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Islamic Treatment of Relatives You Dislike

Islamic treatment of relatives you dislike

Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

Have you ever hated those extremely annoying aunts who poke their noses in every personal matter of yours that has nothing to do with them whatsoever? Or those absurd ones whose only motive in life is to give you those absolutely lame ‘’hubby lectures’’, i.e. how your age is running out, turning you into an oldie and so you definitely need a hubby to make your life all cool and happening once again! Or those poisonous knife like cousins, who don’t leave a single chance to pick at you and bring disgrace to your life, although you haven’t even ran close to them or may be those smarty pants uncles who keep brainwashing your dad and mom on how girls shouldn’t be educated or given too much freedom with smart-phones and the internet at their fingertips? Or those oldies of the family, who keep threatening your mommy with all sort of freaky possibilities that could happen as a result of their blind trust in you? I am sure if you could, you would probably make them all stand in a line and shoot them down one by one, sporting an evil grin. ha ha!

On a serious note, it’s absolutely normal to dislike some people of your family. Their attitude, behavior, speaking style or rude comments on sensitive matters sometimes could be similar to striking a fierce dagger through your heart, leaving a scar and pain to linger there for an eternity. It can be painful and hard to be patient with such members of the family, but we need to draw a very careful line between the right and wrong and very clearly between the Justice and Discrimination/ inequity.

We need to make sure our hatred doesn’t make us arrogant or sinners in front of the Real Judge – Al Hakeem Al Wise . It is extremely essential to give the Haqq (right) of every one, to make the pieces fall into their right place. It all starts when you snatch the right, and then the fitnah begins because now ‘Dhulm’ has entered into the picture. When you take away anyone’s right, you end up being a dhaalim.

As Muslims, we do not believe in the ‘tit for tat’ policy; just because they are being mean to you, it does not give you the right to violate their I’zza and does not make you any less of a sinner if you misbehave with them. Neither does it grant you a free backbiting session for which you will not be held accountable. Cursing, backbiting, misbehaving, slandering, fighting or cutting ties is definitely not the solution. It is only going to incur Allah’s wrath upon you because all these are not from the Sunnah of RasulAllah ﷺ. And no matter how difficult the situation is, we have to cling to our Deen, we cannot be part time Muslims and let go of the rope of Islam when things become hard.

Imagine the Prophet’s ﷺ reaction and his treatment towards the lady who threw garbage at him every day, without fail. One morning when the lady didn’t turn up to throw trash at him, he ﷺ got worried. He even went to meet her and ask about her well being when he learned that she was unwell. SubhaanAllah! Can you envision the Rehma, Love and Patience of this man who graced the world with his magnanimous light and left a clear enlightened path for us to follow?

We are obligated to tread the same path; there is no shortcut because that’s the only sure-shot path to Jannah. The above example is of a stranger. Whereas here, we are talking about our kin, the relatives, and the family. Despite a hundred issues that you might have with them, you need to try and leave open the door of softness and forbearance.  You cannot let those issues eat at your heart totally. You need to let it go for the sake of Allah.

Let’s go through the points below that shall help us de-clutter the trash that the Shaytaan has been inducing in our minds and see the whole picture in a completely new angle In’shaAllah.

Before allowing those seeds of enmity to grow in your heart, analyze where those people are coming from. Especially if they are old or middle aged, the way they were brought up, the generation they lived in, the background they come from is totally different from yours. Try to step in their shoes before judging them, understand that that is how they were raised, it’s really not their fault. It’s the kind of people/thinking that they grew up with and the kind of life they experienced, and the side of world they saw, which has made them who they are or how they are today.
Thank Allah for not placing you in their positions and ignore their misdoings for His sake. After all no matter what, they are your family and forgiveness will cost you nothing. In fact it will bring you liberation and the Love of Al Ghafoor – The All Forgiving .

If they are those cold blooded fashionistas with raging hormones and an attitude that you just can’t seem to meet eye to eye with, then know that the real cause of your problem is the same as mentioned above. Keep in mind that it’s the type of company and people they interact with, that has shaped them and their attitudes in this manner. Try to be their guide, possibly a loving friend and educate them about the basics of Islam. Avoid accusing or judging or throwing fatwas but rather be extremely easy going and show how beautiful Islam is, actions do speak louder than words. Try to change the wrong picture that the media has painted in their heads and show them the real version by being the best example following the Akhlaaq of our RasulAllah ﷺ. Do not retort in an ugly way if they try and mess with you because since they are the youth, we need to acknowledge that they are the backbone of this Ummah and positive humble gestures could work wonders.
It could be a slow process, but our Islam doesn’t teach us to throw dirt upon receiving dirt, we do it the other way around. We clean the filth on our shirts, as well as theirs, by giving them a friendly hand and leaving open doors for beautiful friendships.
So know how to handle teens; be friendly, loving and smile in every situation and you shall see its effect soon In’shaAllah.

