Maintaining ties with one’s family and blood relatives (Selatu alRahem), can be done physically or through virtual communications.  Obviously the closer the relatives, the more important the responsibility towards the maintenance of stronger ties.

Communication, contact, and kindness towards one’s kin are among important ways of growth and proximity to Allah Almighty (SWT). These acts of worship have been considered crucial after faith in Allah1 (SWT), and cutting off communication with one’s relatives is a violation towards the Lord’s commands2.  Allah (SWT) has condoned those who cut off ties, furthered them away from His mercy.3

Regarding the importance of connecting to kin, and some of its requirements and effects, Imam Sadiq (PBUH) has said the following:

“Connecting to kin…flourishes cities and lengthens lives.”4

“Perform simple visits with your kin, even if it is by just a greeting.”5

“Keep in touch with your relatives, even if it is by giving a sip of water.”6

“The best way to keep in touch with one’s family is to prevent harm from reaching them.”7

On boundaries for connecting with kin, keeping in touch with family should not be exclusive to the good and faithful family members alone. Imam Sadiq (PBUH) narrates an incident, which took place during the time of his great grandfather Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP):

“A man once came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) and said, ‘O Prophet of Allah! I have relatives who do nothing but break ties and talk badly with me, may I leave them?’

The Prophet (PBUH&HP) said, ‘If you do so, then Allah will leave you.’

The man asked, ‘Then what should I do?’

The Prophet (PBUH&HP) said, ‘Renew ties with one who has cut off ties with you, and give to him who has taken away from you, and forgive him who has hurt you. When you have done so, Allah (SWT) will be your support against them’.”8

Ibn Humaid once asked Imam Sadiq (PBUH), “Do relatives who do not believe in what I believe have any rights over me?”

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) responded, “Yes, they have familial rights, for which nothing cuts that off….”9

And let us end with this saying from Imam Sadiq (PBUH), in which he advises his followers on maintaining Seleyeh Rahem:

“Send my greetings to those who follow me and obey my words, and tell them that I advise you to piety, to keeping ties with your close ones, and to performing Seleyeh Rahem. Participate in their burial ceremony, visit their sick, and give them their rights…(if you do so, it will be said about you, ‘this person is Ja’fari,’ and this act of yours will make me happy.”10

Selection taken from the book Mafatih ul Hayat by Ayatullah Javadi Amoli (with minor changes)

The Roshd offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 25th of Shawwal, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the sixth Imam of Shiites, the discoverer of realities and the truthful Imam, Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (PBUH).

Footnotes:

1.Holy Quran 2:83; 4:36; 6:151

2.Holy Quran 2:27; 13:25

3.Holy Quran 2:27; 13:25; 48:22-23

4.Usul e Kafi, vol. 2, p. 152

5.Ibid, vol. 2, p. 155

6.Ibid, vol. 2, p. 151

7.same as 6

8.Ibid, vol. 2, p. 150

9.Ibid, vol. 2, 157

10.Ibid, vol. 2 636

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