Fatwa: # 17929
Category: Islamic Politics
Country: Malaysia
Date: 14th May 2009

Title

What is your opinion on boycotts?

Question

what your opinion about boycott?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

 

Boycotting can be of different types.  The two common types of boycotting are economic boycotting and social boycotting.

 

In economic boycotting, a group of people decide to boycott certain shops or products to show their economic and political power.  This is permissible and has proven to be effective.

 

In social boycotting, a group of people decide to boycott a person or a group of people to express their displeasure with them.  This type of boycotting is also permissible, but it is restricted by the following hadīth:

حدثنا عبد الله بن يوسف أخبرنا مالك عن ابن شهاب عن عطاء بن يزيد الليثي عن أبي أيوب الأنصاري أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال لا يحل لرجل أن يهجر أخاه فوق ثلاث ليال يلتقيان فيعرض هذا ويعرض هذا وخيرهما الذي يبدأ بالسلام (صحيح البخاري، باب الهجرة)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "It is not permissible for a person to leave his brother for more than three nights [such that] they meet, but each of them turns away from the other.  The better of them is the one who makes salām first. (Bukhārī)

 

However, if it is expected that boycotting the person for a longer period of time will bring about a positive change in the person, then to socially boycott the person for even more than three days with this intention is permissible [i].  This can be seen in the hadīth where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ordered the Muslims to not speak to the three Sahābah who did not go to Tabūk (see Sahīh al-Bukhārī, "The Chapter of K'ab ibn Mālik," for the detailed story).  This social boycott lasted for a total of 50 days. 

 

[i]

(فتاوى محمودية، كتاب الحظر والإباحة، باب المعاشرة والأخلاق، الفصل الرابع: 18/509-511؛ فاروقية)

And Allah knows best

Wassalamu Alaikum

Ml. Abrar Mirza,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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