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How do we take care of our relationships with our siblings?

Shakirah Hunter

Recently, a heart-warming video on social media showed two little girls – sisters and a bicycle. The older sister is crouched on the pavement with her back arched whilst her younger sister uses her back as a step ladder to climb onto the bicycle as she is too short. The older sister then jumps up and positions her younger sibling and then bends down and physically pushes the peddles until she learns how to do this herself. Once the younger one has a rhythm the older sister begins to push her sister from the back.

This video gave many social media users a heart-warming feeling as they recounted their own relationships with their siblings.

Sisterhood or brotherhood are often great favours of Allah that we can somehow undermine and in our usual siblings spats we become unable to see the incredible support and assistance that our siblings give us.

In the story of Nabie Moosa (as) he expressed his worry and fear of going alone to Firoun and Allah Ta’ala responded with the following ayah:

: (قَالَ سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِأَخِيكَ وَنَجْعَلُ لَكُمَا سُلْطَانًا)

He said: “We will strengthen you with your brother and we will make you both leaders”.

In the many, worries of life and the ups and downs of our life’s journey -it is often our siblings who pick us up and push us to be better versions of ourselves. Often our older siblings tend to be our stand in parents, and we owe them a mountain of gratitude for the time they took out of their own childhood to assist us.

To understand the great ni’mah of a sibling -ask a person who is an only child or who doesn’t have a close relationship to their siblings. We tend to take for granted the favour of having people who are there for us in our times of need, our siblings who love and squabble with us equally. Those siblings who will “sort out” our every problem whether big or small.

Kindness to ones siblings:

Nabi (صلى الله عليه وسلم has advised us to have Ihsan a deep kindness to every thin. Therefore, the first act of love to a sibling should be kindness.

“إن الله كتب الإحسان على كل شيء” (رواه مسلم).

Life can sometimes take you in different directions, you might not agree on some viewpoints, you might find yourself unable to see eye to eye but your first focus will be to find kindness.

Respect:

It can be frustrating to have a good relationship with your sibling when they are much younger or older – there is always the tug of war of how to treat each other. But Rasulullah (s) has laid down the principal of respect to ones elders and mercy on those younger.  This principal guides our relationships with our siblings and allows for an understanding of the rights and honour of our siblings.

“The rights of older siblings on younger ones are like the rights of the father on his children.” (Ihya)

On the loss of parents often there is a clash between the older and younger siblings – the test is on both parties, and it is extremely important to build a deep respect withing siblings irrespective of age or experience. Often older siblings tend to take the part of decision makers and may get offended with younger siblings – and this is where Shaitaan enters a family relationship and creates avenues for backbiting or slander.

As a sibling your duty is to look at your brother or sister as a fellow Muslim first and fulfill those rights that are important between Muslims but with the added responsibility of being blood relations.

To preserve your relationship with your sibling: 

  • Don’t gossip regarding one sibling to another- Shaitan user this to weaken your family
  • Don’t expect younger siblings to share the sale outlook as oldpr siblings. 
  • Even if they pull away – ensure that you keep messaging , calling or visiting. 
  • If you are kind to a sibling – always ensure that you do not remind them of the favour. 
  • Advise with wisdom- often as older siblings we could force our oppinion and then tecome angry if it is not accepted.

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