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  3. Maintaining the Bonds of Kinship in Islam…Its Importance and Rights

Maintaining the Bonds of Kinship in Islam…Its Importance and Rights

Article translated to : العربية Español


one of the islamic greatest rules is that the family concept is not confined to the parents and their children but it does also include the relatives and people one must keep in touch with like one's brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts and their children. all these people have a right to be visited and contacted regularly. this right was secured by the islamic sharia and classified as one of the greatest virtues a muslim can do. islam promised the one who maintains the bonds with the kinship with a great reward and menaced the one who severs the kinship ties with the toughest punishment.     

islam has put the provisions and systems that ensure the sustainability of the strong relation within that extended family, including the relatives, so that they could help one another, support one another. islam has also put the system of obligatory spending, inheritance and the “aqilah”, which refers to the diya (blood money) paid to the family and relatives of a murdered person.[1]     


silatur rahim in islam 
silatur rahim (maintaining the bonds of kinship) means dealing properly with relatives, supporting them with whatever possible and warding off bad things. silatur rahim means visiting the relatives, asking about them, checking on them, giving them gifts when possible, helping their poor members, visiting their sick members, accepting their invitations, having them as guests, feeling proud of them and elevating them. silatur rahim also means joining the relatives in their happy moments, sharing their sadness in their sad moments, in addition to any other practice that may help strengthen and reinforce the relations between members of that small society.                                

therefore, silatur rahim is a gate for large good. with silatur rahim, the unity of the muslim community gets deeper and stronger and members feel assured and free from worry as isolation and loneliness become nobody's habit because everybody feels they are surrounded with their relatives with much love and care and that their relatives support and help them when necessary.


allah exalted he is commanded muslims to deal properly with their relatives whom must be visited and contacted. allah exalted he is says: {serve allah, and join not any partners with him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: for allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious} [women: 36]   



allah exalted he is made the maintaining of kinship a reason for him being pleased with the one who maintains it and a reason for his blessings. in the sacred hadith, abdul rahman ibn ouwf, may allah forgive him, said: i had heard allah's apostle, peace be upon him, saying: "allah has said: "i am compassionate, and this has been derived from mercy. i have derived its name from my name. if anyone joins it, i shall join him, and if anyone cuts it off, i shall cut him off"[2]      



allah's apostle has brought good news to the one who maintains his kinship and the good news is that he shall win a wide sustenance and long healthy life. anas ibn malik, may allah forgive him, said: i have heard allah's apostle saying: "whoever desires an expansion in his sustenance and age, should keep good relations with his kith and kin."[3]  



scholars interpreted that by saying the reward is an expansion in sustenance, success in performing worships and consumption of time in what is useful on the day of judgment.[4]  



on the other hand, texts were direct and clear in warning against cutting off kinship relations and classified this as a massive bad deed because it severs the ties among people, spreads the spirit of hatred and hostility and destroys the family cohesion between relatives. allah exalted he is warned he would curse whomever breaks his ties of kith and kin: {then, is it to be expected of you, if ye were put in authority, that ye will do mischief in the land, and break your ties of kith and kin? such are the men whom allah has cursed for he has made them deaf and blinded their sight}[muhammad: 22, 23]            



jabir ibn muttam said allah's apostle, peace be upon him, has said: "the person who severs the bond of kinship will not enter paradise"[5]. breaking the ties of kith and kin means severing the relation and stopping dealing properly with relatives. there are many harmonious texts asserting the massiveness of the fault of cutting off kith and kin relations. this, at the end of the day, should help create a cooperative, cohesive and brotherly community in which allah's apostle's hadith "you see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it."[6], comes true.               





[1]look: yusuf el qaradawi: islam, tomorrow's civilization, pp. 185   

[2] abu dawood: kitab az-zakat (book of almsgiving), chapter silatur rahim (1694), ahmed (1680), ibn hibban (443), al hakim (7265) and said: this is a right hadith.          

[3]al bukhari: kitab al boyu (book of sales and trade), chapter whoever desires an expansion in his sustenance (1961), and kitab al adab (book of good manners and form), chapter those who get an expansion in their sustenance thanks to silatur rahim (5639) and muslim: book of good manner and forms, chapter silatur rahim and prohibition of cutting it off (21)                      

[4]look: an-nawawi: al minhaj fi sharh sahih muslim ibn al hajjaj (the approach in the interpretation of muslim ibn hajjaj's sound hadiths) 16/114    

[5]al bukhari: kitab al adab (book of good manners and form), chapter the fault of kith and kin severer (5638), and muslim: kitab al adab (book of good manners and form), chapter silatur rahim and prohibition of cutting it off (19) 

[6]al bukhari: kitab al adab (book of good manners and form), chapter being merciful toward people and animals (5665), and muslim: kitab al adab (book of good manners and form), chapter believers' mercy toward one another and their showing love among one another (2586) and the text wording is his.       

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