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The Virtue of Maintaining Family Ties

Aisha (R.A) narrates that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said, (about the 15th of Shabaan) “This is the middle Night of Sha’ban. Allah frees in it a large number of the people from Fire, more than the number of the hair growing on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb. But He does not even look at a person who associates partners with Allah, or at a person who nourishes malice in his heart (against someone), or at a person who cuts off the ties of kinship, or at a man who leaves his clothes extending beyond his ankles (as a sign of pride), or at a person who disobeys his parents, or at a person who has a habit of drinking wine.”

Insha-Allah we will be discussing the importance of family ties.

Ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘The joiner of family ties is not he who (merely) reciprocates, but the joiner of family ties is he who joins ties when one breaks ties with him.’

We see in our society long standing family relationships are shredded for petty reasons. Blood brothers and sisters are not on talking terms for months and years for trivial matters. Disunity, suspicion, malice and hatred have become the norm in many families. Even where there is no enmity, family relationships are weak and superficial. Nobody has time to visit family, and those who do, are not welcome anyway! Preference is given to friends over family.

Long established traditions, based on sound values and principles, have been thrown out of the window, and replaced with an artificial, vain and hollow lifestyle. Simplicity, hospitality, generosity, honesty, modesty, dignity, piety and other wonderful values are brushed aside as unimportant, and even scoffed at as being orthodox and old-fashioned, just as it was in the days of jahiliyyah!

The order of maintaining family ties is replete in the Qur’aan and Ahaadith. We will mention 22 ahadith on the importance of family ties

Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) narrates that the Rasool of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘(the personification of) Family ties are attached to the throne of Allah saying, ‘he who joins me, Allah joins him and he
who breaks with me Allah Ta’ala breaks away from him.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

Jaabir ibn Muntam (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘The person who breaks family ties will not enter Jannah.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

Asmaa bint Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anha) narrates that her mother came to her at that time when she (her mother) was an idol worshipper. Asmaa (Radhiallaahu Anha) enquired from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) whether she must be good to her or not. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied to be good to her.

Umar ibn al-Khattab Narrates: Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab said: There were two brothers among the Ansar who shared an inheritance. When one of them asked the other for the portion due to him, he replied: If you ask me again for the portion due to you, all my property will be devoted to the decoration of the Ka’bah. Umar said to him: The Ka’bah does not need your property. Make atonement for your oath and speak to your brother. I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: An oath or vow to disobey the Lord, or to break ties of relationship or about something over which one has no control is not binding on you.

Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As (R.A) Narrates that The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said: A vow is binding in those things by which the pleasure of Allah is sought, and an oath to break ties of relationship is not binding.

AbuBakrah (R.A) Narrates that The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: There is no sin more fitted to have punishment meted out by Allah to its perpetrator in advance in this world along with what He stores up for him in the next world than oppression and serving ties of relationship.

Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As (R.A) Narrates that The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said: An oath or a vow about something over which a human being has no control, and to disobey Allah, and to break ties of relationship is not binding. If anyone takes an oath and then considers something else better than it, he should give it up, and do what is better, for leaving it is its atonement.

AbuUsayd Malik ibn Rabi’ah as-Sa’idi (R.A) Narrates: While we were with the Apostle of Allah! (peace be upon him) a man of Banu Salmah came to Him and said: Apostle of Allah is there any kindness left that I can do to my parents after their death? He replied: Yes, you can invoke blessings on them, forgiveness for them, carry out their final instructions after their death, join ties of relationship which are dependent on them, and honour their friends.

Abu Huraira Narrates: The Prophet said, “Allah created His creation, and when He had finished it, the womb, 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 favours on him who keeps your ties, and withhold My favours 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.” (47. 22)

Abu Huraira Narrates that Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah created the creation, and when He finished from His creation the Rahm (kith and kinship) got up, and Allah said (to it).’Stop! What do you want?’ It said; ‘at this place I seek refuge with you from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of Kinship.)’ Allah said: ‘Would you be pleased that I will keep good relation with the one who will keep good relation with you, and I will sever the relation with the one who will sever the relation with you.’ It said: ‘Yes, O my Lord.’ Allah said (to it), ‘That is for you.

And then Abu Huraira recited the Verse: “Would you then if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship.” (47.22)

AbuMusa al-Ash’ari Narrates that The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There are three who will not enter paradise: one who is addicted to wine, one who breaks ties of relationship, and one who believes in magic.” Ahmad transmitted it.

Abu Hurayrah Narrates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Learn enough of your genealogies to show what ties of relationship you should join, for joining ties of relationship is a means of producing love in a family, increasing wealth and prolonging life.” (Tirmidhi transmitted it, saying this is a gharib tradition.)

Abu Hurayrah Narrates that a man reviled(abused in words) AbuBakr and the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sitting showing pleasure and smiling, but when the man went on at length and AbuBakr replied to some of what he said the Prophet (peace be upon him) became angry and got up and left. AbuBakr followed him and caught up with him and said, “Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), he was reviling me while you were sitting, but when I replied to some of what he said you became angry and got up and went away.” He replied, “There was an angel with you replying to him, but when you replied to him a devil came down.” He then added, “Oh AbuBakr, there are three things all of which are true: No one is wronged and ignores it for the sake of Allah who is Great and Glorious without Allah giving him great help for it. No one begins to give intending thereby to unite ties of relationship without Allah providing him with much more because of it. And no one will begin to beg seeking thereby to gain abundance without Allah giving him still more scantiness because of it.” (Ahmad transmitted it.)

