Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Faithful Muslim Who Proved That He Wasn’t Treacherous A Look at Nidal Malik Hasan's Actions in Light of Islamic Teachings Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

The recent Fort Hood massacre has gotten the attention of the media (and rightly so). It has once again brought to the forefront the issue of whether the actions of Muslims such as Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s are motivated by the teachings of Islam or are such atrocities at odds with what Islam says concerning the treatment of non-Muslims.

Hasan himself thought that his actions were justified by the teachings of Islam and even gave a presentation to senior Army doctors on June 2007 where he demonstrated that Muslims were expressly forbidden from helping and befriending non-Muslims (
*; *). In his presentation Nidal Hasan mentioned the problems the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting wars in Muslim countries. As his own slides show Hasan also believed and was convinced that Muslims were commanded to attack and subjugate the non-Muslims if and when they had the ability to do so.

There were Muslims who actually praised what Nidal Malik Hasan did and even encouraged other fellow believers to carry out similar attacks against the infidel armies who plan on “invading” Muslim lands in order to spread their “mischief ”:


However, not all Muslims shared these sentiments. Certain Muslim “scholars” and dawagandists claim that Nidal Hasan violated the teachings of Islam by breaking the covenant that he made with the “infidels”. These propagandists argue that Islam condemns the violation of oaths and commands Muslims to honor their treaties and contracts (
*; *).(1)

In this article we are going to examine the teachings of Islam to see whether the actions of Major Hasan were in direct violation of what the Quran and Muhammad taught, or do the so-called authentic Islamic sources condone such murderous and treacherous acts.

The Islamic Prohibition on Befriending and Aiding Non-Muslims

In the first place, Major Hasan wasn’t supposed to be in the army of the “infidel” since aiding and befriending the disbelievers,” especially Jews and Christians, is a direct violation of the Quran:

O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends (auliya). They are friends (auliya) one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. S. 5:51 Pickthall

Muhammad is reported to have told the Muslims that they should only associate with fellow believers and warned that a man eventually ends up following the religion of his friend:

Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri: The Prophet said: Associate only with a believer, and let only a God-fearing man eat your meals. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41,Number 4814)
Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 4815)

According to the Quran the only time a Muslim can befriend a disbeliever is if s/he lives in a situation in which the unbelievers outnumber them and/or the Muslims do not have the ability to subjugate them:

Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah
unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying. S. 3:28 Pickthall

Here is how noted Muslim scholar and expositor Ibn Kathir explained this passage:

The Prohibition of Supporting the Disbelievers
Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers,
or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers. Allah warned against such behavior when He said…
(And whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way)
meaning, whoever commits this act that Allah has prohibited, then Allah will discard him. Similarly, Allah said…

(O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them), until…
(And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path.)
[60:1]. Allah said…
(O you who believe! Take not for friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves)
[4:144], and…

(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends of each other. And whoever befriends them, then surely, he is one of them.)

Allah said, after mentioning the fact that the faithful believers gave their support to the faithful believers among the Muhajirin, Ansar and Bedouins…
(And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you do not behave the same, there will be Fitnah and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption.)

Allah said next…
(unless you indeed fear a danger from them)
meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers OUTWARDLY, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We smile in the face of some people ALTHOUGH OUR HEARTS CURSE THEM.'' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, "The TUQYAH is allowed until the Day of Resurrection... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; underline and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir wasn’t alone here, nor is his interpretation simply an outdated medieval position. Here is what the Salafi scholars at
www.islamqa.com say:

In the Quraan, it says that we can not take the Kuffaar as awliyaa, but what does that mean? I mean, to what degree? Can we do business with them still? If I'm at school, can we play basketball with them? Can we talk to them about basketball and stuff? Can we hang out with them as long as they keep their beliefs to themselves? The reason I ask is because someone I know does hang out with them in this way and it doesn't affect his beliefs, but I still tell him, "Why don't you hang out with the muslims instead?" He says that most or many of the Muslims drink and take drugs where they hang out and they have girlfriends and he's afraid that the sins of the Muslims will lure him, yet he's sure that the Kufr of the Kaafirs will not lure him because that's something that isn't attractive to him. So is hanging out with them, playing sports with them, and talking with them about sports considered as "taking them as awliyaa instead of the believers" keeping in mind that he is doing that for his own eemaan?
Praise be to Allaah.

Allaah has forbidden the believers to take the kaafireen (disbelievers) as friends, and He has issued a stern warning against doing that.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
 “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)” [al-Maa’idah 5:51]

Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: In this verse Allaah tells us that whoever takes the Jews and Christians as friends is one of them because of his taking them as friends. Elsewhere Allaah states that taking them as friends incurs the wrath of Allaah and His eternal punishment, and that if the one who takes them as friends was a true believer he would not have taken them as friends. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their ownselves have sent forward before them; for that (reason) Allaah’s Wrath fell upon them, and in torment they will abide.

81. And had they believed in Allaah, and in the Prophet (Muhammad) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers); but many of them are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah)” [al-Maa’idah 5:80-81]

Elsewhere Allaah forbids taking them as friends and explains the reason for that, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allaah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have despaired of (receiving any good in) the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection)” [al-Mumtahanah 60:13]

In another verse Allaah explains that this is so long as they are not taken as friends because of fear or taqiyah (i.e., being friendly with them in order to avoid harm); if that is the case then the one who does that is excused. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliyaa’ (supporters, helpers) instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allaah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:28]

This verse explains all the verses quoted above which forbid taking the kaafirs as friends in general terms. What that refers to is in cases where one has a choice,
 but in cases of fear and TAQIYAH it is permissible to make friends with them, as much as is essential to protect oneself against their evil. That is subject to the condition that one's faith should not be affected by that friendship and the one who is behaves in that manner out of necessity is not one who behaves in that manner out of choice.

It may be understood from the apparent meaning of these verses that the one who deliberately takes the kuffaar as friends by choice and because he likes them, is one of them.
End quote. Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 2/98,99

One of the forms of making friends with the kaafirs which is forbidden is taking them as friends and companions, mixing with them and eating and playing with them.

In the answer to question no.
10342 we have quoted Shaykh Ibn Baaz as saying:

Eating with a kaafir is not haraam if it is necessary to do so, or if that serves some shar’i interest. But they should not be taken as friends, so you should not eat with them for no shar’i reason or for no shar’i purpose. You should not sit and chat with them and laugh with them. But if there is a reason to do so, such as eating with a guest, or to invite them to Islam or to guide them to the truth, or for some other shar’i reason, then it is OK.

The fact that the food of the People of the Book is halaal for us does not mean that we may take them as friends and companions. It does not mean that we may eat and drink with them for no reason and for no shar’i purpose.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-'Uthaymeen was asked about the ruling on mixing with the kuffaar and treating them kindly hoping that they will become Muslim. He replied:

the Muslim is obliged to HATE the enemies of Allaah and to disavow them, because this is the way of the Messengers and their followers. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibraaheem (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allaah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allaah Alone’” [al-Mumtahanah 60:4]
“You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself” [al-Mujaadilah 58:22]

Based on this, it is not permissible for a Muslim to feel any love in his heart towards the enemies of Allaah who are in fact his enemies too. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“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” [al-Mumtahanah 60:1]

But if a Muslim treats them with KINDNESS and gentleness in the hope that they will become Muslim and will believe
, there is nothing wrong with that, because it comes under the heading of opening their hearts to Islam.
But if he despairs of them becoming Muslim, then he should treat them accordingly. This is something that is discussed in detail by the scholars, especially in the book Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah by Ibn al-Qayyim.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3, question no. 389. (Question #59879: What is meant by taking the kuffar as friends? Ruling on mixing with the kuffar; bold and capital emphasis ours)

And here is the counsel they gave to a Muslim enlisted in an “infidel” army:

I work in the army of a non-Muslim state, and there are wars between them and the Muslims. What is the ruling if they send me with a division of this army to wage war against the Muslims? As a Muslim, my feelings are that I never want to fight against Muslims in any war. What should I do?
What is the ruling if I go…?

