Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan on Loving and Hating for the Sake of Allaah

In the Name of Allaah…

Recently, the great scholar, Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked:

What is the ruling on rejecting the idea of hatred for the sake of Allaah and claiming that it is not from Islam? Is a person’s Islaam valid if he does not hate the Jews and Christians?

The shaykh responded:

Walaa’ and baraa’ (the islamic system of loyalty) is a must. (It is) disallegiance with the enemies of Allaah and loyalty to the allies of Allaah. Walaa’ and baraa’ means to have hatred, declaring oneself free of them (the disbelievers) and their religion, this is baraa’.

Walaa’ means to love Allaah, to love His Messenger, and to love His believing servants, take them as allies and come to their defense.

“Indeed you have a good example in Ibraaheem (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: We are free of you and all that you worship beside Allaah…” [Meaning of Quran 60:4]

They declared themselves free of them and their idols, their objects of worship.

“…We are free of you and all that you worship beside Allaah. We have disbelieved in you (i.e. your religion), and there shall be enmity and hatred between us forever, unless you believe in Allaah alone.” [Meaning of Quran 60:4]

Thus it is not permissible to love the disbelievers. Whoever takes them as allies, Allaah, the Mighty and Most High, has said [what means]:

“O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and Christians as allies! They are allies of one another. Whoever takes them as allies is indeed from them. Verily Allaah does not guide people who are oppressive.” [Meaning of Quran 5:51]

The issue is very serious. Walaa’ (loyalty) and baraa’ (disallegiance) are from the essential foundations of this Religion. The religion (of a person) is not valid without both of them.

Source: The shaykh’s answer given on 1434/8/23 in Jeddah. [ English & Arabic video / Arabic audio / Arabic transcript ]

As you can see, this hatred which some misguided Muslims try hide and/or negate from Islaam is in fact an absolutely essential concept in Islaam, according to the Quran, the Sunnah, and the scholars of Islaam.

Disclaimer: Muslims have every right to love and hate as their Lord has asked them to.  While the non-Muslims typically frown on this concept, Muslims seek to please Allaah, not His disbelieving creation. We do not change our Religion to match the whims of the people and agree with what they feel are acceptable religious beliefs. This does not mean that our hatred is allowed to manifest through acts of transgression against innocent people living in a peaceful society. Allaah says (what means):

“Allaah does not prevent you from dealing justly and kindly with those who have not fought against you nor expelled you from your homelands. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity.” [Meaning of Quran 60:8]

While Muslims are required to love and hate for the sake of Allaah, we are also commanded to be fair and deal with people fairly and kindly. Unjustly transgressing against non-Muslims’ personal safety and property is strictly forbidden in Islam.

And Allaah knows best.

Translation and commentary by: Moosaa Richardson

18 thoughts on “Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan on Loving and Hating for the Sake of Allaah

  1. Shaykh Saalih Al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah said in his explanation of The Three Fundamental Principles regarding the disbelievers, “It is not permissible to wrong or oppress them. He, the Most High, said:

    وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ

    ‘Do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from treating them justly. Do justice, it is closer to taqwaa (being dutiful to Allaah).’”
    [Sooratul-Maa~idah (5):8]

    Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank rahimahullaah (page 7 of this document:

    Imaam Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him, mentioned in his tafseer regarding the above Saying:

    وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا

    ‘Do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from treating them justly’

    “…rather implement justice with regards to every person, be they a friend or an enemy.”

    Translated by Nasser ibn Najam

  2. assalaamu alaykum,

    Interesting article. But are you saying we’re supposed to hate Christians and Jews while hiding that hatred behind a fake smile? Of course, if they are enemies to Islam then there’s not question that we hate them. But just because we keep ourselves completely free of their beliefs doesn’t necessarily mean that hate the followers (Imagine a Muslim man married to his Christian or Jewish wife- is he supposed to hate her?).

    • wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaah,

      Thank you for visiting, Hassen, and for posting your questions, and may Allaah bless you. Allaah requires our love and hatred (that we CAN control) to be for His Sake. The natural love in our hearts for our parents (regardless of their religion), wives, etc. is something we CANNOT control and thus something we are not held accountable for, wal-hamdulillaah.

