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
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.