Praise be to Allaah.
These are some of the most important points that the scholars and
leaders of dawah have said about different ways of showing
friendship towards kafirs.
Accepting their kufr (falsehood) and doubting that it is kufr at
all, or refraining from labelling them as kafirs, or praising their
religion. Allaah says, making it obligatory to label the kafirs
as such (interpretation of the meaning):
in Taaghoot [false deities] and believes in Allaah, then he has
grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break
Referring to them for judgement. Allaah says (interpretation of
they wish to got for judgement (in their
disputes) to the Taaghoot (false judges, etc.) while they have been
ordered to reject them
Befriending and liking them. Allaah says (interpretation of the
meaning): You will not find any people who believe in Allaah
and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah
and His Messenger
Inclining towards them, relying upon them and taking them as a
support. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): And
incline not towards those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch
Helping and supporting them against the Muslims. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): The believers, men and women, are awliya
(helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another
[al-Tawbah 9:71]. He also says of the kuffaar that they are
but awliya (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) to one
[al-Maaidah 5:51]. And He says (interpretation
of the meaning):
And if any amongst you takes them as
awliya, then surely he is one of them. [al-Maaidah
Becoming members of their societies, joining their parties, increasing
their numbers, taking their nationalities (except in cases of necessity),
serving in their armies or helping to develop their weapons.
Bringing their laws and rules to the Muslim countries. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): Do they then seek the judgement
of the Days of Ignorance?
Taking them as friends in general terms, taking them as helpers
and supporters, and throwing in ones lot with them. Allaah
forbids all this, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): O
you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as awliya
(friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but awliya
to one another
Compromising with them and being nice to them at the expense of
ones religion. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy)
with them, so that they (too) would compromise with you. [al-Qalam
68:9]. This includes sitting with them and entering upon them at
the time when they are making fun of the Signs of Allaah. Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning): And it has already been
revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the Verses of Allaah
being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage
in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them), certainly
in that case you would be like them
Trusting them and taking them as advisors and consultants instead
of the believers. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): O
you who believe! Take not as (your) bitaanah (advisors, consultants,
protectors, helpers, friends, etc.) those outside your religion
(pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail
to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely.
Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts
conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made clear to you the aayaat
(proofs, evidence, verses), if you understand. Lo! You are the ones
who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the
Scriptures [i.e., you believe in the Tawraat and the Injeel, while
they disbelieve in your Book (the Quraan)]. And when they
meet you, they say, We believe. But when they are alone,
they bite the tips of their fingers at you in rage. Say: Perish
in your rage. Certainly Allaah knows what is in the breasts (all
the secrets). If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but
some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it
Imaam Ahmad and Muslim reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) went out to (the battle of) Badr, and a man
from among the mushrikeen followed him and caught up with him at
al-Harrah. He said, I wanted to follow you and join you, and
have some of the war-booty with you. (The Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him)) said: Do you believe in
Allaah and His Messenger? He said, No. He said,
Go back, I do not need help from a mushrik.
From these texts it is clear that we are forbidden to appoint kafirs
to positions whereby they could find out the secrets of the Muslims
and plot against them by trying to do all kinds of harm.
Putting them in administrative positions where they are bosses
of Muslims and can humiliate them, run their affairs and prevent
them from practising their religion. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
and never will Allaah grant to the
disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers. [al-Nisa
4:141]. Imaam Ahmad reported that Abu Moosa al-Ashari (may
Allaah be pleased with him) said: I said to Umar (may
Allaah be pleased with him). I have a Christian scribe.
He said, What is wrong with you, may Allaah strike you dead!
Have you not heard the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning),
O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as
awliya (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but
awliya to one another
Why do you not employ a haneef [i.e., a Muslim]? I said, O
Ameer al-Mumineen, I benefit from his work and he keeps his
religion to himself. He said, I will never honour them
when Allaah has humiliated them, and I will never bring them close
to me when Allaah has expelled them from His mercy.
Similarly, we should not employ them in Muslim homes where they
can see our private matters and they bring our children up as kafirs.
This is what is happening nowadays when kafirs are brought to Muslim
countries as workers, drivers, servants and nannies in Muslim homes
Neither should we send our children to kafir schools, missionary
institutions and evil colleges and universities, or make them live
with kafir families.
