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There are some verses in Quran about relationship with unbelievers:

لَّا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَن تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً ۗ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ ٣:٢٨

Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۚ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَانًا مُّبِينًا ٤:١٤٤

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

الَّذِينَ يَتَّخِذُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۚ أَيَبْتَغُونَ عِندَهُمُ الْعِزَّةَ فَإِنَّ الْعِزَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا ٤:١٣٩

Yea, to those who take for friends unbelievers rather than believers: is it honour they seek among them? Nay,- all honour is with Allah.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِمَا جَاءَكُم مِّنَ الْحَقِّ يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۙ أَن تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَادًا فِي سَبِيلِي وَابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِي ۚ تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ بِمَا أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَا أَعْلَنتُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ ٦٠:١

O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in Allah your Lord! If ye have come out to strive in My Way and to seek My Good Pleasure, (take them not as friends), holding secret converse of love (and friendship) with them: for I know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path.

إِن يَثْقَفُوكُمْ يَكُونُوا لَكُمْ أَعْدَاءً وَيَبْسُطُوا إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ وَأَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالسُّوءِ وَوَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ ٦٠:٢

If they were to get the better of you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you for evil: and they desire that ye should reject the Truth.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَوَلَّوْا قَوْمًا غَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ قَدْ يَئِسُوا مِنَ الْآخِرَةِ كَمَا يَئِسَ الْكُفَّارُ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْقُبُورِ ٦٠:١٣

O ye who believe! Turn not (for friendship) to people on whom is the Wrath of Allah, of the Hereafter they are already in despair, just as the Unbelievers are in despair about those (buried) in graves

Who are these unbelievers? What properties and characteristics they must have? Does any unbeliever is contained in these verses?

I know that there are some verses which maybe explain it but I'm not sure these verses are about them:

لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ٦٠:٨

Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.

إِنَّمَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ وَظَاهَرُوا عَلَىٰ إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَن تَوَلَّوْهُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ ٦٠:٩

Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.

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All of these pertain to a Muslim individual or a state taking the side of the Unbelievers against the Muslims. It does not mean that Muslims are not to have cordial relations with Non-Muslims.

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Your problem is that you are focusing on the scope of unbelievers rather than the definition of friends.

No group of unbelievers have been singled out, it applies to all of them.

Taking them as friends means loving them in your heart, taking their side even in conflicts against Muslims and Islam, and seeking their pleasure. This is what the Munafiqeen did and This is haram.

Showing kindness to them in general terms is allowed. You show kindness and courtesy to even a stranger, that does not make them your friend.

  • Salam and welcome to IslamSE the Q&A site about Islam. Please consider taking the Tour and checking our help center to make yourself familiar with our site and model. – Medi1Saif Oct 1 '18 at 9:04
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In order to understand who the unbelievers are, we should understand the nature of things when a prophet of God is sent.

A prophet of God does not merely come to give the message of God, but to clarify it to the point that the only reason, not to accept it is, your own defiance against the truth. After a time, if the nation of the prophet keep on defying, it is wiped out from the face of the earth. Quran tells us about many nations that were destroyed with natural calamities because of that. The only people that were saved from this were those who accepted the truth.

Before this "azab", a time is given by the prophet when this will happen and all the people that are with the prophet are told to dissociate themselves from their nation.

This "azab" can come either as a natural calamity or by the companions of the prophet. This depends if the prophet has got enough following or not. In case of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) there were enough support that Allah gave an ultimatum after which His "azab" will come.

As a pre-requisite of this "azab" to come on the unbelievers, all ties between the muslims of that time and these unbelievers must come to an end.

So the "unbeliever" in this ayats are polytheist of Arab at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Since, no prophet will come after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), there will be no "azab" from Allah, and thus these verses can not be used to give how a muslim should interact with non-muslim today.

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    can you give any source and reference from quran and hadith? – abdolah Jan 24 '14 at 19:48
  • Your answer that a verse of the Quran does not apply now seems to me to be a rather bold presumption which IMO should have been based on some concrete authority. – UmH Oct 1 '18 at 9:03
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I do believe that verses are stating that do not take allies with the ones who attack Islam rather than the ones who do not. I think that is the general principle of what is being said. Of-course we are allowed to have a friendly relationship with Non-Muslims, I mean come on, is that not how Islam spread.

  • Salaam and welcome to Islam.SE. Here we except answers to be back up by relevant Islamic sources/evidences. Subjective opinions that do not reflect informed or reasoned content are not what we are interested here. Please go through the help center to see how SE model in general and Islam.SE in particular work. – infatuated Jan 5 '15 at 14:29
  • "Of-course we are allowed to have a friendly relationship with Non-Muslims, I mean come on, is that not how Islam spread." Historically, it's mostly not; the Islamic empire expanded just like other empires, through warfare. This coupled with a significantly better legal position of Muslims compared to Non-Muslims in an Islamic state accounts for most of the growth of Islam. – G. Bach Mar 28 '17 at 20:10
  • The "Arabic" empires expanded and hence, as a byproduct, so did Islam. Islam was therefore spread through preachers, trade and many other reasons. Islam did not always become the majority religion either, take for example India, ruled for 800 years by Muslims, yet still Hindu majority. Or take, for example, Malaysia or Indonesia (the largest Muslim population), where Islam was spread pretty much primarily through trade. – Dinar Mar 29 '17 at 18:35
  • I wouldn't say non-Muslims were in a significantly worse position either - if any. Many reports suggest that the governments tried to discourage conversion for a slight financial gain (I assume, in return for other favours). If you can, it would be much appreciated if you could possibly debate this topic here: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/2353/… As after all it is an important topic and not really suitable for comments on extremely mediocre answers from more than 2 years ago :P. – Dinar Mar 29 '17 at 18:37
  • "The "Arabic" empires" The caliphate was explicitly Islamic, its governance was sharia, and a Non-Muslim could not become ruler by law. "as a byproduct, so did Islam" Why would one empire expanding only expand a particular religion to the detriment of other religions' subscriber numbers if the empire did not favor that religion? "Indonesia (the largest Muslim population), where Islam was spread pretty much primarily through trade." That narrative is not supported by historical evidence. – G. Bach Mar 30 '17 at 10:52

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