Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A time for strengthening the family bond

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The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “No one who severs the ties of kinship will enter Paradise.” [At-Tirmithi]

The religion of Islam places great importance on maintaining the ties of kinship between family members. All Muslims are to show kindness, generosity, and respect toward both their nearest and most distant relatives, whether they are Muslims or not. Allah Almighty places such importance on maintaining the ties of kinship that whoever cuts off the ties of their family, Allah Almighty cuts them off from Him. And the Quran goes as far to say that the one who cuts off the ties of kinship will be cursed.

Allah Almighty Says in the Noble Quran (what means): {But those who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and spread corruption on earth – for them is the curse, and they will have the worst home.} [Quran 13:25]These days are an excellent time to mend burnt bridges and reach out to family members that you may have not seen in a long time or that you are at odds with.

These blessed days serve to open our hearts and minds as we humble ourselves before our Creator in sincere worship. Take the first step in reconnecting with your kin for the sake of Allah Almighty and to strengthen your family unit.

Take the first step

Regardless of how much time has passed since you have seen a family member or whatever transgression has made you keep your distance, use this time to reach out to a relative that you have been estranged from.

It's as easy as picking up the phone and inviting him or her to your home for a get together. The worst that can happen is that they turn you down or hang up the phone on you. At least Allah Almighty will know that you tried to fulfill your obligation of maintaining family ties.

But the best that can happen is that your desires for renewing the relationship will be reciprocated.

Forgiveness is key

There is no need to rehash the past once your estranged family member is in your presence. Forgiveness is the key to reestablishing your bond. So let bygones be bygones, even if in the innermost recesses of your heart you still feel that your kinsman wronged you.

A perfect exemplar can be found in Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him. Word came to him that his very own cousin, whom he had been giving much financial support, had publicly slandered his beloved daughter ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her. Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, immediately stopped giving him charity. Regarding this issue Allah Almighty then revealed the celebrated verse (what means): {And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 24:22]

No sooner did Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, hear this than he resumed his cousin's financial assistance, and, indeed, increased it over what he, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to regularly give his cousin.

United we stand

A family that stands together is far stronger than one splintered into factions. So even if you are not at odds with one of your kin, you might know of family members who are not preserving their ties of kinship. You can do your part as a Muslim by acting as a mediator to reunite them under the same flag of Islam.

It might be difficult at first, especially since human emotions like pride and anger get in the way. But remind your family members that it is really Satan stoking the flames of discontent and that they must make peace against all odds to maintain the family bond. Should you find the situation too volatile to handle on your own, contact your local Imam or someone in your community known to offer good help in counseling to assist you in your endeavor.

Watch the garden grow

A family that is content with its members is like a garden that bears the most beautiful fruit and flowers that the human eye has ever beheld. As the discontent and anger melts away between kin, you will start to see the flowers in your family's garden blossom to reveal the beauty that Allah Almighty intended.

To keep that garden flourishing, weed out problems before they take root and nip familial discord in the bud. Most importantly, water your garden with lots of blessings from Allah, the All-Powerful, to keep your family together.

Trust in Allah Almighty and supplicate Him for assistance to keep your family thriving for many years to come.

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