How Do I Convince My Nephew to Maintain Ties with Us?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


My sister has a 12-year-old son from her first marriage. He was living with both parents after their divorce, but in the past year, he has been living with his father only. He told his mother that he does not want to see her or any relatives from her side. I am his aunt. We miss him and love him. We want to keep family ties. Under Shariah, what are we expected to do when a relative has cut us off? Do we wait for him to come back? Or be proactive? But how? We don’t have his number. But we do know where he lives.


Thank you for your question. I empathize with your sadness, and I pray that your nephew changes his mind. He is quite young to make such a big statement, and I pray that Allah guides him to what is right.

Maintain Ties

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The one who maintains ties of kinship is not the one who reciprocates. The one who maintains ties of kinship is the one who, when his relatives cut him off, maintains ties of kinship.” [Bukhari]

Be Loving

The best thing that you can do is be open and loving with your nephew. You can write him a letter, and drop it in his mailbox. When you do get a chance to interact with him, you should be kind and loving instead of making threats and demanding to know why he treats you poorly. Let your character speak for itself, and his mistake will be plain to him.  Make du`a that Allah guides him and gives him the know-how to navigate life with his divorced parents. Also, make excuses for his behavior.

Remember, the goal is that when he thinks of you, he only thinks of you in a positive way. Follow this hadith in how you deal with him: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness, and He grants reward for it that He does not grant for harshness.” [Ibn Maja]

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May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.