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One of the most fundamental features of Islam’s vision for society is upholding the ties of kinship, particularly between children and their parents—whom they are obligated to treat with excellence.

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good…” [4:36]

This fundamental is sometimes put in danger by some cultural practices and norms. We have noticed that there has been an increase in the number of Muslim couples turning to an anti-Islamic practice found in their local cultures, of denying meaningful relationships between their children and their ex-spouse, without a valid Islamic reason or due process.

This is a grave injustice (dhulm) on three levels:


Dhulm against the deprived parent

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Whoever separates a mother from her child, Allah will separate him from his loved ones on the Day of Resurrection.” 

It is dhulm against the deprived parent and family, and a major sin since the Prophet ﷺ warned of a hereafter-related punishment for it. It is also a cutting of the ties of kinship, another major sin with multiple warnings throughout Islam.

Allāh, the Most High, said: “‘I am al-Rahmān (the Most Merciful). I have created al-rahim (ties of kinship) and derived its name from My name. Whoever joins them, I shall join with them. And whoever severs them, I shall cut them off.’”


Dhulm against the children

It is dhulm against the children themselves, and the rest of society. There are many wisdoms behind Allah commanding the children’s fundamental right to have meaningful relationships with both of their parents and wider families, and there are many social vices that result from a disturbance of this divine plan.
Britain has the highest proportion of lone-parent families of any major European country, with 1 in 3 children living without a parent. 50% of children go through the trauma of seeing their parents divorce by the age of 16, and 70% of young offenders come from lone-parent families.
In America, 1 in 4 children live with one parent, and research shows that they are 4 times at greater risk of poverty, 7 times more likely to become pregnant as a teen, and at greater risk of a host of social ills from infant mortality to drug and alcohol abuse to going to prison and even obesity.


against Allah

It’s also an injustice against Allah because it involves a lack of submission to His instructions, choosing instead to act by desire for vengeance or cultural or societal norms that go against divine guidance. The obligatory level of taqwa of Allah is hence breached.

But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission. [4:65]

Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith]. [5:50]

And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers. [5:44]

A Toxic Practice

Muslims are able to live in any time and place, and partake in the cultural practices of all people in so far as they do not involve a transgression of Allah’s rights or those rights He has given others. Harming Allah’s creatures is a particularly grave matter, which will not be forgiven on the Day of Resurrection, and there is no barrier between the oppressed and his or her Lord.
No matter how “good” a Muslim we are, if we die having taken another slave’s rights without due process—even if we believe they “deserved it”—our good deeds will not wipe away the sins against someone else. We will be taken to account on the most terrifying day that will turn a young man’s hair white and make a pregnant woman miscarry out of dread. Life does not always go according to our plans. Islam was not revealed for a utopia but for real life—where sometimes relationships break down. We want to empower our community to be able to deal with disputes and divorces in a way which pleases Allah and protects them, their children, their families and society at large from the knock-on effects of injustice, in this life and the next.

Fast Facts:


Unfortunately when family members get involved in disputes it often leads to disaster. Be extremely careful not to let your personal relationships lead you to ‘taking sides’ in a dispute. There are always two sides to a story.


The best thing you can do—and the only advice you should give—is to encourage them to deal with their dispute and receive professional guidance in an Islamic way. Visit our resources page to find reputable services in your area to offer guidance.


Take part in this campaign to spread awareness and make this harmful, society-destroying practice toxic to help future generations.

Download our resources pack