Concerned for brother who with his family neglect Allah and their elderly mother
Fatwa No: 86864


I'm currently living in my mother's home along with my brother and his family. I'm concerned that my brother and his family are neglectful in their duties towards Allah and towards our elderly mother who serves us constantly, but who needs a great deal of help herself. They are good people, very wealthy Ma Shaa' Allah, but are also very worldly and materialistic. I try to advise them on matters of every day life in relation to their Deer and duties towards their parents according to Qur'an and Sunnah, but they feel that I'm patronizing them and they become defensive. Ramadan is approaching and I would like to impure our situation with regards to an Islamic family lifestyle. Please advise me on this matter.


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

May Allah reward you with the best, and highly reward your good intentions and earnest efforts. You must render advice to them, be patient with them and adopt a gentle approach, explaining to them their great obligations towards your mother, as Allah stated in the Holy Qur'an: {"But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do."}[31:15]. And as in the Hadith by Muawiyah Bin Jahima that Jahimah came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and said: "O! Messenger of Allah! I intend to go in Jihad and came to consult you (about it). He (the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam)) said: Have you a mother? He ( Jahimah ) said: Yes. He said: "Stay with her for Heaven is under her feet"." Narrated by al-Nasa'e and others, and al-Hakim considered it correct, and al-Thahabi approved, and Al-Munziri endorsed. Ibn Majah narrated by Muawiyah Bin Jahimah in another narration which reads: 'Woe unto you! Is your mother alive?" I said: 'Yes, O! Messenger of Allah!' He said: "Woe unto you! (get) Stick to her feet, there the Heaven is." al-Sindi said in his explanation of Sunan Ibn Majah taht al-Sakhawi said: 'To be humble to mothers is the cause for entering Heaven.' al-Sindi said: It is possible that it means that you will not get Heaven, except from her side, because if something gets under the feet of someone, (it means) he has command on it and has taken possession of it whereas it will not reach others except from his side-end.

We also advise you to pray more for all of your family, especially at the last third part of the night and in your prostration (Sujud) for their righteousness, honesty and obedience to the Great, Almighty Allah. As for the way of advising them, please follow these steps:

Firstly, let your heart be filled with kindness towards them. Render advice (to them) with honesty and loyalty for the Sake of Allah, and do that to please Allah, as this will help you on their righteousness.

Secondly, choose the best ways and optimum techniques, like giving them, as a present, a cassette or a small booklet (talking) about the detestable deeds which you wish to change and the family often does it; or notify the Friday orator, with whom they pray, that he should talk about that subject…and so forth.

Thirdly, choose the most suitable times, as time suitability is an important factor for accepting the advice; so the time of anger is not suitable to render an advice, and the mind of the (over) fatigued is so busy in what he is doing.

Fourthly, collect the best words, and note the way Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) Ibrahim (Alaihi al-Salaam) was addressing his polytheist father with the most, soft expressions and most tender words as Allah stated in Surat Maryam: {"When he said to his father: "O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything?" "O my father! Verily, there has come to me of the knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the Straight Path." "O my father! Worship not Shaitan (Satan). Verily, Shaitan (Satan) has been a rebel against the Most Gracious (Allah)." "O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious (Allah) should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitan (Satan) (in the Hell-fire)."(Tafsir Al-Qurtubi)}[19:42-45].

Fifthly, avoid advising them publicly, as this brings an opposite result, while the advice in secrecy is closer to acceptance; and on this, one of the ancestors said: 'He who advises his brother in secrecy has really advised and graced him, and he who advises him publicly has dispraised and disgraced him.'

In addition to the afore said, we want to guide you to some directives:

Firstly, a Muslim should not get fed up and annoyed by the simplest circumstances, and should not be pessimistic of the reality in which he lives, nor should he give up on making things right; instead, he should view situations around him in an optimistic way and use all available techniques to promote his family and community, adopting the Islamic behaviour of kindness and tenderness in wording and expression, adhering to righteousness and being a good example for others.

Secondly, for a known wisdom to Him Allah has predetermined to let the people differ in religion, intelligence and potentiality. Therefore, the Daiya (the one who calls for Islam) should not ask for the impossible; but should be kind to people, realizing that among them are the good and the bad, the one who is ahead of others in righteous deeds, the one who is frugal and one who is unfair (one) to himself. This Daiya is like a doctor who treats them all. We ask Allah to straighten the state (condition) of all Muslims.

Allah knows best.

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