24) Relatives’ Rights
Among those whom we have to love are relatives. We should know that we are of their roots as they are of our roots.
Relatives are either from the father’s side with whom we are of the same root or they are from the mother’s side with whom we are connected through mother. Therefore, to love our relatives is the best way to remove disagreements. The more people associate with their relatives, the stronger will be the kinship. On the contrary, the wider the gap between relatives, the cooler will be the relations.
It is for the same reason that ties of relationship have been so much emphasized in the Holy Quran and in traditions and its cutting off has been blamed. In this relation, God says: “… 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 is watcher over you.”1
Of course, this verse has been interpreted in a different way, but the meaning intended is based on the traditions mentioned in the book al-Khisal al-Arba’mi’ah (four hundred features), al-Kafi and other books. Imam Ali (AS) has been Reported as saying: “Associate with your relatives, even if by greeting.”2
The above-mentioned verse is referred to in this concern.
Jameel ibn Darraaj asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) about the meaning of the verse, and the Imam (AS) said: “That is the ties of relationship which God has ordered and considered as being great. Do you not see that God has mentioned His Name with it?”3
Imam Sadiq (AS) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Maintaining the ties of kinship will lead to the prosperity of one’s country and will prolong one’s life though its people are not of good deeds.”4
“Ties of relationship” is mentioned as the feature of men of understanding in the Holy Quran. It is considered as a virtue for the society and the nation. Cutting off ties of relationship will lead to misfortune of the society.
Imam Ali (AS) has been reported as saying: “When ties of kinship are cut off, people’s property will be in the hands of evildoers.”5
Allamah Majlisi has interpreted the above quotation as follows: “When ties of relationship are cut off, people will quarrel and go to unjust rulers for judgment. Then, their property will be put in their hands with bribery. Since they do not have supporters after quarrel, the seditionists will take control of them and appropriate their property.”
Imam Sadiq (AS) has been reported as saying: “Keep away from Halighah, for it will cause death of men.” Being asked what Halighah was, the Imam said: “It is the cutting off the ties ofkinship.”6
Shu’aib al-Aqarqooqi has been reported as saying: “One day, I was in the presence of Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (AS) when he said: ‘O Shu’aib! Tomorrow, a man from Maghreb will meet you and will ask you about me. Tell him, by God, that he is the Imam about whom Imam Sadiq (AS) has spoken. He will then ask you about lawful and unlawful things. You answer these questions on my behalf.’ I asked: How does he look like?’ The Imam said: ‘He is tall, stout and his name is Yaqoob.’ By God, I was performing circumambulation when a man came to me, saying: ‘I would like to ask your master some questions.’ I asked: ‘Which master?’ He said: ‘Such and such man.’ I asked him: ‘What is your name?’ He said: ‘Yaqoob.’
I asked: ‘Where do you come from?’ He said: ‘From Maghreb.’ I asked: ‘How do you know me?’ He said: ‘A man came in my dream, saying: ‘Visit Shu’aib and ask him whatever questions you have! Therefore, I am asking you my questions and seeking guidance.’ I said: ‘Wait here until I completed my circumambulation and went to him. I found him a wise man. He then asked me to take him to Abul Hassan (Imam al-Kadhim)(AS) and I did so.
When the Imam saw him, he said: ‘Yesterday, you entered this place while there was a quarrel between you and your brother in a certain place in a way you cursed each other. This is not from my and my fathers’ religion. I never approve such a thing to anyone. Fear Allah, the One and Only to Whom there is no partner! Surely, death will create separation between you and your brother. Your brother will die during the trip before he reaches home. You too will regret your deed. This is because you have severed the relationship. God will cut your life short.’
The man asked: ‘When will I die, sir?’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘Your death was then, but since you had maintained the ties of kinship with your aunt, twenty years were added to it.’
One year later, I saw that man on the way to the Hajj. He buried his brother who died in the way before reaching home.”7