Al-Walaa wal-Baraa The Character of the Believer
from at-Tawheed Publications
Another fundamental aspect of our belief is the topic of Al Walaa wal Baraa’. This topic if understood correctly clearly distinguishes the kaafir from the Mu’min (believer) and lays down clear principles with regards to the alliance, support and friendship towards the kuffar.
This is a very misunderstood and neglected part of ones belief in today’s reality. We live in a world dominated by man made law with the authority in the hands of the kuffar, we find millions of Muslims residing in the lands of the kuffar having homes, businesses and families. The common misconception is that it is these governments in the western world that are providing for us our sustenance and allowing us to reside in their lands peacefully and hence we should therefore reciprocally befriend them and treat them with courteousness. At the same time living and interacting with the kuffar on a daily basis the Muslims have begun to befriend them to the point whereby they are treated better than Muslims. The consequences of this are that when these governments attack and kill Muslims in other parts of the world we are in no way objective of it and accept their decision to do so without resistance, we also begin to see Muslims taking positions within these governments believing that what they are doing is for the benefit of the Muslims. The reasons for this are down to the neglect of the concept walaa wal baraa’ which has lead people to apostasy without them even knowing it.
Al-walaa wal baraa’ is divided into two aspects, al-Hubb (love) and al-Bughoud (hatred), both of which have to be done purely for the sake of Allah (swt). Al-Hubb means to love for the sake of Allah (swt) otherwise known as Muwalaat. Al-Muwalaat is to accompany, to love, to support, to ally, to help, to elevate, to respect and to befriend, all of which must be done for the sake of Allah (swt) in the manner that He has commanded. Al-Bughoud on the other hand is to have hatred for the sake of Allah (swt) also known as al-Muadaat, which is the complete opposite to muwalaat. Hence the requirement upon the believers is to have muwalaat with the Muslims and to have muadaat against the kuffar, to love Allah (swt), the Messenger and the Muslims and have hatred for the kuffar, to love all that Allah (swt) commands us to love and show walaa towards them, to have no rejection or animosity towards any of the commands of Allah (swt) and to hate all that Allah (swt) hates together with those who hate Allah (swt) and the believers. “O you who believe, do not take the kafireen as awliyaa’ instead of the Believers, do you wish to take Allah as a proof against you?” [EMQ 4: 144]
It must be clear in the minds of the Muslims that to love, support, ally, accompany, help, respect, elevate and befriend are attributes that should be directed solely to the Muslims and in no way towards the kuffar as Allah (swt) states in the Quran; “Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah. except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.” [EMQ 3: 28].
Al-Muwalaat is obligatory between the believers as Allah (swt) described the Muslims as a single brotherhood distinguishing us from the disbelievers. Allah (swt) says: “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.” [EMQ 49: 10]
Furthermore Allah (swt) warns us of the danger in taking the kuffar as our friends or allies; “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them.” [EMQ 5: 51-57]
It needs to be mentioned that by having hatred for the kuffar in no way means that we mistreat them, rather our hatred is part of our worship and is done purely for the sake of Allah (swt). Our hatred is for their disbelief and rejection of Allah (swt) and the deen of Islam, thus our treatment towards them must be in accordance with the command of Allah (swt) in order not to treat them unjustly.
“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just.” [EMQ 60: 8]
Having understood this concept it becomes engrained into our belief and becomes part of our life. This concept of al-Walaa wal-Baraa affects every part of our life, in our dealing with Muslims and the kuffar, in terms of the way we feel about them and our actions in relation to them. Abdullah ibn Abbas said: “Al Muwalaat is the Love in the heart and the total support by the limbs and the tongue for the Deen of Islam exclusively.”
al-Walaa wal-Baraa forms the measurement for which we base our actions upon and it is the foundation by which all relationships within the Muslim community are formulated. The very testification to the shahaadah asserts this fundamental concept of al-Walaa wal-Baraa when we declare our rejection of all Taghoot and the complete and exclusive belief in Allah (swt). The fulfilment of Imaan is to fulfil its conditions and requirements in order to be truly deserving of the title; mu’min. The requirements of walaa and baraa are a very important aspect of our belief the negation of which will result in the failure to fulfil your Imaan. The Messenger Muhammad (saw) stated as narrated in Ahmad; “The most powerful knot of Imaan is to love for the sake of Allah (swt) and to hate for the sake of Allah (swt).”
Therefore in our current reality where we are living amongst the kuffar, where the governments of the western world have launched their crusade against the Muslims, where Muslims are being persecuted, arrested and detained, it is imperative that we maintain our walaa and baraa. We must understand the kuffar can never be equal to the Muslims, nor can there be any type of interfaith between us, nor any alliance or support for them and their cause as this will result in the neglecting of al-Walaa wal-Baraa and hence cause a deficiency in ones Imaan leading to the negation of it. If any Muslim makes Muwalaat to the kuffar, it is sin, however if they ally with them, they will become Murtad (apostate), but to ally with them to fight against Muslims, he becomes Murtad Harbie (an apostate at war with the Muslims).
We must stay clear of the kuffar, their beliefs and way of life, we must have hatred for their disobedience and carry hatred for their actions. We must not show any affection towards them nor to befriend them or to ally with them, we must not regard them as being better than the believers nor treat them better than the believers. We must however show affection towards the Muslims, to ally and support them, to love them for what they believe and the good they perform. We must keep company with Muslims and live amongst them, we must respect them at the same time having hatred for any sin they may do or any deviation they may carry. We must understand that to love and hate is done purely for the sake of Allah (swt) in accordance to whatever and whomever He (swt) loves and hates, as the highest and most foremost level of love and hate above all else is for Allah (swt) Himself.
“Whosoever possess the following three qualities will have the sweetness of faith; the one whom Allah and His messenger become more dearer to him than anything else, who loves a person and he loves him purely for the sake of Allah, and who hates to revert to disbelief as he hates to be thrown into hellfire” [Bukhari, Muslim]