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MAHABBAH (LOVE) AND ITS TYPES
« on: 13.02.2021, 06:52:10 PM »

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ وَحْدَهُ، وَالصَّلاةُ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَى مَنْ لَا نَبِيَّ بَعْدَهُ، وَبَعْدُ

Mahabbah (Love) and Its Types

In this article, we will try to summarize the types and degrees of love without delving into much detail Inshâllâh. Of course, while doing this, regarding this issue we will touch upon some misconceptions or issues considered to be incorrect or incomplete in Ilm. We would like to begin by quoting the statements of Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd’il Wahhâb Rahimahullâh regarding the types of love in his treatise entitled “Some Benefits From Sűrat’ul Fâtihah”. In fact, this treatise will be a type of explanation to the statements of the Shaykh Rahimahullâh found in this pamphlet Inshâllâh.

Shaykh’ul Islâm Muhammad bin Abd’il Wahhâb Rahimahullah says,


﴿اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ. اَلرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ. مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.﴾ [الفاتحة: 1-3]
“All praise is due to Allâh, Lord of the worlds. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The Master of the Day of Judgement.” (al-Fâtihah 1/1-3)

These three verses encompass three issues:

In the first verse {which is:
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.“All praise is due to Allâh, Lord of the worlds.” (al-Fâtihah 1/1)}

There is Mahabbah. This is because Allâh is the Bestower of bounties/favors, and that the Bestower is loved to the extent of his bestowal of favors. Mahabbah is divided into four types:

(The First Type is) Mahabbah containing Shirk: These (those who suffer from love containing Shirk) are those whom Allâh Azza wa Jalla states the following regarding,


﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللّٰهِ أَنْدَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللّٰهِ.﴾ [البقرة: 165]
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as Andâd (pl. Nidd; rivals, equals, partners to Allâh), they love them as they love Allâh.”

To His statement,


﴿وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ.﴾ [البقرة: 167]
“And they will never get out of the Fire.” (al-Baqarah 2/165-167)

The Second Type of Mahabbah: Loving Bâtil (falsehood) and its people, and having Bughd (hatred) towards the Haqq (truth) and its people. This is the characteristic of the hypocrites.

The Third Type of Mahabbah: Inherent (Fitrî) love, this is ones love for his wealth and offspring. When such love does not divert one from obedience to Allâh nor assist in committing the prohibitions of Allâh, then it is Mubâh (permissible).

The Fourth Type of Mahabbah: Loving the people of Tawhîd, and hating the people of Shirk. This is the strongest handhold of Îmân (faith) and is the greatest thing the servant worships His Rabb (Lord) by.

The words of the Shaykh Rahimahullâh end here. With the permission of Allâh, the details of this concise explanation by the Shaykh is as follows:

First of all, we can divide what we call Mahabbah (love) into two categories:

1- Inherent (Fitrî) love: This is love outside the will of the human being and is love stemming from the Fitrah, in other words from creation, regardless of the religion and creed of the person.

2- Shar’î/willing love: This is the types of love within the will of the human being which are commanded by or negated by the Sharî’ah.

The details of these categories is as follows:


1- Inherent (Fitrî) love:

The Shaykh Rahimahullâh said with this regards,

Inherent (Fitrî) love, this is ones love for his wealth and offspring. When such love does not divert one from obedience to Allâh nor assist in committing the prohibitions of Allâh, then it is Mubâh (permissible).

For example, these are types of desirous love for certain foods and drinks, people from the opposite gender, or for things in the form of wealth and money. Allâh the Almighty says in this regard:

﴿زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنْطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ذَلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ.﴾
“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire - of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allâh has with Him the best return (i.e., Paradise).” (Âl-i Imrân 3/14)

Likewise, the love for some people such as ones mother, father, spouse, child, relative, fellow countryman, someone who does good for him, that develops involuntarily is also within this scope. Therefore, Allâhu Taâlâ stated the following about the death of the uncle of Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam Abű Tâlib upon Kufr,


﴿إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ.﴾
“Indeed, you do not guide whom you love, but Allâh guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the (rightly) guided.” (al-Qasas 28/56)

