An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari


All praise belongs to Allah, and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad and His family.


Peace and mercy be upon you:


It is with great concern and perturbation that we have received unconfirmed reports regarding the imminent execution of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari.


Islam teaches us that life is a blessing from Allah. Those who seek to deprive someone of this blessing without a clearly sanctioned religious basis have committed an act that God deems atrocious and a mighty sin: If anyone kills a believer deliberately, the punishment for him is Hell, and there he will remain: Allah is angry with him, and rejects him, and has prepared a tremendous torment for him. (Qur’an, 4:93)


The Inviolability of the Believer

The Prophet ﷺ and his Companions viewed the life, wealth, and honor of all who uttered the testimony of faith (shahada) as inviolable. They took immense care not to impede on these basic rights even in the context of enacting punishments.


The Prophet ﷺ said, “Avoid applying punishments as long as you are able to find an excuse to avert them,” (Sunan Ibn Majah) and Ibn Masʿud stated, “Avoid flogging and applying the death penalty upon people as much as you can.” (Sunan al-Kubra)


Indeed, the sanctity of the believer was so great in the eyes of the Prophet ﷺ that he deemed the destruction of the world as a lighter affair than the killing of even a single Muslim. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)


Similarly, the early Muslims (salaf) would remark when gazing upon the Kaʿba, “The inviolability of a believer is greater with Allah than your inviolability.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi) There are few statements one can imagine as emphatic as these in affirmation of the rank of the believer.


A Call for Clemency

In light of the guidance of the Prophet ﷺ and the gravity of depriving a Muslim of the fundamental rights granted to him or her by Islam, we urge the authorities in question to immediately cease any plans to execute Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari in the immediate or distant future.


We urge those in the leadership to grant them clemency in this blessed month of Ramadan.


It is our firm belief that the actions of these scholars do not in any way justify the appalling treatment they have been subjected to over the past year and more. We make this call in the spirit of providing sincere counsel, realizing our role as scholars duty-bound to the expression of truth, and recognizing that each of us will be held accountable for our actions in the next life where oppression will be nothing but darkness leading to perdition.


And Allah is in the aid of His oppressed servants. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon His Prophet.


Ramadan 17th, 1440

May 22nd, 2019

Drafted by (Shaykh) Salman Younas




Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, SeekersGuidance

Dr. Yasir Qadhi, Dean of the Islamic Seminary of America

Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Shaykh Mustapha Elturk, Amir of Islamic Organization of North America

Shaykh Omar Suleiman

Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, Director of Darul Iftaa Leicester

Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera, London

Shaykh Azhar Nasser, Tasneem Institute

Shaykh Rami Nsour, Tayba Foundation

Dr. Omar Qureshi

Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali

Dr. Jonathan Brown, Georgetown University

Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick

Mohammad Fadel, Professor of Law, University of Toronto

Dr. Shadee Elmasry, Safina Society

Professor Hatem Bazian, Director of IRDP

Shaykh Bilal Ali Ansari, Khalil Center

Mahin Islam, The Mad Mamluks Podcast

Mufti Taha Karaan, South Africa

Imam Suhaib Webb, Scholar in Residence ICNYU

Dr. Ovamir Anjum, University of Toledo

Shaykh Abdul Wahab Saleem

Dr. Hamid Slimi

Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf

Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, UCLA School of Law

Dalia Mogahed, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Imam Dawud Walid, Member of Michigan Imams Council

Dr. Ihsan Bagby, University of Kentucky

Dr. Shabbir Ally, Toronto

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, Tayseer Seminary

Omer M. Mozaffar, Loyola University Chicago

Imam Yasin Dwyer, Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto

Dr. Rafaqat Rashid, Al Balagh Academy

Shaykh Hani Saleem, Islamic Center of Detroit

Shaykh Mohammed Faqih, Islamic Institute of Orange County

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi, Dean of IOK Seminary

Imam Abdul-Malik Ryan, DePaul University

Imam John Ederer, Muslim Community Center of Charlotte

Ismail Royer

Shaykh Sadullah Khan, South Africa

Shaykh Abdur Rahim Reasat, SeekersGuidance

Ustadh Samir Hussain, ISNA High School

Shaykh Sulaiman Gani, London

Prof. Jasser Auda, President of Maqasid Institute Global

Dr. Basma Abdelgafar, Vice President of Maqasid Institute Global

Imam Ibrahim Hindy, Dar al-Tawheed Islamic Center

Dr. Osman Latiff, Jamia Masjid and Islamic Center

Shaykh Amer Jamil, Scotland

Dr. Edward Moad, USA

Shaykh Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah, Walsall

Professor Suleman Dangor, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Dr. Bekim Hasani, Imam and Activist from Melbourne

