Can Muslims be friends with non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians?

“Oh you who believe, do not take (such) Jews and Christians as friends and allies who themselves are friends and allies of each other. And whoever of you (Muslims) turn to them (with friendship and alliance) becomes, verily, one of them; behold, Allah does not guide such evildoers.” (Qur’an, 5:51)


It is rather enjoined upon Muslims to be compassionate, courteous and fair in dealing with Non-Muslims and especially so with the People-Of-Book. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has set many examples of it.

It is, however, strictly forbidden to take them as intimate friends or supporters; for they are considered enemies of Allah, therefore for a Muslim one can not be his friend who is the enemy of his Lord. On the face of it, it may seem anti-social or discriminatory but logic and rationality defy such assertions.

Some Muslims; due to lack of understanding, quote verse (60:9); where it is mentioned that—-”Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion”, to justify being friends with Christians and Jews as moderate or liberal in their social behavior and Also presenting Islam; in their naivete, as a moderate, modern or liberal religion.

They are oblivious to the fact that Islam is the most modern, liberal and moderate of all Divine religions. (2:143)

The injunctions in verse (60:9) were applicable only to the war situation at the time of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and not to the normal situation of nowadays. (validated by the renunciation of such friendships—even for future by one of the noble sahabah–Ubadah Ibn Samit and some others. (Exegesis Ma’araful Quran pg 189, Vol 3).

Verse # 1 of the same surah clearly supports this viewpoint.

For a clear Understanding, one has to read all forbidding verse in conjunction, as ordained in verse 85 of surah Baqarah (2).

READ— A comprehensive writing on this Topic.

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5 Responses to “Can Muslims be friends with non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians?”

  1. Interpersonal relationship between Muslim and Non-Muslim | Food for Thoughts Says:

    […]… […]


  2. Robert Ali Bogere Says:

    Is this your personal understanding or what Islam teaches? Was the Uncle of the Prophet S.A.W a Muslim? Wasn’t he the one who protected the Prophet most; to the point of the Prophet lamenting when the Uncle refused to convert to Islam? The first place that offered Muslims refuge was Ethiopia. Was it a Muslim country …. didn’t it refuse to give up Muslims when their enemies came for them?

    Do not take your personal biases and make them out to be Islam. Islam is greater than you and your personal beliefs. Repent and edit this post or delete it


    • shakir2 Says:

      The comments express the usual sentimental projection of Islam as pleasing/accommodating to Non-Muslims. Unfortunately, without sound knowledge and understanding of Qura’an and Hadith. Criticism, nevertheless, appreciated. Thanks


      • Robert Ali Says:

        So, if a Muslim robber attacks my home….as between the Muslim robber who wants to take my life and the Christian neighbor who helps me to fight off the thief; who should be my “intimate” friend?

        I gave you examples from the history of Islam. The likes of Bin Laden and Al_Baghdadi (May Allah judge them) also loved to cherry pick from Islam to justify their personal evil minds and biases. Don’t do the same.

        This kind of “interpretation” is why we still have people shooting girls “because there are Hadiths that say girls should not go to school”; or those who support “honor killings”; and the blatant racism against blacks of African origin prevalent in most of the Arab World.

        Islam is not the same as Arabian or Pakistani or Asian Culture. If you are not friendly to strangers or to others who don’t look or believe as you do; don’t blame it on Islam. That is YOU….THAT IS NOT ISLAM.

        If the first muslims who were given refuge in Ethiopia were to return today and wish to run into a neighbouring Arab Country as refugees; would they be welcome? The first thing the neighbors would consider is whether the presence of the refugees will not affect their population “racial balance”.

        Ask yourself why Syrian refugees would rather run to Hungary than to Saudi Arabia….yet they know they are not welcome in Hungary? It’s because Hungary treats Muslim refugees better than Saudi Arabia!! Who is the intimate friend of these refugees? Saudi Arabia?



      • shakir2 Says:

        Thx Robert Ali.


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