Saturday, November 3, 2012

Can Muslims take disbelievers as protectors?


Allah commands us not to take the disbelievers as awliya. Does this mean that in my college i cant ask questions from teacher? I'm in UK and not a in Muslim college and possibly can't move right now to a Muslim school or country.


You are free to seek beneficial knowledge and wisdom from any source, regardless of whether they are Muslims or non-non-Muslims. This is an irrefutable principle of Islam; it is amply proven by the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his companions, caliphs, savants and scholars of Islam, throughout the ages.

It is wrong to say that we cannot take help from non-Muslims. How can we say so when the Prophet the caliphs as well as others have sought help from non-Muslims in various capacities? It is a well-known fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) appointed a non-Muslim as his guide during hijrah to Madinah while he was being pursued by his pagan oppressors who had sworn to assassinate him.

Likewise, in the aftermath of the battle of Badr, the Prophet (peace be upon him) freed the pagan captives of war who were literate to teach ten Muslim children how to read and write-as a pre-condition for setting them free. The Prophet's wife 'Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) tells us that the Prophet would consult physicians coming to Madinah (many of them were non-Muslims) on treatments. Aishah would listen to their prescriptions, thanks to which, she became an expert in the medicine as known to the Arabs at the time. Examples like these abound in the sources.

Furthermore, Umm Salamah (who was married to the Prophet, later) was escorted to Madinah by a non-Muslim. It is also a historical fact that the Islamic civilization as we know it was the result of Muslims learning freely from the non-Muslims in the countries they conquered. They thus followed the Prophetic wisdom: "Wisdom is the most cherished wealth of a believer; he appropriates it from any source." 
Therefore, the verses you have referred to are specifically related to taking those who oppress and wage war against Muslims as helpers and friends. It cannot be applied as a general principle.

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