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My Parents Love My Siblings More Than Me

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 22, 2017

Question

Salam. I have just completed my A levels and will try for the universities for next year In Sha’ Allah. The problem is that I feel lonely. I know my Almighty is with me, but somehow I feel something is incomplete within me. I try my best to pray five times a day, but sometimes it gets missed. This makes me feel suffocated and guity. I don't talk much. I keep on promising Almighty that I will try to pray five times and not commit any kind of sins, but unfortunately the mistakes keep on happening unintentionally, and due to this I feel that I am not a perfect Muslim and Almighty shall never forgive. I feel more depressed when I mull over the Day of Judgment wondering I shall not be able to show my face towards my Almighty and our beloved prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) for the same sins I have committed all these years. I want to change for the sake of Allah as I love my Almighty a lot. Will you please suggest me how can I change myself and keep away from the sins that Allah has forbidden us? Secondly, I am so grumpy all the time, although I don't want to hurt anyone. Since I am depressed, I keep myself away from everyone. I have a younger brother and he is 14 years old. My parents pamper him a lot. Neither he respects his elders nor does he pray five times a day. I just can't watch him choosing the wrong path, but the problem is that he doesn't care of me or talks to me much. He has changed a lot. I'm concerned about him. I want him to follow Islam, but I'm restricted to scold or judge him if he is wrong. What can be the solution for this? Due to this, distance has been created between me and my parents. No matter how hard I work, they never appreciate me much. I have an elder sister whom I love a lot. I feel my parents love and take care of her more than me, and this bothers me. I work hard a lot in my studies, but my parents never appreciated me. I am suffocating inside. Please help.

Counselor

Answer


Answer: 

Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam sister,

Even though you seem to present this as two separate issues – trying to pray more and refraining from sins as well as feeling depressed that your family doesn’t care for you as much as they do for your siblings -, these issues actually seem to be very much related to each other and could potentially be the cause for a cycle of negativity.

Your feelings of sadness about your family situation will naturally cause you to neglect your Islamic obligations which, in turn, only makes you feel even more sad because you know you should be praying 5 times a day. This then puts you in a negative mood which will make you interpret your home situation in a negative way and so the cycle continues.

Overall, this seems to make you feel negative towards yourself; that not only are you failing in front of Allah (swt), but are less favorable to your family, too. Based on this, it would seem that the solution for you to feel happier at home and more confident in your deen (and, therefore, confident that Allah will forgive you because He can, and He likes to forgive, if only people ask) is to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence, to feel good about yourself.

If you feel better about yourself, you will be less likely to interpret your families’ actions as being more favorable towards your siblings. This boost in self-esteem and happiness will make you more positive and motivated towards your prayers, too.

In regards to your parents’ attitudes towards your siblings, ask yourself what evidence you have to suggest that they do favor them over you. Also, take a step back and see the moments when they do treat you just the same as them. Sometimes, when you get stuck in the feeling that they are favoring others, this is all you will see and you might even be over exaggerating their heightened love towards them over you. If you take a step back and look at things more rationally, you will likely find that this is not the case at all and is just due to distorted judgements on your part because you feel bad about yourself, partly because you are not fulfilling your Islamic obligations amongst other reasons. Think about if they truly are favoring your sibling over you. What evidence do you have? And if they are, is there a reason? Why might they be showing them more love right now? Are they facing a tough time? (For example, in your brother’s case.)

Something else you can do is to do something that makes you feel good about yourself. Set goals and achieve them. See if there is something you are particularly good at. It might be that you do some volunteer work for charity, for example. This will make you feel good about yourself that you are helping people whilst keeping you busy in meaningful activity. This is a meaningful activity that Allah (swt) will certainly look favorably on. Furthermore, doing charity work for the sake of Allah (swt) will help you to keep Allah (swt) in mind more often which will assist you in making sure to pray all your prayers on time as you are thinking of Him more often.

May Allah (swt) forgive you and guide you on the straight path. May He (swt) bring you happiness and ease in your family affairs.

Salam,

***

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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