Limits of Befriending Non-Muslims
Fatwa No: 384016

Question

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhThank you for sending me fatwa no. 7885 but it did not answer my question. I would very much like to know what is the punishment for someone who has truly befriended a kafir which is forbidden in sura 5:51, what is the punishment for someone like this? Is he an apostate? May Allaah reward you

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.

The scholars provided some details about befriending a Kaafir (non-Muslim).

About this issue, we refer you to the Fatwa of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas in response to a question similar to yours.

Question: What is the ruling on eating, drinking, sitting with and interacting with a Kaafir (disbeliever)? Does this take a person out of the fold of Islam?

They replied:

Merely eating with a disbeliever, sitting with him and interacting with him when selling to him or buying from him, or other interactions in which there are worldly benefits that do not have any harmful repercussions for the Muslims in their religious or worldly affairs, does not take a person out of the fold of Islam. Rather, treating the disbelievers with kindness and being nice to them is not regarded as sinful so long as they are not fighting us on account of religion or waging war against us. 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. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion - [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.} [Quran 60:8-9]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did business with the Jews, buying and selling, and exchanged benefits with them and made a deal with them after the battle of Khaybar, that they would cultivate their land in return for half of the yield. He ate from the foreleg of a sheep that a Jewish woman offered to him and to his companions, in which she had put some poison to harm the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).

The latter accepted a gift from the leader of the Romans after the invasion of Tabuk and he rewarded him for that, and he had a non-Muslim servant and invited him to Islam and he became a Muslim.

Moreover, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) mixed with the non-Muslims to convey the call of Allah to them and discuss with them, and answer their questions, and other transactions and interactions that do not affect the entity of Islam, and which do not harm the Muslims in their worldly life, but only to convey the Islamic call, and establish the evidence, or the Muslims would benefit from it in their worldly life and it will bring benefit for them. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) died while his shield was mortgaged with a Jew in return for a debt (food that he bought for this family).

As for interacting with them, eating with them, and dealing with them with affection, brotherhood, love and spiritual loyalty, then this is not permissible; rather, it may be disbelief that takes a person out of the fold of Islam, if one is pleased with them and with their religion, loved them, and was sincere with them, or supported them against the Muslims, and the like –we seek refuge in Allah from that.

Allah Says (what means): {You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. Those - He has decreed within their hearts faith and supported them with spirit from Him. And We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him - those are the party of Allah. Unquestionably, the party of Allah - they are the successful.} [Quran 58:22]

Allah also Says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.} [Quran 5:51]

Allah knows best.

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