Ask the Vizier: Can Muslims Have Infidel Friends?

I oftentimes am asked questions that can best be answered when I take on the persona of the Grand Vizier.

Today the following query was posed:

Q: "Is it true that Muslims are not permitted by their religion to take non-Muslims as friends?"

The inspiration for this question comes from the Qur'an:, AL-MAEDA

Sura 5, Verse 51:

"O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."

Seems straightforward enough. Most people who read this verse think it means that Muslims are not allowed to have non-believers as friends, but is this true?

A Muslim will give two answers to this question:

  1. To an infidel he will answer that this verse applies to Muslims during a time of war, that Muslims are warned not to take non-Muslims as allies. But does this make sense? During a time of war shouldn't one automatically know not to take enemy combatants as allies? In addition, aren't there situations where other Muslims are also enemies, not just Jews and Christians? Didn't Iraq and Iran go to war in the 1980s?

    If this verse applied to warning Muslims to be careful who they took as allies, shouldn't they be warned not to make alliances with any enemy, Muslim or non-Muslim alike?

  2. To other Muslims the answer is rather simple: No, Muslims are not permitted to take infidels as friends - here is a Muslim website:

    Islam Question and Answer, Can a Muslim be a sincere friend to a kaafir?

    I have questions about Islam; can you explain them to me? Is it permissible for a Muslim to be a sincere friend to a person who is not Muslim?.

    Praise be to Allaah.

    It is not permissible for a Muslim to make friends with a mushrik or to take him as a close friend, because Islam calls on us to forsake the kaafirs and to disavow them, because they worship someone other than Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allaah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have despaired of (receiving any good in) the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection)”

    [al-Mumtahanah 60:13]

    This was also the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

    1 – It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, “Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2395; Abu Dawood, 4832. Abu ‘Eesa al-Tirmidhi said: this hadeeth is hasan. It was also classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2519).

    Abu ‘Eesa al-Khattaabi said: Rather he warned against keeping company with anyone who is not pious and against mixing with them or eating with them, because eating with a person instills friendship and love in the heart.

    He said: do not make friends with anyone who is not pious; do not take him as a companion with whom you eat and chat.

    (Ma’aalim al-Sunan, Haamish Mukhtasar Sunan Abi Dawood, 7/185, 186).

    2 – It was narrated from Samurah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not live among the mushrikeen and do not mix with them, for whoever lives among them or mixes with them is not one of us.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 9/142; al-Haakim, 2/154. He said, it is saheeh according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari. The hadeeth was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 2/229 with its corroborating reports).

    But it is permissible to deal with them in a kind manner in the hope that they might become Muslim.

There you have it. If you, as a non-Muslim, believe that you have Muslim friends, you are deluding yourself. They are merely dealing with you in a kind manner in the hope that one day you might convert to Islam. You are not their friend and can never be a friend (unless you convert).

It is important to understand that non-Muslims are doomed to hell-fire; why in the world would Muslims be friends with those whom Allah has cursed for their unbelief?

Here is a friendly smiling Muslim:

Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad

Some of my readers will recognize the happy face of Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad. I have no doubt that a few infidels mistakenly assumed he was their friend.

This has been question number 6 in my series Ask the Vizier (?):

The Grand Vizier
Photo Credit: Anno 1404 Wiki


The Vizier answers issues pertaining to Shariah which comes down directly from Allâh. These questions and answers are placed in public view on Planck's Constant for educational purposes. Many of these answers are unique to a particular situation and cannot be taken as a basis for a ruling in another situation. Ask the Vizier (℠) bears no responsibility with regards to these questions being used out of their intended context or to any party who may or may not act on this answer. The Vizier is hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.

This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of the Vizier.

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