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How Should I Advise My Non-Practicing Family Members?

Question:
How should I advise my non-practising family members?
Answer:
Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Commanding the Good
Allah Most High states, “And let there be amongst you a group inviting to virtue, commanding the good and forbidding evil—those indeed are the successful ones.” [Qur’an, 3:104]
Commanding the good is essential. However, if you feel there is no benefit and change will not happen, then you do not need to say anything. Follow the way of dignity and respect towards them and be firm and not indulge in anything sinful. Leave the room and the area when they are committing sins.
Duas 
Pray for them that Allah opens up the doors of realization for your family and rectification.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) prayed for Umar’s ibn al-Khattab’s guidance and Umar soon after converted. People do change and sometimes need time to do so. Remain calm and be a good example.
Patience and Striving 
Allah says in the Quran, “Repel evil with good.” [Qur’an, 41:34] Therefore, show good character and patience. If they ask you questions, respond politely. If they make fun of you, smile and leave the room. Return when things are better.
Links to Answers With Family Matters:
May Allah guide your family through you and help you all to become pious and devout.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Sinful To Not Keep In Touch With Relatives Regularly?

Question: I live in England and my relatives are in Pakistan. We love each other very much, but I have not spoken to them in years. My mother, my sister, and I are planning to travel to Pakistan soon. Am I doing something haram because I have not spoken to them in so long? Of course, I will speak to them when I get there.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is truly touching to see that you love your relatives and that they love you. May Allah bless you for your care and sincerity.

 

Speaking To Relatives

When you are on good terms with someone, there is no maximum limit to the interaction between the two parties. If you are on bad terms with someone, it is forbidden to cut them off for more than three days. There is no sin on you in the situation that you describe.

 

Increase Your Interaction

It is praiseworthy to keep in touch with your relatives somewhat. I recommend joining a social media group with your relatives to interact with them to the point where you are not wasting time, but keeping a healthy amount of contact. You may also consider calling them on Islamic holidays, such as the two ‘Eids and the Prophet’s birthday, or the beginning of Ramadan.

 

Du’as

You will find that the du’as of the elders are very special and that you are very fortunate indeed if they remember you and include you in their supplication. If they can benefit you and you benefit them, you will be fulfilling the Prophet saying, “The best of people are those that bring the most benefit to the rest of mankind.“ [Daraqutni] May Allah gives you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

What Are the Duties Of Family Members Towards Each Other?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum. What are the duties of family members towards each other?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

In general, kind, gracious, forgiving, and beautiful character is what the duties of a Muslim are towards his relatives. This is who relationships thrive, and this is a key aspect of the Sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Some family members are more deserving than others, such as one’s mother, then the father, etc. There is a balance to be maintained, however.

Some relationships have financial duties too, such as the obligation support one’s wife and children. One must provide for one’s parents if they cannot support themselves. Other family members are entitled to financial support too in certain situations. The details are best studied properly from a fiqh text due to the nature of the rulings and the many scenarios that present themselves. [Maydani, al-Lubab]

Course On Prophetic Excellence

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/living-right-halal-and-haram-and-living-prophetic-excellence-hanafi/

May Allah bless us with the character that allows us to make our relationships thrive. Amin.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Am I Obliged To Support My Dad and Have a Relationship?

Question: I never had much of a relationship with my dad. He was physically and verbally abusive to my mom, and I spent my childhood hating him and being afraid of him. He is an alcoholic and seems mentally ill. He’s older now, and I do see and speak to him nicely a few times a year, but he wants a relationship while I do not. I am nice to him, but I feel fear and anxiety around him. I still have flashbacks of the trauma. Am I obligated to support him now? What is my duty?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your pain and anxiety and I am sorry that you had to go through so much trauma as a child. I pray that you can recover from it and that it makes you stronger.

