by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
Allah Ta'ala has mentioned in the Qur'an Sharif, in Surah Munafiqun:
“…And to Allah belongs the honour, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.”
[Surah Munafiqoon 63:8]
‘… those who take the disbelievers for friends rather than the believers. Are they seeking honour in their company? But, indeed, all honour belongs to Allah,.
[Surah An-Nisaa 4:139]
Recently, a brother expressed deep admiration and praise for a world-renowned celebrity. I brought it to his attention and explained that it is not appropriate for us Muslims to exalt and revere non-Muslims, those who have rejected Allah Ta'ala.
Sadly, this is a weakness common to most Muslims today – who are swept away by glamour, name, fame, power, sporting excellence, etc. Often we hear Muslims glorifying actors, actresses, sportsmen and sportswomen, politicians and others. There is even a term which has been coined: Hero-worship.
Let us understand Islam's view on this matter:
Allah Ta'ala sometimes gives those Kuffar (disbelievers) and Fussaaq (evil-doers) who are famous – whether actors, actresses, musicians, models, politicians, sports stars, etc. – name, fame, popularity, wealth and worldly power as a reward for some good deeds done. Many publicize their contributions to charitable causes, their voluntary and humanitarian work, their adoption of children from war-torn countries, their efforts to save the planet, protect endangered species, and so forth.
The compensation for good deeds will be given only in this world to the non-believers. In the Hereafter, eternal punishment awaits those who commit the great crime and the high treason of rejecting belief in Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and they die in that condition.
Mullah' Ali Qari (rahmatullah' alayh)  states that the Muslim who respects and honours those who have Kufr and Shirk in their hearts is in grave danger of losing his Imaan; of becoming a Murtadd (apostate), because this Azmat (respect/honour) is for someone who has no Azmat for Allah Ta'ala.
Reflect on this statement of a great Scholar: The person who respects and honours those who have Kufr and Shirk in their hearts is in grave danger of losing his Imaan.
It is a fact that people have died in such conditions – uttering the names of their heroes and not having the ability even to take the name of Allah Ta'ala, read the Kalima, or utter words of Taubah (repentance). This was due to their veneration and ‘hero-worship' of someone who stands as a rebel to Allah Ta'ala.
We should reflect on our obsession, reverence and craze – or that of our children – of film stars, sports stars and others who have rejected belief in Allah Ta'ala. Sometimes, there are posters of such celebrities in our homes, their photographs on our cell phones, and there are huge amounts of money spent to meet them, take a picture with them, and get a signature from them.
Fans dress like them, cut their hair like theirs, and try to emulate them in everything they do. Our daughters go crazy over these sportsmen and actors – Na' uzu Billah.
Consider the consequence of our behaviour in the light of the teachings of Mullah' Ali Qari (rahmatullah' alayh), who was a great Muhaddith of his time. A warning has been sounded, directing us to make sincere Taubah.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur'an Sharif :
“O you who believe, do not take My enemies and your enemies for friends, expressing love with them, while they have rejected the Truth that has come to you…”
[Surah Mumtahina 60:1]
Have we not witnessed enough enmity in Bosnia, Kosova, Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world? Those who were considered friends and companions were the first to assault, kill, maim, and even rape our Muslim brothers and sisters for no other reason than that they were and are Believers in Allah Ta'ala.
Have we not still taken any lessons?
Are we so blind in recognizing our enemies? Signs of enmity and hatred are manifest at every turn.
Allah Ta'ala, in His Kindness for us, has made this known to us so that we can adopt protection measures. Forewarned is forearmed. But no, we do not want to take understanding.
“O those who believe, do not take anyone as confidants but from your own selves. They would spare no effort to do you mischief. They want you to be in trouble. Malice has come out of their mouths while what is concealed in their hearts is far worse. We have made the signs clear to you, provided that you understand.”
[Surah Aal-Imraan 3:118]
Regarding business, one's neighbours and other related matters, it is permissible to have outward respect for such persons, but there must be no respect and love in the heart.
When we claim to love Allah Ta'ala, how can we love those who have rejected Him?
Non-Believers: Those who do not believe in Allah Ta'ala and His Final Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
 Mullah Ali Qari (rahmatullah' alayh) was a great and learned Muhaddith, the author of ‘Mirqaat' -a commentary of the famous Hadith Kitaab, ‘Mishkaat' He is buried in Jannatul Mu'allah, Makkah Mukarramah.
 Hazrat Mufti Shafi Saheb (rahmatullah' alayh) had given a detailed explanation regarding Muslim – Non-Muslim relations, which effectively clarifies the issue.