      Please be careful to read the Quranic passage where Allaah explains that Ibraaheem is our example to follow in this. He said openly, what means, “There is hatred and animosity between us and you forever, until you believe in Allaah alone.” [60:4] So, take note:

      1) Allaah narrates this story in the Quran, and all stories in the Quran in general are absolutely accurate and truthful, having lessons and guidance for us to ponder and follow.
      2) He further explains that this story specifically includes a good example for us to follow – in Ibraaheem’s dealings specifically.
      3) People who put their own opinions first will typically oppose this and say this kind of approach (openly showing hatred and animosity for one’s non-Muslim family members) is without wisdom – in direct contradiction to the Quran!
      4) Ibraaheem expressly stated that hatred and animosity are between him and his people (polytheists who opposed the orders of Allah).
      5) Regarding this hatred and animosity, he also stated that it shall remain in place, “Until you believe in Allaah alone,” and he DID NOT say: until you stop fighting or oppressing us. This refutes those who would say that Ibraaheem’s example is only for those facing non-Muslim oppressors or agressors.
      6) The following verses that mention Allaah does not forbid you from kind treatment of those who do not fight you DOES NOT include the slightest indication that you are allowed to love disbelievers!
      7) Showing kind treatment logically does not necessitate love for Allaah’s sake, just as showing rough treatment in some occasions does not necessitate hatred. For example, we may apply capital punishment to some Muslim criminals (within a Muslim government’s judicial process), but then we believe their sins are expiated by the punishment, we love them, and we pray over them, beseeching Allaah’s forgiveness for them.
      8) While a Muslim man may have some natural love in his heart for a Christian wife, this is natural love (mahabbah tabee’iyyah) which we do not worship Allaah with, nor are we accountable for. This is outside of our discussion. We are accountable for our shar’ee love, our choice to love or hate based on a person’s relationship with Allaah. You may not have shar’ee love for a Christian wife, rather she is hated for her shirk, and this hatred should be something that leads the person to work hard to guide such a woman.
      9) As for the concern regarding a “fake smile” – then we say: Our smile and nice treatment in response to non-Muslims’ similar behavior is in accordance with Allaah’s Command (60:8), just as our hatred and animosity for them because of their kufr is in accordance with His Command as well. We do not confuse the issues and assume that good treatment necessitates that we love them, nor would we go to the other extreme and say that hatred in our hearts means never responding to their kind treatment except with frowns and disrespect. The precise balance of our Muslim behavior is directly from the Book of Allaah, and to Allaah is the praise.

      Base your practice of Islaam on the Quran dear brother, not modern opinions and apologetic adjustments of basic Islamic teachings. May Allaah bless you.

  3. As salaamu alaikum

    May Allaah bless u all. Does Yusef Estes statements take him out of the fold of Islam? He and those like him are so dangerous to the Ummah.

    Ukht fi Emaan

    • wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. Yusuf Estes has spread some very serious mistakes, many of which are considered disbelief according to the scholars of Islaam, as documented clearly over the last year or so. I am not able to speak on behalf of Allaah and say that Allaah has excused him for all of that. That is something I have no knowledge of. We pray that Allaah guides him to free himself of such horrible beliefs and teachings. Some of our scholars have warned against him and referred to him as “dhaall, mudhill” (astray, leading others astray), which should be more than enough for any sound-minded Muslim to stay far away from him.

  4. AssalamAlaykum,

    does this mean we can’t be friends with Non-Muslims? I have a lot of non muslims friends who are very nice human beings and are very helpful and kind to me. While I hate everything they do in line of their religion but other than their religion and shirk, i do love them for all the years they have been with me. Isn’t it okay if we love them excluding their religion just like the prophet pbuh loved Abu Talib?

    • wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Abu Talib was a family member. Family members are to be respected and honored, especially one’s parents, and their parents’ siblings and parents as well. Muslims have been commanded to keep family ties and be patient with the attacks and harms they face in that. Many people use the claim that the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) loved his uncle to justify friendships with non-Muslims. Firstly, it was an obligation on the Prophet to recognize and try to repay the kindness he received from his disbelieving uncle. Secondly, he was a family member, not a voluntarily chosen friend. Thirdly, he constantly invited him to testify to Allaah’s sole right to be worshipped alone. While you can try to find a way to repay kindness that you have received, Muslims do not take the non-Muslims as friends and allies. Why not invite them to Islaam with every bit of seriousness and sinicerity, seeking Allaah’s Aid? Would you love to see them rejoicing in the delights of the Hereafter or tortured eternally? May Allaah bless you and guide your associates to Islaam.

