Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My brother and his wife are very toxic people and have disrespected my mother in the worst ways possible.
I’ve spoken to him to explain but he doesn’t get it. He’s throwing a birthday party for his daughter and wants to invite me. I’m confused whether I should take part in his happiness knowing how much my mother has been degraded and cries every day due to it. My mom is a pious woman of good character. So many people would agree with this.
As a Muslim what is my duty, and how should I respond to my brother’s invitation, as his wife has never kept any relation with us or let his daughter spend time with us. Should I disregard what has been done to my mother? If he can’t be true to my mother, who am I as a sister?
Thank you for your question. I pray that you can solve this issue and take steps to better their relationship if you are able.
I don’t know whether your mother is invited, and I would not go if she is not invited. I definitely would not cut your brother off, or make any threats, but you could tell him that you aren’t comfortable coming to a house where your mother is not welcome. Or you can say that you are prepared to come over with your mother and that it’s a good chance to share happy occasions together and start afresh. I believe it is disrespectful for you to go to a party that she has been banned from. Please display politeness, honesty, and patience in this.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Ibn Maja]
Join the Hearts
I urge you to reconcile their hearts with each other as much as possible. Speak only of good things when you are speaking about one to the other, and encourage them to get together. Invite them over together if you can, or ask them to meet you outside somewhere to have dinner together, or just coffee. Be the religious influence in your brother’s life and always tell him how you are practicing so that he might do more. Remind him that he is teaching his child how to treat her parents when she grows up. Most of all, turn to Allah and ask Him to guide your brother to being kind and loving. Allah can change the hardest of hearts, and that is not hard for Him.
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, 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.