Objection # 21
A Muslim is forbidden to make friends with a non-Muslim. A Muslim is allowed to pretend to be a friend, but in his heart he must never actually be a friend to a non-Muslim. This is one of the best protections Islam has against Muslims leaving the faith because conversions a new religion are usually made because a friend introduced it. Being forbidden to make friends with non-Muslims helps prevent that from happening.
There is not restriction on establishing normal friendship with non Muslims, those who fight, expel or help in expulsion of Muslims are not to be made friend. This is natural and nothing discriminatory:
“Allah only forbids you to make friendship with those who fought you on account of your faith and drove you out of your homes and backed up others in your expulsion. Those who will take them for friends are indeed the wrongdoers”. (Qur’an;60:9).
Some translators have mixed up the meanings of Arabic verb waliya (from which the noun wali, pl. awliya‘, is derived) which need to be understood. It signifies, primarily, the nearness or closeness of one thing to another: Although the term wali, when applied to God, as well as to the relationship between one created being and another, is often used in the Qur’an in the sense of “helper”, “friend”, “protector”, “guardian“, etc., none of these secondary meanings can properly – i.e., without offending against the reverence due to God – describe man’s attitude to, or relationship with, Him. Thus, God is spoken of in the Qur’an (2:257 and 3:68) as being “near unto (wali) those who believe” Consequently, reference to the believers as awliya’ of God is best rendered as “they who are close to God”, in the sense of their being always conscious of Him. Mostly in the context of non Muslims ‘wali’ is to be understood to mean ‘protector friend’ or ‘guardian’, how some one opposed to your faith can be taken as protector or guardian?
Muslims have been cautioned against intrigue of enemies, because initially the hypocrites of Medina and Jews living around Medina, were playing double game of deception, some verses considered as discriminatory against non believers not to take them as wali, in each verse their negative behaviors is cited as the reason, which is fully understandable:
“O ye who believe! Choose not My enemy and your enemy Awliyaa [protector, friends] Do ye give them friendship when they disbelieve in that truth which hath come unto you, driving out the messenger and you because ye believe in Allah, your Lord? .”[Qur’an; 60:1]
“Let not the believers make unbelievers their awliyaa‘ [protectors, allies, friends] rather than the believers; anyone who does so will have nothing to hope for from Allah – except if you do so as a precaution to protect yourselves against their tyranny in this way. But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys’ end.”[Qur’an; 3:28]
“Have you not seen the ones who have befriended those people who are under the wrath of Allah? They are neither on your side nor yet on theirs and they knowingly swear to falsehood.”(Qur’an;58:14).
“O you who have attained to faith! Do not take for your friends such as mock at your, faith and make a jest of it -be they from among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time, or [from among] those who deny the truth [of revelation as such] – but remain conscious of God, if you are [truly] believers: for, when you call to prayer, they mock at it and make a jest of it – simply because they are people who do not use their reason.” .”[Qur’an; 5:57-58]
The Faith is a fundamental matter in the lives of Muslims, their associations and friendships will naturally be with those who share their Faith. More than anything else, it obviously alludes to a “moral alliance” with the deniers of the truth: that is to say, to an adoption of their way of life in preference to the way of life of the believers, in the hope of being “honored”, or accepted as equals, by the former. Since an imitation of the way of life of confirmed unbelievers must obviously conflict with the moral principles demanded by true faith, it unavoidably leads to a gradual abandonment of those principles. In ordinary every-day affairs of business, Muslims are asked to seek the help of Believers rather than Unbelievers. Only in this way can the community be strong and united. But where there is no question of preference, or where in self-defence they have to take the assistance of those not belonging to their Faith, that is permissible.
“O believers! Take neither Jews nor Christians as your protecting friends: they are only protecting friends of one another. Whoever of you disobeys this commandment will be counted as one of them. Surely Allah does not guide the wrongdoers.” [Qur’an; 5:51].
According to most of the commentators (e.g., Tabari), this means that each of these two communities extends genuine friendship only to its own adherents – i.e., the Jews to the Jews, and the Christians to the Christians – and cannot, therefore, be expected to be really friendly towards the followers of the Qur’an. This prohibition of a “moral alliance” with non-Muslims does not constitute an injunction against normal, friendly relations with such of them as are well-disposed towards Muslims. It should be borne in mind that the term wali has several shades of meaning: “ally”, “friend”, “helper”, “protector”, etc. The particular choice depends upon context. It is gets more clear:
“It may well be that Allah will put love between you and those with whom you are now at odds because of the order which is given to you, for Allah is All-Powerful, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who had neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes. In fact Allah loves the equitable.” [Qur’an; 60:7-8].
“nearest in affection to the believers are those who say: “We are Christians.” That is because among them there are men that are priests and monks, who do not behave arrogantly.” [Qur’an; 5:82].
Muslims are cautioned to take non believers as protectors, [Wali] due to the negative and hostile behaviour of most of non believers. However normal friendship and working relationship with those with affable attitude is not forbidden. While forming any opinion, especially the non Muslims are requested to keep all the verses of Qur’an on the subject in view, there is no abrogation:
“The Words of your Lord have been completed with credibility and justice; there is no way to change His Words. He is the Hearer, the Knower”[Qur’an;6:115].
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