Allah Forbids You Not (Qur'an 60:8)
Meaning and context of verse
According to the tafsir and hadith, this verse was revealed in the context of Abu Bakr's daughter, who refused to let her mother in the house because she was a disbeliever. As Muslims often scream about context (usually when faced with the more violent qur'anic verses), some would say because it was revealed in the context of disbelieving mothers, then it only applies in that context.
There are about 28 Medinan suras (see here at Chronological Order of the Qur'an). Sura 60 is fifth in the Medinan chronology. So basically there are 23 full suras and partial sura 60 with some or the other contents which abrogates 60:8. You can see the list of abrogator verses here at List of Abrogations in the Qur'an on the right side. Historic Islamic scholars have however gone down to very intricate details. They specifically stated which verse abrogates which verse. We need not do that. Verses such as 9:5 and 9:29 were revealed a lot of time after verse 60:8. They contradict it with respect to the instruction from Allah.
If somebody gives you one instruction today and its opposite instruction tomorrow, common sense say that you should obey his last instruction. So there is no surprise if Muslims would prioritize violent verses over peaceful ones like 60:8.
Qur'an verses explained
Ibn Kathir explains the meaning of the Qur'an verse regarding "harshness"
(Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.) and this quality includes every beautiful description. Allah praises the Companions of the Messenger , may Allah be pleased with them all,
(And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, merciful among themselves.) just as He, the Exalted and Most Honored, said in another Ayah,
(Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers.)(5:54) This is the description of the believers; harsh with the disbelievers, merciful and kind to the believers, angry without smiling before the disbelievers, smiling and beaming with pleasure before his believing brother. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you.) (9:123) The Prophet said,
(The parable of the believers in their kindness and mercy for each other, is that of the body: when one of its organs falls ill, the rest of the body responds with fever and sleeplessness.) The Prophet also said,(A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.)
Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624) was an Islamic scholar and a prominent Sufi. He is regarded as having rejuvenated Islam, due to which he is commonly called "Mujadid Alf Thani", meaning "reviver of the second millennium".
Kufr and Islam are opposed to each other. The progress of one is possible only at the expense of the other and co-existences between these two contradictory faiths in unthinkable.
The honor of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One who respects kafirs, dishonors the Muslims. To respect them does not merely mean honouring them and assigning them a seat of honor in any assembly, but it also implies keeping company with them or showing considerations to them. They should be kept at an arm's length like dogs. ... If some worldly business cannot be performed without them, in that case only a minimum of contact should be established with them but without taking them into confidence. The highest Islamic sentiment asserts that it is better to forego that worldly business and that no relationship should be established with the kafirs.
The real purpose in levying jizya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that, on account of fear of jizya, they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It is intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honor and might of Islam.
. . .
Hadith Prohibiting Friendship
Only pious believers where Muhammad's friends
Umar kicked a Christian out of Medina
`Umar said, "Is he not pure Abu Musa said, "No, but he is Christian." Abu Musa said, "So `Umar admonished me and poked my thigh (with his finger), saying, `Drive him out (from Al-Madinah).' He then recited,"(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends...) Then he reported that `Abdullah bin `Utbah said, "Let one of you beware that he might be a Jew or a Christian, while unaware." The narrator of this statement said, "We thought that he was referring to the Ayah,
A man follows the religion of his friend
Only stay with believers
Whoever joins a polytheist is like him
Do not take enemies as friends
Muhammad was sent to stop friendship
Ibn Ishaq's work is lost, but most of it is referenced in Ibn Hisham and Tabari as well as many other historians work. Imam Abu Hanifa only considered Ibn Ishaq's historical accuracy reliable, not his narrations of Prophet Muhammad, since he gave no chain of narrators. Nevertheless, this is a reference to a Qur'an verse.
Views of Muslim Scholars
Sheikh Munajid has issued the fatwa (religious ruling) that it is wrong to take Kuffar as friends. However, he says it is okay to treat them with kindness. But the goal he promotes, is that the Muslim must try to convert those kuffars to Islam.
But this does not mean that a Muslim cannot interact with them in a nice manner that will encourage them to enter Islam, so long as that is within the guidelines of sharee’ah, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Quran 60:8]
[The fatwa goes on to quote the following Islamic scriptures:...Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (2674); Quran 4:97-98; Abu Dawood narrated in his Sunan (2645); al-Tirmidhi narrated in his Jaami’ (1640); Ibn al-Qayyim said in Tahdheeb al-Sunan (‘Awn, 7/304); Abu Dawood (2787); al-Haakim (2/141); Imam Ahmad (4/365); and al-Nasaa’i (4177)]
These texts indicate that the basic principle is that the Muslim should not settle among the kuffaar in their countries, and that he is obliged to move from those lands to the Muslim lands. An exception is made from that if his staying there is necessary, but necessity should not be blown out of proportion. If the Muslim has to be with them (the non-Muslims) physically, he should not be with them in his heart, and he must avoid mixing with them unnecessarily...
