Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i
MORE Q/A

Interaction with non-Muslims -- sharing greetings, events and food.

Question:
I have some questions regarding living in a non Muslim country like Mauritius.

As you know we are a multiracial, Multi-cultural, Multi-religious country, Alhumdulillah we are able to live harmoniously and peacefully all of us.

My questions are as follows. Living together it happens very often that we say "Bonjour" to our friends or sometimes our non Muslim friends would greet us Like we do As Salam Alaikum, in such circumstances we have been told by (religious scholars, teachers, maulanas) that when a non muslim makes salam to us we should not reply "Walaikum Salam" is that true? Why? Is it a sin if we do? Me and my children find nothing wrong in greeting back with walaikum salam, in fact we do say "may peace be upon you too" in French or English. We find it that this is the beauty of Islam and we must show our non Muslim friends that we mean well for them and pray for peace for them too.

The Mosque is a place for worship if there is a funeral many times non Muslims come to the mosque and we provide a place outside the mosque or prayer hall for them but during a Nikah sometimes our male friends attend the Nikah after prayers and enter the mosque to sit among the invitees and they do so respectfully. Is it allowed to perform Nikah in Mosque?(Some people say that Nikah may not be performed in the Jamaat Khana but may be performed only is Sahen.) Are Non Muslims allowed to sit in Mosque while Nikah is performed? Are non Muslims allowed to visit Mosque when no prayers are being performed? Many tourists visit mosques here but are not allowed inside.

During some religious festivals our non Muslim friends share cakes with us like for Divali, Chinese New Year, and Christmas, Easter etc we share Sewayan with them too for Eid, I believe we should not eat from non muslims neither shud we share ours with them. Is that right? Some even say that we should not eat food if it is prepapared by non Muslims and we should not eat at a non Muslims house? Can you enlighten us please?

Response:
I quite agree with you that there is nothing wrong n saying Assalamo Alaikum to non-Muslims. In fact, that's how we have been taught to greet each other. The reason why some Maulanas say that we shouldn't so it to the non-Muslims is that they think hadith has stopped us from doing so. The fact of the matter is that the incidents mentioned in the hadith are the ones which belong to two categories: They had either to do with someone who greeted the prophet, alaihissalaam, in a manner that was, instead of a prayer, more likely to be an expression of curse. Even then the prophet didn't curse him back. Instead, he just said wa'alaikum, which means that the same should be on you! The other possibility when salam was required not to be offered is of instances when the disbelievers about whom God had declared, after they had demonstrated their insistence on rejecting His true message, that their possibility of getting guided was nonexistent. Of course, we cannot claim that we have conveyed the message of God to all non-Muslims properly nor can we claim about anyone of them that he/she is rejecting it despite knowing it to be true. We should therefore say salam to all non-Muslims whenever we get the opportunity of greeting them.

To get nikah done in a Masjid is not just allowed; it is preferred. Non-Muslims are allowed to enter the Masjid. The prophet, alaihissalaam, allowed some Christians to do their worship inside the Masjide Nabvi. The only person who should not enter the Masjid is the one who are physically impure: the men and women who are in a state which requires them to take a bath for them to get purified for prayers.

There is no harm in eating the food of non-Muslims provided it is halal food. Likewise, one can invite non-Muslims to come to one's home to have meals.

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