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Does the Quran Command Us Not To Take All Disbelievers As Friends?

Bassam Zawadi



Many critics and of Islam and unfortunately some Muslims use Quranic verses to show that we cannot be friends with disbelievers. I agree that the Quran says that we cannot take CERTAIN disbelievers as friends but not ALL. I will be presenting the Quranic verses and analyzing them to see what indeed does the Quran teach regarding this issue. 

Quranic verse no.1

Surah 4:144

O ye who believe! Take not for friends (awliyaa) unbelievers rather than believers: Do ye wish to offer God an open proof against yourselves?

Now this is the problem with most of the verses. You see, most unfortunately most of the English translators of the Quran translated the word awliyaa as "friends". However, the word friend in Arabic does not always necessarily mean wali. It could also mean protector. (See http://www.ectaco.co.uk/main.jsp?do=e-services-dictionaries-word_translate1&direction=2&status=translate&lang1=2&lang2=en&source=protector

In the Quran the word wali is clearly used for meaning, "supporter", "patron" etc. See this article quickly for the proof https://www.answering-christianity.com/muslim1/friends.htm 

Palmer and Rashad Khalifa translated this verse most appropriately...

O ye who believe! take not misbelievers for patrons rather than believers; do ye wish to make for God a power against you? (Palmer)

O you who believe, you shall not ally yourselves with the disbelievers, instead of the believers. Do you wish to provide GOD with a clear proof against you? (Rashad Khalifa)

So I will be using Palmer's translation throughout the rest of this article. 

So basically the Quran is saying that the Muslims should not patronize the disbelievers instead of the Muslims. 

And this is a prohibition of God on the believers that they should not be like the hypocrites and take the disbelievers as allies besides the believers. So they will become like them (the hypocrites) if they do what God forbid them, which is allying themselves with the disbelievers. (Tafsir of Tabari, Commentary on Surah 4:144, Source)

So God is not warning the believers to act like the hypocrites because the hypocrites would secretly aid the disbelievers against the Muslims. It is clear in the context of the passage that it is referring to the hypocrites when you read the next verse...

Surah 4:145

The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them;-


So the verse really means that we cannot aid the disbelievers against the Muslims.


Quranic verse no.2

Surah 3:28

Those who believe shall not take misbelievers for their patrons, rather than believers, and he who does this has no part with God at all, unless, indeed, ye fear some danger from them. But God bids you beware of Himself, for unto Him your journey is.

Tabari says in his Tasfir that this means that we should not going supporting the disbelievers in their religion and that we should support ours. Allah will make Himself innocent from those that apostatize from Islam. See (http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?l=arb&taf=TABARY&nType=1&nSora=3&nAya=28)


Quranic verse no.3

Surah 3:118

O ye who believe! take not to intimacy with others than yourselves; they will not fail to spoil you; they would fain ye came to trouble,- hatred is shown by their mouths; but what their breasts conceal is greater still. We have made manifest to you our signs, did ye but understand.

Well, all we have to do is read the verse a bit more carefully...

O ye who believe! take not to intimacy with others than yourselves; they will not fail to spoil you; they would fain ye came to trouble,- hatred is shown by their mouths; but what their breasts conceal is greater still. We have made manifest to you our signs, did ye but understand.

The verse is clearly talking about the hypocrites who would want harm to come to us and would want to spoil us. Therefore, we should avoid these people (common sense).


Quranic verse no.4

Surah 5:51

O ye who believe! take not the Jews and Christians for your patrons : they are patrons of each other; but whoso amongst you takes them for patrons, verily, he is of them, and, verily, God guides not an unjust people.

This is referring to the hypocrites: 'Oh ye who believe outwardly', and they used to assist the polytheists and tell them about the secrets of the Muslims...

Al Suddi said that this verse came down during the Battle of Uhud when Muslims were afraid that they were going to lose the battle and wanted to ally themselves with the Jews and Christians. (Tafsir of Qurtubi, Commentary on Surah 5:51, Source)

So again this verse is referring to the believers (either outwardly meaning hypocrites or the true sincere ones) not supposing to ally themselves with the enemy against the believers. Reading the passage in context clearly indicates that it was in a certain context where the people being warned were fearing something...

Surah 5:52

Thou wilt see those in whose hearts is a sickness vieing with them; they say, 'We fear lest there befall us a reverse.' It may be God will give the victory, or an order from Himself, and they may awake repenting of what they thought in secret to themselves.

Also continuing reading on we see more clearly who we are not supposed to befriend...

Surah 5:57

O ye who believe! take not for patrons those who take your religion for a jest or a sport, from amongst those who have been given the Book before and the misbelievers; but fear God if ye be believers.

So we are not supposed to take CERTAIN people from the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) as friends and not ALL of them.