  5. What about calling a non-Muslim “a good man” or “a great person” or “good and pure” or “a wonderful person” etc… I know of a man who teaches Islam who described his non-Muslim friends as such, and when Nelson Mandela recently died, he called him “the last of the great ones”. How should I respond to such a person?

  6. Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu.

    Baarakallahu feek brother moosa for your efforts.

    I ask Allah first, and then you to help me comprehend this extremely important issue, issue of al walaa wal baraa.

    We love/hate, make friends/enemies purely for the sake of Allah alone.

    So we love and make friends with Allah’s friends (the muslims, muwahhids) and we hate and take Allah’s enemies (mushrikoon, kaafiroon) as our enemies.

    Q1. Is hating and not having any affection and love and considering kuffar as our enemies, irrespective of the fact whether call of islaam was given to him?

    To put it in a single line, is this a shart before we hate them and take them as our enemies that we look whether he rejected islam after being called to it? Or not?

    Q2. As for being just with them, is it always applicable or are there exception where we should not be just with them (like fr eg., during war with them)?

    Q3. And when to be kind with them and when to be harsh with them?

    In 60:8, “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you……………..” to the end of ayah.

    In 48:29, “….. and those who are with him(messenger) are severe against the disbelievers………”

    In 66:9 or 9:73, “…..and be harsh against them (i.e., disbelievers and hypocrites)……”

    When we show kindness and when severity and harshness?

    جزاك الله خيرا

  7. Asalaamualaykum wa rahmathullahi wa barakathu

    When we say loving and hating for the sake of Allah azzawjal, what about if they happen to be our neighbors, should we give them the rights of our neighbors?
    What about if they happen to be people who call themselves Muslim and have different ideology?

    I’ve one of my neighbor who is leader of a political party wing ( who claims to be working for upliftment of Muslims in India).
    Another neighbor who is a core member of a social organisation who are claiming to be working for the Muslims education, he hosts regular weekly classes in his house by a Tableeghi.
    The other one is a Hindu.

    Please guide , how should I treat them, should I treat them with the rights of neighbor, does all 3 to be treated the same?

    I need guidance on this matter.

    بارك الله فيك

    • Your neighbors deserve your peaceful and respectful interactions, no matter what religion they are upon. Good treatment does not mean that you love them for the sake of Allaah. You may hate someone religiously, while still observing their rights and fulfilling your agreements and contracts with them. Quite simply, the neighbor has a right over a Muslim to kind treatment, due to the hadeeth (which means): “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day must be kind to his neighbor.” [Bukhaaree & Muslim].

      The Hindu is hated for his polytheism, and he is invited to Islam. The Tableeghi is hated for his innovation, and he is invited to the Sunnah. The Hindu is not claiming to be a Muslim, and thus no Muslim is tricked into following him. Yet the Tabeleeghi says he is a Muslim, a follower of the Quran and Sunnah, so he looks for ways to legitimize his deviation and make it seem acceptable. This is where special caution is needed. May Allaah keep us from misguidance.

        • “Abdullaah b. ‘Amr (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) mentioned that he slaughtered a goat or sheep and then said to his servant:

          “Did you send some to our Jewish neighbour? Indeed I heard the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) say: “Jibreel did not cease to exhort me concerning the neighbour until I began to think he would inherit from me!”

          (An authentic naration, see Al-Irwaa, 891.)”

          In the same article, he also said elsewhere..

          “the origin here is that one is to show kindness, gentleness and justice towards the unbelievers amongst whom we live. This treatment is from justice, and a means of da’wah and giving them a beautiful insight into Islaam. “

          • Yet, with an innovator, there are complications that keep the issue from being this easy. The innovator may try to show his supporters that Ahlus-Sunnah love him by bringing him gifts. He may say words of confusion to plant seeds of hypocrisy and doubts when people try to deliver food. For this reason, some of the Salaf would say: I would prefer to eat with a Jew or Christian over eating with an innovator. And Allaah knows best.

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