Are there any places where being cross with somebody is permissible?

The Details of the Question
Are there any places where being cross with somebody is permissible?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The period of being cross with a Muslim is at most three days. It is not permissible to be cross with a Muslim longer. Therefore, a Muslim must not be in cross with another Muslim more than three days even if he is right. If a person wants to talk a person who is cross but if the other person does not want to talk, the responsibility of the person who wants to talk is removed. The one who does not want to talk becomes responsible.

There is a strong and unbreakable bond among the people who believe in the same Allah, same Prophet and the same holy things and who support the same cause of belief. It has a different loftiness since there exists the consent of Allah and love of religion in the foundations of this unity.

People born of the same parents are regarded as brothers; similarly, people who believe in the same lofty values are regarded as brothers. This kind of brotherhood, which is usually more important than kinship brotherhood, is a grant and bounty of Allah to us because when the light of belief does not settle in hearts, people become enemies to each other. What brings the together is only a divine power. As a matter of fact, this truth is stated as follows in the Quran:

And hold fast, all together by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love so that by His Grace, ye became brethren...”1

The most important responsibilities that this brotherhood encumbers upon a believer are loving each other for Allah, helping each other when necessary and not to deny any support to them. They should not have the feelings like hatred, jealousy, backbiting, obstinacy, hypocrisy and enmity that harm the bond of brotherhood. However, since man has a soul, since he has some feelings due to his power of passion and since he is always followed by devils of human and jinn, the feeling of love in his heart is overshadowed and feelings of hatred and enmity try to replace them.

When a person is exposed to such things, he needs to remember the importance of spiritual values and to compensate them as soon as possible. Otherwise, a tiny stain in the heart can gradually grow and cover the whole heart. The recommendation of our Lord to believers in such a situation is as follows:

The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers: And fear Allah that ye may receive Mercy.”2

Besides, it is cruelty and injustice for a Muslim to bear hostility, hatred and grudge against his Muslim brother. It is necessary to heed the following statement so as not to be exposed to such sorrowful situations:

See now what a great sin is rancor and enmity toward a brother believer! If you were to say that ordinary small stones are more valuable than the Kaa’ba and greater than Mount Uhud, it would be an ugly absurdity. So too, belief which has the value of the Kaa'ba, and Islam which has the splendor of Mount Uhud, as well as other Islamic attributes, demand love and concord; but if you prefer to belief and Islam certain shortcomings which arouse hostility, but in reality are like the small stones, you too will be engaging in great injustice, foolishness, and sin!.”3

Although one tries not to have any feelings that harm love, sometimes resentment and anger take place between brothers. The Prophet warns his ummah regarding the issue:

It is not halal for a Muslim to leave his brother for more than three nights. When they meet, they both turn their faces away. The best one of them is the one that greets first.”4

Imam Muslim mentions that hadith under the heading, “the prohibition of being cross with someone for more than three nights unless there is a religious excuse”. In the explanation of the hadith, the following is stated: “Man has a soul so he may be cross with his brother; however, it must not last longer than three days. It is mubah to wait for three days since the issues causing disagreement and resentment will soothe in three days.”

Under the heading, “the permissibility of being cross with a sinner”, Imam Bukhari reaches the conclusion that it is permissible to be cross with someone for a period of time when there is a justifiable excuse by giving some examples from the history of Islam. As a matter of fact, the Prophet did not talk to Kab bin Malik and his two friends, who did not take part in the Battle of Tabuk, for about fifty days and asked the Companions not to talk to them until they repented. Awni, who wrote a book explaining Bukhari, reaches the following conclusions while explaining the hadith of Kab:

It is permissible not to greet a person who commits sins and to leave that person for three days and not to answer him when he greets.”

Awni states the following while explaining the heading, “the permissibility of being cross with a sinner”:

It is permissible to be cross with and not speak to someone who commits a religious sin for a while based on his situation and the degree of his sin. If that person has committed a major sin, it is necessary to be cross with him, not to approach him and to stop talking to him.”5

In this case, it is regarded permissible to stay away from someone who insists on committing bad deeds that Islam prohibits because it will be a kind of punishment for him.

Besides, it is permissible for a believer to keep away from and to stop talking and meeting a person who can harm his religion, honor and property and who can prevent his religious activities because such a person is not included within the scope of the hadith that prohibits  being cross with more than three days.


1. Aal-i-Imran, 103.
2. al-Hujurat, 10.
3. Mektubat, p. 243.
4. Muslim, Birr wa’s-Sila: 25.
5. Umdatu’l-Qari, 22: 144.

Mehmed Paksu

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