Quranic verse no.5

Surah 5:80-81

Thou wilt see many of them taking those who disbelieve for their patrons; evil is that which their souls have sent before them, for God's wrath is on them, and in the torment shall they dwell for aye. But had they believed in God and the prophet, and what was revealed to him, they had not taken these for their patrons; but many of them are evildoers.

Ibn Abbas said...

(Thou seest many of them) many of the hypocrites (making friends with) by seeking their assistance and help (those who disbelieve) Ka'b and his followers; it is also said that this means: you see many Jews, such as Ka'b and his followers, making friends with the disbelievers, the disbelievers of Mecca, Abu Sufyan and his followers, (surely ill for them is that which they themselves send on before them) in their state of Judaism and hypocrisy: (that Allah will be wroth with them and in the doom they will abide) never to die or be removed. (If they) i.e. the hypocrites (believed in Allah) genuinely believed in Allah (and the Prophet) Muhammad (and that which is revealed unto him) i.e. the Qur'an, (they would not choose them) i.e. the Jews (for their friends) seeking their assistance and help. (But many of them) from among the people of the Book (are of evil conduct) they are hypocrites. It is also said that this means: if the Jews genuinely believed in Allah, and in Allah's divine Oneness, and believed in the Prophet (pbuh) and that which was revealed to him, i.e. the Qur'an, they would not have taken Abu Sufyan and his followers for friends, seeking their assistance and help. Nonetheless, many among the people of the Book are disbelievers. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs, Commentary on Surah 5:80-81, Source)

Again we see that it is prohibited to take those who are fighting against Islam such as Kab Al Ashraf as supporters.


Quranic verse no.6

Surah 11:113

Lean not unto, those who do wrong, lest the Fire touch you, for ye have no patrons but God; and, moreover, ye shall not be helped!

(And incline not towards those who do wrong) themselves by means of disbelief, idolatry and transgression (lest the Fire touch you) as it has touched them, (and ye have no protecting friends) no relatives to help you (against Allah) against Allah’s chastisement, (and afterward ye would not be helped) you will not be prevented from what is wanted with you. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs, Commentary on Surah 11:113, Source)


Again we cannot support or incline towards evil doers. (common sense)


Quranic verse no.7

Surah 58:22

Thou shalt not find a people who believe in God and the last day loving him who opposes God and His Apostle, even though it be their fathers, or their sons, or their brethren, or their clansmen. He has written faith in their hearts, and He aids them with a spirit from Him; and will make them enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for aye! God is well pleased with them, and they well pleased with Him: they are God's crew; ay, God's crew, they shall prosper!

You will not find a people who believe in God and the Last Day loving, befriending, those who oppose God and His Messenger, even though they, the opposers, were their fathers, that is to say, the believers' [fathers], or their sons or their brothers or their clan, rather [you will find that] they intend to do them harm and they fight them over [the question of] faith, as occurred on one occasion with some Companions, may God be pleased with them. [For] those, the ones who are not loving of them, He has inscribed, He has established, faith upon their hearts and reinforced them with a spirit, a light, from Him, exalted be He, and He will admit them into gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide, God being pleased with them, for their obedience of Him, and they being pleased with Him, because of His reward. Those [they] are God's confederates, following His command and refraining from what He has forbidden. Assuredly it is God's confederates who are the successful, the winners. (Tafsir Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 58:22, Source)

We cannot be loving to those who oppose God and his messenger. Here 'opposing' is actually to the degree of fighting against us and wanting to hurt us. This verse came down in a certain context...


It was also said that the Ayah,

(even though they were their fathers), was revealed in the case of Abu `Ubaydah, when he killed his father during the battle of Badr, while the Ayah,

(or their sons) was revealed in the case of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq when he intended to kill his (disbelieving) son, `Abdur-Rahman, (during Badr), while the Ayah,

(or their brothers) was revealed about the case of Mus`ab bin `Umayr, who killed his brother, `Ubayd bin `Umayr, during Badr, and that the Ayah,

(or their kindred) was revealed about the case of `Umar, who killed one of his relatives during Badr, and also that this Ayah was revealed in the case of Hamzah, `Ali and Ubaydah bin Al-Harith. They killed their close relatives `Utbah, Shaybah and Al-Walid bin `Utbah that day. Allah knows best. A similar matter is when Allah's Messenger consulted with his Companions about what should be done with the captives of Badr. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq thought that they should accept ransom for them so the Muslims could use the money to strengthen themselves. He mentioned the fact that the captured were the cousins and the kindred, and that they might embrace Islam later on, by Allah's help. `Umar said, "But I have a different opinion, O Allah's Messenger! Let me kill so-and-so, my relative, and let `Ali kill `Aqil (`Ali's brother), and so-and-so kill so-and-so. Let us make it known to Allah that we have no mercy in our hearts for the idolators.'' Allah said,


(For such He has written faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Ruh from Himself.) means, those who have the quality of not befriending those who oppose Allah and His Messenger , even if they are their fathers or brothers, are those whom Allah has decreed faith, meaning, happiness, in their hearts and made faith dear to their hearts and happiness reside therein. (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Commentary on Surah 58:22, Source)


So as we can see this was in the context of those who were opposing God and his Messenger were FIGHTING against the Muslims.

