RIGHTS OF OTHER RELATIVES
Besides parents' rights, a great emphasis is also laid on the rights of other relatives. In Islamic terms, 'Silah-Rahimi' is used to denote good treatment towards the relatives'.
In the Qur’an, where the Muslims are enjoined to show kindness to parents, they are also required to treat the other relatives with love and sympathy and to pay due regard to their rights as well.
As we have seen in a previous hadith, the foremost claim on a person is that of his mother, then of his father, and then grade by grade, of the other relatives. Therefore through relationship, the relatives' rights come after that of the parents.
Allah has declared, "I am Allah, I am Ar-Rahman (The Merciful), I have created the bond of kinship and named it Rahim,-which I have derived from the root of my name of Rahman. Thus, whoever, shall join it tie. Rahim), I shall join him, and whoever will break it, I shall break him."
The Almighty has designed the system of birth in such a way, that whoever
is born, is tied to the bonds of kinship-and these bonds carry certain
claims and rights. Thus, whoever fulfils these claims, by being kind to
his relatives and treating them well, Allah will "join him" i.e. He will
make him His own and bestow His favour and mercy on him. And whosoever
will violate these claims, Allah will "break him" i.e. He will have nothing
to do with him.
Fulfilling the rights of relatives
It is related by Anas (R.A.) that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said "Whoever wants an increase in his sustenance and that the marks of his feet remain for a long time in the world (i.e. to live long) - he should be kind and helpful to his relatives."
Basically, there are two ways of being kind and considerate to relatives. One is by giving them monetary assistance, when needed, and the other is by devoting a part of one's time and energy at their service.
Family quarrels, which generally arise from the disregard of the relatives'
rights, affect a man's health and make it difficult for him to concentrate
in his work. Those who treat their relatives well and are helpful to them,
are free from tensions of this kind and they are happier and more peaceful.
Violation of relatives' rights
The Prophet (S.A.W.) has said "Whoever violates the rights of relatives, shall not go to Paradise.
Commentary:- This hadith, alone, should be enough to make us realise
the importance of Silah-Rahimi'. It shows that the violation of the relatives'
rights is so detested by Allah, that with its filthiness, no one can enter
Paradise. It is only when a person (believer) has received his punishment
or has been forgiven, that the gates of Paradise will be opened for him.
Showing kindness to those who sever relations.
Often, there are people who care little for the bonds of relationship and are ruin) and unjust in this respect. Prophet (S.A.W.) has enjoined to continue to treat them well and fulfil the obligations, irrespective of what they do and how they behave.
Abdullah ibn Umar(R.A.) relates from the Prophet (S.A.W.), "He does not fulfil the claim of Silah-Rahimi who shows no kindness in return for the kindness shown to him.. The person who really fulfils the claim is he who treats his relatives well even when they are mean and unjust to him.
When the violation of the rights of relatives is returned in a similar manner, the evil will spread in the society -- while if it is returned with kindness, it may lead to their correction and it will assist in the promotion of Silah-Rahimi, in the life of the community.
Copied from 'THE ISLAMIC SCHOLAR'