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I Am a Young, Unmarried Woman in a Chaotic Family Home. Is It Permissible for Me to Move Out?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I have brothers who have moved out and have children. Whenever they come and visit my parents and me they behave in an impolite and reckless way. I am financially supporting my parents, they are not. Is it permissible for me to buy my own home in order to avoid the resulting emotional anxiety and regular confrontations?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah make a clear way out for you and grant you the tranquility which you seek.

Young adult versus mature adult

There is a difference between being a young adult, and a mature adult. Depending on the norms of your society or customs, it could be after 18 or after completing college.

Moving out

It is permitted for a mature adult woman to move out of home, but please do so with consideration and tact. When you are already frustrated with your family, it is tempting to pack up and leave without clearing the air. The short-term solution of moving out can cause problems in the long-run.

Please perform the Prayer of Need for Allah to lift this tribulation from you, and please perform the Prayer of Guidance up to seven times about whether to move out or not. If Allah makes it easy for you to leave, then that is an answer for you. If He makes it difficult, then that is an answer for you.

Is there a compassionate local scholar whom you can speak to and ask for advice?

Parents

If you do decide to move out, please do your best to allay your parent’s concerns. Your parents worry for you and want what is good for you, even if they struggle to express it. You may not always agree with what they do or say, but you must always treat them with respect and compassion.

Finances

If you move out, are you still able to support your parents, while taking care of the expenses in your own home? Please plan this carefully to save yourself heartache and stress.

If you are only able to support yourself, then it sounds like you will need to ask your brothers to take up the responsibility of financially providing for your parents. I pray that your brothers will learn to support your parents in a way which pleases Allah.

Patience

The people closest to us are often the biggest tests of our character. Even if your situation feels unjust, trust that nothing is lost with Allah. If your intentions are in the right place, inshaAllah you will be tremendously rewarded for supporting your parents, while keeping patient with your brothers.

That being said, your emotional well-being is important. If repeated interactions with your parents and brothers is bringing you down, is there a family or community elder who can help advocate for you?

Also, please consider seeing a psychologist or counsellor to help you cope with your emotional distress.

Please refer to the following links:

VIDEO: http://seekershub.org/toronto/2015/04/11/video-how-to-develop-meaningful-relationships-with-parents/

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Sean O’Flaherty aka Seano1

How Do I Mend Ties With My Estranged Brother and His Family?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I live abroad and I am unable to visit my parents regularly. I feel that they are being neglected by my other siblings who live in the same city. My sister-in-law has completely cut herself off from my parents. I have tried to speak to my brother about this, so she has cut me off as well. Am I under obligation to keep ties with her?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for this delay. May Allah make a way out for you during this difficult time.

Dua

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “There is not a man who calls upon Allah with a supplication, except that he is answered. Either it shall be granted to him in the world, or reserved for him in the Hereafter, or, his sins shall be expiated for it according to the extent that he supplicated – as long as he does not supplicate for some sin, or for the severing of the ties of kinship, and he does not become hasty.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, and how would he be hasty?” He (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “He says: ‘I called upon my Lord, but He did not answer me.’” [Tirmidhi]

Please have hope in the power of dua. Although it looks like things are not changing, trust that Allah will answer your dua in the best way possible.

Siblings

It must be upsetting for you to see that your siblings live so close to your parents, yet do not visit as often as you would. Have you had an honest conversation with them? Share your concerns with them as calmly as you can.

Remember that you are unable to control their actions. All you can do is express your concerns, suggest solutions, and leave the outcome to Allah. They, like everyone else, will answer to Allah, and you are not held responsible for their actions. Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to set things right in your family.

Mending ties

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

In normal circumstances, it is impermissible to sever family ties. This applies even to difficult family members. As hard as it must be for you right now, trust that Allah is the Turner of Hearts, and that nothing is impossible with His help. You do your part by reaching out to your sister-in-law in a way which you can handle. You do not need to sit down and chat with her. This may not happen for a while. But you can send gifts.

I pray that you see the fruits of your effort in this life. Rest assured that nothing is lost with Allah, and that inshaAllah, even if you don’t see a pleasing outcome in this life, you will in the next.

Give gifts

Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Give gifts and you will love one another.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

If you are afraid to call your sister-in-law, then post her gifts instead. Include a thoughtful note if you feel that will help. As you post her gifts, make your highest intention that of pleasing Allah. Ask Him to make this gift a means of mending ties with her.

Patience

“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [Qur’an, 8:46]

Above all, have patience. Think of the trial of Nabi Yusuf (upon him be peace) and how he suffered at the hands of his own brothers. He remained patient, as did his father, Nabi Yaqub (upon him be peace), and Allah rewarded them for it. Read Surah Yusuf as a means of reminding yourself, and as a way to lift the sadness from your heart.

Trials with family are indeed difficult to bear. I pray that Allah eases your sorrow, and draws you closer to Him through your tribulation.

Please refer to the following links:

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
How Should I Uphold My Family Ties?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

How Should I Uphold My Family Ties?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum.

How should I uphold my family ties? Who does it apply to?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

Keeping up your warm family ties (silat al-rahim) is necessary because of the undue harm and hurt caused otherwise.

Allah Most High says, “Beware of severing the ties of kinship: God is always watching over you.” [4.1] And He Most High says, “Worship God; join nothing with Him. Be good to your parents, to relatives…” [4.36]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the ties of kinship.’ [Bukhari]

The duty to uphold your family ties remains even in the case that they cut ties with you. The Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “A person who maintains ties of kinship is not someone who only does so with those who maintain ties with him. A person who maintains ties of kinship is someone who restores them when they have been cut off.” [Bukhari]

Who Does it Apply to?

Keeping up your ties applies primarily to your immediate kin (mahrams) [= those you cannot marry], and by extension, to all relatives related by blood.

However, the level of keeping ties with each differs. The parent-child relationship is of greater consequence than the aunt-nephew relationship, and both of those are greater than the relationship between cousins, for example.

As for those you are related to, yet whose irregular interaction with suffices, and both parties aren’t hurt by that, you can deal with them on such a basis and talk to them when necessary, as long as you do not cut ties with them.

How Do you Maintain Ties?

The obligation is minimally fulfilled by saying the salam to them, and can also be reasonably fulfilled by giving gifts, visiting and generally being of service to them when needed.

[`Ala’ al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya; Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha fi al-Hazr wa al-Ibaha]

And Allah alone knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani