Rights of family members and Muslims upon each other
Fatwa No: 82547

Question

What are the rights of wife, children, brothers, sisters and parents on the man at the time when all of them are alive?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The rights of a Muslim upon another Muslim are ten:
1. To greet him when he meets him,
2. To visit him when he gets sick,
3. To accept his invitation,
4. To say to him "May Allaah have mercy upon you" when he sneezes and he says: “Al-Hamdu Lillaah (Praise be to Allah),
5. To follow his funeral procession when he dies,
6. To do what he swears upon a person to do [as long as it is permissible] (so that he would not break his oath, otherwise he would expiate for breaking it),
7. To advise him when he seeks advice,
8. To love for him what one loves for his own self,
9. To avoid causing harm to him or any other Muslim because “A Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands his fellow Muslims are secure.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
10. To try one’s best to be helpful to him in his worldly matters as well as in his religion.

If he is unable to do any of the above, then he should say good words to him.

Moreover, if a Muslim has blood ties with another Muslim, then he has the right of kinship in addition to the above-mentioned rights, as well as talking to him in a polite manner and being patient with him if he is harsh. If the Muslim is a parent, then in addition to all the above, there are other rights which Allah mentioned in the following verse; Allah Says (what means): {And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.”} [Quran 17:23-24]

Besides, Ibn Al-‘Arabi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported the consensus of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them that keeping ties with kinship is an obligation and that cutting them off is forbidden. Allah Says (what means): {Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?} [Quran 47: 22]
Therefore, keeping ties with kinship is of different degrees: a parent has more rights than another close relative, who in turn, has more rights than a far relative and so forth. However, the minimum ties that one should keep, is that one should not desert them and he should talk to them and greet them with Salaam when he meets them.

These degrees differ according to the ability and need, so some are obligatory and some are desirable but if one keeps the minimum ties, he is not considered as cutting off his ties. However, one should not keep ties with his kinship only if they keep ties with him, rather, he should keep ties with them even if they do not keep ties with him.

As regards the kinship that one is obliged to keep and it is forbidden to cut, they are as follows: the relatives who are the origin of the person, such as the father and grandfather, [or grand grandfather], and the children or grandchildren, and the brothers, sisters, paternal and maternal uncles, paternal and maternal aunts, and their children as a whole.

Allah knows best.

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