Please note: The answers on Hawramani.com constitute friendly advice rather than fatwas. Where relevant, we translate the opinions and fatwas of respected scholars and present them in our answers.

How to be kinder and more polite to family members

I keep being rude to my mother. How do I stop this habit? She always says things that make me angry even though I know she’s right. I’ve apologised to her so many times and I ask God for help but nothing is changing.

It is natural to be rude and impatient with people close to us when they do not act in the way we expect or make us feel unworthy and unappreciated. What you are trying to do is go against the course of nature by being kind and polite even when she gives you cause to be angry. This is not a state that can be maintained without work, because it is not natural. What is natural is to act the way people act toward us.

The only way to maintain your kindness and politeness toward your mother is to maintain an unnatural state of open-heartedness and selflessness. This can be done through reading the Quran for 30 minutes every day, performing all the voluntary prayers and sincerely praying for God’s help and forgiveness during every sujūd (prostration).

It is the ego that causes us to be rude when its interests are threatened (such as when someone makes us feel unimportant and useless). The way to break this cycle is to take the ego out of the equation. The Quran helps with this because it constantly reminds us about the fact that this world is not important and will end soon, and the fact that we were created to worship God rather than worship ourselves. The Quran’s teachings and reminders soften the heart and weaken the ego’s hold on us so that we end up as calmer, more polite and less self-centered people. And maintaining this state requires dedication. It is not something we can achieve then take for granted. The ego will always reassert itself if we do not fight it.

And God knows best.

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