Removal of Doubts: Allegiance and Enmity (Walaa wal-Baraa) Between Sunni Thought and Kharijite Thought

In Islamic Theology, there is a principle that is necessitated for the correctness of sound Islamic belief in the life of a Muslim, this principle being “walaa wal-Baraa” or simply “allegiance and enmity” or commonly translated as “love and hate”

The extremism of this world lies beyond the parameters of this Islamic principle. Those who fall outside of this Islamic principle either hate the world completely thereby operating their life within enmity and hatred of existence. Yet, such people consist of a minority of people through the various lands and do not possess much of a foothold in the articulation of their views on an academic front from media outlets and other conventional sources of the information gateway. However, the other extreme is widely broadcast throughout the planet, and this is the issue of “love”. Most of the Western world has viewed the topic of hating as an intrinsic quality of evil and harm. In fact, we hear most pundits in the media among radical conservatives and elsewhere when articulating their warped version of Islamic ideals as “an ideology of hate”. However, we are not going to sidetrack into detailing the insurmountable levels in the variance of thought between a westerner and a Muslim on the topic, rather this post is directed for Muslims as this deals with a much more complicated and detailed explanation regarding the principle of allegiance to the Muslims and enmity to the disbelievers. This post is geared toward the advancement of Sunni theology on this ordeal and to annihilate Kharijite thought of this very same topic as we have noticed some of our Muslim brothers have failed to understand at length this very important and detailed topic in this aspect of our Islamic creed.

As most of us are aware, our love and allegiance is solely and only connected to the tawheed (the complete isolation of our worship of God from all others who are not deserving of our worship) of Allah, and our enmity and hatred is the necessitated consequence of everything that runs contrary or not based on the tawheed of Allah. IN other words, what pleases God is what should please us and thereby to incite love and allegiance for that thing which deserves our love. Likewise, everything which Allah is displeased with, then we as well should be displeased with it and incite hatred and enmity for everything that does not lead to His pleasure but only leads to His Wrath. The reason why this creedal principle is a key fundamental in a Muslim’s life and runs part and parcel with his or her Islamic personality is because part of the basis of Islam is that it came to rectify man’s affairs. Part of man’s affairs is the positive and negative aspects of man’s emotional state. In other words Islam brought forth a moral code for man to understand what it is that he should love and what it is that he should hate. In other words we are not ordered to suppress hatred in our loves because we all know that this is a virtual impossibility for a human. Everyone hates death, everyone loves life, everyone hates oppression and harm and everyone loves justice and truthfulness. Everyone for the most part love their spouses and everyone hates anyone who openly tries to corrupt or harm their spouse or family. Since love and hate is an inescapable aspect of our lives, Islam came to harness these two traits under the right and perfect clause, which is to love what Allah loves and to hate what Allah hates.

To switch this perfect state by hating what Allah loves and loving what Allah hates is the backwardness of society and the tyranny and injustice of society, and the basis and road for this destructive state is based in the Qur’anic verse regarding the methodology of Satan

“..he has made evil fair seeming to them”

In other words, Satan has the ability and has managed to flip the script of most of man in modern times by making evil seem correct and acceptable and has managed to enforce man to view uprightness and integrity in the path of God as awkward and unfeasible within our modern day context.

This information is a general summary of our Islamic creed concerning al-Walaa wal-Baraa. However, the following material is more detailed as this creed stretches to many aspects of our lives, including the political aspect of our life.

The Linguistic meaning of al-Muwalaat and at-Tawalee was explained by the Imaam, Alamaah Ibn Farris who said in his book “Mu’jam Qiyaas al-Lugha”

the essence (walaa). The waw, lam, and ya, this is a correct base, asl (root), which indicates nearness (al-qurb)

Imaam Fayroozabadee said in “al-Qamoos”

al-Walaa; is ‘al-qurb’ and proximity (ad-Danoow), and ‘Tawalaahu’ meaning took him as a wali (protector or friend) and “waalaa” is between the two matters of Muwalaat and wilaya.”

Shaykh Saalih aali-Shaykh has said

“And the principle concerning at-Tawalee is to help the kaafir against a Muslim during the time of war between a Muslim and a kaafir with the intent and purpose (qasd) of allowing the kuffar to gain ascendancy over the Muslims. And the basis of tawalee is complete love, or aiding a kaafir against a Muslim, so whoever loved a kaafir for his deen, and then he turned to him with tawalee, and this is kufr

As for Muwalaat of the kuffar, then this is loving them (muwaddah), and loving them for the dunya, and giving them preference, and raising them. And this is fisq and is not kufr”

The shaykh’s words were supported by his predecessor al-Imaam Abdullah Ibn Abdul-Lateef aali-Shaykh who stated

As for at-Tawalee, then it is defending the kuffar, and assisting them, and helping them with both the body and wealth and opinion (of deen). And this is clear kufr which expels one from the fold of Islam” [ad-Duraar as-Sunniyyah 7/102]

And as for Muwalaat, then it is co-operating and dissimulation, flattery towards the kuffar for the sake of a worldly objective, without concealing an intention of kufr and apostasy from Islam.

The likes of this has occurred from the incident narrated in the hadeeth of Haatib ibn Abi Baltaah when he wrote to the Qureish informing them of the journey of the messenger salallahu alaihi wa salam narrated in Saheeh al-Bukharee #3007 and Saheeh of Muslim # 3081.

