In the current modern age, we find the Muslims in a pit of darkness. The Muslims of today have adopted the ways of the enemy. They forbid the good and enjoin the forbidden. They imitate the disbelievers and choose them as their friends and trustees. They mock believers who oppose the ways of the disbelievers and hypocrites. They help to deviate people from the Path of Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam). They have left jihad for the pleasures and pursuits of the material world. They have abandoned Shariah and adopted Jahiliyyah. These people have strayed from the Straight Path and they have turned away from al wala wal bara, and as a result, have fallen into the trap of Shaytaan.
One of the aspects of iman is al wala wal bara, loving and hating for the sake of Allah Alone. It is one of the most important beliefs of Islam after Tawheed. Allah says in His Book:
Let not the believers take disbelievers for their protectors and friends in preference to believers. Whoever does this has no connection with Allah unless you are guarding yourselves against them as a precaution. Allah bids you to beware of Himself. And to Allah is the journeying. (Surat Ali Imran 3:28)
The reason why al wala wal bara is so important in Islam is because, if it is taken into practice, it can remove all the characteristics of Jahiliyyah from the Muslim Ummah, it guarantees the preservation of the Ummah, and it distinguishes the believer from the disbeliever. When one loves and hates for Allahs sake only, they are raised degrees higher than those who love, hate, and act based on their own desires or fake gods or for other meaningless things. Allah states in His Speech:
Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the friends of Shaytaan. Surely, Shaytaans strategy is always weak. (Suratun-Nisaa 4:76)
This verse is speaking of al wala wal bara. Those who have iman and belief and act upon al wala wal bara fight for Allahs cause and do battle with His enemies to preserve His Deen, while those who disbelieve fight for gods that dont even exist. Allah commands:
And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is for Allah. (Suratul Baqarah 2:193)
Only the people who love and hate for the sake of Allah will act upon this command. These are the people that understand the meaning of al wala wal bara, which will be discussed below, Insha Allah.
The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said: The strongest bond of faith is loyalty for the sake of Allah and opposition for His sake; love for the sake of Allah and enmity for His sake.
But what does this love and enmity exactly mean? Loving for the sake of Allah means to love Allah and to show loyalty to Him by following His Shariah. It means to love all that is good and permissible in the Quran and Sunnah. This type of love requires one to defend Allahs deen and to preserve it. It is to love those who are obedient to Allah and to defend and assist them. These are the party of Allah. Enmity for the sake of Allah signifies showing anger towards those who oppose Allah, His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), His deen, and the believers. It is to struggle and fight against them in order to uphold and spread the way of Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam). There is a brilliant example of this in Ibrahim (alaiyhis-salaam), as narrated by Allah in the Quran:
There is a good example for you in Ibrahim and those with him when they told their people: Surely, we disassociate ourselves from you and all that you worship beside Allah. We have done with you. And there has arisen between us and you enmity and hate forever until you believe in Allah Alone. (Suratul Mumtahanah 60:4)
Al wala wal bara requires one to ally oneself with Allah, His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), and the believers wherever they are found against the disbelievers even if it is against their own relatives. We see this in the example of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), who fought against his own relatives and his own clan, all for the sake of Allah.
Al wala wal bara aims to purify the society and rid the people of all vices. For example, we are required to oppose the way of the disbelievers. One of their habits is wasting their time in pursuing their own material desires. A Muslim who does not act upon al wala wal bara will imitate this habit and therefore become neglectful of his duties to Allah. This will lead to a corrupt person, who will end up raising a corrupt family, which will corrupt the community in whole.
If we look at the situation today in Afghanistan, how many Muslims today are willing to leave their worldly pursuits and come to the aid of Islam and their Muslim brothers and sisters and fight for Allahs cause against His and our enemies? How many of them will act upon al wala wal bara, which is called for today? The religious situation of the Muslims of today is very pitiful and sad and the answer is that only a handful will run out to assist Allah and the faithful believers.
We call ourselves Muslims, but what exactly is a Muslim? We cant just expect that belief in Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) is enough to be qualified for Jannah. Allah says:
Or think you that you will enter Paradise while yet there has not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them, they were shaken as with earthquake, till the messenger (of Allah) and those who believed along with him said: When comes Allah’s help? Now surely Allah’s help is nigh. (Suratul Baqarah 2:214)
If we believe that belief in Allah is enough, then there is no difference between us and the pagan Arabs of the pre-Islamic period, who claimed to believe in Allah and at the same time, worshipped hundreds of other gods. Al wala wal bara is what distinguishes a believer from a disbeliever. A believer allies himself with Allah only and with his final Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) and with the believers. Allah says:
And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due and they obey Allah and His Messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Indeed, Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Suratut-Towbah 9:71)
O you who believe! Whoever of you becomes a rebel against his deen, (know that in his place) Allah will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble towards the believers, harsh towards the disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah and not fearing the blame of any blamer. (Suratul Maaidah 5:54)
In order to be considered a believer, one must believe in Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) as well as show and prove that belief by assisting them and allying oneself with them against the enemies of Islam. The plans of the disbelievers are clearly exposed in the Quran:
They long for you to disbelieve even as they disbelieve, so that you may be the same (as them). So do not choose friends from among then until they go out in the way of Allah. (Suratun-Nisaa 4:89)
O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends of one another. And whoever of you takes them for friends is (one) of them. Surely Allah does not guide wrongdoing people. (Suratul Maaidah 5:51)
We are warned to beware of the kaafireen, for, they say with their mouths what is not in their hearts (3:167). They secretly plot against the believers to get rid of them and their divine religionIslam. They attack the Muslims and the people without the belief in al wala wal bara will support them against the believers and this is what we see in todays situation.
If the believers join together as one brotherhood, sharing a mutual love and hate for the sake of Allah, Islam will come out on top regardless of how powerful their enemies may be. When the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) and his companions (radiyyallahu anhum) fought their battles, their enemies were always more in number and had better armor, but the Muslims were victorious as in the Battle of Badr. They shared one cause: fighting for the sake of Allah. Today, we need Muslims to do the same for their brothers, but where are they?
Al wala wal bara is something which is lacking in the hearts and actions of Muslims worldwide. It is one of the more important aspects of Islam. It was because of this aspect that the companions and their Chief Leader Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam), together, peacefully conquered lands and hearts all over the globe by the will and grace of Allah Subhanahu wa Taala.