The non-Muslim who was trusted for the protection of the Prophet Muhammad (s)

There is a fascinating event during the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in which he was fleeing Makkah with Abu Bakr and ‘Amr bin Fuhayrah from the Quraysh. He choose one of the best guides during that time who happened to be non-Muslim. I find this interesting because Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an don’t take the unbelievers as protectors, but yet the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) trusted Abdullah bin Urqat (not Urayqat), a non-Muslim guide, with protecting him and guiding him away from the entire Quraysh tribe from finding him.

There are many Muslims in today who condemn others who are simply “friends” with the non-Muslims, but yet the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) put his trust in a non-Muslim. Of course, Allah (swt) is the one who protects, but yet Allah used Abdullah bin Urayqat to assist in the protectiong of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

This shows that there is no problem in seeking help from the non-Muslims when they are the best in whatever field they are in. There is nothing wrong in it, becuase you are putting your trust in Allah first and foremost anyway.

EDIT: I need to clarify what I mean here. I mean that just because the dentist or mechanic is a “kafir” doesn’t mean we can’t trust them to fix our teeth or car. What Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an is 100% true. We should not take the kufar as our protectors but the Prophet (saas) has showed us how to apply this ayah in our lives with the way he dealt with the non-Muslims living in Madinah.

And Allah knows best.

Source: The Shepherd’s Path with Sh. AbdulBary Yahya of AlMaghrib Institute. These are my own words and thoughts of what I had learned. So please take it as simple just a story of reflection and nothing more.

29 Replies to “The non-Muslim who was trusted for the protection of the Prophet Muhammad (s)”

  1. 1. are you a mufti?

    2. how about seeking help from the non-Muslims against muslims?

    ..the qur’an is clear and refers to a specific relationship. you must understand this. the ayat does not abrogate the FACT that as muslims living as minorities in non-muslim lands, we are not treacherous, do not lie, steal or cheat – in return we receive the protection of our life, wealth and property from the non-Muslim state/government. this is the ‘aman’ that is afforded to us by virtue of this contract.

    as for seeking the help of non-Muslims in the deen-related matters, and making alliances with enemies of Islam…

  2. hmmm… that is an interesting interpretation of a pre-madinan period event.

    what scholarly source did you get this from?

  3. He is allowed to think yall. stop being haters. He is not giving out a fatwa. and of course who would listen to a fatwa from MR.

    You shouldnt take a fatwa from anyone actually as long as it dont make sense. You got to see the proof for everything. Unless it comes directly from the mouth of rasulullah sallallah alayhi wasalam. But we dont have that opportunity these days.

  4. @anon – AsatgfirAllah! May Allah (swt) forgive me if that is what you thought I meant. I have edited my post.

    @abu t – I am not a mufti. I am not talking about politics or jihad. I have edited the post to define what I meant.

    @aamer khan – The Shepherd’s Path with Sh. AbdulBary Yahya. You should be there man! 😀

    @farooq – Anyone who uses my words as a fatwa is really lost. May Allah have mercy on them. May Allah protect me from this. Ameen!

  5. How many of our past scholars have wrotten books called the collection of fatwas by….
    By this you say that famous scholars such as ibn tamiyah were lost.

  6. Asalam.

    This would make more sense if the timing of the verse from the Quran was revealed. Without this knowledge, the above episode is irrelevant.

    It’s interesting how these discussions always revert back to pre-Madinah concepts and practices when the religion was still in its nascent stages, when khamr wasn’t banned and other related issues.Fighting against the Quraysh wasn’t obligated until several years into the hijra.

  7. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I was the one that had spoken to you earlier today about original posts and all 🙂 Masha’Allah I enjoyed this post. Anywayz, regarding all the debate that is going on ^ up there ^, AbdulBary Yahya had also talked about another incident in which the Prophet Muhammad was coming from Ta’if and since the Makkans were publicly wanting to kill him, he had to seek refuge from a Makkan Mushrik who was living in the town.

    The Mushrik agreed to protect our beloved Prophet. He put his armor on, instructed his sons to put their armor on, surrounded the Ka’bah, and then made sure nobody did anything while the Prophet entered the city. Abu Jahl ran up to the Mushrik (his name escapes my memory) and asks him, “Have you also become Muslim?” The Mushrik affirms that he has not and Abu Jahl then said, “We will then honor your protection”.

    Anyways, Sheikh AbdulBary Yahya said that from this story, we can take the lesson that it is ok to take protection from others such as senators, congressmen, and such. My friend and I were wondering what he meant since the Ayah in Surah Ma’idah (“Oh you who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as protecters…”) is very clear.

    We slipped in a note and during Q&A, we saw him pick it up and then he put it down later and didn’t answer it. Later on, we went up to him and asked him why – he said because he will be talking about it when he gets to Tabuk and all the battles. So before we go around accusing each other of being wrong, let’s listen to what the Sheikh has to say (tomorrow night).

