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Between Natural and Religious Loyalties: Part II

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Previous: Between Natural and Religious Loyalties: Part I
Next: Between Natural and Religious Loyalties: Part III (Final)

Part II

Loyalty’s Flip Side (Bara’a)

  • Bara’a or disavowal in Islam is to declare oneself free of shirk (polytheism), of kufr (disbelief), of tyranny and injustice, as well as of whoever manifests or calls to any of this. [Quran 109.1-6]
  • The “disavowal” that acts as a counterbalance to this loyalty means to be sincere in one’s devotion and commitment to the tenets of Islamic belief.
    • Does not imply removal of the “natural” love and humane dealings with even non-Muslims.
    • The basic ruling for dealing with those who are not hostile to Islam or Muslims is one of kindness and reciprocating peace. [Quran 60.8-9]
  • Allah mentions birr (kindness, goodwill) and iqsat (justice and fairness). Muslims are asked to show birr and iqsat in their dealings, and differences in beliefs cannot be a cause for being unjust.
  • What is vital in bara’a is that we do not love the non-Muslims for their actual beliefs and religion.
    • A Muslim cannot prefer another religion over Islam, which should be inconceivable for a Muslim who is convinced of his faith and devoted to it. The Quranic ayah 58.22 refers to this. It has to be clarified that this verse is talking about those who are hostile to Muslims and are waging war against them.
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The Bara’a (disavowal) Quran Verses in Context

  • Every passage that prohibits loyalties with the non-Muslims refers to those who are actively hostile to Muslims.
  • For instance: “O you who believe! Choose not My enemy and your enemy for allies. Do you give them your love even though they reject the truth which has come to you and drive out the Messenger, as well as yourselves, simply because you believe in Allah, your Lord?” [Quran 60.1]
    • Here Allah forbids taking allies and friends among those who are engaged in active hostility to Muslims, and prohibits them from sharing battle secrets.
    • In the very same chapter, Allah reminds believers, “…Allah does not restrain you from dealing kindly and justly with them, for Allah loves those who are just.” [Quran 60.8]
  • The abhorrence and hatred (karh) is one of abhorring and hating the beliefs of the unbelievers, and the injustice and enmity that some of them display. It constitutes of bara’a of those who lead wars and spill innocent Muslim and non-Muslim blood.
  • Likewise, disavowal must occur of tyranny, what leads to tyranny, and further weakens those upon whom the tyranny is applied.
    • Islam came to help the oppressed, and restrain the oppressor.

Next: Loving Non-Muslims, the Abrahamic Example, and Conclusion.

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. 1MuslimNationBlog

    March 30, 2007 at 12:31 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum,
    This is my first time here. I am glad you guys joined and write this blog. Looks good. Prophet said when three people journey they should appoint a leader. And that meant we should try to work as a team. keep on the journey in prophets path. May Allah bless you.
    regards,

  2. AnonyMouse

    March 30, 2007 at 2:00 PM

    JazakAllah khair for taking the time to summarize and type this stuff out for us, Amad! :)

  3. Pingback: MuslimMatters » Between Natural and Religious Loyalties: Part I

  4. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » Between Natural and Religious Loyalties: Part III (Final)

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