Observing Family Ties

Islam in commanding doing good to others, especially emphasizes doing good to parents and relatives, and has recommended them before others.

Acting against their wishes or not loving them is a grave (mortal) sin. A believer should never annoy or sever his relationship with his parents or other relatives. These actions cause the punishment of God in this world and in the world to come.

Allah the Most High said: “And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him, and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy and the neighbour of (your) kin and the alien neighbour, and the companion on a journey and the way-farer and to those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful.”

He also said: “And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh” nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord, have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.”

Praising the Prophet Yahya (John) (a.s.) He said: “And he was dutiful to his parents and he was not insolent, disobedient.”

He also said: “Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion; He admonishes you that you may he mindful.”

He also said: “And be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.”

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “Shun displeasing your parents so much that they disclaim you, because the perfume of paradise can be scented from the distance of 1000 years, but four types of people will not smell it: the first is the person disclaimed by his parents; the second is he who ignores family ties; the third is the old man who fornicates; and the fourth is the person who, because of pride, wears his cloths so long that they drag along the ground. Pride is proper for Allah the Lord only.”

He (S) also said: “Sometimes a man might have 3 years of his life left but because of observing family ties, Allah extends his life by 30 more years. On the other hand, a man might have 33 years of his life left but because he did not observe family ties, Allah will shorten his life by 30 years.”

He (S) also said: “Do not sever your relationship with a member of your family even if he severs his relationship with you.”

He (S) also said: “When my people ignore family ties, their wealth falls into the hands of rascals.”

Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) the Commander of the Faithful said: “When people sever family ties, their wealth falls into the hands of the wicked.”

He (a.s.) also said: “Surely one of the sins which hastens the coming of death is the severance of family ties.”

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “There are three things in which Allah does not give any permission to any body to disregard them: trustworthiness to the good and to the bad, keeping covenants for the good and the bad, and doing good to parents whether they are good or bad.”

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked concerning: “And be careful of (your duty to) Allah by whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship.”1 He said: “It means the family relationship. Surely Allah the Most High has ordered it to be regarded and has magnified it. Do you not observe that He has mentioned it with Himself.”

In another saying he (a.s.) listed lying among the grave (mortal) sins; the same thing being found in an epistle of Imam ‘Ali al-Rida (a.s.) to the caliph al-Ma’mun.

Mentioning the grave (mortal) sins, he (a.s.) included the severing of family ties and commented that it is about such people who commit this sin that Allah says: ‘Upon them shall be the curse and they shall have the evil (issue) of the abode.’2

Commenting on the Qur’an 4:1, Imam ‘Ali al-Rida (a.s.) said: “Allah has ordered people to be careful of their duty to Him as well as observing family ties. A person who does not observe family ties has not been careful of his duty to Allah.”