Answered by Ustadha Saira AbuBakr
I live in a midsize and tight-knit Muslim community that has become like family. My husband and I are trying to decide whether to stay here or move closer to my parents and sister. But some of them have abandoned Prayer, and express much ungratefulness, gossip, and negativity. I don’t even feel like I could leave my children with them unsupervised.
Am I doing a disservice to my family by choosing to live further from them?
Answer: walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah,
May Allah ease your situation. Know that tribulation, especially when it comes by way of family members, is the tribulation of some of the prophets. Abu Lahab, a fierce enemy of Islam, was one of the uncles of the Messenger of Allah, peace and prayers upon him.
Lut and Nuh were tribulated with unrighteous wives (as well as a son, in Nuh’s case).
The greatest amongst you in tribulation are the prophets and then those most like them and those most like them. Hadith (Sunan Tirmidhi, Musnad Imam Ahmad)
As parents, your (and your husband’s) first priority is that of your children; to raise them well and to provide them with spiritually beneficial company and surroundings; not necessarily an easy task being that we are in the last days. Also, know that quality is better than quantity, so if they have a few positive influences, that is better than a plethora of influences that are a mixed bag. The negative influences are very difficult to remove from the heart and often leave very lasting impressions, especially on children.
Once your children are adults and have developed a strong muslim identity, if you and your husband choose to move closer to your family, in the hopes of being a good influence on them, that is a different matter. inshaAllah your children too, at a later stage in life, can assist you in this matter.
I strongly suggest, at least for now, to focus on your immediate responsibility and not spread yourself too thin. And Allah knows best.
May Allah give you divine success in this matter.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani