Disobeying Parents to Maintain Family Ties

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question: There has been a conflict between my parents and my older sister, and my parents have made it clear that my sister (if she chooses a path they disagree with) is to no longer be a part of our family.  If my parents forbid me from communicating with my sister, is it permissible for me to go behind their backs to help her when she is abandoned by everyone?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question. I pray you are in good health and iman.

Islamically, your parents are making a grave mistake by cutting off your sister. While they certainly do not have to condone unlawful actions (I don’t know the particulars of what your sister has done), they also need to maintain family ties. This is a commandment of Allah.

You have a right to communicate with your sister. But do not antagonize or disrespect your parents. Set a good example for your sister, let her know you are there for her, and encourage her to rethink her choices and come back to the deen.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
May 18, 2010/Jumada al-Thani 5, 1431

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani