Loving the believers and showing disavowing from those who reject Allah is from the very foundations of tawheed. Loving the disbelievers and the hypocrites is completely impermissible and an extremely hateful thing to do. Rather they are to be hated because of their disbelief and associating partners with Allah.
What if a person claims to love Allah and His Messenger yet ends up loving a disbeliever or a hypocrite? Scholars have classified loving the hypocrite in 2 categories:
1. التولي: Loving the hypocrite or disbeliever because of their hypocrisy or disbelief. It also includes aiding the hypocrites and disbelievers against the Muslims. Such a love removes a person from the fold of Islam. Allah tells us in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. [Surah al-Maidah, Ayah 51]
2. الموالاة: Loving the hypocrite or a disbeliever who is a relative or a family member. Such a love doesn’t remove a person from the fold of Islam but it does have an impact on the person’s Iman, which takes a hit.
اِعْلَمْ أَرْشَدَكَ اللهُ لِطَاعَتِهِ، أَنَّ الْحَنِيفِيَّةَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ: أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللهَ وَحْدَهُ، مُخْلِصًا لَهُ الدِّينَ
Know, may Allah grant you the ability to obey Him, that Al-Haneefiyyah, the Religion of Ibrahim, is that you worship Allah alone, making the religion sincerely (with Ikhlas) for Him.
The author supplicates Allah to guide, show you the path, and give you the understanding to comply with and be upon the Millah of Ibrahim عليه السلام which is to worship Allah with utmost sincerity (Ikhlas) and utmost servitude. The tawheed that Allah is teaching us is from the best of examples which is that of Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام. We take as an example to emulate the way Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام understood tawheed, complied with what it entailed, remained steadfast upon it, completed and fulfilled its due rights. Allah says,
إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِّلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Indeed, Ibrahim was a [comprehensive] leader, devoutly obedient to Allah , inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah. [Surah an-Nahl, Ayah 120]
Allah beautiful summarizes the Seerah of Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام in this ayah. Allah declared Prophet Ibrahim as an Ummah despite being a lone man. The word ” أُمَّة” or “Ummah” occurs with either of 4 meanings in the Quran:
- A Period of Time – 11:8 , 12:45
- An Imam – A person to be followed and emulated – 16:120
- A Nation – 2:143, 3:110
- The Religion – 43:22
In the ayah, “قَانِتًا لِّلَّ” refers to the fact that Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام always complied to the commandments of Allah no matter what. We need to just have a glance at the Seerah of the Prophet Ibrahim to realize the difficult tests he was given. Ex: leaving his wife Hajar and newborn son Ismail in the barren lands of Makkah, slaughtering his beloved son and so many more. Forget disobeying, far from it, he didn’t even delay a bit in carrying out the commandment of Allah.
Such was his example that Allah commands even His Beloved, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to follow this path,
ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Then We revealed to you, [O Muhammad], to follow the religion of Ibrahim, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with Allah . [Surah an-Nahl, Ayah 123]
This was a path of staying away from shirk and constantly remaining steadfast on the tawheed of Allah with utmost obedience. Today, many people study the different types of tawheed but miss out on studying about loving and hating for the sake of Allah. In the example Allah has given us to emulate, we see that whenever shirk was involved, Allah details how Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام disassociated himself from it. There is a reason this aspect is specifically highlighted. Allah mentions in the Quran,
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ
There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people, “Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah . We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone”.. [Surah al-Mumtahinah, Ayah4]
وَبِذَلِكَ أَمَرَ اللهُ جَمِيعَ النَّاسِ، وَخَلَقَهُمْ لَهَا؛ كَمَا قَالَ تَعَالَى
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالإِنْسَ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ
وَمَعْنَى يَعْبُدُونِ : يُوَحِّدُونِ
This is what Allah ordered all of mankind to do, and this is the purpose for which He created them, as Allah says:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
“And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Surah ad-Dhariyat, Ayah 56]
The meaning of “to worship Me” is “to single Me out (in worship).”
وَأَعْظَمُ مَا أَمَرَ اللهُ بِهِ التَّوْحيِدُ، وَهُوَ: إِفْرَادُ اللهِ بِالْعِبَادَةِ. وَأَعْظَمُ مَا نَهَى عَنْه الشِّركُ، وَهُوَ: دَعْوَةُ غَيْرِهِ مَعَهُ، وَالدَّلِيلُ قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى
وَاعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئًا:
The greatest thing that Allah commanded is Tawheed, which means: Singling Allah out in worship. And the greatest thing that Allah warned against is Shirk, which is: Supplicating to others along with Him.
The proof for this is Allah’s statement:
وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him” [Surah An-Nisa, Ayah 36]
If a person worships Allah along-with someone else then this worship is completely useless for him. Why? Because he has gone against the very purpose of his creation. This worship only brings fruit when it is directed purely towards Allah alone as per His commandments. The very purpose of our being sent in this life is to reach tawheed, to remain steadfast on it, worship Allah and benefit from it on the Day of judgement.
فَإِذَا قِيلَ لَكَ: مَا الأُصُولُ الثَّلاثَةُ التِي يَجِبُ عَلَى الإِنْسَانِ مَعْرِفَتُهَا؟
فَقُلْ: مَعْرِفَةُ الْعَبْدِ رَبَّهُ، وَدِينَهُ، وَنَبِيَّهُ مُحَمَّدًا صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
So if it said to you: What are the three fundamental principles that mankind is obligated to know?
Then say: That the servant knows his Lord, his Religion and his Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be on him.
DISCLAIMER: The following is based on the commentary of the three fundamental of Islam by Sheikh Abu Bakar al-Mukhtar Ahmad in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Abu Bakar is a graduate from the Kulliyah of Shariyyah, Dar al-Hadith al-Khairiyyah in Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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