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8 Examples of Islam’s Care for Relatives

8 Examples of Islam’s Care for Relatives

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another” (Al-Hujurat 49: 13).

Islam aims at establishing strong relations among people who were all created by Allah. “Knowing one another” in this verse implies integration, cooperation, and co-existence.

Practically speaking, each and every one has something either to give to or to require from others so that all get their needs fulfilled and desires met in one way or another.

If you have a blood relationship with another, this makes getting to know them and caring for them more significant; if they were vulnerable or minors, their rights on you become stronger.

 

1. The significance of doing good to relatives

The Qur’an places doing good to relatives right after worshipping Allah and doing good to parents. The Qur’an says:

{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 arrogant and boastful” (An-Nisa’ 4: 36).

Similarly, the Sunnah upholds ties of kinship and prohibits severing them. This can be seen in the following hadith. `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

The bond of relationship is suspending from the Throne, and says: ‘He who keeps good relations with me, Allah will keep connection with him, but whosoever severs relations with me, Allah will sever connection with him’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

2. Spending on one’s relatives

Spending on one’s relatives  is an act of righteousness, among many other things as is shown in this ayah:

{Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 177).

3. Honoring blood relationship

The Qur’an commands the faithful to revere, keep and honor the relations of the womb (i.e. relatives) and severe not them in any way.

{O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord Who created you from a single soul, and from it He created its mate, and through both He spread countless men and women. And be mindful of Allah—in Whose Name you appeal to one another—and [honour] family ties. Surely Allah is ever Watchful over you.} (An-Nisa’ 4: 1).

4. Blood relatives have more rights than the other believers

Blood relations have two merits: brotherhood in Islam as well as their particular blood relationship.

{The Prophet has a stronger affinity to the believers than they do themselves. And his wives are their mothers. As ordained by Allah, blood relatives are more entitled [to inheritance˺ than [other˺ believers and immigrants, unless you [want to] show kindness to your [close] associates [through bequest]. This is decreed in the Record.}(Al-Ahzab 33: 6)

 

5. Be kind to your non-Muslim relatives

The Qur’an commands us to be gentle and courteous to parents even if they are non-Muslims; even if they tried to press us to reject Islam:

{But if they [parents] pressure you to associate with Me what you have no knowledge of [ie. other gods], do not obey them. Still keep their company in this world courteously}  (Luqman 31:15)

Asma’ bint Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with her) said:

“My mother came to me while she was still a polytheist, so I asked Messenger of Allah, ‘My mother, has come to visit me and she is hoping for (my favor). Shall I maintain good relations with her?’

He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘Yes, maintain  good relations with your mother’” (Al- Bukhari and Muslim).

6. Relatives should get their rights

The Qur’an commands that every due right should be given to its owner without any delay, procrastination or wastefulness.

{And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully} (Al-Isra’ 17: 26).

7. Relatives not eligible to inheritance get a gift share

The Qur’an commands that when the wealth is divided according to the rules of inheritance, present relatives with no prescribed shares should get some gift from the wealth so as to comfort their hearts and help them face the vicissitudes of life. The Qur’an says:

{And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness} (An-Nisa’ 4: 8).

8. Dealing with hurtful relatives

If you have some hurtful relatives who do not exchange mutual respect and good relations with you, you should be kind to them and never treat them reciprocally.

The Qur’an says:

{And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful} (An-Nur 24: 22).

Similarly, this is understood from the following hadith:

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

A man said to Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him):

‘I have relatives with whom I try to keep the ties of relationship but they sever relations with me; and whom I treat kindly but they treat me badly, I am gentle with them but they are rough to me.’

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied,

If you are as you say, it is as if you are feeding them hot ashes, and a supporter from Allah against them will be with you as long as you continue to do so’” [Muslim].


About Dr. Ali Al-Halawani

Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies. He is an author, translator, and writer based in Canada. To date, Al-Halawani authored over 400 original articles on Islam and Muslims, most of which can be accessed on www.aboutislam.net and other famous websites. He has recently started to self-publish his articles and new books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle. You can reach him at [email protected]

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