It's not hard to find examples of people saying Islam teaches people to be nice to others:

Islam places great emphasis on manners and on the proper way to deal with others, whether they are Muslims or not. -- Questions About Islam

Thus, it is not permissible under any circumstances for Muslims to mistreat a non-Muslim who has not committed any aggression against them; they are not allowed to harm, threaten or terrorize him, steal his wealth, cheat him or deprive him of his rights. -- How are Muslims supposed to treat people of other faiths?

My overall impression on reading the Qur'an was that it's quite important for Muslims to be nice to others (and I try to be nice to others [I don't always succeed, but you know...]). It's something I've experienced personally from other Muslims all over the world, and it's now something I assume (You're Muslim? That means you'll be nice to me.) and I mostly haven't been disappointed. However, I don't recall a precise ayah that means "be nice to others" in simple, general terms.

Question: Are there ayat to the effect of "be nice to others" in the Qur'an?


1 Answer 1


Islam encourages us to get together with other people and to get to know each other so interactions with other cultures is recommended if we understand (49:13) us such an invitation:

  1. O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. ...

Note if we take this verse out of context it still invites us to get to know other cultures, while in the context of the surah we may even interpret how this may work, for example we shouldn't judge people on what we hear, we shouldn't think nor speak bad nor speak of them ... this would lead us further to treat them in best and recommended (islamic) manners.

IMO this is one of the most essential verses of the Quran!

Many people say we are not allowed to have non-Muslim friends (I've seen lot of answers here on the site emphasizing this), but how these people interpret verse (60:8)?

  1. Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.

which clearly allow us to get close with people who are not our enemies, while the following verse (60:9) clearly says that Allah only forbids us to get close with people who are fighting us (fighting Islam and are enemies of Muslims):

Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion - [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

A Bit off-topic: a comment on the rather wrong view saying we are prohibited from having non-Muslims as friends

Note in the above context that allies doesn't necessary mean friends. Here is a fatwa (islamqa) on the meaning of allies in the context of (5:51). Note that this verse was revealed in a situation Muslims had to break with their former relatives to keep this religion alive, now the situation has changed, we should have that in mind!

On islamqa there's an actual fatwa (so far only available in Arabic) on the topic: If a non-Muslim told you that he likes you are you allowed to like him too?

The answer is yes we are allowed to like or love a non-Muslim for his personality etc. but we shouldn't love him for his disbelieve!

Here some quoted evidences and a short comment:

Allah told his Prophet () that he won't be able to guide all the people he likes or loves:

Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. ... (28:56)

This means we may love or like many people, but we wouldn't be able to turn (all of) them into Muslims or make them convert to Islam or get them to be good Muslims, as this is Allahs will and we have no influence on that!

Allah has allowed us (Muslims/Muslim males more exactly) to marry women among people of the book, and we know that marriage involves love, does this mean we should act with a non-Muslim wife like with an enemy while Allah says:

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. (30:21)

Note that on the opposite site Allah says that we are ordered to fight, but we hate it.

Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. ...(2:216)

Yes hate is often the reason to fight each other, if this "hate" has an acceptable foundation in shari'a the reason to fight is given!

An other fatwa on islamqa is answering the opposite situation a Muslim who likes a non-Muslim teacher.

In the topic of fighting we are asked to be nice to our war prisoners (and not only to them):

  1. And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, (76:8)

we are asked to be nice to our parents (and relatives) even if they are disbelievers

  1. And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.(14)
    But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do. (31:14-15)

so we are asked not to obey them if they want us to disbelief, but nevertheless we should treat them kindly!

  • Is 9:29 revealed first or 5:4? Commented May 19, 2017 at 10:29
  • @AbuAbdulQayyum I didn't mention any of these verses in this answer, so what is the relevance here?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 18:56
  • Sorry 5:5, >>>>> your quote Allah has allowed us (Muslims/Muslim males more exactly) to marry women among people of the book,<<<<<<. Does 9:29 abrogate 5:5? Commented May 20, 2017 at 4:11
  • This is an extremely decontextualised answer. We have to take into account the revelatory context of 60.8. We cant just copy and paste a verse and start doing ijtihaad. You need to consider what was revealed first and what was revealed later and what abrogated which verse.
    – Hisham
    Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 2:34

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