Shaykh Bilal Ismail, Imam Development Project

Professor S. Sayyid, University of Leeds

Shaykh Shahin-ur Rahman, al-Rahma, England

Dr. Mustapha Sheikh, University of Leeds

Dr. Tajul Islam, University of Leeds

Dr. David H. Warren, University of Edinburgh

Dr Syed Mustafa Ali, The Open University, UK

Dr. Ahmed Soboh, Religious Director of Chino Valley Islamic Center

Buthaina Hawas-Neveln, Iraqi Journalist

Shaykh Salmaan Parkar, Australian Islamic College

Imam Imran Salha, ICA

Dr. Asif Hirani, Imam and Resident Scholar of Worcester Islamic Center

Faheem Sidi

Zaid alBarzinji, Maqasid Institute

Shaykh Ahmad Kutty, Resident Scholar of Islamic Institute of Toronto

Imam Shafi Chowdhury, Leicester

Shaykh Abdur Rahman Khan, Co-Chair of National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue

Dr. Mohammad Ilyas, University of Florida

Shaykh Mohammad Aman Haque, Norway

Shaykh Tariq Ata

Imam Mazhar Mahmood, Director of Islamic Foundation of Peoria

Ishraq Ali, Organizing Director of MPower Change

Professor James Dickins, University of Leeds

Mohammad Elshinawy, Yaqeen Institute

Naseera Hoorzook

Usman Qamar, Muslim Chaplaincy of Waterloo

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Mawlana Zakariyah Harneker

Imam Salim Astewani, Cheadle, Cheshire, UK

Dr. John Esposito, Georgetown University

Dr. Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown University

Shaykh Muhammad Abuelezz, RCIC Imam, Muslim Association of Canada

Omar Usman, Executive Director, MuslimMatters

Sanam Zaidi

Mufti Ismail Y Syed, London

Mostafa Elhoushi

Dr. Ildus Rafikov, ISTAC

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, UK

Ustadha Umm Jamaal ud-Din, Islamic College of Australia

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Chairman Fiqh Council of North America

Abdo Binmelik, MGIET Ethiopia

Zahra Summayah, Founder/CEO Manifesting Muslimah Coaching

Moulana Safwaan Navlakhi, Al-Ma’aly Institute South Africa

Salim Astewani, Cheshire

Dr. Sharif El-Tobgui, Brandeis University

Iyad Hilal

Riffat Hussain, UK

Shahzad Hussain, UK

Imam Suleiman Hani, ICD

Turgut Ibrahim

Aamir Ansari, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)

Mufti Sufyan, UK

Saira AbuBakr

Dr. Munir Elkassem, President of Islamic Institute for Interfaith Dialogue

Taha Abdul-Basser

Laila Mehar, Former President of UConn SJP Hartford

Amina Muhannaia, Turkey

Ashraf Gomma Ali

Raheem Bilal

Arbazz Mohammed

Ustadha Umme Umar, UK

Waqas Syed, ICNA Council for Social Justice

Safwan Ahmed Patel, UK

Muhammad Ibn Yusuf, UK

Faruq Abdul Jabbar

Quratulain Musaddique

Rukhsana Ghouse

Mohammed Toshriful Haque, USA

Dr Susan Kennedy Nour al Deen

Aiman Arif

Aiysha Khalid

Imam Bilal Elsakka

Professor Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Laurier University

Ahmed Sameer, India

Amara Jawaid

Janet Watson

Andrew Stroebel

Mumtaz Ahmed Khan

Dawud Khan


This list of signatories is being actively updated. To join as a signatory please email [email protected] or [email protected] 


Muslim Woman to Marry Christian Man

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil makes it clear that a Muslim woman cannot marry a Christian man.

If a Muslim woman wants to marry a Christian man on the condition that he will allow their children to be practicing Muslims, and their life and all matters will be handled as per Islamic teaching, then is there an issue in getting married?

The Qur’an doesn’t mention clearly that Muslim women are prohibited from marrying Christian men. It seems to be just a matter of scholars thoughts or considerations.

