The obligation to respond to an invitation for banquet by phone or other forms of substitution which express it | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
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Sunday 19 Dhu Al-Hijjah 1441 H - August 09, 2020 G



Fatwa: 799

Category: fatwas about etiquettes of marriage

The obligation to respond to an invitation for banquet by phone or other forms of substitution which express it

The question:

After three years of my marriage with a straight brother, my sister got married with a man who did not want to know him. After about one year, my sister gave birth to a child. When I asked my husband to take me to visit my sister, he refused on the pretext that he does not know her husband nor his family. Moreover, what made my husband stick to his decision, is that my sister’s husband invited him by phone to Al-`Aqîqa of his child(1) at the last minute. So, is it obligatory to answer an invitation made by phone? And may Allah bless you.

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

The husband should not prevent his wife from visiting her relatives, because Allah تعالى enjoined to keep the ties of kinship even if they sever them, and to visit the sick of them, to felicitate the healthy among them and to condole with the affected person among them, and comfort them when a calamity befalls them and others. He should be lenient toward them even if they are cruel, in accordance with Allah’s تعالى saying:

﴿إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى﴾ [النحل: 90].

The meaning of the verse:

Verily, Allâh enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allâh Alone – Islamic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsân [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allâh, totally for Allâh's sake and in accordance with the Sunna (legal ways) of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allâh has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.)﴿ [An-Nahl (The Bees) : 90].

And Allah’s saying:

﴿فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِنْ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَنْ تُفْسِدُوا فِي الأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ﴾ [محمَّد: 22].

The meaning of the verse:

Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?﴿ [Muhammad: 22].

Allah تعالى said also:

﴿إِلاَّ الْفَاسِقِينَ. الَّذِينَ يَنْقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللهُ بِهِ أَنْ يُوصَلَ﴾ [البقرة: 26-27].

The meaning of the verse:

…only those who are Al-Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, disobedient to Allâh). Those who break Allâh's Covenant after ratifying it, and sever what Allâh has ordered to be joined (as regards Allâh's Religion of Islamic Monotheism, and to practise its legal laws on the earth and also as regards keeping good relations with kith and kin﴿ [Al-Baqara (The Cow): 26-27].

Moreover, the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said, “Allah said: I am Ar-Rahmân. I created the Rahim (womb, i.e. family relations) and derived a name for it from My Name. Hence, whoever keeps it, I will keep ties to him, and whoever severs it, I will sever ties with him”(2), and whoever prevents from a religious obligation and the limits of religion, he is someone who debars from the path of Allah which is a characteristic of disbelieving people; they hinder (people) from the Path of Allâh, and would seek to make it crooked.

Allah تعالى said:

﴿إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَيَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ الَّذِي جَعَلْنَاهُ لِلنَّاسِ سَوَاءً الْعَاكِفُ فِيهِ وَالْبَادِ﴾ [الحج: 25].

The meaning of the verse:

Verily! Those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from the Path of Allâh, and from Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) which We have made (open) to (all) men, the dweller in it and the visitor from the country are equal there [as regards its sanctity and pilgrimage (Hajj and 'Umrah)].﴿ [Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage): 25].

It is not permissible that a Muslim be marked by attributes of disbelievers and hypocrites.

On another hand, if the Muslim is not invited to a banquet of his brother in faith even if there is a kinship between them, he should have a good opinion of him, because he could be during his wedding absent-minded and worried, so we should not think badly of him, in accordance with Allah’s تعالى saying :

﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ﴾ [الحجرات: 12].

The meaning of the verse:

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins.﴿ [Al-Hujurât (The Dwellings): 12].

And Allah’s saying:

﴿لَوْلاَ إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ ظَنَّ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ خَيْرًا﴾ [النور: 12].

The meaning of the verse:

Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it (the slander) think good of their own people﴿ [An-Nûr (The Light): 12].

The Messenger صلَّى الله عليه وسَلَّم said, “Beware of suspicion for suspicion is the falsest talk”(3).

This being said, inviting to a banquet can be made orally, and this is the principle in expressing things, oral expression includes also calling by phone in transactions and concluding contracts, in commitments and others, whether by expressing one’s will directly or through intermediaries like telephone or something instead of it like letters, by writing or by making signs for a mute, that is why it is said that “The pen is one of two tongues” and “Writing to a remote person is like speaking to a near person”. The jurists issued the following ruling “What is written is like what is spoken” and the rule “The common sign by a mute is like the expression of the tongue”. Ibn Al-Qayyim رحمه الله said, “Terms are not meant by themselves, but they are signs which are used to indicate the meaning of the speaker, if the meaning is clear by any way, then it will take effect, whether it is a sign, a writing, a hint, a mental indication, a present clue or a steady habit ”(4).

So, if the sign replaces the expression in case of incapability, and writing replaces the expression in case of need, then the closest to these two means should be taken as the ruling.

Hereupon, if a Muslim is invited by telephone which is used as a means of interlocution, it will be obligatory to answer the invitation, in accordance with the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saying, “If anyone of you is invited to a banquet or anything else, he should attend it.”(5)

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Dhu Al-Qa`da 22th, 1428H.
Corresponding to: December 2nd, 2007.



(1) Al-`Aqîqa: Immolation made by way of thanks for the newborn child. Translator’s note.

(2) Reported by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “ Zakat ”, concerning upholding the ties of kinship (hadith 1694), by At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “ good and keeping the ties of one’s kin” concerning what is reported about breaking family ties (hadith 1907), by Ahmad in Al-Mousnad (hadith 1659) an by Al-Hâkim in Al- Mustadrak (hadith 7271) on the authority of `Abd Ar-Rahmân Ibn `Auf رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Ahmad Shâkir in his Recension of Musnad Ahmad (3/139) and by Al-Albâni in As-Silsila As-Sahîha (hadith 530).

(3) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “ Marriage ” concerning the fact that one should not demand the hand of a woman who is engaged to another Muslim until the first suitor marries or leaves her (hadith 5143). He has also reported this hadith in chapter of “ Good manners ” concerning the verse:

﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا...﴾

The meaning of the verse:

O you who believe! Avoid …﴿, (hadith 6066), by Muslim, chapter of “ Good, keeping the ties of one’s kin and good manners” (2/1192) (hadith 2563), by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “ Good manners ” concerning suspicion (hadith 4917), by At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Good and keeping the ties of one’s kin” concerning what is reported about having a bad opinion of someone (hadith 1988) and by Ahmad in Al-Musnad (hadith 7858) on the authority of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.

(4) See: I`lâm Al-Muwaqqi`în by Ibn Al-Qayyim.

(5) Reported by Muslim, chapter of “ Marriage ” (1/650) (hadith 1429) on the authority of Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما.