On Saying That The Attitude Of The Kuffaar Is Better Than
The Attitude Of The Muslims
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
Is it permissible for a Muslim to say that some of the
kuffaar have a better attitude than some of the
Praise be to Allaah.
If you say that the attitude of the kuffaar is better
than the attitude of the Muslims – in absolute terms –
then this is haraam, no doubt about it. In fact the
one who says that should be asked to repent, because
the most important attitude is a person’s attitude
towards Allaah, and correct etiquette towards Him
means not worshipping anyone other than Him. This
attitude is to be found only among the Muslims and not
others, and this general usage includes all the
Muslims, and there must be some of them who have a
proper Islamic attitude and follow the laws of Allaah.
But preferring the attitude of some of the kaafirs to
the attitude of some Muslims is a mistake, because the
bad attitude of the kuffaar towards their Lord, may He
be exalted, and their Prophets (peace be upon them) is
bad enough. They insulted Allaah and claimed that He
has a son, and they slandered their Prophets and told
lies about them. What good can their attitude towards
people do them when their attitude towards their Lord
is among the worst of attitudes?
Moreover, how can we look at the attitude of ten or
one hundred kaafirs, and determine from that that
their attitude is good, and forget the attitude of
most of the Jews and Christians? How often have they
betrayed the Muslims, how often have they destroyed
their homes, how often have they tempted them away
from their religion, how often have they destroyed
their wealth [?], how often have they plotted and
conspired against them?
The good attitude of a few of them does not count
against the bad attitude of most of them, let alone
the fact that this good attitude of their serves the
same purpose, for they only want to benefit themselves
and serve their own worldly interests, in most cases.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was
asked about someone who was comparing Muslim workers
to non-Muslim workers. He said: the non-Muslims are
honest and I can trust them, and their demands are few
and their work is good, but those (Muslims) are the
exact opposite – so what is your opinion?
He said: They are not Muslims in the true sense of the
word even though they claim to be Muslims. Those who
are Muslims in the true sense of the word are better
and more honest and more sincere than the kuffaar.
What you said is a mistake and you should not say it.
If the kuffaar are honest with you and fulfil their
trusts so as to get what they want from you and to
take jobs from our Muslim brothers, this is their only
goal. They may pretend to be serving your interests
but in fact they are only serving their own interests
so that they can take money and so that you will
What you have to do is only employ good Muslims. If
you see Muslims who are not righteous then advise them
and guide them. Then if they follow the right path,
all well and good, otherwise you should send them back
to their countries and bring others. Ask the agent who
chooses employees for you to choose good people who
are known to be honest, and who are known to pray and
be righteous, and not to choose just anyone.
Undoubtedly this is a trick of the Shaytaan, whereby
he says to you: These kaafirs are better than the
Muslims, or are more honest, and so on. All of that is
because the enemy of Allaah and his troops know of the
great evil that results from employing kuffaar instead
of Muslims. So he makes that idea attractive to them
and encourages them to employ non-Muslims and leave
the Muslims, and even to employ enemies of Allaah,
thus giving precedence to this world over the
Hereafter. There is no power and no strength except
I have even heard that some of them say that the
Muslims pray and miss work because of their prayers,
and the kuffaar do not pray so they do more work. This
is like what we have mentioned above; it is a very
serious matter to regard the Muslims’ prayer as
something objectionable and to employ kaafirs because
they do not pray. Whatever happened to faith and
piety? Whatever happened to fear of Allaah? How can
you criticize your Muslim brothers for praying? We ask
Allaah to keep us safe and sound.
Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him)
was asked about describing the kuffaar as honest,
trustworthy and good workers.
He replied: Even if that is true, their lies, deceit,
betrayal and theft are far worse than what is found in
some Muslim countries. This is well known. If it is
true, these are qualities that are advocated by Islam,
and the Muslims should be striving harder to acquire
these characteristics so that they may acquire a good
attitude as well as earning reward. But the kuffaar
only aim to achieve material gains by means of these
attitudes, so they are honest in their dealings so as
to attract others to them.
But if the Muslim acquires these characteristics, in
addition to material purposes he also seeks to fulfil
a shar’i aim, which is to acquire faith and earn
reward from Allaah. This is the difference between the
Muslim and the kaafir.
With regard to the claims about honesty in kaafir
countries – whether eastern or western – if this is
true, it is only a little of goodness in comparison to
the great evil, even if it is nothing more than the
fact that they deny the rights of the One Whose rights
are the greatest of all, namely Allaah – may He be
exalted and glorified. “joining others in worship with
Allaah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed” [Luqmaan 31:13
– interpretation of the meaning]. No matter how much
good these kaafirs may do, it is still greatly
outweighed by their bad deeds, kufr and wrongdoing, so
there is no goodness in them.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 3.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: The help of the ahl
al-dhimmah (non-Muslims living under Muslim rule)
should not be sought in government work or
record-keeping, because that leads to many evil
consequences. Ahmad was asked about the report of Abu
Taalib with regard to collecting taxes, and he said:
Their help should not be sought in anything.
Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 5/539
It says in Fath al-‘Ali al-Maalik fi Fatwa ‘ala
Madhhab Maalik: Preferring a kaafir to a Muslim is
apostasy if that is on the basis of religion,
otherwise it is not. (2/348).