I know it is strongly recommended (Mustahab) to select our friends from Muslim people. But I was wondering if we can choose our friends from other religions as non-Muslims.
Note: I am looking for the view point of Shia.
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Imam Ali said, "Know that people are of two types: they are either your brothers in religion or your equals in creation."
So, you can select friends from non-Muslim society and in my opinion this has more than one benefit as follows:
Hope this will help you
Briefly speaking, when it is feasible for us to select our friends from Muslim mates, then why we shall choose them from other religions?!
So it is a very significant issue who is your mate, Since it could have much effect on you and on your future.
It has narrated from Imam Ali (peace be upon him) that he said :
The human is on the religion of his friend. Then it is necessary to pay attention that who will be your friend.
المَرْءُ عَلی دینِ خَلیلِهِ فَلْیَنْظُرْ أَحدُکُمْ مَنْ یُخالِل
(Sheikh Hor Ameli, Wasaelul Shia)
. شیخ حرّ عاملی، وسائل الشیعة، ج 12، ص 37، مؤسسه آل البیت(ع)، قم، 1409ق.
By paying attention to the tradition above, we can see how important that is. Because they(friends) will have much effects on you (effects which are not related to Islam.. )
But the significant point is that : Perhaps you say I won’t allow them to influence on me, but you ought to know that they will influence you unwanted. (As a natural rule)
We should make friend whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims and if they are non-Muslims then it is our duty to ask him to embrace Islam.