Islam is the religion of mercy. It does not sanction injustice whether inflicted against Muslims or non-Muslims. This is clearly manifested in Muslims’ positive reactions towards all barbaric acts staged against innocent people inSouth Africa during the Apartheid regime, in Rwanda and Burundi, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Kosovo and other places in the world where injustice and oppression were given free rein and human lives were put to bargain. Thus, it’s normal for one to hear Muslims imploring Allah to help those oppressed people, to back them with His Might and aid them to gain victory over the oppressors, regardless of whether the victims are Muslims or not.
So, what we’d like to make clear here is that Muslims never pray against disbelievers just because they happen to be non-Muslims. NO. Rather, Muslims are urged in this case to pray for their guidance, to implore Allah, on their behalf, to help them see the light of truth. This stems from the fact that the very aim of sending the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), was to spread mercy and compassion among all people. In the Qur’an, we read: “We have sent thee but a mercy for all worlds.” (Al-Anbiyaa’: 107)
Being a universal religion, Islam cares much for preserving the rights of non-Muslims and it pays great respect to their feelings. This is valid and maintained so long as non-Muslims do not act in a way that harms other people, not just Muslims, in which case they will be twisting the lion’s tail. Islam has always been the religion of justice, mercy, guidance and light.
hence, it is safe to say that, in principle, the Prophetic guidance in supplication tells us that we should supplicate for the guidance of others, Muslims or non-Muslims. It was the trait of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to reiterate: “O Allah! Guide my people, for they know not.” Al-Bukhari reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) refused to supplicate against the disbelievers on the day of `Aqabah. He even refused the offer of the Angel that said: “I will, if you want, cause the two mountains to fall on them.” In his response, the Prophet (peace and bles
sings be upon him) said: “Nay! I hope that there come out of them children who will worship Allah!” In another occasion, it is reported that At-Tufayl and his mates came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! The tribe of Daus have committed disbelief and disobeyed (your commands). Supplicate Allah against them!” Contrary to the people’s expectations, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), said: “O Allah! Guide Daus and let them come to us (declaring their obedience to Allah and His Messenger).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari, Book of Jihad and Siyar)
Bearing all these Prophetic Hadiths in mind, Muslim scholars said: “It is not permissible to supplicate against a disbeliever or implore Allah to shower His wrath upon him unless he aims at harming Muslims. It is better to supplicate Allah to guide all people. This point is stressed by the late Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Dr. `Abdul-Halim Mahmoud, who states the following: “Supplicating against others is not accepted unless a person has been wronged or harmed by the person whom he curses, then he may implore Allah to redeem him, for Almighty Allah is Just and He never accepts injustice.”
But here comes the question: How then would one explain the attitudes of some Muslims who pour rain of curses on non-Muslims, the Jews and Americans in general?
Regarding this, it is to be stated that every occasion dictates a special way of behaving. At times of peace, it is better to supplicate Allah to guide disbelievers. But at wartime, the reality dictates supplicating Allah to grant Muslims victory over warring disbelievers, just as they themselves would normally do, seeking victory in the war they launch on Muslims. This is the normal course of war. When people invoke Allah’s Wrath on any non-Muslim country, like the US or Israel, this is merely an outburst of anger filling their minds towards inhuman acts or schemes of oppressions orchestrated by both two countries against innocent people. So the curses are normally directed to the acts and their perpetrators, not to innocent people who have no hand in such crimes.
Shedding more light on the issue of cursing disbelievers, Dr. Muhammad Ahmad Al-Musayyar, professor of `Aqeedah at Al-Azhar University, Cairo Egypt, states that:
“Supplication is a form of showing obedience to Allah and surrender to His Will. It is a form of seeking Allah’s help, for it is He Who controls all the affairs of the world. When supplicating Allah, a Muslim never slackens or neglects his duties and the necessity of exerting efforts. Almighty Allah says: “And your Lord hath said: Pray unto me and I will hear your prayer. Lo! those who scorn My service, they will enter hell, disgraced.” (Ghafir: 60)
Supplicating Allah against disbelievers is a weapon which a Muslim uses while carrying out Jihad so as to feel safe and secure in all his steps. By this, a Muslim seeks Allah’s guidance in his fight. Almighty Allah says: “O ye who believe! When ye meet an army, hold firm and think of Allah much, that ye may be successful.” (Al-Anfal: 45)
When Muslims pray against disbelievers, they do that in two cases: when they stage resistance against oppression, and this is a form of Jihad to put an end to injustice, and when they find themselves helpless to challenge the oppressors, thus they resort to Almighty Allah, the Supreme Power to help them. It is reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), called Allah against disbelievers in some occasions when their injustice reached its peak. Example of this is the Hadith reported by `Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) in which he said: “On the day of the battle of the Trench, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), said: ‘May Allah fill their houses and graves with fire, for they have distracted us from performing `Asr prayer.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book of Jihad and Siyar)
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to supplicate in his Qunut saying, “O Allah! Make safe Salamah ibn Hisham, save Al-Walid ibn al-Walid, save `Abbas ibn Abi Rabi`ah, save all those believers who are oppressed. O Allah! Place the tribe of Mudar in difficulty, make them experience famine like that experienced at the time of Prophet Joseph.”
In the light of the above-mentioned facts, it’s clear that seeking Allah’s Wrath on disbelievers has nothing to do with their being disbelievers, at the same time, we have to bear in mind that prayer or supplication, either good or bad, is not a blind weapon that demolishes all and sundry. We should not neglect the fact that whom we forward all our prayers to is Almighty Allah, the All-Wise, who knows what everything or everyone deserves, for He is the Controller of all affairs.”