Walaa' and Baraa'
Walaa' is gotten from the word Muwaalah which means to love. When you love someone or something and you bring that person or thing close you your heart, you have offer walaa'. Baraa' is the opposite of Walaa'. Muslims are instructed by Allah (SWT) to offer both Walaa' and Baraa' in measured amounts. However, both have become lost in Islam today and we have Muslims who place their love, affection and aid to the disbelievers while refusing to offer their Walaa' to their fellow believers. Walaa' and Baraa' both hold a high status in Islam as the following points indicate;
▪One simply cannot be a believer without offering Walaa' and Baraa'. The implications of testifying that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammed (SAW) is the Messenger of Allah is that one offers Baraa' to everything that is being worshipped except Allah.
▪Walaa' and Baraa' complete one's faith. As the Prophet (SAW) said:
"He who loves for Allah, hates for Allah, gives for Allah and deprives for Allah, will have completed the faith." - Abu Dawood
▪Walaa' and Baraa' is the strongest tie to faith. The Prophet (SAW) said:
"The strongest tie of faith is Walaa' for Allah and Mu'aadah for Allah." - As-Silsilah As-Sahihah #998
Walaa' and Baraa' is important in Islam and this is evident in this verse;
"And of mankind are some who will take for worship others beside Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah (more than anything else)." - Q2:165
There are three levels of Walaa' and Baraa'.
▪Firstly, there are those who deserve utmost Walaa', and these are our fellow believers. Those who believe in Allah and his Messenger and abide by the instructions of the Qur'an and Ahadith.
▪There are those who deserve both Walaa' and Baraa'. These are fellow Muslims that have fallen short of their obligations. An example of this is when Abdullah bin Himaar was being flogged for a second offense of drinking and some of the Companions cursed at him, the Prophet said:
"Do not curse him, for by Allah, i know he loves Allah and His Messenger," - Al-Bukhari
▪Lastly, there is the category that deserves complete Baraa' as instructed by Allah. These included the Mushrikoon and Kuffarr. This can also include Muslims that supplicate to others beside Allah or badmouth the Deen.
Obligations of Walaa' include;
▪Loving for a fellow Muslim what you love for your self.
▪Visiting the ill
▪Refraining from backbiting
▪Playing an active role in the community
▪Suplicating to Allah on behalf of fellow Muslims.
Obligations of Baraa' include;
▪Avoiding taking the disbelievers as awliyaa’.
"O you who believe, take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them." - Q60:1
▪Imitating the disbelievers in their customs and traditions. As the Prophet said:
"He who imitates a people is one of them." - Abu Dawood
▪Avoid supplicating for the disbelievers as this is not proper.
"It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for disbelievers, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire." - Q9:113
▪Refraining from compromising your religion to please the disbelievers.
"They wish that you would compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so they (too) would compromise with you." - Q68:9
▪Refrain from greeting disbelievers with the Salaam.
Baraa' in no way calls for the unfair treatment of disbelievers. Rather we should be fair with them, be kind to them and treat them with respect so long they do fight against Islam.
And Allah knows best. May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path. Ameen.