Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Let not the believers take) the believers ought not to take [the hypocrites:] 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy and his companions [and] (disbelievers) the Jews (for their friends) so as to become mighty and honourable (in preference to believers) who are sincere. (Whoso doeth that) seeking might and honour [by taking the hypocrites and disbelievers as friends] (hath no connection with Allah) has no honour, mercy or protection from Allah (unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them) save yourselves from them, (taking (as it were) security) saving yourselves from them by speaking in a friendly way towards them with, while your hearts dislikes this. (Allah bideth you beware (only) of Himself) regarding the shunning of unlawful killing, unlawful sex, unlawful property, consuming intoxicants, false testimony and associating partners with Allah. (Unto Allah is the journeying) the return after death.
Let not the faithful take the disbelievers as friends instead of the faithful…. And God warns you of Himself, and God is clement to the servants.
The reality of the servant's faith and the final goal of his traveling on the path of tawḤīd takes him back to God's friendship. The reality of friendship is conformity, that is, being a friend of His friend and an enemy of His enemy. The master of the Shariah alluded to this with his words, “The most reliable handhold of faith is love in God and hate in God.”
The traditions say that the Lord of the Worlds sent a revelation to one of the former prophets: “Say to the servants, 'In this world you have taken up renunciation in order to hurry to your own comfort and be relieved of this world's suffering. With your obedience and worship you have sought your own exaltation and your own good name. Now look: What have you done for Me? Have you ever loved My friends? Have you ever taken My enemies as your enemies?”
This is exactly what He said to Jesus: “O Jesus, if the worship of all the inhabitants of heaven and earth accompanies you in the path of the religion, but you have no love for My friends and no enmity for My enemies, then your worship has been useless and without profit.”
It is reported that Abū Idrīs Khawlānī said to Muʿādh, “I love you in the path of God.” Muʿādh said, “Let it be good news! I heard God's Messenger say that on the Day of Resurrec-
tion, God will place seats around the Splendorous Throne for a group whose faces will be like the full moon. Everyone will be fearful because of the awe of the resurrection, but they will be secure. Everyone will be in dread, but they will be still. It was said, 'O Messenger of God! Which group is this?'
“He said, 'Those who love each other in God.'”
It has also been related that God says, “I have obligated My love on those who love each other in Me, sit with each other in Me, visit each other in Me, and spend freely on each other in Me.”
Mujāhid said, “When God's friends smile in each other's faces, their sins fall away like leaves from a tree.
They will reach God pure, and He will take them into His shelter and security at the resurrection.”
The great ones of the religion have said that if someone is not on guard today, tomorrow he will not reach this security. For, inevitably, security comes after being on guard. The servant's being on guard is the fruit of the Real's warning, of which He spoke in two places: “God warns you of Himself” [3:28, 3:30]. This is not addressed at the generality of the faithful, but rather at the elect among the folk of recognition. He makes them fear Him Himself, without bringing an intermediary into the midst. Elsewhere when He addresses the generality of the faithful He says, “Be wary of the Fire” [3:131] and “Be wary of a day when you will be returned to God” [2:281]. Anyone who possesses insight knows what a difference there is between these two modes of address.
Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons, rather than, that is, instead of, the believers — for whoever does that, that is, [whoever] takes them as patrons, does not belong to, the religion of, God in anyway — unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqātan, ‘as a safeguard’, is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts: this was before the hegemony of Islam and [the dispensation] applies to any individual residing in a land with no say in it. God warns you, He instills fear in you, of His Self, [warning] that He may be wrathful with you if you take them as patrons; and to God is the journey’s end, the return, and He will requite you.
Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends, rather than the believers, for there is no correspondence between the two in reality. Friendship cannot be except in the case of similarity of genus and correspondence; for in that case the love between them [the believers and the disbelievers] could not be essential, rather it would be manufactured and artificial by virtue of its being a superficial show and an act of hypocrisy, which are traits far removed from truth as these are all veils of darkness, since if they [the believers] did not possess a darkness within them that corresponded to the state of disbelief they would not be able to mix or associate with them - for whoever does that, does not belong to God in anyway, that is, [he does not] belong to the friendship of God in anyway that he can rely on, since they possess no pure luminosity with which they would merit correspondence to the divine presence - unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard, that is, unless you fear something from their part, in which case one must take precautions, in which you case you associate with them outwardly without there being any love for them in your hearts: but even that can only be as a result of the weakness of [your] certainty, for if certainty were to overtake their hearts, they would fear only God, exalted be He, and they would witness the significance of God's words: And if God afflicts you with some hurt, there is none who can remove it except Him; and if He desires good for you, there is none who can repel His bounty [Q. 10:107], and they would [in that case] fear none other than Him and hope for [the favour of] none other than Him, which is why He follows [this verse] with the words: And God warns you of His Self, that is, He calls you to the eyewitnessed affirmation of Oneness, so that your caution be against none other than His Self; and to God is the journey's end, so guard against none other than Him, for He is the One observing your innermost secrets and overt actions, the One Able to requite you if you were to associate with His enemies or to fear them, either secretly or openly.
Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers. Allah warned against such behavior when He said,
(And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you do not behave the same, there will be Fitnah and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption.) 8:73.
Allah said next,
إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً
(unless you indeed fear a danger from them) meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.'' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, "The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.'' Allah said,
وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ
(And Allah warns you against Himself.) meaning, He warns you against His anger and the severe torment He prepared for those who give their support to His enemies, and those who have enmity with His friends,
وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ
(And to Allah is the final return) meaning, the return is to Him and He will reward or punish each person according to their deeds.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "If a believer falls into the hands of the enemies of Islam and is afraid of maltreatment and high-handedness, he may conceal his Faith, and live among them as if he were one of them. Or, if they come to know of his Faith, he may make a show of his friendship towards them to save his life. In case of extreme fear, he is permitted even to disown his Faith, if he feels that he is not strong enough to endure their oppression."
This is the admonition: Let not the fear of the people dominate over you so much as to drive out the fear of Allah from your hearts. The greatest harm the people can do to you is confined to the worldly life only, but Allah has the power to inflict an everlasting torment on you. Therefore, if you are forced in a case of extremity to hide your Faith due to any danger to your life, you may save your own life and property, provided that you do not in any way harm the interests of the Islamic mission and the Islamic community or the life or property of any Muslim. At the same time you must remain on your guard against becoming the instrument in the hands of disbelievers so as to strengthen the evil forces against Islam and render any service to the disbelievers that might enable them to overpower the Muslims. Remember that, if to save your life you do any kind of harm to the religion of Allah or to the community of the faithful or even to the person of a single believer, or if you render any real service to the rebels against Allah, you will never be able to save yourselves on the Day of Reckoning, when you shall have at last to return to Allah
Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons awliyāÌ rather than the believersAmong the realities of faith is friendship muwālāt with God and enmity muʿādāt on behalf of God. From among the disbelievers it would be best for you to renounce and turn away from your lower self. Its nature is Magian in that it says “Mine from me and through me.” God most high said O you who believe fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you [yalūnakum] [9:123]. Verily faith in this path Ṭarīqa is rare and precious. Even if ordinary people who have no faith in this path were to wear themselves out with extreme asceticism and effort they would not be among those people [who are] Your friends. It is more fitting that like be with like. for whoever does that does not belong to God in any way-unless you protect yourselves against them as a safeguard. God warns you of His Self: and to God is the journey's end. Companionship ṣuḥba with the Real سبحانه and nearness to Him can by no means be combined with the companionship of adversaries and being close to them. God warns you of His Self: This is an address to the elect among the people of deeper knowledge ahl al-maʿrifa. As for those whose degree is less than that He said to them “And fear the fire that…” [3:131] and He said “And fear a day wherein you shall be returned...” [2:281] and so on in other verses. It is said that God warns you of His Self [means that while] you may be of the opinion that you have arrived surely the imperceptible affairs of the divine deception makr can happen to the most respected. The one who spoke for them said: I felt safe from him but the safe place granted to me was a ruse. Such it is for those who feel safe from lovers. It is said that God warns you of His Self because anyone who imagines that a created being can reach Him or that the feet of human aspiration can touch the carpet of might-Glory and Might be to the absolute oneness! And anyone who thinks that [God] has brought them near in reality [God] has made them distant from Him.
…God warns you to beware of Him…He said:That is, [beware of] His justice (ʿadl), because the Fire is His justice for the one that disobeys Him, and the Garden is His favour (faḍl) to the one who obeys Him. Have you not taken note of the words of the Prophet ‘O You, whose bounty alone is hoped for, and whose justice alone is feared!’?His words:
(Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers…) [3:28]. Said Ibn 'Abbas: “A group of Jews including al-Hajjaj ibn 'Amr, Kahmas ibn Abi al-Huqayq and Qays ibn Zayd used to keep close company with a group of Helpers to try to make them renounce their religion. And so a group of people comprising Rifa'ah ibn al-Mundhir, 'Abd Allah ibn Jubayr and Sa'id ibn Khaythamah said to this group of Helpers: 'Stay away from these Jews and beware of keeping their company lest they drive you away from your religion'. The group of Helpers refused to stop seeing them or keep their company, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. And al-Kalbi said: “This verse was revealed about the hypocrites: 'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy and his companions. They allied themselves with the Jews and the idolaters, supplying them with information, hoping that they would have the upper hand over the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse, warning the believers against acting like them”. Juwaybir reported from al-Dahhak that Ibn 'Abbas said: “This verse was revealed about 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit who was among those who took part in Badr and a trusted man. He had allies from among the Jews. And when the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, marched to the Battle of the Confederates, 'Ubadah said: 'O Prophet of Allah! I have with me five hundred men from the Jews, and I am of the opinion to take them with me to impress the enemy. Because of this, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers)' ”.