Saturday | 22 February 2020 | 28 Jamadiul-Thani 1441
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Fatwa Answer

Question ID: 866 Category: Knowledge
Hadith Question

Assalamu aleikum "Shariahboard of America"

I have some questions about this hadith "The Muslim is not allowed to abandon a Muslim brother more than three days. If three days pass and he meets him, he should greet him. If he (the other believer) returns his greeting, then they share the reward; but if he does not return it, he (alone) will incur the sin."
1) Is this hadith not only relevant to fellow Muslims whom i normally "have contact" to? For instance if i don't talk to a Muslim, it doesn't mean i abandon him or ignore him, maybe it could be just that I dont have anything in common with that person? 
2) I also know Muslims whom i have known for many years, but we dont talk to each other more(not because we hate each other, but we have our own business, and we haven't maintained contact), and we see each other, we don't talk together. Will it in this case islamically be seen as we are abandoning each other, even though we don't have ill feelings toward each other?
3) And lets imagine a scenario where I and a fellow Muslim, argued over some personal things, and we both decided that we would not talk to each other. Then according to this hadith we can be angry at each other for 3 days, and after 3 days, we have to talk to each other again. But what if I am not able to come in contact with this person, because he lives in a another city. And I dont know this person's email or phone number. So will i be sinful in this case, even though, it is not possible to see this person because he lives in a different city, and 3 days will easily pass?
4) What if I for instance have not talked to a brother for 4 monts. Will i still be sinful in this case even though i have forgiven this brother in my heart? And could i then make dua that Allah forgives him? Here I am thinking, by making dua for this person, maybe Allah will cancel out the sin because i pray for this brother.
5) and the final question. If i completely ignore a non-muslim, will it be considered as I am "abandoning" him, because the hadith only refere to a "Muslim brother"?
Please sheikh(s) could you answer these questions for me, I can't get an answer elsewhere I have tried with research on Internet(and so on etc.) but I could not find somewhere where it gives a detailed and deep intepretation of this hadith, so I am very depedent upon you(r). So i hope you will please answer these questions I have, because there is not a sheikh that lives in my city. Please help me.
Thank you, may allah reward you

الجواب وبالله التوفيق

The meaning of the Hadith is that it will be sinful for the person who does not respond to the salam.

  • This Hadith is in reference to one’s relatives, friends etc. and not the entire Muslim population
  • This type of conduct is not considered as severing ties
  • In this situation you should say salam to this person when you see them and keep this intention that when you will meet them you will say salam
  • It is good that you have forgiven them and made dua however upon seeing / meeting them in person you should express association with them
  • Non-Muslims are not included in the commandment of this Hadith

واللہ اعلم  بالصواب