Abu Dharr Narrates that My friend (i.e. Nabi S.A.W.)Ordered me to observe seven things. He ordered me to love the poor and be near them; he ordered me to consider my inferior and not consider my superior; he ordered me to join ties of relationship even when relatives were at a distance; he ordered me not to ask anyone for anything; he ordered me to speak the truth even when it was bitter; he ordered me not to fear for Allah’s sake reproach anyone may cast on me; and he ordered me to repeat often “There is no might and no power except in Allah,” for these words were part of the treasure under the Throne. Ahmad transmitted it.

Abu Kabshah al-Anmari Narrates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “There are three things which I swear to be true, and I shall tell you something else, so keep it in mind. The three things which I swear to be true are that a man’s property does not become less on account of sadaqah; and that when a man is wronged and bears it patiently Allah will give him greater honour on that account; and that when a man opens a door towards begging Allah opens for him a door towards poverty. The thing I am going to tell you which you must keep in mind is this. The world has only four types of people:

1) A man whom Allah provides with property (wealth) and knowledge, in which he fears his Lord and joins ties of relationship, acting in it as is due to Him for the sake of Allah, this man is in the most excellent condition.

2) A man whom Allah provides with knowledge but not with property (wealth), who says with a sincere intention that if, he had property (wealth) he would act as so and so does, their reward will be equal.

3) A man whom Allah provides with property but not with knowledge, in which he acts in a random manner ignorantly, not fearing his Lord respecting it, or using it to join ties of relationship, or dealing with it in a right way, this man being in the worst condition.

4) A man whom Allah provides with neither property nor knowledge, who says that if he had property he would deal with it as so and so does and has the above mentioned evil intention, the load they have to bear being equal.” (Tirmidhi transmitted it, saying this is a sahih tradition).

Ubadah ibn as-Samit Narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whenever a Muslim supplicates Allah, Allah grants his supplication or averts some kind of evil from him so long as he does not supplicate for something sinful or something that would cut off the ties of kinship. Thereupon someone said: Then we shall supplicate plenty. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah is more plentiful in responding. (Transmitted by Tirmidhi,)

AbdurRahman ibn Awf Narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Three things will be under the throne on the Day of Resurrection: the Qur’an which will contend with men, having an exoteric and an esoteric meaning; the trust; and ties of relationship which will say, ‘Allah, join those who joined me and sever those who severed me’!” (Transmitted in Sharh as-Sunnah.)

AbuSa’id al-Khudri Narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Any Muslim who makes a supplication containing nothing which is sinful or which involves breaking ties of relationship will be given for it by Allah one of three things: He will give him swift answer, or store it up for him in the next world, or turn away from him an equivalent amount of evil.” Those who heard it said they would then make many supplications and he replied that Allah was more ready to answer than they were to ask. (Ahmad transmitted it)

‘Abdullah ibn as-Salam reports: “When the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam came to Medinah, the people gathered around him and I was one of them. I looked at his face and understood that it was not the face of a liar. The first words I heard him say were: ‘O people, spread the salutations, feed the people, keep the ties of kinship, and pray during the night while the others sleep and you will enter paradise in peace.”‘

(This is related by al-Hakim, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi who calls it hasan sahih)

Amr ibn Abasah Sulami Narrates that When I was in the state of Ignorance (before embracing Islam) I used to think that the people were in error; they were not on anything (that might be called the right path) and they worshipped idols. Meanwhile I heard of a man in Mecca who was giving news (on the basis of his prophetic knowledge); so I mounted and rode to him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was at that time hiding as his people had made life hard for him. I adopted a friendly attitude (towards the Meccans and thusmanaged) to enter Mecca and go to him (the Holy Prophet). I said to him: Who are you? He said: I am a Prophet (of Allah). I again said: What is a Prophet? He said: (I am a Prophet in the sense that) I have been sent by Allah. I said: What have you been sent to do? He said: I have been sent to join ties of relationship (with kindness and affection), to break the idols, and to proclaim the oneness of Allah (in a manner that) nothing is to be associated with Him. I said: Who is with you in this (in these beliefs and practices)? He said: A free man and a slave. He (the narrator) said: AbuBakr and Bilal were there with him among those who had embraced Islam by that time.

Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and Hadhrat Mistah were close family members Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) used to render financial assistance to Hadhrat Mistah. When Hadhrat Mistah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) got involved in the scandal against Hadhrat Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha), Hadhrat Abu Bakr, being the father of our mother Aaisha was naturally upset and vowed to discontinue his assistance to Mistah(R.A). Allah Ta’ala advised him, ‘Don’t you love to be forgiven?’ Upon that, Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) replied, ‘Yes! I love to be forgiven.’ He forgave Mistah and resumed his financial assistance to him.