So the topic of family and family relationships has been brought to my attention by others–and of course my own experience with seemingly typical family issues.
I know this is very VERY cliche, but you do always need to suck up your pride, and be the better person. You can’t choose your family. But you can choose how you deal with them…or that one weirdo relative. We all got that one relative, or relatives that either we have disagreements with, or it’s a “mother’s side v father’s” side deal. Whichever, you need to combat any discomfort or resentment so that it doesn’t build up in your heart, and eventually cause you to either hate the person, drift from them, or even worse, cause a family split. I’ve seen this happen a lot in our community, and it’s so sad and discouraging–especially for us youth who might have families of our own soon; we need to learn to NOT to do what’s detrimental to our families and ourselves (ie follow in our genetic footsteps). The Ummah suffers a great deal from family issues, especially when they are related to Islam or our various cultures that sometimes we let pity disagreements cause dents in our families.
I’ll be blunt. Sometimes parents, and other relatives JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. Period. They may pass off the notion that just because you’re younger your opinions are invalid, or your dreams aren’t good enough because they don’t fit the Ideal son/daughter dream, or the my niece is a doctor, my daughter is a nurse, gee my niece is better! Stupid superficial stuff that have some relatives going crazy just because you don’t see eye-to-eye with them. As a Muslim, you have to respect your elders, but sometimes, it’s just so hard to resist throwing a smart comment back–when you’re intention isn’t to get them mad or anything, but rather have them taste their own medicine that they’ve been feeding you for so long.
As you grow up, you start to catch on to the comments people make, rude as hell, but very indirect snide remarks. Now I don’t know where or why this happens, but sometimes people feel the need to insult others indirectly…and if the person is naive and has a good heart, they won’t catch on–sometimes. Other times it’s you that constantly catches on to what they’re saying, only because you can see right through them. And that’s a skill I wish I didn’t have sometimes. In Islam, we’re supposed to think of a least 70 excuses to pardon our friends or family for their shortcomings or their actions that seem out of their norm. But man. Sometimes we truly know people that naturally have these bad habits that just cannot be excused for. It hurts when it’s a family member that you really want to be on good terms with, but every conversation with them is either superficial, pointless, or has no recollection of Allah(swt). And honestly, if you’re not around people who remember Allah(swt), expect even more disappointments, shortcomings, and hurt. Even if it’s a family member, stay with them (on good terms) for the sake of Allah(swt). You can agree to disagree all you want, so long as it’s with respect and dignity. My parents taught me that I can voice my opinion, to whomever I want (even to a snotty relative or friend) but be polite and respectful in doing so. And honestly, it pays off when your conscience is clear. Keep being the better person. There are times where family issues or issues in friendships will cause you to get so angry that storming out of a room will be the least of what you want to do. But from my own experience, that doesn’t work.
I will be frank, as I have been with y’all. Sometimes even when you do what I’m saying, the issue just won’t go away. I can tell you that I’ve had to deal with some friendships and family relationships reduce down to a basic “Salam” and “The weather is nice today” conversation–not by my own doing though. And that’s what hurts me even till today. That no matter what, no matter how much you keep your patience, make Duaa for someone to change, their heart just won’t budge. Don’t get caught in that. Wallahi, the heart is delicate thing.
One of my favorite quotes by one of the dear Sahabah to the Rasul (pbuh):
“A moment of patience in a moment of anger prevents a thousand moments of regret.” – Ali ibn Abu Talib
I’ll tell you that even though you may be in the right, had the best intentions and made sincere Duaa, you will have some regret. But it’s not a regret that you’ve done something wrong, it’s the regret you feel when for example, you wanted to surprise a friend, and subhanAllah nothing worked out, you regret not being able to make them happy, because you want them to be. I don’t know I just feel there’s two types of regret. I can tell you that even though you gotta let go for Allah(swt), it still hurts to know that that certain person in your life will always have the mindset that they are better, and because of that, ruin relationship that could have been awesome. Basically, regret missing out on what could have been. I want you to know that if you feel that regret, be happy, say Alhamdulilah. Because that regret shows Allah (swt) that your heart isn’t tainted, that you’re strong, and truly wanted the best between you and that person. He knows our intentions, our actions, and thoughts. He knows when we try, when we slack, and when we really break down because of the stress and anger. Breathe, and know this. Trust me, it has made me a lot better as a person, and taught me that good relationships don’t come easy. The great ones are worth fighting for, and if they’re meant to be, that person will forgive, love, and appreciate all you’ve done for them. If not, I can promise that Allah(swt) will reconcile it some way.Just leave it to Him, but do your “homework” as my Baba would say lol.
Jazak Allahu Khair to all who brought this up and inspired me to talk about it. Hopefully my personal experience had helped. But everyone is different, but goodness to be learned works for all.
If I’ve said anything wrong or misleading, please forgive me for all Good comes from Allah(swt) the rest is my own error.