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My Little Sister is Jealous of Me

06 October, 2017
Q As-Salamu Aleikom. I feel that one of my sisters is jealous of the deeds I do to our father/mother and that she imitates me. Should I give space to my sister to do this good deed instead of me to prevent competing with her in these matters? Will I get the same reward as I would get if I kept on doing these good deeds myself? Or should I keep doing these deeds myself and ask her not to intervene? I don't want my mother to get upset, nor do I want to have an unhealthy relationship with my sister. What is the best thing to do from an Islamic perspective? Jazaak Allahu khairan.

Answer

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,

Thank you for your most important question. You seem very concerned with keeping harmonious relationships within your family, especially with your sister. May Allah (SWT) bless you for your efforts and kindness.

While often siblings compete with each other, it is not always a healthy or nice way to be if it is done out of jealousy or otherwise bad intentions. Islam allows competition in goodness. Islam allows that people try to excel and do things better, but without getting involved in hatred and jealousy and without wishing bad things for others. Regarding your sister, it could be that she feels inadequate as a daughter, or perhaps she feels she is not doing enough. She may be modeling your behavior towards your parents in regards to deeds because possibly she does not know what other deeds to do. She could also feel that your parents love you more for the kind things that you do, thus she may seek that same love and recognition you may be getting.

This is a tender situation and I would advice that in sha’ Allah you show mercy and patience with your sister. Want for your sister what you want for yourself. Perhaps taking her out for lunch or to do something fun together will help make her feel more valued as a family member and as your sister. It is my feeling, and I could be wrong, that she looks up to you and is trying to find her place within the family as well as in the context of being of help to your parents.

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I would suggest In sha’ Allah that you let her take over some of the deeds you have been doing. Not only will it make her feel needed, but it will also bring joy to your parents to see both their daughter helping them in kind ways.

As far as you getting the “same rewards” if you stop doing some deeds and let your sister do them, you need to ask yourself: are you doing all these deeds for the rewards, or are you doing these deeds out of love because you truly want to help your parents? Good deeds done with sincerity and for the sake of Allah no doubt bring rewards. Good deeds will be rewarded ten to seven hundred times over”. Certainly, we want to do good deeds for our parents because we love them and we owe them our lives as they cared for us, and it is our Islamic duty.

However, good deeds can even be smiling at someone, helping one in need and so forth. With this in mind, is it a good deed to step back and encourage your sister to do good deeds for your parents as well. Doing good deeds should not be a competition wherein one feels they must “out deed” the other in order to get rewards. In these cases, the good deeds may be negated. Allah knows best.

We wish you the best; you are in our prayers.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.