Is it true that the Quran says to not take the Jews and Christians for friends?
The verse of the Holy Quran is also used to malign Islam and its teachings. I think the biggest misconception among people is that this verse refers to Christians and Jews of all times. The truth is that in addition to commandments meant for all time, the Quran also contains specific orders to Prophet Muhammad and his followers regarding the situations they were dealing with at the time that the verses were revealed. So keeping history and context in mind is extremely important when reading the Quran. [5:52] O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. And whoso among you takes them for friends is indeed one of them. Verily, Allah guides not the unjust people.
There is a fallacy that the Quran commands Muslims to not befriend Jews and Christians based on Chapter 5 verse 52. If we look at the context of the verse, we see that it refers to the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammadsa when Jews and Christians were at war with Muslims. If you consider enemies at war with each other, it makes perfect sense to discourage friendships between them because of that situation. Even so, the subsequent verses 58 and 59 clarify the reasons for discouraging friendships with Jews and Christians of that time, who used to make fun of Muslims for adhering to their faith. (5:58) O ye who believe! take not those for friends who make a jest and sport of your religion from among those who were given the Book before you, and the disbelievers. And fear Allah if you are believers
Interestingly, many topics in the Quran are continued in other places for the purpose of clarification. Consider Chapter 60 verses 8-10, with the suggestion that God may bring about love between the Muslims and their enemies. [60:8] It may be that Allah will bring about love between you and those of them with whom you are now at enmity; and Allah is All-Powerful; and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.
These verses enjoin Muslims to be kind and generous towards others regardless of their religion, and that war is only permissible against hostile tribes who persecute Muslims on account of religious differences. In any case, remember that rather than creating differences, Islam teaches respect and acceptance of all prophets including Jesus and Moses, thus uniting us under one God.
I hope it is clear now that the verse in question does not apply to the Jews and Christians of today.
Some other verses of the Holy Quran to consider in this connection
[5:58] O ye who believe! take not those for friends who make a jest and sport of your religion from among those who were given the Book before you, and the disbelievers. And fear Allah if you are believers;
[5:59] And who, when you call people to Prayer, take it as jest and sport. That is because they are a people who do not understand.
[60:8] It may be that Allah will bring about love between you and those of them with whom you are now at enmity; and Allah is All-Powerful; and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.
[60:9] Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable.
[60:10] Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them — it is these that are the transgressors.