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Friendship Between a Muslim and a Christian

Answered as per Maliki Fiqh by BinBayyah.net

Q – What is the ruling of the shari`ah concerning friendship between a Muslim and a Christian? Let me point out that it involves neither pledge of alliance nor disobedience to Allah. I always talk to my Christian friend about Islam and she shows interest, though I believe that her conversion to Islam will not be easy. Allah knows best.

A- All praise is due to Allah. There is no harm in this, insha’ Allah (if Allah so wills). Almighty Allah said “Allah does not forbid you from [honorable relationships with] those who have not fought you over your religion, nor expelled you from your dwellings – that you relate kindly and equitably with them. Indeed, Allah loves those who are just.” According to the majority of scholars, this verse is perspicuous and is not abrogated. Thus, it is virtuous to treat them kindly and equitably. This indicates that friendship is permissible as long as this does not involve loving them for their creed. With regard to building relationships based on worldly matters, Almighty Allah orders kind treatment to unbelieving parents “And keep company with both of them in this world, in accordance with what is right.” [31:15]
In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to Asma’, when her unbelieving mother came to her: “Have good ties with your mother.” [Reported by al-Bukhary (2620) and Muslim (1003)] Thus, if the relation and friendship are not in matters of creed, they are not considered to be from the alliance forbidden by Almighty Allah. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in this relationship, provided that you have a good intention and you attempt to guide here and help her by being a good example and having good manners. This, rather, will be a form of calling others to Islam. Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from BinBayyah.net, which contains of feature articles and fatawa by world renowned ‘Alim, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, from Mauritania.

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