The Arabic term for ties of kinship is “silat-ur-rahm“. It literally refers to ties of the womb. One of the attributes we know of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) is that He is Ar-Rahman–The Most Compassionate. The interconnection between the two words should be somewhat apparent even to those who do not know Arabic.
Human relationships, especially those bound in blood ties, must be based on mercy and compassion.
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Verily Allah created the universe and when He had finished that, ties of relationship came forward and said, ‘This is the place for him who seeks refuge from severing (of blood-relationship)’. He said, ‘Yes. Are you not satisfied that I should keep relationship with one who joins your ties of relationship and sever it with one who severs your (ties of relationship)?’ They (the ties of blood) said, ‘Certainly so’. Thereupon He said, ‘Well that is how things are for you’. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then said, ‘Recite if you like, “But if you turn away you are sure to make mischief in the land and cut off the ties of kinship. Those it is whom Allah has cursed, so He has made them deaf and blinded their eyes. Do they not reflect on the Qur’an? Or, are there locks on their hearts?”. [Sahih Muslim]
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “He who desires ample provisions and his life be prolonged should maintain good ties with his blood relations”. [Bukhari and Muslim]
Besides blood relationships, marriage is the cornerstone of community and therefore the husband-wife relationship is of utmost importance in terms of its sacredness. The Muslim marriage is a pact made for the sake of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). It is an act of worship if undertaken with noble intentions.
“…in man’s sexual intercourse (with his wife) there is a sadaqah (charity). The Companions said, “Messenger of Allah, is there reward for him who satisfies his sexual passion among us?” He said, “Tell me, if he were to devote it to something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward.” [Sahih Muslim]
If nothing else were to convince us of the importance of maintaining marriage, we are shown it through Satan’s happiness regarding a dissolved marriage:
It is reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Iblis places his throne upon water. He then sends detachments (for creating dissension). The nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says, ‘I did so and so.’ And he says, ‘You have done nothing.’ Then one amongst them comes and says, ‘I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife.’ The Satan goes near him and says, ‘You have done well.’ [Sahih Muslim]
Disagreements can occur, but they must be handled with maturity and wisdom. Many issues can be resolved via reasonable discussion and compromise. We live in a culture of instant gratification and therefore there is the temptation to walk away from relationships that are becoming difficult to manage. However, Islam encourages patience and seeking practical solutions that will keep the relationships intact rather than breaking them.
Despite the importance that Islam places on maintaining relationships, some would even resort to performing sihr (black magic) to break up relationships.
وَٱتَّبَعُوا۟ مَا تَتْلُوا۟ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَـٰنَ ۖ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَـٰنُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ يُعَلِّمُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ ٱلسِّحْرَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَى ٱلْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَـٰرُوتَ وَمَـٰرُوتَ ۚ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَآ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَا تَكْفُرْ ۖ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِۦ بَيْنَ ٱلْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِۦ ۚ وَمَا هُم بِضَآرِّينَ بِهِۦ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ ٱللَّـهِ ۚ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ ۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُوا۟ لَمَنِ ٱشْتَرَىٰهُ مَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـٰقٍ ۚ وَلَبِئْسَ مَا شَرَوْا۟ بِهِۦٓ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا۟ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٠٢﴾
“And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, ‘We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].’ And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.” [Quran; 2:102]
وَقُل لِّعِبَادِى يَقُولُوا۟ ٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ يَنزَغُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ كَانَ لِلْإِنسَـٰنِ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا ﴿٥٣﴾
“And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.” [Quran; 17:53]
وَمِنْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦٓ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَٰجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿٢١﴾
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Quran; 30:21]
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُونُوا۟ قَوَّٰمِينَ لِلَّـهِ شُهَدَآءَ بِٱلْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَـَٔانُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰٓ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا۟ ۚ ٱعْدِلُوا۟ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌۢ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٨﴾
“Oh you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is acquainted with what you do.” [Quran; 5:8]
Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to hve said, “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” [Sahih Bukhari]
It is reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) “Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness in all things.” [Ibn Majah]
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Allah is gentle, likes gentleness, and gives for gentleness what he does not give for harshness.” [Abu Dawud]
“…They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them….” [Quran; 2:187]
“The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.” [Ibn Majah]