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A Letter to My Long Lost Relative
Saadia Malik


I have actually attempted to re-kindle a lost relationship through the following letter. My prayers go out to all who are attempting to do the same. Please award me a prayer too. I invite everybody and anybody to use this letter in whatever manner they desire if they wish to pursue a similar effort.


Dear Relative

How are you? I am fine but it would be much nicer if I could get your response to my thoughts that have been penned down below.

In the case of some relatives, one can look up to them as blessings from the Almighty. Others can very well appear to be menaces or the perfect ingredients for ‘making life hell’. And still, there are some, in the case of whom one may have to make painful compromises like breaking ties, in order to maintain good relations with others. There can possibly be many other explanations of why men and women often end up eliminating all possible mediums of interaction with their family members. However, no reason except one should induce anyone to willingly take this dreaded step.

The very backing to my statement is my moral consciousness which, I believe, rests with anyone who has a minimum reservoir of love and compassion in his or her heart. I know you do. Whether a relative appears to be rude, foul-mouthed, demanding, finicky, arrogant, haughty, (or whatever possible vices you can think of), a relative is still a relative. And whether you are willing to accept it or not, whether you get along well with a relative or not, he or she is still somebody you share a God-given bond with and if not love, you must naturally feel concerned about him or her.

‘I was admitted in hospital for an emergency operation. Was she secretly praying for me?’

‘My son passed his A Level examinations? Did she come to learn that he had decided to get a degree in Economics just as her son had, a few years back?’

‘She must have heard about my daughter getting married. Did she not feel like coming over and sharing those moments?’

‘I heard they made a long-awaited trip to Switzerland. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to, at least, see her joyous moments captured in those pictures they took?’

People may remain secretive about their hidden but not dead, camouflaged but only dormant, feelings about relatives who were once their mates in times of fun, their shoulders in times of tears, their solutions in times of difficulties and in fact, their partners in times of crime!

Here I am. I choose not to remain secretive anymore. I choose not to camouflage my sea of thoughts any longer. Will you do the same?

Allah willed for us to be blood relatives and to maintain strong ties with each other. His Qur’ān is as much yours as it is mine. It says:

Would you then, if we were given the command, spread anarchy in the land and sever ties of kinship? (47:22)

 Regardless of the context in which this verse – and others – have to be understood in their entirety, the spirit remains obvious. The ‘severing of ties’ is mentioned along with spreading ‘anarchy in the land’. Wouldn’t our current circumstances be a great sin – a misfortune?

So, let us both work towards the solution.

One beautiful sūrah of the Qur’ān, Sūrah Yūsuf, elaborates on the life and times of the Prophet Yūsuf (sws). However, the important aspect of the sūrah, and of every other Qur’ānic sūrah, is not story-telling; it is the spirit behind these narratives. The important thing for us is to concentrate on the essence and the message that the Qur’ān is trying to get across to us.

Yūsuf’s (sws) step-brothers were always jealous of him. While he was still a little kid, they conspired to kill him. At his tender age, he was separated from his father as desired and contrived by these brothers. God had other plans. Decades later, he became the chief minister, with powers of a ruler, of the entire Egyptian empire while settled miles away from his homeland. Ordinary people like you and me would have delved into haughtiness and tyranny with such a change in fortune or if somebody else would have acquired such a status, we could find ourselves at a risk of getting jealous.

He could have practiced tyranny on those evil brothers of his but he didn’t.

All his life was spent with no father to share his moments with – a father with whom he had a very special and affectionate relationship – thanks to his step-brothers! And yet, he chose to forgive them without any anger or inclinations of awarding them tyrannical punishments.

Why then, should we not be willing to forgive each other for whatever it was that led to this sad state of affairs? I am certain that if we try, all cracks can be mended.

Finally, I will mention the one justifiable exception that I alluded to, towards the beginning, in reference to cutting off of ties with one’s relatives. 

A family member who looks to intentionally influence others towards ‘shirk’ and who fails to budge from his or her satanic ambitions even in the face of all your honest and sincere efforts, in my opinion, deserves to be the target of your isolationist tendencies. However, the severance should come by way of a candid declaration regarding the reasons involved behind your decision.

Thankfully, that is not even a remote possibility in our case. Therefore, there is no reason why we must not hope for a future as bright as ‘old times’.

My appeal to you is to please consider the fact that our blood relation is a product of Allah’s will. Why pretend to believe that we are better off in defiance to His will? Why believe that we cannot get along well when He knows we can?

I urge you to read through my letter again and again till my sincerity of purpose and my love and compassion become more and more apparent.

I know you will respond. I just know you will. Therefore, I am not giving up easily.

Many of our dreams come true. This is one of my special dreams. The ball is in your court.


Waiting for you to return my serve.

God’s will.





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