Tafsir of Surah Al-Mujadalah

Q: Would you please explain to us the following Ayah (the meanings of which are translated as): You (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will not find any people who believe in Allâh and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) till the end of the Surah. Some people have the trend of accusing one another of being Kuffar (disbelievers), even their parents, brothers or sisters, and even if the people they are accusing perform Salah (Prayer). So please clarify to us the meaning of this Ayah.

A: Allah (Exalted is His Majesty) informs His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) that he will never find among those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, devote their hearts to Allah and submit themselves to Him by obeying His orders and avoiding His prohibitions, people who carry any love for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, and deviate from the guidance and light that was revealed by Allah to the Prophet (peace be upon him). The hearts of such believers that have true and sincere Iman (faith) will never love those Kuffar (disbelievers) even if they are their closest relatives such as parents, brothers, sisters, children or kin. This truly reflects a very beautiful praise of Allah for the people who are truthful to Him and to His Messenger; those who follow the guidance and light of Allah (Exalted be He). This also urges them to keep that faith and to deepen it, and encourages other people to follow their way, pattern of devotion and sincere Iman. (Part No. 4; Page No. 329) The Surah also warns believers against the deeds of the hypocrites; those who befriended the people who incurred the Wrath of Allâh (i.e. the Jews), while they kept on falsely swearing to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to please him by saying: When the hypocrites come to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), they say: "We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allâh." Allâh knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and Allâh bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed. Thus, this phrase includes praising the true believers for their Bara’ (disassociation) from the Kuffar (disbelievers) as well as warning them against loving and befriending them (the Kuffar) and prohibiting this, as mentioned in the Words of Allah: Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliyâ’ (supporters, helpers) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allâh in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And: O you who believe! Take not as Auliyâ’ (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers). Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allâh and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allâh brings about His Decision (torment). And Allâh guides not the people who are Al-Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, disobedient to Allâh). And: Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrâhîm (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allâh: we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allâh Alone" - except the saying of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) to his father: "Verily, I will ask forgiveness (from Allâh) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allâh." Our Lord! In You (Alone) we put our trust, and to You (Alone) we turn in repentance, and to You (Alone) is (our) final Return. (Part No. 4; Page No. 330) There are other Ayahs in the Qur’an and texts of the Sunnah that prohibit taking the Jews and the Christians as Awliya’ (mutual supporters, protectors, intimate friends, confidants), and other Kaffirs (disbelievers) as well. These texts warn against aligning oneself with those amongst the People of the Book and other Kuffar who have incurred the Wrath of Allah by taking the Religion of Allah (Exalted be He) as mockery and fun.It is a declaration by Allah for the rule governing the actions of the heart which must not manifest love and fondness towards the Kuffar, but must show Bara’, hatred, and aversion of the evil straying deeds they are committing. As for worldly dealings with them that include sale, purchase and other mutual interests, they are subject to legal policy and economic aspects. Thus, if we are living in peace with the Kuffar, it is permissible to exchange utilities with them in the form of sale, lease and rent as well as accepting their gifts and donations and repaying them with kindness and beneficence in order to establish justice and uphold good ethics. This is on the condition that this act does not contradict any rule of Shari‘ah (Islamic law). Allah (Exalted be He) says: Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity. However, if we are in a state of war with the Kuffar and they assault us, then it is impermissible for us to associate with them in any worldly transactions; the same applies to taking them as brothers or friends. Allah (Exalted be He) says: It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allâh forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers - those who disobey Allâh). (Part No. 4; Page No. 331) The Prophet (peace be upon him) practically clarified this point in times of both peace and war with the Jews of Al-Madinah and Khaybar, and the Christians as well as other Kuffar. Allah (Exalted be He) then clarifies (in the following phrase of the same Ayah) the reason why such faithful believers cannot carry love for the Kuffar, saying: For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rûh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself. Those who have been truthful to Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger are the ones whom Allah has implanted and established Iman in their hearts and souls. He has supported them with His proof, guidance and light. Accordingly, they have befriended His righteous servants, feuded with His enemies, and followed the religion ordained by Allah for mankind, so they deserved the reward promised by Allah (Exalted be He) (in the last part of the Ayah) in His words: And He will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever. Allâh is pleased with them, and they with Him. Which means that: He will bestow His Blessings and Favors upon them and admit them to Jannah (Paradises) with rivers running underneath and eternal delights, which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard and no human heart has ever perceived. These sincere, pure people will enjoy the everlasting delights of Jannah, for these delights will never perish, and these people will never be made to leave Jannah. Allah (Exalted be He) will be pleased with them because of their true Iman, righteous deeds, satisfaction with His judgment, laws and reward, and their praising Him as He deserved to be praised. Then Allah (Exalted be He) ends the Surah by: They are the Party of Allâh. Verily, it is the Party of Allâh that will be the successful. Declaring them to be His soldiers who have sought His love by obeying Him. (Part No. 4; Page No. 332) Therefore, Allah (Exalted be He) has granted them His Support and bestowed His Favors and Grace upon them in the worldly life and the Hereafter. Hence, they will be the true winners of the Blessings of Allah (Exalted be He), rather than those who seek to deceive Him and His Messenger and align themselves with the Kuffar. Accordingly, the following is to be understood: First, whoever loves the kuffar, befriends and allies with them at the expense of one’s religion, is a Kafir (disbeliever) who has committed an act of disbelief that takes a person out of Islam. Second, whoever hates them inside and yet exchanges utilities with them such as sale, purchase, lease or rent within the limits of the Islamic law, legislated by Allah (Exalted be He), will bear no sin. Third, whoever hates them for the sake of Allah (Exalted be He) (for their Shirk, disbelief, enmity, sinning, transgression against Allah, etc.) but mingles with them, lives among them for a worldly interest preferring this to living among Muslims in their lands, will be a sinner, for this entails increasing their population and cooperating with them rather than with the Muslims. They will also be subject to Fitan (temptations/trials/seditions). They will deprive themselves of joining the Muslims in performing the rituals of Islam and taking part in their events. Similarly, they will be deprived of the blessing of exchanging advice and counseling other Muslims in order to achieve the power and renaissance of the Islamic Ummah (nation) leading it to happiness in the worldly life and the Hereafter. However, there will be no sin, if those Muslims who are living among the Kuffar are scholars who have the ability to shield themselves against Fitnah (temptation) and seek the Help and Support of Allah (Exalted be He) to call to Islam among non-Muslims.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.