Let me tell you about my two best friends.
They know who they are.
They came into my life at very different times, and I believe, very different reasons.
One of my oldest friends, let’s call her Brown Eyes, went to high school with me. Funny enough, she was a relative of someone else I was friends with, and we never really spoke until we ended up in the same homeroom class. She saw me through a lot of my firsts (first real boyfriend, subsequently the first heartbreak, first time moving away, first year at uni, and when I first met my hubby!)… And I’ve seen many of hers as well.
My other best friend, let’s call her Blondie (which she embraces fully, don’t worry), dropped into my life unexpectedly in the last year of my undergrad. This was also one of the hardest times in my life, because my husband had to move to another state for school. But she filled a hole in my life and brought a lot more than I had expected. We both were in the middle of our personal growth, and we kind of fed off each other and took the best from each other and left the worst. I was looking for a roommate and she was looking for a place to live. Funny enough, she overheard me telling someone about my problem during class (we were both food science majors, but never really talked before)… And the rest is history!
And they are kufar.
For those who don’t know, kufar means “non-Muslim” in Arabic, and if you didn’t already know, it’s not very nice. Honestly, I hate that word.
(I’m using it now to make a point)
We became close (my best friends and I) before I converted to Islam. And they are STILL my best friends afterwards. Even though they are still in the states!
Why? Isn’t their lifestyle contrary to my religious values?
Maybe. But they don’t bring that part of their life into our friendship.
They’ve never tried to bring me to a bar.
They’ve never tried to make me hang out with guys (beside saying hi to their significant others).
They never questioned my wearing hijab or hinted that I don’t have to wear it.
They never judged me for the level of Islam I’m at right now.
And they have always encouraged me to keep learning about my faith, even though it isn’t theirs.
They enjoy talking with me about it!
They even say Maşallah and ask me to pray for them.
An atheist and a Christian have been more understanding and supportive of me than most Muslims I have met (particularly the ones in Turkey).
And that’s why they’re still my best friends. And why (outside of this post) I won’t call them or any other non-Muslim kufar.
Being Muslim isn’t necessary to be a good person and a good friend.