One of the signs of a purified soul is maintaining good ties and being dutiful to your relatives through blood or marriage or what is known as silat-ar-raham in the Islamic terminology.
The Qur’an and the Sunnah encourage us to strengthen ties with relatives and warn us against severing them.
Allah says “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) . Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.”
The excellence of having good relations and ties with relatives are mentioned in many traditions of Prophet Mohammad (s).
- Kindness to relatives is a sign of Iman. The Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should maintain good ties with relatives.”
- Maintaining good relations and ties with kinship blesses the provisions and brings success in life. The prophet said, ‘He who desires that he be granted more provisions and his life be prolonged should maintain good ties with his kinship”.
- The meaning of increased provisions and wealth and prolonged life is that Allah fills provisions and life with Barakah.
- Strengthening one’s relation with relatives is like strengthening one’s relation with Allah. Allah says ‘Whoever strengthens ties with kinship strengthens ties with me; and whoever severs ties with kinship severs ties with me.’”
- Strengthening one’s relations with relatives is a way to paradise. The Prophet said, ‘O people! greet each other by saying as-salam alykum; and feed the poor; strengthening ties with kinship; and offer prayer at night while people are asleep; for if you do that you will peacefully enter paradise.’
The meaning of silat-ar-raham or strengthening the ties with one’s relatives is to treat them kindly, to support them in times of need, removing harm from them, overlooking and disregarding mistakes, forgiving faults, ignoring shortcomings, being fair and just and asking Allah to make them righteous and success.
It also includes sharing in their joy and sadness, protecting them in their absence, respecting the elderly amongst them, being compassionate with the young ones, bearing their mistreatment with patience, relating with them in the best manner and wishing them well.
The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who does it because he gets recompensed by his relatives but the one who truly maintains the bond of kinship, is the one who persists in doing so, even though others have severed ties with him and abandoned him.
Abû Hurayrah narrated that a man said, “O Messenger of Allâh, I have relatives with whom I try to have a close relationship, but they sever (this relation). I treat them well, but they treat me ill. I am sweet to them but they are harsh towards me. Upon this the Prophet said: If it is so as you say, then you, in fact, throw hot ashes (upon their faces) and there would always remain with you from Allâh (an Angel to support you) who would keep you dominant over them so long as you adhere to this (path of righteousness.”
It was said, as some words of wisdom – “do not severe relation with a close one, even if he was bad to you, for a person can never eat his own flesh even if he gets hungry.
Beware of severing ties with kinship for this is destructive and a reason for being cursed as Allah says: ‘Would you then if you were given the authority do mischief in the land and sever your ties with kinship such are they whom Allah has cursed so that he has made them deaf and blinded their sight.’
Zaidal Abideen Ibn Ali Ibnul Husain, the grandchild of Al Hussein (r) advised his son saying ‘Don’t accompany the one who severs ties with kinship for I found him to be cursed in the book of Allah in three different places.”
Ibn Masoud (r) was sitting one morning in a circle with a group when he said: “By Allah I ask him who has severed ties with his kinship to leave us, for we want to supplicate and call upon our Lord and the gates of heavens are blocked and sealed against the one who severed ties with kinship.”
Severing relations with kinship is one of the great sins and its punishment takes place in this life and in the hereafter. The Prophet (s) said: ‘There is not a sin that is worse which Allah hastens the punishment for its committer in this life and what he will have waiting for him in the hereafter for oppression and severing ties with kinship.”
The Prophet (s) said, ‘The deeds of the son of Adam are presented every Thursday night and the deeds for the one who severs tie with kinship are rejected .”
Always maintain good ties with kinship and blood relations. Be kind to relatives even if they abandon and neglect you, maintain ties with them even if they sever ties with you, this will result in Allah continuing to bless you and increase your blessing your life.”
Why do people sever the ties of kinship?
- Ignorance: Being ignorant of the harmful consequences of severing the ties of kinship or being ignorant about the benefits of keeping the ties of kinship.
- Lack of Taqwa: When a person is not God conscious and does not care for severing what Allah has ordered to be joined.
- Arrogance. When people get rich, are in authority or occupy high positions, they become arrogant with their relatives and feel too proud to visit them.
- Stressful blaming: Instead of looking at themselves, they put the blame of severing relationship with others.
- Too busy: When people become too selfish pursuing their interests only disregarding relationships with their relatives. They can not find time to maintain ties of kinship.
- Toleration: Severing of ties because of mistakes committed by relatives rather than forgiving them.
- Envy: Getting jealous of high achievements of relatives can result in the severing of ties with relatives.
- Disputes: Delaying financial transactions or disputes regarding inheritance can lead to the severing of ties with relatives.