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Chapter 5.8. Dealing With Non-muslims

If your neighbours happen to be non-Muslim you must not forget Islamic manners in dealing with neighbours. The recommendation of Islam for good relationship with neighbours is for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

You as a Muslim should demonstrate to all people the goodness of Islam with your gentle manners and kind behaviour. Bukhari and Muslim reported the Hadith of Anas 'No one is a believer if he do not like for his brother what he likes for himself.' The report of Muslim said ' till he loves for his brother, or neighbour, as he likes for himself'. The scholars said that the word 'brother' here is said in the most common context and thus the means brothers in humanity including Muslims and non- Muslims. A Muslim would love for his non-Muslim brother, as he loves for himself, to become a Muslim to enjoy the benefits of Islam and the rewards of Allah.

A Muslim would do very well when he prays for the guidance of his non-Muslim brothers as he likes for his Muslim brothers to remain Muslim and to continue their devotion and adherence to Islam. In Surah Al-Mumtahana, Allah said 'Allah forbid you not, with regard to those who did not fight you for your faith nor drive you out of your homes, to deal kindly and justly with them: For Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fought you for your faith and drove you out of your homes and support others in driving you out, for turning to them for friendship and alliance. Those of you who do that are doing wrong.'

There is nothing to prevent us from being kind, generous and helpful to non-Muslims as long as they do not demonstrate verbal or tangible animosity towards Islam. Hopefully, this will remove barriers to introduce them to join Islam and Muslims.

This positive attitude does not mean going along with non-Muslims and abandoning our distinct personality. It means we must fair, kind and moderate with ourselves and our neighbours in all matters. In interpreting this, Imam Qurtubi said: 'This constitute a consent by Allah to maintain amicable relationship with those who did not antagonize Muslim or attack them. Imam Qurtubi cited the opinion of Abdul Rahman bin Zayed who said that this rule was in the beginning of Islam when fighting was not required, but later it was annulled. Imam Qurtubi also cited Qatada who said this verse had been annulled by another verse in Surah Al-Tawba (9:5) 'But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and the slay the pagans wherever you find them..'

After citing these two opinions and other similar ones, Imam Qurtubi concluded by saying: The majority of interpreter are said that it is a valid verse that has not been annulled. They cited the story reported by Bukhari and Muslim of Asma' bint Abi Bakr when she asked the Prophet if could entertain and be kind to her non-Muslim mother who visited her in Madina and the Prophet said 'Yes.'

It was said that this verse was revealed in this incident. Al-Mawardi and Abu Dawood reported that Amer bin Abdullah bin Al-Zubair narrated that his father told him that before Islam Abu Bakr divorced his wife Qutaila who was the mother of Asma. When the truce was held between the Prophet and the pagans of Quraish, the mother visited her daughter in Madina and brought her an ear-ring and other gifts. Asma was reluctant to accept the gifts before asking the Prophet. In answer to her question Allah revealed this verse. When Allah says 'to deal kindly and justly with them' Al- Faraa said that Allah meant those who did not fight you alluding to Khuza tribe who made an agreement with Muslims not to fight them or assist those fighting them. Allah ordered Muslims to be kind and faithful to them as per the terms of the agreement.
 
Al-Kadi Abu Bakr ibn Al-Arabi said that the expression of qist is not derived from justice but from share, meaning you may give them a portion of your money to maintain cordial relationship. For justice is a duty toward all whether they were friends or foes. Imam Bukhari and Imam Ahmad reported that Anas bin Malik that a Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet, preparing his ablution and to hand him his shoes. The boy became ill. The Prophet went to visit the boy and he was gravely ill with his father sitting at his head. The Prophet invited him to Islam by telling him to say: There is no God but Allah. The boy looked at his father who kept silent. The Prophet repeated his request and the boy looked at his father again who told him 'Obey Abu Al-Kasim.' The boy, just before dying, said 'I bear witness that no God but Allah and that you are His Messenger.' The Prophet said 'Thank Allah for enabling me to save him.'

Hafiz Ibn Hajar said that this Hadith indicates many rules; that Muslims are allowed to employ non-Muslims, to visit them while sick. It also directs us to maintain cordiality. It allows the employment of the youth, to offer them Islam if they were mature to make a choice, and to accept their conversion if they embraced Islam.

Hafiz Al-Badr Al-Aini said this Hadith indicted the consent to visit ill non-Muslims especially if they were neighbours since it demonstrated the kindness of Islam and may encourage them to embrace it. The Hadith also allows the employment of non- Muslims and the coridality to them. It also consent employing the youth.

