There was once a person who made wudhu, called out the azaan and then called the people around him to join him for salaah. However, it was 9am and he was dressed in only a short pants! “What salaah are you performing?” one person asked. “Zuhr,” he replied. “But it’s still 9am! It’s not yet time for Zuhr!” the people objected. “Never mind!” he responded, “That’s a small thing! The main thing is that I’m reading Zuhr!” “How can you perform salaah wearing only short-pants?” another person enquired. Once again, he replied, “That’s a small thing! The main thing is that I’m reading Zuhr!”

Although the above example may be farfetched, it aptly highlights the importance of knowing how and when to fulfil the commands of Allah Ta‘ala. If one fails to observe these two essential aspects, then instead of earning the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala – which is the very objective – he will earn His displeasure.

Previously, an article was posted, encouraging us to maintain family ties. As a conclusion to it, we will now discuss a few pertinent points regarding the when and how of maintaining family ties so that the desired outcome, of attaining the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, can be achieved.

As far as the when is concerned, then maintaining family ties is an injunction that applies to us at all times. Conversely, in the Western lifestyle, joining family ties is restricted to a few select occasions, e.g. father’s day, mother’s day, birthdays, etc., while largely neglecting their family members for the rest of the year. Bearing this in mind, if we restrict maintaining family ties to a few occasions during the year e.g. the two ‘Eids, weddings and funerals, while not bothering to maintain ties at other times, then we will be following the way of the disbelievers.

As far as the how is concerned, then since the purpose of maintaining family ties is to please Allah Ta‘ala, we have to ensure that none of His laws are violated in the process of maintaining ties, as we will then incur His wrath instead of His pleasure. Hence, we will only maintain ties with people when it will not harm our ties with Allah Ta‘ala.

In this regard, there are many people who punctually attend family functions such as weddings, braais, etc., all in the name of “maintaining family ties”. However, the functions that they attend contain blatant sins such as intermingling of men and women, photography, music, women dressed indecently, etc. However, despite these sins being committed openly, they insist on attending these functions saying that if they do not do so, they will be severing family ties, as their relatives will feel hurt and insulted. Furthermore, when the topic of the sins at these functions is raised, they say, “Never mind! The main thing is that we are maintaining family ties!”

The question that we need to ask is, “Is our relationship with family more important than our relationship with Allah Ta‘ala?” By adding to the numbers of such gatherings and being present in such an environment, we may feel that we are appeasing our family members and maintaining ties. However, the reality is that we are severing ties with Allah Ta‘ala. Furthermore, when the purpose of joining family ties is to earn the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, then how can we do so in a manner that severs our relationship with Him and earns His anger by attending a function where His laws are broken and He is disobeyed?

We should definitely join family ties, but we do NOT have to compromise on our Deen and displease Allah Ta‘ala to do so. Rather, there are ample opportunities, besides these functions, for us to uphold this injunction of Deen. At all times, we should try to please Allah Ta‘ala, as His pleasure and approval is the yardstick of acceptance.