The following is excerpted from ‘Answers to common questions to new Muslims’ (Published 1993 by the Islamic Assembly of North America):
Mixing with non-Muslims Removes One’ s Religious Pride and Jealousy
Question: I live in an area in which most of the residents are from our brethren Christians. We eat and drink with some of them. Is my prayer not valid and my living with them not allowed?
Answer: Before responding to the question, I would like to comment on something that I hope you said unintentionally. This is your statement, “Our brethren Christians”. There is never any brotherhood between Muslims and Christians. Brotherhood must be based on faith. As Allah says: “Verily the believers are but a brotherhood” (al-Hujurat 49:10). If blood relationships come to an end because of differences in religion, how can brotherhood be confirmed for people of different religions and no blood relations?
Allah says about Noah and his son: “[Noah said,] ‘O my Lord, verily my son is of my family! And certainly your promise is true, and You are the Most Just Of the judges.’ He [Allah] said, 'O Noah! Surely he is not of your family, his work is unrighteous”’ (Hud 11 :45-46) There is never brotherhood between a believer and a disbeliever. In fact, it is obligatory upon the believer not to take a disbeliever as his close friend and ally. Allah says in the Quran, “O believers! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the Truth” (al-Mumtahana 60:1).
Who are those enemies of Allah? The enemies of Allah are the disbelievers. Allah says, “Whoever is an enemy to Allah, His Angels, His Messengers, Gabriel and Michael, then verily, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers” (al-Baqara 2:98). Allah also says, “O Believers! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends and helpers. They are but friends to one another. And if any among you takes them as friends and allies, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah does not guide the wrongdoers” (al-Maida 5:51). Therefore, it is not permissible for a Muslim to describe any disbeliever as a brother - whatever type of disbeliever he is, be he Christian, Jew, Magian or atheist. Be aware, dear brother, of making such a statement.
Now as for the response to your question, I state : You should try to remain away from mixing with non-Muslims because mixing with them removes your religious zealousness and pride from your heart and may lead you to having love and compassion in your heart for them. Allah has stated, “You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kin. For such He has written faith in their hearts and strengthened them with proofs from Himself And We will admit them to gardens through which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the party of Allah, Verily, it is the party of Allah that will be the successful.” (al-Mujadalah 58:22).
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