Praise be to Allaah.
If you are sent to wage war against the Muslims,
then it is not permissible for you to take part at all. Helping the kaafirs against the Muslims is a form of major kufr which puts one beyond the pale of Islam. Allaah says concerning one who supports the mushrikeen (interpretation of the meaning):
“And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’, i.e., friends), then surely, he is one of them”[al-Maa’idah 5:51]

With regard to how you may get out of this situation, and what excuse you can give to get out of this dilemma if it happens, we ask Allaah to help you, and we suggest that you consult some Muslims who have relevant knowledge or experience.

We want to emphasize to you the necessity of finding other employment and of leaving service in the army of the kaafirs, because that implies helping them, strengthening them and increasing the numbers of their fighters and supporters –
unless your work can bring some benefits to the Muslims, such as giving information and secrets of the kaafirs to the Muslims so as to help the Muslims, or if your work is purely da’wah, such as giving khutbahs and leading prayers for the Muslims in the kaafir army whilst also advising them to avoid any work that will strengthen the kaafirs. We ask Allaah to keep you safe from temptation and to give you a good end in this world and in the Hereafter.
(Fatwa No. 14004: It is not permissible for a Muslim to fight with kaafirs against the Muslims at all; bold and underline emphasis ours)

See also their following answers to similar questions:

The Muslim scripture further forbids the unlawful killing of fellow believers:

It is not for a believer to kill a believer except (that it be) by mistake
, and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, (it is ordained that) he must set free a believing slave and a compensation (blood money, i.e.
Diya) be given to the deceased's family, unless they remit it. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer; the freeing of a believing slave (is prescribed), and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, compensation (blood money - Diya) must be paid to his family, and a believing slave must be freed. And whoso finds this (the penance of freeing a slave) beyond his means, he must fast for two consecutive months in order to seek repentance from Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise. And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him. S. 4:92-93 Hilali-Khan

And do not kill anyone which Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause
. And whoever is killed (intentionally with hostility and oppression and not by mistake), We have given his heir the authority [(to demand
Qisas, Law of Equality in punishment or to forgive, or to take Diya (blood money)]. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life (i.e. he should not kill except the killer only). Verily, he is helped (by the Islamic law). S. 17:33 Hilali-Khan

It is interesting that Nidal Hasan himself quoted these very passages in slide 12 of his presentation. Thus, Hasan knew very well that aiding the “infidel” in “attacking” Muslims in their lands was a direct violation of the teachings of Islam.

Islam on waging war and spreading mischief
The Quran threatens to punish anyone who would spread mischief and/or seek to wage war against Allah and his “messenger:”

Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land! The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief (fasadan) in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter. S. 5:32-33 Hilali-Khan

According to Muslim scholars waging “war” and spreading “mischief” encompass more than just physical fighting. It also includes such things as spreading a religion other than Islam and/or disobeying the express commands and prohibitions of Allah:


Fasad, literally 'corruption', in Qur'anic terminology, means creating disorder and corruption earth BY FOLLOWING A PATH OTHER THAN GOD’S. Islam maintains that true peace and happiness emanate ONLY THROUGH THE OBSERVANCE OF GOD’S COMMANDS and through making a conscious effort to see that His laws alone are implemented in every sphere of life. Fasad occurs when man violates God's laws and disobeys Him. Fasad may therefore be partial as well as total; partial when one disregards God's law in one aspect of life while acknowledging His sovereignty in other spheres. If a society is based on the denial of God, that society is bound to be a corrupt and exploitative society - hence full of fasad. (
Glossary of Islamic Terms, compiled by Ishaq Zahid; capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir explains that:

The Punishment of those Who Cause Mischief in the Land
Allah said next…

'Wage war' mentioned here means, OPPOSE AND CONTRADICT, and it includes DISBELIEF, blocking roads and spreading fear in the fairways. Mischief in the land refers to various types of evil. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 3,
p. 161: capital emphasis ours)

He further says in reference to Q. 2:11-12 which uses the same wordfasad:

