How to Mend Relations with My Family Abroad?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My deceased father’s family has never tried to connect with me from childhood until now. I only saw them  1-4 times a year as my dad was working abroad and could not take me very often. They always blamed me as a child that I did not call them.

Now that I am 19, I don’t have feelings for them, but for the sake of God, I call them on essential occasions even though they never reach out the same way. My father died last year, and they still never contact me. I don’t want to be punished in this Dunya for my fragile bond with my family. What should I do?

Answer

You seem to be doing the right thing with your family members.

They should not have blamed you for not calling them when you were a child because it is not proper or correct to put social expectations on a child. Now that you are 19 calling them on essential occasions is enough. If you want to do more, you can call them a bit more often, perhaps once or twice a  month. A message to their cellphones can even take the place of a call sometimes. Every time you call them, you are doing a good deed for the sake of Allah, and I encourage you to keep a good attitude. Never expect anything in return. People who usually blame others for not keeping in touch don’t do it well themselves. May Allah reward you for your efforts.

What is the Minimum Amount of Relationship I Have to Keep with a Relative I Hate?
How Do We Maintain Family Ties With Bloodthirsty Relatives?

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

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters 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.