Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I don’t have my relatives’ phone numbers, and so the only way to get in touch with them would be to join social media, which I really dislike, considering the bullies there.
Is it considered sinful not to maintain ties for that reason? Or must I go out of my way? Also, how often does one have to keep in touch with toxic relatives?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for staying away from social media and for taking the means to protect yourself from outward harm.
“The merciful are shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from Who is above the heavens. The womb is named after the Most Merciful, so whoever connects it, Allah connects him, and whoever severs it, Allah severs him.” [Tirmidhi]
It is not obligatory for you to join social media in order to get in touch with your relatives, nor is it sinful if you don’t. However, you might find that using WhatsApp, Telegram, Botim, etc., allows you minimum contact with them as the best way to communicate without having to deal with their toxicity. If you are still uncomfortable with this, you can get their phone numbers to call them a few times a year or just send them an email, which might be the easiest.
Please see these links as well on how to deal with toxic relatives:
Etiquette of Social Media – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin
Is It Sinful to Cut Off Relatives That Have Committed Crimes against Us?
Is It Permissible for Me to Stop Talking to a Harmful Family Member?
What is the Minimum Amount of Relationship I Have to Keep with a Relative I Hate?
How Do We Maintain Family Ties With Bloodthirsty Relatives?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.