It was narrated by Aboo Ayyoob: Allaah’s Messenger said, “It is not lawful for a Muslim to boycott (avoid/abandon) his brother for more than three nights. When the two of them meet, this one turns away and this one turns away (i.e. they turn away from each other); and the best of them is the one who initiates the greetings (to the other one first).” [Agreed upon by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].
Shaykh Uthaymeen said, “From the benefits of this hadeeth:
The prohibition of boycotting the sinful Muslims, since the sinful person does not have the status of brotherhood removed from him just because of his sinning.
Have you not considered [the fact that] the killing of a human being intentionally – is one of the most severe of the major sins.
Despite this, Allaah, Azza wa Jalla, said, “O you who believe! Al-Qisaas (the Law of Equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by his brother (or the relatives of the killed) against blood money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood-money to the heir should be made in fairness…” Al-Baqarah, 2:178.
Thus, He (Allaah) has made the killer to be a brother to the one who has been killed.
Similarly, fighting with the believers has been called disbelief by the Messenger of Allaah, where he said: “Abusing a Muslim is disobedience and fighting with him is disbelief.”
Despite this, Allaah, the Most High, said, “And if two parties or groups among the believers fall into fighting, then make peace between them both. But if one of them outrages against the other, then fight you (all) against the one which outrages till it complies with the Command of Allaah. Then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily, Allaah loves those who are the equitable. The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allaah, that you may receive mercy,” al-Hujuraat, 49:9.
These are very severe sins due to which a person is considered a disobedient sinner (Faasiq), and in spite of that he is not considered to be outside the (status of) brotherhood (al-Ukhoowah). Hence, it is prohibited to boycott the sinners.
However, the exception to this is if the boycott of such people is a [benefit], such that it becomes a deterrent which prevents them from committing sin. In this situation, the boycotting is obligatory, since it will be a means to eliminating evil. This comes under the subject of prohibiting evil. Otherwise, when boycotting the sinful people does not benefit them at all [and it] will increase in separation and alienation and dislike for the truth and the people of truth – as in the case today with many of the people – many of the sinful people – when they are boycotted by the good people – they hate goodness and the people of goodness, and they are increased in defiance [of the truth and what they are being called to].
We say: Boycotting is a medicine, if it benefits, then do it and if it does not benefit, then do not do it. If you are undecided [whether to boycott or not], then what is the original rule? Not boycotting!”
Ref: Excerpts from the explanation of Buloogh al-Maraam entitled ‘Fath Dhil-Jalaal wal-Ikraam’, pgs. 293-295, by Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen.
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie