Monday, December 13, 2010

Aqeedah 101: Al-Wala' wa Al-Bara' (Love and Hate For the Sake of Allah)

Allah (SWT) says in the Qur'aan,

"'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.'"

Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said,

"The strongest bond of faith is loyalty for the sake of Allah and opposition for His sake, love for the sake of Allah and enmity for His sake." [Abu Dawud 40:4582 , as-Suyuti, al-Jami' as-Saghir, 1/69 (Classed by Al-Albani as "hassan", meaning "good")]

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyya (RA) said,

"The declaration of faith, there is no god but Allah, requires you to love only for the sake of Allah, to hate only for the sake of Allah, to ally yourself only for the sake of Allah, to declare enmity only for the sake of Allah; it requires you to love what Allah loves and to hate what Allah hates." [Ibn Taymiyya, al-Ihtijaj bil-Qadar, p.62]

Thus, in an age where truth is presented as falsehood, righteousness is translated to rebellion and the preserving of ones land and dignity is called terrorism, there will naturally arise many confusions about the pillars of Imaan 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 materializes correctly in his actions.

The Definition of Al-Wala' 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 Belief in Al-Wala' 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:

Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' is part of the Shahadah (testimony of faith) that being 'La ilaha' which is the portion from 'La ilaha illallah'. This means to be free and immune from all that is worshiped besides Allah (s.w.t.) as He the Almighty states: "And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): 'Worship Allah (alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, ie. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).'" (16:36).

The eminent creed of Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' is the strongest bond of Iman. Al-Barra' bin A'aazeb (r.a.a.) narrates that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said: "The strongest bond of Iman is the love for Allah's sake and the hatred for Allah's sake" (Reported by Imam Ahmad).

It is one of the basis by which the heart can experience the beauty of Iman and absolute assurance. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: "Whoever possesses the following three (qualities) will have the sweetness (delight) of faith: The one to whom Allah and His Messenger become dearer than anything else, who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's sake, and who hates to revert to atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire." [Bukhary and Muslim]

It is the foundation by which all relationships and dealings in a Muslim community is built upon as described by the Prophet (s.a.w.): "None of you will have faith till he likes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself" (Bukhari), and by Wisdom of the Almighty: "The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion)" (49:10).

The great and abundant reward is due to those who are characterised by the love of each other for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.). The Prophet (s.a.w.) articulates: "Those who love me will be (standing) upon pulpits made of light on the day of Resurrection." He (s.a.w.) also said: "There will be seven (categories of people) for whom Allah will Shed (Protect) under His Shade, when there will not be any shade except His, one of those categories is "Two men who loved each other for Allah's sake. They congregate for His Sake, and they separate for His Sake."

It is the most powerful tie or relationship that links between people. Allah (s.w.t.) has given it the precedence and priority over all types of ties by Asserting: "Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight ... are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah)" (9:24).

It is by the means of the creed of Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' that Allah grants His Walayah (the protection, power, authority and kingdom). Ibn Jareer reports the saying of Ibn Abbas (r.a.a.): "He who loves for Allah's sake and hates for Allah's sake, he who gives Muwalat (support, help, etc.) for Allah's sake and exhibits enmity for Allah's sake, will attain Allah's Walayah".

The relationship of Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' will be theonone to remain on the Day of Reckoning as foretold by Allah the All-Knowing: "When those who were followed, disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them" (2:166).

He who loves other than Allah and His Religion and hates Him (s.w.t.), His Religion or followers is a definite disbeliever, "And if any amongst you takes them (Jews and Christians) as Awliya', then surely he is one of them" (5:51).

The Al-Wala'u wa Al-Bara' is an integral part of Iman and is necessary for its perfection. In a Hadith: "He who loves for Allah's pleasure, hates for Allah's pleasure, donates for Allah's sake and deprives for Allah's sake, then that person has perfected his Iman." [Sound Hadith related by Ahmad and Tirmithi]

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].


  1. Salam
    Do you know of any good books/lectures for learning about this?

  2. alhumdu'allah nmy brothers we must not worry bwhat shaytan infidels people try say our cause is cause we as muslims know their our open enemy brothers insha'allah continue yall striving in allahs causes teaching other brothers about the cause of allah cause theirs numorious brothers that dont know so its outr duty teach em by all means necesary against this kkk government or any other in this world alhumdu'allah