Ruling On Taking Sinners As Friends - Sins Are Of Two Types
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
Is it permissable for a man who practice islam
to talk, be friendly, and take a person who is muslim
by name alone who drinks alcohol and does not pray as
a friend and a helper? what is the ruling regarding
taking those who do not practice their religion and go
directly agains allah's commandments as friends and
Praise be to Allaah.
Sins are of two types:
1 – Those which constitute kufr and put a person
beyond the pale of Islam – we seek refuge with Allaah.
The one who commits such sins is a kaafir who is
beyond the pale of Islam if the conditions for
describing him as a kaafir are met and there are no
impediments to doing so – such as one who associates
others in worship with Allaah, or does not pray at
all, and so on.
2 – Sins which do not constitute kufr and do not put a
person beyond the pale of Islam, but the one who does
them is described as faasiq (rebellious evildoer) and
a believer who is lacking in faith, such as zina
(illicit sexual relationships), drinking alcohol and
so on, if he does not regard these actions as
permissible. If he does regard them as permissible,
then this puts him beyond the pale of Islam, if the
conditions for describing him as a kaafir are met and
there are no impediments to doing so. The belief of
Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah and the consensus of the
salaf is that a person who commits a major sin but
does not regard it as permissible is not to be
regarded as a kaafir. For more information see the
answer to question no. 9924.
Once this is understood, then the ruling on making
friends with people is based on the above.
It is not permissible to take kaafirs as close
friends, or to mix with them and feel friendly towards
them, or to live amongst them and take them as
friends, or to love them, or to prefer them over the
believers and so on. Allaah says (interpretation of
"You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe
in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with
those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad),
even though they were their fathers or their sons or
their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He
has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened
them with Rooh (proofs, light and true guidance) from
Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens (Paradise)
under which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever).
Allaah is pleased with them, and they with Him. They
are the party of Allaah. Verily, it is the party of
Allaah that will be the successful"
But we are obliged to treat them fairly and justly,
and not wrong them or commit acts of aggression
against them with no shar'i reason. It is permissible
to interact with them by buying, selling, lending,
etc. It is narrated in saheeh reports that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) borrowed a
weapon from Safwaan ibn Umayyah, and that he bought
food from the Jews.
With regard to sinning Muslims, we should love them
according to the faith that they have, and hate them
according to the sins and immoral actions they commit,
but being friends with them goes against the words of
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him): "The likeness of a good companion and a bad
companion is that of a perfume seller and one who
works the bellows. With the perfume seller, either he
will give you something or you will buy something from
him, or you will notice a good smell from him, but
with the one who works the bellows, either he will
burn your clothes or you notice a bad smell from him."
Narrated by Muslim, no. 2628.
But if the intention behind sitting with this person
is to soften his heart and call him to Allaah, and
guide him to the right path, then this is a virtuous
action, as Allaah says (interpretation of the
"And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My
Lord is Allaah (believes in His Oneness)," and then
stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men)
to Allaah's (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous
But this is subject to the condition that he should
not have any effect on you or cause you any harm when
you are seeking good.
Based on the above, if the person you are asking about
does not pray at all, then he is a kaafir, because the
most correct scholarly view, which is the view of the
salaf, if that the one who does not pray is a kaafir
in the sense of major kufr, and is beyond the pale of
Islam. For more information on the evidence on that,
please see questions no. 2182, 5208, 6035, 33007,
10094. Based on this, it is not permissible to
befriend him or be close to him, rather he should be
called to repent to Allaah and pray regularly. Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning):
"But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism)
and accept Islamic Monotheism], perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah)
and give Zakaah, then they are your brethren in
It should be noted that keeping company with good
people is something enjoined by our Lord, may He be
exalted, and our Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him), as mentioned in the hadeeth
quoted above. And Allaah says (interpretation of the
"O you who believe! Fear Allaah, and be with those who
are true (in words and deeds)"
"And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those
who call on their Lord (i.e. your companions who
remember their Lord with glorification, praising in
prayers, and other righteous deeds) morning and
afternoon, seeking His Face"
And Allaah knows best.
For more information see Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn