Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My father’s sister died a few days ago at age 85 and was unmarried. My aunt lived with us and treated my mom as an enemy, which caused my parents to fight. She never loved my brother and me. My brother is clinically depressed because of their poor treatment of him. She and my father never asked about my brother’s illness and said we were wasting money on him. After selling our home, we lived separately, but my aunt came back to live with us after her beloved other nephew didn’t care for her as she liked. We accepted her and took care of her. She was very irritating and would refuse to eat; she was depressed and wept often.
Until her last breath, we cared for all her food, laundry, and cleaning and remained silent at her complaints and insults. I cared for her throughout my depression. Sometimes I was rude to her because she constantly insulted me, my mother, and my brother. I feel ashamed of this. How can I ask for forgiveness and repent?
It isn’t delightful for a child to live with someone that doesn’t treat them well and doesn’t show them their love. Allah Most High will judge between them on the Day of Reckoning, and may He show mercy to all.
Know that your efforts with your aunt do not go waste on Allah Most High. He knows and sees everything that you suffered and everything that you did for her. From your story, it seems to me that although it was wrong to misbehave with your aunt, there is only so much that a soul can bear and you’re good to her was more significant than your evil to her. Don’t despair in Allah’s mercy.
Allah forgives all sins from the repentant heart, and He is ready and waiting to be asked for forgiveness at all times. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “When half of the night or two-thirds of it is over. Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues it saying) till it is daybreak.” [Muslim]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah, Blessed is He and Most High, said, ‘O son of Adam! Verily as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you, and I would not mind. O son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it.’” [Tirmidhi]
Please see this link about repentance for more information:
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.