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Ways of Silat ar-Rahim

What are the ways of silat ar-rahim? What are its highest and lowest grades? "To love and sympathize with the relatives and do good to them": this is the shortest definition of silat ar-rahim. And all the `ways' of sympathy and good behaviour are the ways of silat ar-rahim.

It was mentioned in the `Rights of Parents' that some of their rights are of `wealth' and others of soul and body. According to Islam, the relatives also have some rights on one's wealth and some on one's soul and body.

The Holy Prophet said:

Whoever goes to his relatives to do silat arrahim with his self and his wealth, Allah gives him the reward of a hundred martyrs; and on every step he is awarded forty thousand good deeds and forgiven forty thousand bad deeds; and his rank is elevated forty thousand grades; and he is treated as though he worshipped Allah hundred years with patience and full attention.

When is monetary help compulsory? It is compulsory (wajib) when the person concerned has some wealth left after meeting the necessary expenses of himself and his dependants, and the relative is in need of such help.

Notwithstanding the conditions mentioned above, a Muslim MUST help his relatives as much as possible even when monetary help is not wajib. The Family Life of Islam The Holy Prophet said.:

Join your relationship even if it is with a drink of water. On the other hand, the obligation of love and sympathy is unconditional. To deal with relatives with love, to demonstrate by one's actions and behaviour that one shares their happiness and sorrow, to visit one another's homes regularly, to observe the Islamic ethics in mutual relationship - these are some facets of silat ar-rahim, which one can instinctively feel and which cannot be justifiably codified in writing. The Holy Prophet has drawn our attention to these small things by saying Do silat ar-rahim even if it is by salam (salutation).

And now a hadith of the Holy Prophet on this very subject: "The best way of silat ar-rahim is not to give any trouble to the relative." For those who understand human nature, this hadith is a mine of wisdom.

Adopted from the book: "The Family Life of Islam" by: "Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizivi"

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