Questions and Answers > Qur'an > Contradictions Qur'an 1-15

Qur’an 5:51 - Can Muslims take Christians as friends?

The Qur’an is telling us that a Christian friend is forbidden for a Muslim, but in another verse it is allowed to have a Christian friend.

1. Christian friend forbidden for a Muslim – Qur’an 5:51
“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies.” (Qur’an 5:51)
There is not much support to have a Christian as a friend in Muslim tradition. For example, Umar said: “I do not know of a more terrible shirk than that a woman say, ‘My Lord is Jesus, when he is one of the slaves of Allah.” [1].

2. Christian friend allowed for a Muslim – Qur’an 5:82
“You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah ; and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, "We are Christians." That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.” (Qur’an 5:82)
In contradiction to the previous verse, in Qur’an 5:82 is a call to respect a Christian. The Qur’an is even telling us that Christians will go to Paradise (Qur’an 2:62, 2:82, 5:69). Therefore the Qur’an doesn’t prohibit friendships with a Christian.

3. Conclusion
There is a difficulty in the Qur’an about taking a Christian friend for a Muslim. One verse is telling us that it is forbidden, while according to another verse it is allowed to take a Christian friend. There is a contradiction in the Qur’an.

Notes:
[1] Imam Bukhari (translator: Ustadha Aisha Bewley), The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 71. Book of Divorce.