Fatwa: # 45564
Category: Character, Morals (Akhlaaq)
Country: African Country
Date: 28th June 2020


Family ties with non-Muslim family - Is it compulsory to keep them?


Is it compulsory to keep relations and visit family members that have always been non-Muslims?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Maintaining family ties is one of the core and fundamental values of Islam. When Heraclius (King of Rome) asked Hazrat Abu Sufyaan (radiyallahu’anhu) about the teachings of Nabi (Sallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Hazrat Abu Sufyaan (radiyallahu’anhu) replied:

قُلْتُ يَقُولُ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ، وَلاَ تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا، وَاتْرُكُوا مَا يَقُولُ آبَاؤُكُمْ، وَيَأْمُرُنَا بِالصَّلاَةِ وَالصِّدْقِ وَالْعَفَافِ وَالصِّلَةِ‏.‏)صحيح البخاري: 7 )

Translation:  'He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our family.'(Sahih Al Bukhari: 7)

Maintaining family ties is not confined to Muslim family members. It includes maintaining ties with non-Muslim family members as well. Consider the following narrations:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ لَمَّا نَزَلَتْ ‏{‏وَأَنْذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الأَقْرَبِينَ‏}‏ دَعَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قُرَيْشًا فَاجْتَمَعُوا فَعَمَّ وَخَصَّ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ يَا بَنِي كَعْبِ بْنِ لُؤَىٍّ يَا بَنِي مُرَّةَ بْنِ كَعْبٍ يَا بَنِي عَبْدِ شَمْسٍ وَيَا بَنِي عَبْدِ مَنَافٍ وَيَا بَنِي هَاشِمٍ وَيَا بَنِي عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ أَنْقِذُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَيَا فَاطِمَةُ أَنْقِذِي نَفْسَكِ مِنَ النَّارِ إِنِّي لاَ أَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا غَيْرَ أَنَّ لَكُمْ رَحِمًا سَأَبُلُّهَا بِبِلاَلِهَا ‏"‏‏)سنن النسائ:3644)

Translation: It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: "When the following was revealed: 'And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred,' the Messenger of Allah called the Quraish and they gathered, and he spoke in general and specific terms, then he said: 'O Banu Ka'b bin Lu'ayy! O Banu Murrah bin Ka'b! O Banu 'Abd Shams! O Banu 'Abd Manaf! O Banu Hisham! O Banu 'Abdul-Muttalib! Save yourselves from the Fire! O Fatimah! Save yourself from the Fire. I cannot avail you anything before Allah, but I will uphold the ties of kinship with you."( Sunan an-Nasa'i 3644)

أن أسماء سألت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن أم لها مشركة جاءتني أأصلها؟ قال: نعم صليها

Translation: Asma`, the sister-in-law of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) , asked him about her mother, an idolater, who had come to visit her in Madīnah: “Should I keep (good) ties with her?” Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: “Keep (good) ties with her.”(Sahih al-Bukhari, 2: 585)

Furthermore, your good relations towards your non-Muslim family will also serve as a Dawah and invitation to Islam. However, in maintaining good relations with non-Muslim family, one must uphold the Aqaid (beliefs) and teachings and values of Islam.

Interacting with non-Muslim family members should not lead to compromising in one’s Islamic values and practices.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Ahmad Patel

Student Darul Iftaa

South Africa,
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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