Treacherousness and Betrayal are From the Most Evil Forms of Corruption Upon the Earth


الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين، نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين أما بعد




Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “The Book and the Sunnah have come with the command of fulfilling contracts and the imposed stipulations and the covenants and agreements, together with carrying out trustworthiness and care and consideration of that. Likewise there is the prohibition against betrayal and breaking contracts and treachery, together with the constraint upon the one who does that.”[1]


Adh-Dhahabee (rahimahullaah) said: “Treachery is ugly in everything, and some of its forms are more evil than others.”[2]


Causing Devastation and Harm Through Treachery and Betrayal of Trust is Against The Teachings of The Religion of Islaam


Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadi al-Madkhali (may Allaah preserve him) stated:

“Islaam; from its greatest features of distinction is: the fulfillment of covenants and keeping the promise – even if it be to the unbelievers, and from the qualities of the believer is: not being treacherous and not having betrayal.

There occurred in the incident of Al-Mugheerah bin Shu’bah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), that he accompanied a group of pagans – and that was at a time when they were upon shirk (idolatry and associating partners with Allaah), and so they travelled to Egypt for the purpose of trade. So they procured some wealth and hence they passed the night (at a place), so he pounced upon them and killed them and took their wealth. Then he came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) as a Muslim and presented the wealth to him and informed him of the incident, so he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

((As for the Islaam; then we accept it. As for the wealth; then it is the wealth that has been taken by betrayal – we have no need of it.))[3]


This was because it stemmed from betrayal, therefore Islaam does not allow betrayal under any circumstances.

Another situation: There was a treaty between the Romans and the Muslims, so when this treaty was close to the end, Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) (a companion of the Prophet) marched with his army stating: ‘When the stipulated time elapses, we will attack the enemy.’ So an old man mounted and rode upon his horse and would call out: ‘Allaahu Akbar; faithfulness not betrayal, Allaahu Akbar; faithfulness not betrayal.’ So Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) asked him (concerning it) so he said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) say:

 ((Whoever has a covenant between himself and a people, then he should not tighten [it like a knot] – nor should he loosen it, until its duration expires, or that he casts [the covenant] unto them on equal terms [to end it].))


So Mu’aawiyah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) desisted.[4]

Therefore betrayal and treachery are both impermissible with the unbelievers as well as with other than them, and causing devastation and destruction in this way is impermissible because within it the women and children and the innocent are killed, and it does not kill or wound an enemy. So the enemy is pleased with it due to the distortion of the image of Islaam and its people, and so will utilize it as an informatory means against Islaam, so they give Islaam an extremely blackened image – from the image of the corrupt religions, and this is what the conduct of these people has yielded for Islaam and the Muslims.

So upon the Muslims is that they should be cited as an example in truthfulness and elevated manners and faithfulness and trustworthiness and being distant from that which contradicts these characteristics by way of betrayal and treachery and lying and amateurship in spilling blood which does not benefit Islaam – rather it harms it.”[5]


Such Traits Are Not From the Characteristics of the Prophets and Messengers


This is something through which Heraclius – Emperor of Byzantine, ascertained the character and truthfulness of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) when he enquired regarding him from Abu Sufyaan, he asked: “Does he betray?” Abu Sufyaan said: “No.” So Heraclius said: “And such are the Messengers – they do not betray.”[6]


Regarding this, Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Since he possessed with him his knowledge of the customary practice of the Messengers, and of the Sunnah of Allaah with regard to them in that on occasions He grants them victory and on occasions He puts them to test – and that they do not betray, he knew that this is from the signs of the Messengers.”[7]


He said also: “So he made this characteristic an essential attribute for the Messengers.”[8]


He said likewise: “As for betrayal; then indeed the Messengers do not betray at all, since betrayal is an affiliate of lies.”[9]


The Ruling and Reality of These Traits


Ibn Battaal (rahimahullaah) said: “Betrayal is haraam (forbidden) with all people, the righteous of them and the wicked of them, because betrayal is oppression, and oppression of the wicked is forbidden just like the oppression of the righteous pious one.”[10]


Al-Muhallab (rahimahullaah) said: “Betrayal is haraam (forbidden) against the believers and the people of a covenant of protection, and the one who carries it out is deserving of the title of hypocrisy, as well as for the curse of Allaah, and the Angels, and mankind as a whole.”[11]


Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “From the greatest traits of hypocrisy in action is: that an individual carries out an action, and makes apparent that by way of it he intends good, yet he actually carries it out so that by way of it he arrives at an evil design which he has, so that comes into being for him, and with this deceptive betrayal he reaches his aim, and becomes pleased with his cunning plot and his deceptive betrayal together with the praise of the people for him over what he has made apparent.

So by way of it he arrives at his actual evil design which he had kept hidden. This is something which Allaah, The Most High, Spoke concerning in the Qur’aan, He said regarding the hypocrites that they:

اتَّخَذُوا مَسْجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَكُفْرًا وَتَفْرِيقًا بَيْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِرْصَادًا لِّمَنْ حَارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَيَحْلِفُنَّ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ

((Took up a mosque for causing harm and disbelief and division among the believers, and as an outpost for those who had warred against Allaah and His Messenger before, and they will surely swear; “We intended nothing but good.” And Allaah testifies that they are indeed liars.)) (At-Tawbah: 107)”[12]


Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed every traitor – it is a must that his treachery and his cunning stratagem returns upon his own self, and it is a must that his affair becomes manifest.”[13]



[1] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 29 p.145-146

[2] Kitaab al-Kabaa-ir p.149

[3] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.2731)

[4] Reported by Ahmad (no.17015) and Aboo Dawood (no.2759) and At-Tirmidhee (no.1580) and said it is Hasan Saheeh, and it was authenticated by Al-Albaanee in As-Saheehah (no.2357)

[5] Source:

[6] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.7)

[7] Sharh al-Asbahaaniyyah p.554

[8] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 29 p.145

[9] Sharh al-Asbahaaniyyah p.558

[10] Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaaree vol 5 p.371

[11] Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaaree vol 5 p.362

[12] Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wal-Hikam (p.624-625) with slight abridgment.

[13] Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan p.400

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