Answered by: Alimah Zainab Nakhuda
Respected Shaikh – hope you are keeping well. Honourable Mufti Saheb, please could you kindly advise whether the following situation is permitted.
My wife recently invited her mother and her brother from Africa. Alhamdulilah I have always welcomed them for the last 11 years. Here in the UK, there is a law saying that anyone from the UK needs to quarantine from a red list country, for example, South Africa.
He did not declare that he visited South Africa a few days ago as he said that ‘it is not documented in the passport, there is no evidence, though he travelled.
He is a pilot by profession – I said to him that the Shariah demands one to obey the law of the land as long as it does not violate Shariah. he got slightly heated and said I am restricting him. Though I said this is Kiyanah and high-risk behaviour.
Am I correct in my understanding or have I erred, as I often get told I’m rigid?
Would this act of not declaring be regarded as a major sin?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Lying in general is a major sin, whether it is against the law or not. You can read more about major and minor sins in the Fatwa below.
In addition to this, yes, as you mentioned, it is necessary for Muslims to obey the laws of their country so long as they do not contradict the laws of Allah SWT.1
It is also a command of the Shariah to enjoin good and prevent evil. So you were not wrong in telling your brother-in-law that he should have declared this travel, or that he should be quarantined. Maybe, however, it might have been the way that you said it which made him upset. Perhaps next time try a softer approach.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Alimah Zainab Nakhuda
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
1 Al Muslimu Muwaatinan Fee Uroobaa, page 66
إن الواجبات الشرعية على المسلم إذا كان في بلد غير إسلامي … وأن يكون ملتزما بالواجبات التي تفرض عليه