    Stay Tuned! 🙂

  8. @farooq – bro im no where in the same league as the scholars who wrtie books. i have not even written a single book. my words shouldn’t be taken as fardh, sunnah or wajib or any type of rulings.

  9. I apologize for asking that question, I sort of understood what you meant. I just wanted to point out that if someone was reading your post it seems like you were saying that there was a contradiction between what the Qur’an said and what the Prophet SAW did., but it looks like you cleared that up =)


  10. @MR oh no problem bro I get ya I think we had a misunderstandding of our words. I love your blog!

  11. as-salamu alaikum my brother,

    in Fath al Bari Imam ibn Hajar mentions conditions for seeking the help of a non-Muslim. Basically, the important thing to keep in mind is that a person shouldn’t do so if it will lead to a compromise in their deen or make them beholden to the non-Muslim or result in a poor image of Islam being projected, w’Allahu a’lam. One can look back to the Fath for further commentary on the issue.

    on a side note that is important: one has to keep in mind that rarely if ever are things related to interaction mutlaq i.e. unconditional: there are usually stipulations and regulations that have to be borne in mind, and such is the case here. thus, one has to keep in mind that reading an incident in the seerah may provide one with a general direction in one’s life and dealings, as well as inspiration, but for specific and detailed rulings, one has to return the scholars of law.

    w’Allahu a’lam (:


  12. Look…you can MARRY a non-Muslim, why then would anyone interpret the verse as meaning you can’t trust in a non-Muslim as a friend/protector (wali). Let’s judge people on their actions and how they act in the world, not on the label they apply for themselves.

  13. First of all, it is unfortunate that MR’s message suggests that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) acted contrary to Allah’s command in the Qu’ran. I am sure he did not in any way mean it that way. There are several verses that tell us to avoid taking “auliya'” from among non-Muslims. However, the verses must be read in their context and with discernment. Some of them (4:144, 4:89, 4:139) refer to the hypocrites within the Muslim community. Some of them (5:51, 5:57) refer to Chrisitans and Jews. However, 5:57 limits the scope of the prohibition to those who mock, ridicule or disrespect Islam and not to ALL Christians and Jews. Indeedm 8:72 says that Muslims and those non-Muslims who give them refuge and help are “auliya'” to one another. Moreover, other verses make it claear that we should understand that taking any human beings, even a fellow Muslims, as “auliya’ is riksy. As 13:16 says, we should take no “auliya'” but Allah. It is clear from all these ayah and the sunna of the Prophet that we are allowed to have relationships with non-Muslims but within certain limits.

  14. jazaakumAllahu khayran

    nice post…

    in Yasir qadhi;s Lessons and morals formt he Seerah Cd set, he goes into the details of this event. the type of oath the guide took to guide the Prophet (SAW) to Medina.

    just wanted to throw that int here…

    Allahu ‘alam

  15. I think before a debate ensues, we should properly define what we think the word “kafir” means because clearly not everyone here is on the same page.
    Does it refer to every person who has not formally said the shahadah or does it refer to the people who don’t believe in God or does it refer to people who are fighting against the people who believe in God?

    and with respect to some of these definitons, who would be considered a kafir and who would not be considered a kafir?

  16. Lets use reason, shall we? There are decent folks in all walks of life, there is plenty of evidence of this. Moreover there are also some pretty awful people who are muslims (ie Mr. chop off wife’s head tv station guy)…ipso post facto, choose your friends wisely rather than based on group affiliation and group think. This isn’t that complex or complicated.

    Secondly, why demonize the Quraysh? Certainly we believe in the message of Muhammad ibn Abdallah (pbuh) but that doesn’t mean that everyone would. If you came across a man in your town who said that an angel was talking to him and he was reciting noble truths to you, would you believe him? May be, may be not. The fact is that the vast majority of the followers were either close friends and companions of the Prophet pbuh (ie Khadija, Abu Bakr, Ali) or they were the poor and the destitute who had something to gain from a message which proclaimed that they were of no lesser value than others and indeed that if they believed they were better than the rest of the people living in Mecca. Over time some wealthy people also joined, even amongst these some were joining because of what they got (ie camels and gifts) rather than simply because they suddenly decided idol worshiped no longer made sense. To top it off, the Quraysh were not always bad people, certainly at times they were horrible, but the same charge could be levied against our own party.

    Once we take the blinders off, it becomes simpler to see that this was in fact a historical struggle. There are many passages against Christians and Jews but this is logical because Islam is the new comer religion thats rejected by the established religions of its time. Christianity and Judaism have similar strife with each other in the 1st century of the Gregorian Calander, moreover, the Israelites have similar strife with the Caaninite religion which precedes it in the Old Testament.

    What is obvious is that again its a historical struggle. Its only natural to paint your oponent in a negative light but these struggles were temporary. The Quyrash were forgiven. Muslims, Jews and Christians coexisted peacefuly in Andalucia and they do so today in much of the West, Indonesia etc. Only the people who want to always be fighting will focus on fighting others and not taking people as friends.