Ibnu Kathîr Rahimahullâh said regarding this verse,


وَقَدْ ثَبَتَ فِي الصَّحِيحَيْنِ أَنَّهَا نَزَلَتْ فِي أَبِي طَالِبٍ عَمّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَقَدْ كَانَ يَحوطُه وَيَنْصُرُهُ، وَيَقُومُ فِي صَفِّهِ وَيُحِبُّهُ حُبًّا [شَدِيدًا] طَبْعِيًّا لَا شَرْعِيًّا
“It was established in the Sahîhayn that this verse was revealed concerning Abű Tâlib, the paternal uncle of Rasűlullâh. He used to protect Rasűlullâh, support him, and stand by him. Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam loved Abű Tâlib dearly, but this love was a Fitrî (innate) love, (born of kinship), not a love that was Shar’an (religious).”[1]

Therefore, it is revealed that Abű Tâlib was intended by the expression found in the verse “whom you love”. Although he was a Kâfir, it was stated that Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam had Mahabbah for him, in other terms loved him. However, there was no condemnation for this. This is a type of Fitrî (inherent) love.

People cannot resist this type of love even if they want to, as these are things which exist in ones Fitrah. For this reason, things which are within the scope of Fitrî love are not essentially within the scope of Harâm and Halâl, which we call Af’âli Mukallafîn. The reason why the Shaykh called it Mubâh love is because there is no aspect of Harâm or condemnation in this, otherwise, there is no obligation in this regard as they are outside ones will. As Allâh stated in the last verse of Sűrat’ul Baqarah, “Allâh does not charge a soul except (with that within) its capacity.” (al-Baqarah 2/286) A person does not have to try to suppress this feeling, it will even need a futile effort as it is against ones nature. In addition, this love which exists in the Fitrah of a human being is a love for the type of things which are mentioned and not mentioned here. Therefore, just as the things which are loved being Harâm or Halâl does not have an effect on this love, the person who is loved being Muslim or Kâfir also does not have an effect. For example, the Fitrah of a human being is inclined to the opposite gender. Here, what is Fitrî is the love for the opposite gender. Therefore, if a person unwillingly feels this love towards a Muslim or a Kâfir foreign woman whom he is not married to, that is, a person who is Harâm for him, he will not be responsible for the feeling. However, whenever he redacts his love/passion into writing, words, and actions by his own will, the Sharî’ah comes into play here. Likewise, this issue is valid after a Muslim man marries a Kâfir women who is from the Ahl’ul Kitâb (People of Book). A person cannot be condemned for having love for the femininity of his wife from the Ahl’ul Kitâb, as this is something which develops completely out of the will of a person, and trying to prevent a person from having love for the person he is married to is likewise a futile effort. However, when this turns into actions which are in the will of a person such as taking the Kâfir wife as a Walî and a confidant, choosing her over the Muslims, giving her a share of inheritance etc., the Sharî’ah comes into play, and gives the ruling of a Kâfir or a sinner to the person depending on the deed he does. Likewise, if other sexual affections come to a position which prevents a person from the way of Allâh and obligatory deeds, then condemnation will occur. As is mentioned in the verse below:


﴿قُلْ إِنْ كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُوا حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ.﴾
“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, His Rasűl (Messenger), and Jihâd (striving hard and fighting) in His Cause, then wait until Allâh executes His command. And Allâh guides not the people who are al-Fâsiqűn (pl. Fâsiq; the rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).” (at-Tawbah 9/24)

The eight matters mentioned in this verse are things that people have Fitrî/inherent love for. What is condemned here is not the love felt for them, but that they are reasons for avoiding Jihâd and other righteous deeds in the way of Allâh. The Shaykh Rahimahullâh also denoted to this issue.

In summary, inherent/involuntary/Fitrî love is like this. As we have pointed above, this type of love is beyond the scope of the Sharî’ah as the Sharî’ah only deals with what a person does out of their own will. Therefore, the rulings of the Sharî’ah such as Kufr, Harâm, or Fardh (obligatory) are not incumbent upon things within the scope of Fitrî (inherent) love. These are the rulings about willful love. Likewise, the rulings regarding friendship and enmity which are called al-Walâ wa’l Barâ or Muwâlât and Mu’âdât are not related to Fitrî love, however, they are related to types of willing love. Therefore, the thing which concerns the Mukallaf (obligated one) is willful love. We will discuss this in the next heading and expand on its types Inshâllâh.


