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Family – Part 11

Apr 18, 2022

Family Ties – an Amazing Example

So last week we took a look at maintaining family ties, the benefits of it, as well as the harms of neglecting it or breaking it.
His week we are going to start off by taking a look at an amazing example of family ties in the life of a very great Sahabi RA.
Silatur-rahim has been defined as politeness, kind treatment, and concern for all one’s relatives even if distantly related, corrupt, non-Muslim, or unappreciative.

Hadhrat Aishah RA reports:
“‏الرحم معلقة بالعرش تقول‏:‏ من وصلني، وصله الله، ومن قطعني، قطعه الله‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)
“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ 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].

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.

The most telling example in this regard is that of Sayyidana Abu Bakr RA. Among the many people who benefited from his generosity was a relative Mistah RA. The latter, unfortunately became involved in the scandal related to the Mother of Believers, Ayesha RA. It was a whole month of torment and torture for all involved, after which verses of Surah Noor were revealed exonerating her and prescribing punishment for those involved in the false accusation. Feeling hurt and betrayed, Sayyidna Abu Bakr RA vowed never to help Mistah RA again. Yet the Holy Qur’an asked him to forget and forgive and continue helping his relative, which he did.

Another amazing example of how Islam demands good treatment of family is found in the daughter of Hadhrat Abu Bakr RA, Asma RA.
Asma RA’s mother Qutailah once came to visit her in Madinah and brought gifts (dates etc) for her daughter. Asma RA did not allow her mother to enter the house or accept the gifts until she had consulted with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ whether it was correct for her to show hospitality to her mother (who was not Muslim).

عَنْ أَسْمَاءَ بِنْتِ أَبِي بَكْرٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَتْ قَدِمَتْ عَلَىَّ أُمِّي وَهْىَ مُشْرِكَةٌ، فِي عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَاسْتَفْتَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قُلْتُ ‏{‏إِنَّ أُمِّي قَدِمَتْ‏}‏ وَهْىَ رَاغِبَةٌ، أَفَأَصِلُ أُمِّي قَالَ نَعَمْ صِلِي أُمَّكِ

‏Narrated Asma’ bint Abu Bakr RA:

My mother came to me during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and she was a pagan. I said to Allah’s Apostle (seeking his verdict), “My mother has come to me and she desires to receive a reward from me, shall I keep good relations with her?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Yes, keep good relation with her.” [Bukhari 2620]

Is there any another society that can even come close to this standard in maintaining family ties?
Islam came to set all our relationships right. This includes our relations with Allah as well as with other human beings. Silat-ur-Rahim is a very important part of the latter.

Today, unfortunately, these teachings can mostly be found in Muslim societies in their violation. The best we do today is reciprocate; more commonly we backbite, cheat, and hurt our relatives and continue the spiral of hurt and humiliation as they respond. And we just abandon those of our relatives who are economically unfortunate.

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