How should family members treat a sister who married a non-muslim and no longer practices Islam?
My sister got court married 2 a Hindu guy. Everyone in my family were against the relationship. We tried 2 stop her, sent her away for a while, got a moulana 2 try & change her mind & our parents even cried 2 her. Nothing could sway her & the more we tried 2 change her mind, the more rebellious & defensive she got. She started getting rude & vulgar, even 2wards our mother! Eventually, when she got married 2 this guy, all of us cut our ties with her & disowned her. There was no contact between my family (including my parents) & her for about 2 years. She & this guy don’t follow any religion (his family has also disowned him)! They’ve now conceived a child & have intentions of bringing this child up as a Christian. When my mother was in hospital, my sister came 2 visit her. At that time, a learned person advised me 2 maintain contact with her & 2 make dua for her & 2 gradually try & persuade her 2 restore her imaan. Since then, my parents & I have renewed contact with her. The rest of my family disagree with this. My parents & I are confused & don’t know what 2 do. She has made it clear that she will not force her husband 2 become Muslim & that she will not leave him, even if it means that she will again be disowned by her family. Please advise me on the Islamic way of treating this situation & how does Islam advise us 2 treat her. Also, Muhammed (S.A.W)’s relationship with Abu Talib & Ebrahim (A.S)’s relationship with his father – are there any lessons 2 learn from that?
Jazakallah for writing to the institute regarding a sister who has married out of the fold of Islam. This must be a very painful and trying situation for your parents and the rest of the family. It is sometimes very difficult to remain objective towards one’s family member when they go astray, especially when it is one’s sister. You mention that she intends to bring up her child as a Christian. Can one of the family members or close family friends not suggest to her that the child’s education and upbringing will be sponsored by them and in this way bring the child up as a Muslim? This is just a thought on my side . I am trying to understand why she has chosen to bring the child up as a Christian when her husband is not one.
You also ask if it is advisable to renew contact with her.
This is a delicate situation and the family has to weigh the pro’s and con’s of the matter. It should be the desire of every Muslim that every human being should enter Jannah in the aagirah. More so when it is one’s own sister and nephew/niece. You will have assess the situation and work how to approach her. Do you think it is possible to adopt a course which will not harm the imaan of those who come into contact with her or her husband? Since he is not a practicing Hindu, is it possible that he can be won over? A great deal of hikmah (wisdom) is required here and perhaps the members of the family who are “strong” and have the most patience, tolerance and ability to put their knowledge across over a period of time, may help.
On the other hand, if her mind and heart are totally shut to whatever approaches are made to her, then the family will have to decide what course to follow.
May Allah Ta’ala guide every one of us to remain on the Straight path. May He also protect our imaan and grant us the gift of living with imaan, dying with imaan and raising us up with imaan on the day of Qiyamah. Ameen.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
CHECKED AND APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai