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Ruling on a Muslim eating with a kaafir

If a Muslim eats or drinks with a Christian or any kaafir, is that considered to be haraam? If it is haraam, then what do we say about the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them [al-Maa’idah 5:5]?

Praise be to Allaah. 

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 have to take them as friends and companions. It does not mean that we should eat and drink with them for no reason and for no purpose. And Allaah is the source of strength. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 9, p. 324
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