Relations with Non-Muslims
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

I'm working in a company with employees of mix religions (Muslims, Jews, Christian...). How do we deal with them? How do we greet them in the morning? How do we return their greeting? Can we accept anything from them? Sometimes they bring cakes for their birthday to our desks. Can we accept them? Can we attend their parties? Finally, why are we not allowed to make friends with them?


A person should deal very affectionately and amicably with his non-Muslim friends. He should consider them his potential addressees to whom he can present the teachings of Islam through his character and good deeds. Being antagonistic and hostile to them is totally an uncalled for attitude.

They can be greeted in the way Muslims are greeted. Similarly, paying a visit to them at the family level is also not prohibited. Attending their functions like birthdays and weddings is also not forbidden. Eating with them is also allowed. Of course items like wine, pork and meat on which the name of Allah has not been taken are forbidden. Barring these, everything can be eaten from their homes and parties.

Some people are of the view that on the basis of the following verses of the Qur’ān, Muslims should never make friends with non-Muslims; in fact, they should show hostility and venom to them:

Believers should not make friends with the Kuffār against [the interest of] the believers. (3:28)

O believers do not make friends with the Kuffār against [the interest of] the believers. Do you wish to offer God an open argument against yourselves? (4:144)

Believers take not these Jews and the Christians for your friends. They are but friends to each other. And he amongst you who turns to them [for friendship] is of them. (5:51)

The actual word used in these verses is Kuffār (Those who rejected faith from amongst the Idolaters as well as from among the Jews and Christians). These Kuffār must not be confused with the non-Muslims of today. People become Kuffār after they deliberately reject the truth unveiled to them. Only the Prophet (sws) and his companions were in a position to unveil the truth in its ultimate form. Today, no Muslim preacher can be in this position as is specified by the Qur’ān in 2:143. Consequently, no non-Muslim can be called a Kāfir in these times. Only on the Day of Judgement will we be able to know whether a particular person of our times in a Kāfir or not. Secondly, as is evident from these verses even with such Kuffār, only that type of friendship is forbidden which is against the interest of the Muslims, which of course is a very reasonable demand.

Consequently, these verses cannot be related in any sense to the non-Muslims of today.

For Questions on Islam, please use our