2- Willing Love and its Types:

This is the type of love within the will of the human being. This has subcategories such as Kufr, Shirk, Harâm, and Fardh. Now, I would like to take each of them in hand:

a) Love which is Shirk. The Shaykh Rahimahullâh said,


Mahabbah containing Shirk: These (those who suffer from love containing Shirk) are those whom Allâh Azza wa Jalla states the following regarding,

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللّٰهِ أَنْدَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللّٰهِ.﴾ [البقرة: 165]
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as Andâd (pl. Nidd; rivals, equals, partners to Allâh), they love them as they love Allâh.”

To His statement,


﴿وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ.﴾ [البقرة: 167]
“And they will never get out of the Fire.” (al-Baqarah 2/165-167)

As it is renowned, Shirk is giving to another that which belongs specifically to Allâhu Taâlâ. Therefore, the term which appears in various forms such as love which is Shirk, Shirk in love, and the love of Shirk is giving love that is unique to Allâh to other than Allah. The love that is unique to Allâh can be defined as the love of divinity or love of Ibâdah (worship). As was denoted by Ibnu Abi’l Izz Rahimahullâh in his commentary on the creed of at-Tahâwî, Ibâdah (worship) is comprised of the perfection of love and its ultimate point of love.[2] Ibnu Kathîr also denoted this when defining Ibâdah in the interpretation of Sűrat’ul Fâtihah. In this case, full and unrestrained love means worship and servitude. If a person loves any being because of their essence, it means that he is displaying servitude to him. Love because of one’s essence means unrestrained and unconditioned love displayed towards someone. When a person loves something else, they love it with limited love. If such person is a Muslim, he loves the thing for Allâh and as much as Allâh allows. If such person is a non-Muslim, then he loves the thing in proportion to his interests and lust; however, as soon as he starts to suffer from this mentioned-being, his love turns into hate. A Muslim’s love for Allâh is not like this. A Muslim loves Allâh because of His Dhât (Essence); he does not abandon his love of Allâh no matter what happens to him, as there are no conditions in his love for Allâh. Anyone who loves other than Allâh in this manner will have adopted this being as a deity, in other terms, has worshiped him. In short, love which is Shirk is loving other than Allâh akin to Him, loving like loving Allâh.

In the past and present, most of Shirk originates from this Shirk of Love. In fact, it is often the case that some creatures are loved more than Allâh. For example, as a result of loving some Tawâghît (pl. of Tâghűt) more than Allâh, the judgments they place and views they hold are placed higher than the rules of Allâh. Love is something that occurs in the heart, anyway. Its manifestation is in deeds, especially in obedience. A person displays their love for the Deity they love by obeying it.

Now, I would like to make some important remarks on this Shirk of Love.

The First: As we have mentioned before, love which is Shirk cannot be mentioned in things that are in the scope of Fitrî (inherent) love. This is because Fitrî love has nothing to do with a persons belief. That is to say, Allâh says in the above-mentioned Sűrat’ut Tawbah verse 24 regarding the eight things that people love inherently, “If these are dearer to you than Allâh, His Rasűl (Messenger), and Jihâd (striving hard and fighting) in His Cause, then wait until Allâh executes His command. And Allâh guides not the people who are al-Fâsiqűn (pl. Fâsiq; the rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).” (at-Tawbah 9/24) This verse was revealed about those who remained behind from Jihâd because of love for goods, children, etc. As it is clearly understood from the expression in the verse, the love of these people for these eight matters exceeded the love of Allâh. The sign of this is that these people abandoned Allâh’s command and preferred these things to the love of Allâh. However, despite this, it cannot be said about these people that they took these beloved things as their deities. For, there is no love of worship that is directed here to a deity including elements such as Khushű (submissive humility), Ta’dhîm (glorification), and Dhillah (submissiveness). On the contrary, here, it is the case that Fitrî love prevents the implementation of the orders of Allâh. That is why it cannot be called love of Shirk. Even if it is given such a name, it can merely be called ash-Shirk’ul Asghar (minor polytheism) because it resembles the love shirk that brings one out of the religion in some ways. It is certain that this kind of love will not take one out of the fold of the religion. This is because most of the forbidden things occur as a result of such worldly love being placed above the love of Allâh. If this were Kufr, there would not be anyone who sinned and was not a Kâfir, which is false.

