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Iman and Character

Jamal Zarabozo

category: Islamic Manners


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Related to this aspect I would like to discuss a phenomenon that is occurring throughout the world and which must come to an end. This is the phenomenon of Muslims treating the disbelievers better than they treat their own Muslim brothers and sisters. This very strange phenomenon, as I mentioned, is widespread throughout the Muslim world - some of this is no doubt the result of colonialism and neo-colonialism in which the Muslims are filled with propaganda showing them that the disbelievers are superior to them because of their material progress, scientific approach, better manners, culture, and so on.

Therefore, this phenomenon has at least two reasons for it:

1) Many Muslims, especially those from "Third World" countries, have some kind of deep-rooted admiration for the disbelievers and will bend over backwards to please and satisfy the disbelievers. How many times have we heard of the mosques in Muslim countries not making the call to prayer for the Fajr prayer because it bothers the non-Muslims who live there? In how many place throughout the Muslim world are the disbelievers allowed their alcohol, pornography and other forbidden items simply to please them? Although many factors may have led to this, it is something completely wrong.

If a Muslim gets to the point where he admires, cherishes and relishes the way of life of the disbelievers - although that way of life clearly is un-Islamic - then he has committed an act of kufr (disbelief). This is something agreed upon and well-established in the relevant books.

2) A second reason why many Muslims treat the disbelievers better than they treat their own Muslim brothers is because they believe that they are making daw'aa (propagating Islam) to them. They want to set a good example for the non-Muslim. If, for instance, they have an appointment with a non-Muslim, they will do their best to show up on time. If the appointment is with a Muslim, on the other hand, they will not care when they show up. If their neighbors are non-Muslims, they will make sure that their children are quiet and respect their neighbors. But, if their neighbors are Muslims, they will not bother about how much their children might be harming their Muslim neighbor.

Daw'aa is extremely good and very important. But what about your Muslim brother, isn't he more deserving of your good contact then these disbelievers who see Allah's signs around them every day and never care even to remember God? Doesn't your Muslim brother have more rights upon you by virtue of his being part of this Muslim brotherhood?

And what about making daw'aa to your Muslim brother? Isn't he sometimes also in need for being reminded what proper Islamic behavior is? Shouldn't you also set a good example for him? Allah knows best, but perhaps you will be more effective with your good example to your Muslim brother than with the disbelievers.

In any case, our belief is La ilaha illa-Allah requires us to treat the disbelievers in a proper manner according to Islamic teachings and it also requires that we treat our Muslim brother in the proper manner according to Islamic teachings. We are not free to exemplify the teachings of Islam in one case and not in the other. Instead, all of our life should be ruled by Islam. This is just part of what our testimony or shahadah is all about.

"Say: Verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." [al-An'aam, 162]



1. Recorded by al-Hakim and others. Graded saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Jami al-Sagheer, number 2349.
2. Recorded by Abu Dawood. Graded hasan by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Jami al-Sagheer, number 1464.
3. Recorded by Ahmad and Abu Dawood. Graded saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Jami al-Sagheer, number 5721.

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