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In the Name of God بسم الله

It's haram to be friends with non Muslims?

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Salam alaikum,

I just read a book today and found a verse which said : "o you who believe! Do not take Jews and Christians as friends. For they are friends of eachother. Whosever amongst you takes them as friends, they are amongst them, God does not guide the wrongdoing community" ~ 5:51

 

To be honest, I lack knowledge about these things so this is the first time im hearing this. I know we can't question Allah's laws, but this verse has been interpreted differently amongst scholars. Sayyid Sistani also agrees that it isn't permissible apparently. Another interpretation has replaced the word "friend" to "allies", I mean techinically they quite mean the same

This has never made sense to me. How is it haram to be friends with them? It's not like we're going to follow and believe what they say, unless our imaan is super weak and we start questioning about our beliefs. The verse only describes not befriending Muslims or Jews, but what about athiests, Hindus, zoroastrians? I even made friends with an athiest at uni, I hardly see her but we're just good friends. She respects our beliefs around us and doesn't openly talk about our religion. Last time she even defended the New Zealand victims and saying why the one who bombed the mosque wasn't considered a terrorist but a mentally ill man.

I understand they're not like us and have different beliefs that completely go against Islam, but the Qur'an itself says we should show our respect to them, I know that doesn't necessarily mean that we can be friends with them. However, there are people out there who not only give respect to Muslims but at the same time show love and support. And that's something we really need right now regardless of their beliefs because currently we are being faced by the media's hatred and islamaphobic views. Its really sad. So I don't get why we shouldn't be friends with those kind of people.

Prophet Muhammad (sawas) made a peace treaty with the Christians, technically that is making allies with them. Apparently Imam Ali (عليه السلام) helped the Christians alot but Im not sure if he was friends with them. 

Im wondering why hasn't our parents ever told us?? My brother has tons of non Muslim friends. I mean all my life I was taught at a private school so I never had non Muslim friends. But now im in uni and I see alot of faces. And imagine what would the media say if they just picked out that verse from the Holy Qur'an and suddenly assumed that we are cruel people who choose to not befriend them, then they start twisting it and taking advantage of it to make it seem like we're unfriendly, and that we discriminate. 

I don't know man any thoughts on this??

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I have read how that verse often gets misinterpreted, rather one should not seek an alliance with them, or have them as protectors, as they are in alliance with one another, the Arabic term being used, Awliya.

Look at the Christian Right and Zionists for example.

Edited by Propaganda_of_the_Deed
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On 7/2/2019 at 9:13 PM, 3wliya_maryam said:

Salam alaikum,

I just read a book today and found a verse which said : "o you who believe! Do not take Jews and Christians as friends. For they are friends of eachother. Whosever amongst you takes them as friends, they are amongst them, God does not guide the wrongdoing community" ~ 5:51

 

To be honest, I lack knowledge about these things so this is the first time im hearing this. I know we can't question Allah's laws, but this verse has been interpreted differently amongst scholars. Sayyid Sistani also agrees that it isn't permissible apparently. Another interpretation has replaced the word "friend" to "allies", I mean techinically they quite mean the same

This has never made sense to me. How is it haram to be friends with them? It's not like we're going to follow and believe what they say, unless our imaan is super weak and we start questioning about our beliefs. The verse only describes not befriending Muslims or Jews, but what about athiests, Hindus, zoroastrians? I even made friends with an athiest at uni, I hardly see her but we're just good friends. She respects our beliefs around us and doesn't openly talk about our religion. Last time she even defended the New Zealand victims and saying why the one who bombed the mosque wasn't considered a terrorist but a mentally ill man.

I understand they're not like us and have different beliefs that completely go against Islam, but the Qur'an itself says we should show our respect to them, I know that doesn't necessarily mean that we can be friends with them. However, there are people out there who not only give respect to Muslims but at the same time show love and support. And that's something we really need right now regardless of their beliefs because currently we are being faced by the media's hatred and islamaphobic views. Its really sad. So I don't get why we shouldn't be friends with those kind of people.

Prophet Muhammad (sawas) made a peace treaty with the Christians, technically that is making allies with them. Apparently Imam Ali (عليه السلام) helped the Christians alot but Im not sure if he was friends with them. 

Im wondering why hasn't our parents ever told us?? My brother has tons of non Muslim friends. I mean all my life I was taught at a private school so I never had non Muslim friends. But now im in uni and I see alot of faces. And imagine what would the media say if they just picked out that verse from the Holy Qur'an and suddenly assumed that we are cruel people who choose to not befriend them, then they start twisting it and taking advantage of it to make it seem like we're unfriendly, and that we discriminate. 

