Dealing With Hurtful Relatives
By Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
I have a maternal uncle who creates alot of trouble for my family. His wife and children have even went to the limits of taking my mother to court, and falsely bearing witness that she physically assaulted them and threatened to kill them. There are numerous things they do, but, my uncle after a few months fights with his children and come back and ask my mother for forgiveness. She forgives him, and he starts pretending he is a maskeen. But, he continues to support his children and wife who hurt my mother numerously.
I asked my mother, NOT to talk to him anymore. She claims we have to forget and forgive. But, surely there are limitations. Anyway, is it wrong to ask my mother, not to associate with him anymore. Is it wrong for me to continue to refuse to have anything to do with him or his family. I DO NOT wish to forget or forgive, especially, when there is no change in his behavior.
Any Advice is appreciated.
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam, is His Messenger
If you want to deal with him on the basis of justice, then it is permissible for you to respond in like to his unkind words, as Allah says:
"And if you punish (your enemy), then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted…" [Al-Nahl, 16:126].
But if you bear it with patience, that will be better for you, as Allah says at the end of the same ayah:
"… But if you endure patiently, verily, it is better for al-saabireen (the patient ones)." [Al-Nahl, 16:126]
If you want to turn enmity into love, and then treat him well, if he treats you badly, as Allah says:
"The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily! He between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend." [Fussilat, 41:34]
The words, "The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal" mean that there is a huge difference between the two. "Repel (the evil) with one which is better," means that when someone treats you badly, answer back with something better, as 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "There is no better punishment for the person who sinned by being bad to you, than your obeying Allah by being good to him in return." [Tafsir Ibn Kathir].
A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: "O Messenger of Allah, I have relatives with whom I try to keep in touch, but they cut me off; I treat them well, but they treat me badly; I try to be kind to them, but they are cruel to me." The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "If you are as you say, it is as if you are putting hot ashes in their mouths. You will continue to have support from Allah against them so long as you continue doing that." [Reported by Muslim, no. 2558]
Our advice to you, is to be tolerant and forgiving. Follow your mother's advice. It is clear from your question that this man has room to regret and retract his bad actions. Allah tells us:
" … whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah…" [Al-Shura, 42:40]
However, all of this does not prevent us from protecting ourselves from the evil and harm that such relatives may cause. If going to their houses, for example, will cause some kind of offence or harm, then the relationship can be limited to telephone calls, kind words, and the occasional gift and so on. The relationship can be maintained at a distance, if being too close will cause problems.
We ask Allah to guide us to the straight Path. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
[ Via slam Q&A]
20.The Seven under the Shade of Allāh.
20.The Seven under the Shade of Allāh.