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AL-KAFI #1190: LIVING WITH NON-MUSLIM FAMILY

 AlKafi 1190

 

Question:

Assalamualaikum wrm.wbt.,

I have just gotten married to my wife who had just embraced Islam. Now, I live with her family who have yet to embrace Islam. Hope to have an opinion from you regarding my status who live with my wife’s family.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrm. wbt.

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Parents are two individuals of whom it is wajib for us to obey as long as they do not ask us to commit sins. Children are obligated to do good towards both their parents even if they are not a believer. The relationship between parents and child remains even when they have different religions. Allah SWT states:

وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۖ وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا

“But if they endeavour to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness,”

Surah Luqman (15)

Imam Ibn Kathir Rahimahullah said: “If both your parents force you towards their religion, then don’t obey them but at the same time it does not prevent you from doing good and serve them both with the best possible way. Learn from the story of Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas who served his parents with wisdom which led to his mother accepting it.” See Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim (6/402).

عن أَسْمَاءُ بِنْتُ أَبِي بَكْرٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَتْ أَتَتْنِي أُمِّي رَاغِبَةً فِي عَهْدِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَسَأَلْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ آصِلُهَا قَالَ نَعَمْ. قَالَ ابْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى فِيهَا: لَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِكُمْ أَنْ تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

Narrated by Asma' bint Abu Bakr: My mother came to me, hoping (for my favor) during the lifetime of the Prophet. I asked the Prophet, "May I treat her kindly?" He replied, "Yes." Ibn 'Uyaina said, "Then Allah revealed: 'Allah forbids you not with regards to those who fought not against you because of religion, and drove you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (5978)

The Ruling of Using Containers Used by Non-Muslims

Majority of scholars hold the opinion that the ruling for containers used by non-Muslims is the as the ruling of containers used by the People of the Book. Refer Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyah (1/124). In madhhab al-Syafie, it is permissible to use containers used by non-Muslims of which its purity is certain. If one is uncertain of its purity, then using it is makruh (undesirable). This is in accordance with a hadith of the Prophet PBUH:

عن أَبُو ثَعْلَبَةَ الْخُشَنِيُّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَال: قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُول اللَّهِ، إِنَّا بِأَرْضِ أَهْل كِتَابٍ، أَنَأْكُل فِي آنِيَتِهِمْ؟ فَقَال: لاَ تَأْكُلُوا فِي آنِيَتِهِمْ إِلاَّ إِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا عَنْهَا بُدًّا، فَاغْسِلُوهَا بِالْمَاءِ، ثُمَّ كُلُوا فِيهَا

From Abu Tha`laba Al-Khushani: I came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! We are living in the land of the people of the Scripture, and we take our meals in their utensils,” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "As for your saying that you are in the land of people of the Scripture, you should not eat in their utensils unless you find no alternative, in which case you must wash the utensils and then eat in them,”

Sahih al-Bukhari (5496)

From this hadith, the original restriction from the Prophet PBUH is haram and it can be understood that the restriction of using the containers of non-Muslims is when there is no other alternative.

However, there is a hadith where the Prophet PBUH once eaten using the containers of the People of the Book and the verse in surah al-Maidah (وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَكُمْ) where it can be understood that the food is prepared by their hands using their containers. Thus, the restriction is not haram but makruh (undesirable). Refer Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyah (1/123), Nihayah al-Muhtaj (1/127), al-Majmu’ (1/263).

Conclusion

In our opinion, it is not an issue to live with non-Muslim family who has yet to embrace Islam, in fact, it can be a great opportunity to benefit from where one should showcase good character and conduct as well as offer direct explanations about Islam for the family members who hasn’t embrace islam. Allah SWT states:

ادْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction,”

Surah al-Nahl (125)

Let us all learn from the lessons of the sirah of the Prophet PBUH who continue to convey the dakwah towards his uncle Abu Talib up to the final seconds of his life. He never gave up to do dakwah although ultimately Allah SWT has fated his uncle to die as a disbeliever.

Regarding food and drinks, we advise you to not eat from those prohibited in Islam such as swine, alcoholic beverages and slaughter of animals not according to syarak. However, it does not mean that we are prohibited from eating together with our non-Muslim family members. Try to find an alternative so that we can join and be together with them without any discomfort.

As for containers used by non-Muslim family members, it is permissible to use them if we are sure that it is clean. To avoid fitnah and doubts among other family members, it is best to wash all the containers before using them.

However, we also wanted to advise you to try to move to another place if there is an opportunity to do so and at the same time maintain the relationship and silaturrahim with family members who have yet to embrace Islam. This would offer comfort for all in practising all of the Islamic teachings without any hindrances.

May Allah SWT grant us goodness and sahih understanding in practising His commandments and subsequently give us the strength to practise it. Amin.


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