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Severing the Obligatory Ties of Kinship

Severing the ties of kinship is among the sins of the body, and it is a major sin. This is done by breaking the hearts of the relatives by refusing to be good-hearted financially if they need money, or by leaving out visiting them without an excuse. If one usually helps one’s relatives, then one lost the money, or one found a more urgent need for it, then one would not be sinful for not offering it to one’s relatives.

 

Allah, ta^ala, said in the Qur’an:

فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَن تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ فَأَصَمَّهُمْ وَأَعْمَى أَبْصَارَهُمْ

 

Fahal ^asaytum in tawallaytum an tufsidu fil-ardi wa tuqatti^u arhamakum. Ula’ika-lladhina la^anahumu-llahu fa’asammahum wa a^ma absarahum.

Ayahs 22-23 of Surat Muhammad dispraise those who blaspheme and cut off the ties of kinship.

 

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

لاَ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ قَاطِعٌ

 

La yadkhulul-Jannata qati^.

This means: “The one who severs the ties with the relatives will not be among the first to enter Paradise. Rather, this person will enter it after being tortured in Hellfire (i.e., if one dies as a Muslim).” (Narrated by al-Bukhariyy.)

Maintaining the ties of kinship: Kinship includes the relatives: aunts, uncles, and their children.

 

A Companion asked the Prophet:

مَا النَّجَاةُ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، قَالَ: "تَصِلُ مَنْ قَطَعَكَ وَتُعْطِي مَنْ حَرَمَكَ وَتَعْفُو عَمَّنْ ظَلَمَكَ

 

“What is the way of saving oneself in the Hereafter?” The Prophet said: “You maintain the tie with the one who severed it with you, you give to the one who deprived you, and you forgive the one who wronged you.” (Related by at-Tirmidhiyy.)

 

These three (3) traits were among the traits and manners of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, one of which is maintaining relations with the kin who severed ties with one. This means one has to observe the right that the kin has on one by maintaining the ties with them. So it is not permissible for one to treat a relative in a way in which the relative feels cut off and deserted, even if the latter himself does not observe one’s right of kinship ties.

 

One must not say so-and-so of my relatives does not visit me, so I will not visit him. It is prohibited for him to treat the one who severed ties with him likewise; rather it is an obligation on him to maintain a tie, even with the one who severed the tie with him.

 

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

لَيْسَ الْوَاصِلُ بِالْمُكَافِىءِ وَلكِنَّ الْوَاصِلَ مَنْ وَصَلَ رَحِمَهُ إِذََا قَطَعَتْ

 

Laysal-wasilu bil-mukafi’, walakinnal-wasila maw wasala rahimahu idha qata^at. (Narrated by Muslim.)

This hadith explicitly states that there is merit in maintaining a tie with the one who severed ties with you and the one who did not, rather than maintaining it only with the one who did not sever the tie with you. This is among the good manners that the Religion has strongly urged us to practice.