Is It Islamically Permissible to Write Fiction?

Answered by SeekersHub Answers Service

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I’ve always been drawn to stories. Is it permissible to write fiction in Islam?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

American Muslims need not be content with just adopting good cultural norms; it is often better to adapt them imaginatively in order to produce results that are more beautiful and more beneficial than what existed before. In this regard, noteworthy achievements have already been made in areas like music, poetry, comedy, journalism, fiction, non-fiction, fashion, and interior design.

Please see: What Role Does Culture Play in Islam?

The general ruling of literature is that it is in itself permitted, and praiseworthy insofar as it improves one’s language, communication, thinking skills, and ability to concentrate (as opposed to things like digital media). Children should be encouraged to read. Parents should, however, nudge them towards wholesome literature–and keep a good mix of Islamic literature for balance and grounding.

There would be a distinction made between literature that is generally wholesome and that is read for good purposes, and that which is to the contrary.

As for fantasy literature, there is fantasy literature that is deeply moral and wholesome (e.g. Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia), and others of rather twisted themes.

Please see: Does the Shari`ah Permit Reading Non-Islamic Literature?

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

SeekersHub Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can I Attend My Nephew’s First Birthday Party When There Is Alcohol Being Served?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My non-Muslim family often have events where alcohol is the main feature of parties and get togethers. Most recently my brother is having a first birthday party for his son with alcohol on tap.

What should I do? We are often put down for our beliefs and feel like outsiders.

Answer:Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out an answer which pleases Allah, and heal the rifts within your family.

Non-Muslim family

This is delicate situation. A gathering in which alcohol is present is not a place for a believer. However, they remain your family, and it is important to keep family ties in a manner which pleases Allah.

I would suggest that you apologise and explain that you are not comfortable being at events where alcohol is served. Instead of attending your nephew’s first birthday party, offer to take them all out for a meal, or a picnic at a park. Provide an alternative setting for them to enjoy your company. Be steadfast on this, and ask Allah to grant them understanding.

Boundaries

Boundaries are important in facilitating harmonious family ties. Make it known to them, calmly and respectfully, that you do not expect them to agree with your religious beliefs, but you do expect them to treat your Muslim family with basic respect.

If you do not stand up to them respectfully, they will continue to think it is acceptable to put all of you down. Your dignity as a believer is sacred. Be an example for your children to follow. Being assertive takes practice, and if you need to, see a counsellor, life coach or psychologist to help you.

Good character

‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported from his grandfather that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Shall I tell you about who among you I love the most and the one who will be seated closest to me on the Day of Rising?” The people were silent, so he repeated that two or three times. Then the people said, “Yes, Messenger of Allah.” He said, “The one among you with the best character.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

As challenging as it can be with your non-Muslim family, try your best to have good character when you are with them. Treat them with kindness, be patient with their shortcomings and make dua for Allah to guide them. The wheel of life is constantly turning, and it is not difficult for Allah to guide your entire family, if He wills.

Be assertive when you need to be, and always follow it up with acts of love and kindness. InshaAllah, through your patience with your family, your heart is being constantly polished. May your interaction with your family grant you a heart which pleases Allah, on the Day you meet Him.

Please refer to the following links:

Is Christmas Haram? Being Muslim in a Non-Muslim Family
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Joey Gannon

How Should I Deal With a Mentally Ill Mother?

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: As Salam Alaykum,

My mother is seriously mentally ill. She fluctuates between emotional extremes. Because of this I have endured a lifetime of severe emotional abuse. I can’t go on living this way with her bullying me. What can I do?

Answer: Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

The Divine Command

Allah Most High says in the Holy Qur’an:

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا (الإسراء 23)
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour (Qur’an 17:23).

In this verse, Allah has prohibited us from uttering the word “uff” (translated above as “a word of contempt”). In Arabic, the word “uff” signifies the slightest degree of annoyance or displeasure. The scholars point out that Allah’s prohibiting us from uttering even the word “uff” to our parents means that greater forms of harm (e.g. verbal abuse, physical harm, etc.) are even more reprehensible.

In addition, Allah Most High says in the Holy Qur’an:

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ (لقمان 14)
And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal (Qur’an 31:14).

