In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Importance of family ties in Islam:
Islam strives to build a strong, sympathetic and merciful society. It considers the family one of the most important components in society’s structure, and places great importance on the maintenance of strong family ties and the close connection of kindred. In the Noble Quran (Al-nissaa Surah: 36), Allah (God) ordered that kindred be shown kindness:
"And serve Allah. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbor who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbor who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveler and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loves not such as are proud and boastful."Furthermore, in Islam strengthening kindred ties is considered an act of worship; this is illustrated when one of the prophet Muhammad’s companions (Abu Ayob) asked the prophet to explain which acts could safely lead him to paradise, and the prophet responded:
"Worship Allah, never ascribe anything as partner unto him, pray to him, pay charity for the poor and strengthen your kindred ties."Also the prophet was often heard saying repeatedly:
"Oh Mankind, spread the peace, feed the hungry, strengthen your kindred ties, pray at night when people are asleep, this will no doubt lead to your entering paradise safely."The prophet also told his companion (Abu Thaar):
"Strengthen your kindred ties, even if any of them turn their back on you."Islam preaches that the charity you offer to kindred will be doubly rewarded, as the prophet Muhammad said:
"The charity on a poor stranger is charity, while on kindred it’s two charity and kindred reunion."
The meaning of kindred reunion:In Islam kindred reunion has a comprehensive meaning. In general, a kindred reunion refers to acts which strengthen the ties with fellow believers, it includes all acts of helping, supporting, offering advice, and treating sh3er justly and fairly. Related kindred reunion is achieved through visiting family members, checking on them, helping them, respecting the elderly members of your family, showing mercy to the youngsters, and offering support to all in times of joy and sorrow.
Even when relatives turn their back on you, or if they do not appreciate your kind and generous treatment, in Islam you are not to turn your back on them. Furthermore, when you treat sh3er well, you should not expect anything from them in return; your reward will come from God in many ways: you will lead a happier life; have healthier children, and better income opportunities. When you are kind to sh3er positive rewards will be reflected in all aspects of your life. In Islam it is understood that doing good deeds for your kindred reaps goodness in your life.
Allah (God) offered a great example of this in the Noble Quran (Joseph: 90). Prophet Joseph’s brother tried to get rid of him by throwing him in the well, and later, when he became a king of Egypt and they came to him asking for charity, he didn’t confront them with their bad deeds; rather he forgave them and treated them in the best way:
"They said: By Allah, verily Allah hath preferred thee above us, and we were indeed sinful. (91) He said: Have no fear this day! May Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy."It’s very sad to witness, people in modern society losing sight of the virtue of kindred reunion. Some individuals don’t make any effort to know their relatives.
Months and years will pass and some will not make any effort to visitor connect with their relatives. Perhaps, the most shocking situation is when individuals go years without visiting or acknowledging their parents. It is difficult for parents, who have devoted their lives to raising, feeding and teaching their children, to be shunned in this way and to witness their offspring being reluctant to maintain close ties.
Consequences of cutting kindred ties:Allah (God) warns that those who cut ties with their kindred will be cursed and shall never be successful in their life, in the Quran (Muhammad: 22-23)
"Would ye then, if ye were given the command, work corruption in the land and sever your ties of kinship? (22) Such are they whom Allah curses so that He deafens them and make blind their eyes."The Prophet Muhammad also said those who cutties with their kindred will pay a high price:
"No cutter of his kindred ties shall enter paradise."He also said:
There is no bad deed more worthy of punishment by God in this life with what is saved of punishment in the after life such as tyranny and The prophet Muhammad demonstrated many examples of kindred reunion in his lifetime.
The prophet and strengthening kindred ties:The prophet led his victorious army into Mecca years after the Meccans had exiled him, fought with him and tortured his companions. One of those who fought fiercely against the prophet was his cousin (Abu Sofian). As soon as Abu Sofian heard that the prophet was entering Mecca with his victorious army, he took his children and all his money and tried to flee from Mecca. When asked by one of his Muslim relatives (Ali Bin Abu Taleb) why he was fleeing from Mecca, he replied,
"I think the moment Muhammad catches me, he will cut me into pieces with his sword."
Ali, told Abu Sofian that he was wrong. He said the prophet was very caring for his kindred and would forgive him.
He advised him to meet the prophet and tell him what Prophet Joseph’s brother told Joseph:
"By Allah, verily Allah hath preferred thee above us, and we were indeed sinful." And, when the prophet heard these words from his cousin (Abu Sofian) he cried and told Abu Sofian what Prophet Joseph told his brother,
"Have no fear this day! May Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy."After receiving forgiveness and kindred reunion from the prophet, Said Abu Sofian acknowledged his goodness,
"Oh my cousin how merciful you are, how wise you are, how reasonable you are, how great you are to your kindred."