Al-Wala wal-Bara | Fitrah Tawheed

What is Al-Wala wal-Bara?

The literal translation of "Al-Wala wal-Bara" is loyalty and disavowal. This concept of Islam has to deal with having loyalty for what Allah loves and disavowing what Allah hates.

"Al-Wala" refers to loyalty to that which Allah loves. This means to have love and loyalty for the Muslims, for Islam, for the Shariah etc.

The second part is "Al-Bara", which refers to hating and disavowing everything that Allah hates. This means to hate any mocking or attack against Islam, to distinguish and distance yourself from the belief of disbelievers etc.

Al-Wala wal-Bara is an essential part of Islam. It consists of multiple teachings and behaviors which a Muslim must adhere to.

How to practise Al-Wala wal-Bara

In Islam, Al-Wala wal-Bara is an essential part to remain Muslim. Because of this, not practising it would mean a person cannot be Muslim.

Al-Wala wal-Bara are two parts, which both must be practised. Both have a fundamental part, but also branches to perfect its practise.

To remain Muslim, the fundamental parts of Al-Wala wal-Bara must be practised and upheld. Loving and hating for the sake of Allah can be quite a detailed subject, so here is a deeper explanation.

How to practise Al-Wala

The most integral part of this concept is to acknowledge the believers to be Muslims. Practising Al-Wala is pretty straight forward. The Muslim has to have loyalty and love for the believers, because of their belief in Islam.

The fundamental part of Al-Wala is to love everything of Islam, whether it is the Shariah, the traditions of the Prophet (ﷺ) or the Sahaba.

Would a Muslim hate anything from Islam, then he does not practise the fundamental part of Al-Wala, which as a result makes him a disbeliever.

How to practise Al-Bara

This concept can be derived from specific verses in the Quran, as well as narrations of the Prophet (ﷺ). Take for example the verse in Surah al-Mumtahanah.

You already have an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, “We totally dissociate ourselves from you and ˹shun˺ whatever ˹idols˺ you worship besides Allah. We reject you. The enmity and hatred that has arisen between us and you will last until you believe in Allah alone.”
[60:4 Quran]

A Muslim is supposed to have enmity and hatred towards that which is worshiped besides Allah. He is also supposed to reject any other religion except Islam. Hatred and enmity for the disbelievers means to reject what they believe and hate the fact that they do not accept Islam as the only true religion.

This does not mean one should disrespect disbelievers. A Muslim is actually supposed to distinguish between the human factor and beliefs. The human factor of the person is not to be hated, rather it is his belief that is against Allah that should be hated.

Therefore, a Muslim must distance himself from disbelievers in a respectful manner for the protection of his own religion.

Al-Bara from the disbelievers

Al-Bara looks different from situation to situation. For example, Ahl Kitab are distinct from other disbelievers in Islam, as they have been given some special treatments. Muslims can eat their slaughtered animals, which is not the case with other disbelievers.

Also, Muslim men are allowed to marry women among the Jews and Christians, this is another special treatment.

A Muslim practises Al-Bara from Ahl Kitab by making Takfir and rejecting their beliefs which is against Islam, and this is the fundamental form of Al-Bara.

Al-Bara from the innovators is also different, as the fundamental form of Al-Bara remains the same, the treatment does not. A Muslim is obliged to keep distance from any innovator, but more so from an innovator who has fallen into Kufr.

If a Muslim does not practise the fundamental form of Al-Bara, then he cannot be deemed a Muslim anymore. So if one wants to remain Muslim, he must always reject beliefs of Kufr, practise Kufr bit Taghut and perform Takfir.

The branches of Al-Bara with innovators are many. Muslims are obliged not to visit them, greet them or come near them.

Atheists, polytheists and others are to be respectfully distanced from if possible. Muslims must still remain friendly and peaceful with them, regardless of their belief. Here also applies that Muslims must make Takfir of them, reject their idols and their beliefs.

Abu Athari writes about basic principles within Islam. He uses his critical and well-researched way to spread knowledge of the first three Muslim generations.

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