Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab
Questioner: O Shaikh! Regarding hating a person, isn’t it so that a person must love his brother for the Sake of Allaah, and hate for the Sake of Allaah, give for His Sake and withhold for His Sake [too] … by hating, I should hate someone for their ideology not for their person, if he is a Muslim and prays, not hatred …, I hate, for example, his ideology and not him personally?
Al-Albaani: I do not think there is a distinction between the two things except when the dislike of the person who is doing the action which is in opposition to the legislation leads to ostracising him, then [we say that] it is not allowed to hate him to that extent.
Namely, boycotting someone is not done just because a person falls into something which opposes the Sharee’ah, for if that were the case then the entire Islamic community would be taken to pieces because not a single one of us is free of something which another person may dislike in him, putting aside whether this hatred is regarding something justifiable–we are now only talking about hatred when it’s justifiable, so what do you think if it is for something false.
There is not a single one of us except that another person will dislike something in him. So boycotting is inapplicable due to such a dislike. But we do not imagine that we dislike the evil action committed by this person while [at the same time] not disliking the source of the action. So these are two things which it is not possible for us to split one from the other.
But I say that it is fitting that when we dislike someone for a wrong action he has done it does not necessarily mean that we are allowed to break relations with him, clear?
And this boycotting, without doubt, is a means of educating in Islaam but it, firstly, is implemented only concerning a person who performed a disliked deed which is not customary of him, and secondly it must be noted whether the boycotting will realize the desired goal, which is to educate this person and bring him back to the correct path. So if the boycotting will realize this goal then it should be done and if not, then it shouldn’t.
Many of our practicing brothers always discuss [the issue of] boycotting a person: for example, [boycotting] someone who has left praying or is a backbiter or a tale-carrier or who does some well-known sins, so the question about whether we should boycott him is asked. And this person they are asking about may be a relative, even a close relative through marriage or blood.
So we turn the attention of those asking this question to this principle: do you feel that if you boycott this person who is doing such and such, that it will benefit him or will his stance be, as I mention sometimes, like that of the man who used to be a sinner, someone who had left the worship of his Lord, who then repented and resolved to pray his first prayer at the mosque. He went to the mosque and found it closed, and so said, ‘You’re closed and I have a day off [from praying].’
So if this person who you want to boycott has no concern about your boycotting him, what is the benefit of it then?
Rather, the opposite is correct–that you stay in touch with him, advising him, reminding him every time the opportunity arises.
So, firstly, boycotting is not done for some trivial reason and secondly, even if it is to be done for something which the person doing it deserves to be boycotted over, it is obligatory upon us to study the situation of the community/society we live in.
And from that about which there is no doubt is the fact that, with deep regret, the community today does not help the Muslims who want to boycott another since the reality is that he will not even care about this ostracism.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 563.