...Something else that will help you to stop mixing with non-Muslims is to remember that these kaafirs – even though they may have good manners and some good qualities – also do a number of seriously wrong things, any one of which is sufficient to nullify any good deeds that they may do. Among these evil things is the belief of the Christians – for example – that God is one of three (trinity), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Quran 5:73]
The other kaafir nations all attribute partners to Allaah, or else they do not believe in God at all.
The kuffaar in general do not believe in the Qur’aan or in the message of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), rather they reject the Qur’aan and they reject our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him); so how can a Muslim be inclined towards them with their kufr and misguidance?
Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 11793
Shaykh Saed Abdul-Rahman
Shaykh Saed Abdul Rahman who is the Author of many fatwa books has ruled that Muslims should not take non-Muslims as friends. A Muslim should not even live near the "Kuffar" unless he promotes Islam.
Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman
They have also ruled that it is haram to show condolences towards the Kuffar if one of them dies. However there are exceptions.
Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman
Responses to Apologetics
Awliya means 'protector'
Some say the word Awliyā' (أولياء) only means 'protector', not 'friend'. But this is not true, as the Islamic phrase walīyu 'llāh (ولي الله), means 'friend of God'. To say walīyu 'llāh means “protector of God”, is slanderous in Islam. The word Al-Waliyu is also one of the 99 names of Allah.
We can marry non-Muslims
Some people say that Muslims can marry non-Muslims, therefore they can befriend them. This is false. It is forbidden for a Muslim women to marry a non-Muslim.
"Marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim [man] is forbidden and invalid - that is a consensus among Muslims. A [Muslim] woman who has taken the liberty [of marrying a non-Muslim man] has removed herself from the fold of the Muslim community - and one who has done so knowing that it is wrong, has done something strictly forbidden, and has committed an open [act of] abomination that may hurl her into the abyss of heresy and apostasy.
“The wisdom of the religious ban [against the marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim man lies in] its preventing [the woman] from being tempted away from her faith. The Koran justifies this ban by saying that these marriages ‘beckon [the believer] to the Fire of Hell; Koran 2:221.’
"[The Koran says]: 'Do not marry unbelieving women, until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do [but] beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden [of bliss] and forgiveness [Koran 2:221].'
"The excuse that one is unable to find a [Muslim] partner for marriage is completely invalid, both from a religious and from a practical point of view... for one who is unable to find a spouse must remain chaste until Allah delivers him [from his plight], for Allah has said: 'Let those who cannot find a match keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace [Koran 24:33].'
"[Marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man] is invalid and despicable, for we know, and anyone who has contact with the Muslim communities in the West knows, that the number of [Muslim] men seeking marriage is growing. When Muslim women behave in a righteous manner and frequent the mosque, they will receive plenty of marriage proposals and have plenty of [suitable partners] from whom to choose..."The excuse that [the man and woman] share an emotional bond, which comes to justify that which is forbidden, is one of the most despicable excuses..."
Furthermore, the marriage of Muslim men to non-Muslim women was not encouraged by Umar.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
This is what the Qur'an says about people who want to befriend non-Muslims.
- Misinterpreted Verses - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Misinterpreted Verses
- Non-Muslims - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Non-Muslims
- http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.quran4u.com%2Ftafsir%2520ibn%2520kathir%2F060%2520Mumtahinah.htm&date=2015-03-14 or http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.qtafsir.com%2Findex.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26task%3Dview%26id%3D1535%26Itemid%3D116&date=2015-03-14 The Permissibility of being Kind to Disbelievers who do not fight against the Religion And Allah's statement;
Hadith of Imam Ahmed, Tafsir Ibn Kathir
- Excerpted from Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Agra, Lucknow: Agra University, Balkrishna Book Co., 1965), pp.247-50; and Yohanan Friedmann, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: An Outline of His Thought and a Study of His Image in the Eyes of Posterity (Montreal, Quebec: McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies, 1971), pp. 73-74.
- Ruling on shaving the beard - Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 1189
- Glossary of Islam. Glossary of the Middle East. Accessed May 30, 2010.
- "Walī (a., pl. awliyā;)", Encyclopaedia of Islam