The Second: The nature of the being to which the love of Shirk is directed to is insignificant. If a person loves someone whether a Muslim or a Kâfir like he loves Allâh, then he will fall into the Shirk of Love. Therefore, it is incorrect to describe the Walâ directed to the Kuffâr as the Shirk of Love. Loving the Kuffâr is sometimes Kufr and sometimes Harâm. An explanation for this will come below. It is incorrect to call this Walâ as Shirk, since this is not directly related to adopting a deity other than Allâh. Every Shirk is Kufr, but not all Kufr is Shirk. Although there are some scholars who do say that every Kufr is Shirk, the correct view is that there is a difference between the two. In this regard, loving the Kuffâr in terms of religion takes the name of Kufr. It would not be correct to call it Shirk of Love, as it would cause confusion between the issues.

b) Love that is Kufr: Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd’il Wahhâb Rahimahullâh said on this issue,


The Second Type of Mahabbah: Loving Bâtil (falsehood) and its people, and having Bughd (hatred) towards the Haqq (truth) and its people. This is the characteristic of the hypocrites.

This love is the subject of the great Walâ which excludes one from the religion. Loving Kufr, loving the Kuffâr and the Tawâghît in terms of creed, and valuing their religion and deities is included in this scope.

Imam at-Tabarî said regarding the explanation of the statement found in the surah al-Mâ’idah verse 51 “And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is (one) of them,”


فإن من تولاهم ونصرَهم على المؤمنين، فهو من أهل دينهم وملتهم، فإنه لا يتولى متولً أحدًا إلا وهو به وبدينه وما هو عليه راضٍ. وإذا رضيه ورضي دينَه، فقد عادى ما خالفه وسَخِطه، وصار حكُمه حُكمَه
“For verily, whoever takes them as allies and helps them against Mu’minűn (pl. Mu’min; believers) is from their religion and nation. For nobody takes another person as their ally except by being pleased with him, his religion, and the way he is upon. So when a person is pleased with a person and his religion, then he becomes enemies of those who oppose him and is discontent with them. Thus, his judgment will be like the judgment of the person whom he has taken as an ally.”[3]

This is the definition of Walâ which is Kufr. This is also the definition of love which is Kufr. Likewise, intentionally loving the Harâm -apart from inherent inclination- and recognising them as beautiful falls within the scope of the Kufr of Love. Therefore, in the famous Munkar Hadîth narrated in the Sahîh, it is said, “There is no faith, not even as much as a mustard grain, beyond manifesting enmity with heart.” If a person does not manifest enmity to something which has been established in the Sharî’ah to be Harâm and considers it to be something normal which there is nothing wrong to do, he becomes a Kâfir, even if a person does not give it the label of Halâl.

As was afore-mentioned, we do not think it is correct to give the name of the Shirk of Love to the Kufr of Love.  If this occurs from someone who claims to adhere to Islâm, it can be called the Nifâq of Love. It is this Kufr and Nifâq of Love which most verses about Walâ make mention of, as Walâ is a term inclusive of love. The most obvious from the Nass (textual proofs) with this regards is as follows,


﴿لَا تَجِدُ قَوْمًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ يُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُوا آبَاءَهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَانَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمْ.﴾
“You will not find a people who believe in Allâh and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allâh and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred.” (al-Mujâdalah 58/22)

The word “Mawaddah (affection)” used in the verse is sometimes synonymous with “Mahabbah (love)”. However, as was denoted by the commentator on the creed of at-Tahâwî, Ibnu Abi’l Izz Rahimahullâh, Mawaddah is the finest and purest type of Mahabbah, and is the innermost of Mahabbah, in other terms, love.[4] That is why the word Mahabbah (love) is sometimes used for inherent love, while the word Mawaddah is rather used for willing/Shar’î love. This verse clearly shows that loving the Kuffâr is incompatible with Îmân. Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullâh says the following about this verse,


فأخبر سبحانه أنه لا يوجد مؤمن يواد كافرا؛ فمن واد الكفار فليس بمؤمن
“Thereby, Allâh Subhânahu informed that there exists no Mu’min (believer) who displays Mawaddah towards a Kâfir. So whoever displays Mawaddah towards the Kuffâr is not a Mu’min.”[5]

