Tit-for-Tat

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‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The one who truly joins family ties is not the one who deals with people in the same manner that they deal with him. Rather, the one who truly joins family ties is the one who joins ties when they have been severed.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #5991)

To be good to those family members who treat us well is easy, while showing good character to those family members who ill-treat us is difficult. However, a major occasion for joining family ties is when there is a need to join the ties on account of the ties being severed. Under these circumstances, showing the family the same ill-conduct that they showed us will only result in one thing – our stooping to their level and spoiling our behaviour. If we wish to join ties, then instead of ‘giving them a dose of their own medicine’ by having a tit-for-tat attitude, we should show them the character of Islam and treat them in the best manner possible.

If treating them with good character does not make them feel ashamed and regret their behaviour, thus leading to reconciliation, we will nevertheless still be counted in the court of Allah Ta‘ala as being among those who tried to join family ties. This is after all the most important aspect. Thus, the next time a family member treats us badly, let us take the initiative and return their treatment with a smiling face, salaam, a gift and du‘aa.