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Response to "Surah 5 Muslim"

Fake Ex-Muslim Dr.Ergun Caner in one of his videos claims that he was a "Sura 5 Muslim" who never took Jews and Christians as friends , I have never heard of "Surah 5 Muslim" nor have I ever met one because no such Muslim exists , no Muslim who knows his/her religion understands the verse quoted from Surah 5 to mean what this Fake and many other critics of Islam want it to mean, each and every one of them bases this false claim over a mistranslation of an Arabic word.

Sura 5 Verse 51

[يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّخِذُواْ ٱلۡيَہُودَ وَٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰٓ أَوۡلِيَآءَ‌ۘ بَعۡضُہُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءُ بَعۡضٍ۬‌ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمۡ فَإِنَّهُ ۥ مِنۡہُمۡ‌ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهۡدِى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ] 

[O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.]   

The Arabic word in red "AWLIYA" ( أَوۡلِيَآءَ‌ۘ )  singular "Wali" (ولي) is associated with different meanings like alliance , guardianship , friendship , it can also mean  king , sovereign , chief and many other different meanings according to the context its being used. (Source)

Unfortunately some translations of the Quran uses the word "friends" , but in the context of that verse the best translation is "guardian" or "allies" not "friends".

The Quran uses the word "Wali" (ولي) meaning "protection and guardianship" in regards to Allah (swt) in Sura 2 verse 257 and in Sura 3 verse 122 .

Other uses in the Quran include Sura 17:33 which deals with taking innocent lives , it uses the word "Wali"and translated as "authority" .

It's clear now that the word "Wali" (ولي) has a broad meaning , to determine which meaning should be used and understood we must go back to the historical context.

Dr.Muzammil Siddiqi writes in regard to the historical context :

"It is obvious that Jews patronize the Jews and Christians patronize the Christians , so why not Muslims patronize Muslims and support their own people . This verse is not telling us to be against Jews or Christians , but it is telling is that we should take care of our own people and we must support each other. In his Tafsir , Imam Ibn Kathir has mentioned that some scholars say that this verse was revealed after the battle of Uhud when Muslims had to set back . At that time , a Muslim from Madina said "I am going to live with the Jews so I shall be safe in case another attack comes on Madina ." , and another said "I am going to live with Christians so I shall be safe in case another attack comes on Madina" . So Allah (swt) revealed this verse reminding the believers that they should not seek the protection from others , but should protect each other(See Ibn Kathir , Al-Tafsir , Vol 2 page 68) "

The historical context makes it clear that the word "AWLIYA" ( أَوۡلِيَآءَ‌ۘ )  does not mean "friends" , it means "guardians" or "allies" .

Muhammad Asad writes :

"As regards the meaning of the "alliance" referred to here , which explains the reference to a believer's loss of his moral identity if he imitates the way of life of, or-in Quranic terminology-"allies himself" with, non-Muslims. However, as has been made abundantly clear in 60: 7-9 (and implied in verse 57 of this Surah), this prohibition of a "moral alliance" with non-Muslims does not constitute an injunction against normal, friendly relations with such of them as are well-disposed towards Muslims. It should be borne in mind that the term wall has several shades of meaning: "ally", "friend", "helper", "protector", etc. The choice of the particular term - and sometimes a -combination of two terms-is always dependent on the context." (Asad, The Message of the Quran)  

Imam Al-Qurtubi states in his commentary on Sura 5 verse 51 :

One explanation is that this is referring to the hypocrites : 'Oh ye who believe outwardly' , and they used to assist the polytheists and tell them about the secrets of the Muslims. As-Suddi said that this verse came down during the Battle of Uhud when Muslims were afraid that they were going to lose the battle and wanted to ally themselves with the Jews and Christians. (Source)


Since I am answering the "Ex-Surah 5 Muslim" I won't go into the rest of the verses dealing with the topic of alliance and friendship in Quran , by showing that Surah 5 itself does not teach that Muslims should not take Jews and Christians as friends , I believe this is satisfactory.

Islam makes it clear that friendship and good relations with Christians and Jews (in fact with all man-kind) is allowed and advocated , we should co-exist peacefully , but we should not take them as close companions , allies or guardians if it leads away from the path of Islam or to moral degeneration , and such a close companionship is recommended if by one's moral character you are leading your friend to the path of Islam , what I find hilarious about the claim Dr.Caner made is that the bible teaches the exact same thing , see here.

I recommend the reader to check out these short videos dealing with this misconception: 

(this response was written by a very kind Muslim brother)