Making Salām to a Fāsiq


As-salamu alaykum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatuh

1) Is it permissible to initiate salaam with a faasiq (like clean shave and/or  izzar below ankles)?

2) Is it permissible to smile at them?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

You enquire how should one deal with a fāsiq especially in this era where fisq is common and whether one can make salām to a fāsiq and smile at them. Your question is relevant to our times.

A fāsiq is he who commits a major sin and invokes the wrath and anger of Allah on him [1]. This is a serious issue. If we show complacency to a fāsiq and don’t care of the sin he commits, it is an expression of disregard to Allah. Such an attitude also makes one deserving of the wrath and anger of Allah. It is for this reason that praising and honouring a fāsiq is prohibited.

Rasūlullāh (Ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) has said in a Ḥadīth,

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَغْضَبُ إِذَا مُدِحَ الْفَاسِقُ فِي الْأَرْضِ

It is reported from Anas (raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu), he says that Rasūlullāh (Ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, verily, Allah ‘azza wa jal is angered when a fāsiq is praised on earth. [2]

It should also be noted that we have the responsibility to correct and reform people around us.

Allah Ta‘ālā says,

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient. (Sūrah Āl Imran, 110)

If we do not stop evil and wrong, evil and immorality will become widespread and eventually good people will also get caught up in the evil.

However, correcting and reforming people is a huge challenge. This can only be possible with the help of Allah.

Sharī‘ah does not permit us to simply know and stay away from wrong; it is also our responsibility to correct the wrong. The focus of sharī‘ah is the end result, change and reformation. For that, one has to apply his mind carefully and analyse what is the best approach in achieving the change and reformation. This is referred to as ḥikmah (wisdom). Allah Ta‘ālā says in the Qur’ān,

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ 

Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! Thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright. (Sūrah an-Naḥl, 125)

Reverting to your query, on whether one should make salām to a fāsiq and smile at him; this depends on what attitude will be most effective on such a person. At times, adopting a harsh attitude may be effective in jolting the sinful person as is the case of a very close family relationship. At other times, it may be better to be loving and diplomatic to such a person as in the case of a distant relationship.

To illustrate the difference between the two, Zaid is the father of ‘Amr. Amr is indulged in some inappropriate conduct. In this situation, if the father adopts a negative attitude to ‘Amr and he knows ‘Amr will be deeply affected with such attitude and jolt him to change, then such an attitude will be appropriate and regarded as ḥikmah.

If Zaid and Zāhid just know each other, they are not family or close relatives. Zāhid is indulged in some inappropriate conduct. It is not appropriate for Zaid to adopt a negative attitude to Zāhid and ignore him as that will suit Zāhid fine. In this case, he would be left free to do as he wishes. It is more wise and suitable for Zaid to be in touch with Zāhid to distract him from the sin and use the opportunity to advise him.

While we should not honour a fāsiq and we should not be complacent to sin, we have a responsibility to change the situation around with wisdom.

If it will be more effective in not making salām and smiling, adopt that attitude. If making salām and smiling will be more effective, adopt that attitude with the intention for changing and reformation.

In brief, which attitude will be most effective depends on the person’s insight and careful analysis of the situation.

And Allah knows best          

(Mufti) Bilal al-Mahmudi

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

[1] حدّثنا محمّد بن بكّار بن الرّيّان، وعون بن سلّام قالا: حدّثنا محمّد بن طلحة، ح وحدّثنا محمّد بن المثنّى، حدّثنا عبد الرحمن بن مهديّ، حدّثنا سفيان، وحدّثنا محمّد بن المثنّى، حدّثنا محمّد بن جعفر، حدّثنا شعبة، كلّهم عن زبيد، عن أبي وائل، عن عبد الله بن مسعود، قال: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم: «سباب المسلم فسوق وقتاله كفر» قال زبيد: فقلت لِأبي وائل: أنت سمعته من عبد الله يرويه عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم؟ قال: نعم، وليس في حديث شعبة قول زبيد لأبي وائل. (صحيح مسلم (١/ ٨١))

م: (لأنه متأول فيه، وكره أبو يوسف ومحمد -رحمهما الله- التسليم عليهم) ش: أي على اللاعبين بالشطرنج م: (تحذيرا لهم) ش: أي لأجل تحذيرهم عما هم فيه

م: (ولم ير أبو حنيفة – رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ – به بأسا ليشغلهم عما هم فيه) ش: أي لم ير أبو حنيفة بأسا بالسلام عليهم حتى يشغلهم عما هم فيه. (البناية شرح الهداية. ج ١٢ ص ٢٥٣)

 [2] أَخبرنا أَبو عبد الله الحافظ، نا أَبو جعفر محمّد بن أَحمد بن سعيد الرّازي [ص:٥١٠] إملاء، نا أَبو زرعة الرازي، نا عيسى بن إبراهيم القرشيّ، نا المعافى بن [ص:٥١١] عمران الموصليّ، نا سابق وهو ابن عبد الله الرّقّي، عن أبي خلف، عن أنس بن مالك، قال: قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم: إنّ الله عزّ وجلّ يغضب إذا مدح الفاسق في الأرض. قد جاءت رواية في ذم مدح الفاسق، من حديث أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه. (شعب الإيمان  ٥٠٩/٦)

قال الإمام البيهقي رحمه الله: أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ، نا أبو جعفر محمد بن أحمد بن سعيد الرازي إملاء، نا أبو زرعة الرازي، نا عيسى بن إبراهيم القرشي، نا المعافى بن عمران الموصلي، نا سابق وهو ابن عبد الله الرقي، عن أبي خلف، عن أنس بن مالك، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إن الله عز وجل يغضب إذا مدح الفاسق في الأرض». (شعب الإيمان ٤٥٤٣)

وقال أيضا رحمه الله: أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ، نا أبو جعفر أحمد بن عبيد الحافظ، نا يعقوب بن إسحاق الهمداني، نا رباح بن الجراح، نا سابق البربري، عن أبي خلف، خادم أنس، عن أنس، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إذا مدح الفاسق غضب الرب، واهتز له العرش». (شعب الإيمان ٤٥٤٤)


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