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Is It Permissible To Join A Kaafir Army?

In the years since 9/11, we have seen a serious re-defining and whitewashing of what our deen is and is not. Since the Ft Hood shootings, and even before that, we have seen many Muslim organizations refer to US troops which are occupying Muslim lands, as “our troops”.

They have celebrated Muslims that have gone over to fight and kill other Muslims. We see Muslim spokesmen saying that the Muslims must abandon the concept of "Ummah". We are seeing Muslims and Muslim Organizations calling for American citizenship to be put above their loyalty to other Muslims around the world. This is a very strange thing as prior to 9/11 the ulamaa of Islam had many fatwas that said just the opposite, especially with regards to a Muslim joining a kufr army and going to fight other Muslims.

We find the people nowadays saying that it is perfectly permissible and even praiseworthy to join the kufr army. This is in contrast to what we saw in the past from the scholars. I would like to know what our friends at Muslim Matters have to say about the following fatwas from such scholars as Sh Ibn Uthaymeen and Sh. Al Munajid. What do they think the scholars would say about al wala wal bara (something completely forgotten about and not taught these days)?

This first fatwa is from Sh Al-Munajjid:

I work in the army of a non-Muslim state, and there are wars between them and the Muslims. What is the ruling if they send me with a division of this army to wage war against the Muslims? As a Muslim, my feelings are that I never want to fight against Muslims in any war. What should I do? What is the ruling if I go…?

Praise be to Allaah.

If you are sent to wage war against the Muslims, then it is not permissible for you to take part at all. Helping the kaafirs against the Muslims is a form of major kufr which puts one beyond the pale of Islam. Allaah says concerning one who supports the mushrikeen (interpretation of the meaning):

"And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’, i.e., friends), then surely, he is one of them"[al-Maa’idah 5:51]

With regard to how you may get out of this situation, and what excuse you can give to get out of this dilemma if it happens, we ask Allaah to help you, and we suggest that you consult some Muslims who have relevant knowledge or experience.

We want to emphasize to you the necessity of finding other employment and of leaving service in the army of the kaafirs, because that implies helping them, strengthening them and increasing the numbers of their fighters and supporters – unless your work can bring some benefits to the Muslims, such as giving information and secrets of the kaafirs to the Muslims so as to help the Muslims, or if your work is purely da’wah, such as giving khutbahs and leading prayers for the Muslims in the kaafir army whilst also advising them to avoid any work that will strengthen the kaafirs. We ask Allaah to keep you safe from temptation and to give you a good end in this world and in the Hereafter.

This one is from Sh Ibn Muhammad Saalih al-Uthaymeen, May Allah have mercy upon him:

What is the ruling on Muslims serving in the military of non muslim country ? What is the evidence for its permissibility or prohibition? And lastly, what is the status of a Muslim working to help those in the military to fulfill their obligations to Allaah while serving in the Army, Navy, or whatever?

Praise be to Allaah.

We put this question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him, who answered as follows:

"Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. Military matters are problematic, because they involve helping these kuffaar to wage war against the Muslims or those who have entered into a treaty with the Muslims. If no such thing is involved, it may be advantageous for Muslims to work in these armies so as to learn their secrets and be aware of their potential evil. In other words, if working in these armies could be of benefit, it may be permissible, otherwise it is not allowed."

On this basis, if a person works as a preacher or daa’iyah or imaam or muezzin, serving the Muslims and calling non-Muslims to Islam, then there is nothing wrong with this.

And for good measure, here is one more fatwa

So can the brothers find me a fatwa from a repudible scholar of the sunnah (not one that quotes from his desires) that says that it is permissible to put citizenship above our Islam and join the kafir army and to fight against Islam and the Muslims? It is permissible to join an army that calls for the men to shave their beards, salute the kufr flag and judge by other than what Allah revealed?

The evidence is clearly against those who are saying that these things are permissible.

Here is a question:

If a group of Muslims in Mecca attacked the United States and the US Army wanted to retaliate by taking the haram, would it still be permissible to join the kufr army?

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