When we fast, our heart softens and we are humbled, and this increases us in our mercy and compassion for others. Those who are most deserving of our mercy and compassion are our relatives and family members.
Ramadan reminds the believer of their family and relatives, and encourages them to visit and show affection to them. Maintaining good family relations is one of the best of deeds and a demonstration of righteousness. Cutting the ties of kinship is a major sin. As the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, reminded us:
“Mercy does not descend on people when there is among them one who severs ties of kinship.” (Recorded by Al Bukhari)
“The actions of human beings are presented to Allah on Thursday evening, the night before Friday. He does not accept the actions of anyone who severs his ties of kinship.” (Recorded by Al-Bukhari)
“No one who severs his ties of kinship will enter paradise.” (Recorded by Muslim)
How could a person who cuts the ties of kinship enter Paradise if they have cut what Allah has ordered them to maintain?
With the exception of but a few, all of the Prophet’s close relatives were enemies of Islam. They expelled him from his home, pursued him, denied him his rights and waged war against him. And yet, when Allah granted him victory over them, he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, pardoned them and showed them his mercy.
Preserving the ties of kinship purifies a person and acts as a shield for the individual in battles, and against disgrace in this world and the Hereafter. The greatest relationship is that of righteousness, generosity and devotion to one’s parents. This encompasses praying for them and obeying them in all matters that do not lead to disobedience of Allah. Allah, all praises and glory be to him, tells us:
“And you Lord has decreed that you worship none but him, And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them, but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’” (Surah Al-Isra:23-24)
SubhanAllah, we have been commanded to lower unto them the wing of submission and humility, let us honour this command.
Of particular emphasis is our relationship with our mother. It is recorded in hadith in Al-Bukhari, that when a man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and asked him, ‘Who is most deserving of my companionship?’ The Prophet replied, ‘Your mother?’. ‘Who next?’ the man asked, ‘Your mother’ replied the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ‘Who next?’, ‘Your mother’, ‘Who next?’ asked the man, before the Prophet finally replied ‘Your father’. We can see from this that our mother has thr most right to our attention.
Let us return to our relatives in this month of Ramadan, let us embrace them with visits and affection, or phone calls if they are far away. Let us lower the wing of submission and humility on them. Let us pray for them and ask Allah to shower His mercy on them and enter them into His Jennah al Firdous. Ameen.