Best regards

Marriage Validity

“Do not marry polytheistic women until they believe; for a believing slave-woman is better than a free polytheist, even though she may look pleasant to you. And do not marry your women to polytheistic men until they believe, for a believing slave-man is better than a free polytheist, even though he may look pleasant to you. They invite you to the Fire while Allah invites you to Paradise and forgiveness by His grace. He makes His revelations clear to the people so perhaps they will be mindful.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:221)

Dear sister, it is not permissible for you to marry a Christian man.

There is no scholarly difference on this very clear matter. Please refer to these previous answers for further clarification: Can a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man if Their Children Are Raised as Muslims? and Why Is a Muslim Woman Not Allowed to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

The only way for your relationship to be made halal is this – he must embrace Islam, and you must do a valid nikah with him.

Future Children

Your marriage contract to a non-Muslim man is invalid, causing your children to be born out of wedlock. Your unborn children will be innocent of your sin of zina, but they deserve a better start to life. Please read: Can I Claim a Child from an Illicit Relationship?

Reality of Your Situation

You are both already in love, want to marry, live by Islam and raise your children as Muslims. As a courtesy to you, your Muslim family, his own soul, and most of all, to Allah Most High, please encourage your partner to embrace Islam.

Even if he does not fast a single day in his life or complete a single prayer, it is better for him to die on belief, so the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, can intercede for him on the Day of Judgement. Death, Hellfire and Heaven are real. Would you not want the man you love to be with you and your children in Paradise?

I encourage you to share this with your partner: Advice to a Christian Man Who Wants to Marry a Muslim Woman.

I pray that Allah opens his heart to Islam, and blesses you with a loving marriage and pious children.

Please also see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Receiving Funding from a Commercial Bank

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about receiving start-up funding from a bank that deals in riba.

I am a revert to Islam doing my Bachelor’s in Computer Science and have been given a project in my field of study by a start-up (let’s call it X). X works in the domain of Computer Science. The owner of X is told that if you complete this project, we may get you funds to start your own company.

X is funded by a bank and, Insha Allah, if I am able to complete the project and be able to start my company, which would be of course dealing with Computer Science, then it will also be funded by the same bank dealing in riba.

Is it permissible for me to go for that startup even if my company-to-be will be doing halal work but will be funded by a riba-earning bank?

Jazak Allah khayr for answering.

Yes, it is permitted to accept funding and remuneration from a conventional bank, particularly when it is an institution which isn’t required to follow the dictates of the Sacred Law (shari‘a).

Among the primary sources of capital for a bank is the cash deposited by its customers. Common interest payments or usurious transactions (riba) would normally form only a portion of the money a bank has at its disposal.

Normally, two matters would dictate the permissibility of employment: (a) the line of work itself, and (b) the source of remuneration. When both matters are acceptable, the line of work is deemed lawful.

(Mufti Taqi Usmani, Fiqh al-Buyu‘: 2.1027/1033)

Please also see Bank Employment When is it Permissible? and Is It Permissible to Work on the Projects of a Riba (Usury) Based Bank? and Working for a Company Providing IT Solutions in Un-Islamic Markets.

And Allah Most High knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Pain Is an Expiation

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat advises on the pain of ending an illicit relationship and turning to Allah.

Four years ago, I was in a haram relationship with a female. We were both conscious of our din and so had wanted to end the haram and make the relationship proper.

Disobeying Allah and also keeping the relationship a secret from her parents took a toll on our emotional and psychological health and the relationship deteriorated.

At some point I felt that perhaps our fighting was due to us being incompatible not realizing that perhaps these were just relationship struggles that are normal for couples. There was also some dishonesty on my part and then on hers, about talking to the opposite gender during our time together which fractured the trust between us.

I ended the relationship thinking for the best but a year or two afterwards, reconsidered that perhaps I’d been mistaken. I know that she’s an amazing person and so I attempted to approach her again with little success. I regret having let her go and long dearly for companionship, sometimes to the extent that I become depressed and despondent, amd reach out to her. To the best of my ability, I’ve steered clear of dating, although I falter from time to time.

Sometimes I fear that leaving her was a mistake, and that I might never find a spouse who I consider beautiful, loving and deen concious. It makes me depressed and this affects my life and my studies.

How do I go about seeking a spouse and asking Allah’s guidance so that I can find a spouse who will be the coolness of my eyes

I pray you are well.

