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Preserving family ties

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I had an arranged marriage at 15 years old and during that marriage I had 2 blessed kids. Sadly my marriage ended after 15 years due to my husband’s infidelity. I was single for many years and was busy working and raising my 2 children without any financial support from my family.. Later I coincidentally met my future husband through work but my parents especially my older brother was against me marrying my husband because of his race (albania) and different culture background. I(pakistani) spoke to my older brother in confident and was hoping he would speak to our parents and get them to accept my husband or at least get to know him and his family. Instead my older brother turned against me and message me not to ever contact him or his family.

My parents stop talking to me for over a year. During this time I had no option put to marry my husband as I needed a companion in my life and didn’t wanted to sin and financially I needed my husband to take over the household. During this time my mother became sick and due to her medical condition (diabetic) she lost vision and was registered blind. After a year, I had a baby and my parents came around and started talking to me again. I asked my parents for forgiveness and they accepted me back but they still remain not to have any communication with my husband or his side of family and that’s something I don’t have any control off. However my older brother does not wish to speak to me, instead he back bites and speaks ill of me to my son and I recently heard from family members he is awaiting for an apology from me?

I have no reason to apologise to him for, he was the one that named and shamed me and turned other siblings and family against me. I feel the only person I need to repent to is allah swt and my parents whom brought me up in this world.

I plan to perform Immah inshallah early next year with my kids and husband and wanted to know if I have an obligation to ask my older brother for forgiveness? Considering what he put me through? Any advise will be helpful. Regards, halimah

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Respected Sister in Islam,

We take note of the contents of your email and the challenges you were faced with. Allah has blessed you with the courage to raise your children under such circumstances. That is indeed a great investment for your hereafter. We make dua that Allah make your children Allah conscious and the coolness of  your eyes. Ameen.

According to Shariah, an adult female has an independent right to marry a person of her choice. You have acted within your the rights and privileges given to you by Shariah. It is most unfortunate that your family especially your brother to have reacted in an irresponsible way, especially in view of your personal challenges. The concept of patriotism and nationalism got the best of them. We understand the emotions you have been through due to your families reaction. However, fortunately you have made up with your parents. Continue to show them your love and care and take their duas.

You do not owe your brother an apology. Offering him an apology may be detrimental to his nafs which will inflate his ego, and he won’t accept his wrong. We advise you to maintain good ties with your brother to the best of your ability as that is an obligation in Shariah.  If he does not corporate then that is his shortcoming. You may express your feelings and efforts to maintain ties with your brother to your parents, and leave it up to them to advise him.

Do continue making dua that Allah change his attitude and unite the family. May Allah grant you a spiritually uplifting umrah. Ameen.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Abdullah Ghadai

Student Darul Iftaa
Michigan, U.S.A 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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