:
“And likewise today, ponder upon the situation of many of those who attribute themselves to the Dīn and to Knowledge from amongst the People of Najd. He goes to the lands of the mushrikīn, and he resides there for a period of time seeking knowledge from them, and he sits together with them. And then, when he comes to the Muslims, and it is said to him, “Fear Allāh,” or “Repent to your Lord,” – he mocks the one saying this to him; and he responds back saying, “Should I repent because I was seeking knowledge?!” And then, it becomes apparent from his actions and words, that which tells of the evil and insincerity of his belief.
And this is of no surprise, since this is only due to him disobeying Allāh and His Messenger, by doing Mukhālatah (intermingling) with the mushrikīn; so he should be punished. But the thing which is surprising is that the People of the Dīn and Tawhīd are lenient with this type of people, who wish to make a link between the mushrikīn and the Muwahhidīn – even though Allāh has divided them apart in His Book, and upon the tongue of His Prophet, salutations and peace be upon him.”
 Shaykh Sultān Al-‘Utaybī (may Allāh accept him as a martyr) explained this as, “I’tizāl (i.e. withdrawal) is (completed) by not intermingling with the Tawāghīt, and by not increasing their numbers, and not obeying them in disobedience (to Allāh), and departing from them, and disassociating from them.”
 Maryam: 48
Shaykh Sultān Al-‘Utaybī (may Allāh accept him as a martyr) commented, “Take note of how Allāh has mentioned I’tizāl from them (i.e. the People of shirk), before he mentioned I’tizāl from their idols and their objects of worship. So ponder upon this deeply.”
 Maryam: 49. Allāh is referring to Ibrāhīm عليه السلام .
 Al-Mumtahinah: 4
 Al-Kahf: 16. The young men of the Companions of the Cave said this to one another.
 Refer to Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah (11/434).
 Refer to ‘Aqīdah Al-Muwahhidīn (pg. 173).