In these modern times ignorance regarding the issue of takfir (to declare a person to be a kaafir (disbeliever)) has become widespread, due to the takfires (those who make unjustified takfir of individual Muslim rulers and some other Muslims) the Khawarij of this era. They made many Muslims assume that they can make takfir of Muslim rulers and governments due to them allying with the kuffaar (disbeliever) and assisting the kuffaar against the Muslims.
This assistance which is based on alliance with the kuffaar can take place in two ways. Either one Muslim state (Muslim ruler and government) allies with the kuffaar against another Muslim state (Muslim ruler and government) or secondly a Muslim ruler may ally with the kuffaar against his own citizens.
Takfires make it seem as if in all circumstance the every individual Muslim ruler of today is ruled to be kaafir due to his alliance with the kuffaar against the Muslims.
However this is a lie there are times when this type of alliance could make the ruler or the government involved fall into complete major kufr (disbelieve: that makes a Muslim become expelled from Islam), but there are other situations where allying with the kuffaar would only make them sinners and other’s where they would not be regarded as a kaafir or sinner.
The reason for the misunderstanding concerning this issue is the takfires have failed to distinguish between two very important issues when it comes to allying with the kuffaar which is tawalle (loyalty) to the kuffaar and wala (friendship) to the kuffaar.
The shariah definition of tawalle is: Defending the kuffaar, and assisting them, and helping them with the body, wealth and opinions. Tawalle is based upon love in the heart of the kuffaar and their deen, and assisting them to overcome the Muslims, with concealment of hatred for the Muslims. This is clear kufr which expels from the Islamic religion because this kufr is kufr of believe.
The shariah definition of muwalaat is: Cooperating and dissimulation (is a form of deception in which one conceals the truth), flattery towards the kuffaar for the sake of a worldly objective, without concealing an intention of kufr in the heart (which is major kufr) and apostasy from Islam. This is not clear kufr which expels from the Islamic religion but it is a major sin.
So they have not properly understood the difference between the Muslim rulers and Muslim governments that allies with the kuffaar based on tawalle (loyalty) to the kuffaar and Muslim ruler or Muslim government that allies with the kuffaar based on wala (friendship). This differentiation is important because tawalle (loyalty) to the kuffaar takes a ruler or a government into kufr and wala (friendship) takes them into sin.
Below Are Few Statements From The Scholars of Ahlus Sunnah On Tawalle To The Kuffaar:
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said, there are a number of categories of assisting the disbelievers against the Muslims (the one in which there is tawalle is the following): “To help them and assist them (the kuffaar) against the Muslims (i.e. help them, aid them or give them victory over the Muslims), while loving what they are upon of disbelief (kufr) (loving their religion or ideologies), polytheism (shirk), and misguidance. This category, without doubt is major disbelief that causes one to exit the religion.” Taken from his book Duroos fee Shara Nawaaqidh al-Islaam (p.56-159)
Shaykh Jamalu-Deen al-Qaasimee said in his tafsir “The Muwalaat (meaning tawalle) that is cautioned against (because it is kufr) occurs with the hatred and enmity of the heart towards the believers and love of the kuffaar for their kufr”
Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Bin Hasan aali-Shaykh stated “The Muwalaat that is unrestricted, general (absolute), and this is clear kufr, and here, with this characteristic, it is actually synonymous with the meaning of “Tawalle”, and based upon this are the various evidences that have come concerning the severe prohibition of having muwalaat (loyalty) to the kuffaar carried, and that the one who turns to them, then he has disbelieved.”
Shaykh Abdul Azeez ar-Rayyis spoke about tawalle to the kufr and he said, “The principle of a disbelieving allegiance is: loving the kuffaar due to their religion, or helping them due to their religion or having pleasure with their religion.” Taken from al-Burhaan al-Muneer fee Dhad Shubuhaat Ahli’t-Takfeer wa’t-Tafjeer
Imam Abdur-Rahman Bin Naasir as-S’adi said concerning tawalle “If it is complete tawalle then this is kufr ((major) disbelief which expels the person from Islam)…”
Shaykh Salih bin Abd Al Aziz ‘Aal Al Shaykh stated “Tawalle: is an act of disbelief… As for tawalle it is what Allah said, “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyah; they are but Awliyah of each other. And if any amongst you takes them as Awliyah’, then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the oppressors”. The condition of tawalle is helping the Kaafir against the Muslim at the time of war between the Kaafir and the Muslim, for the sake of making Kufr (victories) over Islam.
So the base for tawalle is absolute love and alliance with a kaafir against a Muslim and whosoever loves a kaafir for his religion, he surely has made tawalle with him, and this is an act of (major) kufr(disbelief).” Taken from a lecture called Al Dhawabit Al Shar’iyyah Le Mawoqif Al Muslim Fel Fitan. Held on Rabee’ Al Thani 1411 Hijri.
