Can You Advise on Navigating My Feelings with a Toxic Family?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I’m navigating family challenges with a narcissistic brother and strained relationships, especially with my sister. Despite my brother’s promised change after a police incident, distance remains. My mom dismisses my efforts to share Islamic values due to cultural beliefs. The family dynamic feels toxic, and my dad’s self-centeredness, despite his awareness of Islamic behaviour, concerns me.

I am seeking advice on fostering connections and addressing these issues. With severe bullying at school, coupled with family challenges, it has led to trust issues and impacted my well-being. Any advice on navigating these feelings? Sometimes I would like to get married to feel loved but fear having a toxic partner in the future who fails to meet my needs.


Thank you for your question. I empathize with your pain and frustration and I pray that you come to heal from the toxicity and negativity around you. With the help of Allah, it is not difficult.


We all have needs that need to be met, and these are fulfilled by different means. However, the Provider of all these means is Allah Most High and I urge you to turn to Him entirely and seek solace and comfort through Him, not through His creation. Seeking to please Allah, learning His religion, reciting His words, and making dhikr of Him, and renouncing all that displeases Him, are the first keys. Then I recommend that you find good friends who are positive and religious and a good influence on you. Finally, I encourage you to spend your spare time for charity, volunteering, helping others, offering service, and taking care of yourself through exercise and nutrition.


Your family is not the first toxic family in Muslim society, and I pray that you find patience in dealing with them. Make it your standard to always speak the truth, be patient and not engage when there is no benefit. In sha’ Allah, you will see the fruits of your noble character with time. Getting married is a good option, but choose a man for religion and character, and be prepared to provide the same to him. Make abundant dua for this.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“Avoid falsehood, for falsehood leads to wickedness and wickedness to Hell; and if a man continues to speak falsehood and makes falsehood his object, he will be recorded in Allah’s presence as a great liar. And adhere to truth, for truth leads to good deeds, and good deeds lead to Paradise. If a man continues to speak the truth and makes truth his object, he will be recorded in Allah’s presence as eminently truthful. [Abu Dawud]

And 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]


Please say this Quranic dua daily:

“رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا”

“Our Lord! grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.” [Quran, 25:74]

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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.