One cannot love the group of Kuffâr in general or a particular person among them, even if he is one’s closest relative. If this love is due to love or consent of the Kufr of the Kâfir, then this is a love which is Kufr, as was noted by Imâm at-Tabarî. However, it should be noted here that one does not have to carry the same creed as a Kâfir in order to fall into Kufr in this type of Walâ. The past and present Jahmiyah erred in this regard. For example, even if a person does not belong to the same religion as Jews or Christians, giving them the essence of Walâ, helping them against Islâm and Muslims, and joining their ranks is enough to become a Kâfir. Just as the Munâfiqűn (pl. Munâfiq; hypocrites) in the era of Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam were accused of Kufr for their ties of friendship and love with the Jews, even though they did not belong to their religion. Allâh Azza and Jalla revealed Sűrat’ul Mâidah, verse 51 and the following verses about Abdullâh bin Salűl and his followers who did so. In this verse, the following is stated,


﴿يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِنْكُمْ 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, Allâh guides not the wrongdoing people.” (al-Mâ’idah 5/51)

In the explanation of this verse, Ibnu Kathîr narrates from Ibnu Abî Hâtim who narrated from Ibnu Sîrîn, he narrated that Abdullâh bin Utbah that he said,


لِيَتَّقِ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَكُونَ يَهُودِيًّا أَوْ نَصْرَانِيًّا، وَهُوَ لَا يَشْعُرُ. قَالَ: فَظَنَنَّاهُ يُرِيدُ هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ
“Let one of you beware that he might be a Jew or a Christian, while unaware.” (Ibnu Sîrîn) said: We thought that he was referring to this verse.”[6]

This narration clearly shows that love and Walâ which are Kufr does not only consist of entering the religion of the Kuffâr, on the contrary, even if they do not belong to their religion, everyone who befriends and allies them in a complete manner will be counted among them. If it were just to adopt the Jewish or Christian creed, it would be absurd to mention becoming a Jew or a Christian without realizing it, as this is done deliberately. It would also be unnecessary to mention a separate type of Kufr which is adopting the Kuffâr as allies, as adopting a Kufr creed is something that is Kufr in itself. If what is meant by Walâ is merely adopting Kufr with one’s heart, what is the point of dwelling on it? So Walâ is separate from having the creed of Kufr and Shirk, and it is a disaster afflicting one who does not have this belief. For this reason, explaining the Kufr type of Walâ to be loving the Kufr which the Kuffâr are upon is a statement which needs elaboration, although it is not wrong. It is Wâjib to display enmity towards the Kuffâr in terms of religion, and whoever refrains from displaying enmity in a way that shows he does not have enmity to their Kufr will commit the Walâ which is Kufr, whether he enters their religion or not. And Allâh knows best.

If love for the Kuffâr does not reach the level of being pleased with their religion, it will be Harâm love or Walâ which is not in opposition with the essence of belief, but is to its perfection. Explanations about this will come in the next section.

c) The Type of Love that is Harâm: The statements of the Shaykh Rahimahullâh regarding loving Bâtil and the people of Bâtil also encompasses this type of love that is Harâm. Some types of love pertaining to the love towards the Kuffâr do not reach the level of disbelief but are prohibited. What is meant by this is the love for the Kuffâr, which are not of a religious nature but of a worldly nature. This type of Harâm Walâ is something that some Khawârij groups in the past and present do not accept. In particular, many of the contemporary Khârijites, claiming that they cling to the Dhâhir (apparent meaning) of some verses such as al-Mujâdalah 22 or al-Mâ’idah 51, which we have mentioned above, do not accept anything called Walâ which is Harâm, as they do claim that a person who loves the Kuffâr is a Kâfir in all circumstances. They only exclude the Fitrî (inherent) love mentioned above. Accordingly, to love a Kâfir because of kinship and other ties is an inherent and permissible love, otherwise, any love directed to a Kâfir is Kufr. Likewise, according to them, it is permissible to give favours and grants to a Kâfir who has not waged war on Islâm, otherwise anyone who practices a form of Walâ and friendship to the Kuffâr is a Kâfir. Since they approach the issues of Îmân and Kufr with a Bid’ah Manhaj distant from the Salaf, and because they view issues particularly with a neo-Khârijite Manhaj who does not accept the existence of a third class, such as a Fâsiq amid pure Îmân and pure Kufr, they cannot even imagine the existence of Walâ and affection that is not permissible nor Kufr. Many of them do not even know that scholars categorise as such. According to this mentality, all the Nass regarding taking the Kuffâr as Awliyâ (pl. Walî; allies) are general. Therefore, if a deed that a person does for the Kuffâr is defined as Walâ in the Nass and is prohibited, this person is a Kâfir because he has taken the Kuffâr as his Awliyâ. For example, they consider all types of Walâ as Kufr, such as showing love and friendship to the Kuffâr for worldly purposes, helping them for worldly purposes, taking them as confidants, giving them the secrets of Muslims, giving them custody, that is, the right to speak, in matters such as marriage. Allâhu A’lam, today almost all of the circles that refer themselves to Tawhîd understand Walâ this way and even base all their creed on this invalid al-Walâ wa’l Barâ understanding. Because their creed, maybe even their Takfîr of today’s Tawâghît and their partisans is based on this, they are meticulous and make forceful, invalid interpretations of all the Nass and narrations that oppose this principle.

