Can he pray for his Christian friend to be healed

Can he pray for his Christian friend to be healed?

I have a Christian friend whom I love very much, and he is one of the Christians who are praised in the Qur’aan. Now he is very sick; does Islam allow me to pray to Allaah to heal him?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The belief in al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ (loyalty and friendship
vs. disavowal and enmity) is one of the most important basic principles of
Islam. Just as faith increases and decreases, so too people vary in the
extent to which they adhere to this important principle, and their
adherence to it increases and decreases. But if this principle is
destroyed completely in a person’s heart and he does not do what it
implies, this means that faith has been destroyed entirely as well, and
faith is the basis on which he loves the close friends of Allaah and hates
His enemies. This principle is indicated by a number of verses in the Book
of Allaah and ahaadeeth from the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him). These include the following:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in
Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and
His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers or their sons
or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith
in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh (proofs, light and true
guidance) from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under
which rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allaah is pleased with them,
and they with Him. They are the party of Allaah. Verily, it is the party of
Allaah that will be the successful”

[al-Mujaadilah 58:22]

“O you who believe! Take
not for Awliyaa’ (protectors or helpers or friends) disbelievers instead of
believers. Do you wish to offer Allaah a manifest proof against yourselves?”

[al-Nisa’ 4:144]

“O you who believe! Take
not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers),
they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as
Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those
people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)”

[al-Maa’idah 5:51]

“O you who believe! Take
not as (your) Bitaanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends)
those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since
they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you
severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their
breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayaat
(proofs, evidences, verses) if you understand”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:118]

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with
her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) set out before Badr and when he was in Harrah al-Wabarah a man
caught up with him whose daring and courage were well known, so the
companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) rejoiced when they saw him. But when he caught up with him, he
said to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him): “I have come to follow you and get booty with you.” The Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him: “Will
you believe in Allaah and His Messenger?” He said: “No.” He said: “Then go
back, for I will never seek the help of a mushrik.” Narrated by Muslim,
1817.

The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) accused Maalik
ibn al-Dakhshan of being a hypocrite because he often kept company with some
of the hypocrites and met with them, as is narrated in al-Saheehayn
(al-Bukhaari, no. 415; Muslim, no. 33)

There are many such reports, which indicates that it is
haraam to take the kaafirs as close friends and to love them. This
friendship may take many forms, such as approving of their kufr, mixing with
them and being friendly towards them, living with them, taking them as close
friends, loving them, preferring them to the believers, referring to their
laws for judgement and so on. See question no.
2179.

From the above, you will see that loving a kaafir is a
serious matter, because it goes against one of the most important principles
of Tawheed, which is loving and being loyal towards the believers, and
disavowing and rejecting the disbelievers.

With regard to your saying that this kaafir is one of the
Christians whom Allaah praises in the Qur’aan, the answer to that is that
those whom Allaah praised in His Book are a specific type with certain
characteristics which Allaah describes after the verse in which He praises
them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity
to the believers (Muslims) the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikoon, and you
will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: ‘We
are Christians.’”

[al-Maa’idah 5:82]

Then He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and
they are not proud.

And when they (who call
themselves Christians) listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger
(Muhammad), you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth
they have recognized. They say: ‘Our Lord! We believe; so write us down
among the witnesses.

84. ‘And why should we not believe in Allaah and in that
which has come to us of the truth (Islamic Monotheism)? And we wish that our
Lord will admit us (in Paradise on the Day of Resurrection) along with the
righteous people (Prophet Muhammad and his Companions).’

85. So because of what they said, Allaah rewarded them
Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), they will abide therein
forever. Such is the reward of Al-Muhsinoon (the good‑doers).

86. But those who disbelieved and belied Our Ayaat
(proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they shall
be the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire”

[al-Maa’idah 5:82-86]

So the rest of this passage makes it clear that what is meant
are those who believed in Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) and were affected by listening to the Qur’aan and its call.

The scholar ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di said, commenting on this
verse: Here Allaah describes which of the two groups is closer to the
Muslims and to friendship them, and which group is furthest away : “Verily,
you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims)
the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikoon”.

These two groups are the most hostile towards Islam and the
Muslims, and the ones who try hardest to cause them harm, because of their
great hatred towards them and because of their envy, stubbornness and kufr.

“and you will find the nearest in love to the believers
(Muslims) those who say: ‘We are Christians’”

Allaah mentions a number of reasons for that, such as:

Among them are priests and monks, i.e., scholars, ascetics
and worshippers in hermitages far away. Knowledge accompanied by asceticism,
and worship, are things that soften the heart and take away harshness, hence
you do not find in them the harshness of the Jews and mushrikeen.

They are not proud, i.e., there is no arrogance in them or
refusal to submit to the truth. This is why they are close to the Muslims
and to friendship with them, because one who is humble is closer to goodness
than one who is arrogant.

When they listen to that which has been revealed to the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), that
has an effect on their hearts and they submit to what they believe in. Hence
they believed and said: “Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the
witnesses” – namely the ummah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) who bear witness to the Oneness of Allaah and to the
soundness of the Message brought by the Messengers, and they bear witness
for and against the former nations.

These verses were revealed concerning the Christians who
believed in Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) such
as the Negus (ruler of Abyssinia) and others who believed. There are still
some among them who choose the religion of Islam and who realize that what
they used to follow is false. They are closer to Islam than the Jews and
mushrikeen.

Tafseer al-Sa’di, 1/511

With regard to praying for kaafirs, this falls into two
categories:

1 – Praying for a kaafir
to be guided to Islam and so on. This is permissible. It was narrated from
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O Allaah, support Islam
with the man who is more beloved to You: Abu Jahl or ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3681; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. Here he was
praying for one of them to be guided.

2 – Praying for him to be forgiven and so on. This is
forbidden according to scholarly consensus.

Al-Nawawi said: With
regard to offering the funeral prayer for a kaafir and praying for
forgiveness for him, this is haraam according to the text of the Qur’aan and
scholarly consensus.

Al-Majmoo’ 5/120

It says in Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj: It is haraam to pray for
a kaafir and for one whose Islam is in doubt with regard to matters of the
Hereafter, even if that is one of his parents. (3/141).

With regard to praying for him to be healed from sickness,
this is permissible if it serves a purpose, such as if one hopes that he
will become Muslim and that his heart will be softened and so on. This is
indicated by the hadeeth of the Sahaabi who recited ruqyah for the chief of
a tribe who had been stung by a scorpion. This has been discussed in the
question no. 6714. Praying for healing comes under the same heading as
ruqyah.

Indeed it is permissible for you to visit him during this
sickness, because when a person is sick his heart is softer and is more
likely to accept the truth. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) had a Jewish boy who used to serve him, and he fell sick. The
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to visit him;
he sat by his head and said to him: “Become Muslim.” He looked at his
father, who was present, and he (the father) said to him: “Obey Abu’l-Qaasim
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” So he became Muslim and
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out
saying, “Praise be to Allaah Who has saved him from the Fire.” Narrated by
al-Bukhaari, 1356.

Ibn Hajar said: This hadeeth indicates that it is permissible
to employ a mushrik as a servant and to visit him if he falls sick, and this
is a form of kind treatment.

But praying for a kaafir to be healed does not mean that one
has befriended him or loves him or prefers him to a believer, as explained
above

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