Praise be to Allaah.
Sins are of two types:
1 – Those which constitute kufr and put a person beyond the
pale of Islam – we seek refuge with Allaah. The one who commits such sins is
a kaafir who is beyond the pale of Islam if the conditions for describing
him as a kaafir are met and there are no impediments to doing so – such as
one who associates others in worship with Allaah, or does not pray at all,
and so on.
2 – Sins which do not constitute kufr and do not put a person
beyond the pale of Islam, but the one who does them is described as faasiq
(rebellious evildoer) and a believer who is lacking in faith, such as zina
(illicit sexual relationships), drinking alcohol and so on, if he does not
regard these actions as permissible. If he does regard them as permissible,
then this puts him beyond the pale of Islam, if the conditions for
describing him as a kaafir are met and there are no impediments to doing so.
The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah and the consensus of the salaf is
that a person who commits a major sin but does not regard it as permissible
is not to be regarded as a kaafir. For more information see the answer to
question no. 9924.
Once this is understood, then the ruling on making friends
with people is based on the above.
It is not permissible to take kaafirs as close friends, or to
mix with them and feel friendly towards them, or to live amongst them and
take them as friends, or to love them, or to prefer them over the believers
and so on. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“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. And He will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under
which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allaah is pleased with them,
and they with Him. They are the party of Allaah. Verily, it is the party of
Allaah that will be the successful”
But we are obliged to treat them fairly and justly, and not
wrong them or commit acts of aggression against them with no shar’i reason.
It is permissible to interact with them by buying, selling, lending, etc. It
is narrated in saheeh reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) borrowed a weapon from Safwaan ibn Umayyah, and that he
bought food from the Jews.
With regard to sinning Muslims, we should love them according
to the faith that they have, and hate them according to the sins and immoral
actions they commit, but being friends with them goes against the words of
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “The likeness
of a good companion and a bad companion is that of a perfume seller and one
who works the bellows. With the perfume seller, either he will give you
something or you will buy something from him, or you will notice a good
smell from him, but with the one who works the bellows, either he will burn
your clothes or you notice a bad smell from him.” Narrated by Muslim, no.
But if the intention
behind sitting with this person is to soften his heart and call him to
Allaah, and guide him to the right path, then this is a virtuous action, as
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And who is better in speech than he who [says: “My Lord
is Allaah (believes in His Oneness),” and then stands firm (acts upon His
Order), and] invites (men) to Allaah’s (Islamic Monotheism), and does
But this is subject to
the condition that he should not have any effect on you or cause you any
harm when you are seeking good.
Based on the above, if the person you are asking about does
not pray at all, then he is a kaafir, because the most correct scholarly
view, which is the view of the salaf, if that the one who does not pray is a
kaafir in the sense of major kufr, and is beyond the pale of Islam. For more
information on the evidence on that, please see questions no.
10094. Based on this, it is not
permissible to befriend him or be close to him, rather he should be called
to repent to Allaah and pray regularly. Allaah says (interpretation of the
“But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and
accept Islamic Monotheism], perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah) and give
Zakaah, then they are your brethren in religion”
It should be noted that
keeping company with good people is something enjoined by our Lord, may He
be exalted, and our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him), as mentioned in the hadeeth quoted above. And Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Fear Allaah, and be with those who are
true (in words and deeds)”
“And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who
call on their Lord (i.e. your companions who remember their Lord with
glorification, praising in prayers, and other righteous deeds) morning and
afternoon, seeking His Face”
And Allaah knows best.
For more information see Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn