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Sisters Blame Me for Causing Disunity in the Family

Questioner

R

Reply Date

Jul 11, 2018

Question

As Salaam ‘Alaikum.

Kindly assist. I have 4 sisters and I am the eldest. My mum lives with my second sister. The two younger sisters accused my second sister of not wanting to keep mum. They have complained of many other things as well. I told them that I would ask my second sister about this. As being the eldest, to resolve the problem, I asked my second sister if she was content with mum because the younger ones felt otherwise.

My second sister was really upset and cried a lot because of the younger sisters. I told her that I just wanted to make sure that this was not the case. So, she asked the younger ones how they could even think of this as she had no problem with mum. The younger sisters now accused me of causing problems amongst them and put all blame on me. They called me a snake and were very rude to me as well. Every time there is a problem, they come to me because I have never ever refused to help them. I asked them to say sorry for what they had done. I am completely shattered as I trust and love all my family members and did not want to cause any disunity.

The younger sisters are now keeping their distance away from me and I feel so uneasy. The only support I have is from my second sister, my husband, and my sons. Every day, I awake with this thought and sleep with this thought. Please guide me and tell me if I did anything wrong. I am now the bad one in the family.

Counselor

Answer


Sisters Blame Me for Causing Disunity in the Family

In this counseling answer:

• Talk to any close relative whom your sisters respect and feel shy from. Let that person talk to your sisters and draw their attention to their bad behavior.

• They will most likely argue with you less if you are confident and show them that their comments haven’t affected you. Be in control of your emotions.


Wa ‘Alaikum As-Salaam,

I am sorry to hear about what you have been going through with your younger sisters. At one time or another, we are blamed for something we didn’t do, and it is not fair. You are mentioning in your text that your sisters come to you when they need help, or if there is something they want to complain about, and you always help them. It seems they are accusing your second sister of something that is not true.

I have got the impression that your sisters are insecure about themselves, and the only way they may feel their importance is by gossiping about other people – like they did to you about your second sister. They brought down your sister and now you, so they can feel better about who they are. I feel sorry for them. They are unable to feel good about themselves, so they continue this endless road of sum and slime as they pass judgment and makeup lies about other people.


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You, my dear, do not need to prove your innocence to them if you are innocent. It is not necessary to prove to anyone that you are not guilty. I know it is not easy, but have patience with your sisters. The truth will eventually be known. As the eldest sister, you have tried to solve problems in your family, and there is nothing wrong with that. Next time you could try to sit with all your sisters together and talk if there is any misunderstanding between them. This way, they can talk to each other instead of talking/complaining to you.

I also suggest that you talk to any close relative whom your sisters respect and feel shy from. Let that person talk to your sisters and draw their attention to their bad behavior.

Their rude behavior and calling you a snake is not good, and it must be very hurtful. You must remember that they are younger than you and maybe a little immature. If they are trying to keep a distance from you and cutting the ties, then it is something that is not permitted in Islam. We are, indeed, encouraged to hold dear family ties.

Allah (swt) is well aware of your situation and what you have done to make things work. Maintain good manner with them and interact with them solely for the pleasure of Allah (swt). If they are saying things to you that are hurtful, let them know that you will not tolerate this behavior. But you are their sister, and you care about them and want them to show you respect. Try to keep the communication open and don’t cut ties with them.

The Almighty Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:

“And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.” (4:1)

The point in this verse is to have fear of Allah (swt) along with the fear one should have about breaking relationships with the kith and kin.

When you talk to your sisters on the phone or in person, try to stay calm. If you feel upset by their rude comments, just take a few deep breaths and then talk to them. Think beforehand about what they will say before you say something. They will most likely argue with you less if you are confident and show them that their comments haven’t affected you. Be in control of your emotions. If you think they will lash out, try bringing a close family member with you to keep the situation in control.

Be direct with them. Face them and make eye contact when you are talking. Tell them what upsets you and where they are wrong. They can’t learn from their mistakes if they don’t know what they did.

Use Humor. It is a good way to sometime defuse the tension. Make sure your humor is light-hearted and not passive-aggressive or sarcastic. Stay friendly and smile.

Be polite. The best way to fight rudeness is with kindness. Be the bigger person and don’t be rude in return.

Have a civilized conversation. If your sisters act rudely or say something that is hurtful, politely say your opinion or ask them why they are behaving this way. Try to understand their perspective by saying, ”I find what you just said to be rude and disrespectful. What makes you say that?” This could lead to a healthy discussion or debate, but make sure it doesn’t get out of control. Sometimes, it is really hard to change other people’s mind, and sometimes even if you try, you won’t be able to change their mind.

Use ”I” Statements as opposed to ”you” statements. For example: ”When you say snake to me and blame me for things I haven’t done, I feel down and hurt,” as opposed to ”you are so annoying and rude”.

Sometimes, it is better to talk in private. No one likes to be singled out in front of others when they are at fault. If they are rude to you when you are in a group, try to wait until you can talk to them one-on-one.

Don’t over think the situation. If your sisters don’t change their rude behavior, accept that you have done as much as you possibly could to improve relations with them. You can’t make someone to be polite if they want to be rude. It is not your responsibility to ”fix” them. In fact, trying hard to force a change in their behavior will often make them behave worse instead of better.

You should give your sisters a little more time to calm down and then you can try to talk to them again. Patience is the key. In sha’Allah, everything will be fine.

Allah (swt) has stated in the Qur’an:

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.”(2:153)

May Allah (swt) ease your problem, In sha’ Allah.

Salam,

***

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About Hadia Ali

Hadia Ali is a 27 years old Pakistani Muslim woman, born and bred in Norway. She has obtained her bachelor's degree in Sociology from Norway. Currently, she lives in the UK with her husband and two children. Email: [email protected]

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