Please explain Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ in plain english

Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ (Love and Hate for Allah’s Sake)


The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said:

“Verily the strongest handhold of faith is that you love for the sake
of Allah and that you hate for the sake of Allah.”

[Ahmad (4/286), Ibn Abee Shaybah #110]

Ibn ‘Abbaas (RA) said:

“Whoever loves for the sake of Allaah, and hates for the sake of Allaah, and befriends for the sake of Allaah, and shows enmity for the sake of Allaah, would get Walayatullaah (Allaah’s friendship). Without abiding by this, no one can get the real taste (sweetness) of Eeman though he may have been a frequent offerer of prayer (salat) and fasts. Today, people keep relationship and love only for some wordly reason, but this will not provide them any benefit (on the Day of Judgement).”

[Ibn Jarir]

Abu Bakr (RA) had a disbelieving son (‘Abdur-Rahman) who afterward (the Battle of Badr) told his father, “I saw you but I avoided you (meaning because you are my father).” Abu Bakr (RA) said to him: “Had I seen you, I would not have avoided you.”

In the same battle, Abu ‘Ubaidah (RA) was attacked by his father Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah, who was fighting alongside the army of polytheists. Abu ‘Ubaidah (RA) avoided fighting with him but eventually his father succeeded in blocking Abu Ubaidah (RA)’s path. Abu ‘Ubaidah (RA) then attacked him and killed him.

The following verse of the Quran was written about this display of character by Abu ‘Ubaidah (RA):

“You will not find a people believing in Allah and the Last Day making friends with those who oppose Allah and His messenger even if these were their fathers, their sons, their brothers or their clan. Allah has placed faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from Him. He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which streams flow that they may dwell therein. Allah is well pleased with them and they well pleased with Him. They are the party of Allah. Is not the party of Allah the successful ones? (58:22).”

This, ya ikhwaan, is an example of Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ (loving and hating for Allaah’s sake) – not in accordance with your desires.

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