Question 51 : Question forward:
‘Our family relatives don’t get along but should the children of those relatives still call the elders and don’t get involved into their arguments’
Jazak Allah khairan
Answer: Assalamu alaikum Sister,
The answer to this question requires balancing between three contesting duties/rights obliged upon us by Allah s.w.t.
The Prophet (s a.w) said
من حسن إسلام المرء تركه ما لا يعنيه
“From the goodness ofba person’s Islam is to leave that which does not concern him.”
So from this hadith perspective, whatever the dispute is between the family relatives/elders, the rest of the family should not make it their own dispute. Rather leave it between them and not extend the hard feelings to bring them upon us. But this does not mean we pretend as though there is no problem at all because that would hurt some of the relatives who feel a hurt themselves from it. So we do need to be considerate not to cause hurt to the innocent party if there is one, or to both sides if both are equally innocent, etc. We would need to be sensitive to these feelings and not only considerate of them.
We cannot just leave the dispute as thiugh it has nothing to do with us if therebis something we can do to try to ‘fix the problem’ between them and make relations better once again. This is due to two duties in Islam. One is to make peace between quarrelling brothers and sisters for us to have the mercy of Allah as in this verse in Surah Hujurat, Allah says:
إنما المؤمنون إخوة فأصلحوا بين أخويكم واتقوا الله لعلكم ترحمون
“Verily the believers are only brothers, so make peace between them and fear Allah (and have piety) so that you may be shown mercy to (by Allah).”
Thus when we see Muslims quarreling, it is our duty – if we can help make peace – to get involved to the extent of attempting to bring peace and good relations once again between everyone. But if our involvement will make things worse then we should not make it worse.
Another duty and concept of Islam that is related to this is to enjoin good and forbid wrong otherwise the punishment of Allah can come upon everyone. This is mentioned in a variety of verses of Quran and Hadith.
So from this perspective, if we can help restore good relations, then we should bot remain a spectator to the family dispute but we should contribute as much as we can to resolve the dispute, bring the erring one to to stop if there is a clear erring side, or both sides if it is so. Many times we tend to walk away when our brothers and sisters are quarreling but remember if we want the mercy of Allah for them and us, we cannot walk away but must do what we can within our reasonable ability to solve the family quarrels. We cannot just pretend as thiugh there is nothing going on but contribute to make peace as much as we can.
The rights of blood relatives is such that we cannot cut blood relationship ties altogether lest Allah cuts off His mercy from us as in the following hadith but this has an exception which is if an attempt to keep relations will bring an unbearable destruction or harm then we do not go down that pathway to that extent trying to keep relations.
In the hadith referred to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said that Allah said to the womb:
أ ما ترضين أن أصل من وصلك وأقطع من قطعك
“Will it not please you (ie O Womb) that I will join with those who join you and cut off from those who cut off from you.”
Meaning those who join or cut off the relations that came from the same womb – our blood relatives.
So this means that even if some of our relatives got intona quarrel and have straightened relations between them, we need to continue to keep family relations with them all BUT not continue as though there is no injustice happening, but try to fix that as in point two above. Continuing as though nothing is happening may hurt our close blood relative even more especially if they were the innocent non aggressive party. So we need to keep relations with the offending party among relatives while being considerate of and sensitive to the feelings of our closer relatives who may have been the ones wronged. This can be by being much extra good with the victim who may be a close relative of ours so they don’t feel they have lost us too besides what else they have lost (ofcourse we continue trying to solve the dispute). if the offending relatives are clearly being and continuing in their injustice, we still cannot cut off from them unless if it is temporary to pressure them to stop if that will work to get them to stop. But not cut off long term. If cutting off short or long term may worsen the matters or not solve the matters then don’t go down this path as it is only if it works and to the extent it works and no more. Instead we can keep family relations with the offending harming party in a way whereby we do keet them but keep it clear that we request them to stop the harming of relations with the other party.
As mentioned above the only time we may stop keeping blood relations for as long as needed maybe if keeping relations puts ourselves or some of our family in physical or serious danger/harm that is very likely. This is very possible in real life due to mental medical conditions or personality problems that can be seriously threatening and harmful. In such situations of real serious grave harm being realistically possible, cutting off ties altogether or distancing oneself to the extent needed will be the only way remaining. But itbis advisable to get a third party’s assessment of the realistic degree of the threat of physical or similar harm because quite often one party may accuse the other of things out of anger or vested interests that are not very realistically true.
Besides this exceptional fear of such danger and harm, we cannot cut off family blood ties altogether in other situations that I can think of at the moment. We either keep them to a lesser level than before, or same level, or stronger level, as mentioned above keeping the three rights/duties/obligations in appropriate considerations as mentioned in each section above.
This is a lot for a short question! But blood relations are very important and yet can be complicated. Hence the degree of complexity needed to be addressed in the answer!
And Allah knows best