Whereas, the fact that there are some types of Walâ that do not exclude one from the religion is one of the most obvious issues of the Ahl’us Sunnah. After making mention of Surat’ul Mujâdalah, verse 22, Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullâh says,


وقد تحصل للرجل موادتهم لرحم أو حاجة فتكون ذنبا ينقص به إيمانه ولا يكون به كافرا كما حصل من حاطب بن أبي بلتعة لما كاتب المشركين ببعض أخبار النبي صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ ﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ .﴾
“Sometimes, affection may arise in a person due to kinship or need. Although this is a sin that reduces his belief, a person does not become a Kâfir with it. Just like what happened with Hâtib bin Abî Balta’ah when he wrote the news of Nabî Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam to some of the Mushrikűn. Allâh Azza wa Jalla revealed the following verses regarding the issue,

﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ .﴾
“O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them.” (al-Mumtahinah 60/1)[7]

In the continuation of the verse mentioned by Shaykh’ul Islâm, it states,


﴿تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوِدَّةِ.﴾
“You show affection to them in secret.”

This verse, which begins with “O believers”, in which some believers are accused of showing affection/love to the Kuffâr and hiding affection/love to the Kuffâr is clear Hujjah against the people of falsehood who claim that all love other than the innate love for the Kuffâr is Kufr. For, Allâhu Taâlâ condemned them because of this love but did not declare Takfîr upon them. If what is mentioned here were inherent love of kinship, there would be no condemnation. This love is a prohibited love, but it is not Kufr. The fact that this verse was revealed about Hâtib writing a letter and that the letter is specifically meant by the love does not necessarily mean that the love mentioned in this verse consists only of conveying news to the Kuffâr.

For, as it is known in Usűl, “the peculiarity of the cause does not prevent the generality of the ruling”, that is, the verse being revealed about the spying of Hâtib Radiyallâhu Anh does not prevent it from being applied to other types of Walâ. Therefore, al-Fayyűmî (d.770) explained this verse in his book titled al-Misbâh’ul Munîr,


فالمفعول محذوف والتقدير تسرون إليهم أخبار النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم - بسبب المودة التي بينكم وبينهم
“The Maf’űl (object) in the verse is omitted. The implication is ‘You are giving away the news of the Nabî Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam as secret due to the affection between you and them.”[8]

In fact, the full translation of the verse is “You are hiding with affection for them”. Here, the Maf’űl, that is, the object affected by the verb which is the “news”, is not mentioned. Thus, it is understood that the news about the conquest of Mecca is not love itself nor its cause, but rather the result. A bond of love was formed between Hâtib and the Mushrikűn, which led him to write a letter to the Mushrikűn. As a matter of fact, when the reason of revelation and wording of the verse are examined, it is easily understood that Hâtib did this in order to protect his relatives in Mecca and to establish a relationship between him and the Mushrikűn.

The fact that some contemporaries claim Takfîr was not declared upon Hâtib as a peculiar situation is a deviance that even surpasses the Jahmiyyah.

For, they try to explain this claim that Hâtib’s deed was Kufr, but he was not declared Takfîr of due to his forceful interpretation or ignorance, him being from the people of Badr, Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam being informed of the îmân present in Hâtib’s heart, all of which are more Bâtil than one another and have no basis from the Salaf. All of these are words which emanate from those who do not know what Îmân and Kufr is. Kufr does not have any exception save Ikrâh (coercion), and whoever alleges that a person who commits Kufr will not be declared Takfîr upon for any reason other than Ikrâh has exited the fold of Islâm. Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullâh said in as-Sârim’ul Maslűl,


من تكلم بالتكذيب والجحد وسائر أنواع الكفر من غير إكراه على ذلك فإنه يجوز أن يكون مع ذلك في نفس الأمر مؤمنا ومن جوز هذا فقد خلع ربقة الإسلام من عنقه
“Anyone who sees it possible for a person who speaks rejection, denial, and other forms of Kufr without being coerced to be a Mu’min (believer) at the same time has removed the yoke of Islâm from his neck.”

