Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said,” I advise my entire nation, those present and those absent, those in the backbones of their fathers and wombs of their mothers until the Day of Judgment, to connect with their relatives, even if there is a distance of a year (of travelling) between them. This is a part of the religion of Islam.” (۱)

Connecting with relatives and doing good to them, especially the parents, is one of important ways of spiritual growth (2) and gaining proximity towards Allah (SWT)(3). In fact, it is considered the most valuable of religious deeds after belief in Allah (SWT) (4), and has abundant rewards (5). Disconnecting with relatives is considered to be a type of breaking one’s oath with Allah (SWT) (6), and is so disliked by Allah (SWT) that people are forbidden from companionship with a person who has disconnected with his relatives(7), and Allah (SWT) has cursed such a person in the Holy Quran(8).

In regards with some of the consequences of disconnecting with relatives, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said,” Disconnecting with relatives prevents prayers and conceals them” (۹).

The importance of connecting with relatives is so high that it is the fastest of deeds in terms of being rewarded. Moreover, besides rewards in the Hereafter, it receives immediate reward in this world; such that even a sinful family will gain wealth by connecting with each other, and their lives will be extended due to favoring each other (10).

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) has referred to rewards for connecting with relatives in this world and hereafter in a statement where he said,” Whoever connects with relatives is loved by Allah (SWT), and Allah (SWT) will expand his sustenance, extend his life, and enter him to the Paradise He has promised”(۱۱).

Connecting with relatives is not just limited to the faithful ones among them; rather it is an extensive moral, religious obligation. As such, even if one’s parents or relatives are not religious, respecting them is still mandatory, and fulfilling their needs is emphasized (12).

For example, a man went to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) and said,” O Messenger of Allah! I have some relatives that do nothing but oppression, disconnection, and insult towards me. Can I disconnect them?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) replied,” In that case, Allah (SWT) will disconnect you”. The man asked,” Then what should I do?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) replied,” Connect with those who have disconnected from you, do favor to those who have abandoned you, and forgive those who have oppressed you. If you did so, Allah (SWT) will support you against them.” (۱۳)

Connecting with relatives has numerous forms of application, and is not limited to visiting them at their houses; rather its full application is to fulfill their needs and make them happy before others do (14). Moreover, connecting with relatives and having ties with them is based on their status; for example, it might be just greeting them and responding to their greeting properly in case they do not have financial needs.

Not harming the relatives (15), greeting and honoring them (16), feeding them even with a sip of water (17), visiting them at time of illness (18), attending their funerals (19), visiting them (20), and offering them gifts (21) are some applications of connecting with relatives.

Some people try to take religion to corners of mosques and restrict it to private, personal matters; however, the majority of the teachings of the Prophets and successors are related to social activities and issues. In fact, the social aspect of human being is much more than the personal aspect. Connecting with relatives is a social activity. It is an act of deed which if a person fails to observe, he has neglected piety (22), and hence, his other deeds would not be accepted (23).

It is appropriate to ponder a bit after realizing the importance of connecting with relatives. Have we ever done harm to one of our relatives? Have we neglected them at times of need? If so, let us do something about it, and if not, let us make our connection more profound from now on.

(The above is a selection taken from “Mafaatih al-Hayat (Keys of Life)”, by Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli (with changes and additions))

The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 28th of Safar, the anniversary of the demise of the last Messenger, the mercy upon the universe, and master of the Prophets, Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (PBUH&HP).

Footnotes:

1. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 151

2. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 157

3. Khisaal of Saduq, p. 156

4. The Holy Quran (2, 83); (4, 36); (6, 151)

5. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 157

6. The Holy Quran (2, 27); (13, 25)

7. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 641

8. The Holy Quran (2, 27); (13, 25); (47, 22-23)

9. Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, vol. 15, p. 185

10. Khisaal of Saduq, p. 124

11. Uyun Akhbar al-Riza, vol. 2, p. 37

12. Connecting with relatives is valid only up to the point it does not conflict with other acts of worship; however, if other acts of worship are endangered due to connecting with relatives, not only it would not be necessary, in fact it would be forbidden.

13. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 150

14. Tasnim, vol. 2, p. 560

15. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 151

16. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 155

17. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 151

18. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 636

19. Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 636

20. Al-Ja’faryiaat, p. 153

21. Al-Ja’faryiaat, p. 153

22. Khisal of Saduq, p. 156

23. The Holy Quran (5, 27)