Notably, throughout the entire Qur’an, Allah does not command showing gratitude to anyone other than Him and one’s parents (as in the verse above). These and other texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah show the incredible emphasis that Islam places on honoring one’s parents. For more, one could consult Imam Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous (Riyad al-Saliheen), of which chapter 40 is titled “On dutifulness to parents and maintaining ties of kinship.”

A Command Not Unconditional

Although we are obligated to maintain honor and respect for our parents at all times, this does not necessarily mean that obedience to them is obligatory in every situation. Please carefully read this Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s article, which clarifies this issue in great detail.

Given your mother’s mental illness, obeying her when she requests your personal information or that of your daughter could very likely result in serious worldly harm coming to you or your daughter. Hence, you do not have to obey her in these requests. Of course, you should maintain respect and politeness, even when denying her requests. In doing so, you may want to consider enlisting the help of someone who has influence over your mother such as her parent, spouse, sibling, community leader, or religious scholar. Such people can assist in convincing your mother to respect your rights as an independent adult and also to obtain the professional medical care that she clearly needs.

Turning to Allah

Finally, after taking all worldly means to resolve this situation, you should not forget the greatest means of all: turning to Allah, the One who brings ease after hardship. This can be done by increasing in all forms of worship such as prayer, dhikr, fasting, giving sadaqah (charity), etc. In particular, prayer and supplication in the last third of the night is one of the greatest means for one’s requests to be answered. Also, the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) taught us to make the prayer of need (salah al-hajah) for any worldly or other-worldly need that we have. The prayer of need is very simple: It is essentially to raise one’s need to Allah Most High, by performing ritual ablution (wudu), praying 2 rakats (or four), and then making whole-hearted dua to Allah. Any dua is acceptable, but duas that have been transmitted in the Sunnah are best. The dua which has been specifically transmitted in relation to the prayer of need (as recorded by Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) is as follows:


لا إِلَهَ إِلا اللَّهُ الْحَلِيمُ الْكَرِيمُ
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
أَسْأَلُكَ مُوجِبَاتِ رَحْمَتِكَ وَعَزَائِمَ مَغْفِرَتِكَ وَالْغَنِيمَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ بِرٍّ وَالسَّلامَةَ مِنْ كُلّ إِثْمٍ
لا تَدَعْ لِي ذَنْبًا إِلا غَفَرْتَهُ وَلا هَمًّا إِلا فَرَّجْتَهُ وَلا حَاجَةً هِيَ لَكَ رِضًا إِلا قَضَيْتَهَا يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ

La ilaha il Allah Al Halim al Karim
Subhan Allahi Rabi Al ‘Arshi Al ‘Adhim
Al Hamdullillahi Rabi Al ‘Alamin
Ass’aluka mujibat rahmatika wa ‘aza’im maghfiratika wa al ghanima min kuli birr wa al salamata min kuli ithm
La tada’ li dhamban ila ghafartahu wa la haman ila farajtahu wa la hajatan hiya laka rida ila qadaytaha ya Arham ar Rahimin.

There there no god but Allah the Clement and Wise.
There is no god but Allah the High and Mighty.
Glory be to Allah, Lord of the Tremendous Throne.
All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
I ask you (O Allah) everything that leads to your mercy, and your tremendous forgiveness, enrichment in all good, and freedom from all sin.
Do not leave a sin of mine (O Allah), except that you forgive it, nor any concern except that you create for it an opening, nor any need in which there is your good pleasure except that you fulfill it, O Most Merciful!”

Wassalam,
Umer Mian

Photo: Danumurthi Mahendra

When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam’aleykum

A sister is facing difficulties with her parents. It seems nothing she does pleases them. She is organizing a fundraiser but her father accuses her of using it as a means to do wrong. She also teaches 13-15 year old girls in an Islamic school; her father does not want her involved in this either. What can she do?

Answer: Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Obedience to parents is a general obligation, and one of the most central social injunctions of Islam. Being bad to one’s parents is one of the greatest of the major sins, as the Qur’an and our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) repeatedly explained.

Not Unconditional

HOWEVER, obedience is not unconditional and absolute. If parents forbid one from one’s fard, wajib or confirmed sunna duties, one may not listen to them, as is the case if they order one to do something haram or prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman).

