Living Between the Disbelievers

A Muslim is obliged to live by Islam and implement the Sharee’ah wherever he
is. He must also swear allegiance to none but Allah (SWT), His Messenger
(SAW) and to the ameer ul-mu’mineen (leader of the Muslims). If there is no
leader (or Khaleefah) to pledge allegiance to (like in today’s reality), it
becomes mandatory to work collectively with other Muslims in order to
eradicate shirk (disbelief, false deities, non-Islamic law etc.) and
implement the Sharee’ah.

Moreover, it is not permissible for a Muslim to live between the
disbelievers unless he distinguishes himself from them, preserves his Deen,
rejects their customs, ideologies, ways of life; calls them to Islam and
fulfils all his other duties and ritual obligations. Jareer bin ‘Abdillah
(RA) reported that the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said:

I disassociate myself from any Muslim who lives between the Mushrikeen
[disbelievers]. (Sunan Abee Daawud, hadeeth no.2645)

This disassociation is from Muslims who live between the Kuffaar (i.e. in
daar ul-harb) and do not distinguish themselves from the disbelievers and
fulfil their obligation of inviting them to Islam (openly in public).
Distinguishing one’s self from the disbelievers can be accomplished in many
ways. However, this must be primarily done by holding onto the Islamic
values and adhering to the Sharee’ah (without any compromise).

If a person is unable to hold onto his Deen, reject shirk and kufr
(interfaith, multiculturalism, integration, the false ways of life, deities,
traditions, laws, religions and customs of the non-Muslims etc.),
disassociate himself from the disbelievers (by not voting for them,
participating in their political processes or joining their forces etc.) and
openly invite society to Islam; it becomes prohibited for him to live
amongst them and hijrah (migration) becomes obligatory upon him.

The only person who has the permit not to distinguish himself from the
Kuffaar and publicly invite them to Islam is the mujaahid. However, one
should not let the shaytaan (devil) whisper to him and convince him that he
is a mujaahid or he is preparing for jihaad. Nowadays there are many fake
‘mujaahids’ who do nothing but sit behind their computers all day, slander
sincere Muslims, watch a few video clips and free-mix in ‘Islamic’ forums.
What is even worse is that they have the audacity to claim they are working
hard in the cause of Allah and are serving the Muslim Ummah.

Either da’wah or hijrah

One of the characteristics of a munaafiq (hypocrite) is that he lives
between the Kuffaar (in daar ul-harb) without to fight them or distinguish
himself from them (by calling them to Islam). Furthermore, he also avoids
making hijrah when it becomes obligatory upon him to do so. Allah (SWT)
Verily! As for those whom the angels take [in death] while they are wronging
themselves [as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was
obligatory for them], they [angels] say [to them]: ‘In what [condition] were
you?’ They reply: ‘We were weak and oppressed on earth.’ They [angels] say:
‘Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?’
Such men will find their abode in Hell – what an evil destination!

Except the weak ones among men, women and children who cannot devise a plan,
nor are they able to direct their way.

For these there is hope that Allah will forgive them, and Allah is ever
Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving. (EMQ an-Nisaa’, 4:97–99)

Al-Bukhaari recorded that Muhammad bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan (Abul Aswad) said,
‘The people of al-Madeenah were forced to prepare an army [to fight against
the people of ash-Shaam during the khilaafah of Abdullah bin az-Zubayr at
Makkah], and I was enlisted in it. Then I met ‘Ikrimah, the freed slave of
Ibn ‘Abbaas, and informed him [about it], and he forbade me strongly from
doing so [i.e., to enlist in that army], and then he said to me, Ibn ‘Abbaas
told me that some Muslims used to go out with the idolaters increasing the
size of their army against the Messenger of Allah. Then, an arrow would hit
one of them and kill him, or he would be struck on his neck [with a sword]
and killed, and Allah sent down the aayah: ‘Verily! As for those whom the
angels take while they are wronging themselves…”

Ad-Dahhaak stated that this aayah was revealed about some hypocrites who did
not join the Messenger of Allah (SAW) but remained in Makkah and went out
with the idolaters for the Battle of Badr. They were killed among those who
were killed. Thus, this honourable aayah was revealed about those who reside
among the idolaters, while able to perform hijrah and unable to practice
their Deen. Such people will be committing injustice against themselves and
falling into a prohibition according to the Consensus and also according to
this aayah.
 Moreover, in another aayah Allah (SWT) says:
Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about
the hypocrites? Allah has cast them back [to disbelief] because of what they
have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray? And
he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him any way [of

