Islam and its relation to other religions – A commentary on an article by Shaykh Jad Al-Haq, the Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar by Allamah Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)
A commentary on an article by Shaykh Jad Al-Haq, the Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar entitled, “Islam and its relation to other religions”
This letter is from `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz to the honorable brother His Eminence Shaykh Jad Al-Haq `Ali Jad Al-Haq the grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar, may Allah grant him success!
As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)
I have read your article which was published by Al-Jazirah newspaper issued on Friday 16/5/1415 A.H. entitled, “Islam and the others religions”. Following are extracts from the article:
Allah has honored him and preferred him to those whom He has created. This is clear in Allah’s saying in Surah Al-Isra’, And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Tayyib�t (lawful good things), and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.
Honoring man and giving him preference over other creatures is a lofty bond that links Muslims to other humans.
Allah (Exalted be He) also says in Surah Al-Hujurat: O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with All�h is that (believer) who has At-Taqw� [i.e. he is one of the Muttaq�n (the pious. See V.2:2)]. Verily, All�h is All-Knowing, All-Aware.
This indicates that it is Wajib (obligatory) upon them to enrich their relations of amicability and affection with the followers of the other religions and the non-Islamic Countries due to this brotherhood. This is the meaning of the previously mentioned Ayah…” End quote
I was very sad at reading this as their intended meaning contradicts the teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadith, so I thought of drawing Your Eminence’s attention to this matter.
Your Eminence knows that Allah (Glorified be He) ordered the believers to hate and show hostility to the Kuffar (disbelievers), not to show affection or to take them as friends.
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says, O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliy�‘ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliy�‘ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Auliy�‘), then surely he is one of them. Verily, All�h guides not those people who are the Z�lim�n (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).
In Surah Al-`Imran, Allah (Glorified be He) says, O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bit�nah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ay�t (proofs, evidence, verses) if you understand.
In Surah Al-Mumtahanah, Allah (Glorified be He), O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth (i.e. Isl�mic Monotheism, this Qur‘�n, and Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), and have driven out the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in All�h your Lord! If you have come forth to strive in My Cause and to seek My Good Pleasure, (then take not these disbelievers and polytheists as your friends). You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal. And whosoever of you (Muslims) does that, then indeed he has gone (far) 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, and they desire that you should disbelieve.Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection (against All�h). He will judge between you. And All�h is the All-Seer of what you do.Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibr�h�m (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides All�h: we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in All�h Alone”
In Surah Al-Mujadalah, Allah (Glorified be He) says, You (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will not find any people who believe in All�h and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose All�h and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people).
The previously mentioned Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) as well as the other Ayahs to the same effect indicate that it is Wajib to hate, antagonize, and sever intimate relations with disbelievers until they believe in Allah alone.
The Ayah in Surah Al-Hujurat does not indicate showing love and affection to the Kuffar, it shows that Allah made Banu Adam (human beings) different nations and tribes so that they would know each other and be able to conduct permissible transactions between them such as sale, purchase, exchange of ambassadors, collecting Jizyah (poll tax required from non-Muslims living in an Islamic state) from the Jews, the Christians, the Magi, etc. and other kinds of transactions which do not require showing affection or love.
Giving preference to Banu Adam does not indicate the permissibility of establishing relations based on love and affection between a Muslim and a disbeliever. It shows that Allah has preferred Banu Adam to those whom He has created.
It is not permissible to conclude from these two Ayahs anything that contradicts the previously mentioned Muh-kamat (clearly decided Qur‘anic verses, mostly concerning legal rulings) Ayahs as well as the other Ayahs that show the obligation of hating the disbelievers for Allah’s Sake or taking them as enemies and the prohibition of showing affection and befriending them. This is for the great difference in religion between Muslims and the disbelievers.
It is obligatory upon scholars to explain the Qur’an in a way that shows the harmony of its Ayahs and to use the Muh-kamat Ayahs in explaining the Mutashabihat (Qur‘anic verses whose meanings are not clear or not completely agreed upon).
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says, It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) the Book (this Qur‘�n). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials), and seeking for its hidden meanings
The ruling in these previously mentioned Muhkamat Ayahs is clear and the two Ayahs of Surah Al-Hujurat do not contradict this ruling.
It is not hidden to your Eminence that this ruling contradicts the clear texts which invite the People of the Book and others to believe in Allah and His Messenger and call those who do not respond as Kafir.
It is well known that all the previous Shari`ahs (Divine laws) of the prophets were abrogated by the Shari`ah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Therefore, it is not permissible for anyone to act according to any Shari`ah other than that of the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah.
Allah (Glorified be He) says, Say: “Obey All�h and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey All�h‘s Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger‘s duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way).”
Allah (Exalted be He) also says: So those who believe in him (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Qur‘�n) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.
Allah (may He be Praised) says, Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of All�h – to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. L� il�ha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in All�h and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), who believes in All�h and His Words [(this Qur‘�n), the Taur�t (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and also All�h‘s Word: “Be!” – and he was, i.e. …Is� (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), عليهما السلام], and follow him so that you may be guided.”
Allah (Exalted be He) also says: Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ’All�h is the third of the three (in a Trinity).“ But there is no Il�h (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Il�h (God – All�h).
Allah described the Jews and the Christians in Surah Al-Tawbah saying, They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides All�h, and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Taur�t (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Il�h (God – All�h) L� il�ha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).” to the end of the following two Ayahs.
There are many other Ayahs that stress the same meaning. They all indicate the disbelief of the Jews and the Christians as they took their rabbis and monks as lords instead of Allah, the saying of the Jews that `Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, the saying of the Christians that the Messiah is the son of Allah, their accusation of Muhammad of telling lies, and their disbelief in him except those whom Allah guided to Islam.
It is recorded by Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) book of Hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By Him in Whose hand the soul of Muhammad is, any Jew or Christian amongst this Ummah (nation) who hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall be one of the inhabitants of Hellfire.”
It is also recorded in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” There are many Hadiths that indicate the disbelief of the Jews and the Christians and declare their hostility to us.
Allah (Glorified be He) made the food of the People of the Book and their chaste women lawful, however, this does not indicate the permissibility of showing love and affection towards them. This is clear to whoever reflects upon the Ayahs and examines them carefully.
Finally, it is clear to Your Eminence the mistakes mentioned in the article such as:
1- Saying that love and affection is the basic of the relation between Islam and the other religions and peoples.
2- Bearing witness that the Jews and the Christians believe in Allah and that they act according to the Divine message which has the same basics.
I have written this letter to Your Eminence hoping that you would reconsider what you have written with regard to those two points. I hope also that you would check the religious texts and correct them so as to escape blame and guide the Muslim Ummah. In sha‘a-Allah (if Allah wills), this is praiseworthy behavior that shows your strong faith and your preference of the Truth.
I ask Allah with His with His Most Beautiful Names and His Lofty Attributes to guide you, Muslim scholars, and me to know and follow the Truth. I ask him to help us advise His Slaves for His Sake and make us all among those who guide others and are guided by Allah. He is the Most Generous and All-Bountiful!
May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
Fatwas of Ibn Baz>Volume 8>A commentary on an article by ShaykhJad AlHaqthe Grand Shaykh of AlAzharentitled Islam and its relation to other religions