The Importance of Kinship in Islam


Maintaining Silat ur-Rahm (Family Ties) is an Islamic Obligation

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah’s Announcement

A young man once went to attend the weekly hadith lecture of the Sahabi Sayyidna Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu but Abu Hurairah’s routine opening announcement stopped him:

“If anyone sitting here has severed any ties of kinship (qata-ur-rahim), he should leave.” (and repair his relationship).

The young man recalled his aunt, who lived in the same town but with whom he had not been on speaking terms. The young man quietly left the gathering and went straight to his aunt’s home. He met his aunt and asked for forgiveness for his past behavior and sought rapprochement.

When the aunt inquired about the reason for this change of heart, the young man narrated how he had heard Abu Huraira’s announcement. His aunt accepted the apology but asked him to inquire from Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, the reason for this unusual announcement. Why, instead of mentioning the major sins, did Abu Hurairah focus only on this issue? What was so special about ties of kinship?

Sayyidna Abu Hurairah replied that he had heard from the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam that our deeds are presented to Allah every Thursday night and anyone who has severed family ties has all his good deeds rejected. Abu Hurairah did not want any such person sitting in his gathering, which was held on the same night, for fear that it could deprive the entire gathering of blessings.

Another hadith explains further the reason for this fear: “Allah’s mercy will not descend on people among whom there is one who severs ties of kinship.”[Baihaqi, Shuab Al-Iman]

Break relations with kin :

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 13 Surah Ar-Raad  verse 25:

As for those who break their covenant with Allah after confirming it, who cut asunder relationships which Allah has bidden to be joined, and spread chaos on the earth,  their’s shall be the curse, and they shall have a wretched abode in the Hereafter.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Bakarah verse 27:

And He leads astray only those who disobey Allah,  who break Allah’s covenant after ratifying it, who cut asunder relationships what Allah has ordered to be joined, and who produce chaos on the Earth.   These are indeed the people who are the losers.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.17 Narrated by Abu Huraira

The Prophet (saws) said, “The word ‘Ar-Rahm (womb) derives its name from Ar-Rahman (i.e., one of the names of Allah) and Allah said: ‘I will keep good relation with the one who will keep good relation with you (the womb, i.e. kith and kin), and sever the relation with him who will sever the relation with you (the womb, i.e. kith and kin).

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.15 Narrated by Anas bin Malik

Allah ‘s Messenger (saws) said, “Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged, then he should keep good relations with his kith and kin.”

Regardless of the behavior of one’s blood-relatives, it is absolutely impermissible, forbidden, and an abomination of a sin in the Sight of Allah for one to break or sever ties or relationships of blood which the Lord Himself has created for them!

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.20 Narrated by Abdullah bin Amr

The Prophet (saws) said, “’Al-Wasil’ (the one who does good to his relatives) is not he who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but ‘Al-Wasil’ is he who keeps good relations with those relatives who had severed the bond of kinship with him.”

 

Story of a Leper, a blind man and a bald-headed man


Narrated Abu Huraira: that he heard Allah‘s Apostle saying, “Allah willed to test three Israelis who were a Leper, a blind man and a bald-headed man.
 
So, he sent them an angel who came to the leper and said, ‘What thing do you like most?’ He replied, “Good color and good skin, for the people have a strong aversion to me.’ The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given a good color and beautiful skin. The angel asked him, ‘What kind of property do you like best?’ He replied, ‘Camels (or cows).’ (The narrator is in doubt, for either the leper or the bald-headed man demanded camels and the other demanded cows.) So he (i.e. the leper) was given a pregnant she-camei, and the angel said (to him), ‘May Allah bless you in it.’ 
 
The angel then went to the bald-headed man and said, ‘What thing do you like most?’ He said, ‘I like good hair and wish to be cured of this disease, for the people feel repulsion for me.’ The angel touched him and his illness was cured, and he was given good hair. The angel asked (him), ‘What kind of property do you like bests’ He replied, ‘Cows,’ The angel gave him a pregnant cow and said, ‘May Allah bless you in it.’
 
The angel went to the blind man and asked, ‘What thing do you like best?’ He said, ‘(I like) that Allah may restore my eye-sight to me so that I may see the people.’ The angel touched his eyes and Allah gave him back his eye-sight. The angel asked him, “What kind of property do you like best?’ He replied, ‘Sheep.’ The angel gave him a pregnant sheep.
 
Afterwards, all the three pregnant animals gave birth to young ones, and multiplied and brought forth so much that one of the (three) men had a herd of camels filling a valley, and one had a herd of cows filling a valley, and one had a flock of sheep filling a valley. 
 
Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a leper, went to the leper and said, I am a poor man, who has lost all means of livelihood while on a journey. So none will satisfy my need except Allah and then you. In the Name of Him Who has given you such nice color and beautiful skin, and so much property, I ask you to give me a camel so that I may reach my destination. The man replied, ‘I have many obligations (so I cannot give you).’ The angel said, ‘I think I know you; were you not a leper to whom the people had a strong aversion? Weren’t you a poor man, and then Allah gave you (all this property).’ He replied, ‘(This is all wrong), I got this property through inheritance from my fore-fathers’ The angel said, ‘If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you were before.’ 
 
Then the angel, disguised in the shape and appearance of a bald man, went to the bald man and said to him the same as he told the first one, and he too answered the same as the first one did. The angel said, ‘If you are telling a lie, then let Allah make you as you were before.’
 
The angel, disguised in the shape of a blind man, went to the blind man and said, ‘I am a poor man and a traveler, whose means of livelihood have been exhausted while on a journey. I have nobody to help me except Allah, and after Him, you yourself. I ask you in the Name of Him Who has given you back your eye-sight to give me a sheep, so that with its help, I may complete my journey’ The man said, ‘No doubt, I was blind and Allah gave me back my eye-sight; I was poor and Allah made me rich; so take anything you wish from my property. By Allah, I will not stop you for taking anything (you need) of my property which you may take for Allah’s sake.’ The angel replied, ‘Keep your property with you. You (i.e 3 men) have been tested and Allah is pleased with you and is angry with your two companions.”