 

Support

If your father is financially unable to support himself, his sons must equally share in supporting the father. If there are no sons or if they are unable, his daughters must share in this if they are able. Please see the details here:
https://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa/7933 [Is there any way to get this answer into seekersguidance answers? I use it a lot]
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/married-daughters-supporting-elderly-parents/

 

Relationship

As for keeping a relationship with your father, you are doing the bare minimum, and your obligations are fulfilled. If your father is really unhappy, though, I might try a little harder to contact him just a bit more often. Perhaps once in two months instead of a few times a year. Remember that you can call or text him instead of seeing him each time and that should relieve your anxiety a bit. Please see these answers for more details:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/when-may-parents-be-disobeyed-and-how/

 

Turn To Allah

As with any difficulty, turn to Allah, do not miss prayers, read some Qu’ran every day with the meaning, and fear Allah as much as you can. Channel your fear and anxiety into du’a to Him, and build your relationship with Him, Most High, before any other. Everything will get easier, by His grace. May Allah give you the best in this world and the next.

Given the considerations in such cases, please consult reliable local scholars about the specifics of the situation. Jazakum Allah khayr.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Am I Sinful For Always Making Mistakes That Displease My Parents?

Question:  I have been making my parents displeased with me since I was little. I used to be very rude. Was that a sin? I always seem to get on their nerves. I have tried to do things right, but I figured I will always get things wrong. I stopped making a concerted effort to make them happy. Is that a sin? I have tried again, but I keep on getting things wrong. When I get some things right,  I get other things wrong. I have a reputation for this now, can I change?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are going through this difficult time, but I urge you not to give up on yourself. The devil has a way of dissuading a person from good, don’t let him.

 

Mistakes

People are not born perfect, and we make mistakes all the time. I, personally, make mistakes every day of my life. Everything that I do, I most certainly could do better. I do not want you to think about your mistakes, but I want you to be grateful to Allah for everything that you have, and I do not want you to feel guilty. Listen to this for more details:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9tzjqtSYvA

 

Intentions

Your intention is what matters. If your intention is to please Allah and your parents in everything that you do and if you take a little longer to learn to do things than others do, your reward will be commensurate with your efforts.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Verily, Allah does not look at your forms or your wealth, rather He looks at your deeds and your hearts.” [Ibn Majah] Please take this hadith to heart and know that Allah is only interested in your sincerity and not how nimble you are.

 

Sin

It is not sinful to “stop trying“ or “to put less effort“ in what you do, but it is sinful to despair in Allah’s mercy. Believe in yourself, do not tire of good works, and leave the rest up to Allah. Please see this excellent answer for more details:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/everything-going-wrong-life/

May Allah give you the best in this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

What Can I Do About My Brother-In-Law Whom I Cannot Tolerate?

Question:  I do not get along with my brother-in-law. I have been trying for years to teach myself to be more tolerant. The problem is deeper because he does not get along with most people. On one account I asked his parents to get him a psychiatrist because I worry he will not be able to get along with anyone and my sister is married to him. But my in-laws just told me to apologize to him. I will lose my mind soon. What can I do?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration because you are dealing with family and in-laws at the same time. May Allah help you reconcile with him and keep the peace.

 

Distance

Considering that the brother-in-law is not your mahram, I think that you should be content being as far away from him as possible. There is no reason for you to see him often, or if you must, then there is no reason for you to interact with him often. You can interact with your sister, your husband, and his parents and keep a respectful distance from him.

 

Overstepping

As for suggesting that he needs a psychiatrist, I feel that this was overstepping your bounds, and it was rude. There is always a delicate way to deal with in-laws, and any bold suggestions should only be made by your husband while you keep your opinions to yourself. Always show an appearance of neutrality to your in-laws. I would apologize if I were you and leave his mental health to his family.

 

Be Gentle and Helpful

As a sister, the best thing that you can do is help your sister when she needs it, advise her only when she asks for it, and give her tips on dealing with her husband. Do not stress her out, and do not insist that she does such-and-such. Rather, be gently encouraging, and do not tell her everything that is wrong with her husband. Her duty is to him and you will slowly make an enemy out of her if you keep judging him. Nothing will make her love you more than showing her that you respect her husband.

Please see the links below for more advice on this topic:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-brother-in-law-is-violent-and-i-fear-for-my-safety-do-i-have-the-right-to-move-out/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/brother-law-forbids-sister-visiting-us-wants-move-another-city-can/

May Allah rectify your affairs and give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadh] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

 

Can I Treat My Adopted Parents As My Real Parents?

Question: Is it okay if I treat my adopted parents legally and emotionally as if they were my real parents?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

You can treat your adopted parents emotionally as your real parents, and you can call them by the names mum and dad as long as everyone knows that they are not your mum and dad. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to refer to some people as “my dear son” (bunayya) as a term of endearment and nothing more.

However, it has to be known that you are not their child, and you must make sure that legally you are not registered as biologically their child and that they only inherit from in their actual capacity and not as your mother or father.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Indeed of the greatest of lies is that a man claim that someone other than his father is his father.” [Bukhari]

I pray this helps.

[Ustahd] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

What Should I Do Amongst All the Drama and Hate Between My Relatives?

Question: My extended family has become estranged from one another. It is so bad that my younger cousin called and disrespected his aunt, my mother. His sister just gave birth, and I am torn between sending wishes and just ignoring her like a stranger. They have stopped talking to us and two years ago and spread malicious things about us. Yet, we continue to ignore the negativity. What is the proper thing to do when you’ve tried to be neutral in all this?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration with your relatives. It is wrong and hurtful to be lied to and disrespected by a relative, especially by a young person.

The absolute best advice that I can give you is here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-do-we-maintain-family-ties-with-bloodthirsty-relatives/

 

Steps

-As with everything, turn to Allah first. Hold up your end by not missing any prayers and reading some Qu’ran every day with the meaning. Learn the obligatory knowledge of your religion and apply it as best you can.
-Make du’a, especially before dawn. Ask the Most High to rectify these relationships and to make everyone mature and wise and realize what is important in this short life.
-Always be the bigger person. Your taking of the first steps to mend a relationship will be tremendously rewarded and great blessings will follow. Do not bring up the past and just announce that you want everyone to get along. Send wishes to your cousin for her newborn.
-After mending relations, keep a distance, keep the contact minimal, and do not accept abuse. If you find that keeping a healthy relationship is to only interact a few times a year, do that. Your family’s dignity and sanity are more important than seeing them often.
-Ask Allah to always purify your heart of grudges and to send you a circle of friends and family who benefit you and encourage you to do good and to grow.

May Allah reward you for your sincerity and give you all the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

What Are the Conditions Of a Nikah When Marrying a Christian Woman?


Question: What are the conditions to fulfill a marriage contract for marrying a Christian woman? Do divorced women in this case and in general require a wali or wakil?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I pray that Allah blesses your union and gives her the opportunity to learn about Islam and convert by the grace of Allah. It will make a world of difference regarding the children.

Please see this link for the minimum conditions for a valid marriage contract:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/minimum-steps-must-taken-marriage-valid/

A divorced or single Muslim woman must have a wali for her marriage, but there is room in the Hanafi school for her not to have a wali at all. I still highly encourage that you gain the consent of her father and your own. Parents deserve this much respect. May Allah give you both the best in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

What Did the Prophet Say About Skin Color?

Question: Why did the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) suggest to the bedouin that his child had just inherited his skin color from a distant grandfather instead of stating the obvious that his wife had committed adultery?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Once a bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) complaining that his wife had given birth to a child that did not look like him. ‘Do you have any camels?’ asked the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace).
‘Yes,’ the bedouin replied.
‘What color are they?’
‘Chestnut.’
‘Are any of them grey?’
‘Yes, some of them are indeed grey.’
‘How does that happen?’
‘O Messenger of Allah, that is just in their genes!’
‘Perhaps this was just in his genes!’ [Bukhari]

The point that Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was making was that lack of resemblance to his father did not warrant an accusation of adultery (li’an). Rather, that would have to be based on certainty or very clear signs seen by the husband along with a formal accusation of adultery (li’an) on his part. [Mughni al-Muhtaj, al-Khatib al-Shirbini]

The idea is that a child is always considered to be ascribed to his legal father (the legal husband of the mother) unless it is physically impossible. Given that it is not physically impossible that the child looks significantly different from his father, he is still assumed to be the son of his legal father. It is not an issue of suggesting something likely but rather of preserving lineage which is one of the greatest goals of Islam. [al-Qawai’d al-Kubra, al-Izz ibn Abd al-Salam]

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.