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PostSubject: Family Ties    Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:43 pm

Family Ties PDF | Print |
The Importance of Family / Blood-Ties.

(Consanguinity)

The literal meaning of the word rahim is "womb". It is derived from the root rahima, which means to have mercy on. Two of Allah's names - Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem - are derived from the same root. Allah makes this connection explicitly in hadith qudsiwhen He mentions that the word rahim is derived from His name Ar-Rahman.

The word is used figuratively to refer to relatives. There are different opinions about the exact meaning of the word in this sense.

Some said it is those with whom marriage would never be possible assuming one male and one female. Under this definition, cousins are not included. They said that this is why it is not allowed to marry both a woman and her aunt - as this would cause discord between ar-rahim (family members) - while it is lawful too marry both a woman and her cousin. Other said that the meaning is all those who ever inherit from you. Still others said that its definition includes all relatives whether they inherit or not.

Al-Qurtubi said: "The family ties which must be maintained are general and specific. The general one is the relations of Islam. It is obligatory to maintain connections with them with friendly relations, advice, justice, fairness and fulfilling ones obligations to them in the obligatory and the commendable. The specific includes financially supporting family members, checking on their condition and overlooking their mistakes." Allah ties being careful of the rights of families and women directly to being careful of Allah Himself in the following famous verse which it was the Prophet's (sas) sunnah to read when performing a marriage: {Yaa auyyuhaa an-naasu ittaqoo rabbakum alladhiy khalaqakum min nafsin wahidatin wa khalaqa minhaa zaujahaa wa bath-tha minhumaa rijaalan katheeran wa nisaa'an wa ittaqoo Allaha alladhiy tasaa'aloona bihi wa al-arhaama. Inna Allaha kaana 'alaikum raqeeban.} - {O people! Beware of your Lord who created you from a single soul and created from it its mate and spread from those two many men and women and beware of Allah in whose name you ask one another and [beware of] the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watchful over you.} An-Nisaa:1

Ties of blood were given importance in the jahiliya, but this didn't really include women - the "causes" or "links" in family ties. Girls were murdered for fear of them being captured by opposing tribes and being a source of shame. Wives were treated as goods and "inherited" by male relatives without having any say in the matter. Women had no defined property rights. Inheritance customs of the jahiliya dictated that the male relatives - those most capable of fighting and defending the family - took everything even if the deceased left a wife and children. They would be left with nothing at all.

Islam changed all this and while confirming the blood ties respected in the jahiliya, Islam put much more focus on the women and gave them their rights of property, inheritance, etc., prevented their murder and named family ties after them by using the word for "womb". As in all other issues, we see Muslims when they stray from their deen and become ignorant of its teachings, gravitating back to the same old jahiliya which came before Islam - mistreating women as individuals and societies and systematically denying them their rights. Examples are many - ask anyone from any Muslim country whose eyes are open and they can give you some. The Prophet (sas) said:' "Inna Allaha harrama 'alaikum uqooqa al-ummahaati wa wa'da al-banaati wa man'an wa haati. Wa kariha lakum qeela wa qaala wa kathrata as-su'aali wa idhaa'ata al-maali." "Allah has forbidden you irritating your mothers, burying your daughters, witholding and "Give me". And He hates for you "It was said" and "He said", too many questions and the wasting of wealth." Muslim & Bukhari

When the Prophet (sas) ordered the Muslims to make hijrah (migration) to Al-Madinah, the order was so serious that Allah cancelled family relations and inheritance between those Muslims who migrated and those who went renegade. The Muslims were ordered to defend them but only if they were being attacked strictly because of their Islam and NOT against any disbelievers with which the Muslims had a treaty. Otherwise, the Muslims were released from any obligation to defend them.

Allah said: {...Wa alladheena aaamanoo wa lam yuhaajiroo maa lakum min walaayatihim min shai'in hattaa yuhaajiroo. Wa in istansarookum fiy ad-deen fa 'alaikum an-nasru illaa 'alaa qaumin bainakum wa bainahum meethaaqun. Wa Allahu bimaa ta'maloona baseerun.}{...As for those who believed but did not migrate, you have not relation to them whatsoever until they migrate. And if they seek your aid in the Din, you must come to their aid but not if it is against a people with whom you have a treaty. And Allah sees all that you do.} Al-Anfaal:72

This verse was later abrogated a few verses later in the same sura, and the family ties of all Muslims were affirmed. So, even though those who migrated were actually "of" the Muslims, family ties of all were re-affirmed - even with those who did not obey the order for the migration.

Allah said: {Wa alladheena aamanoo min ba'du wa haajaroo wa jaahadoo ma'akum fa ulaa'ika minkum. Wa uloo al-arhaami ba'dhuhum awlaa bi ba'dhin fiy kitaabi Allahi. Wa Allahu bi kulli shai'in 'aleemun.}- {And those who believed later and migrated and fought with you, those are surely of you. And the relations of blood are closest to each other in the book of Allah. And Allah knows everything.} An-Anfal:75- Breaking of family ties which should be maintained has serious consequences in this life and in the hereafter. It is one of the worst of the major sins. Allah said:

Wa alladheena yasiloona maa amara Allahu bihi an yoosal wa yakhshauna rabbahum wa yakhaafoona soo'a al-hisaabi.} - {And those who connect that which Allah has ordered be connected and fear their Lord and fear a bad judgement.} Ar-Ra'd:21

Every individual faces two choices: turn toward obedience of Allah and all of the good it brings in this live and in the hereafter or turn away from obedience of Allah and all that it brings in terms of misery, an oppressive and difficult life and Allah's wrath and punishment in the hereafter. Allah describes those who were truthful with Him and turned to Him with obedience and it was good for them. In the next verse, He describes what happens to those who take the other choice. They are the cause of corruption in the earth and the breaking of family ties. They will meet Allahs' la'na (being put at a distance from the mercy of Allah) in the hereafter and will be made spiritually deaf and blind in this life - unable to hear or see that which would benefit them and correct their ways.

Allah says: {Fa hal 'asaitum in tawallaitum an tufsidoo fiy al-ardhi wa tuqatti'oo arhaamakum. Ulaa'ika alladheena la'anahum Allahu ta asammahum wa a'maa absaarahum.} {Then couldn't it be that if you turn away that you would spread corruption in the land and destroy your family ties? These are the ones rejected by Allah and He makes them deaf and blinds their vision.} Muhammad:22-23 - A people who do not maintain their family ties or give the women in their society their rights and respect, cannot hope for the mercy of Allah most high. Theirs will be a sad situation in this life and in the hereafter.

The Prophet (sas) said: "Man ahabba an yubsata lahu fiy rizqihi wa an yunsa'a lahu fiy atharihi fal yasil rahimahu." - "Whoever would like for their provision to be increased, and for their term to be extended, let him maintain his family ties."Al-Bukhari

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