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How Do I Deal With My Sister-In-Law As We Live In the Same House?

Question: How do Interact with my sister in law? I live in the same house as my parents, and sometimes I am required to pick up my sister-in-law, who is a doctor, from her workplace when it gets late, as my brother lives in another country for his work. How do I manage this?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is true that you are in a tough spot. The best thing for you is to help your sister-in-law when it is necessary, as in the case that you mentioned, but maintain Islamic gender interaction all the time.

 

Gender Interaction

You will find the rules in the links below, do your best to follow them, and ask Allah to help you. The most important aspects are lowering your gaze, never being alone with her, never touching her, and never approaching her private quarters. The conversation should always be respectful but limited and cordial, even sitting together alone in the family room should only be limited to a few minutes.

Please see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-are-the-principles-of-gender-interaction-in-islam/

May Allah reward you for your sincerity and help you achieve this delicate balance.

[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 Right for Cutting Off My Sister’s Family?

Question: My family and I are Muslims alhamdulillah. My younger sister got involved with a non-Muslim man and married him in the US courts. My parents accepted it, but I refused this and tried to convince her otherwise. I asked scholars for their advice on the situation in the beginning, but nothing has worked. It has been 10 years now, and I refuse to talk to her spouse and children, but I do check up on her. Am I doing the right thing?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are going through so much pain and suffering regarding your sister. What is clear is that your sister has not listened to you and has moved on with her life. Now it is up to you to do the right thing.

 

Cutting Off Family

I am relieved to hear that you have not cut her off completely and that you are in touch with her. It would have been impermissible to cut her off in any case. Islam encourages maintaining ties of kinship even when that person lives in sin because does not encourage hating the individual but rather hating the action.

 

Dealing with Family Members Who Sin

The best answer you can read about keeping in touch with family members who are sinning is here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/should-i-maintain-ties-with-family-who-openly-sin-or-shun-them

 

Cutting Off Her Children

Please keep in mind that her children are innocent, and they have nothing to do with their parent’s choice. They are your sister’s children, and honestly, it disgusts me that you do not have a relationship with them. They did not ask to be brought into this world. You are a living Muslim member of their family, and they have basic rights over you.

It is never too late to start a relationship now, and it is well worth it. Do you not want them to have an Islamic perspective in their lives? Do you not you want them to come to you for Islamic advice or learn their deen? You are a powerless person because right now. In other words, you are no one to them, hence you have zero influence.

 

Cutting Off Her Husband

As for the husband, he is not your mahram anyway, so you only need to be cordial and respectfully distant from him. Your goal in life should not be to alienate him but to show him Islam and make him learn to love it so that he converts and their marriage will be halal. Is that not all you ever wanted? So why not contribute something to the solution? I believe your behavior has alienated him and turned him off from Islam, and I highly discourage it.

Please see these links as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-son-married-a-non-muslim/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage-and-divorce/i-have-a-kid-with-a-non-muslim-man-can-i-marry-him/
https://seekersguidance.org/tag/marrying-a-non-muslim/

May Allah facilitate this matter for you and rectify your relationship with your sister, and may she rectify her affairs as well. May Allah reward you all and send you every good.

[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.

How Can I Convince My Parents to Accept My Desired Spouse?

Question: I told my parents who I want to marry, but they immediately rejected him because he belongs to a lower caste. My grandparents spoke to him and his parents and then tried to convince my parents. My mother said that the guy’s family is from the same city as us, so what will we tell people about marrying her to a lower caste? He is from the same city, but he has been living in Canada with his family for a very long time. He is becoming a surgeon there. His family is decent and gives me much respect and love.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The absolute best answer that I can give about marrying someone for their caste is here:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/do-i-have-to-marry-someone-within-my-caste-to-please-my-family/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/should-the-decision-for-marriage-be-taken-only-considering-somebodys-caste/

 

Istikhara

The single most useful and trustworthy method for making big decisions is the Prayer of Seeking Guidance (Istikhara). I pray that you do not take this gift for granted and ask Allah if this man is right for you and worth pursuing.

Forget about your parents for just a minute and ask yourself whether you followed the Prophet’s advice. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and grant him peace,  said, “A woman is married for four reasons: for her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, and her religious inclination, choose the one who is religious (or) you will be ruined.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

On what basis have you chosen him?  It is looks or love? Is it religion? If you feel that you have followed the Prophet advice, please pray your Istikhara with the etiquette mentioned in these links and go from there:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/istikhara-the-prayer-of-seeking-guidance/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/the-reality-of-istikhara/

 

Compromise

Once you have prayed it, and if you have found it positive to keep trying, you must be able to face your parents ask them to compromise. I know it is difficult but try to read them and see if they will ever budge. You could wait it out, or you could get a third party to speak to them. Either way, you need their permission.