I don't know man any thoughts on this??

Can fire and water be in one vessel ?

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"O you who believe! Do not take Jews and Christians as friends. For they are friends of eachother. Whosever amongst you takes them as friends, they are amongst them, God does not guide the wrongdoing community"

First, we have to understand the historical background of the verse to understand how it can be applied to today's context. Take in mind that in the 7th century AD, religion was associated citizenship (or for example, make an empire whose religion you profess consider you their subjects) and there we no standing armies back then for the most part. If you professed Eastern Orthodoxy, and you lived all the way in Kazakhstan, the Byzantine empire would consider you their subjects and intervene to fight for you if you needed them. Same thing with Islam, as seen in the following verse:

But those who believed and did not emigrate - for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty.

Allah obliges an Islamic state to aid those professing Islam, even if they were living warring kafir lands and did not migrate to the Islamic state (with is obligatory - for full citizenship, by being ruled according to the way of Allah).

Second, the translation of the word ولي here as "friends" is too simple. "Wali" is related to موالاة (muwala - loyalty, allegiance, guardianship, protection).

الله ولي الذين امنوا God is the Guardian of those who believe

ما لكم من ولايتهم من شيء حتى يهاجروا for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate (as in  the verse I provided above)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آوَوا وَّنَصَرُوا أُولَٰئِكَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided - they are allies (awliya') of one another (found in beginning of above verse).

Second, take in mind that for the most part - standing armies did not exist in the 7th century AD time period (in most places at least). Being a part of a tribal unit means you can get recruited at any time to fight for the cause of the tribe, provided you are a male of age (hence Bani Quraydha massacre). Being a part of larger "tribal-like" unit like a kingdom or empire means you can get recruited at any time to fight for such dominion, provided you are a male of age. Essentially, you may work any job throughout the year (like being a peasant), but you can get called anytime. Thus, any male of age is automatically considered a "soldier" while women and children are automatically considered "civilians".

Taking the kafireen as "awliya" refers to the impressibility of taking kafirs from a warring nation as "allies" (I.e, expecting them to see the best for you and your interests when in fact "Many of the People of the Scripture wish they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of envy from themselves [even] after the truth has become clear to them." (Qur'an 1:109). However, not all kafireen you are disallowed from allying with. The Prophet essentially allied with the Aksumite kingdom in Ethiopia to take in Muslim refugees (some of whom only returned just a few years before the Conquest of Mecca). What is the difference between the Aksumites whom the Prophet allied with and the kuffar we are not allowed to ally with? The Aksumites were not a warring nation and showed visible noticeable goodwill to Muslims without wishing that they return to disbelief.

Third, how does this apply today? At a time where citizens don't necessarily represent their government?

An Islamic government should not take warring kafir nations as allies, because these warring kafir nations don't wish well for the Islamic government nor its people.

Hope this helps!

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Addition to my comment:

The verse you stated about not taking Christians and Jews as allies, it isn't exclusive to those two groups only. In fact, another verse says "O you who have believed, do not take the disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah against yourselves a clear case?"

It applies to the disbelievers in general, not just Christians and Jews.

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This has never made sense to me. How is it haram to be friends with them? It's not like we're going to follow and believe what they say, unless our imaan is super weak and we start questioning about our beliefs. The verse only describes not befriending Muslims or Jews, but what about athiests, Hindus, zoroastrians? I even made friends with an athiest at uni, I hardly see her but we're just good friends. She respects our beliefs around us and doesn't openly talk about our religion. Last time she even defended the New Zealand victims and saying why the one who bombed the mosque wasn't considered a terrorist but a mentally ill man.

It is not haram to befriend with non-Muslims. The verse itself clearly use word Awliyah and same word is also is used in the following verse:

And Allah is most knowing of your enemies; and sufficient is Allah as an ally (wali), and sufficient is Allah as a helper. Qur'an 4:45

Only Allah is your Waliyy and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor rate and they bow [in worship].[3]

So this Wali means something than friend. It means protector, trustfulness, obeying, following same religion and have same love towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) and person who you could sacrifice your life together in battlefield for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) sake. You will never find a Christian,Jew or any Non-Muslim Wali that will do the following listed.

Edited by Abu Nur
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