Imitating the kafirs in dress, appearance, speech, etc., because
this indicates love of the person or people imitated. The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever
imitates a people is one of them.
It is forbidden to imitate the kafirs in customs, habits and matters
of outward appearance and conduct that are characteristic of them.
This includes shaving the beard, letting the moustache grow long,
and speaking their languages, except when necessary, as well as
matters of clothing, food and drink, etc.
Staying in their countries when there is no need to do so. Allaah
forbade the weak and oppressed Muslims to stay among the kafirs
if they are able to migrate. He says (interpretation of the meaning):
Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while
they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers
even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say
(to them): In what (condition) were you? They reply,
We were weak and oppressed on earth. They (angels) say:
Was not the earth of Allaah spacious enough for you to emigrate
therein? Such men will find their abode in Hell what
an evil destination! Except the weak ones among men, women and children,
who cannot devise a plan, nor are the able to direct their way.
Nobody will be excused for staying in a kafir country except for
those who are truly weak and oppressed and cannot migrate, or those
who stay among them for a valid religious purpose such as dawah
and spreading Islam in their countries.
It is forbidden to live among them when there is no need to do
so. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
I disown the one who stays among the mushrikeen.
Travelling to their countries for vacations and leisure purposes.
But going there for a legitimate reason such as medical treatment,
trade, and learning specialized skills that cannot be obtained in
any other way is permitted in cases of need, and when the
need has been fulfilled, it is obligatory to return to the Muslim
This permission is also given under the condition that the would-be
traveller has sufficient knowledge to dispel his doubts, to control
his physical desires, to demonstrate his religion, to be proud of
being Muslim, to keep away from evil places, and to be aware and
cautious of the plots of his enemies. It is also permissible, and
even obligatory, to travel to their lands for the sake of dawah
and spreading Islam.
Praising them and their civilization and culture, defending them,
and admiring their behaviour and skills, without taking note of
their false ideology and corrupt religion. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): And strain not your eyes in longing for the
things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them (disbelievers),
the splendour of the life of this world that We may test them thereby.
But the provision (good reward in the Hereafter) of your Lord is
better and more lasting. [Ta-Ha 20:131]. It is also forbidden
to honour them, give them titles of respect, initiate greetings
to them, give them the best seats in gatherings, and give way to
them in the street. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said: Do not be the first to greet a Jew or a Christian
(do not initiate the greeting), and if you meet one of them in the
street, then push him to the narrowest part of the way.
Forsaking the Islamic calendar and using their calendar, especially
since it reflects their rituals and festivals, as is the case with
the Gregorian (Western) calendar, which is connected to the supposed
date of the birth of the Messiah (peace be upon him), which is an
innovation that they have fabricated and that has nothing to do
with the religion of Eesa (Jesus). Using this calendar implies
approval of their festivals and symbols.
In order to avoid all of that, when the Sahaabah (may Allaah be
pleased with them) established a calendar for the Muslims during
the time of Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), they ignored
all the systems of the kuffaar and created a new calendar starting
from the date of the Prophets Hijrah. This indicates that
it is obligatory to differ from the kuffaar in this matter and others
where it is the matter of distinct characteristics. And Allaah is
the Source of Help.
Taking part in their holidays and festivals, helping them to celebrate
them, congratulating them on these occasions or attending places
where such celebrations are held. The phrase al-zoor [falsehood]
in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning) And those who
do not witness falsehood
[al-Furqaan 25:72] was interpreted
as meaning the festivals of the kuffaar.
Using their names that have bad meanings. The Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) changed names whose meanings involved
shirk, such as Abd al-Uzza and Abd al-Kabah.
Seeking forgiveness for them and asking Allaah for mercy for them.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): It is not (proper)
for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allaahs forgiveness
for the mushrikeen, even though they be of kin, after it has become
clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they
died in s state of disbelief). [al-Tawbah 9:113]
These examples should give a clear picture of what is meant by
the prohibition of forming close friendships with the kafirs. We
ask Allaah to keep our belief sound and our faith strong. And Allaah
is the Source of Help.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid