Can a Son Force His Mother to Wear Hijab?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked whether a son can force his mother to wear hijab.

Can a teenage son force his mother into hijab or certain types of clothing?

A teenage son cannot force his mother to do anything, but he can and must, just like anyone else, command her to comply to Sharia which includes wearing the hijab and dressing modestly.

Please see What Are the Requirements of Hijab? for more detail.

It would be a good idea for both mother and son to read these together too: A Reader on Calling to Allah, Giving Advice, and Commanding the Good.

I pray this helps.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

How to Command the Good and Forbid the Evil? (Habib Umar bin Hafiz )

Answered by  Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Question: Assalam aleykum

What should we do when we see our brethren falling short or performing a sinful action or leaving an obligatory command of Allah?

Answer: [Assalam alaykum]

Seeing one of the brethren falling short or sinning or leaving obligatory commands entails several obligations upon us.

Having a Good Opinion and Avoiding Arrogance and Disdain

The first obligation is that we do not look down upon him, nor expect his bad ending. Rather we advise him for the sake of Allah (Mighty and Majestic), knowing that perhaps this very same person, who today we are trying to rescue from sins, will be an intercessor for us on the Day we meet Allah (Mighty and Majestic).

Prohibition of Looking Down Upon Others

So despise the sinful action, do not despise or look down upon any Muslim. Indeed the Prophet (may Allah peace and blessings be upon him and his folk) has forbidden this attitude of hatred and looking down upon even those who have committed enormities (major sins) and even people who have had a capital punishment (hadd) applied to them, and has rebuffed whoever acted like this.

The Alcoholic Who Loved Allah and His Messenger

For example, he said to the companion, who insulted another companion for being punished four times for drinking alcohol, “Do not be an aid for Satan against your brother” and “Stop this. Indeed, he loves Allah and His Messenger.” Rather, the sincere repentance of this man was true because of the effect of that love upon his heart.

Backbiting a Sinner

Another example is the Companion (may Allah be pleased with them all) who confessed to committing fornication; each time, the Prophet (may Allah peace and blessings be upon him and his folk) turning away from him, until he (finally) commanded that the maximum punishment (hadd) be applied. After the Companion was stoned, the Prophet (may Allah peace and blessings be upon him and his folk) heard two companions talking, one saying to the other, “Did you see how he died like a dog dies?” The Prophet (may Allah peace and blessings be upon him and his folk) became angry. Then, when he passed by a dead sheep he brought these two and told them to eat from it. They answered: “…How can we eat a dead animal?” He (may Allah peace and blessings be upon him and his folk) responded,

“What you have eaten of your brother’s flesh is worse more filthy than this the dead animal (mayta). And he is now being swimming in the rivers of Paradise.”

Offering Advice in the Most Effective Way

The second obligation is to offer sincere advice to the brother. This should be done in a tactful and considerate way and priority should give to the method that will most likely affect him positively.

Dangers of Neglecting Inward and Outward Duties

These two obligations must be coupled together. Neglecting these obligations leads to pride and vanity on the one hand, and the belittling of sins on the other. Thus, [these obligations] must be awake in our conscience, and in our families, and our gatherings, and at work, and while riding in the car with friends.

The Spread of Darkness

There has to be a conscience that drives one to avert sins upon seeing them. For if we remain silent after seeing someone who has deliberately left an obligation or committed a sin, the darkness of that act will infiltrate us by the very action of remaining silent while we had the ability to rescue and advise. Therefore remaining silent and taking this [obligation] lightly will cause a many sins and wrong actions to spread. Thus both tasks are upon us : the task of purifying and refining the heart so that it does not view one’s self as being better than the sinner, and the task of doing what can be done to rescue him.

Translated by: Abdullah Alrajhy

Please see also: The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Habib Umar bin Hafiz  is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.