If parents forbid one from something recommended (mandub) or permitted in which there is a personal worldly or religious benefit, then there is detail concerning this point:

-If doing this act leads to the non-fulfillment of one’s obligation or duty to one’s parents, such as financially providing for them or serving them if they are old and have no means but you, then you HAVE to obey them;

-If doing so does not lead to such non-fulfillment, or if they are not dependent on your providing or service, then if obedience to them will lead you to forgo real personal worldly or religious benefit, then one may disobey them, though, as some scholars clarify, this would have to be done with respect, politeness and in an indirect, non-confrontational way, because any show of disrespect, or impoliteness to one’s parents is a grave sin. [Culled from Ibn Abidin’s Hashiya, al-Tahanawi’s Imdad al-Fatawa, Shaykh Taqi al-Uthmani’s Commentary on Jami` al-Tirmidhi, and Imam al-Saffarayini al-Hanbali’s Ghidha’ al-Albab]

At the same time, it is especially important for sisters to realize that Islam generally discourages women, especially young women, to spend unnecessary time outside the house, especially when there is fitna or danger, and, as such, some of the parents’ fears about the sister may stem from this, and have some justification. Therefore, while she should not give up doing such Islamically praiseworthy activities, they should not lead her to spend undue time outside the house, and she should do them in a way that keeps her parents happy.

Usually, being exceptionally good, well-mannered, and loving with parents (and others) makes them so grateful to one that they just cannot be upset with you, even if they disagree with your actions. After a while, they will even grudgingly accept that your religious practice has made you a better child and a better human being. This is what we should seek, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I was only sent to perfect noble manners,” And, “The most weighty thing on one’s scales on the Day of Judgement is good character.”

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Jim Boud

I Am a Convert to Islam and My Fellow Muslims Do Not Return My Salams. What Can I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I attend a weekly study circle in the Muslim community in my area, and I say salams to my fellow Muslims. They constantly don’t return my salams. Although I try not to let it bother me, this is something disheartening. How should I respond to this in a proper manner?

Answer:Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Giving salams

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “When one of you arrives at the gathering, then give the Salam, and if he is given a place to sit, then let him sit. Then when he stands, let him give the Salam, the first is more worthy than the last.” [Tirmidhi]

Anas narrated that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “As-Salam (peace) is one of the Names of Allah Almighty which Allah has placed in the earth. Therefore give the greeting among yourselves.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “You will not enter the Garden until you believe and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I tell you something the doing of which will give you love of one another?” “Yes, Messenger of Allah,” they replied. The Prophet said, “Make the greeting common practice among you.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

Please continue to give salams, as it is part of our sunnah, a means of building love, and a reminder of one of Allah’s beautiful attributes. Keep your intention for Allah Most High. Model good character as a means of encouraging others to good. Doing good acts is harder when others do not reciprocate. Persisting in good acts is a sign of your sincerity, inshaAllah.

Good opinion of others

Hamdun al-Qassar, one of the great early Muslims, said, “If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves.” [Imam Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman, 7.522] Excerpt from Making 70 Excuses for Others in Islam – A Key Duty of Brotherhood by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

I am not sure why they are not returning your salams, but try to make excuses for them. Don’t blame it on yourself. You aren’t doing anything outrageous or strange by giving salams. Please rest assured that you’re doing the right thing.

Convert to Islam

“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones).” [Qur’an, 8:46]

I am sorry to hear that you already feel excluded. This is a common challenge for converts to Islam. It is so it is easy to look inwards when others behave coolly towards you. Take heart that nothing is lost with Allah; He is aware of all the good that you do, and He knows your sadness. Take this as a lesson in developing patience with Allah and His Creation. Persevere in doing that which pleases Him, and trust that He will send you an opening.

Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to send you good companions, and to lift sorrow from your heart. Take active steps to seek out friends who increase your love for Allah and His Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace). Good people can be found in good places.

That being said, remember that Allah is your Closest Companion, and He will never let you down.

Please refer to the following links:

I Became Muslim and Am Now Lonely and Depressed. What Can I Do?
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I Got Engaged to My Cousin to Please My Parents. How Do I Break off My Engagement Without Being Harsh?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I got engaged one year ago to my cousin. I dislike him; he is not well-qualified, but I could not refuse my parents. I hoped that I would start loving him, but this did not happen.