Shaykh Salih As Suhaimi said in his explanation of the nullifiers of Islam by Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab: “And the allegiance (to the kuffaar) that is Haraam comes in two categories (tawalle (loyalty) to the kuffaar and wala (friendship) to the kuffaar): One type that takes one out of the fold of Islam (which is tawalle (loyalty) to the kuffaar) in which the one who does so his Kaafir and has to renew his Islam, and it is: if he loves the kuffaar with his heart and has allegiance to them and wishes that they gain victory over the Muslims, and becomes happy when they defeat the Muslims then this is Kufr (major disbelief) and there is no doubt in this, instead verily the likes of this would be categorized as actions for trying to help the kuffaar to gain victory and helping them on this and hoping that they are victorious over the Muslims. If this matter goes to this extent then it is Kufr and apostasy from Islam.”
Based on the understanding of tawalle to the kuffaar this why Shaykh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz said in his Fataawa (1/274): “The scholars of Islam are unanimously agreed that whoever supports the kaafirs against the Muslims and helps them in any way is a kaafir like them…”, this statement is not based on wala to the kuffaar as this not kufr but it is a major sin.
Below Are Few Statements From The Scholars Of Ahlus Sunnah On Wala (Muwalaat) To The Kuffaar:
Shaykh Abdul Azeez ar-Rayyis spoke about Muwalaat to the kufr and he said, “The principle of a disbelieving allegiance is: loving the kuffaar due to their deen, or helping them due to their deen or having pleasure with their deen. So if you find one (a Muslim) aiding them (the kuffaar) yet without these aspects, (loving their religion, helping their religion or having pleasure with their religion), of defending them then it is a worldly assistance to them which is haraam, yet it is not kufr. Taken from al-Burhaan al-Muneer fee Dhad Shubuhaat Ahli’t-Takfeer wa’t-Tafjeer
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said, there are a number of categories of assisting the disbelievers against the Muslims (the one in which there is Muwalaat is the following): “When one (a Muslim) helps the disbelievers against the Muslims by his own free will, without being forced, while he still hates the religion of the disbelievers and is not pleased with it. Such a person, no doubt, has committed one of the major sins, and we fear that he may fall into (major) disbelief. Had he not hated them and their religion we (the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah) would have ruled upon him with kufr (disbelief). Thus, he is in great danger.” Taken from his book Duroos fee Shara Nawaaqidh al-Islaam (p.56-159)
Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Bin Hasan aali-Shaykh stated “The Muwalaat (meaning Wala) that is specific, is muwalaat to the kuffaar for a worldly gain, whilst having a sound belief and without concealing the intention of kufr and apostasy (this is not kufr but a major sin as the person has a sound belief).”
Shaykh Salih As Suhaimi said in his explanation of the nullifiers of Islam by Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab: “And the allegiance (to the kuffaar) that is haraam comes in two categories (tawalle (loyalty) to the kuffaar and wala (friendship) to the kuffaar): (the second type) is an allegiance that is haraam (based on wala to the kuffaar or Muwalaat) but it does not go to the extent of Kufr, like the one who helps the Kuffaar and adulation of them with hating them in their hearts, and does acts that is of service for them against the believers for a worldly benefit or because of desire or an objective in the worldly life and with this he dislikes them in their heart and hates them. Is this disbelief of sin? The likes of this is sin that does not reach the level of Kufr, but there is no doubt- and Allah’s refuge is sought- that is can lead to Kufr at the end of the day and the matter is dangerous”
Shaykh Salih bin Abd Al Aziz ‘Aal Al Shaykh stated “Muwalaat: is prohibited… As for Muwalaat for the Kuffaar, it’s loving them, and befriending them for the sake of this world, preferring them and helping them to be on top, and this a sin and it is not an act of disbelief.
Allah said ” O you who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors), – offering them (your) love….. “until He says ” And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path ”
the scholars have said: Allah called them with the name of believers, and covered with this label those who loved the Kuffaar, and this is an evidence that his act is not an act of disbelief, but rather straying from the right path. This is because he loved them and befriended them for the sake of this world and not due to his doubt in religion.
This is why the Prophet said for the companion (the companion is Hatib Ibn Abi Baltaa and is story is very famous) who did that (muwalaat) “what made you do it?? ” and he replied ” by Allah I’m nothing but a believer in Allah and His prophet, I just wanted those People to protect my money and family…” and the Hadeeth is mentioned in the two Saheehs.
So from this it’s obvious that befriending the disbeliever and loving him for the sake of this world, is not an act of disbelief if the fundamental of belief in Islam is present in the person who does the act of Muwalaat” Taken from a lecture called Al Dhawabit Al Shar’iyyah Le Mawoqif Al Muslim Fel Fitan. Held on Rabee’ Al Thani 1411 Hijri.
Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah spoke about muwalaat (which is based on Wala to the kuffaar), in regard to the companion Hatib Ibn Abi Baltaa and his story. He used the story in the same as Shaykh Salih bin Abd Al Aziz ‘Aal Al Shaykh used it above, to prove muwalaat to the kuffaar for worldly reasons like kinship etc is not kuffaar but only a major sin. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Love of them (the kuffaar) due to kinship or a (worldly) need can influence a man (to help them like Hatib Ibn Abi Baltaa did) and this would be a (major) sin which weakens his emaan yet he is not a disbeliever due to it, just as what happened to Hatib Ibn Abi Baltaa when he wrote to the mushrikeen informing them of some of the plans of the prophet, Allah revealed about him, “Oh you who have believed! Do not take my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends, showing affection to them…” 60:1″ – Majmoo fatawa v7 p 522
The words of Shaykhs on tawalle and wala are supported by even earlier Imams of the religion, al-Qurtubi in his tafsir (4/57, 18/52) and also the Imam hafidh Abu bakr Ibnul-Arabi al-Maalikee in his Ahkaam al-Quraan (4/1770)
From the above it is evident that when a Muslim ruler or Muslim governments allies with the kuffaar against other Muslims it is not always major kufr (major disbelief).
If the kuffaar were allied with against the Muslim for one of the following reason then this allegiance would be counted as making the Muslim ruler or government in general fall into major kufr that expels a person from Islam.
- loving their religion thinking it is equal to or better than Islam,
- helping them to gain victory over the Muslims due to their religion or to make their religion become more manifest in the earth than Islam (i.e. helping them spread their religion)
- having pleasure with their religion thinking it is a overall good religion (better than Islam), or thinking some parts are good (better than Islam) even though they contradict Islamic teaching or thinking it is not better than Islam but thinking it is still a good religion (this falls into being pleased with kufr (disbelief)).
These three categories do not just refer to kuffaar religions (i.e. Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism and all other religions) but it also refers to their ideologies like democracy and communism for example or other non-religious beliefs like atheism (do not believe in god), and agnosticism (believe in one god but reject all faiths including Islam). Therefore if a Muslim ruler or government fall into one of the three categories above but not because of the kuffaars religion but, because of their ideology of democracy or because of their atheism, then the same ruling would apply to them as would apply to the one who fall into one of these categories due to the kuffaars religion.
If a Muslim ruler or Muslim government allies with the kuffaar against the Muslims but not out of love them for their disbelief, helping them to gain the upper hand over the Muslims due to their disbelief or out of pleasure for their disbelief (what ever it is) but does it for a worldly reason like money or more power and at the same time hating the disbelievers then the Muslim ruler and the Muslim government would have fallen into a major sin but not major kufr.
Now it has become clear that allying with the kuffaar against the Muslims does not only take one ruling but it has two ruling which are major kufr and major sin. However the takfires/Khawarij of today never have distinguished between the two rulings in regards to the Muslim rulers and governments they only judge them all to be kuffaar who have fallen into major kuffaar.
Ibn Sahman said about the Khawarij, “And the origin of the tribulation of the people (the Khawarij) when they embroiled themselves was ignorance concerning the judgment upon muwalaat (friendship)…
So they (the Khawarij) did not differentiate between tawalle (loyalty) and its judgments and between muwalaat, which is in ones action…And amongst it (tawalle and muwalaat) is that whose doer is a disbeliever and that which is less than that (disbelief, meaning major sin)…”
Also it is important to point out another mistake of the takfires/Khawarij is they never, in any of their statements on this issue talk about the fact that some of the allegiances with the kuffaar are halaal.
Shaykh Abdul Azeez ar-Rayyis said “(the) Permissible (allegiance with the kuffaar) is via having good relations to non-combatants. From this is Muslim men’s allowance to marry women of the scripture (Jewish and Christian women) but not the other way round (i.e. Muslim women marrying men from the People of the Scripture); eating the food that has been killed by the people of the scripture and also calling them to Islam and inviting them to leave what they are upon of abrogated and distorted religion, this is recommended if not obligatory.” Taken from al-Burhaan al-Muneer fee Dhad Shubuhaat Ahli’t-Takfeer wa’t-Tafjeer
Side Points: Important Issues Connected To Allegiance
If a Muslim ruler does not help the kuffaar against the Muslims but he loves the disbelievers this is still haram.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said, “When one loves the disbelievers even without helping them against the Muslims. Allah has prohibited this (unless it is natural love such as a Muslim son loving his non-Muslim parents or a Muslim man who marries a Christian woman, he has natural love for her). Taken from his book Duroos fee Shara Nawaaqidh al-Islaam (p.56-159)
Another issue in which there is much confusion in the ummah is around whether or not a Muslim ruler or Muslim government have committed kufr, or sin or whether it is permissible for them to ally with one group of kuffaar against another group of kuffaar who they have a contract of safety with (from the UN for example). So for example Morocco (Muslim) helps the UK against Spain for example.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said, “When one helps the disbelievers against other disbelievers who have a contract of safety with the Muslims (through the UN for example). This is not permissible since it causes the contract of the Muslims to be broken.