Link to the original answer


ما الذي يجب علينا عند رؤية التقصير من إخواننا أو فعل المعصية أو ترك الواجب ؟


رؤيتُنا التقصيرَ من إخوانِنَا أو فعلَ المعصيةِ أو تركَ الواجبِ يترتَّبُ عليه منا واجبات:
الواجبُ الأولُ: أن لا نتكبَّرَ عليهم ولا نجزم بسوءِ مصيرِهِم، بل ندينُ اللهَ تعالى بنصحِهِم، متوقعين أنَّهُ ربما كان هذا الذي ننقذُهُ اليومَ من المعصيةِ شفيعاً لنا يومَ نلقى الله، لأن الخاتمةَ والمصيرَ غيبٌ عنا، فلا نقيمُ الأمرَ على احتقارِ من رأيناه يعصي. فاحتقرِ المعصيةَ ولا تتكبرْ على أحدٍ من المسلمين، فقد نهى صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم عن التعاملِ بمثل ذلكَ مع أهلِ الكبائرِ ومن أقيمَ عليهم الحد، وزجرَ عن ذلك من بدرتْ منه البادرة، وقال للذي سبَّ من ضُرِبَ لأجلِ الخمر مرات (لا تكن عون الشيطان على أخيك)، (لا تفعل إنه يحبُّ اللهَ ورسولَهُ). فكانت التوبةُ فيما بعدَ ذلك صادقةً من أثرِ تلك المحبة. ولما رُجِمَ من اعترفَ بالزنا أربع مراتٍ وهو صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم يعرضُ عنه ثم رجمَه، فمضى بعد رجمِهِ فإذا باثنين يتحدثان؛ يقولُ أحدُهُما: ألا ترى كيفَ ماتَ هذا كما يموتُ الكلب. فغضبَ صلى الله عليه وسلم، ولما مرَّ على شاةٍ ميتةٍ قال: أين فلانٌ وفلان؟ قال: كُلا، قالا: يا رسولَ اللهِ يغفرُ اللهُ لك، كيف نأكلُ ميتة!؟ قال: (ما أكلتما من لحمِ أخيكما أنتنُ من هذا، وإنه الآنَ لينغمسُ في أنهارِ الجنَّة) هذا الأمرُ الأولُ.
الأمر الثاني: أن نستعملَ الوسائلَ لإنقاذِ صاحبِنا بإبلاغِ النصيحة له، مقدِّمينَ أقربَ الوسائلِ وأليقَها بخطابه، أو أكثرها تأثيرا عليه.
فهذانِ الأمران يجبُ أن يقوما معنا، وبسبَبِ تركِهما ينتشرُ الكِبْرُ والعُجبُ من جانب، وينتشر الاستخفاف بالسيئاتِ من الجانبِ الآخر، فلا بد أن تكونَ يقظةً في الضمائرِ، ووسط الأسرِ، وفي الحلقاتِ التي تضمنا في مناسباتنا، وفي وظائِفِنا، وعندما نلتقي مع أهلِ العمل، وفي السيارات التي نركب فيها مع الأصحاب، لابدَّ من ضميرٍ ينبِّهُ للزجرِ عن السيئاتِ. فإنه إذا رأينا من ترَكَ الواجِبَ قَصدًا أو فَعل المحرَّم ثم سكتنا؛ سرتْ الظلمةُ إلينا بسكوتٍ في وقتِ قدرةٍ على إنقاذِهِ أو على بلاغِهِ ونصحِهِ بما نقدرُ عليه، فبهذا التساهلِ والسكوتِ تنتشرُ كثيرٌ من السيئات والمخالفات، فلا بدَّ من القيامِ بالمهمَّتين: مهمةَ تهذيبِ القلبِ حتى لا يتكبَّرَ على المذنبِ، ومهمةِ النـزوع على الفعلِ إلى ما ينقذُهُ بما يُسْتَطاعُ من ذلك..

How to Advise and Correct Others in Islam? (Video)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How to Advise and Correct Others in Islam?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

I Am Now Religious, but My Boyfriend Is Not. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I am in love with someone who is not practising religion. I didn’t use to practise it either, but now I am, and we’ve been together for the past 5 years. I’m trying hard to change him, but it’s hard for him. Do I keep trying to change him?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out clarity on this issue.

Moving forward

Dear sister, alhamdulilah for the gift of Allah guiding you to the deen.

Your priority right now is to remove yourself from a state of sinfulness. This means that you must end your relationship, make a sincere repentance, and trust in Allah. None of us have the power to ‘make’ anyone else religious.

If he wishes to be closer to Allah, then he needs to do so without you. Trust that Allah will send him the support he needs. If he does make a sincere repentance and approaches you for marriage, then please perform the Prayer of Guidance about what to do. If Allah makes it easy for you both to marry, then that is a sign for you. If He blocks that path, then that is a sign for you.

