I am a Muslim and I live in Bangladesh. My father died when I was eight years old. My mother and all the members of my family and relatives do not adhere to Islamic hijab. This is the reason why I never visit any of my relatives when they invite me to their houses. Most of my relatives who are young like me do not pray the daily prayers. They say: Allah divided His mercy into one hundred parts and He kept ninety-nine parts of it with Him. They mean that if they pray the Eid prayer only, Allah will forgive them. I know myself the hadeeths about the prayer, and I tried to tell them that they are very illogical and following the whims and desires of their own selves only. How should I deal with relatives like these, because all my relatives are like this? Because I have stopped going to their houses when they invite me, they call me unsociable. How should I respond to these people who have no logic and reason, who are following their whims and desires only? How should I deal with my mother and younger brother, because they watch Hindi movies on television and they listen to songs and music on [some channel]. My brother prays whenever he wants to, sometimes he prays five times and sometimes not at all.
We feel for you, our brother, and we understand your feeling of alienation in your environment which thousands of people share with you, if not millions. They are living among their families and find no support among them at all; rather they fight all kinds of evil and mistreatment, such as discouraging them from doing acts of worship, and trying to make them give up establishing the laws of Allah with regard to themselves and their own lives. The feeling of alienation is greater when the individual is a female who is vulnerable and her rights are not recognized. We give you the glad tidings that these “strangers” played a great role in the religion of Allah and the outcomes of their da‘wah were very great. All of that was by the grace and mercy of Allah, when they were patient and sought reward with Him for what they encountered for the sake of Allah, may He be exalted.
At the same time, we say that what we suffer from families and relatives pales into insignificance when compared with what the early generations of this ummah suffered of cruelty, hardship and harm. What comparison can there be, for example, between their accusations of your being unsociable and the accusations that were made against our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), when they said that he was a sorcerer or a liar or a madman. Moreover, the hypocrites impugned his honour and accused his wife ‘Aa’ishah of immoral conduct! Not only that, they even brandished weapons in the faces of their brothers, fathers and relatives, and regarded it as permissible to shed their blood and fight them, let alone what some of them did of imprisoning, torturing and cruelty.
So be patient and steadfast, and seek reward with Allah, and do not be anxious about what they are plotting. Be with Allah and do not worry. Strive to save yourself from the Fire first of all, then extend your da‘wah to others.
What we advise you to do regard to calling and advertising them is:
1. Make your intention in calling them sincere and do not seek thereby anything but the pleasure of Allah.
2. Be a good example to your family and relatives. That includes adhering to the laws of Allah with regard to yourself, and adhering to Islamic attitudes and conduct in all your affairs.
3. Do not give up following any of the laws of Allah for their sake, because this could give them the impression that your commitment to Islam is not serious.
4. Choose wise ones among your family and relatives and try to win over those who will give you support. Do not pay attention to those who are foolish and immature, and will waste your time.
5. Continue to boycott gatherings with your relatives if they include anything that could have a negative effect on your religious commitment. But if you see some benefit in visiting them, then try to do that and do not forsake them, for they are sick and you are their doctor. Follow a suitable way in offering them the remedy even though they refuse it, so long as you are skilful in offering your remedy and take precautions to protect your religious commitment, lest you be affected by their sins. Dhu’l-Noorayn ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “If the people do what is right, then do the same as them; if they do wrong, avoid the wrong that they are doing.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 695
6. Use various means of calling them and encouraging them to do good, such as giving them small booklets and moving audio tapes by daa’iyahs who are trustworthy in their knowledge and religious commitment and who are of Ahl al-Sunnah.
7. Strive to offer supplication (du‘aa’); perhaps a sincere supplication offered by you in the last part of the night will be accepted by the Lord of the Worlds, and you will see its good effects with your own eyes, which will bring you happiness and joy
Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) was asked: I have relatives, including a maternal uncle and my parents who sometimes stay up late with them, and they want me to go with them to visit them, but I refused to go because their gatherings are not free of evils. They say to me: Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful, and I have to uphold ties of kinship. Should I go with them and put up with their evils so that I can uphold ties of kinship with them, or should I cut off ties with them?
He replied: If by your going to them there is a hope that you may influence them or exhort them to give up evil, and you can fulfil your duty to denounce evil, then you have to go to them for two reasons:
1. Upholding ties of kinship
2. Denouncing evil when you are there
But if you do not denounce evil, or denouncing it will be to no avail, and they are persisting in their evil despite your telling them not to, then you should not go to them, because if you go to them, you will be sitting in a gathering in which evil is being committed but you will not be changing it or you will not be able to change it. So in that case you have to stay away from them, and hope that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will guide them.
End quote from al-Muntaqa min Fataawa al-Shaykh al-Fawzaan, 2/245
You do not need to point out the misguidance of those among them who quote as evidence the hadeeth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) which was narrated from Abu Hurayrah, according to whom the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allaah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allaah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” Quoting this hadeeth as evidence for not doing that which Allah has enjoined is a kind of mockery. The mercy of Allah is not decreed for those doomed wretches who commit evil actions that Islam warned against; rather some of those evil actions constitute kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, such as not praying. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Surely, Allaah’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good‑doers”
Think about the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning):
“and My Mercy embraces all things. That (Mercy) I shall ordain for those who are the Muttaqoon (the pious), and give Zakaah; and those who believe in Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs and revelations, etc.)”
And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allaah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah) (saying): “Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!”
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Surely, Allaah’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good‑doers” means: His mercy is prepared for those who do good, who follow His commands and heed His prohibitions. End quote.
Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/429
Just as Allah is very forgiving, He is also severe in punishment, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But verily, your Lord is full of forgiveness for mankind inspite of their wrongdoing. And verily, your Lord is (also) Severe in punishment”
“The Forgiver of sin, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe in punishment”
“Declare (O Muhammad صلىالله عليه وسلم) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft‑Forgiving, the Most‑Merciful.
50. And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment”
[al-Hijr 15:49, 50].
If these sinners understood these verses, they would be deterred from what angers Him and incurs this punishment.
And Allah knows best.