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Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' Revealed in Al-'Imran (1/2)

by Khaalid al-Ghareeb
Courtesy Of:


The legal meaning of Al-Wala' (love, support, help, follow, etc.) is to totally agree with the sayings, deeds and beliefs which please Allah and the persons whom He likes.
In an age where truth is presented as falsehood, righteousness is translated to rebelliance and the preserving of ones land and dignity is called terrorism, there will naturally arise many confusions about the pillars of Iman and the facts of Islam. Those in whose hearts there is a deviation find it expedient to twist the meaning of many sacred texts because it does not conform with their desires and motives. Not even the principles of Al-Aqeedah can escape their ploys. Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' is the creed that guides all the actions and sayings of a Muslim and it is by its practice and application that the ranks of the believers vary. It is imperative that this creed be unambiguous to the Muslim's mentality in order that it manifests and materialises correctly in his actions.

28. Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliya' (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 (ie. His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return.
29. Say [O Muhammad (s.a.w.)]: "Whether you hide what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it, and He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allah is Able to do all things".

The Occasion of Revelation

The Ayah (verse) was revealed concerning a group of believers who had Jewish friends. Those believers were giving Muwalat (support, help, etc.) to these Jews. Some of the Sahabah (r.a.a.) said to those believers: "Keep away from those Jews and beware of their friendship for they could seduce you away from your religion and guide you astray after you have believed". However this group of believers disobeyed the advice and remained loyal to their Jewish friends; and so Allah (s.w.t.) revealed "Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliya'".

Al-Qurtubi also reports in his Tafseer, narrated by Ibn Abbas (r.a.a.) that the Ayat was revealed with respect to 'Ubadah bin us-Saamet Al-Ansari Al-Badri who had a coalition of Jews. On the day of Al-Ahzaab, 'Ubadah said to the Prophet (s.a.w.): "O Prophet of Allah, I have a fellow of five hundred Jews; I see that they should come with me for support against the enemy". In this incidence, Allah (s.w.t.) revealed the aforementioned Ayat.

The General Meaning of the Ayah

Allah (s.w.t.) forbids His Believers from exhibiting any form of Muwalat to the disbelievers. This includes the manifestation of love and compassion to strengthen the ties with them or to regard them as companions and friends because of their kinship or acquaintance. The Believer can not be an ally of Allah's enemies and it is impossible for a person to combine the love of Allah (s.w.t.) and the love of his enemies because this is a combination of opposites; therefore, he who loves Allah, must also hate His enemies.

It is forbidden upon the Muslim to give Muwalat to the disbelievers and forsake the believers. There is no association or relationship whatsoever between Iman and Kufur. The preceding noble Ayat forewarns us from Muwalat Al-Kafireen and alerts us to the consequences of such an action, with one exception being in extreme necessity when one must avoid or protect oneself from the harm or injury inflicted upon by disbelievers by presenting an outer appearance that belies what one conceals inside. This is known as Taqiyyah, and it is only permitted under such circumstances.

The noble Ayat concludes by strongly threatening those who disobey Allah and show Muwalat to the disbelievers. This threat indicates the magnitude of such a sin.

The Definition of Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' in the Islamic Belief

The legal meaning of Al-Wala' (love, support, help, follow, etc.) is to totally agree with the sayings, deeds and beliefs which please Allah and the persons whom He likes. Al-Bara' (despise, desert, keep innocent of, etc.) is the complete opposite of Al-Wala' and it is to disagree with everything that Allah hates and condemns. Hence, there are four issues related to the belief in Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara', those being: the sayings, the deeds, the beliefs and the individual persons. Some of the things that pleases Allah (s.w.t.) are the saying of Dhikr, the deed of Jihad, the belief in His Oneness and the love of the believing person. Backbiting, fornication, Shirk and disbelief are some of the things that are hated by Allah (s.w.t.) and must also be hated by the Believer.

The Rank of the Belief in Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara'

The belief in Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' occupies a meritorious rank in the Islamic Aqeedah. This can be understood from the following reasons:




By Br. Khalid El-Gharib


The Belief in Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' Revealed in Al-'Imran (2/2)

By Br. Khalid El-Gharib


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 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].