Monday, 7 May 2012

Sibling Rivalry

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh)

Sibling Rivalry is a common scenario in almost every home. Arguments and fights are everyday occurrences amongst brothers and sisters – to the extent that arguments often lead to physical fighting. This kind of behavior and response are very much against the disposition of a noble person, let alone a Muslim.

We should learn to adopt the noble character of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in our dealings with all – including our brothers and sisters. It must not be that “we give as good as we get”; rather we should overlook, forgive and show to them, beautiful, noble conduct. We should offer a beautiful example for them to emulate.

If we have knowledge of Deen, then our home and family life becomes the setting which tests our practical expression of that Ilm (knowledge) and Akhlaaq (character). We either give into nafs and shaytaan and show our brothers, sisters and parents that we are like cats and dogs fighting – and are closer to being animals than humans, or we rise above the indiscretions and mistakes of our family members, adopting noble character and speech, and practicing on the Ayah:

وَلَا تَسْتَوِى الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ط اِدْفَعْ بِالَّتِىْ هِىَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِىْ بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهٗ
 عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهٗ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيْمٌ
 “The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with that which is better (to be patient, forgive, etc.), then verily, he between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.”
[Surah Fussilaat 41: 34]

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) presented for us a beautiful and perfect precedent and example in teaching and moulding his two grandsons, Hasan and Husain.

He taught them to respect and love each other. He taught them that the younger of them should serve the elder, due to the elder deserving respect. …Khidmah (serving others) naturally creates Muhabbat (Love) and how perfect a prescription for all siblings, in so far as creating a peaceful and happy environment at home. This is why we find in the lives of these two grandsons, that Hazrat Husain (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) used to respect Hazrat  Hasan (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and carry out his requests willingly.

Of course, in the light of the above, the older brother or sister should not think that he or she can just demand, dictate and nag. If we are older, we have a responsibility to show good character, worthy of our brothers and sisters to follow. There has to be courtesy, mercy, compassion and love for the younger siblings. A balance needs to be created – where there is humility on both sides. Sayyidina Hasan (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) showed great love and compassion for Sayyidina Husain (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu). 

If one sibling has to advise the other with regard to something – for example, food, clothing, room, studies, salaah, etc. then it should be said once only and politely. Thereafter, leave it to the parents or teachers to solve the problem.

If children were trained to emulate the grandsons of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), then there would be no bickering, quarreling and fighting. Home will be a haven and all parents will be at peace – with few complaints against their children.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the understanding and the Taufeeq of practising.