Dealing with people with various mentalities, especially the bad ones during our daily life can be challenging at times. This is all from the Hikmah of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) i.e. the “Divine Wisdom”, that can never be wrong and never be against us, though we cannot understand this Wisdom at the moment. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is the Most Wise, and everything is done by a fixed measure for people to be tested on whether they are obedient to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) in dealing with these situations or not. One does not has much control over others, but he / she is in-charge of his / her own self, and on the Day of Qiyaamah (Resurrection), he/ she will come by himself / herself, and he / she will not be asked about others, but rather only about self. Therefore, it is important to have the proper knowledge and principles in life that make a person focused on what is benefiting and leave what is harmful.
Actually one of our Muslim sisters, wrote her problem to one of the scholars: I have two questions:
1. My sister-in-law (husband’s sister) treated me in a bad way and would yell at me and humiliate me in front of everyone. People used to ask me how she was with me. I only spoke the truth and said what she did to me, and I did not lie. I heard that it is okay to do that to get back at the oppressor. Is this true? I read a Fatwaa (Religious Verdict) that says that this is not considered Geebah (Backbiting). Did I do something wrong? I never ever replied to her when she was hurting me; I just kept quiet, because Prophet Mohammed (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) ordered to either speak good or remain quiet, and I choose to remain quiet.
2. My husband got in a fight with his mom and told her that they cannot go out without his permission because his father left him in-charge as he is out of the city. When my husband left the house for his job, my mother-in-law and her daughter started blaming me that I was setting my husband up against his own mom. I swear by Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, that I did not tell him to disrespect his mom, and he even told them with his own mouth when he was fighting with his mom. She was saying something like, “May Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) take those who oppressed me and set you against me.” He said, ‘If you mean to say that it is my wife, then know that my wife had nothing to do with this.” I have been treated badly, and when they started blaming me for everything, my husband said that I am innocent. I forgave them the first couple of times, but I cannot do so now. I have been asking Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) to make them suffer with the level of oppression which they have caused me. Please, advise me with what to do. They really hate me. They do not even talk with me, and I do not know what I did wrong.
The scholar replied her with the following lines which are reproduced here for the benefit of other sister facing similar situation: May Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) make it easy for you. According to what you wrote, you have been facing a difficult situation from the misconduct of your in-laws.
Here are some basic principles that you must have, and then the solution comes afterwards:
1- Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) created us to worship Him alone; therefore, we have one purpose in life, and everything serves this purpose, including your relationship with your in-laws.
2- We have no knowledge of how to live this life seeking the pleasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) unless we learn that from the Quran and Sunnah from the true and pious scholars.
3- After coming to know what Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) wants from you, you should seek help from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and be patient in applying it.
Here are some advices based on the principles mentioned above:
1. If people are accusing you falsely, know that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is the Most Just; He will protect you as long as you stay honest and truthful.
2. Try to avoid returning oppression and humiliation with oppression and humiliation; rather, answer with justice and righteousness.
3. Du’aa (Supplication) against the ones that humiliate you is permissible, but a higher level of goodness is to forgive and pardon.
4. You should be grateful to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) that your husband defends you and is on your side. That should make you overlook others’ oppression of you since they have no authority on you.
5. Focus on your family and take care of your husband and children (if any), and do not get involved with your in-laws except in good manners and goodness.
6. Increase your worship of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), make sure you never miss any Salaah (Prayer), and stay away from sins. Increase your faith by doing acts of worship like Nafl Salaah (Optional Prayers), Nafl Sawm (Optional Fasting), Sadaqah (Nafl Charity), and Zikr (Remembrance) of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). The more your faith increases, the more you will be under the protection of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and it will make you focus on what is benefitting.
7. A higher level of goodness is to be kind to those who are oppressing you, so instead of making Du’aa against them, pray to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) to guide them and forgive their sins. The benefit of that is tremendous, the least of which is you get great reward from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and that He will protect you from all harm.
The situation you described tells that you are going through difficult times, and you should seek strength from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) to overcome these difficulties. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) created us in this life with all kinds of struggle. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says in the Quraan (what means):
وَجَعَلۡنَا بَعۡضَكُمۡ لِبَعۡضٖ فِتۡنَةً أَتَصۡبِرُونَۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرٗا (20)
“And We have made some of you a test for some others. Would you observe patience? And your Lord is Ever-seeing.” (al-Furqan 25:20)
If your family is bad to you, just be patient and be good to them for the sake of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Therefore, if they are not happy with you should realize that, at least, you are obeying Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Most High. It is a level of faith that a Muslim attains when submitting oneself to the orders of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Your duty in Islam is to have strong ties with them regardless of whether they are nice to you or not because it is an individual responsibility and accountability before Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) on the Day of Qiyaamah.
Increase your faith by making yourself busy with matters of obedience to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), and you will see how this life is of no value compared to the Aakhirah (Hereafter). Therefore, anything that makes you sad in this life is not worth it, because it will go away and you have to leave it one day. But when the matter is related to the Aakhirah, it is different. It is the everlasting life, towards which we have to direct our concern and energy in order to obtain the good in it.
Here are some more words which will help you to face the bad manners of your family, InShaaAllah:
1- Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is the Creator of all things, including what your family is doing to you, so do not be trapped in judging their actions, as they are nothing but a tool that is being used to test you.
2- Focus on your mistakes and sins, and that is the way to correct your mistakes and have the sins forgiven, so repent a lot and ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) for forgiveness.
3- Remember the great reward waiting for you if you pardon and have patience.
4- When you pardon and forgive, your heart will be more sound and pure, and that will give you tranquility in this life.
5- Anyone who seeks revenge for his own benefit is never happy; rather, it increases his humiliation.
6- Life is precious, and to waste the time feeling this way is a big loss. So busy yourself with worship of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and doing good deeds.
7- Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is with you as long as you are patient.
8- Your patience is a way to suppress your own ego and pride for the sake of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa).
9- If you become extremely kind to them for the sake of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), maybe they will change, and if they do not change, then at least you are doing what Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) ordered you to do.
10- If you get used to treating them badly, like they are treating you, it will not help you out.
May Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) make it easy for you and all of us Aameen.