Trade partnerships with non-Muslims

Q: We live in Australia, a country that clearly admits its secular identity that secures freedom of religion and atheism; nevertheless, the broadcast media, whether television or radio, is clothed in the garb of Judo-Christian values. A simple observer can easily see this. The proportion of Muslims to other inhabitants of the country is one to thirty two. We, as Muslims, sometimes have to go to their centers, their places of worship, and attend funerals of friends or officials, and similar cases needed due to work conditions and responsibilities. Sometimes, a non-Muslim may come to our houses and eat with us. Sometimes, they ask us to allow them to see inside our Masjids (mosques) and enter them. (Part No. 2; Page No. 98) (Of course, while respecting the Islamic relevant etiquette, like their taking off their shoes or wearing head scarves by women). So what is the ruling of Shari‘ah (Islamic law) on the following:1- Entering a non-Muslim's house.2- Attending their religious ceremonies.3- Entering into trade partnership with them.4- Entertaining them.5- Their coming to our places of worship.6- May they deliver speeches in our Masjids?7- May they deliver a speech in our celebrations in the lecture room outside the Masjid?8- Is it permissible for us to meet them ( Jews or Christians) in general gatherings organized by the Australian state or any of the governmental institutions where each party delivers a speech on religious issues like (Peace in Religions), (Mercy in Religions), (The Meaning of Worship in Religions) etc.?

A: First: It is permissible to go to the non-Muslims’ houses to reconcile their hearts, advise, and guide them and for similar good purposes, but not out of closeness and alliance. (Part No. 2; Page No. 99)  Second: It is not permissible to attend the non-Muslims’ religious ceremonies because this is an implicit recognition, acceptance, and reverence of their rites. Also, attending their religious rites and ceremonies helps them appear larger in number. Third: It is permissible to enter into a partnership with non-Muslims in lawful business, if the Muslim is sure he will not be cheated, or get involved in unlawful dealings like Riba (usury or interest), gambling, or Gharar sale (aleatory sale involving risk and uncertainty), or similar unlawful transactions. However avoiding entering into a business partnership with the non-Muslims is better and more preferable for a Muslim to avoid suspicion and risk. Fourth: It is permissible to allow the non-Muslims to visit our houses provided there is no temptation and the sanctity of the family is protected. As this may reconcile their hearts and make them receive guidance and advice. Perhaps, they may see in Muslims’ hospitality and kindness to their guests as well as the Islamic manners of visiting how tolerant Islam is and consequently, accept the advice and may profess Islam eventually. Allah (Exalted be He) says (what means): Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity. It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allâh forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers - those who disobey Allâh). Fifth: Non-Muslims should not enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah) nor the Sanctuary of Makkah. (Part No. 2; Page No. 100) Also, it is not permissible for Muslims to allow them to enter it. However, it is permissible for Muslims to allow non-Muslims entry into other places of worship to listen to sermons and lectures on Islam. Perhaps Allah will develop intimacy between us and them, soften their hearts, and guide them to repentance. Indeed, Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. Sixth and seventh: It is not permissible to allow them to deliver speeches or give lectures in the Masjids (mosques) because they may raise doubts about Islam, show their disbelief in Allah, or try to gain prestige in the eyes of the attendees which may cause great mischief and corruption. Likewise, it is not permissible to allow them to deliver speeches or lectures in our gatherings and Islamic celebrations for the same reasons previously mentioned. Eighth: It is permissible to meet non-Muslims in public places established by the state for public debates, seminars, lectures on religious issues provided that the Muslim scholars elaborate on the ‘Aqidah (creed), pillars and manners of Islam removing the doubts raised and refuting the false defaming views that may be voiced against Islam by some attendees professing other faiths. This way they will be defending the Truth. As for Muslims who are feared to be tempted away from their religion, either because of their ignorance, or their frail faith, or their lack of knowledge about Islam, it is not permissible for them to attend these gatherings to protect them from the bad influence of the suspicions and doubts raised by opponents of Islam. (Part No. 2; Page No. 101) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.