In this counseling answer:
• It seems your brother’s unjustifiable anger is coming from somewhere. It is very evident that he needs individual counseling and family counseling to better understand why he is acting the way he is.
• The only thing you can do is to sit with him in a non-threatening manner, calmly, and carefully talk about how you feel when he starts to act the way he does and try to facilitate some kind of a two-way conversation.
As-Salamu `Alaikum Brother,
Thank you for sending us your question. I am sorry that your family is going through this difficulty with your youngest brother. I ask Allah (swt) to ease the suffering and to instill peace and order.
Firstly, brother, I am not an Islamic scholar so your Islamic legal question on whether it is halaal to cut ties with your brother cannot be answered by myself. I kindly refer you to our website’s fatwa section Ask the Scholar. I will be answering your question as a Muslim mental health professional.
Brother, it seems your brother’s unjustifiable anger is coming from somewhere. It is very evident that he needs individual counseling and family counseling to better understand why he is acting the way he is, and why he feels that his family members are out to get him. There seems to be something deeper than what is shown to you all. It could have been something from his childhood, it could be an inability to cope with stress, it could be an anger issue, and it certainly could be a mental illness; we don’t know and the best way to know is to find out.
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However, that might not be easy since he refused your offer to sit with an imam to try to reconcile between him and your family. Your brother seems like he has low self-esteem because he is not willing to allow himself to apologize or acknowledge that he has done something wrong.
He also seems to have anger issues, has narcissistic qualities, and that all could be a cover up for some kind of suffering that he is facing inside. Only he knows that and only he can help himself over that. It is obvious that he needs mental health treatment along with family counseling.
The only thing you can do is to sit with him in a non-threatening manner, calmly, and carefully talk about how you feel when he starts to act the way he does and try to facilitate some kind of a two-way conversation. Of course, this might not work, but at the end of the day, if he does not want to change his ways then you cannot change him.
If he doesn’t want to sit with you and speak with you as a mature adult or go to a counselor to help with his anger, or to meet with an imam to reconcile with the rest of the family, then that is his own making. I would advise that you move on in your life and stop putting false hope in your brother that somehow he will change.
It seems you and your family’s expectations have been broken by your brother’s behavior, but all of you still want to believe that he will change one day. If he refuses help, then stay away, ask Allah (swt) to guide him, greet him when you see him, and limit your interaction with him as much as you can. He does not have to be at every family gathering and every outing, but it doesn’t mean that you have cut ties with him. You are just trying to survive in peace.
You also mentioned that he had broken off a cousin’s engagement. I am not aware of your culture’s customs when it comes to marriage and engagement, but there should be no reason why he should know that a cousin is in the process of getting engaged. Even the Prophet (saw) said to go about our affairs in secrecy. The prophet (saw) also said to keep the engagement secret and to publicize the marriage.
The above two hadeeths allow a family to make their own decisions about an issue without people getting involved and ruining things for them. This could be fulfilled if the interaction was limited with your brother.
He must know that the reason he has been limited is that he hurts other people’s feelings and that his family would love to have him around if he wasn’t so angry. I would focus on feelings rather than actions when talking with him because it is less threatening.
May Allah (swt) choose the best for your brother and your family and restore order and peace.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.