According to this hadith, we must never sever ties of kinship:

The severer would not enter Paradise. Ibn Umar said that Sufyan (explained it as): One who severs the tie of kinship would not enter Paradise.

I have two questions:

Firstly, what constitutes maintaining relationships with relatives according to Islam?

Secondly, Abu Lahab was a half-uncle of Rasulullah (pbuh). However, he was an enemy of Islam. So, how did the prophet (pbuh) maintain a good relationship with him as would be necessary according to the above hadith?

1 Answer 1

  1. To answer your first question, I’d recommend reading this article

Did the Prophet (pbuh) maintain his ties with his uncle?
Despite his enmity, crimes and tyranny against the Prophet (pbuh) and the Muslims are undeniable, but in response, the answer is no because of two reasons:

  1. Allah (SWT) says: “It is not fitting, for the prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for pagans, even thought they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the fire”.

Obviously, asking for forgiveness and praying for a relative are all instances of silatul arham (so when the Quran is telling the prophet (pbuh) not to pray for them or ask Allah (swt) for their forgiveness, it is saying to cut all ties and not practice silatul arham with them).

  1. In the holy Quran it is stated: “And Abraham prayed for his father’s forgiveness only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy to Allah, he dissociated himself from him” It is mentioned in this verse that Prophet Ibrahim (A) prayed for his uncle which is one way for practicing silatul arham but after he realized that he was an enemy to Allah, he cut ties with him and showed his repulsion for him.

When Muhammad, during the third year of his prophetic mission invited his relatives, Abu Lahab stood against him as an enemy but the Prophet and he did not rush towards disassociating himself from him. But later on when Abu Lahab increased his enmity and made his stand against the prophet and his message clear and public, and when the specific verse was revealed about him and his wife, the holy Prophet cut ties with him.

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