 

Ask Allah

Turn to Allah during this difficult time and ask Him to help you through this. Be the best Muslim that you can be by praying all your prayers on time and reading a bit of Qur’an with the meaning every day. I know that caste is a big problem in the sub-continent, and I pray that people can understand Allah’s words, “Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware. [Qur’an 49:13]

 

Learn and Prepare

If your parents do agree, or even if you find someone else, the best thing that you can do for yourself and your marriage is to take a free course at Seekers about marriage. Learn your rights and responsibilities and intend to uphold an Islamic marriage:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/

[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.

How Can I Overcome My Hatred For My In-Laws?

Question: I am 19, and I live in a joint family system with 15 people. My father’s elder brother’s wife exploits my mother, and his younger brother’s wife does not do anything about it. That is why I hate both of them. The more they exploit my mother, the more I hate them. What should I do? Should I fight or just remain silent? I do not want to hate anyone because Allah SWT will not like it. How can I stop hating them?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am so sorry that you are dealing with this nonsense from your extended family and I pray that all parties can learn to have good adab, good character, and fear Allah regarding their treatment of others.

 

Living Separately

Although it may not be possible, my recommendation to you is that you encourage your father to fulfill your mother’s rights and get her separate living quarters. A woman has the right to live separately from her in-laws and this is not asking for something outside of Islam. Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/a-wifes-right-to-housing-seperate-from-her-in-laws/

 

Limiting the Exploitation

If you are unable to move out, then your father must start standing up for your mother. He must tell his sisters-in-law to leave her alone or speak to his brothers or threaten to leave if they do not change. You can encourage your father to do this, and no, you should never get into a fight with anyone about it. You should instead defend your mother politely and stand by her side against all odds. Tell your mother how much you love her and bond with her when you can. This little spark in her life with you can be enough to light up her whole world.

 

Turn To Allah and Draw Closer To Him

Trust in Allah, rely on Him, and ask him to help your mother out of this painful situation. At this time, you and your mother should devote yourselves to Allah, fear Him as much as you can, know that He is the one who sent this test, and He is watching for a correct reaction. Do not let the Devil persuade you to do something haram in return, and do not leave off worshipping Him because He is worthy of worship no matter what is going on in your life.

Take this opportunity to draw closer to Allah, for there is no better and faster way to draw close to Him than through the shackles of pain and suffering.
Channel all of your pain into discourse with your Lord in the night and wait for Allah to send your family what is best in the timing and manner which He deems fit, without rushing or being impatient. Be the best Muslim that you can be and strive to fulfill Allah’s commands. Do not forget what Allah says of people who are victims:

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” [Tirmidhi]

 

Hate

Please see this link on overcoming the hate in your heart for your two aunts. Cleansing your heart of this will be better for you and is more conducive to receiving Allah’s mercy:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-do-i-get-rid-of-intense-hate-towards-someone-in-my-workplace/

[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.

How Should I Live My Life After Losing Custody of My Children?

Question: I am a divorcee, I have two boys that are 7 and 8 years old. The government gave custody to my ex-husband, as I was in a bad state financially and psychologically. They are being raised by his wife. She is a good Muslima, but it is heartbreaking for me. I do not understand. Should I work on myself to take them back which will take some time, or should I consider it as the decree of Allah and give my life to seeking knowledge, feeling some calling deep inside of me?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your heartbreak and cannot imagine how you must feel being separated from your children and no longer being an integral part of their lives.

 

Do Not Let Your Children Forget You

Right now, you do not need to focus on getting your children back. Instead, pray for them, send them gifts, make small things for them, and try to visit them regularly. You should not disappoint them and keep your appointments with them. Be a good Muslim role model for them and help them as much as you are able. Pray with them when you see them, and never backbite about their father to them. Really, the most important thing is to love them.

 

Get It Together

The most important thing for you is to focus on yourself. If you are struggling financially and psychologically, I want you to get better for your sake, the sake of Allah, for practising your religion, and for being healthy-minded. This is key to any balanced, happy, and healthy lifestyle. You cannot help someone until you help yourself first.

I want you to step back, look at your life, and make a list of goals. I want you to come up with a plan to become financially independent, either by getting a job and/or getting training while you work. Also, look at your religious life and make sure that everything is in order. Start with praying on time and learning your basic fiqh and how to recite the Qur’an correctly. These are all free courses available at SeekerGuidance. All you have to do is place Allah first on your list, and everything in your life with fall in order, even if it takes time.

