Chatting with non-practicing Muslim not act of Kufr
Fatwa No: 336742

Question

I am a Muslim girl and I have the following question: does sitting and chatting with a disbelieving woman equal disbelief? I know that we are forbidden from making friends with the disbelievers, but what about chatting with them about school or telling funny stories about our pets? You see, before I started practicing Islam and before I learned how to pray, I used to be close friends with this woman, but now I just mention her to others as 'a girl I know'. She considers herself to be muslim even though she does not pray, but she fasts during Ramadan. I understand that not praying at all makes one a disbeliever. She has, in the past, also said statements out of ignorance that I hate deeply. When I established Islam in my heart, I started ignoring her and making excuses not to accept her invitations, but I did not know how to refuse anymore, so I met her, and we chatted about some worldy matters. Does this take a person out of the fold of Islam? Also, do you have any advice on how I can persuade her to come with me to the Islamic Center? Listening to religious lectures and being surrounded by muslims may soften her heart.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Chatting with a non-Muslim woman or laughing with her is not forbidden, let alone for it to be an act that takes a person out of the fold of Islam. Indeed, we are advised in the Sharia to deal nicely with the disbelievers, as Allah says (what means): {Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.} [Quran 60:8]

As regards the woman whom you mentioned in the question, then in principle she is a Muslim as you stated that she fasts Ramadan but she does not pray. The scholars of Fiqh differed in opinion about the ruling on someone who does not pray out of negligence and laziness. Most of them are of the view that he is not ruled to be a disbeliever, contrary to the well-known view of Imaam Ahmad that says that such a person goes out of the fold of Islam.

There is no agreement on the issue among the scholars; nevertheless, someone who does not pray is in great danger. It is enough evil for him that the scholars differed about him on whether he is a Muslim or a non-Muslim. For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 85264and 84235.

Instead of thinking about you becoming a disbeliever by talking to her or her becoming a disbeliever by abandoning the prayer, you should think about how to influence her and how to save her so that you will get a great reward. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “I swear by Allah! If Allah guides one single man (to Islam) through you, it would be better for you than possessing the red camels (i.e. the most precious breed of camels).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Being kind to her, showing compassion towards her, and speaking to her in a gentle manner are among the major things that would help you influence her heart and make her respond to your words and your advice, in addition to supplicating Allah in her absence to guide her. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “The supplication of a Muslim for another Muslim brother in his absence is accepted by Allah, as he has an appointed angel at his head, and every time he supplicates for his brother to a good effect, the angel would say, 'Aameen and for you the same.'” [Muslim]

For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 12803 and 13288.

Allah knows best.

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