The various classifications of people according to the scale of allegiance and disassociation
Shaykhul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Praise and censure, love and hate, loyalty and enmity; for indeed this occurs in the things that Allah has revealed from His authority and His authority is His Book. So whoever was a believer, must be shown loyalty regardless of his classification. Allah the Exalted says: ‘Certainly, your true ally is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers– those who establish the prayer, pay the zakāh, and bow down in worship with those who bow down. And whoever turns to Allah for protection, His Messenger, and the party of Allah, then certainly Allah’s party is sure to be victorious.’ (1) “And Allah the Exalted says: ‘And whoever from amongst you sides with them, then indeed, he is (one) of them. Indeed, Allah does not guide oppressors.’ (2) And Allah the Exalted says: ‘The believers, men and women, are supporters of one another.’ (3) ”
And whoever possesses faith and sinfulness; is to be shown allegiance to the extent of his/her faith and is likewise shown hatred to the extent of his/her sinfulness, but is not expelled from faith in totality by virtue of immorality and sinfulness as held by the Khārijites and the Muʿtazilites.
And the Prophets, people of truth, martyrs, and righteous should not be held in the same regard as transgressors concerning belief, religion, love and hate, as well as loyalty and enmity; Allah the Exalted says: “And if two groups from the believers should fight then try to reconcile between them.” Until the statement: “Truly, the believers are brothers, so reconcile between your two brethren.(4)” So Allah made them brothers even though they fought and transgressed against each other.
And he said elsewhere: “And for this reason, the pious predecessors used to show religious allegiance to one another despite some infighting…So they would accept the testimony of one another, take knowledge from one another, inherit from one another and marry into each others’ families and interact with one another as Muslims would with other Muslims in spite of what might have existed between then of fighting and cursing and other than that.”
And Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān said regarding the classification of people as it relates to what is obligatory concerning their rights in light of allegiance and disassociation: “The people with regards to allegiance and disassociation can be divided into three categories:
1- The First Category: The one who is shown sincere unrestricted love which is not mixed with enmity. This is the description of the true believers from the likes of the Prophets, people of truth, martyrs, and righteous. And at the forefront of this category is the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and it is obligatory to show a love for him which is greater than the love of one’s self, then one should love his wives the mothers of the believers and his family and his noble companions and then their students and the favored and most distinguished generations as well as the pious predecessors of this nation and their Imāms. Allah the Exalted says: ‘And those who came after them say: Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and do not place in our hearts any resentment towards those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed you are Kind, Merciful.’(5) And the one who possesses faith does not despise the companions or the pious predecessors. Rather, it is the people of deviance and hypocrisy and the enemies of Islam like the Rāfiḍites and the Khārijites and we ask Allah for protection and well-being.
2- The Second Category: Those who are hated and opposed with an unrestricted enmity that is not mixed with love or loyalty as Allah the Exalted says: ‘You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred.’ (6) And Allah the Exalted says: ‘You see many of them becoming allies with the disbelievers (who waged war upon the Prophet Muhammad). How dreadful is what they have prepared for themselves; Allah is displeased with them and they will remain eternally tormented. And if they had believed in Allah, in the Prophet, and in what was revealed to him, they would never have taken the disbelievers as allies, but most of them are transgressors.’ (7)
3- The Third Category: Those who are shown some level of love and hate. So they merit some level of love and hate. This category is the sinful from amongst the believers. They should be loved according to whatever good is with them. They should conversely be hated according to whatever evil less than disbelief and polytheism is with them. And loving them involves advising them and censuring them. And it is not lawful to remain silent regarding their sinfulness. Rather, they should be criticized and commanded with what is good and prohibited from evil. And the prescribed Islamic punishments and discretionary punishments until they abandon their sinfulness and repent from their mistakes. However, they should not be shown unrestricted hatred and disassociated with as the Khārijites do in the case of the one who commits a major sin which is less than polytheism. And they are not given unrestricted love and allegiance as the Murjiʾites assert. Rather they are treated in a balanced manner as we have mentioned which is the ideology of Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jamāʿah” (8)
1 Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:55-56.
2 Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:51.
3 Sūrah at-Tawbah 9:71.
4 Sūrah al-Ḥujurāt 49:9-10.
5 Sūrah al-Ḥashr 59:10.
6 Sūrah al-Mujādilah 58:22.
7 Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:80-81.
8 Al-Irshād Īla Ṣaḥīḥ al-Iʿtiqād wa ar-Radd ʿAlá Ahl ash-Shirk wa al-Ilḥād by Sh. Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān page2 289-290.