“SILAT AL-RAHIM: OUR OPPORTUNITY FOR MERCY AND BLESSINGS”
In the verse I have recited, our Lord Almighty (swt) states, “…Be mindful of Allah—in Whose Name you appeal to one another—and honor family ties…”1 In the hadith I have read, our Prophet (saw) says, “Whoever wishes to have his provision increased or his life prolonged should maintain ties of kinship.”2
One of the most important values that we, believers, are supposed to observe is silat al-rahim. Silat al-rahim means establishing good relations with our family, relatives, and neighbors. It means not breaking our ties with them, sharing their joys and sorrows, rushing to their aid when they are in need, giving them a hand to lift them up when they fall, and supporting each other with compassion, mercy and affection.
We live in a time when technology is advancing at a dizzying pace. We can reach out to people on the other side of the world at any time we want, and we can communicate in both audio and video formats. However, contrary to all these developments, we are growing further and further apart from each other day by day, and we seem to be neglecting even our closest ones, our parents. With each passing day, we are getting lonelier and more individualized within the crowds. Today, there are many lonely parents, abandoned to loneliness, looking forward to welcoming their children, the apple of their eyes. There are many relatives of ours who are waiting to be asked how they are doing. We have many close ones who would like to have their concerns shared, and their hearts lifted a little bit. There are many of our neighbors who need a greeting, a sincere smile, friendliness and warmth.
Let us not neglect silat al-rahim, which is an opportunity for mercy. Let us not deprive ourselves of its blessings. Let us make and keep our parents happy. Let us not withhold from our relatives kindness and cordiality, greetings and a sincere smile. Let us not leave them alone at weddings, ‘eids, and funerals. Let our children learn from us to honor their elders and make their relatives happy. Let our young ones learn from us that joys increase the more they are shared, and sorrows decrease the more they are shared.
I would like to conclude this Friday’s khutbah with the Messenger of Allah’s (swt) following hadith: “Silat al-rahim is derived from Allah, al-Rahman. If anyone maintains ties of kinship, Allah maintains ties with him. If anyone cuts them off, Allah cuts him off.”3
 Nisa, 4/1.
 Bukhari, Adab, 12.
 Tirmidhi, Birr, 16.