Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 week ago

Bismihi ta'ala

The most important thing a person must do in life is be very cautious about the circle of friends he/she has, and who they associate with. 

We need to be extremely picky and sensitive towards this. 

You need to advice your brother about the direction he is going, and how all this will affect his spirit and religious faith. Try to show him the bad effects of these people he is associating with, and how damaging something like an illegitimate relationship will be, and also alcohol. 

If your advice does not have any effect, try to ask someone he respects to intervene, inform your parents to calmly advice him, and just try your best to dissuade him. Seek advice from people around you as well, who know him.

Dua is also very important. Hopefully, he will come to his conscience and realise the wrong direction he is heading. Just never give up.

With prayers for your success. 


Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 months ago

It's good to choose friends who we want to be like and who we think are good influence on ourselves. We become like the people who we spend time with. 

If you feel your friends are bad influences on you, you should not spend time with them. It doesn't mean that you have to hate them, you can still wish well for them and pray for their well-being from a distance.

The human being is like a piece of clay being molded, we are affected by those who are around us who subconsciously mold us into what we are, so if we don't like what we are being molded into, it is good to choose other people to spend time around as much as we can!

Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 2 months ago

Bismihi ta'ala

In Islam, severing ties with family and kin is haram and considered a major sin. As for a friend, there are many necessary requirements and conditions for a believer to take someone else as a friend. 

Friendship and Islamic brotherhood is extremely important, and we have many narrations that give us the guidelines of how selective we need to be with those who we associate with. We should be social, but never at the cost of exposing oneself to a morally polluted environment. 

As humans, we are easily influenced by our surroundings, as strong as we may be, and therefore we must always be cautious about who we mix with. Someone who is careless about what they say and uses foul language, or backbites, or lies, is certainly not the kind of person you should consider as a friend or associate with. 

Islamically, it is haram to be in the same gathering with someone who backbites, and you should stay away from such people. Of course, at first you should try to give advice and encourage them to be observant of what they say, but if that fails, then distance yourself. 

And Allah knows best. 


Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 4 months ago

You should not invite them to your house as Islamic law strongly discourages or condemns the situation where a woman and a non-mahram male are alone together. (Whether you would be alone in the house or alone in a room.) There is no need for them to be at your house. This will prevent any sort of problems.

Also remember that your intentions are only your own, and you don't have any guarantee about what the other person is intending or experiencing. 


I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is normal to re-evaluate how a marriage is going after 7 or 8 years and see if it is functioning well.

Life is (somewhat) about choices. If the marriage isn't working for you, Islamically speaking, the first step is to try to make it work (for instance, as mentioned, through communication or a marriage counselor, if he is willing). That said, it requires the interest and commitment of both people in a marriage for things to change.

If he isn't interested in changing, then you need to decide what you want for your own life and future, and whether to accept the situation as it is or to try to move on  (obviously, taking into account all factors, such as how the relationship is otherwise, financial matters, whether you have children and what you feel would be best for them, etc). While divorce is discouraged in Islam, and, statistically speaking, women tend to suffer more than men (financially and emotionally) after divorce, it is also not good to harm yourself or stunt your growth and potential if there is no greater good behind it.

This is ultimately a decision that you would have to make for yourself since no one is in your shoes and can fully understand your situation, especially if depression is a factor. 

I would suggest in any case - and I hope I am not overstepping my boundaries - that regardless of whether or not separation might be in the future, it is always healthy to have friends and associates who can be a safety net in a time of crisis. This is true both for yourself as an individual, but also for the family, as we never know what will happen - what if he were to suddenly be in a coma or something? If there is any way to make friendships, even online, it would be helpful not only psychologically but also on a practical level. 

(Indeed, in the current world situation, many of us are discovering the value of having a safety net.)

I would also point out as tactfully as possible that, oftentimes, when someone is extremely suspicious and untrusting, it is because they have things to hide, or else they have behaved questionably in the past. Otherwise, normal people are not usually extremely suspicious or untrusting. I am just putting that out there, and that may not at all be the case in your situation. It is just an observation about human psychology. 

Life sometimes doesn't have easy answers but prayer for guidance is also always a good start. 


Asalamu Alaykom, 

Trust is an important factor between spouses and without it, the relationship can become very damaged. Have you tried asking him why he doesn't trust you? If you haven't done anything for him to act this way then he could be overly paranoid based on his own insecurities.  Also he cannot unjustly control you such as preventing you from having believing female friends.

Try to be open with him and mention the damage this is doing. If you have already tried this or it doesn't work, try to get a trusted believer who can mediate or a trusted alim who is experienced in martial disputes to speak to you both or arrange a session. 

May Allah grant you success 



Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 8 months ago

You must be alerted and very careful from such person whom you think her a friend. If you want to continue your friendship with her, you must be clear and frank with her that she Must stop major sins. If she listens to you and leave committing major sins then you can cont8nue talking to her with being alert, but if insists on committing major sins, you Must leave her and stop dealing with her completely. Such bad friend can ruin you if you continue with her. Millions of people like you were ruined by such bad friends. It for you to decide to save yourself by leaving such bad friend, or ignoring the risk on you from her and continuing friendship with her, but you will definitely repent and feel very sad in the future.

Bad friend is a window to disastrous future and we must be brave enough to keep them away from our life before it is too late.



Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 9 months ago


Thank you for your question. To love Allah is to prefer Him to all else in your life and to be attached to him more than your attachment to other things. Love is a connection that matters to you and as such the love of God can be compared to other types of love. Indeed, Allah compares His love to other types of love in the Qur'an (see 9:24 for example). We are naturally in love with God, but that is sometimes confused by our attachments to other types of love. To develop the love of God, some sacrifice is required. The ordinances of our religion help develop that love and among those ordinances is reflecting on the bounties that Allah has bestowed on us, both continually and at various points in our life. It is natural to love those who are good to us, then what about He who is the source of every good in our lives?

May you always be successful


Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 11 months ago


Asalamu Alaykom, 

Firstly a Muslim female shouldn't have male non-mahram friends. So this is already out of the question. Yes, interaction with the opposite gender at the workplace for example is permitted. 

In regard to discussing private sexual matters with her female friends, this should be avoided. Unfortunately some women fall into this and divulge intimate details of their spouses. 

If the woman genuinely needs advice related to sexual matters, she can speak or ask in a general sense without making it specific to herself. 

May Allah grant you success 


Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 year ago

In addition to what has been said, my understanding of this verse is with respect to the meaning of "wali/awliya" as putting one's self under someone else's authority. That is, one should not put one's self under the authority (in the sense of dependence or giving over power of one's self to someone else, e.g. politically, financially, personally) of someone who is not Muslim in such a way that one loses control over one's life or society and cannot easily recover it.

To my understanding, one of the principles of the early Muslim community was self-definition and self-sufficiency. It doesn't mean that one cannot be friends; friendship is different from disempowerment. To see the results of political or economic disempowerment, one can look at what happened during the colonialist era as an instructive example. (I am not saying that European colonialism was a morally Christian act, but just that this is how these dynamics can play out in the real world)

I would like to add that, in this day and age, no one would argue the reverse; that is, none of the Western countries (which are somehow connected to the Christian heritage even if they are not necessarily "Christian") woud put themselves under the political, legal, financial, or cultural authority of Muslims, yet no one says that this is prejudiced. 

Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answer updated 1 year ago


Asalamu Alaykom, 

The verse that you have asked about is often used by some anti-Islam supporters to  portray Islam as a hateful and intolerant religion which goes against peaceful co-existence. 

They use the verse to say that a Muslim isn’t allowed to be friends with non-Muslims. It is correct that some translations have translated the word ‘Awliya’ - the plural of wali’ - as ‘friends’ but the word wali or awliyah, can have various meanings depending on the context. 

Firstly in Islam as we know, marriage is allowed  with the people of the book. Therefore it wouldn’t make sense for Allah to command us not be friends with the people of the book and at the same time, allow marriage with them. Is it possible that one may have a Christian or Jewish wife but not be her friend?! 

