the fourteenth call: do not take as intimates those other than muslims
almighty allah says (what can be translated as): “o you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. they wish you would have hardship. hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. we have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason. here you are loving them but they are not loving you, while you believe in the scripture - all of it. and when they meet you, they say, "we believe." but when they are alone, they bite their fingertips at you in rage. say, "die in your rage. indeed, allah is knowing of that within the breasts." if good touches you, it distresses them; but if harm strikes you, they rejoice at it. and if you are patient and fear allah, their plot will not harm you at all. indeed, allah is encompassing of what they do.” (al-imran: 118-120)
almighty allah orders the believers not to take the disbelievers, jews or hypocrites as intimates and close friends other than muslims and not to tell them their secrets or plans against their enemies. this warning is because those disbelievers spare no efforts to harm and hurt muslims in their religion and their life. they wish the believers would fall into hardships and afflictions. the hatred and enmity is quite clear in what their mouths utter such as words of spite. their chests hide even greater hatred and malice against islam and the believers. this is quite clear for any sane person; allah has clarified the obvious signs through which the person can differentiate the close friend from the enemy.
almighty allah says to the believers that they love the disbelievers who hate them the most, the disbelievers do everything they can to ruin the muslims’ affairs, they wish they would become powerless, show malignity and deception and wait anxiously for crises to befall muslims. so, how come you stay close and contact them, they do not love you whether visibly or invisibly. you believe in the scripture as a whole, you believe in all the books that preceded qur’an, you do not doubt them at all. yet, they do not believe in your book and they have doubts about the book of allah. so, they deserve the hatred not you. if they meet you they would say we believe to please you and to be cautious and when they leave you to be alone they bite their fingertips in anger. say to them, die in your anger, this will not harm us. allah will bestow and complete his graces on the believers, for he is the all-knowing. he knows what their hearts conceal of rage, envy and spite towards believers.
because of the strong animosity the disbelievers and hypocrites have towards the muslims, they feel distressed when something good happens to the believers from their lord whether victory, profit or abundance. they rejoice when afflictions, badness and defeat hit muslims. allah directs the believers to have patience, piety and reliance on him to survive their schemes and harm because allah is encompassing and fully aware of what they do. everything happens according to his will and planning.
the verses portray an image of comprehensive details such as the inner feelings of spirits, the appearance of features, internal emotions, the clear reactions and the constant movement. this way, the verses record a repeating human example that keeps happening at all times and in all places. we can discuss today and tomorrow the topic of the enemies surrounding the muslim community. they pretend to have love towards muslims when they are strong and dominant, yet every move or expression fails them. the muslims become deceived and they express trust and amiability towards them at the same time when all what they want is chaos and failure happening to muslims. they spare no effort to weaken muslims and throw thorns in their way; they scheme and plot to destroy them whenever they have the opportunity day and night.
there is no doubt that the image portrayed by the holy qur’an is an amazing visualization. first, it applies to the people of the scripture living beside muslims in madinah, it portrays a strong scene of how much inner rage they were withholding against islam and muslims. the verses reveal their concealed evil and bad intentions boiling in their chests. at the same time some muslims were still deceived concerning those enemies of allah, they expressed love to them, entrusted them with the secrets of the muslim community and took them as close allies and friends without fearing the consequences of telling them the hidden secrets.
these enlightenment and warning come to show the facts to the muslim community. it is to awaken them to the schemes of their natural enemies who would never stop their malice no matter how much love and cordiality the muslims show to them, their spite will never be washed. the warning and enlightenment are not related to a certain time, it is a constant fact of life. we can see that quite clear in the world of today.
nowadays, muslims are heedless of their lord; they take disbelievers as intimates other than believers. they get very close to people who contradict with them in reality in terms of method and mean. they should not put them in a position of trust, secrecy and consultation. muslims are heedless of their lord when they take such people as their references in all matters, affairs, systems, visions, methods and paths!
muslims are heedless about the warning from allah; they aid those who oppose allah and his messenger (peace be upon him). they open their chests and hearts to them. almighty allah says to the first muslim community as well as each muslim community in every generation:
“they wish you would have hardship. hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater.”
almighty allah says: “here you are loving them but they are not loving you, while you believe in the scripture - all of it. and when they meet you, they say, "we believe." but when they are alone, they bite their fingertips at you in rage.”
