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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Her husband’s sister is causing problems for them


I am a married woman and mother of three children, and my husband fears Allaah and honours his parents. But my husband’s sister always causes problems between me and my husband, because she tells him a lot of lies which always causes us to argue and sometimes affects our marital life. But recently my husband has found out that she is in fact lying. This time things got very complicated, as she had the audacity to swear and revile and impugn my honour and that of my husband, and she incited his parents against him and me by fabricating lies so as to demonstrate her innocence. It should be noted that she is their only daughter, which gives her parents more reason to believe what she says, so they believed her and did not believe my husband. This has led to tension between my husband and his parents, and with me too. But despite all this he still upholds ties with his parents and his other siblings, except for her. 

Is there any sin on my husband for severing ties of kinship with her? Is she regarded as kin for me? Please note that I have tried in many ways, direct and indirect, to get close to her, such as giving her gifts, honouring her as a guest and so on, but now I want to keep away from her so as to avoid trouble between me and my husband’s family, so that I will not be a barrier between my husband and his parents. With regard to his parents, I want to remain in touch, but from a distance, such as getting in touch on special occasions. May Allaah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.

I ask Allaah to set your affairs straight and not to allow
the shaytaan any way to affect you, and to guide you to that which is good
and right. 

You have done very well by hastening to reconcile and work
things out, and in this way you have done what is required of you and
avoided sin. Your efforts will be accepted in sha Allaah. After doing all
you could to try to bring about a reconciliation and solve the problem,
keeping your distance may be the best solution, I mean your keeping away
from your husband’s sister and avoiding close contact with her, especially
if the matter has reached the stage of impugning people’s honour. The same
applies to keeping away from your husband’s parents, if keeping in touch
will cause problems, because the husband’s family are not close relatives
(arhaam) of yours with whom you are obliged to uphold ties, as has been
explained in the answer to question no.

Rather they are the husband’s relatives, so it is not
permissible for him to cut off ties with them, even if they annoy him and
insult him.

 It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased
with him) that a man said:  O Messenger of Allaah, I have relatives with
whom I try to keep in touch, but they cut me off. I treat them well, but
they abuse me. I am patient and kind towards them, but they insult me. He
said: “If you are as you say, then it is as if you are putting hot ashes in
their mouths. Allaah will continue to support you as long as you continue to
do that.” 

Narrated by Muslim (2558). 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

What this means is that it is as if you are feeding them hot
ashes, which is a simile, likening the pain they feel to the pain felt by
one who eats hot ashes, and there will no blame on the one who is doing the
right thing, rather they are the ones who are committing the great sin of
severing ties with him and annoying him. And it was said that what is meant
is that by treating them kindly, you will make them feel ashamed of
themselves because of the greatness of your kindness towards them and the
abhorrent nature of their actions. And it was said that what they consume of
your kindness is like hot ashes that burn their stomachs. Sharh Muslim

So he has to put up with all the annoyance he faces from
them, strive to uphold ties with them within the limits that will not cause
further problems, and try not to make matters worse. He should use kindness
and good treatment in dealing with his sister, in the hope that Allaah may
guide her to mend her ways. He should try to advise her and explain how
things really are, and he may seek the help of others who are closer to her
than him. He should treat his parents with nothing but kindness, and you
should help him in that and encourage him to uphold ties with them and treat
them kindly. Remind him of the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of
the meaning): 

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel
(the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allaah orders the faithful
believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat
them badly) then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will
become) as though he was a close friend.

35. But none is granted it (the above quality) except
those who are patient — and none is granted it except the owner of the great
portion (of happiness in the Hereafter, i.e., Paradise and of a high moral
character) in this world”

[Fussilat 41:34-35] 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked about a
similar problem to that mentioned in the question, and they replied: 

We advise you to honour your mother and to speak kindly to
her, and not to show that you are upset with her. You must keep on advising
your sister in good ways to refrain from stirring up problems if she is not
in the right. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

Let your intention in keeping away from them be to wait until
everyone has calmed down and can think again, until Allaah creates love and
compassion among you and good relations are restored in your family, for
that is one of the greatest aims which sharee’ah came to achieve among

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (26/127): 

Islam enjoins instilling love among the Muslims, and
encourages them to love one another, be compassionate towards one another,
and uphold ties with one another, so that their affairs will be set
straight, their hearts will be pure and they will be united against others.
Islam warns them against enmity and grudges, and forbids them to forsake one
another and sever ties. It is haraam to sever ties with another Muslim for
more than three days. In al-Saheehayn and elsewhere it is narrated
from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than
three days, each of them turning his face away when they meet. The better of
them is the one who greets the other first.” In Sunan al-Tirmidhi it
is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Beware of discord, for it is the shaver,” i.e., it shaves religious

What the Muslim must do if there is any problem between him
and his brother is to go to him, and greet him with salaam, and treat him
kindly in order to reconcile between them. There is great reward and
salvation from sin in that. 

End quote. 

And Allaah knows best.

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