Shaykh Ibn Baaz on Love and Hatred for the Sake of Allaah

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful…

Allaah describes the true believers in Islaam with the following description:

( وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا للهِ )

( While the people of eemaan are stronger in their love for Allaah [than anyone else] ) [Soorah al-Baqarah: 165]

Love and hatred are opposites.  Since it is logically impossible to truly love something without hating what stands against it, Muslims both love and hate for the sake of Allaah.

The Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) guided us to this balance and moderation in our emotions when he said:

(( إِنَّ أَوْثَقَ عُرَى الإِيْمَانِ أَنْ تُحِبَّ فِي اللهِ وَتُبْغِضَ فِي اللهِ ))

“Verily the strongest handhold of faith is that you love for the sake
of Allah and that you hate for the sake of Allah.” [Ahmad 4/286, authentic]

The great scholar, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (d.1420, may Allaah have Mercy on him) was asked about love and hatred for the sake of Allaah, and he replied:

Loving for Allaah is when you love (someone) for Allaah’s sake, the Blessed and Exalted, because you believe him to be a person of taqwaa (mindfulness of Allaah’s orders) and eemaan (upright beliefs, statements, and actions).  Because of these things you love such a person for the sake of Allaah.

You also hate for the sake of Allaah when you see a disobedient disbeliever.  You hate such a person for the sake of Allaah.

You also hate a disobedient person, even if he is a Muslim, based on the degree of his disobedience.

This is how a believer is – He allows his heart to react to both types of people, loving some of them for the sake of Allaah.  He loves the people of eemaan and taqwaa for the sake of Allaah, while he hates the people of disbelief, evil, and disobedience for Allaah’s sake, allowing his heart to interact with both kinds.

In the case when there is good and bad in a person, like a disobedient Muslim, then he loves him for his Islaam and hates him for his disobedience, combining both emotions of love and hatred for one person.

As for the people of eemaan and the people of upright Islaamic practice, then he (a true believer) loves them wholeheartedly.  Similarly, he hates the people of disbelief wholeheartedly.

But regarding someone who has both things (good and bad traits), a disobedient Muslim, he loves him based on the level of his eemaan and Islaam, while he hates him according to the level of his disobedience and violations (of Islaamic beliefs and practices).

Source: The shaykh’s answer to a question on the radio program, Noor ‘alad-Darb (click here for Arabic source).

Important note: With these necessary emotions, Muslims are required to maintain an important balance, and they are not allowed to transgress against the rights of those they hate.  Allaah says:

 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ للهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالقِسْطِ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَئَانُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلَّا تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُواْ اللهَ إِنَّ اللهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

( O you who believe!  Stand devoutly for Allah as witnesses of justice, and do not let your animosity for some people prevent you from being fair.  Be fair, as it is closer to piety, and observe your duty to Allah.  Verily, Allah is all-informed of what you do! ) [Soorah al-Maa’idah, 5:8]


According to Christians, hatred is an irreligious behavior.  How are Muslims different from Christians in this regard?

Some people say, “We should hate disbelief, but not the disbelievers themselves as people.  We should hate beliefs and actions, but not people.”  How would you respond?

Some people say that Muslims must not hate anything, and to be a Muslim you must abandon all forms of hatred! [Click here for a modern example.]  How would you respond?

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

28 thoughts on “Shaykh Ibn Baaz on Love and Hatred for the Sake of Allaah

  1. just to check my understanding, we are supposed to hate the person aswell right? (the disbeliever) however when it comes to the believer we only hate their actions of disobedience but we love them for their islaam and emaan. But for the disbeliever we hate their actions and them as people, unrestrictedly correct? and with upright believers we love them unrestrictedly?