Pain Is an Expiation

You shouldn’t consider ending that relationship to be a mistake. If you did it for the sake Allah then both of you will be rewarded for the choice and the act. Perhaps the pain you both felt at ending the relationship was a means for the sins from that relationship to be washed away. Allah knows it all. Allah sees it all. Allah doesn’t “lose” any of the reward He has promised for struggling for His sake.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, told us that “The Garden is surrounded by matters disliked, and the Fire by pleasures.” (Bukhari). Meaning, that is it through struggling with matters one does not readily enjoy that Paradise is granted to a person. And the pleasures that are easy to attain through impermissible means are what lead to Hell.

Ask Allah

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Supplication is the weapon of the believer, the support of one’s relationship with Allah, and the light of the heavens and earths.” (Hakim) You’re in a situation of need. The only way to get out of that need is to express you need to Allah; show your slave-hood to Him by turning to Him and asking Him to fix the problem you have. Then leave the matter to Him. If He makes things go the way you want them or not, He will certainly bring about what is best for you.

I recommend you pray Salat al-Haja, on a daily basis, and ask Allah to facilitate a good marriage for you. We shouldn’t regret having stopped a sinful act. Rather, we should ask Allah for them ability to remove all disobedience from our lives, and for Him to fulfill our needs through means which are permissible. This is where the benefit lies.

I leave you with the words Allah revealed for us to ask Him with:

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Our Dear Lord, grant us, through our spouses and offspring, peace of mind, and make us the leaders of the God-Fearing.

May Allah facilitate the matter for you quickly and easily.


Delaying an Expiation Fast

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked if it is sinful to delay an expiation fast for breaking an oath.

Is it sinful to delay fast for an oath expiation?

Yes, it is considered to be religiously sinful to delay the mandatory expiation (kaffara) of a nullified oath (yamin), unless you have a reasonable excuse to do so, such as being too poor to make the payment and too sick to fast.

The general basis with duties is that they are to be taken care of as soon as reasonably possible and without undue delay, except if you have a reasonable excuse to do the contrary. At the very least, you should include the expiation (kaffara), in this case, in a document containing any other unfulfilled duties which you owe to Allah Most High.

Allah Most High said, “And hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those mindful of Allah.” (Sura Aal ‘Imran 3:133) The divine injunction here is to rush to that by which you will attain unto forgiveness, such as by fulfilling your duties (wajibat).

Note that if there is an undue delay, you should repent for your error.

(Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar)

Please also see How to Expiate a Broken Oath? and A Reader on Tawba (Repentance).

And Allah Most High knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Visiting Christmas Markets

Ustadh Salman Younas is asked about visiting Christmas Markets having promised not to celebrate Christmas.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I study in Europe and I promised by Allah that I will never celebrate Christmas. However will I keep my promise if I visit the Christmas Markets (where candles, food, and alcohol for Christmas is sold) without buying and consuming anything?

Here I never joined my peers to any gatherings therefore now I am always left alone. However I always dreamed of having international friends from all over the world. Last time some people invited me to go with them for simple shops and then later visit a Christmas Market. I really wanted to join them just to make friends. I went there and really did not enjoy the Christmas Market, rather I was happy to be with some international peers. Have I broken my promise?

If not, they again invited me for other Christmas Markets in other regions of Europe. Can I join them just for the reason of making friends? They are also not pure Christians and have no intention to engage me in their religion, they just want to spend a good time.

Thank you for your answer in advance.

If you swore an oath to never celebrate Christmas, you would be bound to this oath and breaking it would require expiation. However, the word “celebrating” is vague. Your oath would, therefore, apply to the type of celebration you intended when making it.

Generally, simply visiting a Christmas market is not considered by people as “celebrating” Christmas. Rather, celebrating Christmas involves partaking in celebratory rituals associated with this holiday, such as erecting a tree with lights or going to church for services etc.

If this is what you had in mind when you swore your oath (and not simply visiting a Christmas market or having dinner with your family on Christmas day), then your oath would be limited to these more formal celebratory aspects of Christmas.


Wife Confesses Pre-Marital Affair

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is asked what to do if one finds out that one’s spouse was sinful before marriage.

I am a 26 year old male who did his nikah a few months back. I had approached this girl’s family as she was hijabi and seemed pious and simple. Before our nikah, she had confided in me that she was in contact with a boy who was a non-Muslim and had a soft spot for him. He had promised to convert to marry her but he did not, so she broke things off. At that time, the way she described it, it seemed like a verbal kind of innocuous relationship and I did not find it appropriate to probe further as we were not married.

