Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
It is noteworthy that Islam is keen on building a strong society in which love, cooperation, and sympathy prevail. In order to achieve this, Islam has laid down certain rules to govern people’s interaction with each other in the society, defining the rights and obligations of its members. Among social relations that attract Islam’s attention is the kin relationship.
In this regard, we would like to cite the following:
Blood relations, like a brother, parental or maternal uncle, cousins and all your kindred have the right to kinship each in accordance with his or her nearness. Allah Almighty says: “And give to the kindred his due.” (Al-Isra’: 26) And, “Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kins-folk…” (An-Nisa’ 4:36)
Relatives have to maintain good ties and extend physical and financial support in accordance with the relative exigencies and nearness of kinship. It is an injunction dictated by canonical laws, reason and human nature.
Qura’nic and Prophetic texts emphasize the necessity of cementing kindred ties and maintaining them abound.
Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, who quote the Prophet (peace be blessings be upon him) as saying: “Allah created His creation, and when He had finished it, the womb (referring to ties of kinship) got up and caught hold of Allah whereupon Allah said, “What is the matter?’ On that, it said, ‘I seek refuge with you from those who sever the ties of kith and kin.’ On that Allah said, ‘Will you be satisfied if I bestow My favors on him who keeps your ties, and withhold My favors from him who severs your ties?’ On that it said, ‘Yes, O my Lord!’ Then Allah said, ‘That is for you.’ “ Abu Huraira added: If you wish, you can recite: “Would you then if you were given the authority. do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship.” (Muhammad 47:22-23)
The Prophet (peace be blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should maintain good relation with his kindred.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Unfortunately, a lot of people have neglected this right and no longer discharge their obligations, material, social or moral towards their kin. Days and long months could elapse without even paying one’s relations a visit or gaining their favor with a present.
It has become a habit that one finds it difficult to even try to satisfy a certain need or ward off a misfortune that happens to befall them.
Some people behave differently. They maintain good ties as long as their kindred do the same, but otherwise they sever them. Real cherishing of blood relation is not observed in anticipation of equal reaction on the part of one’s kin; but the ties should be maintained for Allah’s sake only, maybe this is done from one side only while neglecting the behavior of the other side in its return.
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-Aas quotes the Prophet (peace be blessings be upon him) as saying: “Al-Wasil (one who maintain good relation with his kinship) is not the one who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but Al-Wasil is the one who keeps good relations with those relatives who have severed the bond of kinship with him.” (Al-Bukhari)
Abu Hurairah quotes a person as saying: “O Messenger of Allah, I have relatives with whom I try to have close relationship, but they sever (this relation). They return my good treatment with bad behavior, my kind approach with harsh manner. Upon this he (the Prophet) said: “If it is so as you say, then you in fact throw hot ashes (upon their faces) and so long as you adhere to this (path of righteousness), Allah will always help you and He will protect you against their mischief.” (Muslim)
Maintaining good ties with one’s kindred is bound to earn one Allah’s mercy, affluence and deliverance from distress, in addition to amity, attachment and spirit of cooperation that will envelop the whole atmosphere of the family in both adversity and prosperity. It goes without saying that severance of kinship ties melt away all these benefits and sow the fruit of discord among relatives.”
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.