The Obligation of differing
from the Disbelievers
Loyalty and Disavowal
Belief - Admonition,
Etiquettes & Morals
Al-Manaar Publishing House
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1) Islaam comprehensively covers all aspects of this life and the
2) The meaning of the verse, which translates as: “Guide us
to the straight path...”
3) This verse calls to adhere of Sunnah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and
differing from the disbelievers.
4) The command to differ from the disbelievers, warning against
following their ways and the wisdom behind that.
5) Examples of imitating the disbelievers.
Dear people! Fear Allaah
and be proud of your religion.
servants! Allaah, the Most High, has granted the Muslims a complete Sharee’ah,
or comprehensive set of rules, that cover all religious and worldly matters. He
made happiness both in this world and in the Hereafter contingent on working
according it and adhering to its guidance. Allaah, Most High says that which means:
“Whoever follows My guidance will neither go
astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the Hereafter].” (Taa
Haa: 123). “Whoever follows My guidance –
there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (Al-Baqarah: 38).
is the straight and correct way, which is the way of those on whom Allaah has
bestowed His Grace such as His Prophets, the sincere, the martyrs, and the
righteous. Anything other than this is the way of those who have earned the
wrath of Allaah such as the Jews, the Christians and the polytheists.
Dear Muslims! In
every rak`ah, or cycle, of your prayer, you invoke Allaah to show you
the straight path and keep you away from the path of those who have earned His
wrath and those who have gone astray. You do this because you recite Surat
Al-Faatihah. This recitation in every rak`ah is one of the pillars
of Salaah, or prayer. Therefore, you should reflect on this Du`aa’,
or supplication, its objectives and its positive results.
First and foremost, it implies following Allaah’s
Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa
sallam and adhering to Allaah’s Sharee’ah
concerning acts of worship, business
transactions, morals and inward and outward manners. It also entails differing
from the disbelievers with regard to their specific acts of worship, business transactions,
morals, and manners. This is because imitating them outwardly leads to loving
them inwardly. Therefore, the Qur’aan and the Sunnah are replete with evidences that command the Muslims to
differ from the disbelievers and forbid imitating them in order to keep the Muslims
away from all harmful matters. This is because the actions of the unbelievers
are false and only for show, their endeavours are misleading and their end is
certain destruction. Consequently, all the actions and affairs of a disbeliever
are blighted and fruitless. Allaah, Most High says that which means: “But the disbelievers – their deeds are like a
mirage in a lowland which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to
it, he finds it is nothing.” (Al-Noor:
39) and also: “The example of
those who disbelieve in their Lord is [that] their deeds are like ashes which
the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day.” (Ibraaheem: 18).
O Muslims! Although
Allaah has warned us severely against following the way of the disbelievers, He
knew that this would happen as His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
reported that Allaah has decreed this according to His Knowledge. Al-Bukhaari
and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri, may
Allaah be pleased with him, that Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
said: “You will follow the errors of your
predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole
of a lizard, you would follow them.” The people asked: “O Allaah’s
Messenger! Do you mean (by ‘your predecessors’) the Jews and the Christians?”
He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Who else?”
reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with
him, that Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi
wa sallam said: “The Hour will not come until my nation will follow
completely and literally the errors of the previous nations.” The
people asked: “O Allaah’s Messenger! Are you referring to (the people of) Persia and the Romans?” He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied: “Are there other than
Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reported that his nation will follow the Jews and the
Christians, who are the People of the Book, as well as the people of Persia and the Romans. Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forbade imitating all of them.
Despite the fact
that he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told us that his nation would imitate the errors of the
disbelievers, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also stated that a group of his nation will firmly adhere
to the truth until the Hour comes. He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
also said that Allaah would make it such that the Muslim nation would not unanimously
agree on falsehood. Also, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi
wa sallam assured us that Allaah frequently
raises certain persons for the sake of His religion whom He uses and appoints
for obeying Him.
As a result, it
becomes clear from the authentic Ahadeeth of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that there will be a group of people who follow and adhere
to his guidance, the religion of Islaam. On the other hand, some Muslims will
deviate to the doctrines of the religion of the Jews or that of the Christians.
Such deviation is made alluring by Satan. That is why a servant of Allaah is
commanded to ask Allaah to guide him to the straight path, which is far away
from Christianity and Judaism.
O servants of Allaah!
The wisdom behind the prohibition of imitating the disbelievers and commanding
us differ from them is so clear. This is because imitating them outwardly leads
to imitating them inwardly which in turn results in resembling them in their
morals and actions. However, being different from them outwardly leads to differing
from them inwardly, which in turn leads to being so completely distinct from
them that one is rescued from the causes of Allaah’s wrath. Being distinguished
also saves one from going astray and leads to being directed to the way of
guidance and Allaah’s pleasure.
