I live in Europe and my daughter has a female Christian teacher who became close to me. She asked me about some issues in Islam and I tried to answer her questions. She is very happy that she got to know us, particularly since her mother is sick and she asked about what awaits her after death. When I buy sweets or food for 'Eed, I give her some of them and explain to her the occasion and she becomes overjoyed and buys gifts for my children in return. What is the ruling on this relationship under the Sharee’ah? Is it permissible to befriend disbelievers or to accept their gifts? How can we call them to Islam? I am contemplating offering her a copy of the Quran in her own language. Please advise.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
It is permissible to be kind to the disbeliever who is not at war with Muslims and to exchange gifts with him. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, accepted gifts from polytheists and used to endear Islam to their hearts by giving them precious gifts. He also permitted Asmaa’ to maintain good ties with her (disbelieving) mother when she came to visit her in Madeenah. Besides, ‘Umar sent a garment to his brother in Makkah who was a polytheist. [Al-Bukhari]
A Muslim must not love a disbeliever in his heart, however, the Muslim should abide by the manners of Islam in dealing with the person and try his best to guide them and answer questions about Islam. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, told us that if a person were to become the reason behind someone adhering to Islam, it would be better for him than the most precious wealth of this world. [Al-Bukhari]
A disbeliever becomes most worthy of receiving Da‘wah (invitation to Islam) when he is ill and at death's door, the person is worthier of being given Da’wah than others, for the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, cared most for the guidance of his uncle Abu Taalib when the latter was on his deathbed and called him to Islam. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, asked him to pronounce the two testimonies of faith so that they would be the means through which he would be saved from Hell on the Day of Resurrection. [Muslim]
One day the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, visited a Jewish young man who used to serve him. He called him to Islam on his deathbed and the young man embraced Islam before he died. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, praised Allaah the Almighty that He had saved this youth from Hell. [Al-Bukhari]
In your case, you may send the woman messages about Islam or give her CDs about Islam as a gift. It is permissible to give her a copy of the translation of the meanings of the Quran, not the Quran itself, for only the pure are allowed to touch it.
You will also find more information in the English section of our website, which you can show her. You can access it by clicking the tab (Welcome To Islam) on the main page of the English section.
Allaah Knows best.
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