    • We hate the disbelievers and we love the believers. We hate the disobedient Muslims according to their level of disobedience, and we love them for their level of of obedience. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) was going between Safaa and Marwah (making ‘Umrah) when a long-bearded man, a mu’ath-thin of the Haram, said to him, “O Abaa ‘Abdir-Rahmaan! I love you for the sake of Allaah!” He replied, “But I hate you for the sake of Allaah!” His companions blamed him for that, but he defended himself, saying: “He goes overboard in (calling) the athaan, and he takes money for it!” (Musannaf of ‘Abdur-Razzaaq, 1/481) Al-Albaanee authenticated it in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah (1/104).

      • BaarakAllaahu feekum.

        What was mentioned in the question above about only hating someone’s evil actions and not the person himself, does this apply to the Muslim ruler? JazaakAllaahu khayraa.

  2. Such a strong word hate – how dare I hate a living breathing soul Allah(swt) created ….believer or non believer….and who is not sinful in this world. As for disbelievers I hate them really ???? ….when only Allah(swt) guides His human creation.

    • That just about sums up the Christian belief. However, Muslims are different in that they love and hate for the sake of their Lord. Its actually the firmest handhold of faith (loving and hating) as described by the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace). If you are a Christian, Naheed, you are cordially invited to accept Islaam and worship the Creator and Lord of Jesus. If you are a Muslim, then its time to take your religion from the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace), not from popular opinion. And Allaah knows best.

  3. Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuhu. May Allaah preserve you and increase your life in obedience to Him. Dear brother, please correct me if I’m wrong. “We hate the person, not just his sinful actions. We hate the disbeliever and the innovator as a whole. But the believer, we hate him according to the level of the sin.”

    Jazakallaahu khayran.

    • Wa ‘alaykas-Salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. I would add: “We love the believer for the level of his obedience, and we hate the sinful Muslim according to the level of his disobedience.” Also, an innovator is hated based on the level of his opposition to the Sunnah. And Allaah knows best.

  4. Some people say, “We should hate disbelief, but not the disbelievers themselves as people. We should hate beliefs and actions, but not people.” How would you respond?

    I think this is correct. So long as the disbelievers is in not believing in Allah and Messenger, peace be upon him, We shall give them dawah and hope they’ll find the truth. We never know when Allah might give him Hidayah and make him/her better than us.

  5. Explaining Al Wala wal Bara, some scholars or muslims preach to muslims to hate non-muslims for the sake of Allah. I find, from my experience, such scholars inactive or very less inactive in field of da’wah of islam to non-muslim; which is a basic responsibility on every muslims specially scholars.

    • There was this one caller to Islam who would say: “I am free of YOU and what you worship… There is hatred and animosity between us and you until you believe in Allaah…” What do you think of this approach, Abu Maryam, in light of your experience?

      • May Allaah bless Abu Maryam with understanding in the Religion, perhaps he realized where this question was going to lead him (Quran 60:4), and became too shy to respond.

  6. Assalaamu’alaykum

    I struggle to hate non-Muslims that have a good character and are well-mannered and polite etc. Am I sinful for this and how do I develop this animosity towards them?

    Jazaakallahu Khayr

    • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. You just need to re-invest in learning about gratitude and good character. Take this example, if you sponsored an orphan, spending a huge chunk of your salary on him, from his birth until his college education, and then assisted him in getting married, and then he turned around one day and said to you: “You’ve never done anything for me, I don’t even recognize you in my life. I will never lift a finger to do a single thing for you.” Would it be possible to say he has “good character” and he is “well-mannered” in how he responded to the kindness of others? Or is he an ingrate? Well, Allaah has bestowed every type of blessing on people, yet they turn to him with denial of his blessings, and even mockery and disdain. Did you forget that true manners and good character are firstly between the person and his Lord? The question seems to overlook this reality. And Allaah knows best.

  7. “Verily the strongest handhold of faith is that you love for the sake
    of Allah and that you hate for the sake of Allah.” [Ahmad 4/286, authentic]

    Does this mean love and hate for the sake of Allah is the from the greatest of the 60+ branches of eemaan? And would that also mean it is also one of the hardest to achieve?

