What Does Islam Say about Maintaining Family Ties?: Part 2

Silatur-Rahim or preserving family ties is not limited to visiting relatives, but also includes trying to satisfy their needs and strengthening emotional bonds with them. This depends of course on the situation of each member of the family; one might require money while the other has emotional needs [1].


Some of the examples of Silatur-Rahim are: visiting relatives; greeting and honouring them; inviting them even to a cup of coffee or tea; giving them good advice in case of a problem; not harming them by talking behind their back, insulting or accusing them, or by interfering in their personal affairs; being kind and caring about them; visiting them when they are sick; giving them gifts in different occasions; fulfilling their needs before others do; and participating in their funerals [1]. Imam Sadiq has(AS) said: “… The best family tie is the one in which the relatives are not harmed” [2].


Maintaining family ties: Benefits


Upholding kinship with relatives has various advantages in this world and the hereafter:
Having the social and emotional support of family: In Surah Hud, where people threaten Prophet Shu’ayb (PBUH), they tell him if his tribe had not supported him, they would have stoned him (11:91).


Imam Ali (AS) said: “Upholding family ties brings affection and humiliates enemies” [3].


Having an immediate reward: Imam Baqir (AS) said: “The reward of Silatur Rahim is given more quickly than any good deed” [4].


Increase in wealth: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever keeps family kinship, God will love him and increase his wealth” [5].


Having some of the sins vanished: Imam Ali (AS) said: “Eliminate your sins by voluntary charity and keeping family ties” [6].


Having an easy death and a long life: When Prophet Moses (PBUH) asked God about the reward of upholding family ties, the answer was: “(Whoever does so,) I will postpone his death, I will make his death easy, and the heaven angles will call him to enter heaven from every door he wishes” [7].



Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever keeps family kinship …God will make his life longer and let him enter heaven” [6]. Imam Baqir (AS) said: “Keeping family ties purifies one’s deeds, increases his wealth, keeps him safe from disasters, makes the accounting of his deeds easy and postpones his death” [8]. Imam Sadiq (AS) said; “Silatur Rahim makes lives longer …, even if doers are not righteous” [9].


love, family, family ties, peace, respect


Severing Family Ties: Consequences


One cannot sever family kinship deliberately since upholding family bonds is a duty ordered by God, hence, the disobedience from this order is of the major sins (al-Kaba’ir) [10].


In Islam, the warnings against severing and breaking off family bonds are as many as the exhortations to uphold family ties. That is due to the disastrous consequences that neglecting and severing family ties can have on one’s life; these include:

Having a shorter life than it would be: Imam Sadiq (AS) said: “a man might have 33 years of his life left, but God will shorten it to 3 years if he breaks family ties” [11]. In another narration from Imam (AS), negligence of family bonds is known as “a sin that perishes a man quickly” [12].


quickly receiving a punishment, Imam Baqir (AS) said: “four sins cause quick punishments … (one is) breaking family ties” [13].

Being cursed by God [i] and deprived of his mercy: “But as for those who ... sever what Allah has commanded to be joined, … it is such on whom the curse will lie, and for them will be the ills of the [ultimate] abode” (13:25).

Being doomed to the hell: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said: “the sweet smell of heaven will be sensed from a thousand year of distance but those who have been insolent to the parents and those who have broken family ties will be deprived of it” [14].

One’s prayers (Dua) will not be accepted anymore after severing family ties [15].

One’s good deeds will be rejected: Imam Rida (AS) said: “whoever sever family ties, he does not fear from God (does not have Taqwa), his good deeds are therefore refused and will face grave punishments in this world and the hereafter” [16].


relatives, relationship, family, family ties

Severing Family Kinship: Causes


Cutting family ties has several reasons, but lack of modesty and greed are known as the two main ones. Imam Sadiq (AS) said that: “Some would not have respected parents’ rights and kept family ties if modesty had not existed” [17].


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has warned about greed: “Beware of greed, for it was greed that commanded those before you to bloodshed and severing their family ties” [18].



[i]  (2:27), (13:25), (47:22-23).


[1].  A. Javadi Amoli, “Mafatih al-hayat”, p. 217.

[2].  Shaykh al-Kulayni, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 2, p. 151.

[3].  Imam Ali (AS), “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, vol. 4, p. 209, T. 5825.

[4].  Shaykh al-Kulayni, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 2, p. 152.

[5].  Shaykh al-Saduq, “Uyun akhbar al-Rida(AS)”, vol. 2, p. 37.

[6].  Imam Ali (AS), “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, vol. 4, p. 635, T. 7258.

[7].  Fattal Neyshaburi, “Rawdat al-wa'izin wa basirat al-mutta'izin”, vol. 2, p. 370.

[8].  Ibn Shu’bah, “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 299.

[9].  Shaykh Tusi, “Al-Amali”, p. 481.

[10].  R. Khomeini, “Tahrir al-Wasilah”, vol. 1, p. 274.

[11].  Shaykh al-Kulayni, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 2, p. 153.

[12].  Shaykh al-Saduq, “Illal Al Sharaie”, p. 584.

[13].  Ibn Babawayh, “Al-Khisal”, p. 230.

[14].   Shaykh al-Kulayni, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 2, p. 349.

[15].   H. T. Nuri Ṭabarsi, “Mustadrak al-Wasail”, vol. 15, p. 185.

[16].   A. Javadi Amoli, “Mafatih al-hayat”, p. 215.

[17].   “Tawḥid al-Mofazzal”, p. 79.

[18].    Ibn Babawayh, “Al-Khisal”, p. 176.