No other religion emphasized on the importance of building strong bonds with one’s relatives/family than the religion of Islam.
You’re doing it for Almighty Allah and you’re doing it to keep good relation with Almighty Allah.
Below is a practical action plan to implement this great virtue in your life:
- Find out who your relatives are
This is an obvious first-step, but many people skip it out of embarrassment of admitting that they don’t know all their relatives. Have a break with your parents and ask them about their brothers/sisters/uncles/aunts, etc.
- Interview your grandparents:
There’s so much wisdom, experience, lessons that can be learnt from our elders. Just sit with them, ask them some questions and press record. No need to make it formal, just sit and listen.
Sometimes between their stories you can find the solution of your any problem.
- Visit/invite for iftar
Get in touch with your relatives by any means, you should invite each other to iftar. If parents aren’t interested because of issues between relatives, try to do it amongst the ‘youngsters’ or the ‘cousins’. Then at the iftar you can discuss various ways to resolve family feuds and stay in touch with the family. There are lots of other ways of ‘breaking the ice’ this is just an example.
- Spend charity/zakat on them
We as a Muslim have clear instructions from Almighty Allah that our charities/Zakat should be first for our needed relatives then the poor and needy in other parts of the world. There are ways of doing this practically; including giving your sadaqah to the poor relative through another member of the family who’s more senior, or you could sponsor one of your poor relatives’ BIG expenses, e.g. their child’s education or a medical operation, marriage etc.
- Resolve old issues once and for all
Once things start ‘warming up’ between relatives and you can see an opportunity to resolve old issues, try to resolve them formally, ideally through a senior member. Try to do it this Ramazan! People will be happy to forget/forgive during Ramazan/Eid and hopefully restart their relationships once again on the basis of love, mercy and In sha Allah.