    So much of what passes for religion these days is merely the conditioning of time and space. The heart of the Abrahamic faiths has not truly changed and that heart, that core is to believe in God, love Him, do good in the world and tolove others. Whether one desires to follow the 613 laws of the OT, the teachings of Paul or the fatwas of the scholars thats a personal thing, but the issues do change because unlike scripture, the world is forever changing. There truly isn’t a need to fight each other because everyone will get what they deserve. Not an atoms worth of good will go unrewarded and not an atoms worth of evil unpunished. And we are getting closer to that momment when that will happen every second.

    Bringing it back to a down to earth level. Friendship, allegience etc. should be chosen based on character. We laugh when people want to elect Sarah Palin VP or President simply because she represents a certain agenda without realizing that we do the same when we engage in group think and judging people based on affiliations. Judge a man not by the color of his skin (or his creed) but by the content of his character.

    Moreover, if Muslims never took non-Muslims as friends then no one would ever convert. Conversion is the byproduct of love. Moreover Muslim men can marry Christian and Jewish women whom are a Mercy from Allah irrespective of their faith and He has enjoined love and mercy between them and their spouses. It should be obvious from everything I’ve said, that Islam does not condone religious bigotry.

  17. Well Allah Subhana Wata’Ala talks about kufar in Quran, he is talking about the heads of the kuffar not the common people. Allah addresses the people in power.

    As you may the story of bani Israel of how there were 3 camps.
    1. Invited to good and and forbid evil>>they were successful
    2.Did nothing minded their own business>>>left alone
    3,Wicked people and continued with Haram>>>thus punished.

    So Allah only addresses group 1 and 3. Group 1 are Muslims. Group 3 are kaffirs who are heads of states and are in power and who are involved in evil acts.

    I hope this makes it a bit more clear.
    Salam Walaikum Warakhmatullah

  18. I agree with anon. The Prophet was wrong. He should have killed the cursed kaffir. Thats what all our scholars teach us. Sometimes I just wish the Prophet would keep to his own sunnah.

  19. Some corrections:

    1. Muslims don’t say that the Prophet “fled” from Mecca to Medinah. Fleeing implies cowardice. The Prophet was ORDERED BY REVELATION to leave Mecca.

    2. A kaafir is anyone who is a non-Muslim. Anyone who nowadays, and for the past 1,400 years, does not believe in Prophet Muhammad is a kaafir (48: 13). Hence every atheist, Magian, agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, tribal pagan, Shintoist, Bahai, etc. is a kaafir. And every Christian and Jew (not talking about the Nasraa and Haadoo who genuinely followed the Prophets of their era) is also a kaafir. The issue is one of takleef (legal accountablity), that is, will the person be punished forever in Hell for his/her kufr or not. If the person was sane, pubescent, and heard the call of Islam in a language he understands, his first obligation is to embrace Islam immediately. If the person does not, and then dies–even if soon thereafter–he is condemned to Hell forever. Allah guides whomever He wills, and Allah is not obligated to do anything for us.

    3. We don’t make jokes about the Deen, the Sacred Law, or the Sunnah (9: 65). And we don’t say that the Prophet opposed what Allah revealed. This is kufr.

    I think that this highlights all the more why Muslims need to learn the matters pertaining to kufr/apostasy, so they don’t commit blasphemy without knowing it and consequently be included in the Hadith of the Prophet:

    “The slave [e.g., human being] would utter a word he deems harmless, which causes him to fall for seventy years into the Fire.”

    That is, he became a kaafir without realizing it. May Allah protect us from that.

    With Allah is the success.

  20. Whoever wrote the post under the name “anon2” has insulted the Prophet. Such statements are blasphemous and removes a person from the fold of Islam. Who in their right mind would suggest that the Prophet wasn’t doing what Allah ordered him to do.

  21. The word used for Friend in that Ayat is a very interesting word. I believe and entire commentary can be written on just that word. And if you know Arabic you know the language likes to say the same thing in different angles.

    For example take the word love. How many words in Arabic mean love and why are their so many words that mean love?

    But all in we should remember a general overall concept of Islam and that is being balanced. IF we do not even SPEAK to a nonmuslim or have any form of communication (like some brothers who just read the translation to mean “friend”) then how do we do dawah? Similarly there are some Muslims who trust THUGS more than they trust Muslims. These are 2 extremes.

    So when we follow the overall concept of being balanced inshAllah we’ll be right. Ameen

  22. @MR…I agree with asmarani… I believe that comment from anon2 should be removed … please take care of this

  23. I do not understand why all the talk. There is nothing wrong with working with a non Muslim in Islam, as long as you don’t support anything haram and etcetra.
    Btw i need help with a friend on the internet, who is trying to prove Islam wrong. Any Professional Muslim that has as good understanding of English and Islam that can help? This friend is only reachable by online messenger, unless you want to travel to rome.
    Sry if i am not supposed to ask these questions on this post, but i dont know anywhere else.

Comments are closed.