Should I Avoid My Non-Practicing Muslim Friends?

22 October, 2017
Q Assalamu Alaykum. I understand the importance of having good, pious company in Islam. Alhamdulillah my friends pray and such, however, some do not observe the hijab. Is my sitting with them in public considered condoning the sin of uncovering if I don't always say something about it? I ask in light of the ruling not to approve of sin for instance you can't sit at the same table with someone drinking alcohol, and the hadith "only befriend a mu'men (believer)". Jazakum Allah Khayran


Short Answer: Of course not. None of us is perfect, and each of us is on a unique journey of faith and practice. Have patience with them, just as you’d like them to have patience with you. Be an example, don’t preach at them or abandon your friends. In the case of being around people drinking alcohol, this is different: it is explicitly forbidden in an authentic hadith, so yes, avoid those types of gatherings. Not because the people are “sinners”, but because you are obeying God in avoiding that sort of gathering.

Salam Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

The issue of hijab is no doubt an important one for Muslim women to observe, as it is part of Allah’s divine guidance for Muslims to live a happy life here and in the Hereafter.

Honor Their Journey

Having said that, each Muslim finds and accepts God’s Guidance at a different stage in their lives.

Some are born into a family where both parents are observant Muslims who encourage their children to practice Islam from an early age.

For girls growing up in this environment it is easier for them to wear the hijab when they start their teenage years, compared to other girls born into a “liberal” family where parents for example don’t pray.

But does that mean that the girl in the second example is, by definition, evil and beyond guidance?

The clear answer is that is not necessarily the case. She may be a very kind person who is still searching for the right path to take in life.

True Dawah Requires Setting an Example

Should Muslim sisters abandon such friends or colleagues simply because they don’t wear hijab?

No doubt that having good and pious friends is important for one’s level of faith, but at the same time inviting others to Allah’s Path is an important obligation.

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to spend many hours with his companions in Makkah, but he also used to mix with non-Muslims inviting them to Islam, and explaining to them its beauty.

If in your case you sit with your unveiled friends or colleagues in public, you can invite them to become more observant of the hijab by your good company and kind advice.

And this advice does not have to be direct “lectures” on how hijab is important, but indirect tips on the beauty of faith and the feeling of being close to God, and different ways to please Him.

None of Us Is Perfect

No Muslim is perfect, and if some Muslims commit sins it is our duty to help them and offer them guidance and support.

The example you gave of not sitting at a table where people drink alcohol is one where there is authentic hadiths that command Muslims not to be with them, as they would be harmed by the evil which results from the company of people who drink alcohol.

As for hijab, there is no similar hadith that prevents veiled sisters from mixing with unveiled sisters, as long as they wear decent clothes.

Therefore, if the friends you mentioned in your question pray but are not yet wearing hijab, do your best to help them find the right way.

Don’t abandon them if you can help them, as the best Muslims are those who are of best assistance and benefit to others.

I hope this helps answer your questions.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From AboutIslam’s archives)

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