I work in administration, in a committee to fight transgressions in the business sector. It so happened that I bought a loaf of bread and found mouse droppings in it. I swore that I would find the owner of the bakery and take him to task for his lack of hygiene, because I know that mouse dropping are also a kind of najaasah (impurity). I found out that the bakery belongs to a man who is connected to me by ties of kinship. By the way, I also want to find out about this point: is it regarded as ties of kinship or not, because the wife of this man is the daughter of my paternal grandfather’s cousin?
As this is not the first time we have found dirty things in the bread, I took the necessary steps and several transgressions were found when the inspection was carried out. Of course the finger of blame was pointed at me by all of his family members and even by some of my own family.
I just want to know if you can tell me: am I sinning before Allaah?.
The relatives (arhaam) with whom Allaah has enjoined upholding the ties of kinship are relatives on the father’s side and on the mother’s side, including paternal uncles and their children. Based on this, the daughter of your paternal cousin is one of your relatives (arhaam).
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The arhaam are relatives on both the father’s and mother’s side. They are the ones referred to in the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “But kindred by blood are nearer to one another (regarding inheritance) in the decree ordained by Allaah” [al-Anfaal 8:75].
The closest of them are: fathers, mothers, grandparents and their children, a far as the line of descent extends; then the closest and next closest such as siblings and their children, paternal uncles and their children, paternal aunts and their children, and maternal uncles and aunts and their children.
It is narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked: Whom should I honour, O Messenger of Allaah? He said: “Your mother.” He said: Then whom? He said: “Your mother.” He said: Then whom? He said: “Your father, then the next closest and the next closest.” This was narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh, and there are many similar ahaadeeth. End quote.
Fataawa Islamiyyah (4/195).
Allaah has enjoined upon Muslims the fulfilment of trusts and bearing witness justly, even if that is against oneself or against one’s parents or against one’s relatives.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allaah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allaah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you avoid justice; and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allaah is Ever Well‑Acquainted with what you do”
Your relative’s husband did wrong by neglecting hygiene in bread-making. The fact that his wife is related to you should not stop you doing the right thing and doing what is required in your job in a proper manner, as a mercy to him and a mercy to other people. It is a mercy to him so that he would not transgress against others and wrong them, and it is a mercy to other people so that they will not eat impurities and filth because of his bad actions. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to support the wrongdoer by putting a stop to his actions.
It was narrated that Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Support your brother whether he is a wrongdoer or is wronged.” A man said: O Messenger of Allaah, I will support him if he is wronged, but how can I support him if he is a wrongdoer? He said: “By preventing him from doing wrong – that is supporting him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6552).
What the owner of this bakery has done is a wrong deed that must be denounced and changed by those who are able to do that. As you are in a position of authority, you can change it with your hand, and that is obligatory for you.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” Narrated by Muslim (49).
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It should be noted that this matter – I mean the matter of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil – has been neglected for a long time, and nothing much is left of it nowadays except a few ideas. But it is an important matter and the well being of the ummah is dependent upon this concept. If evil increases the consequences will affect righteous and unrighteous alike, and if the wrongdoer is not stopped, Allaah will soon send His punishment upon all of them. “And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad’s) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them” [al-Noor 24:63]. The one who is seeking the Hereafter and striving to attain the pleasure of Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, should pay attention to this issue, for it is of great benefit, especially since most of it has disappeared; he should make his intention sincere and should never compromise with the one whose evil actions he is denouncing because of his high status, for Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, Allaah will help those who help His (Cause)”
“And whoever holds firmly to Allaah, (i.e. follows Islam Allaah’s religion, and obeys all that Allaah has ordered, practically), then he is indeed guided to the Right Path”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:101]
“As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allaah’s religion — Islamic Monotheism)”
“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.
3. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)”
It should be noted that the reward is commensurate with the effort, and that should not be abandoned because of friendship, love, flattery, or seeking to attain or maintain a certain status with him. Friendship and love mean that you are required to respect him and give him his rights; his right is that you should advise him and guide him to what is in his best interests in the Hereafter, and save him from things that will harm him. A man’s true friend is the one who strives to protect his interests in the Hereafter even if that leads to some loss in this world, and his enemy is the one who causes his interests in the Hereafter to be lost or reduced, even if that leads to some apparent benefit in his worldly affairs. End quote.
Sharh Muslim (2/24).
These are useful words which sum up and clarify what we want to say. We ask Allaah to guide the husband of your relative and to set his affairs straight. Do not pay any attention to those who think that you did wrong by penalizing him, because you have been just and fair, and it is a mercy to him, unlike those who want him to have a burden of sin and be punished in the Hereafter, who denounced your action.
And Allaah knows best.