Question: I do not get along with my brother-in-law. I have been trying for years to teach myself to be more tolerant. The problem is deeper because he does not get along with most people. On one account I asked his parents to get him a psychiatrist because I worry he will not be able to get along with anyone and my sister is married to him. But my in-laws just told me to apologize to him. I will lose my mind soon. What can I do?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration because you are dealing with family and in-laws at the same time. May Allah help you reconcile with him and keep the peace.
Considering that the brother-in-law is not your mahram, I think that you should be content being as far away from him as possible. There is no reason for you to see him often, or if you must, then there is no reason for you to interact with him often. You can interact with your sister, your husband, and his parents and keep a respectful distance from him.
As for suggesting that he needs a psychiatrist, I feel that this was overstepping your bounds, and it was rude. There is always a delicate way to deal with in-laws, and any bold suggestions should only be made by your husband while you keep your opinions to yourself. Always show an appearance of neutrality to your in-laws. I would apologize if I were you and leave his mental health to his family.
Be Gentle and Helpful
As a sister, the best thing that you can do is help your sister when she needs it, advise her only when she asks for it, and give her tips on dealing with her husband. Do not stress her out, and do not insist that she does such-and-such. Rather, be gently encouraging, and do not tell her everything that is wrong with her husband. Her duty is to him and you will slowly make an enemy out of her if you keep judging him. Nothing will make her love you more than showing her that you respect her husband.
Please see the links below for more advice on this topic:
May Allah rectify your affairs and give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadh] 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, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.