The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Inquire after your relatives so that you can perform Silah Rehmi. Without doubt Silah Rehmi creates love among relatives, abundance in wealth, and increase in life span.” [Musnad Ahmed]
To fulfill the rights of Silah Rehmi, when dealing with relatives keep the following five points in mind:
1. Inquire about them,
2. Help and cooperate in their time of need,
3. Try to remove the hardships they are encountering,
4. Meet them with a cheerful face,
5. Pray for their well-being in both worlds.
What is not Silah Rehmi?
Suppose your relatives need help in kidnapping a person for ransom, or in planning a burglary, should you help them? You might answer, “No, because this will get us into trouble. If we get caught then we risk going to prison. If we don’t get caught, Allah is still watching and we will get punished more severely on the Day of Judgement.”
Thus, helping relatives with crimes is not Silah Rehmi: Silah Rehmi is to advise them against it, try to stop them from acting on their bad intentions, and if nothing else works, then dissociating from them so you don’t get punished along with them.
The same logic applies if your relatives want to commit the crimes of backbiting, socializing among men and women, having music in gatherings, mocking Allah’s religion or Messenger, etc. It is no favour (Silah Rehmi) to your relatives for you to aid them in this or participate in their sins.