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Question 138: I am a Muslim who has a relative that is an admitted alcoholic. According to Ayatollah Sistani what are the laws about keeping a relationship with this relative in this state? Is it permissible to tell others that he is a medically documented alcoholic? What are my rights to him as he falls under the category of a sibling to one of my parents?

Answer 138: It is obligatory to temporarily cut ties with family who constantly commit sins and that pay no attention to what Allah (SWT), the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Infallible Imams (pbuth) have said. If discarding this relationship can possibly cause him to avoid committing sins. This is a type of al-amr bi-l-maʿrūf (bid what is right) wa-n-nahy ʿani-l-munkar (forbid what is bad). Otherwise, you are not allowed to do so.[1]

There is a hadith of Imam Zain al-A’bedeen (a.s) as He recommended His son Imam Baqir (as) to avoid establishing communication with those who commit sins and Islamic laws don’t make sense to them.[2]

However, he committed such sin, but try all your best to help him find the right path and leave drinking alcohol, if you can. Also, try not to abandon him and leave him in this situation where he stymied.

It is recommended to restrict your relationship with him in a way that you just say Salam to him and let him know why you make such decision.

Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq (pbuth) said, “Maintaining good relations with the relatives (Arham) purifies the deeds, increases the wealth, prevents calamities, makes the accounting easy (on the Day of Judgment) and delays death.[3]

For further information, please read the following answer:

Index: Estrangement from people or being with them, answer 060.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masaiel of Maraja’, Vol. 2, Pg. 772, question 1058; Ibid, Vol. 1, Pg. 76.

[2] . Al-Kafi, Muhammad ibn Ya’qubal-Kulayni, Vol. 2, Pg. 376, H 7.

[3] . Usul al-Kāfī, vol. 2, pg.150 & 151.

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