Establishing Contact With Estranged Family Members


Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: Asalaamualaikum warahmatullah,

We have family on my dad’s side that we don’t talk to and it’s really getting me down. My parents are really stubborn about the whole matter and don’t want to make peace so I tried for myself about a month ago and am still waiting. I know I shouldn’t but I feel so jealous when I see them getting on with other members of my family and really wish we could sort things out. I can feel myself falling into a state of depression because of this. Is there anything you can suggest from an Islamic viewpoint? Are there any supplications I can recite or any other actions I can take?

Answer: In the Name of the Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Thank you for your question.  The upshot is to continue reaching out to your family, patiently and respectfully work on and pray for your parents to come around, shun feelings of jealousy and exalt in the blessings Allah has showered upon you.  To reiterate, there are four points:

1) Reaching out to estranged family: Keep up your efforts to connect with them in a sincere and loving way.  Do not give up, even if they don’t respond, and do not be disheartened.  Don’t be overbearing, but show good character and good cheer.  There is great reward in following this act from the life-example of the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

2) Respectfully and gently work on your parents.  Do not push them too hard or argue, but explain the virtue of joining family ties in the eyes of Allah Most High.  Remind them that by forgiving and forgetting, they are taking the higher road.  Make dua’ for them- their hearts are in hands of Allah, and we cannot control anyone.  Do not take the pressure upon yourself, but consign this to Allah.

3) Jealousy is a spiritual disease of the heart, and you should shun it when you feel it.  Jealousy means you are not pleased with what Allah Most High has allotted someone else over you, and may wish that they lose that blessing- while Allah is All-Wise.  The solution is to seek Allah’s refuge when it rears its head and ask Allah to purify your heart, make consistent dua’ for the people you are jealous of that Allah Most High bless them with more of that same good thing, and count your blessings.

4) A believer should not become depressed, and never despair of the mercy of the Most Merciful.  Pour your feelings out to Allah when alone, in dua’, so they are not pent up inside you, and ask Him to relieve you of your worries.  Think of all the blessings He has given you, then see how small this problem is in that context.  Realize that these are tests that occur in a believer’s life, and resolve that no matter the outcome of this, it is all part of Allah’s wisdom, and it won’t stop you from getting closer to Allah Most High each day.

Just to add, it is permissible in this case to make up small [realistic!] niceties to tell each side, with the intention of healing rifts, such as saying, “My parents send salam to you all,” or “Uncle was asking how you both were doing, and said it was finally time we got together again”.  This can soften the hearts and push one side to make the first move.  May the Lord of Hearts join their hearts.

Wassalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani