In today's modern life, values have turned upside down, family life that was always the very heart of society is attacked just as much as many other handed-down traditions.
Yet, neither socialism nor any other "isms" will ever be able to oust what has been implanted into human nature, the need of social ties and the warmness of ties of blood that Allah has ordered us to maintain.
In Muslim world family life with all its aspects concerning not only husband, wife and children, but all other relatives too, is so firmly established by tradition as well as by religious law that it should not be affected seriously.
It is the firm structure of Islamic family life based on the following four fundamentals that makes morals values so enduring and enables them to outlive Western practices. They are based on Quranic regulations and the traditions from the life of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w), handed down from generation to generation.
1. Family life as a cradle of human society providing a secure, healthy and encouraging home for all its members.
2. Family life as guardian of the natural erotic desires of men and women, leading this powerful urge into wholesome channels.
3. Family life as the very breeding-place for human virtues like love, kindness, mercy.
4. Family life as the most secure refuge against inward and outward troubles.
An ever valid and never outgrowing aspect of Islamic family life is, however, that the strength of all the four pillars is made up by the system. And it must not be forgotten, that the benefits of family life are extended not only to blood relations but encompass also the world-wide family of Muslims, the Islamic brotherhood.
The exact meaning of the word Rahim is "womb". It is derived from the root Raheem which means to have mercy on. Two of Allah's names - Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem - are derived from the same root. The word is used figuratively to refer to relatives.
Al-Qurtubi said: "The family ties which must be maintained are general and specific. The general one is the relations of Islam. It is obligatory to maintain connections with them with friendly relations, advice, justice, fairness and fulfilling ones obligations to them in the obligatory and the commendable. The specific includes financially supporting family members, checking on their condition and overlooking their mistakes."
Allah says: "O people! Beware of your Lord who created you from a single soul and created from it its mate and spread from those two many men and women and beware of Allah in whose name you ask one another and (beware of) the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watchful over you." 4:1
Ties of blood were given importance also in the Jahiliya period (life before Islam), but this didn't really include women - the "causes" or "links" in family ties. Girls were murdered for fear of them being captured by opposing tribes and being a source of shame. Wives were treated as goods and "inherited" by male relatives without having any say in the matter. Women had no defined property rights. Inheritance customs of the Jahiliya dictated that the male relatives - those most capable of fighting and defending the family - took everything even if the deceased left a wife and children. They would be left with nothing at all.
Islam came and changed all this and while confirming the blood ties respected in the Jahiliya, Islam put much more focus on the women and gave them their rights of property, inheritance, etc., prevented their murder and named family ties after them by using the word for "womb".
Cutting family ties which should be maintained has serious consequences in this life and in the hereafter. It is one of the worst of the major sins.
So let's obey Allah, let's keep our blood ties. When you come to think of it, that's what we need nowadays and forever, maintaining family ties is what implants inside us the sense of stability and spiritual peacefulness. Let's stay close to our families and our relatives.