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Does Islam Teach Muslims to Not Be Friends with non-Muslims?

December 25, 2010

Very often I hear the accusation that Muslims are not to be friends with non-Muslims, and that Islam teaches this. Many quote verses from the Qur’an and hadiths to “prove” that Muslims are to “hate everybody,” and that they cannot like non-Muslims, let alone be friends with them.  Well, what is the truth? To learn about this issue we must refer to the  main source of Islam that we know today: The Holy Qur’an .

The Qur’an’s instructions about who are Muslims to befriend and who not:


Friendship definition is very clear in the Qur’an: treat good and with respect those who treat you well, regardless of the differences in your religions. While the Qur’an often harshly criticizes non-Muslims, including People of the Bible (Jews and Christians), at the same time it states that Muslims are not justified to treat non-Muslims in an ill manner unless: 1) non-Muslims fight Muslims because of Islam/belief in Allah (God),

2) they assist (financially, militarily,etc) those who attack Muslims first (in order to increase the suffering of Muslims), and 3) those who insult/mock Islam. Lets see some quotes from the Qur’an about this:

Chapter 5, verse 82: “and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers (Muslims) are those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.”

Chapter 60, verse 8: “As for such [of the unbelievers] who do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably.”

Chapter 60, verse 9: “God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such who fight against you because of [your] faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid [others] in driving you forth: and as for those [from among you] who turn towards them in friendship; it is they who are truly wrongdoers!”

Chapter 5 Verse 57 : “O you who believe! take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport,- whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; but remain conscious of God, if you are (truly) believers.”

Further, the Qur’an indicates that Muslims should:

 -Not take friends of non-Muslims first instead of available Muslims: Chapter 3, verse 28 and Chapter 4, verse 139,

–Do not be friends with those who wish you ill: Chapter 3, verses118-120, ,

–Allah (God) considers His enemies those who are the enemies of the believers who believe in Him, and therefore He tells believers not to be friends with His and their enemies: Chapter 60, verse1,and verse 13

And finally:

–Muslims are to avoid polytheists in order not to commit blasphemy with the polytheists (consciously or unconsciously) Chapter 4, verse 140: “do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse.”

It is, therefore, evident that Muslims can and should be friends with those non-Muslims who want them (Muslims) as friends. Those non-Muslims who are behaving aggressively and disrespectfully, Muslims are not to be friends with, and are to avoid them. For, Allah (God) states in the Qur’an Chapter 49, verse 13: “ Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God’s sight is that one of you who best performs his duty. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”

The Noble Qur’an has many verses who have been taken out of context to “prove” that Muslims cannot be friends with non-Muslims and are used as an excuse to discourage people from learning the truth about Islam and Muslims. However, these “unfriendly” verses can be easily explained and once clarified, do not seem illogical either. Feel free to ask me any questions (respectfully, please—as I want to treat you with respect).

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