he (swt) also says: “if good touches you, it distresses them; but if harm strikes you, they rejoice at it.”
again and again we are slapped by the bitter experiences, yet we do not wake up. again and again we discover a scheme or a conspiracy taking different forms each time it happens, but we do not learn the lesson. again and again a slip of a tongue reveals their spites that never end with all the love muslims show to them. their malice is never washed by the kindness that religion teaches. yet, once again we open our hearts and take them as companions of life and road! we pay compliments to them, maybe it is the spiritual defeat that makes us do so, at the expense of our belief, so we avoid mentioning or applying it as the method of our lives and we do not evaluate them according to islam. we forge and amend our history; we wipe the traces in order to avoid any mention of the conflicts between our ancestors and these enemies hiding to attack! accordingly, the punishment of the disobedient of allah befalls us, hence we become humiliated, weak and losers. this is why we become powerless as our enemies wish for and we encounter the desolation they plan for us.
this is the book of allah teaching us, exactly as it taught the first muslim community, how to avoid their schemes and push away their harms. the qur’an teaches us how to survive the evil they keep in their bosoms and reflected in the utterance of their tongues.
almighty allah says (what can be translated as): “and if you are patient and fear allah, their plot will not harm you at all. indeed, allah is encompassing of what they do.”
indeed, what we need is patience, determination and endurance against their power if they were powerful and against their deceit and evil plotting if they take the road of subversion and deception. what we need is patience, solidarity and resistance not collapse and failure, not giving up some of our religion or all of it to avoid their anticipated evil or gain an access to their satisfaction. piety and fear of allah alone come next, putting in mind that he is watching us and our actions.
the fear of allah attaches hearts to him, so hearts do not relate to anything but the method of allah; they do not adhere to nothing but his rope. when the heart connects to allah, it will belittle any power other than the power of allah. this connection will strengthen the person’s determination so he never gives up or takes the opponents of allah and his messenger as intimate seeking escape or survival.
this is the way the solution is patience, piety, solidarity and adherence to the rope of allah (awj). all over history, whenever the muslims adhered to allah alone and fulfilled his method in their life, they achieved success and prosperity, allah protected them from the evil plotting of their enemies and their word became the highest. by the same token, whenever the muslims relied on their natural enemies who fought their belief and method secretly and publicly, whenever they listened to their consultations and took them as intimates, friends, helpers, advisors and consultants, allah punished them with defeat, gave their enemies the power over them, lowered their egos and made them taste the outcome of their wrongdoing. history is the witness that the word of allah is everlasting and his sunnah (practices, principals or rules) is inevitable. the sunnah of allah will be fulfilled for sure. whoever turns a blind eye of the sunnah of allah on earth, his eyes will not see except the signs of humiliation, shame and disgrace.
we better ascertain another fact before we end this lesson, the fact of the kindness of islam while confronting all this animosity. allah orders muslims not to take intimates of those enemies, yet he does not incite them to meet this malice, spite, hatred and evil with the same. it is just a warning for the protection of the muslim community, lines and entity. this is a mere protection and warning of the danger surrounding them.
as for the muslim, he deals with everybody according to the kindness of islam and associates with everybody according to the purity of his religion. he meets everybody with complete goodness, he avoids evil plotting, but he does not plot and he is aware of hatred, but he does not hate unless he is fought because of his religion and forced to leave his belief and the method of allah. at this point, he is obligated to fight back to stop the feud and remove the obstacle withholding people from the path of allah and the fulfillment of his religion on earth. he should fight in the path of allah, not to retaliate for himself. he should fight for the love of goodness not for the hatred of who hurt him. he should fight to break the barriers banning people from reaching this goodness, not to satisfy his love for control, pride and misuse. he should fight so that everybody would enjoy justice and peace under his patronage, not to build an empire or glorify a certain national flag.
this is a fact affirmed by many texts in the qur’an and the sunnah (prophetic teachings) and translated in the history of the first muslim community while living on earth according to these texts.
this method is good; those who stop humanity from knowing about this method are nothing but the enemies. they are the enemies that should be chased and overthrown of leadership. this is the duty which was assigned to the first muslim community, so they fully fulfilled this duty the best way. any muslim community is always invited to fulfill it. the jihad is constant till the day of judgment under this flag.