Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Is it okay for Muslims to disrespect and steal from non-Muslims?

A drunk man passed out on the sidewalk in downtown San Francisco. How are we Muslims supposed to treat such people?

A drunk man passed out on the sidewalk in downtown San Francisco. How are we Muslims supposed to treat such people?

As-salamu alaykum. This isn't about marriage or family but it came up in a forum that I belong to called and I took the time to post an answer there, so I am copying it here. It started with a question by M. Shamsiddeen:


This is a true story.. Two Muslim brothers saw a non-Muslim man lying down on the sidewalk too drunk to even get up. They took his wallet and took all his money from him.

Later they laughingly told this story to a friend of mine (another Muslim). They thought it was a great joke. My friend was horrified and told them that this was wrong and they had no right to do this. They stated that since he the fellow on the sidewalk was a kafir and drunk, that there was no wrong in it and that it was okay. In vain, my friend tried to convince them that this was wrong but they never saw it that way.

- M. Shamsiddeen

Wael's Answer:

As-salamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

These two young "Muslims" have no understanding of what Islam is. They apparently think it is a private club that gives them superiority over other ("kafir") human beings. They are either deeply confused, or they have an inclination to corruption and they are seeking justifications.

Superiority lies only in belief and behavior. If your behavior is poor, then you are no better than the drunk on the sidewalk and you may in fact be much worse.

Islam is a religion of compassion and mercy. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) first arrived in Madinah, one of the Sahabah asked him how to best serve the cause of Islam. The Messenger of Allah said, "Spread peace and feed the people." That's Islam!

What is our job as Muslims in regard to the non-Muslims? Even with drunks, drug addicts, etc? Is it to deride them, mock them, fight with them, and humiliate them?

Absolutely not!

Our job is to reach out to them and share Islam with them. Even a drunk, a drug addict or a thief can change completely upon embracing the truth of Islam. We know from our history that many of the Sahabah were sinners before embracing Islam. Anyone can change.

It's only by the grace of Allah that some of us were born into Islam, with good families, money for food and clothing and education. All of that is not given to us because of some superiority of ours, but as a test! What will we do with what Allah has given us?

If we look at that drunk on the sidewalk as a potential Muslim, waiting for someone to share the truth and lift him up from the darkness and misery of his life, then we begin to realize how totally corrupt were the actions of those two young "Muslims", and we see that they were acting not as Muslims but as devils whose behavior is damaging to themselves, to others, and to the cause of Allah.

There are Muslims who operate soup kitchens and homeless shelters in American cities, helping the downtrodden regardless of their religion, feeding and sheltering anyone who needs it including drunks and drug addicts. These Muslims are true examples of Islam. Their lives are da'wah in action.

At least your friend spoke up and tried to correct those two young men. Who knows, perhaps his words penetrated but they were too embarrassed to admit it. May Allah guide them.

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11 Responses »

  1. I do agree with Wael Abdelgawad

  2. I will say these two muslims were worse than that non muslim lying drunk.
    Reason # 1 = Drunk Guy being non muslim did no harm to them
    Reason# 2 = Being Muslim , they stealed
    Reason# 3 = And they laughed at thier act.

    No matter Muslim or Non Muslim . You should have equal respect for each other.

    Prophet Mohammad PBUH treated old women and jews equally if they did wrong things in return..

  3. I hope they repent their sick act!!!!
    it is not ok to do anything bad or evil to ANYONE regardless if they are muslim or not....
    those that do are not being islamically guided and will pay dearly for their haram acts on all.

  4. No. Its never OK.

    Every single Muslim is a representation of the whole community. Every tiny act we do teaches people who we are, what we stand for and what we believe in. We are symbols of the whole and this is the responsibilty with which we act, live and breathe in the world.

    So everytime you disrespect someone - you teach them something about you.
    When you do this as a Muslim, you teach them something about Islam - and it matters not if what they learn is true or accurate - its what they learn.

    We are all teachers by example - not books, texts and school: example. And what a shamful example this is.

  5. Aslammu Aleikum

    As every boon counts and makes an ocean, every muslim is responsible for the worse and good things happening in this world. we all need to behave towards everything created by ALLAH in this world in the way as Quran and Hadith says us to do. People normally remembers the bad impact for longer period than the good deeds. We need to understand the Quran and Hadith thoroughly.

  6. The answer is simple:

    01. Can you disrespect?

    No. Because you do you know the status of that disbeliever with Allah? The answer is NO. Do you know your status with Allah? The answer is also NO. Do you know if you will die with your imaan? The answer is NO. Do you know if that disbeliever that you are disrespecting will die in the state of disbelief? The answer is NO.

    That is why you have to careful. You do not know what is written in the Book. It may happen that a Muslim will ultimately die in the state of disbelief and a disbeliever may die in the state of Islam. You never know. How can you disrespect?

    Plus disrespecting a disbeliever is arrogance. Why? Because you are thinking that you are better than him. It is arrogance. Since you neither know your status with Allah nor you know your end, how can you become arrogant? Plus, how can you think that you are better than him when your imaan was purely the mercy of Allah and not your own achievement?

    Anytime you see a disbeliever, you should have a sense of gratitude to Allah that He has guided you, instead of feeling a sense of arrogance that may cause you to disrespect him or her. You should feel that how fortunate you are. If you realize all that I have written here, it will create a strong urge in you to save another fellow human being from a life of eternal regret. Consequently, you will then call that disbeliever to Islam.

    02. Can you steal?

    You can't. So what if someone is not a Muslim? He still has the rights over his possessions. As a Muslim, you can't transgress over his rights. Doesn't our religion advocates justice? Allah simply said that we can't steal. Once the Messenger of Allah was about to give verdict against a Jew based on testimonies of some new Muslims. They were new Muslims of Madinah, and they willfully gave false testimony. Right before the Messenger of Allah gave out the verdict, Allah revealed a verse and severely admonished Muslims. We were instructed to be just and fair, irrespective of caste and religion.

  7. Hi I am newly converted to islam and i am trying to learn good islamic ways but i live in turkey and so sorry to say it is very hard to meet anyone here who is honest.They lie to foreigners they steal from us ect.Is this allowed in islam because they believe we are nonmuslim.

  8. Any bad act is not allowed either in Islam or any other religion to anyone of any religion. These guys who are indulging in such activities are not because of their religion but they are bad people.

  9. If any human thinks its fine to cheat another human from them not being in the community, you need to stay FAR away from them.

  10. I have two Muslim neighbors. Upstairs neighbors gets beat on by her husband, smokes uncontrollably and throws her butts everywhere. They fight loud daily. My other Muslim neighbors swear and slam doors every minute so disrespectful to the other neighbors around. I can't stand them. So rude and disrespectful

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