Secondly, when we read history, we find that the prophet Mohammad had (sawa) peaceful interactions with the people of the book as well as friendship. 

Extracted from a longer Hadith in Kitāb Al-Tawhīd by Sheikh Saduq, we find the following: 

كان لرسول الله صديقان يهوديان 

“The Messenger of Allah had two Jewish friends” 

This shows us that according to our books, the prophet did in fact have friendship with those from the people of the book. By coupling this hadith with the verse, we would come to realise that the word ‘wali’ must have a different meaning than friend. 

When we look into some books of history, we find that according to some reports, this verse was revealed during an incident relating Jews who had breached a covenant with the prophet. 

Please read the passage below: 

“It is reported that the Messenger of Allah besieged them for six days until finally they surrendered to him. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy came to him and interceded on their behalf saying: “O Apostle of Allah, these are my allies and clients who have defended me against the black and the red (that is, against all kinds of people). They were three hundred armoured soldiers and four hundred without armour. Would you now cut them down all in one morning? By Allah, I can then find no security; rather I dread the turns of for- tunes!” The people of Banu Qaynuqa` were allies of the Khazraj tribe only, and not of the Aws. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy persisted in his entreaties until the Prophet relented and granted him their blood. But seeing the humiliation which they had suffered, the people of Banu Qaynuqa` left Medina altogether and settled in Adhri'at in Syria. Then Allah sent down concerning `Abdullah ibn Ubayy and others of the Khazraj tribe:

O you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons. . . (Qur'an. 5 : 51‐ 52) .”

Source: Beacons of Light: Muhammad, the Prophet and Fatimah az-Zahra’ (the Radiant) a Partial translation of I'lamu 'l Wara bi Alami 'l-Huda of Abu Ali al Fadl ibn al Hasan ibn al Fadl at Tabarsi (c. 468/1076 - 548/1154). 

So we see that from this source, a hypocrite from among the companions, tried to intercede for the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa who broke the peace treaty with prophet which was a betrayal. The Prophet allowed this Jewish tribe to reside in Medina on the condition that they do not help enemies against the Muslims; despite this, they still broke their agreement. 

From this source it shows that Allah revealed this verse to rebuke the hypocrite Abdullah bin Ubay who took these people as his allies and his protective guardians. He relied on them and had a type of attachment towards them over the prophet and Muslims. 

This leads us understand that if we take the verse to mean friends, it would indicate those from them who Muslims  have conflicts with, and not regular people from Ahlul kitab. 

However from the context of the historical report, it seems that the correct translation could be the following: 

O you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons or protective guardians. . . (Qur'an. 5 : 51‐ 52) 

Also it could be possible for a Muslim to be forbidden from friendship with some other Muslims. For example if they would lead him astray or to an immoral path, he must not be friends with them despite them being Muslims. So this isn’t discriminatory and restricted to only people of the book. 

If a Muslim was to have a Christian friend for example, who he may study with or partake in sports with etc, then this would be permitted providing that this person wouldn’t lead him down an immoral path or a deviated path. How many times have we found ourselves around Christians who held better moral traits than Muslims although they are upon Batil? 

Also to mention, it is better for someone to take mu’minin as friends as  this will lead them to become stronger in iman and prevent them from haram things. 

It should be noted that the  book above, also contains reports from non-Shia reported Seerah of the prophet. This is due to the Shia losing many books by having them burnt by the enemies, so the above opinion is a possible exegesis for the verse and not 100% definite. Allah swt knows best and the full explanation of the Quran will be with us when Imam Mahdi (May Allah hasten his reappearance) returns. 

What we do know for certain, is that it wouldn’t mean friends in the absolute sense as the Prophet had two Jewish friends as reported in our sources. As we know, the Prophet Mohammad (sawa) is of course our role model who we try to imitate. If he showed friendship and kindness towards the non-Muslims, we may also take this example. 

May Allah grant you success