Question: My extended family has become estranged from one another. It is so bad that my younger cousin called and disrespected his aunt, my mother. His sister just gave birth, and I am torn between sending wishes and just ignoring her like a stranger. They have stopped talking to us and two years ago and spread malicious things about us. Yet, we continue to ignore the negativity. What is the proper thing to do when you’ve tried to be neutral in all this?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration with your relatives. It is wrong and hurtful to be lied to and disrespected by a relative, especially by a young person.
The absolute best advice that I can give you is here:
-As with everything, turn to Allah first. Hold up your end by not missing any prayers and reading some Qu’ran every day with the meaning. Learn the obligatory knowledge of your religion and apply it as best you can.
-Make du’a, especially before dawn. Ask the Most High to rectify these relationships and to make everyone mature and wise and realize what is important in this short life.
-Always be the bigger person. Your taking of the first steps to mend a relationship will be tremendously rewarded and great blessings will follow. Do not bring up the past and just announce that you want everyone to get along. Send wishes to your cousin for her newborn.
-After mending relations, keep a distance, keep the contact minimal, and do not accept abuse. If you find that keeping a healthy relationship is to only interact a few times a year, do that. Your family’s dignity and sanity are more important than seeing them often.
-Ask Allah to always purify your heart of grudges and to send you a circle of friends and family who benefit you and encourage you to do good and to grow.
May Allah reward you for your sincerity and give you all 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, 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.