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A Kaafir Or Evildoer Should Not Be Addressed As Sayyid: Taking Sinners As Friends

Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts

Islamic Questions & Answers


Is it permissible to say to a kaafir "Ya sayyid [polite form of address, roughly equivalent to calling someone "sir" or "Mr."], such as writing on an invoice and so on, "al-Sayyid Fulaan (Mr. So and so), when it is known that he is a kaafir? Or is it permissible when speaking English for example, to say "Mr. So and so"? If it is not permissible to say to a kaafir "Ya sayyid" what is the evidence for that? Please advise me, may Allah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.

Yes, it is not permissible to say "sayyid" to a kaafir or evildoer, because it is narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: "Do not say to the hypocrite ‘sayyiduna (our master).'" The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade this, so the believer should not say "sayyid" to a kaafir or evildoer, because this is a good description which is not befitting for the kaafir or evildoer. The sayyid is the leader, chief or faqeeh, so it should not be said to one who disbelieves in Allah or one who is known for committing sin openly; rather these people should be called by their known names, such as Fulaan (So and so) or Abu Fulaan (Father of So and so), as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said concerning ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy: "What happened to Abu'l-Habbaab?"

If he is called by his nickname or his name, or it is said "So and so who is known as …," there is nothing wrong with that and this is sufficient. But to address him as "al-Sayyid Fulaan (Mr So and so)" or titles that are greater than that, that is not permissible because he is an evildoer who is known for committing evil. And there is no power and no strength except with Allah. End quote.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him)

Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 1/300

Ruling on Muslim entering into business partnership with Christians and others

Is it permissible for a Muslim to enter into a partnership with a Christian in order to raise sheep or deal in them or any other kind of business?.

Praise be to Allaah.

With regard to a Muslim entering into a partnership with a Christian or any other non-Muslim in raising livestock or farming or anything else, the basic principle is that it is permissible so long as it does not involve too close a friendship, and it is only cooperation in some kind of wealth such as agriculture, livestock and so on. A number of the scholars said that that is permissible provided that the Muslim himself is in charge of the business, i.e., he himself is in charge of running the venture in agriculture or raising livestock, and the kaafir should not do that, because he is not to be trusted.

This is subject to further discussion. If this partnership will lead to too close a friendship or doing that which Allah has forbidden or failing to do that which Allah has enjoined, then this partnership is haraam because of the corruption to which it leads. But if it will not lead to any of those things and the Muslim is the one who is in charge, and he is the one who will take care of it so that he would not be cheated, then there is nothing wrong with that.

But whatever the case, it is better to avoid such partnerships and to enter into partnerships with his Muslim brothers rather than others, so that he will keep his religious commitment and his wealth safe, because entering into a partnership with one who is an enemy to him in religious terms poses a danger to his morals, religious commitment and wealth. So it is better for the believer in every situation to keep away from such matters, so as to protect his religious commitment, to protect his honour, to protect his wealth and so as to avoid betrayal by one who is an enemy to him in religious terms, except in cases of necessity when there is a need for that, in which case there is nothing wrong with it, subject to the conditions mentioned above, namely that it should not cause any harm to his religious commitment, honour or wealth and on condition that he should be in charge, because that is safer for him. So the kaafir should not be in charge; rather the Muslim should be in charge of the business or a Muslim should act on his behalf.

End quote.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him)

Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 1/294.

Ruling On Taking Sinners As Friends

Is it permissable for a man who practice islam to talk, be friendly, and take a person who is muslim by name alone who drinks alcohol and does not pray as a friend and a helper? what is the ruling regarding taking those who do not practice their religion and go directly agains allah's commandments as friends and helpers?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Sins are of two types:

1 – Those which constitute kufr and put a person beyond the pale of Islam – we seek refuge with Allaah. The one who commits such sins is a kaafir who is beyond the pale of Islam if the conditions for describing him as a kaafir are met and there are no impediments to doing so – such as one who associates others in worship with Allaah, or does not pray at all, and so on.

2 – Sins which do not constitute kufr and do not put a person beyond the pale of Islam, but the one who does them is described as faasiq (rebellious evildoer) and a believer who is lacking in faith, such as zina (illicit sexual relationships), drinking alcohol and so on, if he does not regard these actions as permissible. If he does regard them as permissible, then this puts him beyond the pale of Islam, if the conditions for describing him as a kaafir are met and there are no impediments to doing so. The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah and the consensus of the salaf is that a person who commits a major sin but does not regard it as permissible is not to be regarded as a kaafir. For more information see the answer to question no. 9924.

Once this is understood, then the ruling on making friends with people is based on the above.

It is not permissible to take kaafirs as close friends, or to mix with them and feel friendly towards them, or to live amongst them and take them as friends, or to love them, or to prefer them over the believers and so on. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allaah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the party of Allaah. Verily, it is the party of Allaah that will be the successful"

[al-Mujaadilah 58:22]

But we are obliged to treat them fairly and justly, and not wrong them or commit acts of aggression against them with no shar'i reason. It is permissible to interact with them by buying, selling, lending, etc. It is narrated in saheeh reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) borrowed a weapon from Safwaan ibn Umayyah, and that he bought food from the Jews.

With regard to sinning Muslims, we should love them according to the faith that they have, and hate them according to the sins and immoral actions they commit, but being friends with them goes against the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "The likeness of a good companion and a bad companion is that of a perfume seller and one who works the bellows. With the perfume seller, either he will give you something or you will buy something from him, or you will notice a good smell from him, but with the one who works the bellows, either he will burn your clothes or you notice a bad smell from him." Narrated by Muslim, no. 2628.

But if the intention behind sitting with this person is to soften his heart and call him to Allaah, and guide him to the right path, then this is a virtuous action, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My Lord is Allaah (believes in His Oneness)," and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allaah's (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds"

[Fussilat 41:33]

But this is subject to the condition that he should not have any effect on you or cause you any harm when you are seeking good.

Based on the above, if the person you are asking about does not pray at all, then he is a kaafir, because the most correct scholarly view, which is the view of the salaf, if that the one who does not pray is a kaafir in the sense of major kufr, and is beyond the pale of Islam. For more information on the evidence on that, please see questions no. 2182, 5208, 6035, 33007, 10094. Based on this, it is not permissible to befriend him or be close to him, rather he should be called to repent to Allaah and pray regularly. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism], perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah) and give Zakaah, then they are your brethren in religion"

[al-Tawbah 9:11]

It should be noted that keeping company with good people is something enjoined by our Lord, may He be exalted, and our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as mentioned in the hadeeth quoted above. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Fear Allaah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds)"

[al-Tawbah 9:119]

"And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord (i.e. your companions who remember their Lord with glorification, praising in prayers, and other righteous deeds) morning and afternoon, seeking His Face"

[al-Kahf 18:28]

And Allaah knows best.

For more information see Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/31.

 

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