Limits of having and displaying love for non-Muslims

27 Feb 2018 Ref-No#: 333

Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Mufti Sahab,

A sister has read this fatwa, explaining the limits of interaction with kuffar, and the various stages of “love” and kindness one may or may not have for them:

Her question is if there is any “dispensation” or different rule in case the person loves (with proper love and affection – Muwalat or Mawadda as explained in the fatwa; not just exterior kindness, respect and obedience) one’s non-Muslim child / parents?

Or is the rule the same and thus, is such love would be impermissible, even for parents/children who are not Muslims?

(In her situation, in particular, I’m under the impression she has accepted Islam lately, already having such a son, and thus it’s not a situation of riddah from the child’s side).

Jazakallahu khayran,



Wa’alaykum as Salam w rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Love is something which is linked to the heart, and hence beyond the control of humans.

It is for this reason that despite being so just to all his noble consorts, the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings upon him) would still pray:

« اللهم هذا قسمى فيما أملك فلا تلمنى فيما تملك ولا أملك ». يعنى القلب أخرجه أبو داود في سننه2/ 208

“Oh Allah, this is the division in that which I have power, do not take me to account for that which is beyond my ability (love).” (Sunan Abi Dawud 2/208)

This narration shows that a person will, inshā-Allāh, not be taken to task for loving his parents.

There is a difference between having love (which is beyond ones control), and displaying love. Muwālāt refers to displaying love; where a person confides in a disbeliever, prefers him and places his trust in him. A person’s allegiance will have to be first with Islām, as can be understood from the following extract of the referred fatwa:

“Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas (Allah have mercy on him) states that this verse was revealed regarding the Companion Hatib ibn Abi Balta’a (Allah be pleased with him) who wrote to the non-believers of Quraysh giving them guidelines (with regards to their safety and other such matters). He did so, as he feared for his wealth and children that he had left behind in Makkah…”(Ahkam al-Qur’an, 5/325)

Therefore, despite a person having innate love for his parents/son etc, if at all a situation arises whereby he has to choose between Islām and these close non-Muslim family members, he should prefer Islām. In all other circumstances, he may have a natural hidden love in his heart. Islām does not advocate hatred in the least.

We conclude with the following verse in this regard which clearly alludes to the points made above:

وَوَصَّيْنا الإنسانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ …….. وَإِنْ جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَنْ تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلا تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا

“And we have enjoined upon man kindness to his parents ……But if they strive to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but still be kind towards them in this world.” (Surah Luqmān, Verse 14)

والمُوالاةُ : مِن وَالَى القَوْم

و النِّسْبَةُ إلى المَوْلَى : مَوْلَوِيٌّ . ويقالُ فيه : مَوْلَوِيَّةٌ ، أي يُشْبِهُ المَوالِيَ تاج العروس من جواهر القاموس 40/ 246

و أَيْضاً : الوَلِيُّ الذي يَلِيَ عَلَيك أَمْرَكَ ، وهما بمعْنًى واحِدٍ ، ومنه الحديثُ : أَيُّما امْرأَةً نَكحَتْ بغيرِ إِذْنِ مَوْلاها ، ورَواهُ بعضُهم : بغير إذْنِ وَلِيِّها

وَرَوى ابنُ سلام عن يونس : أنَّ المَوْلَى في الدِّيْن هو الوَلِيُّ ، وذلكَ قولهُ تعالى : { ذلكَ بأنَّ اللهَ مَوْلَى الذينَ آمَنُوا وأَنَّ الكافِرِينَ لا مَوْلَى لهم } ، أَي لا وَلِيَّ لهُم ، ومنه الحديثُ : مَنْ كُنْت مَوْلاهُ فعليٌّ مَوْلاهُ ، أَي مَنْ كنتُ وَلِيَّه ؛ وقال الشافِعِيُّ : يحملُ على وَلاءِ الإسْلامِ

و أَيْضاً (الرَّبُّ ) ، جلَّ وعَلا ، لتَوَلِّيه أُمُورَ العالَمِ بتَدْبيرِه وقُدْرَتِه

و أَيْضاً : (النَّاصِرُ ) ؛ نقلَهُ الجَوْهري ؛ وبه فُسِّر أَيْضاً حديثُ : مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلاهُ

و أيْضاً : المُنْعِمُ

و أَيْضاً : المُنْعَمُ عليه .

وأَيْضاً : (المُحِبُّ ) ، مِن وَالاهُ إذا أَحَبَّه

و أَيْضاً : التَّابِعُ

و أَيْضاً : (الصِّهْرُ ) ؛ وُجِدَ ذلكَ في بعضِ نسخ الصِّحاح

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