Quranic verses no.8 and 9

The reason why I put these verses together is because they are in the same Surah...

Surah 60:1

O ye who believe! take not my enemy and your enemy for patrons, encountering them with love for they misbelieve in the truth that is to come to you; they drive out the Apostle and you for that ye believe in God your Lord! If ye go forth fighting strenuously in my cause and craving my good pleasure, and secretly show love for them, yet do I know best what ye conceal and what ye display! and he of you who does so has erred from the level path.

Surah 60:13

O ye who believe! take not for patrons a people whom God is wroth against; they despair of the hereafter, as the misbelievers despair of the fellows of the tombs!

Again these verses are just simply telling us not to support those who fight us and to assist the disbelievers against the Muslims...

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that he said concerning the interpretation of Allah’s saying (O ye who believe!): (O ye who believe!) referring to Hatib, (Choose not My enemy) in religion (and your enemy) who fight you, i.e. the people of Mecca (for friends) seeking their assistance and help. (Do ye give them friendship) you send them a letter to assist and help them (when they disbelieve in that truth which hath come unto you) i.e. to Hatib, (driving out the messenger) Muhammad (pbuh) from Mecca (and you) i.e. Hatib (because ye believe) because of your faith (in Allah, your Lord? If ye have come forth) if you have, O Hatib, come forth from Mecca to Medina (to strive in My way) for the sake of My obedience (and seeking My good pleasure, (show them not friendship). Do ye show friendship unto them in secret) do not send letters to them in secret to assist and help them, (when I am best Aware of what ye hide) i.e. of what you hide, O Hatib, regarding the letter; and it is also said that this means: regarding your faith (and what ye proclaim) O Hatib, of excuse; and it is also said: of profession of Allah’s divine Oneness? (And whosoever doeth it among you) whoever of you, O believers, does as Hatib did, (he verily hath strayed from the right way) he has indeed strayed from the path of guidance.(Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs, Commentary on Surah 60:1, Source)

(O ye who believe!) referring here to ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubayy and his fellow believers (Be not friendly) i.e. seeking their help and assistance and divulging to them the secrets of the Prophet (pbuh) (with a folk with whom Allah is wroth) twice; this refers to the Jews when they said: “Allah’s Hand is uptight” and again when they disbelieved in Muhammad (pbuh) ((a folk) who have despaired of the Hereafter) who have despaired of the bliss of Paradise (as the disbelievers) the disbelievers of Mecca (despair of those who are in the graves) i.e. of the return of the people of the graves; and it is also said that this means: of the questioning of Munkar and Nakir; and it is also said this means: do not be friendly with a folk with whom Allah is wroth, but rather be of those who glorify Allah and pray to Him.’ (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs, Commentary on Surah 60:13, Source)

This is referring to the Jews, because some poor people amongst the Muslims used to spell out the secrets of the Muslims to the Jews. (Tafsir of Qurtubi, Commentary on Surah 60:13, Source)


We have to read the whole Surah in order to understand exactly what God is saying...

Surah 60:8-9

God forbids you not respecting those who have not fought against you for religion's sake, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that ye should act righteously and justly towards them; verily, God loves the just! He only forbids you to make patrons of those who have fought against you for religion's sake, and driven you forth from your homes, or have aided in your expulsion; and whoever makes patrons of them, they are the unjust!


So when the Quran says that we cannot be awliyaa of the disbelievers it just simply means that we cannot ally our selves and support them against the Muslims. We cannot be friends or supporters of those that mock our religion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing kindness to those who do not fight us.



Back to Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

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Rebuttals by Bassam Zawadi.

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Answering Trinity.

Contradictions and History of Corruption in the Bible.

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Scientific Miracles in Islam and the Noble Quran.

Most of the Bible's books and gospels were written by mysterious people!

Jesus mentioned Muhammad by the name in the Bible.

Did Isaiah 53 really prophesies about the crucifixion of Jesus? It supports Islam's claims about Jesus peace be upon him never died on the cross.  I also addressed John 19:36-37 from the Bible and proved that Jesus never got crucified, since GOD Almighty promised that he will protect Jesus' body and not let even a single bone be broken.     My question to all Christians is: How in the world is it possible for the feet to get nailed on the cross without any penetration to the bones by the nails, hence breaking part of the feet's bones?! I also added refutations to Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Zechariah 12:10 and Psalm 34:20, which supposedly prove the Christians' belief about Jesus crucifixion.  I proved that this dogma has no truth what so ever and exposed the wrong Trinitarian English translation of Zechariah 12:10.

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