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She Became Muslim But Her Family Did Not; Should She Honour Her Family Even Though They Mistreat Her?

Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts

Islamic Questions & Answers

I became Muslim when I was young. My father threw me out of the house so I moved to a Muslim country with my husband to live there. I still keep in touch with my mother. Is there any sin on me for not keeping in touch with my father, knowing that he tells people I am a prostitute and he is threatening to kill me and my family?.

Praise be to Allaah.

We praise Allaah for having guided you to Islam. Undoubtedly Allaah has blessed you greatly by choosing you from among your family to be the first of them to enter this religion. We ask Allaah to make you the cause of them also entering Islam.

What you have done of calling your family to Islam is what Allaah has enjoined upon you; they take priority over others when it comes to da'wah and telling them the truth.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Say (O Muhammad): ‘This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allaah, i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism with sure knowledge). And Glorified and Exalted be Allaah (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah; those who worship others along with Allaah or set up rivals or partners to Allaah)'"

[Yoosuf 12:108]

"And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred"

[al-Shu'ara' 26:214]

The person who calls others to Allaah should be gentle and subtle in his approach, especially with his family. Allaah has commanded us to treat our parents kindly, even if they are kaafirs and call us to kufr. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur'aan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided"

[al-Nahl 16:125]

"And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents; but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do"

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:8]

If any of them does not respond, his misguidance is his own problem and Allaah will not make the daa'iyah accountable for any of his sin.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his ownself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning)"

[al-Isra' 17:15]

What you did, migrating to one of the Muslim countries and getting married, was the right thing to do. The Muslim cannot usually maintain his or her religious commitment in a hostile environment where he or she is a stranger; it is especially hard for a woman who has no power and no strength except with Allaah. This difficulty is demonstrated by what your father did, throwing you out of the house when he found out that you are a Muslim,

Your keeping in touch with your mother and asking after your father is something for which you deserve praise; this is something that Allaah has enjoined upon you. The rights of parents are great, so do not cut off your ties with them, even if they mistreat you. Try to get in touch with your father and speak kindly to him; perhaps that will be a cause of his being guided and will dispel the hardness in his heart towards you.

With regard to your father's threats, do not pay any attention to them and do not worry about them; nothing will happen to you or your husband or your family except that which Allaah has decreed for you. So take precautions and seek refuge with Allaah, for He is the Best of protectors and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.

With regard to his slander and accusations against you, this comes under the heading of the kaafir's persecution of the Muslim. The honour of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was slandered when his wife and our mother, the Mother of the Believers ‘Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was accused of adultery; and it was said that he was a sorcerer, a soothsayer and a madman. Similar accusations were made against his brother Prophets as well. Be patient and trust that Allaah will give you a way out and will relieve you of your worry; seek His help and always make du'aa' to Him and turn to Him, for He is the Best of supporters and helpers.

We ask Allaah to make you steadfast in adhering to His religion and to increase you in guidance, insight and knowledge.

Duties of a Muslim towards a non-Muslim

What is the duty of a Muslim towards a non-Muslim, whether he is a dhimmi in a Muslim country or in his own country, and the Muslim is living in the land of that non-Muslim? The duty I would like to have clarified is interactions of all kinds, starting with greeting and ending with celebrating the non-Muslim's festivals with him. Is it permissible to take him as a friend at work only? Please advise us, may Allah reward you.

Praise be to Allaah.

The duty of the Muslim towards a non-Muslim includes a number of things:


Da‘wah or calling him to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. He should call him to Allah and explain to him the reality of Islam when possible, with regard to whatever issues he has knowledge about, because this is the greatest kindness that he can give to his fellow-citizens and to those whom he meets of Jews, Christians and others who may be mushrikeen (polytheists), because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "The one who guides others to goodness will have a reward like that of the one who does it." And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), when he sent him to Khaybar and instructed him to call the Jews to Islam: "By Allah, if Allah were to guide one man through you, that would be better for you than having red camels (the best kind)." And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever calls others to right guidance will have a reward like that of those who follow him, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest."

So calling him (the non-Muslim) to Islam, conveying Islam to him and being sincere towards him in that are among the best means of drawing close to Allah.


He should not wrong him, with regard to his physical wellbeing, his wealth or his honour. If he is a dhimmi (non-Muslim living under Muslim rule), musta'man (one who is granted security in a Muslim land) or mu‘aahid (one with whose country the Muslims have a peace deal), then he should give him his due rights, and not transgress against his wealth by stealing, betraying or deceiving, and he should not harm him physically by striking or killing him, because the fact that he is a mu‘aahid or dhimmi, or musta'man, means that he is protected by sharee‘ah.


There is no reason why we should not interact with him, buying, selling, renting, hiring and so on. It is narrated in saheeh reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) bought from kuffaar who were idol worshippers, and he bought from the Jews, and these are interactions. When he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) died, his shield was being held in pledge by a Jew for some food he had bought for his family (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).


With regard to greeting, the Muslim should not initiate the greeting, but he may return it, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Do not initiate the greeting of salaam with the Jews or Christians." And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "If the people of the Book greet you with salaam (by saying al-salaamu ‘alaykum), say ‘Wa ‘alaykum.'" So the Muslim should not initiate the greeting to a kaafir, but if the kaafir initiates it, and the Jew or Christians etc. greets you with salaam, then you should say "wa ‘alaykum," as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said.

These are some of the rights between a Muslim and a kaafir.

Another right is being a good neighbour. So if he is a neighbour, be kind to him and do not annoy him; give charity to him if he is poor, give him gifts, give him beneficial advice, because these are things that will attract him to Islam and to become Muslim; and because the neighbour has rights. The Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Jibreel kept urging me to be kind to my neighbour until I thought that he would make him my heir." Saheeh - agreed upon. If the neighbour is a kaafir, he still has the rights of a neighbour; if he is both a relative and a kaafir, then he has two rights: the rights of a neighbour and the rights of a relative.

One of the rights of the neighbour is that you should give him charity, but not zakaah, if he is poor, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Allaah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity" [al-Mumtahanah 60:8]. According to the saheeh hadeeth narrated from Asma' bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her), her mother, who was a mushrik, entered upon her during the truce between the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the people of Makkah, seeking help. Asma' asked the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) for permission - should she uphold ties of kinship with her? The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "Uphold ties of kinship with her."

But with regard to celebrating their festivals, the Muslim should not take part in celebrating their festivals, but there is nothing wrong with offering them condolences if a loved one dies, such as saying "May Allah compensate you in your loss" and other kind words. But he should not say "May Allah forgive him" or "May Allah have mercy on him" if the deceased was a kaafir, and he should not pray for the deceased if he was a kaafir. But he may pray for the one who is alive to be guided and to be compensated and so on. End quote.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him).

Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 1/289-291.


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