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Friendship with Nonmuslims During the Era of Prophethood
This study investigates the issue of taking non-Muslims as friends, which has been extensively discussed in the context of Muslim and non-Muslim relations, by referring to the era of prophethood (Risalah). A solid number of studies have already engaged with the aforementioned issue, and concentrated on the concept of wali. In such studies, the word dost, meaning friend in Turkish, has been suggested as the equivalent for the word wali in Arabic, which has led way to detailed, theoretical debates regarding the status of Muslim and non-Muslim relationship. The ways this concept was received and practiced by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions in their lives, however, have escaped scholarly attention. The present study analyzes the broad Arabic words that are related to the word dost in Turkish, and explores the practical aspects of these words in the Prophet’s life (al-sira). The article argues that many positive relations, ranging from individual to social, political and military perspectives, took place between the Muslims and the non-Muslims. It is concluded that attitudes rather than beliefs have been encouraged as the criterion of establishing friendship.

Prophet Muhammad, People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab), nonmuslim, prophetic biography (al-sira).

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