Allah عزوجل says in The Qur’an;
يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ
“He (Allah) knows what is in the heavens and on earth, and He knows what you conceal and reveal. And Allah is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts of men.”
Surah At-Taghabun, 64:4
Excerpts from Tafsir Ibn Kathir رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ about this ayah and the three ayahs proceeding it:
This is the last Surah among Al-Musabbihat. We mentioned before that all creatures praise the glory of Allah, their Creator and Owner. Allah the Exalted said,
﴿لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ﴾
(His is the dominion, and to Him belongs the praise,) meaning, He is the One Who has control over all creation, the One praised for all He created and decreed. Allah’s statement,
﴿وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ﴾
(and He is Able to do all things.) means that whatever He wills occurs without resistance, and whatever He does not will, never occurs. Allah said,
﴿هُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُمْ مُّؤْمِنٌ﴾
(He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers.) meaning, Allah created you with these characteristics and He willed that for you. Therefore, there will be believers and disbelievers. Surely, Allah is the One Who sees those who deserve guidance and those who deserve misguidance. He is the Witness over His servant’s deeds and He will completely recompense them. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
﴿وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ﴾
(And Allah is All-Seer of what you do. ) Allah said,
﴿خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالأَرْضَ بِالْحقِّ﴾
(He has created the heavens and the earth with truth,) with equity and wisdom,
﴿وَصَوَّرَكُمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ﴾
(and He shaped you and made good your shapes.) He made you in the best shapes and forms. Allah the Exalted said,
﴿يأَيُّهَا الإِنسَـنُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ – الَّذِى خَلَقَكَ فَسَوَّاكَ فَعَدَلَكَ – فِى أَىِّ صُورَةٍ مَّا شَآءَ رَكَّبَكَ ﴾
(O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the most Generous Who created you, fashioned you perfectly and gave you due proportion; in whatever form He willed, He put you together.) (82:6-8) And His saying,
﴿اللَّهُ الَّذِى جَعَـلَ لَكُـمُ الاٌّرْضَ قَـرَاراً وَالسَّمَآءَ بِنَـآءً وَصَوَّرَكُـمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُـمْ وَرَزَقَكُـمْ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَـتِ﴾
(Allah, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things.) (40:64) and His saying;
(And to Him is the return.) means the return and final destination. Allah then informs of His knowledge of all that there is in the heavens, in the earth and in the souls, He said:
﴿يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمُ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ ﴾
(He knows what is in the heavens and on earth, and He knows what you conceal and what you reveal. And Allah is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.)
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
The Two Distinct Affairs: Belief and Disbelief
Allah عزوجل says in The Qur’an:
فَلَعَلَّكَ بَـٰخِعٌۭ نَّفْسَكَ عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَـٰرِهِمْ إِن لَّمْ يُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِهَـٰذَا ٱلْحَدِيثِ أَسَفًا
“Perhaps, you, would kill yourself (O Muhammad ﷺ) in grief, over their footsteps (for their turning away from you), because they believe not in this narration (the Qur’an).”
Surah Al-Kahf, 18:6
The Muslim who desires a successful end through avoiding the plots of the unbelievers should take heed to Allah’s عزوجل warning;
وَمَا يَسْتَوِى ٱلْأَعْمَىٰ وَٱلْبَصِيرُ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ وَلَا ٱلْمُسِىٓءُ ۚ قَلِيلًۭا مَّا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ
“And not equal are the blind and those who see; nor are (equal) those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah- Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous good deeds, and those who do evil. Little do you remember!”
Surah Al Ghafir, 40:58
وَدَّ كَثِيرٌۭ مِّنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ إِيمَـٰنِكُمْ كُفَّارًا حَسَدًۭا مِّنْ عِندِ أَنفُسِهِم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلْحَقُّ ۖ فَٱعْفُوا۟ وَٱصْفَحُوا۟ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِىَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِۦٓ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌۭ
“Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their own selves, even after the truth (that Muhammad ﷺ is Allah’s Messenger) has become manifest to them. But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His Command.*. Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.
*The provision to forgive and overlook has been abrogated by verse 9:29 according to Tafsir At-Tabari.
Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:109
Truly! Allah عزوجل knows what is in the hearts of His creation- both the believing and disbelieving hearts belong to Allah;
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا۟ بِطَانَةًۭ مِّن دُونِكُمْ لَا يَأْلُونَكُمْ خَبَالًۭا وَدُّوا۟ مَا عَنِتُّمْ قَدْ بَدَتِ ٱلْبَغْضَآءُ مِنْ أَفْوَٰهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِى صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ ۚ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ ٱلْـَٔايَـٰتِ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
هَـٰٓأَنتُمْ أُو۟لَآءِ تُحِبُّونَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِبُّونَكُمْ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱلْكِتَـٰبِ كُلِّهِۦ وَإِذَا لَقُوكُمْ قَالُوٓا۟ ءَامَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا۟ عَضُّوا۟ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْأَنَامِلَ مِنَ ٱلْغَيْظِ ۚ قُلْ مُوتُوا۟ بِغَيْظِكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ
إِن تَمْسَسْكُمْ حَسَنَةٌۭ تَسُؤْهُمْ وَإِن تُصِبْكُمْ سَيِّئَةٌۭ يَفْرَحُوا۟ بِهَا ۖ وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا۟ وَتَتَّقُوا۟ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْـًٔا ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌۭ
“O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed, we have made plain to you the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses) if you understand.
Lo! You are the ones who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the Scripture [i.e. you believe in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), while they disbelieve in your Book, The Qur’an]. And when they meet you, they say, “We believe.” But when they are alone, they bite the tips of their fingers at you in rage. Say: “Perish in your rage. Certainly, Allah knows what is in the breast (all the secrets).
If good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqun [the pious], not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.”
Surah Al-Imran, 3:118-120
An who’s words can be truer than Allah عزوجل! May Allah bless you! Ameen. My dear Brothers and Sisters, we must not be swayed by the soft speech of the associanists of Islam. These are those whom Ibn Taymiyyah رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ in his work; “al-Furqan bayna Auliya’ al-Rahman wa Auliya’ al-Shaytan” , described as pretending to be the Auliya’ (friends) of Allah through their false piety but are merely Auliya’ of Shaytan. They pretend to believe in parts of your religion (Islam) by saying they believe that there is only one God, yet they say He has a son. We seek Allah’s refuge from misguidance. Ameen.
These associanists fast and behave as the pious. Some of them even devote themselves to prayer at night yet their worship is unacceptable due to their babbling utterances and clapping of the hands. Allah says in The Qur’an;
فَذَرْهُمْ يَخُوضُوا۟ وَيَلْعَبُوا۟ حَتَّىٰ يُلَـٰقُوا۟ يَوْمَهُمُ ٱلَّذِى يُوعَدُونَ
“So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense and play until they meet the Day of theirs which they have been promised.”
Surah Az-Zukhruf, 43:83
Know my dear brother and sisters that the companionship of unbelievers is no more suitable for you than they companionship of Shaytan’s offspring. The wise will comprehend that they are one and the same.
وَٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍۢ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥٓ ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌۭ
“The believers, men and women, are Auliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’ruf (i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All Wise.
Surah At-Taubah, 9:71
As for the hypocrites and innovators they are friends to your enemies and your enemies friends all while pretending they are your friend too. Allahعزوجل says in the Qur’an;
۞ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا۟ ٱلْيَهُودَ وَٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰٓ أَوْلِيَآءَ ۘ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍۢ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُۥ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
فَتَرَى ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌۭ يُسَـٰرِعُونَ فِيهِمْ يَقُولُونَ نَخْشَىٰٓ أَن تُصِيبَنَا دَآئِرَةٌۭ ۚ فَعَسَى ٱللَّهُ أَن يَأْتِىَ بِٱلْفَتْحِ أَوْ أَمْرٍۢ مِّنْ عِندِهِۦ فَيُصْبِحُوا۟ عَلَىٰ مَآ أَسَرُّوا۟ فِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ نَـٰدِمِينَ
“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians as Auliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliya’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya’, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guided not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheist and wrong-doers and unjust).
And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease (of hypocrisy), they hurry to their friendship, saying: “We fear lest some misfortune of a disaster may befall us.”. Perhaps Allah may bring a victory or a decision according to His Will. Then they will become regretful for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves.”
Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:51-52
Al-Fudayl b. ‘Iyaad رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said;
” A person of innovation, do not trust him regarding your religion, and do not consult him in your affairs, and do not sit with him. For whoever sits with a person of innovation (Bid’ah), Allah will cause him to inherit blindness.”
Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah of al-Laalikaa’ee (no. 264)
Know my dear Brothers and Sisters that our hearts can never be hidden from Allah. We must ask Allah to purify our hearts and detach it from that which He hates;
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا۟ عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِٱلْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا۟ بِمَا جَآءَكُم مِّنَ ٱلْحَقِّ يُخْرِجُونَ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۙ أَن تُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَـٰدًۭا فِى سَبِيلِى وَٱبْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِى ۚ تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِم بِٱلْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا۠ أَعْلَمُ بِمَآ أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَآ أَعْلَنتُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ
“O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheist) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism, this Qur’an, and Muhammad ﷺ), and have driven out the Messenger ﷺ and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in Allah your Lord! If you have come forth to strive in my Cause and seek My Good Pleasure, then take not these polytheist and disbelievers as your friends). You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal. And whosoever of you (Muslims)does that, then indeed he has gone (far) astray from the Straight Path.
