Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 51

Making Jews and Christians Allies

In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is commanding the Muslims not to take the Jews and the Christians as their allies,

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ

“O you who believe! Do not take friends from the Jews and the Christians, as they are but friends of each other. And if any among you befriends them, then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers.”

In the Arabian Peninsula there was a tribal system. It meant that if you belong to a certain tribe and that tribe goes to war then you go to war with them. You were allies for good times and bad. For example, Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib never accepted him as a Messenger but his support for Allah’s Messenger didn’t halt either. For Abu Talib his kinship with the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was significant. He couldn’t leave his nephew alone because he was one of his own – one from his tribe.

When the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam came to Madina he entered into a treaty with the Jews and the Christians that they will neither fight against Muslims nor help another tribe at war with them, rather, they would join Muslims to fight against them.

The Muslims had come to Madina leaving all their wealth and businesses behind. They were not financially strong but when they became victorious in the Battle of Badr. The mushrikeen seeing the political benefits of becoming a Muslim decided to convert to Islam. In reality, however, they were hypocrites. Jews being financially stronger than the Muslims were the allies of these hypocrites.

After the defeat in Battle of Badr, the Jews made a secret deal with the pagans of Makkah against Muslims.  When the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam came to know about this conspiracy, the treaty between Muslims, Christians and Jews was cancelled. Abdullah ibn Ubaiyy, however, refused to break his allies with the Jews because they were financially stronger. He was adamant that he doesn’t know what will happen in the future. If tomorrow he is in need of the financially stronger party, the Jews won’t help him.

In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is warning the Muslims not to make tribal alliances with the Jews and the Christians. Tomorrow when they go for war, we will be required to join them due to our alliance and it could be that they are going at war against other Muslims. Would we support them? Similarly, since they defied the law of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala by being their allies there’s a possibility that we begin doing things that are prohibited for us to do.

However, this does not mean cutting off from your Jewish or Christian neighbor or marrying the chaste women of People of the Book. Situations where one has to compromise his religion is not allowed.

Whoever befriends them will become one of them because friends influence us. We develop their habits; the way they speak, the way they dress and where they hang out, we start doing the same.

Muslims who become allies of the Jews and the Christians will not only adopt their habits in the dunya, but in the Hereafter they will be them. These are the people who are wrong doers and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala doesn’t guide such people.


– We learn about the instruction of abstaining from friendship with the Jews and the Christians.

– The requirement of emaan is that one does not form intimate friendship with the Jews and the Christians.

– If one does befriend them then it is going to cause deficiency in his emaan.

– Jews and Christians unite to oppose the Muslims even though they hate one another.

Points to Consider:

If one is living in a non-Muslim country and his house is robbed, being the citizen of the country he will ask the help of police.

Can we become their fans, follow what they are doing and adopt their habits? If one follows the people of the Book he becomes one of them and would be raised from among them on the Day of Resurrection. One should see who their ideals are.

Can we conduct business with them and shop from their stores? The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam conducted trade with the disbelievers therefore it’s permissible. However, an important thing to consider is what are we buying from them, liquor, pork, birth control pills?

Can we invite them over to our homes as guests? Our food is halal for them, their food is halal for them. As long as what you’re eating is permissible you can have them over as guests or visit their homes.

Can we attend their weddings? Since we are permitted to marry chaste women from the People of the Book, we can attend their weddings but the moment we see some haram thing happening we leave.

When you see your deen being compromised you leave. That’s a warning sign! Limit your interaction with them. Under no circumstances can deen be compromised.

6 thoughts on “Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 51

  1. This Ayah Clearly warning to muslim States or Muslim Nations too …Like Saudi arabia,u.a.e, Egypt, yemen, turkey, etc.because they made alliance with usa…england as allies …n v all know israel and these 2 countries are allready freinds ….so muslim state shud immdietly …break this alliance n dont make them thier Auliyah i,e friends protectors and helpers.
    plz include also this in your Commentry …if you truely follow the God Almighty,s commandments

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