After saying these words, he says in the continuation of the subject,


ولا يجوز أن يقال: إنه في الباطن يجوز أن يكون مؤمنا ومن قال ذلك فقد مرق من الإسلام
“It is not permissible to say, ‘This person who speaks Kufr can actually be a Mu’min (believer) in his inner realm.’ Whoever says that has renounced Islâm.”

He then mentions the verse 106 of Sűrat’un Nahl as evidence.[9]

The definition of the Kufr type of Walâ is clear and has been discussed in the light of the words quoted above from Imâm at-Tabarî. Apart from this, every inclination and love for the Kuffâr for worldly reasons is in the same scope of Harâm Walâ, just like the deeds of Hâtib, because the cause is the same. In all of these, the person has established friendship with the Kuffâr after Islâm, not by being pleased with Kufr, but for worldly interests in some ways. As information has been previously given about the story of Hâtib Radiyallâhu Anh, I suffice by alluding to it. Those who want detailed information can visit the following hyperlink:

Clearing the Doubts Regarding the Incident of Haatib bin Abi Balt’ah (radiyallahu anh) Being an Example for Jahl (Ignorance) as an Udhr (Excuse) in the Matters of Asl’ud Din (Fundamentals of the Religion Islam)

Thus, the love which is Harâm is the worldly love shown to the Kuffâr and also to the Munâfiqűn, the Fussâq, and the Mubtadi’űn within the Musliműn. Because the Nass regarding Walâ such as, “O you who believe! Take not as Bitânah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc.)” (Âl-i Imrân 3/118) is general in cautioning from befriending every category of people except the believers, those who do not fulfill the Wâjib of Îmân, even if he is from the Muslim Ahl’ul Qiblah, are taken as enemies from this aspect. However, the enmity towards the sinful and Mubtadi Muslims is in proportion to their sins and are loved in the proportion of their Îmân. Whereas the Kâfir is taken as an absolute enemy.

In addition to this, the love felt for Harâm which goes beyond the Fitrî inclination but does not reach I’tiqâdî characteristics is also included in the scope of Harâm love. For example, being addicted to alcohol; if a person uses his will, he can get rid of this, thereby, this cannot be called Fitrî love. As long as this love of alcohol does not reach the level of considering it permissible and something good, it cannot be called love which is Kufr. Therefore, it becomes a type of love that is Harâm. In summary, love that is Harâm is as such. It is incorrect to limit this only to the love for Harâm deeds committed by Kuffâr or Fussâq; but the worldly Walâ and friendship manifested towards a Kâfir person in a manner which we have mentioned is also within this scope.

Speaking of which, let us also indicate that it is extremely false and Kufr for some people to portray the enmity of the Kuffâr merely as a religious enmity, and especially to claim that to love the essence and not the religion of the Kâfir who has not waged war against Islâm is okay. Statements such as “show enmity towards the action of the person, not the person himself” and the likes that are said by the speakers and preachers of today is not even permissible to say regarding the sinful Musliműn, let alone regarding the Kuffâr. Such statements are irrational to the mind as are false according to the Sharî’ah. The Nass that prohibit friendship with the Kâfir and Fâsiq are general, and as stated above, the prohibition encompasses both the deeds of these people and the doers of the deed. A contrary claim means the denial of the Nass regarding the prohibition of establishing friendship with these people.

d) The Type of Love that is Fardh: It is as Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd’il Wahhâb Rahimahullâh coined it,


Loving the people of Tawhîd, and hating the people of Shirk. This is the strongest handhold of Îmân (faith) and is the greatest thing the servant worships His Rabb (Lord) by.

