His shahib (companion/friend) said to him while he was conversing with him, “Have you disbelieved in Him (Allah) who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you as a man? [Quran 18:37]
Al-Baydhawi (d. 1286) mentioned in his tafsir that here Jamblichus (Tamlicha), a muslim, was talking and discussing several issues with Peter, who was a disbeliever in this case.
Peter was a filthy rich man. He had two wide gardens. Each of the two gardens produced its fruits all season and there was a big river between them.
He also showed off with his wealth and sometimes he said arrogantly to Jamblichus, “I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in numbers of men (descendants & workers).”
He once said as well, “I do not think that my assets will perish ever. And I do not think the Hour (the Doomsday) will occur. And even if I should be brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this as a return.”
However, Allah called Peter as a “shahib” (companion/friend) for Jamblichus. Just like Allah named Abu Bakr as a “shahib” for our beloved Prophet in At-Tawbah verse 40.
It means that there is no restriction to have non-muslim friends as long as they don’t insult you because of your religion.
The Egyptian Darul Ifta’ stated in their fatwa:
“Basically, the relation between muslim and non-muslims is the coexistence not the clash nor the enmity. This includes all types of humanity relationship such helping each others. In fact, the forbidden wala’ (loyality) which Allah has prohibited us from is the religious loyality upon non-muslims. The noble intercourse, aids and pious attitudes are things that Allah commanded us to do.
Allah said: ‘And speak to people good words.’ [Quran 2:83]. He also declared: ‘Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.
Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – forbids that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.’ [Quran 60: 8-9].”
Similarly, Saudi Lajnah Daimah also answered in one of their fatwas, as follows:
Q: “Is it permissible to make friend with a Christian guy? He goes along with him, visits him, studies together with him etc.”
A: “It is allowed to perform gracious deeds towards a non-harbi disbeliever (a non-muslim who does not insult muslims for their religion) and to reply his good deeds or presents with the similar ones. But it is unlawful in Islam to give him wala’ (religious love/loyality).”
To put it in a nutshell, there is no ban on having non-muslim friends as long as they do not attack muslims by words or deeds due to their religion. Instead, muslims could show them beauty of Islam by their acts & words during this connection. Allah always knows best.
written by Nur Fajri Romadhon
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