Surah Al-Mumtahanah, 60:1
One must know that these ayahs does absolve the Muslim from giving dawah to non-muslims or dealing kindly and justly with them;
لَّا يَنْهَىٰكُمُ ٱللَّهُ عَنِ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَـٰتِلُوكُمْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَـٰرِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُقْسِطِينَ
“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you in account of your religion or drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.”
Surah Al-Mumtahanah, 60:8
Calling to Islam with wisdom and beautiful preaching is a means by which people may come to embrace Islam;
۞ عَسَى ٱللَّهُ أَن يَجْعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ ٱلَّذِينَ عَادَيْتُم مِّنْهُم مَّوَدَّةًۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ قَدِيرٌۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
“Perhaps Allah will make friendship between you and those whom you hold as enemies. And Allah has power (over all things), And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Surah Al-Mumtahanah, 60:7
In his work; “The Dunya and It’s Reality”, Ibn Al Qayyim رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ relates the following example;
“A group of people trekked across the desert until they were stricken with thirst, this they went to the sea. Sea water is most bitter and salty, but due to their severe thirst, they did not taste it’s bitterness or salt, so they drank it. The salt water didn’t quench their thirst; and the more they drank the more their thirst increased, until the damaged their bowels and died of dehydration.
The intelligent people knew that this water was bitter and salty, and the more he drinks the more he will become thirsty. This, they abandoned it and travelled until they found a land with sweet vegetation. They dug into the core of the land and fresh sweet water sprung out for them. They drank the water and used it for soaking and cooking. They called their brothers who were at the edge of the sea, saying, “Come now to fresh water!” Some of the people at the salt water mocked them, while others ignored them because they were pleased with what they had. A few people here and there responded to their call.
Ibn Al Qayyim رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ ends the passage by saying;
This is the exact example given by Jesus the Messiah عليه والسلام. He said;
The one who seeks after the worldy life is like the one who drinks salt water. The more he drinks, the more his thirst increased until it kills him.*
*Az Zuhud by ibn Abi Dunya, Hadith 326
We can also take from this beautiful similitude the many states of the believer and disbelievers. The believers use their intelligence and seek out the path that will benefit them in both this life and the next. The disbeliever is hasty and endulges on that which is harmful for faster gratification. The believer is willing to go through the pains of patience fully expecting a good end. The disbelievers are shortsighted and focus on what they can readily attain regardless as to quality. The believers are sympathetic and soft-hearted, inclined to share the good the have received. Some of the disbelievers are arrogant and dismissive while others are inattentive and content with the harm they are causing themselves. However, there are a few who stop in the midst of their ignorance to take heed to the call. It is for these, the callers to Allah should call;
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَٱعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ ٱلْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِۦ وَأَنَّهُۥٓ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
“O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and His Messenger ﷺ when He calls you to that which will give you life. And know that it is Allah who comes between a person and his heart (i.e. He prevents an evil person to decide anything). And verily, to Him you shall (all) be gathered.”
Surah Al-Anfal, 8:24
As for those who traversed upon the path of Allah عزوجل and have been rewarded with sweet water, would it be rational to go and seek friendships with the people who are content with that which causes them harm. No indeed! That is not suitable for the one who believes!
Ibn Baz رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ stated;
“A Muslim should not befriend a person who abandons salah, or commits any act of shirk (disbelief, polytheism), and should not accept his invitation or invite him to his home. Rather one should forsake such a person along with advising and calling him to repent to Allah (Glorified be He). Unless Shari’ah interest necessitates not to forsake him, in order to continuously call him to repent, hoping he may respond to Al-Haqq (Truth) and quit falsehood without befriending him.”
Fatwas of Ibn Baz 7/415 Alifta.net
But as for those who respond to the call then Allahعزوجل says;
قُل لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓا۟ إِن يَنتَهُوا۟ يُغْفَرْ لَهُم مَّا قَدْ سَلَفَ وَإِن يَعُودُوا۟ فَقَدْ مَضَتْ سُنَّتُ ٱلْأَوَّلِينَ
“Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past sins will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already proceeded (as a warning).”
Surah Al-Anfal, 8:38
We ask Allah عزوجل;
“O Allah! Grant me your love; and the love of a person whom my loving him will be a benefit to me near you. O Allah! Whatever you have granted me from what I love, make it a means of strength for me to use in the way you love. O Allah! Whatever love of things you have removed from me then grant in it’s place the love of things that you love.” Ameen Yaa Rabbi.