I unknowingly came across some old messages of hers and she confessed to me that she had committed zina multiple times with that non-Muslim in different hotels throughout the period that she was in a relationship with him. He also possesses illicit images that she sent him during that time period.

For three months we have had the best of marriages AlhamduliLlah and we have been very compatible with each other, but this news has shattered me. I don’t want to end my marriage, but this has completely changed my perception of her and I am finding it hard to respect her even though she repented. She has also apologized for hiding things from me.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Coping with Betrayal

Dear questioner, I am so sorry for your deep heartbreak. I cannot imagine how shocked and betrayed you must feel. Make space for your feelings – weep, journal, turn to Allah in dua – and work on slowly letting them go.

Covering Sin

Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying: “All the people of my Umma would get pardon for their sins except those who publicize them. And (it means) that a servant should do a deed during the night and tell the people in the morning that he has done so and so, whereas Allah has concealed it. And he does a deed during the day and when it is night he tells the people, whereas Allah has concealed it.” Zuhair has used the word hijar for publicizing. (Sahih Muslim)

Please use this terrible incident as a reminder about why Allah has forbidden us to speak of past sin. Your wife made a grave mistake by confessing the explicit details of her sinful pre-marital relationship to you. Now you are both heartbroken.

It would have been better for her to carry her secret to her grave, and to trust in Allah’s Mercy. Instead, she has uncovered something that she can never take back.


Abu Sirmah narrated from Abu Ayyub, that when death reached him, he said: “I have concealed something from you that I heard from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, saying: ‘If you did not sin, Allah would create a creation that would sin, so He can forgive them.’” (Tirmidhi)

I do not need to remind you that repentance wipes away all sin. I encourage you to do everything within your power to forgive your wife, and to allow her back into your heart again.

Know that Allah has protected you from the sin of zina, and make shukr for that. None of us know what trials lie ahead of us. We are all in need of mercy from our Creator and His creation. Choose mercy, love and forgiveness.

Compromising Photographs

Please make dua that Allah removes all evidence of those illicit photographs, then surrender the matter to Allah. Please do not torment yourself over her past.

Marriage Counseling

I encourage you and your wife to attend culturally-sensitive counseling, as a way of finding your way back to each other. You have said so yourself, that you and your wife have had a happy marriage up until her confession.

Your wife will need to work through her own feelings of guilt over her past sin. If she had resolved them on her own, then she would not have confessed them to you. Perhaps she feels unworthy of your love, because she has not forgiven herself. Please see Learning to Love Again After an Affair.

Divorce as a Last Resort

If you absolutely cannot forgive your wife, then I encourage you to let her go. She would be happier with a husband who can respect her, even when she commits terrible sins. Please perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to proceed. If Allah softens your heart towards your wife, then stay in your marriage. If you still cannot look upon her with love, then it may be better for you to let her go. If this is what you decide on, then I pray that she has the wisdom to not confess her sins to the next man she marries.

Please also see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.

Vigilantism, Digital or Otherwise, Is Forbidden

Ustadh Farid Dingle answers a question on the legality of digital vigilantism in Islam.

I’d like to thank you for answering the last question. I have another question related to my life. I’m a 19 year old student, and I have always had a great love for how the things work on Internet. Now, I want to know more about the things and give it a shape, use it for doing good things.

I was wondering, for example, about hacking into a site like Dellywood. Dellywood is a website, a registration website actually, for selecting Mr or Miss India, and it is now kind of known what these things lead to. The females dress up, for instance vulgarly and there are so many things to be considered as well.

My question is, if I could, can I stop or damage their things like their database or could I do things like such as a good deed? Or if I find money anywhere from such websites, can I take that as a war booty and spend it for the cause of Allah? Or am I simply forbidden to make any move.

Thank you.

There is no vigilantism in Islam. All of this would be forbidden.

I pray this helps.


Re Previous Answer on Wife’s Conjugal Rights

Shaykh Jamir Meah clarifies certain aspects of a previous answer on a wife’s conjugal rights.

I am writing to inquire a further look at this portion from a previous answer: What Does Islam Say About the Neglect of the Wife’s Sexual Rights?

Islam already takes into account the fact that a woman may have times where she is physically or psychologically unable to fulfill her husband’s desire, and by doing so, her condition may worsen. In these cases, the husband would be prohibited from forcing the wife to have intercourse, and if he did so, he would be sinful.

I am concerned about whether the wording is intentional. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that a man should never force his wife to have sex with him, and if she refuses he cannot force her to? I think the traditional definition of rape here still applies in that case, but I think that would also be an example of domestic abuse. This hadith is often misquoted by people to scare and demoralize Muslim women, in my experience. It would be good to see a lesson or article dedicated specifically to it.

Jazak Allah khayr, for all the good work that you do. Insha Allah that good only increases in the future.

Due to the question being predominantly about the wife’s conjugal rights and the husband’s neglect of it, the answer was mainly focused on this issue.

The “rape” section was in response to a very brief, almost passing, part of the question. (I think it was completely edited out from the final question published.) Hence my very brief response to it. I cannot remember the exact question, but it was not a direct or general question about forced sex within marriage, more about if the husband demands relations while the wife is unable to have relations, hence my specific answer on that.

I wholeheartedly agree that a specific and detailed article on this latter topic would be beneficial. For now, the relevant rulings and details, which concur with my own understanding and how I would address the issue, can be found in this excellent answer by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam: Can a Wife Refuse her Husband’s Call to Bed?

This is a sensitive topic that can be exploited by many, both men and women. For sure, we need to do more to educate and warn Muslim men about these rulings and to have proper conduct and care in marriage, but we must also be aware that there is currently a very strong feminist movement at work which has it’s own agenda, much of which is insidious.

Warmest salams,


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Told by Parents to Cut Ties with Brother

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil gives a detailed answer on being asked by parents to cut ties with a brother.

I have an older brother who is very dear to me (raised me and my sister very well). He is a really great guy, but recently he has “fallen in love” with a horrible woman. She had her eye on him when he was in relations with her cousin, and since then she had flirted with him and made him fall in love with her.

She is older and also has two young children. She always goes out and she shows my brother off as if they are married. She has sworn at my parents many times and called my family bad names, but my brother really wants to marry her and she won’t let go.

This has been going on for four years and my parents are very hurt by his actions. They have done everything to get him to stop other than agree to let him marry her. I am very lost and don’t know what to do. It’s like choosing between my parents and brother. I resent his girlfriend as well, I really don’t like her. My parents gave them two chances, They ruined both, but they won’t stop asking to get married.

My father said to my brother that he can go get married but we will cut all ties with him. Should we be cutting ties with my brother? In Islam, we are supposed to do everything for our parents, but we are also told not to cut ties, so I’m very confused on what to do at this point.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Cutting off Ties

“If they strive to make you associate with Me anything about which you have no knowledge, then do not obey them. Yet keep their company in this life according to what is right.” (Sura Luqman 31:15)

I am sorry to hear about your troubled family situation. It is very difficult when your own brother wants to marry someone who has treated your family so poorly.

Even so, cutting off ties with your brother is impermissible. You are permitted to keep a reasonable distance from him and his future wife e.g. visiting them monthly instead of weekly, for example.

Even if your parents forbid you from visiting him, please know that there is no obedience in disobeying Allah.

Looking to the Future

Please know that if your brother has children, then they are innocent from the sins of their mother, and are still your nephews and nieces. Especially while they are young, the only way you can cultivate a relationship with them is through keeping on civil terms with your future sister-in-law. You do not have to like her, but you do have to treat her with respect and kindness.

Cultivating Influence

Connection brings about influence. Cutting off ties will render your parents and you powerless. The more you distance yourself from your brother, the more he will stay connected to the woman he wants to marry, instead of you and your family. If your parents cut him off, how will they get to know their future grandchildren? Choosing short-term relief will cause long-term pain. Choosing short-term difficulty (working on accepting a difficult daughter-in-law) will bring about long-term happiness, inshaAlah.

Wisdom behind This

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (peace and blessings be upon her): Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Keys of the unseen knowledge are five, which nobody knows but Allah.Nnobody knows what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows what is in the womb; nobody knows what he will gain tomorrow; nobody knows at what place he will die; and nobody knows when it will rain.” (Bukhari)

Allah Most High knows what we do not know. This whole difficult situation is a means to exercise patience and good character.

Perhaps your brother just needs to learn the hard way by getting married to this woman. Perhaps Allah has destined this woman to be the mother of his children.

