Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
Am I sinful if I don’t call my family to Allah? My relatives are Muslim, but they are not practicing. They don’t pray that much, and they free mix. Do I have to call them to Allah?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.
If your loved ones were about to throw themselves off a cliff or jump into a fire, would you attempt to stop them? This rhetorical question is intended to illuminate what it means to call your family to Allah. As Muslims, we must save ourselves and our families from failure, especially the ultimate failure in the Hereafter, and Allah knows best.
Save Yourself and Your Family
Allah (Most High) says, “O believers! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, overseen by formidable and severe angels, who never disobey whatever Allah orders—always doing as commanded.” [Quran, 66:6]
You are a Shepard-Guard Your Flock
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family, and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master, and he is responsible for it. Undoubtedly, every one of you is a shepherd responsible for his flock.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
It may be that your concern is that calling your family to Allah may offend them, cause awkwardness between you, or create dissonance in the family. If that is the case, remember that calling people to Allah requires basic knowledge, wisdom, and patience, as we learn from every Prophet in the Quran. Calling your family to Allah does not necessitate you “preaching” to them, talking down to them, or making them feel bad.
Allah (Most High) says, “Invite ˹all˺ to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and kind advice, and only debate with them in the best manner. Surely your Lord ˹alone˺ knows best who has strayed from His Way and whom is ˹rightly˺ guided.” [Quran, 16:125]
Based on your position in the family (child, parent, sibling, etc.) and the situation, you may need to adapt your approach to be effective, kind, and appropriate in your calling.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “ “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]
The hadith above also teaches us that if we become complacent about people breaking Allah’s laws around us, it threatens the condition of our faith, and Allah knows best.
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.