One of the things that will help us not take our wings to the sky by considering ourselves superior is that Hidaayaa is only in the hands of our Rabb, and no one else. Just because we feel we are guided, does not mean we go around cutting ties with those who we feel aren’t. Da’wah is fard upon us. We are asked to call people towards this beautiful way of life. If we dispel animosity, inferiority and do not make any extra efforts, then what is the point of the Guidance that Al – A’zeez The Mighty blessed us with? It is our duty to unite bonds, to keep them close and to strive towards healthy family bonding. So always be humble because being gifted with Hidaaya wasn’t due to our special deeds, but because of Allah’s rehma. Focus on the Dua’as. Make loads of Dua’as for all your relatives, young and old, that Allah softens their hearts and ours.

They may ruin your day, strangle your happy moments or hurt you to a point where you cannot take it anymore and you ultimately feel like blowing up, removing the pent up lava that’s been nestling in your heart. But Halaa Habeebty! Hold On! One of the beautiful characteristic of a Muttaq is that he swallows up his anger in a way that people doubt if he was ever angry and he readily forgives. So it’s not from the mannerisms of Muslims that we explode without controlling our emotions, creating big issues about everything. Instead we keep quiet and allow the angels to fight back for us, thereby earning the pleasure of the Khaaliq.
We need to learn to be a little more generous and ignore the evil by repelling it with the good. This works because when you do this for Al Kareem, He Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala shall, without a doubt, reward you. That is one benefit, but looking at THIS calm attitude of yours, the people in error will be guilty and might even apologize. You could make someone turn over a new leaf. So remember to keep your calm even in the most horrendous circumstances.

Sometimes, as it happens, when family gatherings end in a bitter way, you should make sure that you go next day to your beloved people and get them back on your team. Yep! that’s how we roll in this amazing Deen of ours. Just give some gifts, crack some jokes, and let them know they are an important part of the family and that everyone needs them. Apologize and lower your ego, keep the pride aside and convince them somehow. Once you take the initiative, you shall see how even those irritating aunts of yours who hated you to the nth level, now have a soft corner for you. Love emerges from a space that you create in someone’s heart, by your unique actions, which no one did before.

Keep your eyes open and stay alert, as the super fitnatic gang that breaks every household by spreading malicious rumors and gossip between two families and creates a war zone without anyone’s slightest realization, might just be around the corner. Yes, we need to keep a check on who is doing what in our families, as sometimes there are hidden culprits who are playing dirty games, wearing a gorgeous smile and an affectionate face mask. There are always people who can’t see a family happy together, so never let anyone in the family or you yourself get deceived by such absurd people. Be on a constant look out for them, and warn them then and there, if found red handed.

Take a few steps extra when it comes to forbearance and forgiveness. Check your heart before the little dark spots turn into a river engulfing it completely. Sometimes the situations get so tangled up, that it’s hard to bring two parties together and we are forced to just disconnect from our own family members. In such cases be clear with one thing; that Islam forbids severing of ties. So even if you cannot talk for a certain reason, at least send a text, once in a month email, or maybe a small gift, just a sign that shows that YOU care, even if they don’t. And THAT is going to make all the difference and melt even the harshest of hearts.
One of the things that we are in dire need of until we breathe in this Duniya, is His Maghfiraah, so how do we expect him to forgive us when we can’t forgive one another? It’s easy to break, to destroy and to kill a bond. What takes years is to unite hearts, to build a strong unbreakable family. Strive towards this goal because at the end of the day we are humans and we all are bound to error.

There is a hikmah of Al – Hakeem, that we were in a family, he chose for us this blood and the bonds so now it’s our responsibility to honor the ties and everything that it entails. The path to jannah isn’t an easy one. No one can get there alone and it’s no fun getting there all alone because once we reach near the Al – Firdaus gates, the feeling of entering it with our entire big fat families, including the ancestors, the young, the old, the new would be a rare delight to experience SubhaanAllah! It will all be worth in the end, when we all party together, when none of us gets stuck in Jahannum because we had been successful in pulling them towards jannah. That satisfaction, that victory, that WIN would be a whole new amazingly thrilling feeling, an overwhelming joy that cannot be expressed in words. AllahuAkbar!
May Allah enable us to enter jannah hand in hand with our extended families bi’idhnillah.

Lastly, beautifully united families through the hearts and deen shall lay the wonderful foundation for an unshakeable, magnanimously successful Ummah that our beloved Prophet ﷺ always desired and prayed for. So let the vision not fade, ya Muslimeeen!

Authored by Muslimah Poetess
Edited  by Sana Abdul Samad

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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