You may console non-Muslims on mourning using appropriate expressions. Imam Al-Qadi Abu Yusuf said, in the end of his book Al-Kharaj, that he asked Abu Hanifah about how to console a Jew or a Christian who lost a child or relative. Abu Hanifah said to say 'Allah decreed death for all His creations. We ask Allah to make death the best fate to wait for. We all belong to Allah and to Him we all shall return. Be patient and endure this calamity.

Abu Yusuf said we learned that a Christian who used to attend the lectures of Al- Hasan Al-Basri died. Al-Hasan went to console his brother. He said: May Allah reward you for this calamity as He reward your fellows. May Allah bless our death and make it the best fate to wait for. Be patient against the misfortunes. You may say these kind words and remind them of death as the inescapable fate with which we can do nothing about but acceptance and patience.

Imam Ibn A'bdin in his book Rad Al-Muhtar that the Shaf'ee said: You may console Muslims when at the death of a non-Muslim relative. On such occasion you may say: May Allah increase your rewards and patience. You may console non-Muslims on the loss of a Muslim relative. On such occasions you may say: May Allah forgive your deceased and give best condolence.

Chapters

Chapter 1

Importance Of Appearance

Chapter 1.1

Distinct Muslim Personality

Chapter 1.2

Cleanliness And Washing

Chapter 1.3

Arriving From A Journey

Chapter 1.4

Dress Properly With Family And Friends

Chapter 2

Entering Or Leaving A House

Chapter 2.1

How-to-enter

Chapter 2.2

Entering While Others Are Asleep

Chapter 2.3

Greeting

Chapter 2.4

Announcing Your Presence

Chapter 2.5

Seeking Permission To Enter

Chapter 2.6

Knocking And Ringing

Chapter 2.7

Answering 'Who Is It?'

Chapter 3

The Manners Of Visiting

Chapter 3.1

Keeping Appointments, Delays And Cancellation

Chapter 3.2

Declining A Visit

Chapter 3.3

Control Your Eyes

Chapter 3.4

Removing Your Shoes

Chapter 3.5

Choosing A Seat

Chapter 3.6

A Visitor Is Not An Inspector

Chapter 3.7

Timing Your Visit

Chapter 3.8

Greeting

Chapter 3.9

Sitting Between Two Persons

Chapter 3.10

The Host's Duties And The Guests' Rights

Chapter 3.11

Stay In Touch

Chapter 3.12

A Brief Advice To My Sisters

Chapter 4

The Manners Of Conversation

Chapter 4.1

Selecting Suitable Topics

Chapter 4.2

Talk In A Suitable Tone

Chapter 4.3

The Art Of Listening

Chapter 4.4

Discussions And Debates

Chapter 4.5

Swearing By Allah

Chapter 4.6

Answering A Question

Chapter 5

Social Manners

Chapter 5.1

Respect And Favour The Elderly

Chapter 5.2

The Elderly Are To Lead Prayers

Chapter 5.3

Walking With The Elderly

Chapter 5.4

The Elderly Are To Be Served First

Chapter 5.5

Manners With Parents

Chapter 5.6

Tell Your Family Your Whereabouts

Chapter 5.7

Respect The Poor

Chapter 5.8

Dealing With Non-muslims

Chapter 6

Manners Of Eating

Chapter 6.1

The Importance Of Eating Manners

Chapter 6.2

Manners Of Eating

Chapter 6.3

Manners Of Drinking

Chapter 6.4

Avoid Gluttony

Chapter 6.5

Gold And Silver Cutlery

Chapter 7

Weddings

Chapter 7.1

Weddings Are Part Of The Prophet's Tradition

Chapter 7.2

The Manners Of Attending Weddings

Chapter 8

Visiting The Sick

Chapter 8.1

Visiting A Patient

Chapter 8.2

Praying For The Sick

Chapter 8.3

The Length Of The Visit

Chapter 8.4

The Manners Of Visiting A Patient

Chapter 8.5

How The Ill Express Their Complaints

Chapter 9

Condolence

Chapter 9.1

Breaking Unpleasant News

Chapter 9.2

Expressing Condolences Is A Courtesy And A Duty

Chapter 9.3

Expressing Condolences And Sympathy

Chapter 9.4

Sending Flowers And Reading Quran During Funerals

Chapter 9.5

A Final Word