Please see this link to help you put your problems in the right perspective:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/everything-going-wrong-life/

 

Du’a and Tawakkul

Never underestimate the power of dua. It is the door through which you speak to Allah and ask from your heart. Use it every day and get rid of bad, old habits one by one. Pray the Prayer of Need when you are down. Also, recite these du’as in particular:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/selected-prophetic-prayers-for-spiritual-physical-and-emotional-wellbeing-by-chaplain-ibrahim-long/

Allah, Most High, says, “And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He alone is sufficient for them.“ [Qur’an, 65:3]

May Allah facilitate your matters for you and give 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.

Should I Marry Someone from Outside of My Culture?

Question: I am in a difficult situation, and I need help. I am in love with somebody from another culture. We have no problem with it, nor do his parents, but my parents do not accept him because of it. They have a common language, but they refuse to meet him even once because of his culture.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your difficult situation, and I pray that you can compromise with your parents, after considering all the factors.

 

Istikhara

First, have you prayed istikhara that this person is right for you? Are you choosing him for his religion? Or are you basing your choice of a spouse solely on love? Make sure that you have a solid basis for choosing this man, and because you are already in love with him, I suggest that you keep your distance from him, physically and digitally, until you have settled the matter with your parents. If your istikhara is positive, then try to pursue this and convince your parents.

 

Communicate and Compromise

As a girl, you do need your parent’s permission to marry, and I suggest that you be open, honest, and polite with your parents. Explain to them how serious you are and that you will not be able to ignore this man’s proposal until they meet him and have tried their best. Please see this answer as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/are-there-any-legal-leeways-to-get-over-the-refusal-of-a-guardian-regarding-an-interracial-marriage/

 

Turn to Allah with Your Two Options

Please see these other links for more advice on the matter. Turn to Allah with this problem, pray the Prayer of Need, and exhibit patience and kindness to everyone around you. Use your frustration as a means to draw closer to Him and ask Allah sincerely to make it easy or to help you walk away if need be. Really there are only two options before you and really neither will be easy.

 

Prepare Yourself

It is very easy to get married but not easy to be a good wife. My advice to all single Muslims, such as yourself, is to take a free course at Seekers on Islamic Marriage so that you can learn your rights and responsibilities and act accordingly. Preparing oneself for marriage is the greatest thing that you can give your spouse and I hope that Allah sends you what is best for you and that you place your trust in Him.

May Allah give you tawfiq, ease, and happiness in your marriage process and give you the best in this world and the next.

Please see this course:
https://seekersguidance.org/courses/marriage-in-islam-practical-guidance-for-successful-marriage/

See these links as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/what-to-do-when-my-parents-reject-my-choice-of-spouse-because-of-cultural-reasons/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/would-it-be-wrong-to-avoid-interracial-marriages-for-cultural-considerations/

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.

How Should My Father Distribute His Late Mother’s Estate?

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.
My grandmother verbally left the property to my eldest sister, but my father will distribute it to his brothers and sisters instead. Is this right? 

He has looked after our entire extended family financially and continues to do so. My sister also thinks they have some magic on him, as he is kinder, nicer, and more obedient to them. Please advise if this is fair and if he is afflicted with magic.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

 

Getting Something as a Gift or Inheritance

If your grandmother gifted the property to your sister in her lifetime – meaning she made your sister the owner of it then and there, leaving her to do with it what she saw fit – then the property is hers. The question of whether this was right or fair is another matter.

If, however, she merely stated that your sister was to be its owner after her death, then the property does not belong to her. Your grandmother was trying to give away something at a time when it would no longer be hers. After death, the Shari’a makes a person’s estate the property of their heirs. This is her children in this case. Your sister does not have a right to it. [Maydani, al-Lubab]

 

Ruling Out Black Magic

Just because your father is nicer or more obedient to his siblings, it does not mean he is affected by magic. Sometimes, people do what you have described because they feel obligated or indebted to the other party. If this entails wronging his direct dependants, he may be manipulated, or he may have a deep emotional need for their acceptance and approval.

People are complicated, as are their circumstances. If you feel there are problems, ask Allah for help, and sit with him and have a conversation about. State how you feel. Do not be confrontational and critical, and do not make it sound like you’re accusing him. Perhaps Allah will facilitate a resolution to all the problems.

May Allah facilitate all matters for you.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

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.

Can Someone Fill Out a Form on Another Person’s Behalf?

Question: As Salaamu Alaykum, I am a university student and in order to get a bursary from them I had to fill out a form and my parents also,
For my parents form, by brother filled it out on their behalf and they put the signature down, or the declaration box where the signature goes also has a box for a date and the names in block capitals and all these details have to be filled by the parents even if someone helped them with the form,

Now in my second year I’ve had to get another fork filled and my brother has not filled the signature but he did the date and the block capital signature it seems so I attempt (at this time) to tipex it and get it re-done

Now I think about my last years form where my brother may have done the same (excluding the actual signature) and as a result I was able to get the grant, what would I have to do?

 

Answer:

Thank you for the query. May Allah make your studies easy and facilitate the payment thereof.

Filling out the application form is a type of shahada. Shahada is when a person provides information regarding a right or obligation relating to another (Tuhfa al-muhtaj sharh al-minhaj 4.318).

Shahada does not accept agency (wakala), and thus it is not permissible for you to appoint an agent to bear witness on your behalf. This is because shahada is based on certainty (yaqin) in which agency has no place (Tuhfa al-muhtaj sharh al-minhaj 4.322).

Based on the information that you have provided, your brother served as an agent to fill out the form on your parent’s behalf. He did not bear testimony on their behalf.

 

Filling out the form:

Filling out a form (kitaba) on somebody else’s behalf is entirely permissible. ‘Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) wrote on behalf of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) at the Sulh of Hudaybiyya.

In conclusion, the bursary received based on this application is valid. And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Telling My Parents About My Boyfriend

Prophetic Parenting

Question: I’m in a true relationship with a person for the past 8 years since our student days. We both are honest and true for each other. We want to make our relationship halal and for that, we need more time because he is not settled financially yet. I am getting many marriage proposals and my parents are telling me to get married but I want to marry him only. My parents don’t know that I’m in a relationship and I want to tell them about it but I’m afraid.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The first thing that I need to tell you is that your relationship is not honest or true, as you describe. You have lied to your parents, done the impermissible in the eyes of Allah, and your relationship is based on lust, not love.

Repentance

The first step to getting what you desire is to turn to Allah and repent for your sins. You have had a secret boyfriend, been in a secret relationship, and have become close to a man and emotionally attached instead of following the rules of gender interaction in Islam. Stay away from him from now on and only proceed with a serious engagement or nikah. Please see this link on sincere repentance:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/what-are-the-conditions-of-making-tawba-transcript-ustadh-abdullah-misra/

Istikhara

After your repentance and resolving to stay away from him, pray istikhara to see if this man is the right one for you. Do not think to make such a big decision just based on feelings, please consider the Prophetic advice first. It seems to me that man who agreed to be in a relationship with you for 8 years without a nikah doesn’t honor you.

Please see this link:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/istikhara-prayer-for-marriage/

A proposal: Engagement or nikah

He must come to your family with his parents and offer a formal proposal. There is no reason to tell your parents of your past with him, as it will only break their hearts. Tell them that you are attracted to this proposal and that you feel that it is right for you. If they give their permission, then you are all set and you can have your nikah. If they don’t, you will have to walk away from him.

If your boyfriend can’t come with his family to propose yet, then you must wait for him to find the right time. If you can find a way to hold off your parents, do so, but if you can’t you might have to tell them the truth which will cause them pain and disappointment. Otherwise, you will have to leave him. You certainly can’t be expected to wait for him very long. At least, he should have the decency to propose to you so that you can get engaged, if not married.

Put Allah first

I pray that your situation works out for you, but I recommend that no matter what happens, you put Allah first in your life and strive to live your life by His rules. Learn the halal and the haram of daily life, worship, and the rights and obligations in a Muslim marriage. May Allah reward you and give you the best of both worlds.

[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.

Right to Property

On Fences and Our Neighbours

Question: If one builds on a property, does one have the right to use the property?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Promising to give/transfer property to someone else is not legally binding, but one will be responsible for breaking one’s promise on the Day of Judgment (Hashiyat Qalyubi; Iltimas al Sad, Sakhawi).

Furthermore, a promise to transfer ownership is a gift contract (hiba), and a gift contract is only binding once physical or legal possession (qabd) has taken place (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi). As such, you do not own the land by the mere fact that your brother promised to give it to you or your father.

As for building on the property, your use and your father’s use of the land was a loan of usufruct (ariyya) and your older brother can revoke that right whenever he chooses. That said, he must either buy your houses from you that you built or demolish them and pay you compensation (Rawda al Talibin, Nawawi).

If you cannot agree to a settlement, you have to take the issue to court.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

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