KHALWAH IN ISTANBUL: SILA RAHMI, RELATIVES AND RAMADAN

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Our family is like a mixed Bouquet of flowers each distinct in color, style and what it needs to flourish…… we look good together and we have a common nuruturent and that is our Deen

Inheritance is a snake that the deceased leave behind that bites everyone who comes in contact with it, even when it is designated to be distributed according to the fixed shares of Shariah.

Thesaurus describes kin as all the possible blood relationships

Never are kin more challenging to deal with than when the subject of inheritance comes in. Thus, it is so also in my small world

The entire world is in lock down of one sort or another. I am in Istanbul and my family is scattered all over the world, Thank God for electronic methods that we can still text and if hard pressed even talk depending on the time differences between the continents and the generational divide and their reluctance to talk and their preference to text.

All my mother’s siblings are dead except one and she is angry with me and my siblings why? You guessed it: inheritance, not the desire for it but how it was approached with a lack of sensitivity on behalf of some of the people in  my family. Has this ever happened in your family?

The phone rings it is my young niece from Europe: She says “ As you requested I tried to talk to my grandmother to accept your call but she is very angry with you and I fear that if I call you from her room at the assisted living she may get angry with me also”

She paused and then her voice broke,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it is Ramadan a time for forgiveness ,maybe you should call her, do you need her phone number?”

I have her number; I have called her several times since I have been in Istanbul and she has been in an Assisted living Home in Europe.

She does not answer my calls.

“………it is Ramadan” says my niece, and stops . Suddenly everything that I have read about the three asharas of Ramadan floats in front of my eyes. We are in the first Ashara it is the Ashara of rahma or mercy!

“Ok I said I will call her meanwhile please send me her address: I plan to write her a long letter and send it by snail mail.

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The Blue Mosque and The Aya Sophia take the back drop as the afternoon sun scatters diamonds on the surface of the Bosphorus

That afternoon as Dhuhr is ending, I am unable to get up from my musallah. I look out of the window seeking answers to a plan of action.

the sunlight fills the room with its golden light and the diamonds of the sunrays convert into diamonds as they strike the surface of the blue Bosphorus. The Blue Mosque has nothing to say and the Aya Sophia seems mum on the subject.

I am glued to the Musallah wresting with a possible solution., logistically, what should I write and how should I put it, should I instead ask those family members who are the source of her anger contact her etc. etc etc. My logistical mind with all its plans and scenarios turns around in circles.

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The seagulls relax on the boat landing previously occupied by people

 

The sound of the seagulls excited and cackling over just a section of the water tells me there is fish and perhaps there are dolphins. The seagulls use the dolphins as their GPS for fish location and the Dolphins willingly comply with their ever-present smile ( have you ever seen a Dolphin frown?)

I cannot just throw my hands up and say “ well what can I do” I had read somewhere that the one who does not do sila rahmi i.e. connect with estranged relatives will not enter Jannah.

“ After all I have done my part I think but something keeps me on the Musallah,, telling me that I have not reached the answer yet………someone had said “ keep your mouth silent and sometimes just let your heart communicate with your Lord and hear what he has to say.

Head bowed  unwittingly and without a conscious will I ask Him Subhanawataala for help……

When I get up from the Musallah, the solution appears like a neon sign hanging from the spires of the Topkapi palace: it is a one-word answer, no multiple choices and no if and or buts:  “email” flashes in front of my eyes. I look at my laptop sitting idly on the table.  However, the Nafs does not let go easily “But I did that before to no avail, it argues, it hasn’t worked it trails off like a petulant spoilt brat…..

I sit down and write an email  to my Aunt: It is brief, to the point, polite, humble and filled with love and begging for blanket forgiveness of all errors on my behalf whether it was an act done by me or in association with anyone else in my family.

After the “mash” send  as they say in the South, I head to the bedroom for Qalqala…..but before I can lay my head down the phone rings……It is my elderly Aunt calling me from Europe, I stare at her name blinking on the phone screen with disbelief.

“Asmi she says I got your email and I thought I would call you to answer it…………”

And so, began the process of Sila Rahmi not as a predetermined pre planned organized format that I had tried and failed at but a supplication in Ramadan in the first Ashara seeking His Subhanawataalas mercy.

 Allah Subhanawataala had offered me Sila Rahmi on a silver platter with the speed that only He can muster in His Magnificence when he is Raheem and Rahman, Rafeeq and Ghafoor, al Wadud and compassionate and problem solver all rolled into one dynamic force.

“Email” the same method that had not worked before brought a response which such alacrity that it made my head spin and I literally felt my heart smile at the confusion of my brain.

It all came wrapped up in this Hadith lesson by Mufti Kakakhail , May Allah bless and protect him and his family for teaching these words of our Prophet pbuh with such sweetness, humility and yet firmness that they sink into the heart and mind.