However, if he makes no attempt to change and does not make he effort to marry you, then please move on. Heartbreak is one of the hardest things to experience in this dunya, so please turn to Allah in this time, and reach out to close friends or family for support. If you have nobody to talk to, then speak to a culturally-sensitive counsellor who supports your decision to save yourself for marriage.


The best thing you can do for yourself is end this relationship, and start a new chapter in your life.

I encourage you to do this course to give you a deeper understanding of marriage in Islam: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life.

Please read Surah Al-Waqi’ah regularly to increase your provision. Perform The Prayer of Need and ask Allah to bless you with a husband who has both deen and good character. May Allah make this trial easier for you to bear.

Please see:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
My Heart Has Been Broken by a Man But I Can’t Move On. How to Get Over This?
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

Is It My Duty to Distance Myself From My Friend Who Committed Zina?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: By accident, I found out that my close unmarried friend was having intercourse. I confronted her about the sin, to which she nervously denied. Do I still continue to be friends with her, or is it my duty to disassociate from her influence?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out clarity on this issue.


Narrated Jarir bin `Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.” [Bukhari]

As your friend has fallen into zina, I urge that you approach her from place of sincere concern, and not one of judgement. Ask yourself what you would like from a friend, if you were in her situation. Falling into major sin does not happen overnight. It is often a slow progression resulting from increasing distance from Allah.

If you feel that your presence in her life will remind her of Allah and give her hope in His Mercy, then please stay friends with her. If you feel that she is negatively impacting your relationship with Allah, then distance yourself from her. Weigh the pros and cons. Be honest with yourself.


If you are unsure about how to proceed, please perform The Prayer of Guidance and ask Allah to guide you to what is best. Watch how events unfold in your life. If it becomes difficult to maintain a friendship with her, then that is better for you. If it becomes easier to maintain a friendship with her, then that is better for you.


If you choose to stay friends with her, please give your friend time to make good on her Islam. Support her in acts of khayr e.g. encourage her to join you in attending Islamic classes and other places of good, break fast at each other’s homes during Ramadan etc. Do what you can to support her, while guarding your own acts of worship. Do your best while remembering that only Allah can guide.


I encourage you to make dua for your friend, even if you choose to end your friendship.

I pray that Allah guides her, protects you, and reunites you both in Jannah.

Please refer to the following links:

How Can I Help Non-Practising Family and Friends?
I Committed Sexual Misdeeds: What Must I Do to Repent?


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Mother of My Friend Tries to Shake My Hand. Should I Avoid Visiting His Family?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Through my friendship with my friend and his muslim family, I embraced Islam. However, they don’t observe rules of gender interaction. When his mother and aunties try to shake hands with me and I refuse, they get upset. How should I deal with it?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for wanting to do that which pleases Allah.

Keeping ties

Abu Ad-Dardh narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer.” [Tirmidhi]

Alhamdulilah for your friend’s family being the means to your Islam. What a tremendous blessing! I encourage you to still visit them, but for special occasions e.g. Eid and Ramadan at a minimum. Explain to your friend why you feel uncomfortable when you visit. InshaAllah he can tactfully communicate that to his womenfolk, and they can learn to adjust if they wish to see you more often. Any relationship requires give and take. Your request is reasonable.

Make dua for Allah to guide them, give them gifts, be kind to them, and model good character. Allah has blessed them through you making good on your Islam; you have the opportunity to be a positive influence on them.

Please see:

A Reader on Calling to Allah, Giving Advice, and Commanding the Good


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: jakub

A Convert Sister Left an Abusive Relationship and Has Had False Rumours Spread About Her. What Can I Do to Help?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: A convert sister left an abusive relationship. Some people have mentioned very negative rumours about her. As a result, people now look down on her and some of the sisters are no longer talking to her. She feels unwelcome and unsafe at the mosque. What can I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking help in this difficult tribulation.


Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden from the burdens of the world, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens on the Day of Judgement. And whoever helps ease a difficulty in the world, Allah will grant him ease from a difficulty in the world and in the Hereafter. And whoever covers (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will cover (his faults) for him in the world and the Hereafter. And Allah is engaged in helping the worshipper as long as the worshipper is engaged in helping his brother.” [Tirmidhi]

Please continue being a friend to this sister. Treat her with respect, compassion and acceptance. I pray that your kindness towards her will count heavily on your scale, on the Last Day. Offer to go with her to the mosque until she is ready to return on her own.

When she feels dispirited, remind her of Maryam (may Allah be pleased with her), who was slandered most severely. Truly, Allah tests those whom He loves. Remind her that her worth does not lie in what creation thinks of her, especially when they are mistaken. Reassure her that when Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was also slandered, Allah was well aware of the truth.

Encourage her to increase in her acts of worship as a means of soothing her heart e.g. giving in charity, praying Tahajjud, reading Qur’an, and so on. What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life? is an excellent resource.

Mending ties

Jarir bin Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Whoever does not show mercy to the people, Allah will not show mercy to him.” [Tirmidhi]

Are you able to speak in private to these women, to clarify matters? At the very minimum, please explain to them that spreading rumours is impermissible. Remind them that ours is a religion of mercy, and not wrongful condemnation.

Ask your friend how she wants to move forward. Does she want to rekindle these friendships? If she does, and if you are able to, please offer to mediate a reconciliation between these women and your friend. In the heat of anger, people say things they later regret. That being said, calamities are an excellent way of sifting out true and lasting friendships.

Do what is within your power, and leave the rest to Allah. I strongly encourage you and this sister to perform The Prayer of Need and ask Allah to for help.


Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.”

Carrying false tales about people and hurting Muslims are both classified as a major sins [ref: Reliance of The Traveller, p. 45 and p. 50]. These are serious matters, especially when they involve the reputation of a chaste woman.

As there is no resident imam or shaykh in your mosque, please speak to the mosque coordinator and let him know what has happened. Let him know that the men in the mosque have harmed her, and need to make amends. Ask him to directly address the impermissibility of backbiting, talebearing and slander. The Reliance of The Traveller is an excellent resource for this.


In an ideal scenario, oppressors would ask for forgiveness and seek amends. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

I pray that when enough time passes, your friend will be able to let go and forgive those who have wronged her, even if they fail to do their part. There is wisdom behind everything that happens to us, even if we cannot see it immediately.

I pray that the women and men of your community step up and put knowledge into action. Whatever we learn and do not practise will be held against us on The Last Day. May Allah protect us all from that fate.

Please refer to the following links:

What To Do When You Hear Slander and Backbiting
Slander, Backbiting and Talebearing
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Mirai Takahashi

My Father Will Abandon My Mother Once My Brother and I Marry and Move Out. What Should I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My parents have an unstable marriage. I know my dad will expel my mother once me and my brother are married. My mum wants us to marry one of her nieces from Pakistan so that one of us will stay with the parents. But we don’t want that.

Is there any way to make my parents, especially my father, see that what they are doing is wrong?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us, and for seeking an answer to your family’s difficulties.

Parents’ Marriage

I am sorry to hear about the state of your parents’ marriage. If you know that your father will mistreat your mother after you and your brother leave your family home, then you must both come to an agreement about how to look after her.

Whoever marries you or your brother will have to deal with the reality of potentially living with her mother-in-law and the other will stay with her father-in-law. For most women, this is not easy, especially if you marry someone who grew up in the West. This is the advantage of marrying from ‘back home’. Women who were raised in more traditional settings are usually much more at ease with living with extended family.

It is worth mentioning that a wife has rights to completely separate living quarters. An ideal scenario could be living next door to your parent or your parent lives in the main house and you and your wife in a granny flat at the back. However, not everyone can afford that.

You must have a clear discussion with your parents, especially your mother, and let them know where you and your brother stand. Reassure her that you want to look after her, but it has to be with a wife and living arrangements of your choice. Start the conversation now, before you meet someone you do want to marry. Be prepared to give and take.


Abu Huraira reported that a person said: “Allah’s Messenger (upon hime be blessings and peace), who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment?” He said: “Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness).” [Sahih Muslim]

When Muslim parents migrate to the West from traditional cultures, they hold onto cultural practices and expectations. Meanwhile, their children integrate into their new home and want more Western lifestyles. The big clashes often start when it comes to children getting married, if not sooner.

