Allaah has forbidden the believers to take the kaafireen (disbelievers) as friends, and He has issued a stern warning against doing that.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)”
Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
In this verse Allaah tells us that whoever takes the Jews and Christians as friends is one of them because of his taking them as friends. Elsewhere Allaah states that taking them as friends incurs the wrath of Allaah and His eternal punishment, and that if the one who takes them as friends was a true believer he would not have taken them as friends. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their ownselves have sent forward before them; for that (reason) Allaah’s Wrath fell upon them, and in torment they will abide.
81. And had they believed in Allaah, and in the Prophet (Muhammad) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers); but many of them are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah)”
Elsewhere Allaah forbids taking them as friends and explains the reason for that, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allaah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have despaired of (receiving any good in) the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection)”
In another verse Allaah explains that this is so long as they are not taken as friends because of fear or taqiyah (i.e., being friendly with them in order to avoid harm); if that is the case then the one who does that is excused. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliyaa’ (supporters, helpers) instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allaah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:28]
This verse explains all the verses quoted above which forbid taking the kaafirs as friends in general terms. What that refers to is in cases where one has a choice, but in cases of fear and taqiyah it is permissible to make friends with them, as much as is essential to protect oneself against their evil. That is subject to the condition that one’s faith should not be affected by that friendship and the one who is behaves in that manner out of necessity is not one who behaves in that manner out of choice.
It may be understood from the apparent meaning of these verses that the one who deliberately takes the kuffaar as friends by choice and because he likes them, is one of them. End quote.
Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 2/98,99
One of the forms of making friends with the kaafirs which is forbidden is taking them as friends and companions, mixing with them and eating and playing with them.
In the answer to question no. 10342 we have quoted Shaykh Ibn Baaz as saying:
Eating with a kaafir is not haraam if it is necessary to do so, or if that serves some shar’i interest. But they should not be taken as friends, so you should not eat with them for no shar’i reason or for no shar’i purpose. You should not sit and chat with them and laugh with them. But if there is a reason to do so, such as eating with a guest, or to invite them to Islam or to guide them to the truth, or for some other shar’i reason, then it is OK.
The fact that the food of the People of the Book is halaal for us does not mean that we may take them as friends and companions. It does not mean that we may eat and drink with them for no reason and for no shar’i purpose.
Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on mixing with the kuffaar and treating them kindly hoping that they will become Muslim. He replied:
Undoubtedly the Muslim is obliged to hate the enemies of Allaah and to disavow them, because this is the way of the Messengers and their followers. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibraaheem (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allaah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allaah Alone’”
“You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself”
Based on this, it is not permissible for a Muslim to feel any love in his heart towards the enemies of Allaah who are in fact his enemies too. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth”
But if a Muslim treats them with kindness and gentleness in the hope that they will become Muslim and will believe, there is nothing wrong with that, because it comes under the heading of opening their hearts to Islam. But if he despairs of them becoming Muslim, then he should treat them accordingly. This is something that is discussed in detail by the scholars, especially in the book Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah by Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him).
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3, question no. 389.
With regard to what this person says about not mixing with sinful Muslims for fear that he may be tempted by their sins, but the kufr of the kuffaar does not tempt him, the answer to that is:
As for not mixing with Muslims who commit sin, he is doing well thereby, if he is not able to advise them and forbid them to do evil, and he fears that he may fall into the same sins and think it is something good.
With regard to mixing with the kuffaar, the reason why mixing with the kuffaar is not allowed is not only the fear that one may fall into kufr, rather the main reason for this ruling is their enmity towards Allaah and His Messenger and the believers. Allaah has indicated this reason in the verse where He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism, this Qur’aan, and Muhammad), and have driven out the Messenger (Muhammad) and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in Allaah your Lord”
So how can it be appropriate for a Muslim to keep company with the enemy of Allaah and his enemy, and make friends with him?
How can he be certain that he will not start to think of their ways as good? Many Muslims have fallen into kufr and heresy and have apostatized from Islam because of keeping company with the kuffaar and living in their countries. Some of them have become Jews and some have become Christians, and some have embraced atheistic philosophies.
We ask Allaah to make us steadfast in following His religion.
See also the answer to question no. 2179, which explains the important principle of the prohibition on taking the kuffaar as close friends. It also describes many forms of the kinds of friendship that are forbidden.
In the answer to question no. 43270 you will find the ruling on saying that the morals and manners of the kuffaar are better than those of the Muslims, and there is a quotation from Shaykh Ibn Baaz on the prohibition on saying such a thing.
And Allaah knows best.