Breaking Family Ties In Islam | Is It Permissible?

Maintaining good relationships with family members is a vital aspect of Islamic Shariah. In fact, it is considered obligatory to preserve family ties. This principle is highlighted in both the Quran and the Sunnah, and it is regarded as one of the primary goals of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

Our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “I have been sent to preserve the family ties, to reject the idols and to invite to the Oneness of Allah.” [Sahih Muslim:832] 

However, in some cases, family ties may become strained, and individuals may contemplate breaking them. So today, we will explore the concept of breaking family ties according to Islam and examine why it is impermissible.

Breaking Family Ties in Islam: What Do the Quran and Sunnah Say?

Breaking Family Ties in Islam
Are you looking for a

Muslim Life Partner?

Looking for

The Quran and Hadiths consistently encourage Muslims to maintain strong ties with their family members. Numerous verses in the Quran emphasize the importance of maintaining family connections.

Almighty Allah says,

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ٱتَّقُوا۟ رَبَّكُمُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍۢ وَٰحِدَةٍۢ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًۭا كَثِيرًۭا وَنِسَآءًۭ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ٱلَّذِى تَسَآءَلُونَ بِهِۦ وَٱلْأَرْحَامَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًۭا ١

“O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord Who created you from a single soul, and from it He created its mate,1 and through both He spread countless men and women. And be mindful of Allah—in Whose Name you appeal to one another—and ˹honour˺ family ties. Surely Allah is ever Watchful over you.” [Surah an-Nisa:4, Ayat:1]

It clarifies that we should respect and care for our families, as Allah watches over us. We should work hard to be the best versions of ourselves and to be kind to others.

Allah has instructed us against cutting kinship ties:

وَٱلَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مِيثَـٰقِهِۦ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦٓ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۙ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمُ ٱللَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوٓءُ ٱلدَّارِ ٢٥

“And those who violate Allah’s covenant after it has been affirmed, break whatever ˹ties˺ Allah has ordered to be maintained, and spread corruption in the land—it is they who will be condemned and will have the worst abode.” [Surah Ar-Ra’d:13, Ayat:25]

Also, the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) further elaborate on the importance of family ties. The Prophet said,

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari: 6138]

A person once asked the Prophet about the best deed in the sight of Allah. The Prophet replied,

“The prayer at its proper time.” The man asked, “What else?” The Prophet said, “To be good and dutiful to your parents.” The man asked, “What else?” The Prophet said, “To participate in Jihad in Allah’s cause.” [Sahih al-Bukhari: 527 & 2782]

What are the Punishments for Breaking Family Ties in Islam?

Punishments for Breaking Family Ties

Breaking family ties is considered a grave sin in Islam, and there are several consequences. Here are some punishments for breaking family ties:

1. Allah’s Displeasure

Breaking family ties displeases Allah, and the Quran warns of severe consequences for those who engage in such behavior. This may result in a loss of Allah’s blessings and mercy.

According to the holy Quran:

ٱلَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مِيثَـٰقِهِۦ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦٓ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْخَـٰسِرُونَ

“Those who violate Allah’s covenant after it has been affirmed, break whatever ˹ties˺ Allah has ordered to be maintained, and spread corruption in the land. It is they who are the ˹true˺ losers.” [Surah Al-Baqarah:2, Ayat:27]

2. Curses and Corruption

The Quran mentions that breaking family ties can lead to corruption on earth. Different forms of social and personal strife may result from the consequences.

Allah says,

فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَن تُفْسِدُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوٓا۟ أَرْحَامَكُمْ ٢٢ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ فَأَصَمَّهُمْ وَأَعْمَىٰٓ أَبْصَـٰرَهُمْ ٢٣

“Now if you ˹hypocrites˺ turn away, perhaps you would then spread corruption throughout the land and sever your ˹ties of˺ kinship! These are the ones who Allah has condemned, deafening them and blinding their eyes.” [Surah Muhammad:47, Ayat:22-23]

3. Exclusion from Paradise

Numerous Hadiths emphasize the gravity of severing family ties. Jubair b. Mut’im said on behalf of his father that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said,

“One who severs the tie of kinship would not enter Paradise.” [Sahih Muslim: 2556-a, Sahih al-Bukhari: 5984]

All these Quranic references and hadiths emphasize that maintaining family ties is a religious duty and a means of attaining Allah’s pleasure and entering Paradise. While it is generally discouraged to cut ties with family, there are some exceptions (without parents).

In What Circumstances a Muslim Can Break the Kinship?

Cutting ties with family members may be allowed or even advised in exceptional circumstances. Note that these circumstances are generally limited and specific.

1. Protection from Physical Abuse

If a family member poses a threat to your well-being, whether it be physical, emotional, mental, or sexual abuse, Islam allows for protecting oneself by distancing from the abuser.

2. Preserving Faith

When a family member actively opposes or tries to offend your faith, you can lessen your relationship with them. If they threaten you financially, limiting contact may be a means of self-preservation and religious preservation.

Importance of Family Ties in Islam: Building Relationships Based on Prophetic Teachings

In Islam, breaking family ties is considered impermissible. Islam emphasizes the importance of maintaining solid familial bonds, and it is considered one of the primary objectives of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Quranic verses and Hadiths provide clear guidelines for establishing and sustaining healthy family relationships. Therefore, we should strive to nurture our relationships with family members, even in challenging circumstances.

Omar Abdullah

Leave a Comment