Upholding Ties of Kinship
How would we react if we were told that we were losing out on a reward that is higher than the reward of Sadaqa (charity), Sawm (fasting) and Salah (prayer)? We read in a hadith that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Shall I not inform you of something more excellent in degree than fasting, prayer and almsgiving (sadaqah)? The people replied: Yes, Prophet of Allah! He said: It is putting things right between people, spoiling them is the shaver (destructive).” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
If we ponder on this hadith, we realise how immense the reward is for putting things right between people, which includes relatives.
Even when we face struggles in trying to uphold our ties of kinship, Islam teaches us to continue to try and that Allah (SWT) will reward us for our sincere efforts.
We should never forget that sincerely upholding our ties of kinship demonstrates the purity of our belief. We struggle through difficulties because our ultimate focus is on pleasing Allah (SWT) as opposed to pleasing others. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good relation with kins.” (Al Bukhari and Muslim)
What would we do if we discovered that in severing ties with our kin we our also risking our connection to Allah? We read in a hadith that Aishah (RA) reported that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“The bond of relationship is suspending from the Throne, and says: ‘He who keeps good relations with me, Allah will keep connection with him, but whosoever severs relations with me, Allah will sever connection with him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
As Muslims, Islam teaches us the importance of giving charity and helping those in need. We should keep in mind that helping our relatives actually allows us to gain a greater reward. We read in a hadith, narrated from Salman bin ‘Amir, that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Giving charity to a poor person is charity, and (giving) to a relative is two things, charity and upholding the ties of kinship.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i)
We are taught to follow the way of the Prophets (AS) and be resilient throughout problems that we face in life.
We learn about how our Prophet Yusuf (AS) was unfairly treated by his brothers. We also learn that even after this hardship, he was constantly patient.
We read in the Holy Qur’an that after our Prophet Yusuf (AS) faced those immense difficulties, he said:
“Indeed, he who fears Allah and is patient, then indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.” (Holy Qur’an 12:90)
This reminds us that we should practise patience and that our connection to Allah (SWT) should always be our main concern. We treat our relatives with kindness regardless of their behaviour towards us, as we aim to please our Creator (SWT). Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who does it because he gets recompensed by his relatives (for being kind and good to them), but the one who truly maintains the bonds of kinship is the one who persists in doing so even though the latter has severed the ties of kinship with him.” (Al-Bukhari)