October 19, 2008

'Selatur - Rahim'

In this day and age where people are engulfed by the world around them and are immersed in the rat race of survival there seems to be a decline in basic qualities that defined the core of human values in the past. Earlier, family and friends were the most important components of a persons’ life and everything else followed suit. But now there seems to be a change in priority and people have less or even no time for their family and friends. With internet and e-mail everything has become so impersonal and mechanical. Tasks can be ‘outsourced’ or done in a few minutes with the click of a button. There is no feeling attached to it whatsoever. Being in touch and maintaining ties of kinship are looked upon as chores.

In Islam, maintaining ties of kinship and being on good terms with your family, neighbours and friends is of utmost importance. One can maintain ties of kinship (selatur-rahim) by:
  1. Making dua for them
  2. Visiting them
  3. Helping them when they need help
  4. Having good feelings for them in your heart
  5. Forgiving their shortcomings and seeking forgiveness from them for when you have wronged them.
  6. Reminding them of their duties towards their Lord in kind words
  7. Exchanging gifts and seeking ways to make them happy.
    The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” (Al-Bukhaari)
    The Prophet (pbuh) enjoined responding in kind to favours, as he said in a narration: “Whoever does you a favour, respond in kind, and if you cannot find the means of doing so, then keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind.” (Abu Daawood)

    What the Noble Qur’an & Hadith have to say:

And those who break the Covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allah's Mercy); And for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell). Surah Ar-Rad, verse 25

The Prophet is closer to the believers than their ownselves, and his wives are their (believers') mothers (as regards respect and marriage). And blood relations among each other have closer personal ties in the Decree of Allah (regarding inheritance) than (the brotherhood of) the believers and the Muhajirun (emigrants from Makkah, etc.), except that you do kindness to those brothers (when the Prophet SAW joined them in brotherhood ties). This has been written in the (Allah's Book of Divine) Decrees (AlLauh AlMahfuz)." Surah Al-Ahzab verse 6

That is (the Paradise) whereof Allah gives glad tidings to His slaves who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you." And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (the deeds of those who are obedient to Him). Surah Ash-Shura verse 2

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Al-Wasil (one who maintains good relations with his kin) is not the one who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but Al-Wasil is the one who keeps good relations with those relatives who have severed the bond of kinship with him." (Reported by Al-Bukhari.)

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 73, Number 16:- Narrated Abu Huraira -The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Allah created the creations, and when He finished from His creations, Ar-Rahm i.e., womb said, "(O Allah) at this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of Kith and kin). Allah said, 'Yes, won't you be pleased that I will keep good relations with the one who will keep good relations with you, and I will sever the relation with the one who will sever the relations with you.' It said, 'Yes, O my Lord.' Allah said, ‘Then that is for you’.”Allah's Apostle added. "Read (in the Qur'an) if you wish, the Statement of Allah: 'Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship?' (47.22)

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 73, Number 14:- I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Who ever is pleased that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be pro longed, then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin."

Sahih Muslim: Book 032, Number 6198:- 'A'isha reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying: The tie of kinship is suspended to the Throne and says: He who unites me Allah would unite him and he who severed me Allah would sever him.

Sahih Muslim: Book 032, Number 6217:- This hadith has been narrated on the authority of A'mash with the same chain of transmitters (and the words are):" Don't sever relations of kinship, don't bear enmity against one another, don't bear aversion against one another and don't feel envy against the other and live as fellow-brothers as Allah has commanded you.”

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