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I came across this post on meta, and as an example to illustrate when to go into detail about terminology, it used something like the question title I'm posting. To my surprise, I can't find anything on al-walaa' wal-baraa' on islam.se, the closest seems to be this question about the wala of slaves - I suppose wala/walaa' is related to the meaning of "wali".

I sometimes come across the expression, mostly in salafi materials, but it does seem to have a somewhat central significance in Islamic political ideas as well as a slightly important station in theology. Thus:

What is al-walaa' wal-baraa' and what is its significance, and in which aspects of Islam is it important? Do different schools of law/thought see different concepts here?

  • Really not my intention, I don't think that would be a productive question - but a concept like al-walaa' wal-baraa' should be explained somewhere on islam.se, right? – G. Bach Feb 13 '17 at 11:29
  • For the start en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Wala%27_Wal_Bara%27 the Arabic link has only salafi quotes or quotes of scholars accepted by salafis ;) – Medi1Saif Feb 13 '17 at 11:43
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Al-walaa' : be loyal to .

Al-baraa' : wash your hands from or become innocent from or leave something away.


in Islam conducts :

1- Be loyal to Allah (by obeying his orders of what to do and not do), and his Prophet Mohammed -peace upon him-, and his companions , plus his followers and Muslim brothers. (by loving them, supporting them, aiding & helping them and backing them up).

2- Clear and innocent from Allah infidels , polytheists , and dissemblers. (including all their characteristics and similarities and acts and opposing them, not helping them)

but in some cases if they were one's parents , you should accompany them in the life with good turn but without opposing God's Orders.


its significance in political : be a loyal to your Muslim leader or group leader . and the inverse is correct by disobeying him if he is conflicting with Allah clear orders.

'Abdullah Bin Umar wrote to `Abdul Malik bin Marwan, swearing allegiance to him: 'I swear allegiance to you in that I will listen and obey what is in accordance with the Laws of Allah and the Tradition of His Apostle as much as I can.' Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 7272

its significance in Islam :

1- its within the context meaning of "no god but Allah" as you should not obey any one else but Allah .

2- its a mandatory in faith's "Iman's" requirements as you should not obey the non-believers.

3- its the building block where Muslims community raise upon it.(faithful men are brothers)

4- not performing the walaa' and the baraa' may means you are infidel (by obeying the disbelievers)

5- its importance is due to mentioning it many times in the Quran Holy book and the Tradition of His Apostle (Prophet Mohammed peace upon him).

6- it distinguish you between the faith and the infidelity .


as far as i know there is no interference between schools about above general clarifications .

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    If you added a few more evidences I will consider this answer for the bounty. I'd appreciate also a commentary of OP on that! – Medi1Saif Mar 10 '17 at 8:17
  • I'd be interested if you could add some examples of what is expected in terms of being loyal to Muslims and in opposing the Non-Muslims. In particular, some non-trivial examples of what would constitute breaching al-walaa wal-baraa would be helpful. – G. Bach Mar 10 '17 at 18:22
  • "as far as i know there is no interference between schools about above general clarifications ." is true, but there's a difference in the interpretation. Therefore I'm still waiting for an improvement of this answer. – Medi1Saif Mar 13 '17 at 9:38

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