Al-Fawzaan on the Fact that Boycotting is Only Done if There is Benefit to it and if it Doesn’t Lead to Greater Harm
February 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
Questioner: The noble Prophet ﷺ said, “It is not allowed for a Muslim to boycott his brother for more than three. They meet and so this one turns away from that one, and that one from this. And the best of them is the one who initiates giving the salutation to his brother,” [Bukhaari] or something to that effect, if the person who I argued with doesn’t pray or fast and does bad things, is my dispute with him something haraam? What [exactly] does this hadith mean?
Al-Fawzaan: Boycotting [al-Hajr] is to stop talking to someone, to stop sitting with them and giving them salaam.
Boycotting a believer is not allowed for more than three days if it is about something worldly, in fact he should reconcile with his brother and give him salaam when he meets him.
To begin with, he shouldn’t [even] boycott over a worldly matter, but if it does take place then it should not be for more than three days, this is what the hadith, ‘It is not allowed for a Muslim to boycott his brother for more than three days,’ means, i.e., when the ostracising is over a worldly issue.
As for when it is over a sin which the person being boycotted has committed, a major sin which he has not left, then he must be advised and directed to fear Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. If he does not desist from that sin and does not repent, then he is boycotted, because the boycotting acts as a reprimand and deterrent for him, maybe he will repent [because of it].
Unless ostracising him is something which will lead to harm, whereby it is feared that he will increase sinning and that it will result in greater evil—then in such a situation it is not allowed to boycott him, boycotting a sinner is only allowed if there is benefit to it and if it doesn’t lead to greater harm.
And success lies with Allaah.
Al-Muntaqaa min Fataawaa Fadeelatis-Shaikh Saalih ibn Fawzaan ibn ’Abdillaah al-Fawzaan, vol. 1, pp. 397-398.