Ayatollah Sistani's fatwa permitting friendship with non-Muslims:

Fatwa, posted 4.22.2010, from Iraq, in:
Religious Authority: 
Ali al-Sistanti
Fatwa Question or Essay Title: 
Ayatollah Sistani's fatwa permitting friendship with non-Muslims:

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to have a non-Muslim friend?

Answer: A Muslim is allowed to take non-Muslims for acquaintances and friends, to be sincere towards them and they be sincere towards him, to help one another in fulfilling the needs of this life. Almighty Allah has said in His noble Book: "Allah does not forbid you in regard to those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice." (60:8)

When these kinds of friendship produce good results, it guarantees that the non-Muslim friend, neighbour, or colleague and business partner will know about the values of Islam, and it will bring him closer to this upright religion. The Prophet said to Imam 'Ali, "If Allah guides through you a single person from His servants, that is better for you than anything upon which the Sun shines from the East to the West."



Question: Is it permissible to exchange greetings and gifts with a non-Muslim, if he is a neighbour or a co-worker, etc.?

Answer: If he does not express hatred towards Islam and Muslims in words or actions, there is no problem in doing what is required in friendship like being good and charitable towards him. Almighty Allah has said, "Allah does not forbid you in regard to those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice." [60:8]