Please note: The answers on Hawramani.com constitute friendly advice rather than fatwas. Where relevant, we translate the opinions and fatwas of respected scholars and present them in our answers.

Can you remain in contact with a relative who left Islam?

Salaam. my aunt left Islam. She says bad things about Islam and sometimes wants to challenge me academically but I don't have adequate knowledge so I ended up more doubtful. As my aunt she cares about me and she's nice to me. I had a lot of issues with my computer back then went I was writing my thesis and she bought me battery abroad when I couldn't find the model here. And when my salary wasn't out she bought me clothes. And now she gave me money. //1

She has helped me financially when I needed it the most. But I’m wondering can we accept gifts or money from people who leaves Islam? I didn’t give back her stuff or say no thank you partially because it’s very disrespectful in my culture and to not cause issues in the family as the family ties are strong here. But also because I needed at those times. I had to write my thesis etc . Should I give sadaqa the money and the gifts? //2

She has helped me financially when I needed it the most. But I’m wondering can we accept gifts or money from people who leaves Islam? I didn’t give back her stuff or say no thank you partially because it’s very disrespectful in my culture and to not cause issues in the family as the family ties are strong here. But also because I needed at those times. I had to write my thesis etc . Should I give sadaqa the money and the gifts? //2

Islam forbids entering into a relationship of wilāya with such a person, but it does not forbid maintaining a polite relationship with them or accepting help and gifts from them. To clarify this, here are the relevant verses from the Quran:

O you who believe! Do not ally yourselves (wilāya) with your parents and your siblings if they prefer disbelief to belief. Whoever of you allies himself with them—these are the wrongdoers. (Verse 9:23)

We have advised the human being to be good to his parents. But if they urge you to associate with Me something you have no knowledge of, do not obey them. To Me is your return; and I will inform you of what you used to do. (Verse 29:8)

1. O you who believe! Do not take My enemies and your enemies for supporters (wilāya), offering them affection, when they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the Truth. They have expelled the Messenger, and you, because you believed in God, your Lord. If you have mobilized to strive for My cause, seeking My approval, how can you secretly love them? I know what you conceal and what you reveal. Whoever among you does that has strayed from the right way.2. Whenever they encounter you, they treat you as enemies, and they stretch their hands and tongues against you with malice. They wish that you would disbelieve… 8. As for those who have not fought against you for your religion, nor expelled you from your homes, God does not prohibit you from dealing with them kindly and equitably. God loves the equitable.9. But God prohibits you from befriending (wilāya) those who fought against you over your religion, and expelled you from your homes, and aided in your expulsion. Whoever takes them for friends—these are the wrongdoers. (Verses 60:1-2 and 8-9)

The term wilāya has no exact equivalent in English. It means to make someone your friend, patron and protector. It involves physical and emotional dependence and submission toward the person for your social status, safety and protection. God forbids us from entering into such a relationship with someone who dislikes our religion and hopes to one day make us disbelievers like themselves. Your aunt appears to fit this description, therefore the Quran’s guidance on this matter is to not make them your patron and protector. But you can still maintain polite relations with them and accept their help and gifts. What is forbidden is becoming dependent on them and submitting to them, everything else is left to your own discretion.

And God knows best.

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