Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Greeting the Shi’ah first


What is the ruling on greeting a Shi’i first with salaam? Especially since I mix with them a great deal and they do not proclaim their beliefs openly or slander (the Sahaabah) etc.

Praise be to Allaah.


What we say about interacting with the Shi’ah depends on the
situation. The innovated beliefs of the Shi’ah vary. If it is something that
does not put them beyond the pale of Islam, but is rather regarded as
drifting away from the right path, such as their claiming to be devoted to
Ahl al-Bayt (the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him)), then it is permissible to greet them first, because they are
Muslims who have committed acts of innovation and sin that do not put them
beyond the pale of Islam, and we have to advise them and direct them towards
the Sunnah and the truth, and warn them against innovation and sin. If they
follow right guidance and accept advice, then praise be to Allaah, for this
is what we want. But if they persist in following innovation, then they
should be forsaken until they repent to Allaah and give up their innovations
and evil ways, because this is a kind of punishment for them. If something
good can be achieved by means of this forsaking, or something bad warded
off, then it is prescribed in sharee’ah, but if this forsaking will result
in something that will increase the evil caused by their innovations, then
it is not prescribed. 

If you think that not forsaking them will serve a greater
interest and that mixing with them and advising them is more useful in
opening their hearts to true religion, then there is nothing wrong with not
forsaking them, because the aim behind forsaking them is to direct them to
the right way and to make them feel that we do not approve of their ways, so
that they may come back to true Islam.

If forsaking them will harm the Muslims’ interests and make
them cling more firmly to their false ways and put them off the truth, then
it is better not to do that, just as the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) did not forsake ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ubayy ibn Salool, the
leader of the hypocrites, because not forsaking him was more in the
interests of the Muslims. 

But if their bid’ah constitutes kufr, such as cursing the
Sahaabah and exaggerating about ‘Ali and Faatimah and al-Hasan and al-Husayn
(may Allaah be pleased with them), and they pray to them and seek their help
and ask them for support and so on, or their belief that they have knowledge
of the unseen etc, which means that they are beyond the pale of Islam, then
in this case it is not permissible to greet them first or to befriend them
or to eat meat slaughtered by them. Rather we must hate them and disavow
ourselves of them, until they believe in Allaah alone, because in this case
they are kaafirs and apostates. See Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam,
28/216-217; Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 4/262-263 

It should be noted here
that it is not permissible to greet a kaafir first in general terms, such as
saying Ahlan wa sahlan (welcome) and so on, because that involves honouring
them and venerating them, and the Muslim is higher in status before Allaah,
so we should not greet them first. But if they say that to us then we may
greet them in the same manner as they greeted us, because Islam is the
religion of justice that came to give each person his rights. 

Al-Majmoo’ al-Thameen min Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen,

See also question no.

And Allaah is the source of strength.

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