How should we deal with non-Muslims?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Salam, I am very confused about my deen, to the point I feel I can`t be muslim as it is as odds with who I am.

I was once presented with Ayats 5: 26, 5: 58 and 7: 93, on the basis of these verses I was told it is Haram to feel sorry for a non-Muslim, even if their child has an accident, we are not allowed to express sorrow for them.

People mention al-wala wal-Bara to me all the time, and get told it is not allowed to have any kind of cordial relation with non-Muslims, rather I should be harsh against my non-Muslim co-workers and neighbours, and we should look to strike fear into their hearts.

They keep mentioning this word taghout, and say the police, the legal system, local government, or any one in authority in any position in the governments, is a taghout as they make halal haram and haram halal and vice versa, and having positive relations with these people is an act of Kufr, I should therefore have a personal hatred towards every single police officer, or anyone employed in such places.

If you tell them quotes from scholars and tell them they are wrong, they say those scholars are Munafiqs and sold out.

When you say to them to obey law of land, they say where does it say this? And they give the Ayat of the Qur`an which says don’t be like those who worshipped their priests and Rabbis who made halal into haram and vice versa.

They go around causing nuisance on the streets, and then say it is from the sunnah to make disbelievers angry at you. Please help, because I feel if this is Islam then I can`t be a Muslim.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

There are two dimensions of a Muslim:

  1. Beliefs (Aqa`id)
  2. Character and conduct

As Muslims, we possessively guard our beliefs and do not compromise on that. The issue of Al-Wala wa al-Bara and the verses in reference refer to issues of Aqa`id only.

Hereunder are the verses of Qur`an in reference:

  1. So do not grieve over the defiantly disobedient people. [Al-Qur`an, 5: 26]
  2. Indeed, those who oppose Allah and His Messenger are abased as those before them were abased. [Al-Qur`an, 5: 58]
  3. And he turned away from them and said, “O my people, I had certainly conveyed to you the messages of my Lord and advised you, so how could I grieve for a disbelieving people?” [Al-Qur`an, 7: 93]

It is imperative to quote the verses and comprehend them with the correct interpretation and in the proper context. The verses do not imply the injunction of demonstrating heartless attitude to the creation of Allah. Although, all these verses were revealed in their particular context, the underlying factor being denoted is that a Muslim should never compromise on his religious beliefs and values. We should always observe the injunctions of Sharia in executing our actions, whether it affects us on a personal and domestic basis, or on a communal basis. When the polytheists of Makkah Mukarramah sought to reach a compromise with the Prophet (Peace and salutations be upon him), in that the Muslims will commemorate their pagan customs for some time, and they will perform Islamic rituals for a period, Allah Ta`ala revealed the following verses to the Prophet (peace and salutations be upon him), instructing him to say to these polytheists:

يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

Translation: O disbelievers! I do not worship what you worship. Neither do you worship what I worship. Nor will I worship what you worship. Nor will you worship what I worship. For you is your religion and for me is my religion. [Al-Qur`an, 109: 1-6]

While we do not compromise in our faith and we don’t forego our principles in pleasing them, we should demonstrate the highest ethics and character in all our dealings and interactions with both Muslims and non-Muslims. The Glorious Qur’an states:


لا ينهاكم الله عن الذين لم يقاتلوكم في الدين ولم يخرجوكم من دياركم أن تبروهم وتقسطوا إليهم إن الله يحب المقسطين


Translation: Allah does not forbid you with regards to those who did not war against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes, that you show them kindness and deal justly with them. Verily, Allah love those who are fair. [Al-Qur`an, 60: 8]


In regards to this verse, it is reported that:


أن أسماء سألت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن أم لها مشركة جاءتني أأصلها؟ قال: نعم صليها


Asma`, the sister-in-law of Prophet Muhammad (peace and salutations be upon him), asked him about her mother, an idolater, who had come to visit her in Madīnah: “Should I keep (good) ties with her?” He (peace be upon him) replied: “Keep (good) ties with her.”[1]


Our firmness and steadfastness to the faith does not mean that we cannot demonstrate good conduct to non-Muslims and other authorities. The Glorious Qur’an clearly specifies what our conduct should be to others when it discusses how a Muslim should behave with his non-Muslim parents:

إِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا

“If they put pressure on you to associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. Yet, keep their company in the world in kindness.” [Al-Qur’an, 31:15]

