By Tabassum M
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
It’s Shaytan’s favourite game – inciting enmity between relatives. That’s because maintaining ties of kinship (silat ar-rahm) is one of the most beloved acts to Allah (swt). Allah’s Name Ar-Rahman comes from the same root ar-rahm (the womb).
It’s so common to see brothers fighting brothers, one sister ruining another sister’s marriage, an uncle usurping his nephew’s inheritance, and so on. And in all these situations, Shaytan lurks in the background and has great fun watching us ruin our lives in this world and the hereafter.
Why should I take the initiative?
If we’ve played any role in the cut off, however minor it may be, we must take responsibility. It’s a grave sin to sever kinship ties. Here are a few of the possible consequences of having a share in this evil act:
- “The one who severs ties of kinship will not enter paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
- It hastens Allah’s punishment in this world and in the hereafter. (Ibn Majah; sound)
- Allah cuts off the one who cuts off relations. (Al-Adab al-Mufrad; sound)
Even if it was your relative who cut you off unjustly, without any fault of yours, it’s immensely rewarding to try to reconnect. Here are some reasons:
- To achieve perfection in maintaining kinship ties. The Prophet (sa) said: “The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who does it because he gets recompensed by his relatives; 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.” (Bukhari)
- To increase your provisions; (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad; reliable)
- To lengthen your lifespan; (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad; reliable)
- To make people love you. (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad; reliable)
How to end the cold war
Okay, so your relative doesn’t pick up your calls, has deleted you from Facebook, and avoids going to parties where you’re likely to arrive. The best thing to do in such a case is:
- Make a visit, that is, if they aren’t likely to kick you out, or pretend they’re not home! It’s one thing to be rude in chat or phone calls, it’s completely another to have to confront someone face-to-face. More often than not, they will feel flattered, and you’ll probably find a new friend request the next time you open Facebook, in sha Allah!
- Give gifts. Very few people can resist a well turned out gift, especially if it shows thoughtfulness in picking what you like or have need of. The Prophet (sa) said: “Give gifts and you will love one another.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, sound)
What if they don’t want to see my face?
Abu Hurayrah (ra) said to the Prophet (sa): “I have relatives with whom I try to have close relationship, but they sever (this relation). I treat them well, but they ill-treat me. I am sweet to them but they are harsh towards me.”
The Prophet (sa) replied: “If it is as you say, then you throw hot ashes (upon their faces) and there would always remain with you on behalf of Allah (an angel to support you) who would keep you dominant over them as long as you adhere to this (path of righteousness).” (Muslim)
- Make a lot of dua (supplication). Shaytan loves it when relatives turn into mutual enemies. Counteract him by asking for Allah’s help – to give you patience, to heal both your hearts, and to help you towards righteousness.
- Try to find out the cause for their anger, try to solve that issue, and apologize.
- If there’s no apparent reason why they’re angry with you, or they just don’t want to discuss anything with you, seek an arbitrator from among mutual relations and friends, someone who is wise and tactful, and preferably a practising Muslim.
- If even arbitration doesn’t work, have patience. You’ve already prayed to Allah; keep praying more and more. You’ve let them know that you’re eager to forgive and forget. Now keep reminding them of you every now and then by sending them a message or a gift.
- If they send your gifts back or reply to your messages rudely, don’t give up. Keep track of their well-being through mutual friends and social networks. If they’re poor or are in a financial crisis, help them unanimously.
Our relatives get priority in our charity, and we don’t have to tell them it’s from us to get a double reward from Allah – that of giving charity and that of joining ties of kinship. (an-Nasai; sound)
- Keep an open mind. Apply mercy and empathy; otherwise Shaytan will attack you with his weapons – anger and arrogance.
“Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.” (59:10)
Tabassum M is a freelance writer and a student of al-Salam Institute. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
© IIPH 2016