So, insh’Allah we are leaving this evening to visit my non muslim family. In particular we will be visiting my father. While I now have a respectful loving relationship with most of my family, I have not laid eyes on this man for two years. He hasn’t even seen my youngest son and has only seen the oldest once in person. I have sent him pictures of them but always have them returned. So, I am a bit nervous. I have kept in touch with him through letters, cards, and phone calls. He is not very responsive to my phone calls and usually I hear him tell his wife to say he’s not there. I guess they should invest in caller id ;). The truth is, since childhood I have not had a close relationship with my father. Everytime I would try to get close to him, I would be pushed away. However,I never felt the void of not having a father growing up.I was truly blessed to have a wonderful stepfather who treated me as his own.
I guess you are wondering, “so why go visit him now?” Well, My sister called me a few days ago and informed me that my father will be having a risky surgery this upcoming week. I tried to call but got the usual treatment. I was torn on whether to write him a letter and hope he gets it in time or ask my sister to pass him messages. Then, my husband came home. We had a long conversation and he convinced me to go see my father. He gently reminded me of the hadith:
`Abdullah bin `Amr Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who does it because he gets recompensed by his relatives (for being kind and good to them), but the one who truly maintains the bonds of kinship is the one who persists in doing so even though the latter has severed the ties of kinship with him”.
So, here I am now, trying to think what will I say when I see him, what will I wear, what will my kids wear, etc. There is so much to be said(two years worth in fact) and so much that needs to be said . In the end, I have to wonder if I will end up driving the six hours just to get the door shut in my face. It’s like meeting a stranger. Maybe it is like an adopted child meeting his long lost parents. The only thing I’m sure of is that,insh’Allah, I will put my complete trust in Allah and make dua for the best. For Allah is the Best Protector and Facilitator May Allah make it easy for us all and guide our non muslim families to Islam. ameen.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man said to Messenger of Allah (PBUH): “I have relatives with whom I try to keep the ties of relationship but they sever relations with me; and whom I treat kindly but they treat me badly, I am gentle with them but they are rough to me.” He (PBUH) replied, “If you are as you say, it is as if you are feeding them hot ashes, and you will be with a supporter against them from Allah as long as you continue to do so”.
Commentary (from riyad us saliheen): This Hadith has three important lessons:
First, the misbehaviour of one’s relative is no justification for the misbehaviour of another, let alone the severing of relations on that account.
Second, the person who treats his relatives nicely in all events and circumstances is blessed by Allah Who will send from heaven helpers to support him.
Third, the consequence of denying compassion and kindness to relatives is as woeful as the eating of hot ashes.