THE SIN OF BREAKING FAMILY TIES
The importance to nurture and maintain a family bond (Silatur-Rahim) is indeed an extraordinary importance in Islam. To treat another with politeness, kindness and to forgive and forget. It is our duty to be discharged without an eye for reciprocity. To all, ESPECIALLY family.
Islam highlighted the importance of family and priorities their interest above others, with the basis of love and respect.
In a narration, Prophet Muhammad SAW said that: “I command all the people of my followers (Umma), whether present or not, and those generations which are to come till the Day of Judgement (Qiyama), …, to maintain family kinship even if they live at a distance of a year's journey.” (Shaykh al-Kulayni, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 2, p. 151.
In another narration, Prophet SAW states that: “ The best person among you is the one who treats his family members best. And I am the best among you to my family”
( Hadith Ibn Majah, On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Abbas)
Islam paid a great deal of attention in preserving family ties, to put one another first and commands us to do good to each other. A sensible and well-balanced family is indeed the very foundation of a happy life. These verses and narrations about family kinship together with many other ones illustrate the importance of this matter in Islam.
In the verses of the Qur'an explaining the notion of dzawi'l-qurba (closest relatives). is: “And if you (must) turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word”. (Q.S. 17: 28).
In another verse Allah the Almighty says: “What they should spend. Say, "Whatever you spend of good is (to be) for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it." (Q.S. 2: 215).
The Qur'an also gives high priority to close family/relatives to receive attention (kindness) and prioritized its interests more than others.
A wealthier Muslim is obliged to assist his or her family/relatives, with priority given to the nearest in kin, and then in order of nearness in relationship. A Muslim supports his brothers and relatives in times of need and shares their concerns.
In the Glorious Qur'an we find the saying of Allah the Almighty: "and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you...” (Q.S. 4: 1).
Islam encourages a Muslim to be kind to the family/ relatives even when they are unkind to them, and asks them to continue their relations even when they cut them off. Boycotting relatives and family members falls into the category of a major sin in Islam.
In this case Allah the Almighty says that forbids the breaking of relationship in the Glorious Quran: "So what if you are in power you will make mischief in the earth and break the kinship relationship? They are the ones whom Allah cursed and hears them and blinded their eyes. (Q.S. 47: 22-23).
The verse commands us to be cautious of Allah the Almighty or to execute His command and to stay away from His prohibitions. After that Allah the Almighty commands connect relationships and fulfill their rights, and do not break the relationship. While nearly every religion has emphasized good family relations, Islam has taken it to unprecedented heights. It is a duty to be discharged without an eye for reciprocity. A Muslim is required to be kind even to his non-Muslim relatives. Similarly he is required to be kind to even those relatives who are harsh to him.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Allah the Almighty created the universe, and when He had finished, kinship (al-rahm) stood up and said, “This is the standing up of one who seeks Your protection from being cut off.” Allah the Almighty said, “Yes, would it please you if I were to take care of those who take care of you and cut off those who cut you off?” It said, “Of course.” Allah the Almighty said, “Then your prayer in granted.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah he Almighty be upon him) said, “Recite, if you wish (interpretation of the meaning): ‘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].” (Saheeh Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, 16/112)
We benefit from the above great Hadith that Allah the Almighty will take care of those who take care and maintain the ties of kinship and we also learn that whoever cuts the ties of kinship, Allah the Almighty will cut them off. Islam calls for the upholding of the ties of kinship because of the great effect that this has on achieving social cohesion and perpetuating cooperation and love among the Muslims.
It is reason for not entering Paradise; the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No person severs ties of kinship would enter Paradise.” [Reported by Muslim 2556]
The Prophet also explained the positive impact on people who make a relationship:
Anas Ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever is pleased to have his provision expanded and his life span extended, then he should keep good relations with his family.” (Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari 1961, Ṣaḥiḥ Muslim 2557)
Maintaining family ties does to increase provision nor entrant the life period as all these are predetermined. BUT it will surely bring barakah and pleasure to Allah the Almighty. And a simple way of achieving this is to treat family/relatives kindly, and go out of his way to maintain relationship with them.
The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who guides to something good has a reward similar to that of its doer” [Reported by Muslim 1893]. Whereupon his life span becomes blessed because of the greatness of his reward when meeting Allah the Almighty.