I cannot sleep at night. These thoughts affect my studies. How do I get rid of this forced engagement without being harsh?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah ease your hardship and and bless you with the best husband for you.

Parents

It is difficult for many virtuous Muslim children to say no to their parents. However, reflect on your state. You are currently depressed, dislike your fiancé, and your studies are affected. Although we strive to always respect our parents, we do not obey them in that which is haram or harmful. It is clear to me that being engaged to your cousin is causing you many levels of harm.

Solution

I recommend that you speak to your parents calmly, and explain your unhappiness with your engagement. Tell them that you do not want to marry your cousin. Apologise for not being upfront from the very beginning, and say that you did not want to disappoint them. Give them gifts to soften their hearts. Remain respectful throughout your discussions with them.

Whatever you do, try your best to keep calm and respectful. There is no need to resort to harshness to end your engagement. Treating your parents harshly would be impermissible. Ask them to please help you end your engagement. Although It is likely that your cousin, his parents, and your extended family will be very upset by your decision, inshaAllah, that storm will pass. Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to smooth everything over for you.

If your parents do not agree to you breaking off the engagement, is there a compassionate local scholar or community elder who can help advocate for you? Please consult them and ask them for help. Your marriage contract will be invalid if you are forced.

Looking forward

Please complete this course Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life to help you prepare for your eventual marriage. Share what you learn with your parents, so that they will be on the same page as you.

So many parents have disagreements on the topic of marriage and their children. InshaAllah, understanding the spirit and the law behind a successful Islamic marriage will help you and your parents in the future.

Please refer to the following links:

VIDEO: How To Develop Meaningful Relationships With Parents (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Zahir Bacchus & Shaykh Rami Nsour)
Marriage in Islam: A Reader
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I Waited Four Years to Be Married to the Man I Love. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I am in love with a man who proposed to me four years ago. He said he would marry me soon, but it has been four years. Now he said he cannot marry me due to job and family restrictions. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah make a way out for you and bless you with a righteous and loving husband.

Marriage

Narrated `Abdullah: We were with the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.” [Sahih Bukhari]

It sounds like this young man has made it clear – he does not want to marry you. I am so sorry that he broke his promise and your heart. May Allah ease your sorrow. Grieve your loss, then focus on moving on.

Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to remove him from your heart, and to send you the best husband for you.

Marriage is a huge blessing and a protection for you. Being in a pre-marital relationship puts you at risk of committing sinful acts.

Hope

Dear sister, trust in the Mercy and Generosity of Allah. As unimaginable as it is for you to consider marrying someone else, have hope that you will heal and love again.

Please complete this Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life to help you learn the spirit and law behind marriage in Islam. InshaAllah, this course will empower you with knowledge and help you move forward. You will know what to do differently, the next time you are considering someone for marriage.

When you are ready, please speak to your family and trusted close friends, and ask them to help you find a suitable husband. Be clear and respectful when you speak to your parents about what you are looking for in a husband. Start the conversation, if you haven’t already, about wanting to get married. They may have different expectations for you, as many parents do, so try your best to be on the same page. Your parents love you, and want what is best for you. It is best to keep them involved in your marriage process instead of going it alone and getting your heart broken.

Please refer to the following links:

Marriage in Islam: A Reader
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Gianni Dominici

Can a Muslim Boy Meet a Non-Muslim Girl in a Public Place, Unchaperoned, to Discuss Her Interest in Marriage?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Given the current Western society, if a Muslim boy were to meet a non-Muslim girl in a public space to discuss marriage and to gauge her interest in Islam, does she need to be chaperoned? She might not be comfortable with it.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you clarity in this matter, and reward you for seeking out an answer which is pleasing to Him.

Marriage

Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a losers.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Honesty with oneself is critical in matters of the heart. Is this a case of falling in love with a non-Muslim, and then hoping she will convert? Or is this a case of someone who is genuinely interested in Islam?

If she is interested in Islam, then part of nurturing that interest is helping her befriend a trusted Muslim sister. If feelings between the young man and young woman are already there, then it is even more important for a trusted Muslim sister to step in and assist.

Any Muslim looking to get married must know the spirit and the law behind a successful Islamic marriage. Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life is an extremely beneficial course. This course will help increase understanding about how to choose a suitable spouse, permissible ways of getting to know one another, and so on.

