The Command to have Enmity towards the Disbelievers and to abandon supporting Them
Written by Ibn Kathir   
Friday, 10 November 2006

The Command to have Enmity towards the Disbelievers and to abandon supporting Them

Allah's statement,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُواْ بِمَا جَآءَكُمْ مِّنَ الْحَقِّ]
(O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as protecting friends showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth,) refers to the idolators and the disbelievers who are combatants against Allah, His Messenger and the believers. It is they whom Allah has decided should be our enemies and should be fought. Allah has forbidden the believers to take them as friends, supporters or companions. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah ,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ]
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as protecting friends, they are but protecting friends of each other. And if any among you takes them (as such), then surely, he is one of them.) (5:51) This Ayah contains a stern warning and a sure threat. Allah the Exalted said,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُواً وَلَعِباً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَآءَ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ]
(O you who believe! Take not as protecting friends those who take your religion as a mockery and fun from among those who received the Scripture before you, nor from among the disbelievers; and have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.) (5:57)

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَاناً مُّبِيناً ]
(O you who believe! Take not for protecting friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves) (4:144) and,

[لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً وَيُحَذِّرْكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ]
(Let not the believers take the disbelievers as protecting friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His punishment).) (3:28) This is why Allah's Messenger accepted Hatib's excuse when he said that he only wanted to have a favor on the Quraysh, because of the property and family members he left behind in Makkah. Allah's statement,

[يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّـكُمْ]
(and have driven out the Messenger and yourselves ( from your homeland)) follows His encouragement to fight against them and to avoid being their supporters. This is because they expelled the Messenger and his Companions on account of their hatred for Tawhid and worshipping Allah alone in sincerity. This is why Allah the Exalted said,

[أَن تُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ]
(because you believe in Allah, your Lord!) meaning, `your only fault is that you believed in Allah, Lord of all that exists.' Allah the Exalted said in other Ayat,

[وَمَا نَقَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ ]
(And they had no fault except that they believed in Allah, Almighty, Al-Hamid!) (85:8) and,

[الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُواْ مِن دِيَـرِهِم بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلاَّ أَن يَقُولُواْ رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ]
(Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: "Our Lord is Allah.'') (22:40) Allah said,

[إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَاداً فِى سَبِيلِى وَابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِى]
(If you have come forth to strive in My cause and to seek My good pleasure.) Allah says, `if you are as described here, then do not take the disbelievers as supporters. If you migrated in Jihad for My cause and for seeking My pleasure, then do not take My enemies and your enemies as protecting friends, after they expelled you from your homes and property in rage against you and rejection of your religion.' Allah's statement,

[تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَاْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَآ أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَآ أَعْلَنتُمْ]
(You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal.) Allah asks, `do you do this while I know the secrets of the hearts, the intentions and all apparent things,'

[وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ السَّبِيلِإِن يَثْقَفُوكُمْ يَكُونُواْ لَكُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَيَبْسُطُواْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ وَأَلْسِنَتَهُمْ بِالسُّوءِ]
(And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path. Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil,) meaning, `if they gain the upper hand over you, they would use every type of harm in their disposal to hurt you in words and action,'

[وَوَدُّواْ لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ]
(and they desire that you should disbelieve.) meaning, `they are eager that you do not earn any good. Therefore, their enmity to you is outward and inward, so how can you become supporters of this type of people' This also encourages the enmity. Allah's statement,

[لَن تَنفَعَكُمْ أَرْحَـمُكُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلَـدُكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ]
(Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection. He will judge between you. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.) means, `your family relations will not benefit you with Allah if Allah decided to cause harm your way. Your relations will not benefit you if you please them with what angers Allah.' Those who agree with their family being disbelievers in order to please them will have earned loss and failure and their deeds will be rendered invalid. Their relation will not benefit them with Allah, even if their relation was with a Prophet. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that a man said, "O Allah's Messenger! Where is my father'' He said,

The Command to have Enmity towards the Disbelievers and to abandon supporting Them

Allah's statement,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُواْ بِمَا جَآءَكُمْ مِّنَ الْحَقِّ]
(O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as protecting friends showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth,) refers to the idolators and the disbelievers who are combatants against Allah, His Messenger and the believers. It is they whom Allah has decided should be our enemies and should be fought. Allah has forbidden the believers to take them as friends, supporters or companions. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah ,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ]
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as protecting friends, they are but protecting friends of each other. And if any among you takes them (as such), then surely, he is one of them.) (5:51) This Ayah contains a stern warning and a sure threat. Allah the Exalted said,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُواً وَلَعِباً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَآءَ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ]
(O you who believe! Take not as protecting friends those who take your religion as a mockery and fun from among those who received the Scripture before you, nor from among the disbelievers; and have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.) (5:57)

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَاناً مُّبِيناً ]
(O you who believe! Take not for protecting friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves) (4:144) and,

[لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً وَيُحَذِّرْكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ]
(Let not the believers take the disbelievers as protecting friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His punishment).) (3:28) This is why Allah's Messenger accepted Hatib's excuse when he said that he only wanted to have a favor on the Quraysh, because of the property and family members he left behind in Makkah. Allah's statement,

[يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّـكُمْ]
(and have driven out the Messenger and yourselves ( from your homeland)) follows His encouragement to fight against them and to avoid being their supporters. This is because they expelled the Messenger and his Companions on account of their hatred for Tawhid and worshipping Allah alone in sincerity. This is why Allah the Exalted said,

[أَن تُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ]
(because you believe in Allah, your Lord!) meaning, `your only fault is that you believed in Allah, Lord of all that exists.' Allah the Exalted said in other Ayat,

[وَمَا نَقَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ ]
(And they had no fault except that they believed in Allah, Almighty, Al-Hamid!) (85:8) and,

[الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُواْ مِن دِيَـرِهِم بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلاَّ أَن يَقُولُواْ رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ]
(Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: "Our Lord is Allah.'') (22:40) Allah said,

[إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَاداً فِى سَبِيلِى وَابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِى]
(If you have come forth to strive in My cause and to seek My good pleasure.) Allah says, `if you are as described here, then do not take the disbelievers as supporters. If you migrated in Jihad for My cause and for seeking My pleasure, then do not take My enemies and your enemies as protecting friends, after they expelled you from your homes and property in rage against you and rejection of your religion.' Allah's statement,

[تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَاْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَآ أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَآ أَعْلَنتُمْ]
(You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal.) Allah asks, `do you do this while I know the secrets of the hearts, the intentions and all apparent things,'

[وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ السَّبِيلِإِن يَثْقَفُوكُمْ يَكُونُواْ لَكُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَيَبْسُطُواْ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ وَأَلْسِنَتَهُمْ بِالسُّوءِ]
(And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path. Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil,) meaning, `if they gain the upper hand over you, they would use every type of harm in their disposal to hurt you in words and action,'

[وَوَدُّواْ لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ]
(and they desire that you should disbelieve.) meaning, `they are eager that you do not earn any good. Therefore, their enmity to you is outward and inward, so how can you become supporters of this type of people' This also encourages the enmity. Allah's statement,

[لَن تَنفَعَكُمْ أَرْحَـمُكُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلَـدُكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ]
(Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection. He will judge between you. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.) means, `your family relations will not benefit you with Allah if Allah decided to cause harm your way. Your relations will not benefit you if you please them with what angers Allah.' Those who agree with their family being disbelievers in order to please them will have earned loss and failure and their deeds will be rendered invalid. Their relation will not benefit them with Allah, even if their relation was with a Prophet. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that a man said, "O Allah's Messenger! Where is my father'' He said,