A rich man, if not willing to help the poor who are not his family, then the anger of the poor is nothing compared to if the poor is his own family.
In ancient times there was a poet who said:
"The deeds of persecution from their own relatives are more painful to the heart than to the sharp sword”.
Islam encourages us to assemble a community of compassion. Thusly, Islam has decided the most commendable individuals are the family/relatives.
In the inheritance law, Islam has decided the remaining parts of the dead as beneficiaries given to the kin, as indicated by the request of closest beneficiaries to the dead.
Allah the Almighty says in the Al-Qurah Surah 4: 7: "For men there is a right of the inheritance of the father's mother and his relatives, and to the woman there is a right of the inheritance of her father's and her relatives, whether little or much according to the appointed portion".
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this part of the Ayat, "Refers to a man who is near death and he dictates a will and testament that harms some of the rightful inheritors. Allah commands whoever hears such will to fear Allah, and direct the dying man to do what is right and to be fair, being as eager to protect the inheritors of the dying man as he would be with his own.'' Similar was reported from Mujahid and several others. The Two Sahihs record that when the Messenger of Allah visited Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas during an illness he suffered from, Sa`d said to the Messenger, "O Messenger of Allah! I am wealthy and have no inheritors except a daughter. Should I give two-thirds of my property in charity'' He said, "No.'' Sa`d asked, "Half'' He said, "No.'' Sa`d said, "One-third'' The Prophet said; One-third, and even one-third is too much.) The Messenger of Allah then said: You'd better leave your inheritors wealthy rather than leaving them poor, begging from others. (Hadith: Al-Tabarani: 8:19/21)
Furthermore, as solid confirmation that Islam is worried about the issue of connection is, Islam requires the individuals who can bear to accommodate or provide for the poor of their family/relatives, the youngsters, the grandchildren: father or granddad and so forth.
The majority of Muslims ignored this right, as they did with different rights. Which lead to hatred rather than love and kindness between the family and the siblings in Islam.
Cutting family ties is a disease in the heart
In addition to explaining the virtue of shilaturrahim, so too the Messenger of Allah threatened the one who broke his relatives with his word:
“No person severs ties of kinship would enter Paradise.” (Hadith: Muslim 2556)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: “I have relatives with whom I try, to have close relationship, but they sever (this relation). I treat them well, but they treat me ill. I am sweet to them but they are harsh towards me.” Upon this he (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “if it is so as you say, then you in fact shove hot sand in their mouth’s (upon their faces) and there would always remain with you on behalf of Allah (an Angel to support you) who would keep you dominant over them so long as you adhere to this (path of uniting kinship ties).” (Hadith Muslim 2558)
What punishment could be worse than the curse and the evil home that awaits those who sever the ties of kinship?
Those who cut the ties of kinship deny themselves the reward for upholding the ties of kinship in the Hereafter, in addition to denying themselves much good in this world, which is a long life and ample provision (as we mentioned in a previous Hadith): that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
Hence; o servants of Allah, o you who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, consider your relations with your family/relatives!
Did you observe uniting their ties of kinship, which is obligatory upon you?
Did you treat them with leniency? Did you meet them with happy face?
Did you open your chests at meeting them?
Did you present to them the love, appreciation and respect that they deserve?
Did you visit them during their being well, for having cordiality? Did you visit them during their illness, because of care and being interested in them?
Did you present to them what they need from money and other things?
Dear beloved brothers and sisters, let’s make doa’ from Allah the Almighty to protect us from all evil, to upholds our family ties, to love and most of all to spread peace.
May Allah the Almighty make us strong when someone is behaving unjustly and find peace in the truth of the situation and that Allah the Almighty is enough as a witness?
To the very core I pray that Allah the Almighty will fill our heart with love to one another, strengthen the family bond and see sincerity in one another and become a family again.
When a man asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about how to treat a relative who had harmed and insulted him, the Prophet (PBUH) answered: “Resume your relationship with the one who has broken family bonds with you, grant the one who has deprived you and forgive the one who has harmed you. Whenever you do so, God will protect you against them”. (Shaikh al-Kulayni, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 2, p. 150).
And Allah knows best!