How to deal with family issues

Fatwa ID: 02526

Answered by: Molana Muhammad Adnan

Question:

I'm a 22 years old guy that is facing a really stressful situation right now; I really don't know what to do and what is the BEST ISLAMICBEHAVIOUR in this type of situation: all this is due to my sister; she is a 18 years old girl that was born and raised in Italy as a Muslim BUT as the time goes on and she's growing she start to assume unislamic and HARAM behaviours:
(but the worst part is that she thinks this type of behaviour is normal and she is doing nothing wrong )

-she smokes cigarettes

-she has a tattoo (I'm the only one who knows about it, I didn't tell my parents knowing how the situation would get worst  if they know)

-she goes out at night (even if our parent told her not )

-she has a boyfriend (that isn't Muslim)

-she disrespect our mother and father (by telling them bad things)

-she said that she is staying at home just to benefit from our parents and if she would have the financial possibilities she would already moved out

Now knowing all this, my questions are:

1 how, as a brother, should I handle the situation?

2 should I tell everything that I know about her to our parents, even if I know that the situation will not change and knowing all this will just make them fell bad ?

3 should I cut relation with a person like this?  (I know it's haram but talking with her make me realise that she is no longer a believer uallah u a'lam)

4 should I continue to consider her as my sister or the family relations is cut when a person commits kuffr ( as is mention in the story of nuh A.S. about his son when Allah S.W.T. said that the son of nuh is no longer part of his family)

5 should I tell my parent to kick her out of our home or tell my sister to just leave us (as she brings only problems )

I already talked to her A LOT of the times to make her understand that what she is doing isn't good for her, and the life style that she choseis only going to take her toward bad things in this life and in the hereafter.I tried to teach her the concept and the principles of Islam but as you can understand this didn't bring the result that I hoped for.

Answer

If a person knows a particular sin is taking place/going to take place, and has the ability to stop it from taking place, from the above hadith we can see that it is imperative to strive to prevent that sin from taking place. Some of the nations from the past have been ruined because of their not preventing sin and it lead to their destruction. However, one must be aware of many factors when doing so and must do it with wisdom. Different people will react differently to criticism so it is important to be constructive and strategic. In some instances it is better to seize the opportunity at the time to advise the person correctly and at other times it may be wiser to leave the sin and think of it as a sin in the heart and then take measures to prevent it like  speak to someone who may be able to influence the sinners decision to sin.

While it is a communal obligation, commanding the good and forbidding evil is incumbent only if the following conditions are met:

(1) Sound knowledge and understanding of the issue one is exhorting to. Scholars mention that anyone who takes up this obligation must know the different schools of thought on the issue at hand, such that his enjoining and forbidding only takes place with evils that are evil by scholarly consensus. This relates to clear matters that are generally known by the Muslims.

With respect to matters on which there is scholarly disagreement, although they cannot be forbidden per se, one can still offer counsel and advice (nasiha), which is often needed as certain positions are not appropriate or applicable in all circumstances.

(2) Gentleness and wisdom in one’s enjoining or forbidding. The sunna is to exhort in a manner that is general and discreet, so as to protect the feelings of the other party as much as possible. My teacher, for example, told me that if I am ever in a situation where someone else falls into backbiting, I should simply say, “Allah has prohibited us from backbiting.”

If, however, one crosses the limits or is excessive in their condemnation, the good they perform is less than their own evil.

(3) Clemency and steadfastness in the face of any difficulty one may encounter.

(4) That one feels reasonably sure that the other party will take heed and listen. That is, a condition of incumbency is that benefit is likely or expected. This condition (reasonable surety of benefit) is the opinion of Imam Bajuri, Imam Qarafi, Imam Haskafi, Allama Ibn Abidin and others.

Otherwise if one does not think they will listen, enjoining the good is recommended if there is a chance of benefit yet one is unsure. If benefit is unlikely, enjoining the good is permissible yet possibly disliked. And if one is certain that there would be no benefit, enjoining the good could be impermissible, as it might entail frivolous and useless speech and might worsen the situation (see condition 5 below).

The upshot is that one must consider the likely benefit of one’s exhortation, and if benefit is unlikely, then silence might prove more beneficial. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say the good or remain silent.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

If one does not enjoin the good or forbid evil, then one must try to change the subject so as to end the unlawful talk; if this is not possible, one must get up and leave.

(5) That one’s advice not lead to greater harm or worsen the situation, such as leading to more sin, more unlawful talk, or the other party’s outright disdain for the religion. In such cases it would be better — or at times obligatory — to remain silent, so as to choose the less harmful of two matters. Of course, one must still hate the wrong in one’s heart.

(6) Sound intention, which is to desire nothing except that the word of Allah Most High reign supreme. This is essential and often neglected, as many people exhort others in religious matters for the sake of their own egos or out of animosity towards the other party.

One’s motivation to correct others should also be out of sincere love and care for one’s brethren. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that the basis of the entire religion is sincere and genuine concern for others (al-Din al-nasiha), and he also said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

In fact, in his renowned hadith collection Riyad al-Salihin, Imam Nawawi placed the chapter on “Enjoining the Good and Forbidding Evil” immediately after the chapter on “Sincere and Genuine Concern”.

As Imam Nahlawi states, “To conclude, there is a major catastrophe that one must be careful to avoid, namely: for the person of knowledge, when enjoining something, to perceive his own dignity due to his knowledge, and the other’s lowliness due to their ignorance. If this is one’s motivation, then this evil is itself much more vile  than the evil he is forbidding. Truly, no one is safe from the plotting of Satan except one to whom Allah shows his own faults, and whose insight Allah opens by the light of true guidance.”

[Nahlawi, Durar Mubaha; Khadimi, Nabulsi/Birgivi, Shuruh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya; Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid Sharh Jawharat al-Tawhid; Ibn Abidin/Haskafi, Radd al-Muhtar ala Durr al-Mukhtar]

In regards to cutting ties, there are instances in the sunnah where the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Sahaabah(May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) temporarily cut ties. For example the story of Kaab ibn Ashraf(May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) and Aaishah(May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) when she temporarily boycotted her Nephew Abdullah bin Zubair(May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him). The important thing to remember is that there needs to be a realistic chance of reformation if you boycott.

Nuh (Alayhis Salaam) son was a disbeliever and even though your sister may be an open sinner, she is still a Muslimah until proven otherwise. The ruling for Nuh Alayhis Salaam son cannot be applied to your sister or any other Muslim.

Written by Molana Muhammad Adnan

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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