Issue: Al-Muwalaat is of two types

Imaam Abdur-Rahman Bin Hasan aalish-Shaykh

al-Muwalaat is of two types.

1. 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 “at-Tawalee”, and based upon this are the various evidences that have come concerning the severe prohibition of having muwalaat (loyalty) to the kuffar carried, and that the one who turns to them, then he has disbeleived.

2. The Muwalaat that is specific (khaassah), and this is muwalaat to the kuffar for a worldy gain, whilst having a sound beleif, and without concealing the intention of kufr and apostacy

The words of Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Bin hasan were supported by the earlier Imaams of the religion al-Qurtubi in his tafseer (4/57, 18/52) and also the Imaam haafidh Abu bakr Ibnul-Arabi al-Maalikee in his Ahkaam al-Quraan (4/1770)

al-Imaam Abdur-Rahman Bin Naasir as-S’adi said concerning tawalee

“If it is complete tawalee then this is kufr (that expels from the religion) and below this (meaning this level) there are many levels some of which are severe and others less than that”

Concerning this matter it is clear that the relevant ayaah that is usually cited in this regard and twisted beyond the bounds of the prophetic manhaj by the khawarij of our era are the following ayaah

“Oh ye who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as “awliyyah” (5;51)


“And whoever turns to them from amongst you then he is from them”


“You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger”


“Oh ye who believe; take not for awliyyah (friends and protectors) those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from among those who received the scripture (Jews and Christians) before you, nor from among the disbelievers; and fear Allah if you indeed are true believers (5:57)

It is these ayaah and a few of the narrations narrated by the prophet regarding this same issue that has unfortunately landed in the hands (minds) of the belligerent and ignoramus regarding the correct and authentic understanding of how these texts are understood and applied. And it is due to this that they have abandoned the salafi principle of understanding the textual reports based upon the fahm (understanding) of the salaf and those firmly grounded upon their way.

Shaykh Jamaalu-Deen al-Qaasimee stated in his tafseer

“The Muwalaat that is cautioned against occurs with the hatred, enmity of the heart towards the beleivers, and love of te kuffar for their kufr”

Concerning the ayah of Allah

And fight them until there is no more fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world ]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.
(  سورة الأنفال  , Al-Anfal, Chapter #8, Verse #39)

Haafidh Ibn Katheer states in his tafseer of this as follows

“The meaning of His saying: ‘And if you (Muslims) do not do so, there will be fitnah on the earth and great corruption’ is: ‘You must disassociate yourselves from the disbelievers and make an alliance with the believers. If you fail to do so, fitnah will befall the people.’ And that (fitnah) means confusion and intermingling between the believers and the disbelievers. Then there will result (from that) widespread and overflowing corruption amongst mankind” [1]

Imaam al-Aloosee states concerning this

“There will be fitnah on the earth’ means that great tribulations will occur as a result of that, which consist of differences of opinion, weakness in emaan (faith) and an open manifestation of disbelief. ‘Great corruption’ means (illegal) shedding of blood, based on what has been reported on al-Hasan. So what is meant is that there will be great corruption in that”

Imaam Haafidh Ibnul-Qayyim perfectly described the nature of modernists an many people of our time who claim Islam in some words of poetry in which he states

The love of the Beloved must be unconditionally returned. If you claim love yet oppose the Beloved, then your love is but a pretence. You love the enemies of your Beloved and still seek love in return. You fight the beloved of your Beloved. Is this Love or the following of Shaytan? True devotion is nothing but total submission of body and soul to One Love

Refuting the two modern day extremes between the Khawaarij and the Modernist

In our times modern day khawaarij love to display the texts of the Qur’an the hadeeth and the statements of the Imaams regarding their general contextual responses to walaa and baraa by stipulating as a matter of a general principle that mere compliance to a form of walaa to the kuffar or a mere baraa to some practices of the Muslims is a total negation of Islam. They view any such opinion or performance of a Muslim to be tantamount to their nullification of the shahada. The statements of the above Imams have made crystal clear that the issue of walaa and baraa have levels and differences in them, some incorporating disbelief while others not tantamount to disbelief. So do to this ideology, they find that if a particular ruler who merely does some transactional deals with the kuffar, then that by default results in the kufr of such people and thus open for rebellion. This is the calamity of the khawaarij. What further complicates the matter is that many of the modern day dealings with governments are based on acquiring goods and averting harms. In many instances, in spite of corruption, some of these dealings end up with two conclusional clauses, either to suffocate the disbelievers and depriving them of whatever assistance they need either in terms of goods or services OR the calamity or even loss of life to the Muslims.

The Ulema of Islam state ultimately that the life, safety, and ultimately the sanctity of the Muslims absolutely overrides anything else. It is uppermost in the vision of a Muslim.

On the other hand, the modernist, they have no regard for their religion whatsoever. Shameless and spineless creatures they are for agreeing in the opinion of the kuffar and thinking highly of their thought and treacherously placing their philosophical outlook on the whole of life, existence, and rulership to be the criterion for how humanity should abide by and thereby rendering Islamic thought and its ordainments and prohibitions on this affair as obsolete and unfruitful for our times under their slogans. Allah states in a ayah “Oh ye who believe, do not die except in a state of Islam.”

We ask how this is possible when your living and your dying is mirrored upon the way of those who are not in the state of Islam and who hypocritically revile Islamic opinion as 7th century while having no regard for their 4th century (BC) style opinions.

[1] Tafsir Ibn Kathir (2/343)