Social Relations of the Family

20/11/2016| IslamWeb

Carefulness and Moderation; Amity and Dutifulness

Although the family is an independent entity that has its unique characteristics, needs and traits, it is, at the same time, an entity in a large set of adjoining waves of families and individuals. No particular family is alone in the arena; rather, it is effected by and interacts with anything that occurs outside its periphery.

Islam does not leave those social relations, in view of their importance, without adjustment or guidance, particularly since the family is the first stronghold that should be well-fortified lest the body of the Ummah (Muslim nation) falls in pieces.
The family’s social relations are intricate, complicated and variegated, starting from the relation of each spouse with the family of the other to the relation of children with their paternal and maternal aunts and uncles and their children.

These social relations should have the following characteristics:

Carefulness: a Muslim’s keenness on protecting his family is one of the priorities in his life. It includes protection, care, and fear of infiltration from various harmful aspects into the family resulting from those relations. For this reason, a Muslim should be extremely careful concerning his family. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ordered Muslims to be careful when he said: “Be careful of what benefits you, and seek help from Allah, and do not yield to deficiency; and if something befalls you, do not say, ‘Had I done such and such, it would have been such and such.’ Rather, say, ‘Allah decreed, and did what He willed’, for ‘if’ opens the [way for the] work of the devil.” [Muslim]

Nothing benefits the Muslim today more than being careful regarding his family. When he sees, for example, that the visits of some people leave a negative impact on his family, he should limit relations with them.

Moderation, which requires neither excess nor indulgence. Any relation that exceeds its due limits might lead to unexpected risk; and any relation in which there is indulgence or negligence might lead to desertion or severed relations which Islam does not approve.

These relations should also achieve the following goals:

1- Amity: marriage is a relation not only between two individuals, but also between two families and households. By marriage, man increases the base of his acquaintances, which is one of the objectives determined by Islam, as Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

* {O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the Sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.} [Quran 49:13]

* {And it is He who has created from water a human being and made him [a relative by] lineage and marriage. And Ever is your Lord Competent [concerning creation].} [Quran 25:54]

Al-Qurtubi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Lineage and marriage include every kind of kinship between mankind.”
Marriage is one of the causes of sustenance, for it establishes new relations. As Dr. Al-Bakkar says, “Good relations are a good source of sustenance.”

2- Dutifulness and staying in touch: those are among the goals to be achieved by these relations, for kinship has many rights, as Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):
{And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully.} [Quran 17:26]
{Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.} [Quran 4:36]

These are complicated relations regarding which Islam gave man the freedom of disposal and manipulation in the way that may achieve the fundamental goals expected from them.