It is obligatory to love Islâm and the Muslims, and the bases of this love is the Asl’ud Dîn. In other words, a Mu’min loves the religion of Islâm, its rulings, and the Ummah of Islâm in general. A person who does not fulfill this cannot be a Muslim. It is for this reason that the Shaykh Abd’ur Rahmân bin Hasan Rahimahullâh whilst explaining the conditions of La Ilaha Illallâh, stated that one of the conditions of La Ilaha Illallâh -that is not valid except by it- is Mahabbah (love). And in another place which he elaborates upon this, he says the following,

“Recognition and acceptance will not be a reality for the person who utters La Ilaha Illallâh without the existence of Mahabbah (love) for matters which it denotes from Ikhlâs and the rejection of Shirk. Whoever loves Allâh also loves his Dîn (religion), and whoever does not love Him also does not love his Dîn. As Allâhu Taâlâ said,


﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللهِ أَنْدَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللهِ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلّٰهِ.﴾ [البقرة: 165]
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as Andâd (pl. Nidd; rivals, equals, partners to Allâh), they love them as they love Allâh. But those who believe, love Allâh more (than anything else)…” (al-Baqarah 2/165)

Thus, the love of the believers is only for Allâh and His Dîn. They love Allâh and His Dîn, made friendship for Allâh and His Dîn, loved what Allâh loved, and they disliked what Allâh disliked. The Hadîth came as follows,


«وَهَلِ الدِّينُ إِلاَّ الْحُبُّ وَالْبُغْضُ؟»
«Is the Dîn (religion) anything but Hubb (love) and Bughd (hate)?»

[In his interpretation of Sűrah Âl-i Imrân, verse 31, Ibnu Abî Hâtim related this from Â’ishah Radiyallâhu Anhâ and related from Abu Zur’ah that the Hadîth is Munkar (denounced) because of the narrator Abd’ul A’lâ in the chain of the Hadîth.]

For this reason, it is obligatory to have love for the Rasűl more than having love for the servants self, child, father, and all people.

Again, the Shahâdah of la Ilaha Illallâh requires the Shahâdah of Muhammad being the Rasűl of Allâh and it encompasses following him. As Allâhu Taâlâ said,


﴿قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ.﴾ [آل عمران: 31]
“Say, “If you love Allâh then follow me, Allâh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allâh is al-Ghafűr (the Oft-Forgiving), ar-Rahîm (the Most Merciful).” (Âl-i Imrân 3/31)

The quote from Shaykh Abd’ur Rahmân bin Hasan Rahimahullâh ends here.[10]

As it is Fardh to love the Muslim community, it is obligatory to love the individual Muslims. However, someone’s Îmân will decrease in the proportion of his failure in loving the individual Muslims. This is the reason why Rasűlullâh Sallallâhu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “None of you have believed so long as you don’t love each other.” What is negated here is the perfection of Îmân, not its essence. However, those who do not love the Muslims, those who despise those who carry the Aqîdah of Tawhîd have lost the essence of Îmân, just like the hypocrites.

In summary, this is what we have to say about love and its varieties. This division can also be conceived and contemplated regarding Bughd and enmity, which are the opposites of love. May our Rabb make us amongst His slaves who have perfect love in His path and perfect Bughd in His path, âmîn. Âkhiru Da’wânâ An’il Hamdulillâhi Rabb’il Âlamîn.
 1. Ibnu Kathîr, Tafsîr’ul Qur’ân’il Adhîm, Dâru Taybah, 6/246.
 
 2. Ibnu Abi’l Izz, Sharh’ut Tahâwiyyah, Mu’assasat’ur Risâlah, 2/546.
 
 3. At-Tabarî, Jâmi’ul Bayân fî Ta’wîl’il Qur’ân [Tafsîr], Mu’assasat’ur Risâlah, 10/400.
 
 4. Ibnu Abi’l Izz, Sharh’ut Tahâwiyyah, Mu’assasat’ur Risâlah, 1/166.
 
 5. Ibnu Taymiyyah, Iqtidhâ’us Sirât’il Mustaqîm, 1/551.
 
 6. Ibnu Kathîr, Tafsîr’ul Qur’ân’il Adhîm, Dâru Taybah, 3/132.
 
 7. Majmű’ul Fatâwâ, 7/522.
 
 8. Al-Fayyűmî, al-Misbâh’ul Munîr 1/273.
 
 9. Ibnu Taymiyyah, as-Sârim’ul Maslűl, p. 523-524.
 
 10. Ad-Durar’us Saniyyah, 2/254.
Shaykh'ul Islâm Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullâh stated,

والعالم يعرف الجاهل؛ لأنه كان جاهلا، والجاهل لا يعرف العالم لأنه لم يكن عالما

"The Âlim (scholar) recognizes the Jâhil (ignorant) since he was once a Jâhil. The Jâhil does not recognize the Âlim since he has never been an Âlim." (Shaykh'ul Islâm Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majmű'ul Fatâwâ, 13/235)