O Muslims! Today
many Muslims, both men and women, imitate the disbelievers in their manners of
speaking, dressing, appearance and in so many other areas that time does not
allow me to enumerate them.
Among these aspects
is the shaving of beards and growing moustaches. Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, commanded trimming the moustache and allowing the beard to
grow in a generous manner, thus being distinct from the disbelievers who shave
their beards and grow their moustaches.
We must know that clipping
the moustache and growing the beard are among the characteristics of Fitrah,
or human-nature and from the guidance of the Prophets, peace be upon them all.
It is a symbol of being distinct from the enemies of Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is because clipping the moustache brings about
cleanliness, keeping it away from the phlegm of the nose and because when it
becomes long and hangs over the lip; it becomes immersed in food and drinks in
a disgusting manner. I stress again that growing the moustache long distorts
one’s appearance, despite the fact that some people may approve of it.
Wearing the beard
is a symbol of a man’s handsomeness and dignity. Therefore, when he becomes old
his attraction remains due to the existence of the hair of his beard. In
contrast, the one who disobeys Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
by shaving it will have a distorted face devoid of any beauty when he becomes
old. The habituation and blind imitation of these people lead them to
misjudging a bad thing as good and vice versa. What we say to those people, may
Allaah guide us and them, is: You must repent and return to the truth, for
returning to the truth is far better than continuing with falsehood. The Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has become clear to you and you have been commanded to obey
and follow in his footsteps.
Allaah says that
which means: “There has certainly been for you
in the Messenger of Allaah an excellent example.” (Al-Ahzaab:
21).Therefore you have to adhere to his Sunnah
and not to change it, despite the great number of Muslims who neglect it.
Another example of imitating
the disbelievers is speaking in their languages unnecessarily; this happens even
among the native Arabs in their own countries. The reason why this is so disliked
is that when a person speaks a foreign language, he becomes accustomed to this
practice and deserts the Arabic tongue which is the symbol of Islaam. In fact,
the language spoken is among the greatest of the symbols that define the
culture and practices of any given group of people. Therefore, the majority of
Islamic jurists are of the view that offering Du`aa’, or supplication,
within Salaah, or prayers; and saying Dhikr, or the mentioning of
Allaah’s names, in a language other than
Arabic is Makrooh, or not recommended.
Allaah has glorified
the Arabic language, revealed His Book in it and made it the native language of
Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the last of His Prophets. So, being accustomed to speak in
any language other than Arabic is Makrooh - if a person knows Arabic - for
it leads to resembling non-Muslims, deserting the Arabic language, and
replacing it by another language.
Arabic is a part of
the religion and learning it is obligatory, because comprehending the Qur’aan
and the Sunnah is obligatory; and
they cannot be comprehended except by knowing Arabic. Therefore what is
necessary for fulfilling an obligation also becomes obligatory.
As for learning
foreign languages, Muslims are allowed to learn and speak in them, but only
when necessary. If it is unnecessary, then speaking in them is Makrooh. However,
it is very saddening to see that when you enter public buildings, such as hospitals
and airports, in the Arab countries, you will find people communicating in
foreign languages as if they were in Europe.
are also imitated in certain acts of worship, such as building up the areas around
graves and making them places of visitation and worship. Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “May Allaah’s curse
be on the Jews and the Christians, for they build places of worship at the
graves of their Prophets.”
He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said: “If any
righteous man dies amongst them, they would build a place of worship at his
grave and make pictures of him to place therein; they are the worst creatures
in the sight of Allaah.”
These sayings of
the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reveal that exaggeration with regard to graves leads to the
gravest shirk, or polytheism, which is obvious to everybody. All this is
owing to imitating the Jews and the Christians. Other forms of imitation are celebrating
polytheistic and innovated days such as the Prophet’s birthday and those of presidents
and kings. Celebrating these occasions may be for one day or a week such as
National Day, Mother’s Day, Cleanliness Week and so on. All these celebrations
came to the Muslims from the disbelievers.
In Islaam, there
are only two days of feasts: the Day of Fitr, or ending the fast
of Ramadhaan, and the Day of Adhaa, or sacrifice. Celebrating any
day other than these two is bid`ah, or an innovation in the religion,
and imitation of the disbelievers. Muslims should be mindful of this and
not be lured by the great number Muslims participating in these sinful events.
Such people either do not know the ruling of Islaam concerning it and celebrate
these days due to ignorance, or know the ruling of Islaam and celebrate them despite
that. The sin of the latter class is of
course, much greater. I seek refuge with Allaah from the outcast Satan. Allaah
says that which means: “There has certainly
been for you in the Messenger of Allaah an excellent example for anyone whose
hope is in Allaah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allaah often.”
(Al Ahzaab: 21).