9 Hadiths on How to Deal With Non-Muslims in Your Life

Anyone can say or claim anything, be it true or false. What distinguishes the truth from falsehood is one’s practice and deeds. If one’s speech conforms to his/her deeds, one is considered truthful and vice versa. To be truthful, you have to walk the talk!

Anyone can say or claim anything, be it true or false. What distinguishes the truth from falsehood is one’s practice and deeds. If one’s speech conforms to his/her deeds, one is considered truthful and vice versa. To be truthful, you have to walk the talk!

In the case of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him), it was not him who talked about or described himself. Rather, it was Allah the Almighty Who described him saying:

{And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds} (Al-Anbiya’ 107)

The Prophet’s mercy was not, in any way, restricted to Muslims. It encompassed all, Muslims and non-Muslims, humans and the Jinn, and even animals and non-living things.

He (peace and blessings upon him) even showed mercy to those who wronged him or attempted to kill him.

Below are some prime examples of the mercy shown to his non-Muslim neighbors, relatives, and fellow countrymen.

If you are a new Muslim facing difficulties dealing with your relatives or a young student who has  non-Muslim colleagues or perhaps you are a professional wondering how to interact with your coworkers of different faiths, these hadiths are for you:

Be kind to your non-Muslim relatives

1. Asma’ bint Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with her) said:

“My mother came to me while she was still a polytheist, so I asked the Messenger of Allah, ‘My mother, has come to visit me and she is hoping for (my favor). Shall I maintain good relations with her?’

He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘Yes, maintain good relations with your mother’” (Al- Bukhari and Muslim).

Is your non-Muslim family hostile? Pray for them

2. Narrated by Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him):

At-Tufail ibn `Amr came to the Prophet and said, ‘The Daws (tribe) have perished as they disobeyed and refused to accept Islam. So invoke Allah against them.’

But the Prophet said, ‘O Allah! Give guidance to the [the tribe of] Daws and bring them [as Muslims]!’” (Al-Bukhari)

Exchanging gifts with non-Muslims

3. Narrated by Ibn `Umar:

`Umar saw a silken cloak for sale draped over a man and requested the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) to buy it in order to wear it on Fridays and while meeting delegates.

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, ‘This is worn by the one who will have no share in the Hereafter.

Later on, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) got some silken cloaks similar to that one, and he sent one to `Umar.

`Umar said to the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him), ‘How can I wear it, while you said about it what you said?’

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, ‘I have not given it to you to wear but to sell or to give to someone else.

So, `Umar sent it to his brother at Makkah before he embraced Islam” (Al-Bukhari). The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) did not blame him for his deed.

Receiving gifts from non-Muslims

4. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) accepted gifts from non-Muslims too.

Al-Bukhari narrated that a Jewish woman brought him a sheep which was proved later to be poisoned after he ate some of it. The Prophet pardoned her.

However, later on, when Bishr ibn Al-Bara’, who had also eaten from it, died, the Jewish woman was killed for him.

Protect non-Muslims rights

5. A number of the Prophet’s Companions narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

Beware, if anyone wrongs a mu`ahid [i.e. a non-Muslim enjoying the protection of Muslims], or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall be his adversary on the Day of Judgment” (Abu Dawud).

6. Narrated by `Abdullah ibn `Amr:

The Prophet said, “Whoever killed a mu`ahid  shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling).” (Al-Bukhari).

Visit the sick

7. Narrated by Anas:

“A young Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet and he became sick. So the Prophet went to visit him. He sat near his head and asked him to embrace Islam. The boy looked at his father, who was sitting there. The latter told him to obey the Prophet and the boy embraced Islam.

The Prophet came out saying:

Praise be to Allah Who saved the boy from the Hell-fire” (Al-Bukhari)

Doing business with non-Muslims? Why not?

8. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to do business and enter into dealings with non-Muslims. It was narrated that `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

“The Messenger of Allah bought some food on credit from a Jew, and he gave him a shield of his as collateral (rahn)” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Respect for deceased persons

9. Jabir ibn Hayyan said:

“The Prophet and his Companions stood up for the funeral of a Jew until it disappeared” (Sunan An-Nasa’i).

A final word

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) treated all people well, including non-Muslims. Allah enjoined fairness, kindness, good treatment and rendering back trusts for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The Qur’an says:

{Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and fairly with those who have neither fought nor driven you out of your homes. Surely Allah loves those who are fair.} (Al-Mumtahanah 60:8)

From this ayah we understand that Muslims should be kind to all peaceful people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

As charity begins at home, a Muslim, be it a born Muslim or a new Muslim should deal fairly and nicely with his peers especially when they are family or neighbors.

About Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies. He is an author, translator, and writer based in Canada. To date, Al-Halawani authored over 400 original articles on Islam and Muslims, most of which can be accessed on www.aboutislam.net and other famous websites. He has recently started to self-publish his articles and new books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle. You can reach him at [email protected]