Questioner: Namely, is it correct to say that … that it is the intention that defines the permissibility or not of backbiting?
Al-Albaani: Yes, it’s just that the intention without doubt is the reference point for all actions, but what I wanted to bring to [your] attention was that a person has to look at himself and not boycott his brother for a purely worldly reason while imagining that he is only boycotting him with the intention of disciplining him.
And a person may lie, for example, or fabricate something, and so another person will boycott him, but saying such a lie or making such a fabrication is not from the nature of this person who is now being boycotted, so it is upon a person to advise and remind him of the forbiddance of what he has done.
For if not, when the door of boycotting another Muslim is opened just because he has committed a mistake then it would mean that it is obligatory upon the Muslims to boycott each other and to cut off from each other and to turn away from each other and that they not be brothers as Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, described them. This is what I wanted to turn your attention to.
Questioner: And on top of that the religion is to sincerely advise one another..
Another Questioner: Namely, if the purpose of disciplining him has been met, who decides that the goal has been reached?
Al-Albaani: When repentance and the fact that he has turned back to Allaah become apparent from the person being boycotted, or at the very least an apology for what he did; we cannot ask for any more than that.
Questioner: Namely, when the one boycotting insists [on boycotting] despite the repentance of the person being boycotted, what is the role of the other Muslims [regarding this]?
Al-Albaani: After he has repented?
Questioner: Yes, the man repented from his mistake, but the one boycotting is still boycotting him and determined on doing so–is there then a role for his friends, relatives or family [to play]?
Al-Albaani: It is as though I understand from your question, and Allaah knows best, [that you are asking] what the role of these other people is, not in relation to the one being boycotted but to the one boycotting, i.e., is the situation turned on its head and the one who was boycotting [himself now] boycotted?
Questioner: … the one boycotted has repented and turned back to Allaah and acknowledged his mistake, but the one boycotting is persisting [in his stance], so should he be left … or, namely, is there something which should be done by a person working on the issue[/involved in the situation, like] going to the one boycotting him and telling him …
Al-Albaani: That must be done, … as for the fact that it is advice, then the Shaikh, the Khateeb [in this mosque] gave this advice [reminding us in the sermon] that the religion is to sincerely advise one another and this was a reminder of the obligation of advising one another.
So if the one who was being boycotted repented and turned back to Allaah, and the one boycotting continued in his boycotting then he is wrong. We do not now say that the tables should be turned as I alluded to earlier, jokingly, the situation is not turned on its head so that the one who was boycotting is now [himself] boycotted, but he should be told that his role has come to an end.
Questioner: And if the one being boycotted tried … two times, three times, but the other person remained firm on his stance of boycotting, is there something that should be required of him …?
Al-Albaani: I’m sorry, the one being boycotted did what?
Questioner: He tried more than one time to give salaam to the other and approach him but the other refuses and insists [on his stance], how long should he carry on trying, namely, is he, by just trying once, twice or three times, not required to try anymore or should he continue trying for the rest of his life …
Al-Albaani: Abu Yahyaa is speaking about the one being boycotted.
Questioner: The one being boycotted tried to dispel the enmity with the one boycotting him, trying one time, another and a third, but that person is insisting on his stance. So the role of the one being boycotted now … he suffices himself by having tried once, twice, three times, and he will lose his mind if he keeps on trying for the rest of his life …
Al-Albaani: This is unreasonable …
Questioner: This is my question?
Al-Albaani: Okay, after your question has become clear then his part [in trying to rectify the affair] has ended and the situation is turned around in relation to the one boycotting such that he is sinful in boycotting. For this reason we say that he is advised because it is not upon the one being boycotted to do more than what you just mentioned except when the issue branches off into monetary rights, for example, where the one being boycotted is not giving back such rights [to their prospective owners].