Keeping Ties with non-Muslim Relatives
Fatwa No: 369664

  • Fatwa Date:28-1-2018 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 12, 1439
  • Rating:

Question

Asalam alaykum, a person who reverted to Islam is asking whether he is obliged to keep ties with his fathers side of the family. His mother and father were not married when he was born

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we ask Allah to make this brother firm and steadfast on the religion, and we congratulate him on this great blessing of embracing Islam that Allah bestowed on him.

One of the most important matters by which he can be grateful to Allah for this blessing is to seek beneficial Islamic knowledge, do righteous deeds, attend circles of knowledge, and keep company with righteous people. This would help him remain steadfast on the Truth and protect himself from tribulations until he meets his Lord.

If his relatives are non-Muslims, then he is not obliged to keep ties with them with the exception of the parents according to the most preponderant view of the scholars.

The Fiqh Encyclopedia reads when speaking about keeping ties with kinship who are of a different religion:

There is no difference of opinion that the Muslim is required to keep ties with his non-Muslim parents. As for other non-Muslim relatives, then a Muslim is not required to keep ties with them as Allah Says (what means):

{You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred.} [Quran 58:22]

The evidence of the exception of the parents is the Saying of Allah (which means) : {But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness.} [Quran 31:15]

The Hanafi, Maaliki, Shaafi'i and Hanbali Schools of jurisprudence are of this view. However, As-Samarqandi quoted from Sahnoon ibn Mahmadaan that the ruling of keeping ties is the same whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim relatives.” [End of quote]

It is permissible for a Muslim to keep ties with his non-Muslim relatives if he does not fear any harm from them, especially if he hopes to encourage them to embrace Islam; Allah Says (what means): {Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.} [Quran 60:8]

Asmaa' bint Abu Bakr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her said, “My mother came to visit me while she was an idolater at the time of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) so I asked him, ‘My mother has come desiring my kind treatment. Shall I keep ties with her?’ He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, ‘Yes, be dutiful to your mother.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

A child who was born out of wedlock is attributed to his mother and not to the adulterer; this is the view of the majority of the scholars as we have already highlighted in Fatwa 84788.

However, some jurists are of the view that if the adulterer attributes the child to him, then the child is attributed to him provided that the woman with whom he committed Zina (adultery) is not married, because in this case he is attributed to her husband.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The child is for (i.e. traced back to) the owner of the bed (i.e. the legitimate husband).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commenting of this narration, An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in explanation of the book of Imam Muslim:

It means that if a man has a wife, or a slave girl, and she gave birth to a child in a period of time that is possible to be his child, then the child is attributed to him. This child can inherit his father, and the latter can inherit him as well, and other rulings that are based on a father-child relation, whether or not he [the child] looks like him. The time period that is considered possible for the child to be the son of the father is six months from the time the husband consummated the marriage with his wife.” [End of quote]

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa