Boycotting Another Muslim | 4 | The Types of Boycotting
by The Albaani Blog
Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab
The second type of boycotting and abandoning is when a Muslim boycotts his Muslim brother to discipline, reprimand and educate him. This is permitted in Islaam–with this good intention, and not by way of cutting off and boycotting [for worldly reasons] which we just mentioned, but rather by way of disciplining him.
And this is not done except when the one being boycotted is openly disobeying Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, not caring about the people, not fearing Allaah nor being shy from [committing the sin in front of] Allaah’s servants–and he has an honest and good friend, who boycotts him when he sees that he has left the proper path, and is not firm and upright on the Straight Path.
The proof for this is the story of the three people who remained behind, the story of the battle of the Prophet عليه السلام in Tabook. Some of the Companions remained behind, from them Ka’b ibn Maalik. He didn’t leave for the battle with the Prophet عليه السلام, but remained behind with some other Companions [as I mentioned].
So when the Prophet عليه السلام returned from the battle of Tabook, these three [noble Companions] came as did other people who remained behind [but who] were from the hypocrites. So the hypocrites started making a myriad of false excuses and the Prophet عليه السلام was accepting their excuses and entrusting their affair to Allaah.
As for Ka’b ibn Maalik, then he spoke the truth to the Prophet عليه السلام and told him about the reality. He said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I cannot lie to you. Because I know that if I lie to you the revelation will make it clear and will uncover the lie. I became busy plowing, sowing, tending to my livestock ….’ and so on. So the Prophet عليه السلام ordered the Companions to boycott these three, from them being Ka’b ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, and it continued for a long time.
Then Ka’b ibn Maalik’s wife was ordered to leave his house and to go to her family–and thus he was left alone for fifty days. The Prophet عليه السلام ordered the Companions not to speak to them. So one of these three would meet a man in the street and give him salaam but that other person would not return the greeting.
… this is in order to discipline these people who remained behind from the battle in the Way of Allaah with the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم.
Then forgiveness came down from Allaah to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم: Allaah had forgiven the three [who remained behind]. So Ka’b ibn Maalik came to the Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم when one of his relatives had given him the good news that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, had sent down news of His Forgiveness [in the Quraan]. So he came to the Prophet عليه السلام and Talhah stood up and received him and congratulated him on the fact that Allaah had forgiven him. A long story which contains great lessons, and it is found in Sahih Bukhari.
The point is that this boycotting is permissible and it comes under the principle of loving and hating for the Sake of Allaah.
But unfortunately this thing today is something of the past, It is very, very rare that you will find someone who boycotts a Muslim because he has deviated from the [correct] path. But he will [instead] boycott him over something material, [material things] some of which we pointed out previously.
The person who carries out the type of boycotting done for the Sake of Allaah is rewarded for it and is not sinful–and this is the type of breaking off that we are in need of nowadays.
As for cutting off over worldly matters then it is haraam and not permissible except for a period of three days only, if it goes on for longer than that then it is haraam and the matter is as he عليه السلام said in the previous hadith, ‘The best of the two is the one who greets his brother with salaam first.’ This is the answer to the question you asked, inshaa Allaah.
And making peace between people is from the best of actions, and due to its importance in Islaam the Prophet allowed lying to bring about peace between them [i.e.,the disputing parties].
This is something important, but a person must know the causes precisely so that he is able to bring about closeness/establish normal relations and reconcile between the opinions of the two disputants.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 95.