Importance of family in Islam: “Be servants of Allah as brothers” (Hadith)

ID 151375313 © Volodymyr Tverdokhlib | Dreamstime.com
ID 151375313 © Volodymyr Tverdokhlib | Dreamstime.com

Our faith teaches us to value and uphold family relationships. We read in a hadith:

Abu Bakr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “You must be truthful, for it is alongside righteousness and they are both in Paradise. Beware of falsehood, for it is alongside wickedness and they are both in the Hellfire. Ask Allah for wellness, for no one is given anything better after conviction than wellness. Do not envy each other, do not hate each other, do not cut each other off, and do not turn away from each other. Be servants of Allah as brothers.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

When we reflect on this, it makes us realise the significance of maintaining good and healthy relationships with our family, avoiding hatred towards them, and not forgetting about them. This hadith highlights the fact that as much as we have our family and relatives, we are indeed, first and foremost, servants of Allah.

It reminds us that the reason for our positive attitude and behaviour towards our family should be because we know that it is pleasing to Allah. When our intention is to please Allah, we will be better able to face any possible issues in our families with more strength, patience, and compromise, as we will remember that indeed we are servants of Allah, and none of us were created to be perfect. Each of us has our good and bad deeds that we accountable for. We read in a hadith:

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you.” (Musnad Ahmad)

In another hadith, we read about the reward for looking after our families. Whatever we spend on our families is counted as charity:  

Sa’d reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, visited me while I was ill in Mecca. I said, “I have some wealth. May I donate all of it?” The Prophet said, “No.” I said, “Half of it?” The Prophet said, “No.” I said, “A third of it?” The Prophet said, “Yes a third, but this is still too much. That you leave your inheritors wealthy is better than leaving them dependent, begging for what people have. Whatever you spend on them is charity for you, even the morsel you feed to your wife.” (Sahih Bukhari)

We also learn about what the Prophet (SAW) said to a person who fasted without ever breaking his fast and prayed throughout the night, and it reminds us about the importance of family in Islam. We read:

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to him, “I am told you fast and never break your fast and you never stop praying at night? Fast and break your fast, pray at night and sleep. Verily, your eyes have a right over you, your own self has a right over you, and your family has a right over you.” (Sahih Bukhari)