The Secret to Long Life and Prosperity is in Maintaining Family Ties
A lot has been said and written about the ties of kinship. It is a topic that cannot be over-flogged. It is the nature of man to always expect reciprocity in all actions and relationships. However, when it comes to kinship, it is not a relationship of reciprocity but of mutual respect, understanding and sacrifice. Kinship simply means family ties – those you’re related to by blood. Whomever you share a blood relationship with is your kin. Silat al Rahm is the Arabic phrase used to define Kinship where “Rahm” means the “womb”. It is derived from the Arabic word Raheem which means “to have mercy on”.
Our kith and kin include our brothers and sisters as well as our parents. It also extends to our cousins, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts. The society has made our kinship extensive. We are expected to be dutiful to our neighbors, friends of our parents and all. Most culture preserves family relationship and the religion of Islam enforces it.
Islam gives great importance to the bond of kinship and the rights of relatives. Allah commands us to sow the ties of kinship in multiple chapters of the Holy Quran
Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful. – Qur’an 4[An-Nisa’]:36
Carefully studying the Tafsir of this Ayah will enable us understand the importance of being good to our relatives.In a related hadith,Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“The bond of family is suspended from the Throne and it says: Whoever upholds me, Allah will uphold him. Whoever severs me, Allah will sever him.”(Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5989, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2555)
The Prophet (PBUH) has also enforced family ties in his teachings and many of his traditions. From these traditions, a person owes rights to his parents, his wife, husband, children, brothers, sisters and other relatives in accordance with the nearness of their relationships.Islam is resolute that a Muslim should learn to care about others and their rights. The people that one should take care of the most after one’s parents are the relatives.
Why you should maintain Family ties:
Keeping the bond of kinship has a lot of benefits. Being kind and generous to our kins and relatives improves our relationship with Allah and affirms our belief. We believe in the oneness of Allah and the Prophet as his messenger. We accept what has been revealed and we act upon it.
In maintaining family ties, we are able to earn bountiful rewards for our actions. We are able to give our charity to them and extend it to society at large. We are aware of issues around us and we are able to respond and be there for them. We preserve the essence of Family and raise a healthy society.
It was narrated from Salman bin ‘Amir that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Giving charity to a poor person is charity, and (giving) to a relative is two things, charity and upholding the ties of kinship.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 2582)
We experience an increase in our sustenance. As we give to them, Allah replenishes our provisions. It was narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say:
“Whoever would like his provision to be increased and his lifespan extended, let him uphold his ties of kinship.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5639 and Muslim, 2557)
Advice on maintaining Family Ties
Forgive and learn how to do right by the person. Mend broken relationships and ensure that people keep in touch. The one who keeps the ties even when others have severed it is honored.
Keep in touch with your siblings and extended family. Check up on them. The least you can do is to say Salam to them. If they are non-Muslims, treat them well as Islam has enjoined us to be kind to everyone whether they are Muslims or not. It is also an act of kindness that you call them to the right path; enjoining good and forbidding evil.
And finally, If you make promises to them, endeavor to fulfill it. Do not usurp their rights, do not devour their wealth unlawfully. Aayah 90 of Surah Nahl says:
“Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving [help] to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded…”
Allah has enjoined the good treatment of one’s relatives. We should assist and treat relatives well, share their pains and pleasure and help them within lawful limits.
We ask Allah to aid us in our efforts to treat our relatives with kindness and support.