Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Can you advise me with regards to a situation and the Islamic perspective please? My brother has migrated into another country and keeps refusing to support his parents but seeks their assistance whenever it suits his motives.

I believe they were quite supportive of him and feel all the burdens on my shoulders. How can I approach this problem, it’s not even the physical needs of my parents but the emotional ones that bothers the most.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

You’re in a very difficult situation. There’s nothing you can do to make your brother help, nor should you try to be forceful in your approach. Helping in a time of need is something which stems from care and concern, but life and relationships are sometimes very complicated.

Don’t Expect Anything

You know your brother, and you know what to expect from him. If he hasn’t helped in the past, the chances are that he will probably stay that way. For your own peace of mind, don’t expect to receive anything from him.

If he does want to get involved, then, by all means, let him. You should not expect anything from him. Doing so will save you from the feeling of being let down when he doesn’t turn up.

Is this fair on you? Probably not. But if he’s not getting involved then you can’t really force him to. Sometimes, Allah makes other people a test for us in our lives to see our reaction. “We have made some of you a difficult tribulation for others of you. Will you be patient?” (Qur’an; 25:20)

Whatever you endure, you’ll be rewarded and compensated fro many times over. Allah is too generous not to reward you abundantly.

Have Empathy

Look at your brother. I don’t know the exact situation, but I’m guessing that there is some experience which has affected him some way. How was his relationship with your family members growing you? How was he with your father?

Many a time, our experiences affect our behaviours. Perhaps he went through something which is making it difficult to engage with your family now. Allah knows.

Give him the benefit of the doubt. If he has a legitimate excuse, Allah knows it. Otherwise, you’ll be gaining from what is literally a windfall. Your service of you father may just end up the means which guarantees you Paradise without any prior punishment of judgement. Would that not be worth it?

Communicate with Him

I think you should try and speak to your bother. Not about his conduct, but about why he feels he needs to be distant. Express what you feel, and how it is affecting you. Listen to how he feels, and how being involved would affect him.

Perhaps you will see each others perspectives, and that may become a bride to clearing matters for you all.

May Allah unite your heats in the best of ways.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)