Q. What are the rights of the Maternal Aunt? I try to do her work but what I find difficult is to sit with her … I would rather sit alone and read a book etc. Is it a sin?
A. The rights of the maternal aunt has been listed below as being the same as the rights of our parents based upon the hadith:. (Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The maternal aunt has the status of one’s mother.” – (Tirmidhi) .
The Rights of Parents
1. You should not cause them any harm even if they commit any excesses.
2. Respect and honour them in your speech and dealings with them.
3. Obey them in permissible acts.
4. If they are in need of money, assist them even if they are kafirs.
5. The following rights are due to parents after their death:
(a) Continue making duas of forgiveness and mercy for them. Continue sending rewards to them in the form of optional acts of worship and charity on their behalf.
(b) Meet their friends and relatives in a friendly way and also assist them wherever possible.
(c) If you have the finances, fulfil their unpaid debts and the permissible bequests that they have made.
(d) When they pass away, abstain from crying and wailing aloud.
6. According to the Shariah, the rights of the paternal and maternal grandparents are similar to those of the parents and they should be regarded as such.
7. Similarly, the rights of the maternal and paternal uncles and aunts are similar to those of the parents. This has been deduced from certain Ahadith. (Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “The maternal aunt has the status of one’s mother.” – Tirmidhi)
(Rights in Islam by Maulana Ashraff Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah Alaihi)
As long as you do not do anything to infringe on the rights of your aunt, you are not going to be committing a sin.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Majid Khan