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Abandoning relatives at behest of father

Published: 24/08/2011 10:08:00 AM GMT
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Half of my maternal aunts and uncles - those that have been in the UK since a very young age without much exposure to practical Islam - are very westernised, and some have a very modernist approach to Islam. They still call themselves Muslims, and some will pray Jumu`ah or pray and fast in Ramadan, but in general, they are very far from Islam. I see that there is hope for them to become better Muslims. The problem is that my father does not like us meeting them at all, and he detests them. My father is not religious, and it is more on the issue of them being too 'English' rather than anything else. Is it permissible for me to go to see them to call them to Islam?

They are my flesh and blood and it pains me to see them on the wrong path. If I were to go, it would be without my father's knowledge, for he does not allow us to see them. Please advise me in this regard.

Answered by

Sheikh Sulaymân al-Tuwayjirî

Giving advice is a main principle of our religion. We are obligated to call our relatives and others to follow Islam. Allah says to his Prophet (peace be upon him): “And admonish thy nearest kinsmen” [Sûrah al-Shu`arâ’: 214]

In fact, one the greatest favors we can do for our relatives is to guide them to faith and to enjoin them to what is right and to forbid them from evil and mischief.

Therefore, I would say that you have to try your best to guide your relatives and show them the right path and explain to them the wrong they are doing. It is a good thing for you to encourage them to love Allah’s religion.

You may not abandon them even if your father orders you to do it. This command of his is unlawful. There is no obedience for anyone if it means being disobedient to Allah.

Allah says: "By time! Surely the human being is at loss. Except for those who have faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to patience." [Sûrah al-`Asr: 1-3].

This short chapter of the Qur’ân gives a command to enjoin truth and faith to all people, so how could we abandon our closest relations or ignore them?

We are obligated to preserve ties with our relatives. Being kind to relatives is one of the most important Islamic etiquettes. Allah says: “But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to Me: in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you all that ye did” [Sûrah Luqmân: 15].

In this verse, Allah commands us to treat disbelieving parents kindly and justly. If follows that our responsibility towards our close Muslim relatives will be equal if not greater.

Source: Islam Today

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