Perhaps marriage will soften her heart. Being a single mother of two children is no easy task. Perhaps the security of marriage will help to bring out her kindness, and perhaps she will ask forgiveness from your parents. The question is whether or not your parents can find in their hearts to forgive her. In the end, she is the wife your brother has chosen.

In case his marriage does not work out, then it is all the more important for you to stay in touch with your brother.

Goodness to Parents

Narrated Ibn Mas‘ud, may Allah be pleased with him: A man asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him: “What deeds are the best?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “(1) To perform the (daily compulsory) prayers at their (early) stated fixed times, (2) to be good and dutiful to one’s own parents, (3) and to participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause.” (Bukhari)

It is indeed your personal obligation to be respectful and kind to your parents. However, this does not include obeying them in that which displeases Allah. Explain this to them calmly, with the utmost deference.

See Excellence With Parents: Muhammad Mawlud’s Birr al-Walidayn and Explained: Your Parents’ Rights and How to Fulfil Them.

Beneath your parents’ anger are probably deep feelings of helplessness, disappointment, grief, and so on. They are both probably so heartbroken that after everything they have done to raise your brother, he has turned his back on them by wanting to marry a woman of bad character. This is a great test for them.

Good Character and Boundaries

It is a very big headache to feel stuck in between your parents and your brother and his future wife. So I encourage you to see it this way: the more they complain about each other to you, the less likely they are able to mend ties. They need to talk to each other, not about each other. This is, of course, easier said than done.

It is all the more important for you to show good character. This does not mean being a doormat, however. When you do attend your brother’s wedding and visit his family home, be kind and patient. If your future sister-in-law starts to badmouth your parents, then draw a polite and firm boundary, e.g. “Please do not speak about my parents like that.” Suggest that she raise her concerns directly with them, with a mediator.

Similarly, suggest that your parents find a wise elder/local scholar to mediate a discussion with your brother and his future wife.

Working with Reality

Four years of bad blood is a long time. Unless your brother’s future wife has an undiagnosed mental illness, I do not understand the motive behind her bad behavior towards your parents. Is she lashing out in response to feeling shamed?

She probably knows that she is not ideal wife material. It sounds like your parents would have preferred that your brother marry someone younger and a virgin, and perhaps someone of their choosing. Instead, he chose a culturally frowned upon older single mother. She didn’t “make him” fall in love with her – nobody has that kind of power. He freely gave his heart away and wants to marry her.

Growth Mindset

She is either a problem or an opportunity for growth – and she is not going away. I advise you and your parents to accept this reality, and to embrace her place in your brother’s life with open, forgiving hearts. At least she is Muslim. Reflect on that. She is openly sinful, but at least she is still Muslim. Imagine your brother wanted to marry a non-Muslim single mother.

I am not saying that what she is doing is right. I am merely stating this fact – she is not going away. So show her compassion and good character, in the hopes that she will soften, and perhaps one day ask your parents for forgiveness. I pray that your brother knows the responsibility he is carrying, by being a stepfather to two small children. Perhaps his kindness to them will help them be better in behavior than their mother.

However, for as long as he is angering your parents, then he is not in a good state with Allah. So I encourage your parents to find a way to forgive him for his foolishness, and his poor decision-making skills. He has many other virtues, from your description. It is better for your parents’ hearts, too, to let go of their understandable anger. May Allah elevate their ranks in Jannah for enduring so much. You all have a choice in how you respond to this tribulation. It has dragged on for far too long, so choose forgiveness, compassion, and mercy.

Reflection Exercise

Imagine the difference in these two scenarios:

Scenario A (what your parents are headed to): A wedding where your brother has none of his family with him, a heart full of rejection, anger and sadness, and a daughter-in-law who is even more sure that her in-laws do not want her, and stepchildren who will not know their stepfather’s family. Your sister-in-law is unlikely to want your brother’s unborn children to have a relationship with any of you. Rejection breeds more rejection.

Scenario B: A wedding with the blessing of your parents, and a joining of families. Your brother’s heart overflowing with love for all of you, your future sister-in-law softened by the acceptance of her in-laws, and her children knowing that they have a stepfather, new step-uncles and step aunties, and even step-grandparents. Your brother’s children will be happily embraced by your parents. Love brings about more love.

The choice is yours. I pray this has been helpful.

Please also see When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How? and Do I have to Obey my Parents if they Order me To Leave Sunnah Acts?


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.