Maintaining kinship ties with relatives who disobey Allah
Fatwa No: 343351

  • Fatwa Date:22-3-2017 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 24, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Sorry in advance for my lengthy question. My question is: how much of the ties of kinship is one obliged to keep with very close relatives who openly disobey Allaah and His commands, like women exposing their body by wearing very thin clothes, exposing their hair and head in public places, and celebrating many celebrations of the disbelievers, and men having no protective jealousy regarding women exposing themselves and happily sit among them. These relatives have been given explainations many times with authentic hadiths and Quranic verses, but they not only ignore it but shamelessly send pictures of such activities. In such circumstances, how much of the ties of kinship is one obliged to maintain, especially regarding one who sends them financial gifts in order to help them. How much financial support is he obliged to maintain? (They are not completely poor but find difficulty in meeting some of their needs.) If their financial help is stopped, they say:
1. Allaah gives even to those who commit Shirk (associating partners with Allaah) with Him, so how come you are upset with us? 2. Or they say that they will spend my money on medicine and so on. 3. Or they ask for a loan, but they do not stop to do acts of disobedience to Allaah. I will be very grateful for your advice and guidance.
Assalaamu alaykum.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, you should know that the ruling on upholding the ties of kinship varies according to the degree of kinship. Maintaining the ties of kinship is obligatory with some relatives and recommended with others, as has been underlined by scholars. According to their preponderant view, it is obligatory to maintain the ties of kinship particularly with one's Mahaarim (plural of Mahram, i.e. permanently unmarriageable women [and also men of the same degree], like parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces). But in general, the Muslim should uphold the ties of kinship with all his relatives to the best of his ability as long as there is no resulting harm.

It is impermissible to cut off the relations with one's relatives entirely, but if maintaining the ties of kinship with one's relatives in a certain way - by visiting, for instance - incurs harm on the person, then he may choose another way. There are many means for maintaining the ties of kinship, and they are determined according to the common practices among people. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “Upholding the ties of kinship means showing kindness towards the relatives in accordance with the situation of both parties; sometimes it is done by means of financial help, service, visiting and greeting, and so on.” [Sharh Muslim]

Hence, you are not obliged to visit your relatives.

You should seize the opportunity of upholding the ties of kinship in advising your relatives and trying to reform them. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “The religion of Islam is (founded on the exchange of sincere) advice.” [Muslim] The advice should be motivated by compassion towards them and should be given kindly and leniently. Verily, such advice is most likely to yield good results. For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 16844 and 91197.

Also, be keen on continuing to maintain ties with them through financial help, especially those in need among them. Benevolence has an immense effect on people's hearts. Do not stop your financial help to them even if they wrong themselves or you. When Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him intended to stop his financial aid to Mistah because of what he said regarding ‘Aa'ishah's honor (in the incident of Ifk), Allah, The Exalted, revealed the verse: {And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give (aid) to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 24:22]

Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that a man said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have relatives with whom I try to maintain a good relationship, but they sever the relations with me; whom I treat kindly, but they treat me badly; with whom I am gentle, but they are rough towards me.” The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, replied, “If you are as you have said, then it is as though you are feeding them hot ashes, and you will not be without a supporter against them from Allah as long as you do so.” [Muslim]

Allah knows best.

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