Furthermore, as mentioned in the Qur’anic verse (60:8), Allah exhorts justice and fairness towards even non-Muslims. The Qur’an also states:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاء لِلّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأَقْرَبِينَ

Translation: O you who believe, be upholders of justice – witnesses for Allah, even though against (the interest of) your selves or parents, and kinsmen. [Al-Qur’an, 4:135]

This good conduct is exemplified in the lives of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) too. It is recorded in Sahīh al-Bukhārī that a group of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were surrounded and most of them were killed. One of them, Khubayb ibn ‘Adiyy (may Allah be pleased with him), was taken captive, and it was decided he would be executed. In his captor’s house, the day before his execution, he was given a blade to remove unwanted hair. A child of the house came to him and Khubayb sat the child on his lap (out of compassion). When its mother saw this, she feared for the boy. Khubayb could have threatened the child’s life as a ploy to escape. Yet, he said: “Do you fear that I will kill him? I am not one to do this!” The woman relates that she never saw a captive better than Khubayb.[2]

The companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him), ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Ās (may Allah be pleased with him), refused to partake of meat served by his family until some of it was shared with his Jewish neighbour. He explained that this was because he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: “Gabriel kept advising me regarding the neighbour until I thought he will make him an heir.”[3]


There are also various Ahadith from Prophet Muhammad (peace and salutations be upon him) which exhort the believers to illustrate good conduct and not to demonstrate unfair and unjust character:

ألا من ظلم معاهدا أو انتقصه أو كلفه فوق طاقته أو أخذ منه شيئا بغير طيب نفس، فأنا حجيجه يوم القيامة

Translation: “Beware! The one who oppresses a person under a covenant (with Muslims) or dishonours him or burdens him beyond his capacity or takes anything from him without his consent, I will be his disputant on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sunan Abi Dawud][4]

من لا يرحم الناس لا يرحمه الله

Translation: The one that does not show mercy to people, Allah will not show him mercy. [Sunan At-Tirmidhi][5]


المسلم من سلم الناس من لسانه ويده

Translation: The Muslim is the one from whom the people are safe from his hand and tongue [Sunan an-Nasa`i][6]


الخلق عيال الله فأحبّ الخلق إلى الله من أحسن إلى عياله


Translation: The creation are dependents of Allah. The most beloved amongst the creation to Allah is he who is the best to His dependents [Al-Jami` as-Saghir; Shuab al-Iman][7]


Islam is a practical religion which is based on discipline and moderation. Unfortunately, your confusion stems from the influence of people sharing extreme, immoderate and impractical views of Islam. It is ironic and baffling how such people who really feel strongly about Al-Wala wa al-Bara, live in non-Muslim countries wherein they voluntarily submit to adhere to the constitution of those countries. If their consciousness of Al-Wala wa al-Bara weighs so heavily on them, they should never have resided in non-Muslim countries or submitted to the ethos of those countries. You should disassociate yourself from such people and align yourself with true Ulema having correct and moderate views of Islam.


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hanif Yusuf Patel

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1][Ahkam al-Qur`an, 5: 45, Idarah al-Qur`an]

[2] [Sahih al-Bukhari, 2: 585, Qadimi Kutub Khana]

[3] عن مجاهد أن عبد الله بن عمرو ذبحت له شاة في أهله، فلما جاء قال: أهديتم لجارنا اليهودي؟ سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ما زال جبريل يوصيني بالجار حتى ظننت أنه سيورثه

[Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 3: 496, Dar al-Garb al-Islami]

وهو فى الأدب المفرد بلفظ: ابدأ بجارنا اليهودي

[al-Adab al-Mufrad, p.44, al-Matba`ah as-Salafiyah]

[4] أخرجه أبو داود فى الخراج والإمارة

[Buhuth fi Qadhaya Fihiyyah Mua`sirah, 2: 265, Maktabah Dar al-Uloom Karachi]

[5][Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 3: 481, Dar al-Garb al-Islami]

[6] [Sunan an-Nasa`I, 8: 105, Maktab al-Matbu`at al-Islamiyah]

[7] [Al-Jami` as-Saghir, 4135; Shuab al-Iman, 6: 2547]

This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Hanif Yusuf Patel. He graduated from Jamiatul Ilm Wal Huda, Blackburn, U.K, with a distinction in Alimiyyah degree. He thereafter travelled to Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah Durban, South Africa, to train as a Mufti under the tutelage of Mufti Ebrahim Desai and Mufti Husain Kadodia.

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