Selected Surahs & Ayaats
Selected Surahs & Ayaats
Originally authored on Quora Feb 2, 2019 https://www.quora.com/I-am-not-creating-controversy-But-I-read-it-at-a-website-which-preaches-that-Muslims-should-maintain-distance-from-Jews-and-Christians-Verse-5-51-Quran-I-have-embedded-the-link-also-Can-someone-authenticate-this/answer/Zaid-Shaw
Any verse of the Quran cannot be taken in isolation, it needs to be understood in conjunction with those that precede and follow it. Additionally if the topic discusses a particular subject then other verses of the Quran related to the same subject also need to be kept in view and the same applies to Al Quran 5:51. In this subject the "Jews & Christians" are not common individuals who maintain friendly relation with Muslims and do not oppose them due to their faith. It is those disbelieving ones who do not truly follow their own scriptures and also intent on making Muslims compromise Islamic principles, as already made clear in preceding verses: (Al Quran 5:49–50)"…..and do not follow their (Jews & Christians) errant views; and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from anything that God has bestowed from on high upon you (i.e. Islamic teachings)." Then in the subsequent verse 5:51 Allah ﷻ says: (Al Quran 5:51) "O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another- and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers." The key to understand this verse lies in the highlighted words "God does not guide such evildoers", which means Allah ﷻ is only addressing those Muslims who have chosen to follow misguidance, they are receiving a warning not to take such Jews & Christians as allies in preference to believers and in preference to matters of your faith by compromising them. If they did then such an act would be an abandonment of their own faith and then there would be no difference between them and the Jews/Christians. The reason why these Muslims are willing to do such is clarified for us when we read the next verse 5:52: (Al Quran 5:52) "And yet you can see how those (Muslim believers) in whose hearts there is disease vie with one another for their good will, saying [to themselves], "We fear lest fortune turn against us."
The Muslims whose hearts are spiritually diseased due to the love of duniya (world and its temptations) are tempted to earn the good will of such disbelieving Jews and Christians who want them to abandon part of their faith as they did their own. The love of this world tempts such Muslims as implied in "we fear lest fortune turn against us" and this also teaches us that not all Muslims are addressed but only those in "whose hearts there is disease".
There is another verse of the Quran that helps us better understand the subject: (Al Quran 3:28) "LET NOT the believers take those who deny the truth (i.e. disbelievers) for their allies in preference to the believers - since he who does this cuts himself off from God in everything - unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way. But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys' end." In Al Quran 3:28 & 5:51, Allah ﷻ teaches us that making alliance with such non-Muslims, whether Jews, Christians or any others, who are hostile to you and your faith is equivalent to abandoning the faith. As for all other non-Muslims, regardless of whichever religious community they belong to, the Quran encourages friendly relations with them as long as they do not show hostility to Islam and its followers: (Al Quran 60:08) "As for such [of the disbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably."