By Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Islam has ordained that one’s ties, relatives and kinship must be maintained and looked after as they are the nearest of all to one’s parents. Allah the Almighty says in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an what may mean,
“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.” (Al-Nisa’ 4: 36)
Allah the Almighty also says in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an what may mean,
“And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs.” (Al-Nisa’ 4: 1), and
“And those who join that which Allah has ordered to be joined and fear their Lord and are afraid of the evil of [their] account,” (Al-Ra`d 13: 21)
In a similar vein, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) considered maintaining one’s ties and looking after them as one of the pillars of faith and belief in Allah as can be seen in the following Prophetic hadith.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good relation with kins; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Similarly, Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah created all the creatures and when He finished the task of His creation, Ar-Rahm (ties of relationship) said: ‘(O Allah) at this place I seek refuge with You against severing my ties.’ Allah said: ‘That I treat with kindness those who treat you with kindness and sever ties with those who sever ties with you.’ It said: ‘I am satisfied.’ Allah said: ‘Then this is yours”. Then Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Recite this Ayah if you like: ‘Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.” (Muhammad 47: 22-23). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Maintaining good relations with one’s kins is regarded as a way or means for the increase in blessings in one’s lifetime and the prolongation of one’s life span. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “He who desires ample provisions and his life be prolonged, should maintain good ties with his blood relations.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Remarkably, the one who severs his ties of kinship will be blocked and prevented from entering Heaven or enjoying its limitless blessings and bounties. Abu Muhammad Jubair ibn Mut’im (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The person who severs the bond of kinship will not enter Jannah [Paradise or Heaven].” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Imam Ali, the Prophet’s (Peace and blessings be upon him) cousin said: You should honor your relatives and kins as they are but the wing with which you fly and the origin to which you return.
Remarkably, Islam did not enjoin upon Muslims that they should take care of their kins and care about their close relatives without giving them (Muslims) any cues as how this should be carried out and observed. Islam has enjoined so many ways that may fulfill this obligation and make it come true in this present life. Such cues and means include among many others:
– The solidarity and joint liability system that obliges the affluent to spend on his poor or insolvent relatives whenever needed;
– The Inheritance system that gives each and every relative a share of the deceased property in accordance with their degree of relationship;
– The blood relatives male system which enjoins that one’s kins and family should assist in terms of the payment of the blood money deserved from any individual thereof.
All the above shows that Islam is keen on maintaining the spirit of love and responsibility among all members of the community, especially those who have a mutual blood relationship or family ties.
Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation, Kulliyyah of Languages and Management (KLM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was Assistant Professor and worked for a number of international universities in Malaysia and Egypt such as Al-Madinah International University, Shah Alam, Malaysia (Mediu) and Misr University for Science & Technology (MUST), Egypt; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Da`wah Committee (EDC), Kuwait; Former Deputy Chief Editor and Managing Editor of the Living Shari`ah Department, www.islamOnline.net; Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS); and member of the World Association of Arab Translators & Linguists (Wata). He is a published writer, translator and researcher. You can reach him at [email protected]