The Bond of Kinship
Kinship has a prominent role in safeguarding society from deviance. The married couple may not be related in any way so kinship develops through their children, among themselves and between them and the parents' relatives.
Kinship is a very important means of reaching a common understanding and of strengthening the bonds of friendship and co-operation, of solidarity and mutual regard.
The parents should sow the seeds of this in their children so that they may derive benefit from it and also give benefit. For in kinship there is benefit gained and given, rights and responsibilities, give and take. The rewards in it are unfathomable.
In the Qur'an comes the words: '... and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by whom you demand one another your rights, and to the bonds of kinship' 67.
Here the bond of kinship and guarding against breaking it are linked with piety and God-consciousness and guarding against disobeying Him.
There are many reports about this matter. The Prophet has said: ' The bond of kinship populates the houses and increases life spans even if the inhabitants are not good people' 68.
Imam Al-Baqir has said: 'The bond of kinship purifies deeds and makes wealth grow. It keeps tribulations at bay and increases longevity' 69.
Imam Al-Sadiq has said: 'The bond of kinship improves the character, cleanses the hands, perfumes the soul, increases sustenance and adds to longevity' 70.
In another report from Imam Al-Sadiq comes that a man came to the prophet and said: 'Messenger of God, I have a family and I was their head but now they bring me pain and I wish now to disown them'.
The Prophet said 'Then God will disown you all'. The man asked 'What shall I do then? 'The prophet said 'Give to he who denies you, bond with he who cuts off from you and forgive whoever wrongs you. If you do this, God will be your backer' 71.
A child disobeying and disrespecting his parents, religiously prohibited and intellectually detestable, is a form of breaking the bond of kinship. Similarly a father's disrespect to his children - which is also disrespect and is referred to in traditions - is also a kind of breaking this bond.
When a person is born he is surrounded by a plethora of rules and etiquettes, as well as by universal laws and practices. Therefore a person should prepare himself to adapt in a practical way to these rules and etiquettes and to follow those laws and traditions. Otherwise he will find himself to be the first casualty because of the clash he will experience coming up against them and in many cases he may also cause harm to others besides him.
67 The Holy Qur'an: Women (4): 1.
68 Seas of Lights; Volume 74; Page 94.
69 Seas of Lights; Volume 74; Page 111.
70 Seas of Lights; Volume 74; Page 114.
71 Seas of Lights; Volume 74; Page 100.
Adapted from the book; "The Family" by: "Imam Muhammad Shirazi"
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