Are we the brothers of the likes of Trump, Macron, and other islamophobes?
Are we the brothers of Fir’awn, Qarun, and Haman?
Such a thought is repugnant to any healthy heart, for it is unbearable to tolerate the idea of being affiliated with despicable people.
However, it is common to hear from the Crypto Reformists and the Woke Imams that all of humankind is a brotherhood because we all descend from Adam (‘alayhissalam). This claim becomes ludicrous when they use it to take the hadiths that oblige us to show special attention to our brothers, i.e., Muslims, and misapply these hadiths to include non-believers.
The Prophet ﷺ said in a narration reported in Sahih Muslim:
None amongst you believes (truly) until he loves for his brother” – or he said “for his neighbor” – “that which he loves for himself.
They claim that this hadith urges us to love for all human beings what we love for ourselves.
They use this strategy of distorting the meaning of scripture for several reasons. Some use it to convince people that Islam is a tolerant religion that does not discriminate between believers and non-believers. Others use it to drive people to do da’wah because “just as we love guidance for ourselves, the Prophet ﷺ commands us to love guidance for all humans.”
To justify their invention, they use a passage found in a commentary on the 40 hadiths of An-Nawawi where the following is attributed to the Imam:
This is interpreted as brotherhood in general, such that it includes the disbeliever and the Muslim. So he should love for his brother, the disbeliever, what he loves for himself which is his entering Islam, just as he should love for his brother Muslim that he remains in Islam. For this reason, it is recommended to supplicate for the disbeliever to be guided. The meaning of love here is an intention for good and benefit, and this meaning is religious love, not human love.
An-Nawawi never wrote this. Yet this excerpt circulates even within the so-called “traditional” Da’wah circles. Imam Al-Attar, a student of the shaykh and an undisputed reference for the transmission of his works, mentioned that An-Nawawi never wrote a commentary for his compilation of 40 hadiths.
A work called An-Nawawi’s 40 Hadith Commentary by An-Nawawi is in circulation, but this is a dubious edition based on an unknown manuscript.
When we go back to the authentic commentary of this hadith, which was written by the hand of the Imam, he says the total opposite. He states that the meaning of “his brother” is truly “his brother in Islam,” and therefore, we should not apply it to everyone without making any distinction.
Most of the well-known commentaries of this hadith corroborate this understanding.
We must therefore distinguish between two things – brotherhood in the biological sense and brotherhood in the moral sense. Technically, there is common descent between every human being on earth. However, we are not the brothers of the polytheists, the disbelievers, and the blasphemers in the moral sense.
Islam obliges us to distinguish between them and treat believers with more love and care than others.
I can understand that it is helpful for apologists to present a universalist message that appeases more people. But Islam must be presented to people without distortion. This principle must take precedence over everything else.
The Brethren of Eric Zemmour
I sometimes wonder who has better understood Islam between the zealous islamophobes and the liberal imams. Ironically, the former are hated, and the latter are adulated.
In a tweet, Eric Zemmour, the bitter Islamophobe loser of the recent French elections, said:
These enemies of Islam have well understood that one cannot be a brother with everyone. One of the challenges of da’wah is to draw a clear and distinct line between those who work for good and those who work for evil. This mania for trying to erase all of our differences in Society is laughable.
Why would we want the unbelievers to change their religion if everyone is good and they’re all our brothers? It almost seems as if, apart from their unbelief, we have nothing else to criticize the pagans for. This false propaganda minimizes the importance of preaching, and takes away from Islam’s practical and moral aspects.
The truth is: Polytheists are guilty of committing a crime against Allah, and against the rest of humankind.
Corruption has spread on land and sea as a result of what people’s hands have done, so that Allah may cause them to taste ˹the consequences of˺ some of their deeds and perhaps they might return ˹to the Right Path˺.
Beware of a trial that will not only affect the wrongdoers among you. And know that Allah is severe in punishment.
No, unbelievers are not our brothers.
This fact does not discourage me from doing da’wah. Au contraire, it motivates me to make the truth apparent, precisely so that they become our brothers.
Meanwhile, they do the same with us.
Disbelievers plot against Islam and try to misguide Muslims in order to make us their brethren. The only difference is that they don’t want us to be brothers in submission to Allah, but instead, brothers in transgression and rebellion.