Meaning of Mischief

In his
Tafsir, As-Suddi said that Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Mas`ud commented…

"They are the hypocrites. As for…
<"Do not make mischief on the earth">, that is DISBELIEF AND ACTS OF DISOBEDIENCE." Abu Ja`far said that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that Abu Al-`Aliyah said that Allah's statement, ...
, means, "Do not commit acts of disobedience on the earth. Their mischief is DISOBEYING Allah, because whoever disobeys Allah on the earth, OR COMMANDS THAT ALLAH BE DISOBEYED, he has committed mischief on the earth. Peace on both the earth and in the heavens is ensured (and earned) through obedience (to Allah)." Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Qatadah said similarly. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Volume 1, Parts 1 and 2 (Surat Al-Fatihah to Verse 252 of Surat Al-Baqarah), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri
[Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: January 2000],
pp. 131-132; capital emphasis ours)


Types of Mischief that the Hypocrites commit

Ibn Jarir said, "The hypocrites commit mischief on earth BY DISOBEYING THEIR LORD on it and continuing in the prohibited acts. They also ABANDON WHAT ALLAH MADE OBLIGATORY AND DOUBT HIS RELIGION, even though He does not accept a deed from anyone EXCEPT WITH FAITH IN HIS RELIGION and certainty of its truth. The hypocrites also lie to the believers by saying contrary to the doubt and hesitation their hearts harbor. They give as much aid as they can, against Allah's loyal friends, and support those who deny Allah, His Books and His Messengers. This is how the hypocrites commit mischief on earth, while thinking that they are doing righteous work on earth."
The statement by Ibn Jarir is true, taking the disbelievers as friends is one of the categories of mischief on the earth... (Ibid.,
 p. 132; capital emphasis ours)

Hence, from an Islamic perspective what Major Hasan did was noble since he sought to prevent the “enemies” of Allah from “invading” Muslim lands and spreading their “mischief.”

Islam on the Permissibility of Violating Oaths and Covenants
These propagandists further failed to inform their readers that Islam actually allows Muslims to break their agreements and vows:

Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger to those of the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), with whom you made a treaty
. So travel freely (O
Mushrikun - see V.2:105) for four months (as you will) throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah, and Allah will disgrace the disbelievers. And a declaration from Allah and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day (the 10th of Dhul Hijjah - the 12th month of Islamic calendar) that Allah is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) and so is His Messenger. So if you (Mushrikun) repent, it is better for you, but if you turn away, then know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah. And give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful torment to those who disbelieve. Except those of the Mushrikun with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty to them to the end of their term. Surely Allah loves Al- Mattaqun (the pious - see V.2:2). Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And if anyone of the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur'an), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not. How can there be a covenant with Allah and with His Messenger for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) except those with whom you made a covenant near Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah)? So long, as they are true to you, stand you true to them. Verily, Allah loves Al-Muttaqun (the pious - see V.2:2). How (can there be such a covenant with them) that when you are overpowered by them, they regard not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant with you? With (good words from) their mouths they please you, but their hearts are, averse to you, and most of them are Fasiqun (rebellious disobedient to Allah). They have purchased with the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah a little gain, and they hindered men from His Way; evil indeed is that which they used to do. With regard to a believer, they respect not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant! It is they who are the transgressors. But if they repent, perform As-Salat(Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion. (In this way) We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail for a people who know. But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and attack your religion with disapproval and criticism then fight (you) the leaders of disbelief (chiefs of Quraish - pagans of Makkah) - for surely their oaths are nothing to them - so that they may stop (evil actions). Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths (pagans of Makkah) and intended to expel the Messenger, while they did attack you first? Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are believers. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people, And remove the anger of their (believers') hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. S. 9:1-15 Hilali-Khan

We shall see shortly see that, contrary to the assertions of the above passage, it was Muhammad who broke his treaty with the pagans first, not the other way around. Moreover, the pagans had already surrendered and come under the subjection of Muhammad when these verses were composed, and as such they posed no serious threat to him or his followers. For more on this issue we recommend the following


Continues with Part Ib


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