Mimicking the customs of Kafirs

A: One of the objectives of the sanctified Shari`ah (Islamic law) is distinguishing a Muslim from all the Kafirs (disbelievers) and dissolute people, whether in `Aqidah (creed), morals, manners, way of thinking, appearance, language, and severing all ties of love and loyalty to any Kafir. There are many proofs of the (Part No. 26; Page No. 304) Shari`ah, whether textual or implied, on this Islamic ruling, that warn against breaking it or imitating those who do not believe in Allah or the Day of Judgment, and do not abide by the prohibitions made by Allah and His Messenger. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says, Then We have put you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) on a (plain) way of (Our) commandment [like the one which We commanded Our Messengers before you (i.e. legal ways and laws of the Islâmic Monotheism)]. So follow you that (Islâmic Monotheism and its laws), and follow not the desires of those who know not. (Tafsir At-Tabarî). He (Glorified be He) also says, Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) till you follow their religion. Say: "Verily, the Guidance of Allâh (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’ân), then you would have against Allâh neither any Walî (protector or guardian) nor any helper. He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says, and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) far away from some of that which Allâh has sent down to you. He (Exalted be He) also says, Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism) to be affected by Allâh’s Reminder (this Qur’ân), and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before (i.e. Jews and Christians), and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, the disobedient to Allâh). There are numerous Ayahs concerning this issue. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`As wearing two suits dyed in saffron, he said to him, "These are the clothes usually worn by the Kafirs, so do not wear them." (Part No. 26; Page No. 305)  Related by Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith. It was also authentically reported in the Two Sahih Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did the opposite of what the People of the Book used to do concerning letting his hair hang down. He (peace be upon him) said, Do the opposite of what the Mushriks (polytheists) do; keep the beards and trim the moustaches. Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in their Two Sahih Books of Hadith.There are many known Hadith and Athar (narrations from the Companions) reported on the authority of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) in this regard.It can be concluded that a person is not considered a true Muslim until their outward appearance and inward reality conform to the orders of Allah and His Messenger. Thus, their loyalty is to Allah, His Messenger and the Muslim brothers, according to Allah's saying, Verily, your Walî (Protector or Helper) is none other than Allâh, His Messenger, and the believers, - those who perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât, and they are Râki‘ûn (those who bow down or submit themselves with obedience to Allâh in prayer). A Mu'min (believer) should disavow Kufr (disbelief) and Kafirs, whether Christians, Jews, Magi, atheists or followers of other religions which contradict with Islam.The texts of Shari`ah prohibit imitating the characteristics of Kafirs in saying, deeds, clothing and appearance, in order to protect religion and `Aqidah from perversion, (Part No. 26; Page No. 306) so that the Muslims are not attracted to Kufr and misguidance. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, I was asked to fight people with the sword closely before the Day of Judgment so that Allah Alone is worshipped. My sustenance has been made under the shadow of my spear; and whoever disobeys me shall be humiliated. A person who imitates any group of people is one of them. Narrated by Imam Ahmad and others with a good Sanad (chain of narrators). He (peace be upon him) also said, The one who imitates people other than Muslims is not one of us; do not imitate the Jews or the Christians. Hadith Hasan (good Hadith), narrated by Al-Tirmidhy and others. Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him) clarified the wisdom of Shari`ah in prohibiting imitating Kafirs and the obligation on opposing them in appearance, such as clothes and so on. He said in this concern:"Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) with wisdom, which is his way, and the law prescribed by Him. This wisdom includes prescribing sayings and deeds that are contrary to those of the people who deserve Allah's anger and the erring ones. He has asked us to oppose them in our outward appearance, even if most of the people think there is no harm in it.Sharing our outward appearance causes likeness between both parties, which in turn leads to likeness in manners and deeds, which are something tangible. If a person wears the military uniform, for instance, he thinks the same way and behaves accordingly, unless there is an impediment. (Part No. 26; Page No. 307) Another reason is that opposing the outward appearance leads to discrepancy that entails staying away from the means leading to misguidance, being closer to the guided people, and severing ties between the successful followers of Allah and the enemies.The closer a heart is to Allah and Islam, not only in the rituals of Islam or the belief in it, the further it feels from the Jews and the Christians, whether outwardly or inwardly, and different from their morals that are acquired by some Muslims.Another reason is that sharing their apparent ways entails mixing with them, so that there is no distinguishing mark between those who are guided and those who are misled. There is a list of other reasons.All the foregoing applies even when the outward appearance is lawful in itself. If, however, it is one of the signs of their Kufr, it will be considered a branch of Kufr, and agreeing with it entails satisfaction with a sin. This is an original rule that should be kept in mind."Accordingly, there is no doubt that one of the signs of loyalty to Kafirs is imitating them; wearing clothes that carry their symbols, such as the crucifix; becoming interested in their photos; becoming fans of their sport clubs; hanging (Part No. 26; Page No. 308) their flags on cars, houses and shops; naming people after their names; encouraging befriending them; being proud by affiliation to them and their rulers; being dazzled by their ideas that contradict Islam, and such catastrophes committed by those who belong to Islam, while they have no idea that they are thus destroying one of the fundamentals of Islam in themselves and in the Muslims, and weakening the Ummah (nation) more. Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.All Muslims should stick to the guidance of Islam and beware of diverting from it to the way of the misguided Jews, Christians and Mushriks. They should also advise each other with righteousness, Taqwa (fear/wariness of offending Allah) and everything that entails goodness to Islam and the Muslims; and stay away from everything that is harmful to Muslims.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.