Muslims living among the non-Muslims

Can Muslims live amongst the Non-Muslims?

As Muslims we are under divine command to live in communities with the Muslims, and not amongst the Non-Muslims only where there are no Muslims around. This is not the right way to live. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

 “Don’t live amongst the idol worshipers nor fraternize with them. Whoever lives amongst them or fraternizes with them, is similar to them, he is just like them.”[1]

On another occasion he (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever socializes with a pagan and lives with him is indeed like him”. [2]

When some of the Muslims who were living amongst the disbelievers of the Khat’am tribe were killed by the Muslim army which was dispatched by the Prophet (ﷺ), he (ﷺ) instructed that half the value of the standard compensation be given for them, and upon asking the reason why, he (ﷺ) said:

“I am innocent of every Muslim who lives amongst the idol worshippers”. He went on to say: “They should not see each other’s fires.”[3]

This means that if one lives amongst the disbelievers, he should not see their fires nor should they see his. In our times, this would mean that our next door neighbor, those who live across the street, those who live behind us, those who see the lights of our homes should be Muslims. That’s how Muslims are supposed to live. If a Muslim lives amongst the disbelievers and something happens to him, then he has brought that upon himself.


[1] [Al-Haakim, hadeeth number 2674.]

[2] [Sunan Abi Dawood 2787]

[3] [Jaami’ atـTirmithi, hadeeth number 1604.]

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