They wish that you reject [Eemaan], as they have rejected [Eemaan], and thus
that you all become equal [like one another]. So take not awliyaa’
[protectors or friends] from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah
[to Muhammad SAW]. But if they turn back [from Islam], take [hold] of them
and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither awliyaa’ [protectors
or friends] nor helpers from them. (EMQ an-Nisaa’, 4:88–89)

Imaam Ahmad recorded that Zayd bin Thaabit (RA) said that the Messenger of
Allah (SAW) marched towards Uhud. However, some people went back to
al-Madeenah, and the Companions of the Messenger of Allah divided into two
groups concerning them, one saying they should be killed and the other
objecting. Allah (SWT) then revealed: ‘Then what is the matter with you that
you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites…’

Haatib bin Abee Balta’ah
O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies [i.e. disbelievers
and polytheists, etc.] as friends, showing affection towards them, while
they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth [i.e. Islamic
Monotheism, the Qur’aan, and Muhammad SAW], and have driven out the
Messenger [SAW] and yourselves [from your homeland] because you believe in
Allah your Lord! If you have come forth to strive in My Cause and to seek My
Good Pleasure, [then take not these disbelievers and polytheists, etc., as
your friends]. You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware
of what you conceal and what you reveal. And whosoever of you [Muslims] does
that, then indeed he has gone [far] astray, [away] from the Straight Path.
(EMQ al-Mumtahanah, 60:1)

The story of Haatib bin Abee Balta’ah is the reason behind revealing the
beginning of this honourable Soorah. Haatib was among the Early Emigrants
and participated in the Battle of Badr. Haatib had children and wealth in
Makkah, but he was not from the tribe of Quraysh. Rather, he was an ally of
‘Uthmaan. When the Messenger of Allah (SAW) decided to conquer Makkah, after
its people broke the peace treaty between them, he ordered the Muslims to
mobilize their forces to attack Makkah, and then said, ‘O Allah! Keep our
news concealed from them.’

Haatib wrote a letter and sent it to the people of Makkah, with a woman from
the tribe of Quraysh, informing them of the Messenger’s intent to attack
them. He wanted them to be indebted to him (so that they would grant safety
to his family in Makkah). Allah the Exalted conveyed this matter to His
Messenger (SAW), because He accepted the Prophet’s invocation (to Him to
conceal the news of the attack). The Prophet sent someone after the woman
and retrieved the letter.

This letter was addressed from Haatib bin Abee Balta’ah to some pagans of
Makkah, telling them about what Allah’s Messenger intended to do. Allah’s
Messenger (SAW) then said, ‘O Haatib! What is this?’ Haatib replied, ‘O
Allah’s Messenger! Do not make a hasty decision about me. I was a person not
belonging to Quraysh, but I was an ally to them. All the Emigrants who were
with you have kinsmen (in Makkah) who can protect their families. So I
wanted to do them a favour, so they might protect my relatives, as I have no
blood relation with them. I did not do this out of disbelief or to renegade
from my religion, nor did I do it to choose disbelief after Islam.’

Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said to his Companions, ‘Regarding him, he has told
you the truth.’ ‘Umar (RA) then exclaimed:
O Allah’s Messenger! Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite

The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘He attended Badr. What can I tell you, perhaps
Allah looked at those who attended Badr and said, ‘O people of Badr, do what
you like, for I have forgiven you.” Allah (SWT) then revealed: ‘O you who
believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies [i.e. disbelievers and
polytheists, etc.] as friends, showing affection towards them…’

We can learn from this incident that the Prophet (SAW) consented that to assist
the kufaar against muslims is an act of kufr, but their was specific excuse ONLY for
hatib(ra) as he was from those who attended the battle of badr and hence Allah
had already forgiven them all their sins and promised them paradise.
n summary

If Muslims are going to continue to live between the Kuffaar and become busy
with the dunyaa ‘worldly life’ (such as by working excessive hours or
wasting time spending years learning about the dunyaa in school, college or
university), without to at least invite the disbelievers to Islam
(publicly), command the good, forbid the evil, and distinguish themselves
from the non-Muslims; there is a great chance that they may become
munaafiqeen; and thus, they must make hijrah and go to a place where they
are able to do all their obligations.

Da’wah by commanding good and forbidding evil are obligations upon Muslims;
therefore, we should not be like those who are cursed by Almighty Allah
(SWT) and follow some ahkaam but reject others. Allah ta’aalaa says:
Then do you believe in a part of the Scripture and reject the rest? Then
what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the
life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned
to the most grievous torment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. (EMQ
al-Baqarah, 2:85)


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