What Kind of Relationship Should I Have with Thieving Relatives?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I have a question related to relatives. My uncle stole my father’s wealth, took money from places my father was unaware of, and when my father confronted him with proof, he denied it, belittled my father, and more. I am omitting the lengthy details. How am I supposed to keep a relationship with such family members? I wish to keep my distance from them.


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for being an honorable son to your father and for wanting to protect yourself and your family from evil.


You are obliged to protect yourself and your family from their harm, so I don’t see how you can have a normal relationship with them. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” [Ibn Maja]

I recommend minimizing contact with him and sending him messages on Eid and Ramadan, so you don’t completely cut him off. You can call him occasionally and visit or call when he is sick. Time will help heal the damage, and I pray you can reach the point with him where you return to a normal relationship.

Also, be sure not to enter into financial dealings with him again. Stay on guard because one should use himself to see if the other person has changed. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The believer does not allow to be stung twice from one (and the same) hole.” [Muslim]

Plan to Forgive

As I was taught, I recommend you hate your uncle’s actions and not him and intend to reconcile when you sense that he has changed. Eventually, plan to forgive him as this is a high trait of noble character. We hope that if we forgive others, Allah will forgive us. May Allah make it easy for you.

Please see these links for more details on cutting ties of kinship:
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?

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.