The late Azharite scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Ash-Sharabaasi, may Allah rest his soul in peace, states the following: “The Muslim Ummah should cooperate with other communities provided that such cooperation is proper, it is governed by rules and does not entail being influenced or directed by those nations or communities.
The previous fact is based on Allah’s saying: “ …But help ye one another unto righteousness and pious duty. Help not one another unto sin and transgression, but keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is severe in punishment. “ (Al-Ma’idah: 2).
The aforementioned verse does not enjoin absolute cooperation but it puts certain restrictions on it. Cooperation must be for the purpose of ‘righteousness’ and ‘pious duty’. In this verse, righteousness means doing good deeds and pious duty means avoiding anything that can harm a person’s faith or interest.
However, cooperation that is manipulated by a country that happens to be an enemy for the purpose of fragmenting the Muslim Ummah is the kind that is forbidden in the verse. It forbids all dealings that lead to committing sins, violating the principles of religion or doing injustice to others.
Cooperation with the enemies of Islam is a grave sin and is a transgression against religion. That is why Allah has threatened those who commit such a sin with severe punishment.
Allah Almighty has set up the framework of a fruitful and correct form of cooperation. He has shown us that the interests of a foreign power must not influence cooperation between the two parties. Allah Almighty says: “And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends, one of another…” (At-Tawbah: 71)
Cooperation with Muslims has the priority. It should be dedicated to the purpose of attaining the pleasure of Allah and realizing the welfare of the Muslim Ummah. It should be built on the basis of justice and equality and free of any foreign influence. And it should be with pious people who have freed their countries of occupation and tyranny, and regained their dignity and honor. Allah Almighty says: “Faint not nor grieve, for ye will overcome them if ye are (indeed) believers” (Aal-`Imraan:139) He Almighty also says, “When might belongeth to Allah and to His messenger and the believers; but the hypocrites know not.” (Al-Munafiqoon: 8)
Therefore, those who claim that they work for Islam while in reality they are robbing Muslims of their money and denying them their rights are not Muslims. These actions divide the Muslim Ummah into a minority that lives in luxury, and a majority that is deprived of everything suffering from hunger, poverty and disease. This privileged minority is in such a good position just because each of them is relatives or friends of such traitors. The individuals forming the majority are the victims who are stripped of their potentials and rights.
We all know the punishment that Allah has set for those who join hands with the enemy against their people and their countries. Allah Almighty says: “Hast thou not seen those who take for friends a folk with whom Allah is wroth? They are neither of you nor of them, and they swear a false oath knowingly.‏ Allah hath prepared for them a dreadful doom. Evil indeed is that which they are wont to do.” (Al-Mujadalah: 14,15)
He Almighty also says: “Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo ! Allah loveth the just dealers.‏ Allah forbiddeth you only those who warred against you on account of religion and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out, that ye make friends of them. Whosoever maketh friends of them (All) such are wrong doers.” ( Al-Mumtahanah: 8,9)
In another verse He Almighty says: “And incline not toward those who do wrong lest the
Fire touch you, and ye have no protecting friends against Allah, and afterward ye would not be helped.‏”
(Hood: 133)
The previous verse forbids Muslims to incline towards those who do wrong, and there is nothing more grave than disbelieving in Allah that causes the unbelievers to humiliate the believers, attack them and expel them from their homelands. Allah Almighty says: “And Allah will not give the disbelievers any way (of success) against the believers.” ( An-Nisa’a: 141)
Therefore, a Muslim leader should work for the interest of his people and his country. He should work to preserve his country’s potentials and resources and to allow justice to prevail. He should follow the example of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, when he addressed his people saying: “Obey me as long as I obey Allah, but if you find me disobeying Allah then do not obey me. I consider those of you who are powerful as weak until they return the rights of the others, and I consider the weak as being in a strong position until I return their rights.”
So if the Muslim ruler deviates from the true path and cooperates with those who conspire against the Muslim Ummah and want to harm it, it is the duty of his people not to obey him. Allah Almighty says: “And there may spring from you a nation who invite to goodness, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency. Such are they who are successful.” (Aal-`Imraan: 104)
Allah Almighty knows best!