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Islamic Family Values: How Does Islam Help to Prevent Family Disputes?

By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam

5 March 2022

Prevention of Family Disputes from an Islamic Standpoint

Main Points:

1.    Those who do not destroy familial ties are praised in the Quran as “those of understanding,” according to the Quran.

2.    Muslim families have lost their power of resisting the devil's influence and easily break the family ties.

3.    Family dispute is strongly frowned upon in Islam.


Imagine the ideal family: every family member is God-conscious, parents fulfil their children's rights and vice versa, siblings live in peace, a marital life free of squabbles and plenty of good times, and sweetly obedient offspring. Is there such a family on this planet? Can anyone give an example of a family that possesses all of these traits, has built strong love and attachment connections and has never had a family conflict?

According to reports, families are experiencing more conflict and tension than ever before, with parents, siblings, cousins, spouses, children, in-laws, and so on. Some of the fighting is insignificant, but others have left scars and wreaked havoc on the lives of many people. The Muslims have not lagged behind in the race of family disputes. Their condition has deteriorated to an all-time high, owing to their disregard of Islamic values.

When fear of God Almighty fades, disobedience to Islamic values becomes the usual. And when this happens, the person forgets to maintain God Almighty's rights, which are inscribed in Islamic teachings. He or she begins to exploit the law in order to escape his or her criminal behaviour. But he or she forgets that avoiding punishment in the Court of the World is easy, but not in the Court of God Almighty.

It is commonly assumed that men are to blame for family disputes. True, but in many cases, women are also to blame for family disputes. Hence, my message on the prevention of family disputes is intended for everyone, male or female, from an Islamic standpoint.

Severing familial ties is, without a doubt, a dreadful sin. Numerous passages in the Quran and Sunnah (prophetic teachings) promote the preservation of familial relationships and emphasise the religious significance of the issue. One of the main goals of Islam is to unite people and establish brotherhood and similar relationships.

Allah Azzawajal says:

“Those who unite what Allah has commanded to be united, and fear their Lord, and apprehend the evil of the account” (13:21)

What are the things Allah has commanded to be united? Of course, this is about the relationship between family members and the kinship bond. Those who are kind to their relatives and do not break the ties of kinship are referred to as "the people of understanding" in an earlier verse of the Quran (13:20)

The following is one of the reports from the Prophet's (peace be upon him) Sunnah that warns against cutting familial ties:

It was narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah created the creations, and when He finished from His creations, Ar-Rahm i.e., womb said, “(O Allah) at this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of Kith and kin). Allah said, ‘Yes, won't you be pleased that I will keep good relations with the one who will keep good relations with you, and I will sever the relation with the one who will sever the relations with you.’ It said, ‘Yes, O my Lord.’ Allah said, ‘Then that is for you ‘”. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) added. “Read (in the Qur'an) if you wish, the Statement of Allah: ‘Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship?’ (47.22) (Sahih Bukhari 5987)

What causes family bonds to be severed between families? It is usually determined that it is related to arguments over materialistic matters in the majority of situations. The Devil incites enmity and animosity among people over little matters that aren't worth discussing in the first place.

However, Muslim families have lost their power of resisting the devil's influence. This occurs despite the fact that Islam encourages Muslims to consolidate the bond of kinship, ignore faults and embrace a forgiving and tolerant attitude, rather than seek out mistakes and cultivate hatred, grudges, and envy.

Abu Huraira reported that a person said: Allah's Messenger, I have relatives with whom I try, to have a close relationship, but they sever (this relation). I treat them well, but they treat me ill. I am sweet to them but they are harsh towards me. Upon this, he (the Holy Prophet) said: If it is so as you say, then you in fact throw hot ashes (upon their faces) and there would always remain with you on behalf of Allah (an Angel to support you) who would keep you dominant over them so long as you adhere to this (path of righteousness). (Narrated by Muslim, 2558)

An-Nawawi said in his commentary on Sharh Muslim (16/115): It will be like giving them scorching ashes, according to this hadith. This is a metaphor for the suffering they will experience, similar to the pain experienced by someone who eats hot ashes. There will be no sin on this good deed-doer; rather, they will be doing a major sin by cutting him off and harming him. And it was stated that by treating them well, you will make them feel ashamed of themselves because of how lovingly you treat them in comparison to how terribly they treat you. And Allah is the most knowledgeable.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The upholder of kinship links is not the one who is kind to them if they are kind to him; rather, the upholder of kinship ties is the one who upholds the kinship ties with them if his relatives cut him off.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5991)

This is the behaviour and attitude that Islam encourages. The family dispute is strongly frowned upon in Islam. You are not permitted to join one of the family members in breaking links with other relatives; instead, you must keep ties with all of them and treat them with love, as well as make every effort to reconcile the two members.


Kaniz Fatma is a classic Islamic scholar and a regular columnist for New Age Islam.


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