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 Is Befriending non Muslims Forbidden in Islam?

I befriend and welcome non Muslims to enlighten them about Islam. According to Islam, am I wrong?


Islam ordains Muslims to treat kindly to non-Muslims, however warns against imitating them

One of the basic principles of Islam is “Islamic ethics” which is described and emphasized in many Quranic ayahs and sayings of the Blessed Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  Islamic moral teaches Muslims to “treat kindly and justly” to people no matter where they are from or what they believe as long as they do not fight against them:

“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.

It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allah forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zalimoon (wrong-doers those who disobey Allah).” (Surah al Mumtahanah; 8-9)

However, Islam has principles to preserve the “Islamic belief, identity and Islamic consciousness of Muslims” as well.  In other words, while Islam ordains Muslims to “treat kindly, peacefully and friendly to all people without discrimination except those who are hostile to Islam”, it also tells Muslims to “take care in their relations with non-Muslims in order not to weaken in their Islamic belief, consciousness and identity ”, puts some limits, states principles  and warns against imitating them.


Being friend with a person is different from being friendly and kind to him

Each Muslim, as being a representative of Islam, should be kind to the non-Muslims; however, in terms of being friend and confidant with non Muslims, there are some limits as a conclusion and a necessity of the principle “A person is upon the religion of his friend.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi).

It is stated in the 118. Verse of the surah al-Al-I Imran that:

“O ye who believe! Take not for intimates others than your own folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you; they love to hamper you. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their mouths, but that which their breasts hide is greater. We have made plain for you the revelations if ye will understand.”

This ayah was revealed as a warning to Muslims who didn’t cut their relations with their Jewish friends in the period of jahiliyyah (ignorance). They still had relations of neighborhood, friendship and deal with them. The word “bitaana” mentioned in the ayah is translated as “intimate” that comes to the meaning “a person having a close, friendly, familiar relation knowing your secrets and internal information.

Besides, prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stated about this issue that: “Do not illuminate with the fire of mushrik (polytheists, idolaters).” (Bayhakii) This hadith is interpreted as “do not consult with them; do not choose any of them as consultants and advisors.  There are a great deal of ayahs and hadiths supporting these interpretations. In view of all these facts, the fiqh scholars stated the following explanations about the relations between Muslims and non Muslims:


a.       Food

About the food issue, non Muslims who are “people of book”, in other words Jews and the Christians differ from the non Muslims who are atheists, majusis (Zoroastrians), and idolaters:

A Muslim can eat anything cooked and slaughtered by the people of book, the Jews and the Christians unless they are haram. Today’s Jews and the Christians, if they believe in the essences of the Judaism and Christianity are also people of book. Furthermore, it is eaten even if cut in the name of Messiah and Uzayr. (Qurtubi)

However, according to another opinion which is more appropriate to taqwa (God consciousness), it is better not to eat the meat slaughtered by non Muslims if it is not known how they slaughtered and it is not permissible to eat those which are slaughtered in the name of Messiah and those which is impure. Besides, it is makruh (abominable) to eat their food in general. (Elmalili Hamdi Yazir)

It is not permissible to eat the meat slaughtered by non Muslims who are not the people of book. However, it is permissible to eat the food that do not include slaughtering so that do not differ according to the religions; such as bread, fruit, fried food and dish as long as that they do not include haram. (Qurtubi) 


b.      Marriage

It is stated in the 221. Verse of Surah al-Baqara that:

“Wed not idolatresses till they believe… and give not your daughters in marriage to idolaters till they believe… These invite unto the Fire, and Allah inviteth unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by His grace…”

 There is a consensus among the salaf (predecessors) that it is jaaiz (permissible) to marry the Jewish and Christian women. This ruling bases on two different opinions. According to the first opinion it is permissible; because they are not idolatresses since they are the people of book. According to the other opinion, it is permissible; because, as well as they are idolatresses; they have been excluded from the ayah above by the 5th verse of surah al-Maida [that says “And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you)”]

 Besides, there are some sahabas such as Hadrat Othman, Talha and Huzayfa who married women of the people of the book. (Jassas 11/ 16)

 However, according to another opinion, marrying Jewish and Christian women is makruh (disliked) because of the risks about raising the children and it is not any halal to marry the ones whom are fought against. (Jasssâs, 11/17; Qurtubî, 111/67, 69)

 There is a consensus that it is not permissible to marry idolatresses, atheists and majusis (Zoroastrians). There is no doubt that the prohibition mentioned in the 221th ayah of surah al- Baqara includes these. The hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) about the Majusis saying “Behave them as you behave the people of the book excluding marrying them and eating the meat slaughtered by them.”  indicates that the women of people of book can be married while the Majusis cannot be. (Razi, VI/58)

 c.       Neighborhood relations

It is permissible to perform all kinds of transactions between a Muslim and a dhimmi (a non-muslim living under the protection of an Islamic state). (Fatawa Hindiyya, V/348)

 A Muslim cannot pray for the forgiveness of the dhimmis, because Allah (swt) declared that the idolaters will never been forgiven. Asking for their forgiveness despite knowing this declaration will mean accusing Allah (swt) of giving a wrong ruling. However, a Muslim can pray for their guidance. (Bazzaziyya, VI/355; Fatawa Hindiyya, V/348)

 A Muslim can visit a Jewish and a Christian patient. Visiting a Majusi patient is controversial. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did visit. He also visited his uncle. (Fatawa Hindiyya, V/347)

 There is no harm in putting an infidel up in case of a necessity or a travel. (Fatawa Hindiyya, V/347)

It is not permissible for a Muslim to receive a present from an infidel if it will damage his Islamic strength and if it will make him get into debt. Otherwise, it is permissible.

In case a Christian invites a Muslim to his house for dinner, according to some opinions, it is halal to accept this invitation if they don’t have a friendship and togetherness except trading with each other; because it is a kind of favor which is mandub (recommended).

 As a conclusion, you are not wrong to have befriended the Jews and Christians as long as you watch out the points mentioned above. Being kind and friendly in behaviours is the duty of Muslims in respect of being the representative of Islam and showing other people the beauty of the best path. Kaynak: http://askaquestionto.us - Is Befriending non Muslims Forbidden in Islam?



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