Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My cousins are astray…how do I advise them?

Asalamu aleykum,

I am very concerned for two of my cousins since they are doing very bad things. What worries me the most is that I am afraid to talk them about it because I'm afraid they'll see me as a nuisance.

One of my cousins is one year older than me, she's 23 and the other one is 5 years younger than me. Before we used to hang out a lot and chill at home when we didn't have school but now it's like they are different people. It all started when the 23-year-old one befriended a very bad girl who smokes, has boyfriends, and has left home so that she could be free.

My cousin slowly started acting like her and she even made her younger sister like her. Two of them even left home once and they started living with a friend, the older one eventually came back but the younger one stayed behind because now she was used to freedom.

One day I was called by a friend who told me that she has seen a video of my younger cousin kissing a drunkard guy in a party. At first I couldn't believe it because I knew my cousin and she wasn't that kind of a girl but later it turns out that she is dating this drunkard, drug addict guy, and that she even plans to marry him as soon as possible...she doesn't even want to continue with her studies! This guy she's dating is very famous for not being in his senses as his always drinking.

There is also this one girl who often uploads my two cousins pictures on snapchat, by Allah it hurt so much to see those kind of pictures, they were basically wearing very top revealing clothes, it felt like this girl was advertising my cousins so that men would find them attractive and "add" them. She even films them wearing those revealing clothes and dancing or humming to a music.

They are becoming the talk of the town, their talk has even reached me who's a homebody and clueless about the world outside. What should I do? I love my cousins but I hate the people they are around and I hate the fact that they are displeasing Allah but I know that I can't judge them since it's the shaytan's doing and not them.

What is the best way to advise them Islamically? Do I have to inform my aunt about it? Or should I tell my mother first so that she can later inform her sister? (Although I prefer not to tell the elders since it will only make them sad and my cousins to go further.)

Many thanks in advance.

Aisha

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2 Responses »

  1. Assalamualaykum Aisha,

    I hope you are doing well.

    I'm going to be honest with you...I feel like there is something missing from this story. How well do you really know your cousins' family? Is there dysfunction in their family or in their home? Are you close enough with them that you know what their motivations for "leaving home" are? It's easy to judge as an outsider, and yes, they are doing some unislamic things, but it is important to unearth the root of their behaviors so that you can best decide how to best approach this.

    For example, if you trust your aunt wholeheartedly, know that she prays regularly, is submissive to Allah, and seeks Allah's assistance in all things, then I would go ahead and tell her about it...I'm sure that if she is God-fearing, she would appreciate it very much, even if it makes her sad like you say. I don't feel that her becoming "sad" is a valid enough reason to withhold the information from her.

    However, if, when you really think about it, you realize you don't know this family as well as you think you do, you might want to observe for awhile longer. Sometimes, children leave home when there is lots of upheaval in the home, discord in family relationships, abuse/neglect by the parents themselves....you'd be surprised. In those cases, informing the parents is not going to solve things, because the parents themselves are setting a bad example, and would have to be hypocrites to expect any different from their children.

    If that's the case, then the better approach is to befriend and become closer with your cousins, be kind to them, and then when trust is built, make suggestions to them in a non-threatening manner that would make them come to love Islam more. Islam is the natural way of life, so they will recognize it once it is presented to them. Do not expect immediate change, but plant the seeds that perhaps someone else will water one day, that will eventually produce new growth.

    Inshallah your family will become closer in the process and you will all be blessed for your efforts. So definitely don't turn a blind eye, and tackle this slowly, with awareness that this isn't something you can control, but rather, something that you can slowly nurture in them.

    Best,

    Nor
    IslamicAnswers

  2. Just be careful. Not sure how close you are with your cousins but some may not like to hear Islamic lecture....sorry that does happen with non-practicing Muslims.

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