And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided…(3:103)

Maintaining Ties of Kinship

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عَنْ أبِیْ ھُرَیْرَۃَ ؓاَنَّ رَسُوْلَ اﷲِ ﷺ قَالَ ’’مَنْ کَانَ یُؤْمِنُ بِاﷲِ وَ الْیَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلِیْکْرِمْ ضَیْفَہٗ وَمَنْ کَانَ یُوْمِنُ بِاﷲِ وَ الیَوْمِ الآخِرِفَلْیَصِلْ رَحِمِہٗ، وَ مَنْ کَانَ یُؤْمِنُ بِاﷲِ وَ الْیَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْیَقُلْ خَیْراً أوْلِیَصْمُتْ‘‘(متفق علیہ(

Narrated Hazrat Abu Huraira  ؓ: The Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his guest generously; and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should unite the bond of kinship (i.e. keep good relation with his Kith and kin); and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should talk what is good or keep quit.”


          The word ‘Silah Rahmi’ means to keep good relations with one’s kith and kins, fulfil their rights and tie the bonds of kinship with them in all circumstances. On the contrary, untying the bonds no kinship, not keeping good relations with one’s relatives is called ‘Qata Rahmi’.

The Holy Qura’n has declared the maintaining of kinship a basic foundation of humanity, spirituality and righteousness. On the other hand, in the prophetic tradition, it has been regarded a part of faith. The kiths and kin include relatives both from mother and father’s side who need to be held in high esteem. Indeed, maintaining the ties of kinship occupies a great importance when it comes to the rights of servants. Rather than deeming it a favour on them, it has been declared as obligatory and our moral responsibility.

Says Allah, the Almighty in the Holy Qura’n:

’’واٰتِ ذا القُرْبیٰ حَقَّہٗ‘‘ (بني اسرائيل :26(

“Give the relative his right, and the needy.”

          In fact, supporting one’s kin and kiths despite the love for one’s wealth and property and keeping aside one’s one’s own needs in order to seek Allah’s pleasure, is the real piety.

Joining ties of relationship is a means of extending love among the family, increase in wealth and delaying death. It also causes descending of blessings in one’s house and prevail peace and tranquility each and everywhere. It develops brotherhood in the society. It appears in a Hadith, Allah ‘s Apostle said:

مَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُبْسَطَ لَهُ فِي رِزْقِهِ وَيُنْسَأَ لَهُ فِي أَثَرِهِ فَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَهُ

“Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Besides the reward we are expected to attain in Hereafter in return to maintaining the ties of kinship, there are also two other advantages of it for us in this mortal world. As for the increase in wealth, it may either refer to the increase in one’s livelihood endowed by Allah, the Almighty or it may refer to the blessings in the livelihood of one who maintains ties of kinship. Similarly, prolonging of life may refer to prolonging one’s lease of life as predestine by Allah, the Almighty or blessing in one’s age – so to speak – he will experience blessings in each and every walk of his life causing him success in this world and prestige in the sight of people, as a result, they pray for his good. In fact, maintaining ties of kinship is a means of attaining Paradise. The Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ وَأَطْعِمُوا الطَّعَامَ وَصِلُوا الْأَرْحَامَ وَصَلُّوا بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِسَلَامٍ

‘O people! Spread (the greeting of) Salam, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray during the night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise with Salam.’

The reward of giving charity to one’s relatives is multiplied, as also established by a saying of the Holy Prophet ﷺ:

الصَّدَقَةُ عَلَى الْمِسْكِينِ صَدَقَةٌ وَعَلَى ذِي الْقَرَابَةِ اثْنَتَانِ صَدَقَةٌ وَصِلَة

“Charity given to the poor is charity, and that given to a relative is two things: charity and upholding the ties of kinship. (Ahmad, Tirmizi)

According to another tradition, giving charity to the needy relatives has more reward than liberating a slave:

يَحْيَی بْنُ بُکَيْرٍ عَنْ اللَّيْثِ عَنْ يَزِيدَ عَنْ بُکَيْرٍ عَنْ کُرَيْبٍ مَوْلَی ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ أَنَّ مَيْمُونَةَ بِنْتَ الْحَارِثِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا أَخْبَرَتْهُ أَنَّهَا أَعْتَقَتْ وَلِيدَةً وَلَمْ تَسْتَأْذِنْ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّی اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَلَمَّا کَانَ يَوْمُهَا الَّذِي يَدُورُ عَلَيْهَا فِيهِ قَالَتْ أَشَعَرْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَنِّي أَعْتَقْتُ وَلِيدَتِي قَالَ أَوَفَعَلْتِ قَالَتْ نَعَمْ قَالَ أَمَا إِنَّکِ لَوْ أَعْطَيْتِهَا أَخْوَالَکِ کَانَ أَعْظَمَ لِأَجْرِکِ ۔

Narrated Kurib, the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas, that Maimuna bint Al-Harith told him that she manumitted a slave-girl without taking the permission of the Prophet. On the day when it was her turn to be with the Prophet, she said, “Do you know, O Allah’s Apostle ﷺ, that I have manumitted my slave-girl?” He said, “Have you really?” She replied in the affirmative. He said, “You would have got more reward if you had given her (i.e. the slave-girl) to one of your maternal uncles.”

Through the tradition appearing above, we come to know two important things.

Firstly, a woman may spend from the property possessed by her without the volition of her husband while she has no right to spend from the money owned by her husband without her volition.

Secondly, one gets the reward of charity maintaining the ties of kinship when he gives charity to his needy relatives. Similarly, in case one keeps good relations with his non-believing parents, it is also required by Islam as well as causes reward. In fact, it is the best way to call them towards Islam.

Narrated Asma’ bint Abu Bakrؓ:

قَدِمَتْ عَلَيَّ أُمِّي وَهِيَ مُشْرِکَةٌ فِي عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّی اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَاسْتَفْتَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّی اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قُلْتُ وَهِيَ رَاغِبَةٌ أَفَأَصِلُ أُمِّي قَالَ نَعَمْ صِلِي أُمَّکِ۔

My mother came to me during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle and she was a pagan. I said to Allah’s Apostle ﷺ  (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 said, “Yes, keep good relation with her.”  (Bukhari)

As for keeping good relations with one’s kith and kins, it should be without any self-interest. In case it is done with the same purpose, it is not worth calling ‘Silah Rahmi’. As in a tradition narrated on the authority of Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr  ؓ, the Holy Prophet ﷺ  said, “A person who does any favour to any of his relatives in return to any favour, cannot be counted among those who maintain ties of kinship, rather it is one who does favour to him even he is mistreated.” (Bukhari)

Any relative who treats you well and keeps a good relation with you and only then you behave with him in the same way, it is not woth being called maintaining ties of kinship, rather it is favour in return to a favour. On contrary to it, there is a relative of you who is ill-natured and who behaves with you badly and is always bent on not breaking ties of kinship with you (as the common observation of these days), but you face it with fortitude and overlook it and keep on keeping a good relations with him dispite his misbehavior, it is the true ‘Silah Rahmi’, which Islam requires from us. In fact, it is a matter of great resolve and a sign of the perfection of one’s faith, or else, there is no wonder in keeping unreal relations. Maintaining ties of ties kinship prays of the good of who maintains it.

Hazrat Ayisha  ؓnarrates that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Rihm, (ties of kinship) is suspending from Allah’s Throne and says, “O Allah! Keep good relations with the one who keeps good relations with me, and sever the relation with the one who severs the relations with me.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ قَاطِعٌ

Narrated Hazrat Abu Muhammad Umair bin Mut’im  ؓthat he heard the Prophet saying, “The person who severs the bond of kinship will not enter Paradise.”

Just imagine, what a severe warning is there for one who severs the bond of kinship, despite it, such a great sin is rampant in our society and the people are perpetrating it abundantly. The only main objective of such a severe winning is that the people avoid it.

Maintaining ties of kinship is must in all circumstances. Keeping good relations with the friends of our parents is a great act of piety and it is something that is required. Thus, keeping not good relations with the friends of our mothers and their kiths and kin and not to take them into our consideration and not to establish a good relation with them results in earning Allah’s displeasure.

عَنْ أَسِيدِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ عُبَيْدٍ مَوْلَی بَنِي سَاعِدَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي أُسَيْدٍ مَالِکِ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ السَّاعِدِيِّ قَالَ بَيْنَا نَحْنُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّی اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذْ جَائَهُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ بَنِي سَلَمَةَ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ هَلْ بَقِيَ مِنْ بِرِّ أَبَوَيَّ شَيْئٌ أَبَرُّهُمَا بِهِ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِمَا قَالَ نَعَمْ الصَّلَاةُ عَلَيْهِمَا وَالِاسْتِغْفَارُ لَهُمَا وَإِنْفَاذُ عَهْدِهِمَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمَا وَصِلَةُ الرَّحِمِ الَّتِي لَا تُوصَلُ إِلَّا بِهِمَا وَإِکْرَامُ صَدِيقِهِمَا

Narrated AbuUsayd Malik ibn Rabi’ah  ؓas-Sa’idi: While we were with the Apostle of Allah ﷺ! A man of Banu Salmah came to Him and said: Apostle of Allah is there any kindness left that I can do to my parents after their death? He replied: Yes, you can invoke blessings on them, forgiveness for them, carry out their final instructions after their death, join ties of relationship which are dependent on them, and honour their friends. (Abu Dawood)

As a conclusion, we must keep good relations with our kin and kiths and establish a good relation with them and avoid severing relation with them.

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