Verses of the Noble Quran and various Hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, call strongly for the upholding of kinship ties and encourage this by offering worldly and religious rewards.
There is no doubt that a society whose members maintain family relations and treat each other mercifully forms an invincible fort and a fortified castle. It produces close-knit families and a solid social structure that provides the world with leaders, instructors, thinkers, teachers, callers and reformers, who carry the torches of guidance to their nation and all of humanity.
This article focuses on upholding good relations with kindred, which is among the greatest and noblest morals.
Kinship ties refer to a person’s bond with his paternal and maternal relatives; and, maintaining them implies being good and kind to one’s relations in both words and deeds. This includes visiting them, asking after them, supporting the needy among them and helping them with their affairs.
There are many virtues of upholding kinship ties, as doing so is:
A sign of faith: Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day should be hospitable to his guest; and whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day should maintain his kinship ties; and whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, should speak well or remain silent.” [Al-Bukhaari] In this Hadeeth, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, referred to three things that make people cooperate with and love each other: extending a warm welcome to visitors, preserving the ties of kindred and using kind words. In fact, he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, established a connection between these qualities and faith, in effect, saying that anyone who believes in Allaah The Almighty and the Last Day does not sever his kinship ties; and, that is because maintaining kinship ties is a sign of faith.
Maintaining ties of kinship does not mean visiting, helping or serving one’s relatives in return for similar deeds on their part. True upholding of family relations is to do so with those kith and kin who sever their bond with us. Thus, it refers to visiting relatives who do not visit us, and being good to those who wrong us. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrates that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “A man who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not he who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives; rather, he is the one who is on agreeable terms with those kin who have severed [their] bond with him.” [Al-Bukhaari]