Importance of Maintaining Family Ties


(On the other hand) those who break Allah’s pledge (the Pledge of

Allah) after confirming it, who sever (break) that (family ties) which

Allah commanded to be joined and spread corruption on earth, for

them shall be a curse (they will be distanced from Allah’s mercy) and

for them shall be a terrible outcome (Jahannam).

 

Faqih Abul-Laith (Rahmatullah alaih) has mentioned a strange story

about a very pious and honest man from Khurasan who went to live

in Makkah Mukarramah. People used to leave their property as a trust

with him. Once, a person left ten thousand Dinars in trust with him

and left on a journey. When that person returned, the trustee had

died, so the person made enquiries from the family of the deceased

but no one had any knowledge of his wealth. As a large sum of

money was involved, the owner asked a gathering of Ulama in

Makkah as to what course of action he should adopt. They told him

that the Khurasani was a very pious person who must be in Jannah.

The owner should visit the Zam Zam well after midnight and call the

name of the trustee, asking him about his money. The owner repeated

the process for three nights consecutively, but received no reply. He

went back to the ‘Ulama and told them about his efforts. They were

surprised and recited:Inaalillahi Wa Inaa Ilayhi Rajeon

They were afraid, lest he should not be in Jannah. They advised him

to visit a certain place where he would find a valley called Barhoot.

Here he must locate a well wherein he should make a loud call. He

did so and received a reply after the very first call, that his money

was safe. Not trusting his children, he had buried it in a particular

place inside the house. The person should ask his son to show him the

place where he should dig his money out. The man did so and got

back his wealth. Amazed, he asked the deceased how he was in such a

place in spite of being a pious person. The deceased replied that he

had some relatives in Khurasan, with whom he had broken ties and

had died without mending it, and this was the cause of his

punishment.

FACTORS THAT MAINTAIN FAMILY UNITY

Regular Visits – In an era when the words “no time” have become a formidable cliché, Muslims are duty bound to keep close contact with family relatives by visiting each other regularly. The trend today is to visit someone if there is some material or worldly benefit, or only if they keep contact with us. Relatives should be visited solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and to create and maintain muhabbat (love) in the family.

Mutual Assistance – Assisting one’s relatives carries two reward; one reward for assisting and one reward for bonding family ties. These noble qualities will also be a practical means of guidance for the children. In this way family relationships are strengthened and can be maintained for generations. Certain people feel uncomfortable to assist relatives if they require financial help in the form of Zakaat, etc. This manner of thought should be corrected.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Sadaqah given to a poor person is an ordinary sadaqah, but sadaqah given to a relative serves two purposes: one as a sadaqah and secondly, an act of upholding family kinship.” (Tirmizi)

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whosever desires to have expansion in his sustenance and a prolonged life, should treat his relatives with kindness.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Abundant Greeting – Increasing salaam to each other creates muhabbat. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) has urged Muslims to spread salaam. Those who initiate salaam are protected from pride and haughtiness.

Exchanging Gifts – Showering relatives with gifts is also an effective method of generating love between people. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Exchange gifts with one another, you will create love and goodwill amongst yourselves.” (Abu Ya’laa)

SEVERE WARNINGS FOR THOSE WHO SEVER FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Just as the reward and rank for maintaining family unity is great and fulfilling, similarly the warnings and sin for severing and breaking ties is equally detrimental.Allah Ta’ala has cursed the one severing family ties, “And those who break the covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives) and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse, and for them is the unhappy home (i.e. Hell)” (Surah Ar Rad)

A cursed person is one who is deprived of the mercy of Allah Ta’ala. This sin is punishable in this world as well as in the Hereafter. “There is no sin more deserving of having punishment meted out by Allah to its perpetrator in advance in this world along with what He has for him in the next world than oppression and severing family ties.” (Tirmizi)

A Hadith highlights the rank and importance of this duty: “Rahim (family ties) is a word derived from Allah’s special quality, Ar Rahman (The Compassionate One). And Allah says: ‘I shall keep connection with him who maintains you and sever connection with him who severs you.’” (Bukhari)

A person should love someone solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. If there is need to dislike someone for Shari reasons this should also be for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. If a person is compelled to sever ties with a family member due to a genuine Shari reason, then the aforementioned warnings will not be applicable.

Family disputes and differences should be resolved early and amicably. Procrastination in resolving family matters can lead to explosive situations. Ulama should be consulted in good faith and the matter should be put forward factually, honestly and sincerely.

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