In the Qu'ran it says that making friends with Jews and Christians are haram:

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)”

[al-Maa’idah 5:51]

There many other verses that say this. However it also says in the Qu'ran:

“Made lawful to you this day are At‑Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods, which Allaah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their due Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends”

[al-Maa'idah 5:4]

So how is it that you are not allowed to make friends with them but you can marry them?

  • 3
    This question is based on a wrong asumption we are encouraged to have friends from all nations. I've explained this in an answer of a Question asked by Rebecca a few months ago.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 19:33
  • @medi1saif Can you send a link to this question? Also, read this : islamqa.info/en/59879 Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 20:46
  • 1
    @Armaan that article is very one faced and only focus on their interpretation
    – Kilise
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 21:17
  • The answers on islamqa are often self-contradictory. I lately asked a question their based on an answer of that site and got a partial answer contradicting the first.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 6:05
  • 1
    Here's the link i was pointing at: islam.stackexchange.com/a/37411/13438
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 21:03

2 Answers 2


The problem lies in the translation and understanding of the original Quranic reference from which you derived this question. The understanding you have is incorrect because of how the translation presents it in both ayat.

For the first quote about what you call "friends" in Surat Al-Maa'ida 5:51, the word "Awliyaa'" means in Arabic "supporters", not "friends." The Quran is very specific in using these terms. The word for friend is "seddeeq", whereas the singular of "awliyaa'" is "wali" and implies some allegiance as in to a group from which one seeks support. Since in this aya, the groups are named Christians and Jews as differentiated in their beliefs from Muslims, one's allegiance should be to the Muslims. There is NO restriction on having friends who are Christian or Muslim, and that is not implied or meant here.

The second quote from Surat Al-Maa'ida 5:5 not 5:4, "those who were given the scripture before your time" (the parenthetical expression is confusing even though usually that's what "ahl-al-kitab" or "people of the book" means) is very specific about the words "before your time" which means before the Quran came, since this is addressed to Muslims living at the time of the Prophet Mohammad when the Quran was "new" to people. Among the "ahl-al-kitab" were monotheists who believed in Allah as One and not the divinity of Jesus, and it is to these people and the women among them that the Quran refers in this aya. That is unlike and different to the Christians and Jews who already had confused the message of Allah with ideas opposed to the original faith sent by Allah through His prophets Moses and Jesus.

The last sentence of this aya states that "wa man kafaru" or "whoever becomes a kaafir" or disbeliever (in Allah alone) "his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers." So this is also a warning to both parties to the marriage that maintaining one's faith as a believer in God alone without "partnership" of anyone or anything of creation such as Jesus (and God is unlike anything in creation) is important for their life and future together. Belief in the divinity of Jesus would put one among the "losers."

So in fact the opposite to what you thought is true: it is lawful and fine to have friends who are Christians or Jews as long as you don't look to them as supporters (in the sense of having an alliegiance to their belief system), whereas it is only lawful to marry nominally Christian or Jewish women if they actually believe in monotheism and resurrection and the moral code compatible with Islam, not the dogma usually now associated with these religions...and since the Quran came and a Muslim is obligated to show it to her in this case, they also recognize the truth in it and become Muslim. Which, if their belief was already as described, should be no problem. But you can see where the difference is here.

  • And also prophet Muhammad married a Christian women name Marie,so that's mean you can be friend with them or with anybody you wish to be.
    – Alex A
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 9:08
  • 1
    Absolutely. And Allah actually blamed Prophet Ibrahim when he was about to refuse food/welcome to a non-believer. How are Muslims to introduce others to Islam?
    – S Karami
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 10:09
  • The only thing is that,you can't take a non Muslim against another Muslim,nor to take as allies but as friends,you can but you cannot take those mock or insults one of the elements of Islam.
    – Alex A
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 10:27
  • Also true. Good point. There are limits to these friendships, according to the degree to which they differentiate or distance themselves from Islam.
    – S Karami
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 11:59

In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All perfect praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad  is His slave and Messenger.

Your question: Why are Muslims not allowed to make friends with Jews and Christians but you are allowed to marry them?


Taking them as friends in general terms, taking them as helpers and supporters, and throwing in one’s lot with them. God forbids all this, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): ”O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as awliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but awliya’ to one another…” [al-Maa’idah 5:51]. Compromising with them and being nice to them at the expense of one’s religion. God says (interpretation of the meaning): ”They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so that they (too) would compromise with you.” [al-Qalam 68:9]. (islamqa.info)

As you can see in here, it’s not allowed the reason for this, is because, you might fall into disbelief as per the Quran. Also, the Prophet asked the polytheists( mushrik) if they believe in God and in His prophet and he or they replayed negatively and he suggested by telling them, “Go back, I do not need your help”. Hence, it is much better to take as friend, advisor, protector etc... a believer instead of polytheists and atheists. But, you can be friend even with disbelievers as long as they don’t go against your religion as per the verse:

”God 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, God loves those who act justly. (60:8)

God Says:

”This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith - his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” (5:5)

In here we learn that, if you want to marry a Jewish lady or a Christian lady, you are allowed.


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