One of the verses of the Quran which regulates the relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims was revealed to address a situation that arose when Asma’ bin Abi Bakr (RA) was visited by her mother, Qutailah bint Abd Al-Uzza, in Medina. Asma’ (RA) was a Muslim while her mother was not. Qutailah was living in Mecca and came to Medina to visit her and she came bearing gifts. Asma’ (RA) was not sure whether she was allowed to receive gifts from her non-Muslim mother or not. She went to the Prophet (PBUH) to ask him. A verse was revealed at that time which resolved Asma’s (RA) dilemma and established a ruling that describes how a Muslim should care for and interact with non-Muslims. The understanding surrounding Quranic rulings is that while a verse may have been revealed to address a specific incident, the rule which it embodies should be applied to all similar circumstances.
The verse reads, “God does not forbid you, with regard to those who did not fight you because of your faith nor drove you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them. God loves those who are just.” (60: 8). The Prophet (PBUH) consequently, advised Asma’ (RA) to accept her mother’s gifts and to treat her kindly.
This verse establishes the etiquette to be followed by Muslims when building relationships with non-Muslims; the relationship should be based on fairness and kindness.
Muslims should interact with non-Muslims for the betterment of this world. Diversity is an intentional plan of God; He created us in different gender, race, form, faith so that we may get to know each other. (49: 13) Muslims interactions with non-Muslims should be based on kindness and justice.