It sounds like your mother has it all planned out – one of her sons will marry her niece, she will live with both, and that way, she is safe from being abandoned by her husband. However, the reality is that neither you or your brother are keen. Speak to her with gentleness, and help her see your point of view. Try your best to understand hers. She sounds afraid of being abandoned, and those who are afraid of losing their loved ones cling on even tighter, instead of letting go and trusting that Allah will provide.

Advising parents

Narrated Anas: Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Bukhari]

Your parents are oppressing each other through living a daily cold war. I encourage you and your brother to speak to your parents calmly and kindly. Pick settings where they are more likely to be receptive to your advice. Clearly, you would need to have separate conversations with each of them. Tell them how you are concerned about the state of their marriage, and how they’ve lost their sincere concern for one another.

Many parents dislike getting advised by their children, especially when they know they are in the wrong. Who do your parents listen to? Is there a community elder or local scholar who can intervene?

Sometimes, parents in unhappy marriages choose to stay out of convenience, or fear of ‘losing face’ in the community by getting divorced. All you can do is advise them, and if they choose to stay in a dysfunctional marriage, that is their choice, and they will be the ones to answer to Allah. Fighting reality will only make you miserable. You can use this as a reminder that the dunya is imperfect.

Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah for help. Please watch this excellent video on How To Develop Meaningful Relationships With Parents.

Your Marriage

Marrying from Pakistan does not automatically doom you to relive your parent’s marriage. Marrying from your locality does not guarantee a happy marriage, either. Be open to either possibility, and leave it to Allah. There are pros and cons to each scenario, and I pray that Allah blesses you with what brings you closest to Him. I pray that you turn to Allah in times of good, so that He does not draw you closer through times of difficulty.

Please educate yourself about the spirit and the law behind a successful Muslim marriage by doing this course before you get married.


You carry the wounds of growing up in a home with a toxic marriage. Before you even consider getting married, please speak to a culturally-sensitive counsellor. As much as you consciously do not want to repeat your parents’ marriage, the reality is that your subconscious default is what you saw growing up. It will take time, effort and patience, but you can modify your baseline and become a better husband and a better father, inshaAllah.

Universities often have counsellors or psychologists as part of your student services. Please consult them, and please encourage your brother to do the same. Speaking to your respective therapists will help you counsel your parents, or at the very minimum, help you come to peace with what you cannot change.

Please refer to the following links:
How Does a Child Deal With Parents Who Fight Each Other?
My Parents Tend to Fight Very Often: What Should I Do?
A Reader on Calling to Allah, Giving Advice, and Commanding the Good


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Kamal Zharif Kamaludin

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.


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.


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


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Kham Tran

How Do I Deal With Racist Attitudes at Gatherings?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I stopped going to a Muslim gathering because the majority of the women are older African Americans talking about how much it is awful being black and how it is all the white man’s fault. I have quoted the Qu’ran and the hadith concerning this issue, yet they act like they are not being racist.

Is there a better way to address this?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking a response which is pleasing to Him.

Good character

Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “I was sent to perfect good character.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

You are right. There is a better way to address your dilemma. Your head-on, confrontational approach probably caused them to become defensive and deny being racist. There is an adab to giving advice, and I strongly urge you to read this excellent article, The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil, by ShaykhUstadh Faraz Khan.


‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “He who has, in his heart, an atom’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.” Someone said: “A man likes to wear beautiful clothes and shoes?” Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty. Arrogance means denying the Truth and holding people in contempt.” [Muslim]

It is tempting to look down on others who display ugly character traits. This is not the way of Islam. This opens the path to falling into arrogance, which is a major sin. May Allah protect the ummah from this. A better response is to advise others out of sincere concern, instead of irritation or disgust. Before you give advice, check the state of your heart and your intention.


1) Send them gifts and apologise for being confrontational. Explain that you would like to come back, and hope that more of their lesson will be beneficial.
2) If they persist in their racist speech, stand up, give salams and leave the gathering. You have done your part by pointing out their problematic behaviour, and the rest is up to them. Be a model of good character.
3) Perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to guide these women, and to send you more circles of beneficial knowledge.
4) Seek out better gatherings of people of good character, who increase your love for Allah and His Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace).

Please refer to the following link:

A Reader on Calling to Allah, Giving Advice, and Commanding the Good


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani