Answer to those who ask "Once people embrace faith, can they still befriend the people with whom they used to associate?"
A person cannot hold two opposing views simultaneously. Given that faith and unbelief are two distinct concepts, it is unlikely that a person can share the views, thoughts, and feelings of both believers and unbelievers.
The basic element underlying relations between people, such as friendship and fellowship, is love. The believers' most important attribute is their strong love for Allah, which the Qur'an relates in the following verse:
Believers direct the love they feel for Allah to His servants, who seek to earn His good pleasure. For this reason, those who have faith in Allah and the Qur'an and have grasped Islam's essence cannot possibly feel any attachment to those who have no love for Allah. If someone does not acknowledge or appreciate Allah—Whom believers love more than their own selves; for Whose cause they spend whatever they have; Who shows them the right path, gives them abundant blessings and the good news of Paradise, as well as infinite rewards in the afterlife; and in Whom they have profound faith—a bond of love cannot form between that person and a believer. As a result, there can be no true friendship between them. One verse states that:
Despite this, however, some people, especially those who are in the process of learning the Qur'an's values, may still feel close to their former friends or their acquaintances before they embraced Islam. Thus it is not inconvenient to treat them in a good way with compassion and understanding. But as the Qur'an makes clear, a believer's sole friends are Allah and other believers:
In these verses, Allah indicates that making friends only with believers is also the key to the success of the good deeds performed only to gain Allah's good pleasure. Likewise, many verses relate that associating with true believers and supporting one another is essential for success. To the contrary, however, the Qur'an also expounds that non-compliance with Allah's commands and recommendations will result in difficulty and hardship for believers, for:
Despite all of this clear evidence and information, the hypocrisy of those who try to be on good terms with both sides and approach the faithful to draw personal benefits will be disclosed:
This also has to be mentioned that as long as the limits established by Allah are observed, it is normal for Muslims to maintain their social, economic, and cultural relations with other people. The Qur'an sets the following criterion about this issue: