Myth: It’s family. Everything works.
It’s usually people close to us who get to see us unleash our full-blown tirade on them. Nonsensical quotes like, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you certainly don’t deserve me at my best” are partly the reason why we justify expressing our cranky side.
In this part of the Quran, the people of Paradise are engaged in a conversation about their worldly matters. When I read this verse, I knew I had a situation there:
They will say, “Indeed we were afraid (of Allah’s punishment) when we were amidst our family, But Allah did favour to us and saved us from the torment of Fire’s scorching breath. (52:26-27)
I can give up music, I can give up TV-series, movies, can even try not to backbite but putting on the best conduct with family– that was just overreaching. Get your folks and friends in one place and when they’ll get around to discussing you, they’ll realize they’re not talking about the same person. You are just a fraction of your private self in public. Had a bad day– the family gets it, exam next day—moms get to dodge the mood swings, fight with a friend—passive-aggressive-serial-killer attitude all day long. It’s our families who have to tiptoe around our sensitivities while we go blasting our tempers off.
We borrow stuff from friends, and we pay it off penny by penny. Though with family, there’s some unwritten rule number 42 that whatever belongs to your sibling is yours by birthright and they spend weeks asking for it and we wriggle out waiving it off some way or the other. But yeah, it’s family. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Can’t stay mad at them for more than a few minutes. But that doesn’t mean you bake them in the heat of your moments.
And this is exactly what the people of Jannah had not done. They feared Allah in their dealings with their family. And no matter how many praises and compliments you get, you will never have truly nailed it unless your family testifies your good conduct. May we be as nice in our homes as other people believe us to be.