Quora Answer: In Islam, it is a Sin to Break Ties with Relatives?
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is my answer to a Quora question: “In Islam, it is a sin to break ties with relatives? What if there is a possibility that the relatives would harm you and your family, and you are scared to maintain relations with them?”
Religious law must be considered with some common sense. In Islam, we worship Allah (s.w.t.), not the letter of the law. How do we define family? Does it mean every person we are related to, regardless of their intentions, ill or otherwise towards us? That would be illogical. If someone intends you harm, they are not family. In the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.), the ones who intended the greatest harm towards the Prophet (s.a.w.) were the very ones who were related to him. This was the same with many of the swahabah, companions. They did what they had to do, including meeting them in battle. In our time, even if these family members may profess the religion, this principle still holds true.