Is It Sinful to Cut Off Relatives That Have Committed Crimes against Us?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Some members of my relatives, such as uncles, aunts, and cousins have been seriously harmful to me and my family. They’ve tried to steal our property and wealth, threatened to kill us or get us imprisoned, sent thugs after us to harass us, and have been extremely rude and have said some of the worst things unimaginable.

Essentially, it is clear that they hate us and that they have only poor intentions. We’ve tried to reconcile and become friends again in the past, but they’ve rejected that and have only increased in arrogance and enmity. Now, we are not in contact with them, and we don’t plan to be again. Have we sinfully cut ties of kinship?

Answer

Thank you for your question. From the story that you describe, it seems to me that you are not sinful and that you are obliged to protect yourself and your family from their harm. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” [Ibn Maja]

Plan to Forgive

I recommend, as I was taught, to hate their actions and not them, and intend to reconcile when you sense a change in them. Eventually, plan to forgive them as this is a high trait of noble character and eventually we hope that Allah forgives us. May Allah make it easy for you.

Please see these links for more details on cutting ties of kinship:
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.