Maintaining family ties

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Maintaining family ties


How often should I call my relatives to maintain ties with them?


The issue of staying in contact with relatives in order to maintain ties with them is extremely important in Islam. God Almighty has called relatives “Rahim” which is a derivative from His beautiful name “Rahman” and this indicates the importance of keeping in touch with our relatives.

The frequency of calling or visiting relatives in order to maintain ties with them depends on the level of kinship and the customs and traditions of the society. In other words, regular calls and visits to maternal and paternal uncles and aunts take priority over maintaining ties with cousins. By the same token, calling and visiting cousins is more essential than contact with second cousins and so on. In the paradigm of kinship, fathers, mothers, and siblings take priority of one’s care, love and regular phone calls and visits. Then comes the next of kin. It is also important to maintain regular ties by calling those of kinship on a monthly basis and paying them visits on the different social and religious occasions. Phone calls are acceptable when personal visits are not possible because the most important thing is not to sever ties with relatives.
Relatives sometimes sever kinship ties with others who wish to maintain them. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) encourages Muslims to maintain ties with their relatives who are eager to sever kinship ties. He said, “Those who maintain kinship ties with family members only out of reciprocity do not truly maintain ties of kinship. Those who truly uphold kinship are those who do so even if their relatives sever those ties.” This means that the reward for contacting relatives who have no desire of keeping contact is immense in God’s sight. Therefore, maintaining kinship ties is one of the rewardable and highly praised acts in Islam.
And God Almighty knows best

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