Unlawful earnings: Suspicion and assumption

Q655 :A relative of mine has a modest monthly salary, but he is leading a life of plenty. He seems to be able to have whatever money he needs. I know that his extra earnings are unlawful. Is it permissible to eat anything at his house? How are his children and the rest of the family affected by his actions?

A655 : I object to your statement, "I know that his earnings are unlawful". How do you know? I believe that this is only an assumption on your part. Your relative may have another very lawful source of income which you do not know. He might have got into a business partnership with someone and that is giving him his extra income. As Muslims, we always think well of one another. We do not form our judgment on mere suspicion. You may have good reasons for your suspicion, but you do not claim it to be the truth unless you can substantiate it with irrefutable evidence. Having said that, I move on to answering your specific questions. If you are absolutely certain that the majority of your relative's earnings are unlawful, then it is the right thing for you to avoid eating anything in his house or receive any benefits from him. As for the position of his wife and family, it depends on whether they know of his misdeeds or not. If his wife is aware of the fact that his earnings are unlawful and she encourages him, then she is his partner in sin. If she is unaware of what he does, then she is not accountable for his deeds. His children are not responsible for what their father does, particularly if they are young. However, a Muslim is always keen to feed his children only with what he knows to be lawfully earned. It is that type of lawful earning that brings blessing and good future to a family.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )