Lazy Brother

Shortened Question:

How do I sort out my sluggish, stubborn and selfish brother?


As-Salamu-Alakum Warahmatullah,

Respected Ulama,

I would like some advice in relation to a social issue i am facing. I have one brother, who is 4 years younger than me. Alhamdulilah, he is a decent person and has islamic knowledge.

However, i find that he is very lazy, stubborn and does not help my parents in the house. As an example, my mother sometimes goes on her own shopping (my dad does not go perhaps due to his mental state), and she has to carry the shopping herself.

She has painful knees and is also ageing. When i tell my brother to go, or to ‘help mum’ he gets angry and annoyed. He stays out till fairly late with his friends and has a very poor lifestyle, i.e. wakes up late, does not pray much at home, does not sit with parents etc.

I am married and live very near my parents. During the day time i work, and in the evening when i visit them, i see my mum is very tired and even lonely.

Thus, when i say he should help out, or even wake up early be productive he gets angry! Then i lose my temper and we start to argue in the house. My parents then get scared and start crying when we lose our heads

I really dont know how to handle this situation. Being the eldest I feel that much more can be done to make my parents life easier whilst they age!

How can i handle this situation? I support my wife and child and support my parents, but i have this rage of anger always within me that, life could be better for them.

Please advise both practically and spiritually how i can better this situation in light of our deen.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said:

الشباب شعبة من الجنون

Translation: Adolescence is a branch of insanity[1].

A person in his youth faces many challenges from biological to financial, from family to social. The different feelings tend to cloud their rationale and they end up making serious mistakes. If they are not carefully handled, the mistakes could develop into perpetual habits and thus aggravating the problem. It is the responsibility of seniors to bring balance in their lives and use diplomacy and wisdom in doing so.

What you state that your brother is lazy, stubborn and unhelpful, is a typical conduct of a youth. It does not help getting angry at him all the time. That attitude will only breed more anger and hatred in his heart which is worse.

We advise you to adopt the following ways:

  • Although your brother is younger than you, speak to him with respect, dignity and a soft tone. He may feel he deserves to be talked to with respect and not be scolded at every time.
  • Keep a very friendly and positive attitude towards him and hopefully this will soften his heart towards you and he will be more willing to listen to you. Allow him to confide in you and share his sentiments with you;
  • It may be that your brother feels lonely, deserted and abandoned and therefore only finds a sense of belonging and association with friends outside. Bring him occasional gifts and take him out with you occasionally for outings, shopping etc.
  • You may use the influence of his close religious friends or a local reliable scholar in your locality who he could confide in.
  • While you may witness your brother demonstrating unsuitable behaviour and reacting unjustifiably, it is important for you not recompense him equally but to console him and show brotherly affection to him and try to diagnose the issue worrying him and help him to be a better person. Allah Ta`ala says:

وليعفوا وليصفحوا ألا تحبون أن يغفر الله لكم والله غفور رحيم

Translation: Let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is All-Forgiving All-Merciful[2].

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) states:

صل من قطعك وأعط من حرمك واعف عمن ظلمك

Translation: Join ties with one who cuts you off, give to one who deprives you and forgive one who oppresses you[3].

  • Conduct daily ta`lim at home and read from the books of the pious predecessors. There are various books which can be read such as Fadha`il-e-A`mal written by Sheikh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalvi (also found at: )
  • Spend some time with him and perhaps even go for few days in Tablighi Jama`at with him. This may allow him time to reflect on his actions and understand the importance of discipline and respect for parents and elderly people.
  • Also, most important of all, invoke Allah and make Dua for your brothers guidance. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Dua is a weapon of the believer, and the pillar of faith and the light of the heavens and the earth[4].

Indeed, the Dua made at the last third of the night is accepted by Allah. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Verily, Allah descends to the nearest heaven in the last third of the night and proclaims: Who is supplicate me so that I may respond to him, who is asking from me so that I may grant him, who is asking for forgiveness from me so that I may forgive him[5].

Tell your parents to continuously make the following supplication to Allah:

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Transliteration: Rabbanaa hab lanaa min azwaajina wa zurriyyaatinaa qurrata a`yuniw waj alnaa lil muttaqeena imaamaa

Translation: Our lord grant us from our spouses and our offspring the coolness of our eyes and make us guides for the God-fearing.

  • Keep hope in Allah[6] and your efforts will be appreciated by Allah[7]. We hope and pray Allah helps you stay firm, assist him in overcoming his problems, and fosters a good relationship between the siblings. Ameen


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hanif Yusuf Patel

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



[1] [al-Jāmi` al-Saghīr, 4928; al-Maqāsid al-Hasanah, p. 291, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah]

[2] [Al-Qur`an, 24: 22]

[3] [Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 18032]

[4] قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: الدّعاء سلاح المؤمن وعماد الدّين ونور السماوات والأرض

[At-Targib wa at-Tarhib, 2: 390]

[5] عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : { ينزل ربنا تبارك وتعالى إلى السماء الدنيا حين يبقى ثلث الليل الآخر ، فيقول : من يدعوني فأستجيب له ، من يسألني فأعطيه ، من يستغفرني فأغفر له

[Saheeh al-Bukhari, 1094; Saheeh Muslim, 1525]

[6] ولا تايئسوا من روح الله ، إنه لا يايئس من روح الله إلا القوم الكفرون

[Al-Qur`an, 12-87]

[7] إنه من يتق ويصبر فان الله لايضيع أجر المحسنين

[Al-Qur`an, 12: 90]

The Ask Our Imam site hopes to respond to queries relating to Islamic law. It is not an Islamic Law Shari`ah Court. The questions and answers found on this website are for educational purposes. However, many of the rulings rendered here are distinct to the specific scenario and thus should be read in conjunction with the question and not taken as a basis to establish a verdict in another situation or environment. This site bears no responsibility in these responses being used out of their intended context, nor to any party who may or may not follow the responses given and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused. None of the responses rendered may be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of Our Imam. Any reference to another website or link provided in our responses or article should not be taken as an endorsement of all the content on that website; in fact, it is restricted to the particular material being cited.

Posted in Aadaab (Ettiquettes & Manners)Miscelleaneous on 3rd Mar 2016 by Our Imam | 1308 Views