In this counseling answer:
•It seems to me that perhaps you should not worry too much about nagging this lad, or trying to make him into a better person; just make sure that you are very supportive of your parents and family and love Hammad anyway.
• If he is going to turn out to be a sinner rather than a saint, he will need even more loving than a good person will as he may get into all sorts of problems.
•Try to love him as Allah loves him—for Allah loves him dearly. He will not love or approve some of the behavior, but He will never cease to love him or to hope for his improvement.
Dear sister Farah, as-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi.
I gather you are a young lady and you are very worried about a younger brother, Hammad who is 15-year-old. This is an age when many boys are beginning to undergo all sorts of physical and hormonal changes, and their characters can really become quite strange.
They are also starting to feel independent, and stronger, and become far more challenging. Some boys are less awkward than others are, but I’m afraid that it is natural for many young men to go through this difficult stage at this age.
You say that your brother is very rude to those in his family, but not to others. This is a good sign in that he is well aware of what rudeness is and is capable of not being rude to those outside the small circle of those he wishes for the moment to “push around.” If he was rude to everyone, you’d have a bigger problem!
You say he is not obedient and does not help much (if at all) with chores—how I wish I could tell you this was unusual. It is not! You could search hard for a long time and not find many young men who enjoy helping out with chores and so on.
Many, also, have grown up rather spoiled by their doting mothers, and get the idea in their heads that mothers, sisters, and females in general, are just there to wait on them and look after them and see to their needs. I often blame the mothers for this. They love their sons so much that they spoil them and do not train them up to be useful citizens or helpful husbands.
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Your Hammad is developing the habit of ordering people around, even his own mother! Here, your father is a bit at fault—he should not let him get away with that. If your father is a similar character, Hammad will merely be copying him. It may be that your highly educated parents have always been busy and occupied with their own studies and careers, and have not really had time to sort out this little sahib developing in your midst.
I also note that although he skips school and serious study, he still can get good grades. This suggests he has good natural intelligence, but at the moment is very lazy with it. Let’s hope his recent bad grades give him a “wake-up call.”
Luckily for your brother, he is too young to be considered as a possible husband yet. He has time to develop and change, and I am sure he will. People all do. But seriously, this is the time he will be changing into the person he will become for the rest of his life (I got that off a Spiderman film!).
I am a little worried that you said he was perhaps harboring some sort of secret, maybe a secret worry or problem. It might help him so much if there was someone he could confide in, who would listen to him without being judgmental.
Don’t panic too much about the missed prayers. I know he is going against the trend in your family, but there are thousands of people who wander away for some time from the feeling that Allah is real and really with them. They usually have some sort of experience that brings them back again in due course. Each of us has our own tests to go through and our own paths in life.
It seems to me that perhaps you should not worry too much about nagging this lad, or trying to make him into a better person; just make sure that you are very supportive of your parents and family and love Hammad anyway. If he is going to turn out to be a sinner rather than a saint, he will need even more loving than a good person will as he may get into all sorts of problems.
Try to love him as Allah loves him—for Allah loves him dearly. He will not love or approve some of the behavior, but He will never cease to love him or to hope for his improvement.
God bless, wa salam.
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