So it is not permissible for any of the Muslims to fight the disbelievers who are under such a contract, so as to honour the contract that is between them and the Muslims. Thus, the one who assists some disbelievers in fighting against them (the disbelievers who have a contract of safety with the Muslims) has caused the Muslims contract to become breached and he has betrayed the honour of the Muslims.” Taken from his book Duroos fee Shara Nawaaqidh al-Islaam (p.56-159)
Question: Is it always allowed for one group of Muslims to ally with another group of Muslims against the kuffaar who there is a contract of safety with? (Example: USA attack Iraq so in this situation can Saudi Arabia ally with the Iraq’s against the USA even though Saudi and the USA have contract of safety with each other).
Answer: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said, “…if some Muslims seek our (other Muslims) assistance against some disbelievers then we must assist the Muslims against the disbelievers, expect in one situation, when those disbelievers have a contract of safety with the Muslims. In this case it is not permissible for us (the Muslims who were sort for assistance) to assist the Muslims against them, so then how could we assist the disbelievers against those who have contracts of safety with the Muslims? This is something that is not permissible, due to (the obligation of) upholding contracts. Taken from his book Duroos fee Shara Nawaaqidh al-Islaam (p.56-159)
Question: Can a Muslim state ally with a kuffaar state and use their own army and their allies (the kuffaar states) army in a war against another group of Muslims if they think there is a benenifit for the Muslims? (Example: Saudi are at war with Iraq and then they ally with USA (hating their disbelief) so they can use their army because they think there is a benefit for the ummah in general in using these kuffaar to help them. So Saudi uses their army plus the US’s army, against the Iraqi army.)
Answer: Some scholars have allowed the use of kuffaar forces by one group of Muslims who uses these kuffaar forces in a war with other Muslims if they think there is a benefit for the Muslims in general. A few of these scholars are:
- Imam ash-Shafi
- Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal
- Shaykh Abul-Qaasim al-Khirqee
- Shaykh Abul-Hasan as-Sindee
- Shaykh Bin Baz
- Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen
Shaykh as-Sindee stated in his explanation of the hadeeth “I do not gain assistance from a mushrik”, from the Sunan Ibn Maajah (vol.3, p.376, under hadeeth no.2832): It shows that gaining assistance from a mushrik is haraam without a need. But if there is a need then it can be done as an exception and this is not opposed.” Bandar bin Naa’if bin Sanahaat al-’Utaybee, Wa Jaadilhum Bilatee Hiya Ahsan, Munaaqishatun ‘Ilmiyyatun Haadiyyatun li-19 Mas’alatin Muta’alaqatin bi-Hukkaam il-Muslimeen (Riyadh: Maktabah Abdul Musawwir bin Muhammad bin ’Abdullaah, 1427AH/2006 CE, Fourth Edition), pp.38-42
Imam an-Nawawi mentioned the saying of Imam Shafi on this issue stated in his explanation, vol.11-12, p.403, under hadeeth no.4677: “His (the prophet Mohammed’s) saying: “Go back, for I do not seek help from a mushrik; Imam Shafi and others said: ‘If the disbeliever has good opinion of the Muslims and the need has come to utilize him, then he is not (used) it is disliked.”’
However Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee stated in al-Mugnee (vol.13, p.98): Help is not to be sought from a mushrik; this is what Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Joozjaanee and a group of the people of knowledge. There is present from Ahmad what indicates the permissibility of gaining assistance from them (i.e. mushrikeen) and the statements of al-Khirqee also indicate that, if there is a need and this is the school of thought of Shaafi’ee.
Imam an-Nawawi stated in his explanation, vol.11-12, p.403, under hadeeth no.4677: “His (the prophet Mohammed’s) saying: “Go back, for I do not seek help from a mushrik; and it is mentioned in another hadeeth that the Prophet sought help from Safwaan bin Umayyah before his Islam, as a result some scholars give the first hadeeth precedence over the second one (meaning they believe it is either haram or disliked to use kuffaar armies against Muslim armies).”
From the above it is clear that issue is one in which the scholars differ and there is no ijmah (consensus) on. So a person can choose which ever opinion he wants to follow as both views are supported by proof from the Sunnah of the prophet and respected scholars. This means it is not allowed to argue over this issue or to stop talking, fight or stay away from each other based on this issue. It is also not allowed to label Muslims with a different view to yourself in this issue as sinners, innovators, misguided or kuffaar.