One of Prophet Muhammad’s companions narrated (Abu Ayyub) that a man said:
“O Messenger of Allah, tell me of a deed that will gain me admittance to Paradise.” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him, establish the Salah, pay the Zakah and uphold the ties of kinship. Let go!” – as if he was riding his camel.   As if he was riding his camel and the man had grabbed hold of its reins to ask this question. (sunnah.com/nasai/5/21)
Do you want to attain paradise ? … keep your family bonds … How can we do that? … let’s see …
Who is your kin ?
He/she is a blood relative, including: father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews and cousins …
How are we supposed to deal with them?
- Love them: Actually, if you want to make any relation stronger, you have to first show love .
- Help them: As the prophet (PBUH) said : “If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. If anyone makes it easy for the one who is indebted to him (while finding it difficult to repay), Allah will make it easy for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, and if anyone conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.” . (Sunnah.com)
Helping others,, increases love, and strengthens the bonds, especially with your relatives. Hence the reward will be doubled, because you have intentions to strengthen the relations with your relatives, and also to relive a Muslim’s hardship .
- Do not hurt them
- Be just with them
- Visit them if they are ill , as the Prophet (PBUH) said ” verily, when a muslim visits his brother in islam he is supposed to remain in the fruit garden of paradise until he returns” (Sunnah.com). Imagine that you will have the double reward, as you visit a Muslim that in addition is your relative .
- Help them financially if they are in need: as God said : “… and they ask you (O Muhammad ) what they should spend . say ” whatever you spend of good must be for parents and kindred …” . (quran.com/2/219)
The Prophet (PBUH) also said ” charity towards a poor person is charity , and towards a relation is both charity and maintaining the ties (of kinship)” . (Sunnah.com)
- Maintain contact with them .
- Respect your elder relatives, and be kind with the young ones .
- Don’t forget to mention them in your Du’a ( supplication).
- Exchange gifts no matter how small are: As the Prophet said ” Shake hands and rancour will disappear. Give presents to each other and love each other and enmity will disappear ” .(Sunnah.com)
- guide them to righteousness: Call them to what is right , and warn them of what is wrong . Let me illustrate more … if one of your relatives is not a believer , it is your duty to try to call him/her to Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) gives us a very excellent role model, as he insisted to call his uncle Abu Taleb to Islam to save him from Hell Fire, but unfortunately his uncle died as a disbeliever.
- Treating them kindly .
Do you think the rewards for strengthening ties of kinship will be only in the Hereafter?! Certainly not.
Beside the great rewards in the Hereafter, the Prophet told us that there are also rewards in our lifetime . The Prophet said: ” Anyone who is pleased that his sustenance is expanded and his age extended should do kindness to his near relatives”. (Sunnah.com)
It’s an easy effort to exert for all those rewards .
On the other hand, be aware of God’s punishment if you damage your relation with your relatives. God said in Quran ” So would you perhaps, if you turned away, cause corruption on earth and sever your [ties of] relationship . Those [who do so] are the ones that Allah has cursed, so He deafened them and blinded their vision. ” (quran.com/47/22)
All of us will be asked about our relations with kinship! … God said “And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer”. (quran.com/4/1)
To conclude, if you want to attain paradise and be saved from Hell Fire , take extra care of your relations with your relatives. Life is too short. Fill it with good deeds; one of which is to strengthen ties of kinship. If all of us take these tips into consideration, love and mercy will prevail as a result .