Dutifulness to parents and maintaining ties of kinship

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

40. Chapter: On dutifulness to parents and maintaining ties of kinship

Allah Almighty says, "Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him. Be good to your parents and relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to neighbours who are related to you and neighbours who are not related to you, and to companions and travellers and your slaves." (4:36)

The Almighty says, "Have taqwa of Allah in whose name you make demands on one another and also in respect of your families," (4:1)

and the Almighty says, "Those who join what Allah has commanded to be joined." (W13:23; H13:21)

The Almighty says, "We have instructed man to honour his parents," (W29:7; H29:8)

and the Almighty says, "Your Lord has decreed: that you should worship none but Him, and that you should show kindness to your parents, whether one or both of them reach old age with you. So do not say 'Ugh!' to them out of irritation and do not be harsh with them but speak to them with gentleness and generosity. Lower to them, out of mercy, the wing of humility and say: 'Lord, show mercy to them as they did in looking after me when I was small.'" (17:23-24)

The Almighty says, "We have instructed man concerning his parents. Bearing him caused his mother great debility and the period of his weaning was two years: 'Give thanks to Me and to your parents.'" (W31:13; H31:14)

312. Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "I asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Which action does Allah Almighty love the most?" He said, "The prayer in its time." I said, "Then what?" He said, "Devotedness to parents." I said, "Then what?" He said, "Jihad in the way of Allah." [Agreed upon]

313. Abu Hurayra reported: "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "No child can repay his father unless he finds him enslaved and then buys him and sets him free." [Muslim]

314. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should honour his guest. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should maintain his ties of kinship. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak well or remain silent." [Agreed upon]

315. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah Almighty created creation and when he finished creating, kinship stood up and said, 'Is this the place of him who seeks refuge with You from being cut off?' He said, 'Yes. Would you be pleased if I joined anyone who joined you and cut off anyone who cut you off?' It said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Then that is the case.'" Then the Messenger of Allah said, "If you wish, then recite, 'Is it not likely that, if you did turn away, you would cause corruption in the earth and sever your ties of kinship? Such are the people Allah has cursed making them deaf and blinding their eyes.' (W47:23-24; 47:22-23)" [Agreed upon]

316. Abu Hurayra said, "A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, and asked, 'Messenger of Allah, what person is the most entitled to the best of my company?' He replied, 'Your mother.' He said, 'Then whom?' He replied, 'Your mother.' He said, 'Then whom?' He replied, 'Your mother. He said, 'Then whom?' He answered, 'Your father.'" [Agreed upon]

In one variant, "'O Messenger of Allah, who is the most entitled to good companionship?' He replied, 'Your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then the nearest relative and the next nearest.'"

317. Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'May his nose be in the dust! Then may his nose be in the dust! Then may his nose be in the dust ­ someone whose parents are old, or one of them is old, and he does not enter the Garden!'" [Muslim]

318. Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud reported that a man said, "Messenger of Allah, I have some relatives with whom I maintain relations but they cut me off. I am good to them and they are bad to me. I am forbearing to them and they are impatient towards me." He said, "If you are as you have said, then it is as if you are giving them hot embers to drink. You will continue to have a helper from Allah against them as long as you remain doing that." [Muslim]

319. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who desires the expansion of his provision or to have the best of his life prolonged, should maintain ties of kinship.'" [Agreed upon]

320. Anas said, "Abu Talha had more property in palm trees than any of the Ansar in Madina. His favourite property was Bayruha' which was opposite the mosque. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to enter it and drink its sweet water." Anas said, "When this ayat was sent down: 'You will not attain true goodness until you give of what you love' (W3:91; H3:92) Abu Talha went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, Allah, Almighty says, "You will not attain true goodness until you give of what you love." The property I love the best is Bayruha'. It is sadaqa for Allah whose goodness I hope for and I hope that it will be stored up for me with Allah Almighty. Messenger of Allah, dispose of it in whatever way Allah shows you is best.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Excellent! That is a profitable property. That is is a profitable property. I have heard what you have said and I think that you should give it to your relatives.' Abu Talha said, 'I will do that, Messenger of Allah!' So Abu Talha divided it among his relatives and cousins." [Agreed upon]

321. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As said, "A man came to the Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Shall I give you my oath of allegiance based on emigration and jihad, seeking a reward from Allah Almighty?' He asked, 'Are either of your parents living?' He replied, 'Yes, both of them.' He said, 'Do you desire a reward from Allah Almighty?' He replied, 'Yes.' He said, 'Go back to your parents and keep good company with them.'" [Agreed upon. This is the version of Muslim]

In one of their variants, "A man came and asked permission to go on jihad. He said, 'Are your parents alive?' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'So expend your effort on them.'"

322. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reported: "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'A person who maintains ties of kinship is not someone who only does so with those who maintain ties with him. A person who maintains ties of kinship is someone who restores them when they have been cut off.'" [al-Bukhari]

323. 'A'isha said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Kinship is suspended from the Throne and says, "Allah will connect with all who maintain my ties. Allah will sever his connection with all who sever them.'" [Agreed upon]

324. Umm al-Mu'minin Maymuna bint al-Harith reported that she set a slave-girl free without asking the permission of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. On her day when he came around to her, she said, "Are you aware, Messenger of Allah, that I have freed my slavegirl?" He said, "Did you do so?" She said, "Yes.' He said, "If you had given her to your maternal uncles, you would have had a greater reward." [Agreed upon]

325. Asma' bint Abi Bakr as-Siddiq said, "My mother came to me during the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while she was still an idolater and I asked the Messenger of Allah, 'My mother has come to me, wanting something. Shall I give it to her?' He said, 'Yes. Give to your mother.'" [Agreed upon]

326. Zaynab ath-Thaqafiyya, the wife of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Give alms, O congregation of women, even from your jewellery.'" She said, "I went back to 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud and said to him, 'You are a man of little wealth and the Messenger of Allah has commanded us to give sadaqa. So go to him and ask him if [my supporting you] will be enough for me. If not, I will pay it to someone other than you.' He said, 'Rather you should go to him yourself.' So I went and there was one of the women of the Ansar at the door of the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace, whose situation was similar to mine. The Messenger of Allah inspired awe and Bilal came out to us, so we said to him, 'Go to the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and tell him that there are two women at the door who are asking him whether sadaqa to their husbands and the orphans in their care will be enough for them. Do not tell him who we are.' So Bilal went in to the Messenger of Allah and asked him. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Who are they?' He said, 'A woman of the Ansar and Zaynab.' The Messenger of Allah asked, 'Which Zaynab is it?' He said, 'The wife of 'Abdullah." He said, 'They will both have two rewards: the reward of kinship and the reward of sadaqa.'" [Agreed upon]

327. Abu Sufyan Sakhr ibn Harb said in a long hadith concerning what happened with Heraclius is that he said, "Heraclius asked, 'What does he order you to do?' meaning the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace." He said, "I said, 'He says, "Worship Allah alone and do not associate anything with Him and abandon what our ancestors said." He commands us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste, and to maintain ties of kinship.'" [Agreed upon]

328. Abu Dharr reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "You will conquer a land in which the qirat will be mentioned."

In one variant, "You will conquer Egypt which is a land in which the qirat is used, so command its people to good. They have right to security and ties of kinship."

In one variant, "When you conquer it, be good to its people. They have right to security and ties of kinship," or he said, "right to security and ties of marriage."

The scholars say, "The ties of kinship come from the fact that Hajar, the mother of Isma'il, was one of them, and the ties of marriage come from the fact that Maria the mother of Ibrahim, the son of the Messenger of Allah, , may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was one of them."

329. Abu Hurayra said, "When this verse was sent down, 'Warn your near relatives,' (26:214), the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, summoned Quraysh and they gathered, both the common people and the elite. He said, 'O Banu 'Abdu Shams! O Banu Ka'b ibn Lu'ayy! Save yourselves from the Fire! O Banu Murra ibn Ka'b! Save yourselves from the Fire! O Banu 'Abdu Manaf! Save yourselves from the Fire! O Banu Hashim! Save yourselves from the Fire! O Banu 'Abdu'l-Muttalib! Save yourselves from the Fire! O Fatima! Save yourself from the Fire! I do not possess anything to help you against Allah other than the fact of your kinship which I will maintain." [Muslim]

330. Abu 'Abdullah 'Amr ibn al-'As said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, speaking openly and not in secret, and he said, 'The people of the Banu so-and-so are not my friends. My friends are Allah and the righteous believers, but they have kinship with me which I keep up." [Agreed upon. This is the version in al-Bukhari.]

331. Abu Ayyub Khalid ibn Zayd al-Ansari reported that a man said, "Messenger of Allah, tell me about an action that will bring me into the Garden and keep me far from the Fire?" The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him, perform the prayer and pay the zakat and maintain ties of kinship." [Agreed upon]

332. Salman ibn 'Amir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When one of you breaks the fast, he should break it with dates. They are a blessing. If he cannot find any dates, then water. It is pure." He said, "Sadaqa given to a poor person is sadaqa but to a relative it is both sadaqa and maintaining ties of kinship." [at-Tirmidhi]

333. Ibn 'Umar said, "I had a wife whom I loved but whom 'Umar disliked. He said to me, 'Divorce her,' and I refused. 'Umar went to the Prophet and mentioned that to him and the Prophet said, 'Divorce her.'" [Abu Dawud]

334. Abu'd-Darda' reported that a man came to him and said, "I have a wife whom my mother has told me to divorce." He said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Your parents are the main door of the Garden. If you wish, you can remove that door or preserve it.'" [at-Tirmidhi]

335. Al-Bara' ibn 'Azib reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A maternal aunt has the same status as a mother." [at-Tirmidhi]

There are many famous hadiths regarding this in the Sound Collections.