Social Relations with a Muslim who Drinks and Gambles

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 10 Rabi-u-Thani 1422, 2 July 2001

Q.) What does the Shariah say about social relations with a person and his family if he is alcoholic and gambler? (e.g. Visiting his home with or with out family, if he invites for dinner). [Muhammad Khan, Toronto Canada].

A.) The Fuqaha have differences of opinion on greeting and accepting the greetings of a person engaged in sin. Some are of the opinion that the person should be greeted, as he will not be engaged in sin at that time. Others feel that greeting is showing complacency to the sin.

Given the circumstances surrounding an individual relationship with the sinful person, contextually, both opinions may be appropriate. Generally, if a sinful person is closely associated to a person, ignoring his greeting or refusing his invitation will be of concern to him. He will endeavor to address the concern. That opportunity could be wisely and tactfully embraced to advise the sinful person.

On the contrary, the sinful person will not be concerned if a person not closely associated to him ignores his greetings and refuses his invitations. In such a situation, one will not be able to advise the sinful person.

In brief, the situation must be closely examined and addressed accordingly placing the dominant purpose, prohibiting the wrong, in front. Wisdom and tact are the most efficient vehicles of success.

There are two aspects here: One is I'elam (to inform) and the other is I'emal (to make others practice). Informing is merely a means of making others practice. The purpose (to make others practice) should be placed first and then wisdom should be applied in trying to achieve the purpose.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best