    • These are the ‘urwahs (handholds), like knots or loops in a rope that you hang on to, not just branches of faith. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) spoke of these handholds in the hadeeth of Aboo Umaamah collected by Imaam Ahmad: (( لتنقضن عرى الإسلام عروة عروة فكلما انتقضت عروة تشبث الناس بالتي تليها فأولهن نقضا الحكم وآخرهن الصلاة )), meaning: “The ‘urwahs of Islaam shall surely become undone one after the next. Every time an ‘urwah is undone, the people grab hold of the next one. The first to be undone is the ruling, the last is prayer.”

      Remember that the Deen of Allaah has been mentioned as a rope (habl), and these important aspects are the handholds, or loops that are held on to. The firmest ‘urwah is towheed ( فمن يكفر بالطاغوت ويؤمن بالله فقد استمسك بالعروة الوثقى لا انفصام لها ), which means: “Whosoever rejects taaghoot (all things worshipped besides Allaah) and believes in Allaah has grabbed hold of the firmest handhold which shall never loosen” [2:256], and this towheed, this knot or loop in the rope, includes loving and hating for the sake of Allaah, as mentioned in the hadeeth you are asking about. And Allaah knows best.

      • Subhaanallah this is very interesting. Is there some book or resource that explains eemaan in detail going through its pillars, levels, branches and handholds etc?

      • Why is there a difference between the firmest handhold (tawheed) and the strongest handhold (loving and hating)? Isn’t firmness the same or similar to strength?

        Can you elaborate on the two Arabic words for ‘firmest’ and ‘strongest’?

        • There are both from the same root ( أوثق / الوثقى ), they both mean firmest/strongest, or the most binding. Loving and hating for the sake of Allaah is one of the essential components of Laa-ilaaha-ill-Allaah, review a good explanation of the seven conditions of Laa-ilaaha-ill-Allaah. And Allaah knows best.

    • You can appreciate their good, thank them for it, repay it, base your interactions with them upon it, yet loving is a religious act of worship, not directed to non-Muslims, and Allaah knows best.

  8. “We love people according to their obedience to Allah and hate them according to their disobedience. This translates to love/hate for the action as well as for the doer of the action.”

    Is this understanding correct? Please correct it if I have erred.

    • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. At the root of the problem is people speaking about Islam upon sheer ignorance, combined with misguided ambitions to please non-Muslims or at least not offend them. Perhaps, some influence from the religion of Christianity plays a part as well. Allaah knows best.

  9. Salamalaikum
    Only when the Scholars of the main body of Muslims point out confirming the grave errors of any Speaker, my inner hatred of that speaker develops, automatically, although I used to love him for Islam sake just before the information. Is this Right?
    Also I have one question—In my locality there is no nearby Mosque where Innovated practices like Ijtemai -dua soon after the salat, aloud ” Fatiha” etc. are not done, So I go to one of the nearby Mosque where innovated practices are on, only to catch up the Fajar Prayer of Congregation, although I hate their Innovations. Am I doing Right?
    Please Eloborate

  10. As salaamu alaykum ustad.

    Just wanted to confirm, may Allah bless me and you:

    Q1. In above words of our shaykh bin baaz rahimahullah, we understand we have to “love wholeheartedly” people of imaan and taqwaa and we have to “hate wholeheartedly” people of kufr and shirk akbar. In arabic i read the original words as and allah knows best, love with complete love…… Hate with complete hate respectively.

    Either ways, do i understand “love wholeheartedly” to mean – “to love people of imaan and taqwaa WITHOUT any hate accompanying this love whatsoever”;
    And “hate wholeheartedly” to mean – “hate people of kufr and shirk akbar WITHOUT any love accompanying this hate whatsoever” ?

    Is this understanding of above words correct?

    Q2. Two disobedient muslims, a and b. Person b is even more disobedient than a and person a has more islam than b. So is my love for a more than for b and hate for b more than for a?

    جزاك الله خيرا for your time.

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