Meetings

It is unwise to begin the habit of unchaperoned meetings between a young Muslim man and a young non-Muslim woman. Shaytan is ever-present. This scenario has played out so many times, to so many young people. It often leads to sin, heartbreak, and nobody is closer to Islam.

It would be more appropriate for a Muslim woman to get to know her and ask her if Islam is something she is willing to explore. If she is serious, then introduce her to women who can encourage her to good. Ensure she receives authentic Islamic knowledge from traditional scholars, such as those on SeekersHub.

Once she embraces Islam, then give her time to make good her deen. Changing religions is already a very big adjustment, and the first year of marriage contains many ups and downs. This is why it is so important to remain emotionally unattached. If feelings are already present, then it is important to let go and give things time to run their course. If Allah has written marriage for them, then it will happen.

Comfort

Implementing Islam in our lives is not always comfortable. The Shari’ah is there to protect us from ourselves. It is designed to reduce harm, and to increase good, in both worlds. Remember that Allah is not in need of us, but we are constantly in need of Him.

Please refer to the following links:
Marriage in Islam: A Reader
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Matt Krause

Should I Stop Using Hemp Oil?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I purchased hemp oil for cleansing my face. I did not realize the oil was extracted from cannabis. I’m afraid that placing a warm towel on my face with the oil on is causing me to inhale it. Should I stop using it?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

It would be permitted to ingest such a substance as it is neither being used as an intoxicant, nor in an intoxicating amount. Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds, and I mentioned in a previous answer that:

Hemp seeds would be permitted to consume. Even though it is from the genus of Cannabis, it only contains negligible amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis the drug. Therefore, it would not be impermissible to consume.

Please see: Are Hemp Seeds Permitted to Consume?

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Neon Tommy

My Sisters-In-Law Belittle Us and Their Parents. Do I Need to Maintain Ties With Them?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: How do I deal with my sisters-in-law who boldly disrespect their parents and their brother? They often criticize, correct & belittle their parents, their brother, me and my small children.

Am I obligated to keep ties with them and if so, to what extent?

It has started to interfere in our relationship with my husband’s parents because they live there.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah lift this tribulation from you. Being tested by family members is very heartbreaking. Trust that Allah hears your dua.

Family ties

‘Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Merely maintaining the ties of kinship is not adequate. But connecting the ties of kinship is when ties to the womb are severed, and he connects it.” [Tirmidhi]

As painful as this might be for you to hear, yes, you are still obligated to maintain ties with them.

Solutions

1) Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to lift this tribulation from you.
2) Keep contact with your sisters-in-law to a minimum. For example, visit them during the two Eids and break your fast with them at least once in Ramadan.
3) Send them gifts with the intention of pleasing Allah. Try your best not to expect acknowledgement or gratitude from them.
4) Instead of visiting your family’s home, arrange to have a meal with your parents at a local cafe or restaurant, or invite them over to your home. If your parents ask why, explain that you’d like a more pleasant visit.

Children

Please take the time to comfort and guide your children. It is so sad that they have become afraid of their critical aunties. May Allah heal this rift, and fill all of your hearts with sincere love and concern, for His sake.

If your children ask why their aunties are behaving this way, tell them what Ustadh Usama Canon explained: “Hurt people, hurt people.”

Please use this hardship as a learning opportunity. Explain to your children that although what their aunties is doing is wrong, they are still family, and the Prophetic response is to maintain family ties. That being said, emphasise that their safety and dignity is important, and teach them how to stay safe. Help them to be assertive, while remaining respectful.

If they are old enough, role play what they can say to their aunties, and what they can do, the next time they are belittled. If they are still too young, then please advocate for them, and make it clear to your sisters-in-law that it is unacceptable for them to treat your children like that. If they resist, then minimise your children’s exposure to them.

Explain that there is an adab to giving advice to others, and share stories of how kind and gentle the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) was when he gave counsel to others.

Children who are exposed to verbal and emotional abuse from their family members begin to expect it from others outside their family. This makes them vulnerable to future abuse from other people. Please keep this in mind, and watch out for red flags as they face challenges in school and beyond.

Please refer to the following links:

A Reader on Family Ties
The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Kham Tran