THE PUNISHMENT FOR BREAKING THE TIES OF KINSHIP

All praise be to Allah.

Undoubtedly severing the ties of kinship is a major sin. The many texts of the Quran and Sunnah (prophetic teachings) that enjoin upholding ties of kinship highlight the great importance of this matter in our religion. One of the greatest aims of sharee‘ah (Islamic law) is to bring people together and maintain the ties of brotherhood and kinship among them.

Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Those who join that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they are good to their relatives and do not sever the bond of kinship), fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning (i.e. abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden and performed all kinds of good deeds which Allah has ordained).”

[ar-Ra‘d 13:21].

Among the reports of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Sunnah which give a stern warning against severing the ties of kinship is the following:

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah created the universe, and when He had finished, kinship (al-rahim) stood up and said, ‘This is the standing up of one who seeks Your protection from being cut off.’ Allah said, ‘Yes, would it please you if I were to take care of those who take care of you and cut off those who cut you off?’ It said, ‘Of course.’ Allah said, ‘Then your prayer is granted.’”

Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Recite, if you wish: ‘Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight. Do they not then think deeply in the Quran, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?’ [Muhammad 47:22-24].”

Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5987; Muslim, 2554

If we look closely we will find that the reasons and causes for the family disputes are nothing more than materialistic issues which will not avail for anything before Allah on the day of judgment. Or it may be because of shytaan vasvasa, jealousy and unreasonable hatred leading to enmity and resentment among them because of insignificant reasons that are not worth paying any attention to in the first place.

The discords happen even if Islam enjoins upholding the ties of kinship even if the reason to cut ties is strong. Islam encourages the believers to overlook mistakes of others and adopt the forgiving attitude. Islam has no place for nurturing hatred and resentment towards others and hold grudges and envy.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that a man said: O Messenger of Allah, I have relatives with whom I try to keep in touch, but they cut me off. I treat them well, but they abuse me. I am patient and kind towards them, but they insult me. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If you are as you say, then it is as if you are putting hot ashes in their mouths. Allah will continue to support you as long as you continue to do that.”

Narrated by Muslim, 2558

An-Nawawi said in Sharh Muslim (16/115):

Ignorance here refers to bad speech. What this hadith means is that it will be like feeding them hot ashes. This is a metaphor for the pain they will feel, like the pain of one who eats hot ashes. There will be no sin on this doer of good, rather they will be sinning greatly for cutting him off and causing him harm.

And it was said that what is meant is that by treating them kindly you will make them feel ashamed of themselves because of how kindly you treat them and how badly they have treated you. And Allah knows best.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The upholder of kinship ties is not the one who is kind to them if they are kind to him, rather the upholder of kinship ties is the one who, if his relatives cut him off, he upholds the ties of kinship with them.”

Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5991.

And Allah knows best.