Silat-ur-Rahm or Family Ties is just like any other ties we establish in our lives, it can be strengthened - Silatur Rahim or broken - Qat'ur Rahim. The former meaning the maintaining of the bonds of kinship while the latter involves severing family ties.

''...and be pious to Allah, about Whom you ask one another, and to the wombs; (be pious to the relatives) surely Allah has been Ever-Watchful over you.’’ - Q4:1

Islam disapproves of disunity and this emphasis of unity is such that a Muslim is permitted to tell a white lie if it is a means of settling a dispute or preventing two parties from falling out.

"He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar" - Bukhari

Silatur Rahim can be achieved by:

1. Regular communication for the sake of Allah and muhabbat (love) between two parties. We find people today only visiting or checking up when there is a material benefit involved.

2. Sadaqah is important in Islam and has its rewards. Assisting a relative is a double act of ibadah as the following Hadith proves. Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said:

“Sadaqah given to a poor person is an ordinary sadaqah, but sadaqah given to a relative serves two purposes: one as a sadaqah and secondly, an act of upholding family kinship.” - Tirmizi

“Whosever desires to have expansion in his sustenance and a prolonged life, should treat his relatives with kindness.” - Bukhari & Muslim

3. The Prophet (SAW) urged us to spread the salaam. Those who initiate the salaam are protected from pride.

Causes of Qat'ur Rahim

  1. Gossip and backbiting
  2. Divorce
  3. Financial troubles
  4. Dishonesty

“One who joins ties when family members are co-operative and returns the same affection cannot be said to be one who joins family ties, rather the one who can truly be termed a person who joins ties is he who upholds and maintains the ties when the other family members have severed ties with him.” (Bukhari)

Just as the reward for silatur rahim is great and fulfilling, similarly the sin for qat’ur rahim is equally detrimental. Allah has cursed the one severing family ties without just reason;

“And those who break the covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse, and for them is the unhappy home (Hell).” - Q13:25

Despite this, a person should love someone solely for the pleasure of Allah. If there is need to dislike someone, this should also be for the pleasure of Allah. If a person is compelled to sever ties with a family member due to a genuine reason, then the aforementioned warnings will not be applicable.

This post is in memory of my cousin Seyi Dawodu. Not a day goes by that you aren't remembered. I guess at this stage, that's the most important thing.