Assalaam Aleikum brothers and sisters,
I have problems with my relatives and really need some answers and knowledge to keep me from sinning out of anger. I am a Muslim who tries to practice his religion according to the Sunnah. I was born in an asian family, my parents are wonderfull and try to follow the Sunnah, Alhamdulillah. I am their oldest child.
Their family (their parents, siblings, nephews, nieces) doesn't really practice Islam and tolerates/performs a lot of innovations. My mother is the youngest child, my dad is also very young when compared to his brothers and sisters. I've lived with my parents and siblings in a different country and recently moved closer to my other relatives.
I have always watched them do these things but was taught not to disrespect and always obey the elders and I didnt see them that much as I was living abroad. Now I live within a few miles from all my relatives. Im 25 now, I have my relatives around me all the time, I feel like their behaviour, innovations and superstition are starting to corrupt my family and driving them away from the right path. I have started to speak up, I tell the elders of my family (not my parents) not to do acts of innovation.
I show them hadiths and verses to proof that I am right and that which they are doing is wrong. They say that I should not even think about correcting them and that I should obey them when they tell me to participate in these innovations because they are older than me, that Im just a little boy who doesnt have as much knowledge as they do. It frustrates me, almost makes me furious inside.
I know it is wrong to disrespect the elders, but have I done so by attempting to show them the truth? Do I have to obey the elders the same way I have to obey my parents?
My cousins, and their parents also make comments about my beard: "Why would a 25 year old, who lives in Europe, grow a beard? How can you go to work like that? Why do you have a day off on friday, you actually choose to get paid 20% less? Why do you care about the people in Syria, Chechnya, Palestine? Dont you have other things to worry about? You're so weird, why don't you celebrate birthdays? "
I dont like it when they say it but it gives me a chance to explain myself and how we should accept our religion in its entirety.
I went to syria for 2 months and came back last night, Alhamdulillah.
My sisters wear hijaab, Alhamdulillah. Ive recently found out that my aunts and female cousins criticized my sisters for it. They told my sisters it is ok to uncover your head because we live in Europe and it would make us look more "modern". My sister rejected their words, Alhamdulillah and were shocked that these are the people we are related to.
One day when my parents weren't around, my sisters when to my oldest aunts house to visit them. My sisters entered the house and they refused to shake hands and hug my male cousins who are 2 years younger than me. The elders (my aunts, uncles and cousins) scolded them, forced them to shake hands with my elder male cousins, forced them to hug them and give them a kiss on the cheek as a way to say sorry. When my sisters refused, my oldest aunt and her daughter took off the hijaabs of my sisters in front of everyone.
My parents were never allowed my sisters to shake hands or hug their male cousins.
My sisters did not tell my parents because they're too afraid of what will happen to the family ties and afraid of what my father would do to them (My oldest aunt and her daughter). I also dont want to tell my parents and intend to keep it to myself. I know this may be wrong but I dont want us children to get blamed by the elders for telling our parents, while knowing how our parents would react. I also would hate to see my father in a fight with his sister and her family, my grandparents would pick her side and tell my father that he was wrong, My mother is also very ill.
I am furious, I am burning inside and I find it very hard to control myself after hearing this. I have never been this angry in my life. Soon, I will meet them again after 2 months and I dont know what I'll do to them when I see them. I want to know what my rights are.
Am I allowed to physically punish my male cousins? Am I allowed to sever my ties with my oldest aunt and her family because of what she did? Am I allowed to keep my sisters away from these relatives if my parents dont mind? Am I allowed to keep this to myself instead of telling my parents? Am I wrong for wanting to do these things?
Ive also found out that elders of my family ask my parents about private matters, things that should stay between a husband and his wife. A lot of people gossip in my family and want to know these things so that they have something to gossip about. My parents say they want to keep these things private but they keep asking them and forcing them to answer, saying they can help but in reality there is nothing wrong.
My parents do not like this, they've told my grandparents. My grandparents tell them not to be upset with their siblings because they are older than my parents and my grandparents tell my parents to keep us under control while we (the children) havent done anything wrong. My grandfather does not talk to me because I refused to bow for him and touch his feet. Instead I kissed his forehead, he was offended and he never spoke to me after that, Subhanallah...
Is it allowed for me to tell the elders or elder cousins to mind their own business and not to stick their nose in my parents' marriage, our everyday lives and not to criticize us for "taking our religion too seriously"? Is it ok to warn them, threaten them or harm them if they refuse?
I feel like the elders in my family are misusing their "status" as elders. They claim to be wiser because they are older but they have almost no knowledge of Islam or dont even care, they care more about traditions. They've told me, my brothers and sisters to listen to them because they are older. They say that whatever they tell us to do, we HAVE to do it. I believe this is a cultural thing, they say we HAVE to obey them according to Islam and we are not allowed to refuse their requests. I know it is not allowed to disrespect elders but are the elders allowed to talk like this to the younger ones? To look down on them as if they're garbage?
When my older cousins talk to me, they call me son, like I am their nephew, can this be seen as a form of arrogance? Can you help me with this?
I also want to know how important honor is in Islam, I tried to Google this but I only get results regarding honour killings and my question has nothing to do with that. I want to know how important it is to have, gain, hold and defend the honor of a muslim.
I know this was very long to read, but I really felt like I had to fully explain my situation in order to get the right answers for a person in my situation. Could you please provide answers with proof?
May allah reward you for all the hard work you put into showing the truth to me and others.