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A woman reads Quran after Jumma prayers in the Fatih mosque, Istanbul.Turkey

Here is his lnspiring lesson pertaining to SILA RAHMI

HADITH BUKHARI SHAREEF 5986

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah ‘s Apostle said, Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin

Anas ibn Malik said that RasullAllah SAW said “ Two things RasullAllah SAW asked us :

  1. Who is one who wants barakah in expansion of his sustenance?
  2. Who is it who wants barakah in his age ( Umar daraaz i.e. one is able to do more in the same amount of time)?

He said that if a person wants these two things, he/she should do SILA RAHMI

 

DISCUSSION

WHAT IS SILA RAHMI?

Sila Rahmi is Husne salook or ideal beautiful genuine, sincerely good manners with relatives.

RELATIONS BETWEEN IN-LAWS AND OUT LAWS

Sometimes mothers separate their children from the paternal side of relatives or put negative ideas in their children or do not impress on them to give respect to their status:

Thus, when those children grow up, they are not attached to these relationships, thus they do not take care of them as they get older and thus, they are unable to perform sila rahmi and then are devoid of the two barakahs mentioned above.

The mother and father should keep any negative feelings for each other’s families within themselves and not extend it to children.

If we want to get the advantage of Sila Rahmi we must remove these hatreds.

If a husband is good with his parents that home is filled with barakah

Wives should discourage Qata Rahmi (breaking the relationship) by their husbands with their parents then the affect will be reflected in time and barakah of sustenance is strained.

TAKE ACTION : evaluate the relationships and if you feel a strain in any relationship then pick up the phone and/or send a gift and you will see a change in your life.

SILA RAHMI

HADITH BUKHARI SHAREEF 5989

Ayesha RA ummul Momineen said that Nabi Kareem SAW said “ Allah says: Rahm ie close relatives are like a Green branch of a tree (sheejna)Allah says “ The person who will repair (connect) relations I will repair ( connect) him and he who breaks the relations  ( Qata rahmi) Allah will break him. i.e. Allah will put him in difficulties and Musebah.

One reason for continued difficulties, physical or health wise, poverty, no advancement in professional and personal life,  loss of work and money, lack of rishtas, is Qata Rahmi ( breaking off from relatives).

QATA RAHMI: If one stops speaking with a relative for three days or more

ACTION: Bring all your relatives in your mind and evaluate where is your error in communication.

SILA RAHMI: hadith: Sila Rahmi is not that if the other connects I do too , Sila Rahmi is if the other breaks with me I do not do so.

You have to correct your relationship with Allah.

SILA RAHMI

HADITH BUKARI SHAREEF 5991

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr: The Prophet said, Al-Wasil is not the one who recompenses the good done to him by his relatives, but Al-Wasil is the one who keeps good relations with those relatives who had severed the bond of kinship with him.

Abdullah ibn Amr, said that RA SAW said “ Wasil{ someone who does sila rahmi, Mukafi is one who does in exchange of the other persons attitude )

Sila rahmi is not the one who does good as a reaction, good for good and vice versa.

“Sila Rahmi is that when the relationship is broken with you then you repair that relationship.”

Bend for the sake of Allah

Man tawaza lillah, Rafaaullah

The one who bends for Allah, Allah will raise him to the upper most

Allah will never insult that person who will take the initiative for the sake of Allah.

And  who does Sila Rahmi, the ones  whose relationship has been broken one works to repair it.

End discussion

One has to look at all those relatives whose feelings have been hurt and who have receded on our map of life and try to hook back up with them. One does not have to develop an intimate relationship with them but one must at least keep a “salaam” relationship with them and keep the door open.

Allah knows best!

QUESTION FOR THE READERS:

DO YOU THINK I SHOULD CONTACT THOSE WHO MY AUNT IS UPSET WITH AND ENCOURAGE SILA RAHMI?

answers:

YES

NO

NONE OF MY BUSINESS

Please indicate your answer in the comment section, thank you!

 

 

7 thoughts on “KHALWAH IN ISTANBUL: SILA RAHMI, RELATIVES AND RAMADAN

  1. السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَ بَرَكَاتُه
    Oh my word
    When I read just the preview of your article. It caught my attention as if you were talking to me.
    I wish I could mend ties with my brother. Hê is upset about inheritance which hê misused and abused and which I brought his attention to.
    Hê doesn’t take my calls. And responds in monosyllabic words if I message him. We are only 2 siblings. And hê is younger than me. But hê seems to forget all that I did for him. My heart breaks that hê chooses to cut off ties with me. Please make duaa that we can talk again.

    • Salaams Sister Hafsa, May Allah provide the opportunities for sila rahmi in your life. My personal experience is that if you sincerely want something very very much, then Allah gives it to you. I pray that Allah mends your relationship with your only brother, it seems like he is hurting too. Perhaps send him a card or a small gift as an extension of your hand of reconciliation. Allah is Razzaq and he will give you your full sustenance and you will not miss your inheritance. As for him he has to answer to Allah so pray for him for that reckoning can be harsh. May Allah put love and respect between the two of you. Duas coming your way!

  2. Yes I would think so if you love your aunt and the other family member as everyone of us is Answerable to Allah. On the day of judgement Allah will ask you as well as your family member and aunt and it would be hard to say that it was none of your concern. You may def have an opinion based on the facts.

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