Imam W. Deen Muhammad
"Worship none but God: treat with
kindness your parents and kindred,
and orphans and those in need."
In the above verse from the Holy Qur'an, Allah tells the Muslims to be kind and generous to their near relatives. Even though our near relatives don't believe in the same religion as we believe, we are still to be kind to them and give them assistance. Even at the point when we find ourselves unable to get along with non-Muslim relatives because of religious differences, we should part with them in an honorable way, and try to keep an atmosphere of kindness between them.
God values and holds precious our family relations. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that divorce is the one thing that Allah permits, but hates most. Once the husband and wife divorce and leave each other, the family is not the same. God dislikes seeing our families broken up and put in a difficult situation. When Prophet Noah prayed to God, asking Him to save his relatives from the flood, God told him that those who refused to heed his warning and live the life as he lived, they were not of his family. So we see that in one sense we are to separate from relatives who reject what we believe in. Furthermore, we are not to let our hearts be burdened because of the consequences that come upon them because of that rejection.
". . . And warn your nearest kinsmen, and lower your wing to the believers who follow you. Then if they disobey you, say 1 am free (of responsibility) for what you do!1 and put your trust in the Exalted in Might, the Merciful."
During the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) there were Christians and other religious groups, but he did not persecute or mistreat them because they did not accept his religion. He continued to keep good relations with them. To some he would send gifts. According to the history of Prophet Muhammad, we know that he had close relatives who respected him highly although they were not converted to the religion. They knew and respected him because he had established in his lifetime a record or reputation for being honest, considerate, kind and generous. Some of his relatives loved and gave him assistance even though they were not Muslims. There are many times when people become something in their hearts, and because of the pressure on them from without or in the society, they are not able to make the decision they should make. We must understand that there are many people like that.
As Muslims, we must do as Allah tells us in His Qur'an, wherein He says, "So
call not on any other god with God or you will be among those under penalty. And warn your nearest kinsmen, and lower your wing to the believers who follow you. Then if they disobey you, Say, 'I am free (of responsibility) for what you do!' And put your trust on the Exalted in Might, The Merciful"
Allah allows certain things, but He has also established examples to give us courage and to strengthen us. Those who have studied the history of the Muslims know that during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), many Muslims came under many cruelties because they refused to give up their faith. They were examples of bravery, courage, and willingness to sacrifice everything for Allah's pleasure. But we must also understand that many times an individual is ready to die, yet he is not ready to see his family or relatives suffer. Therefore, he is willing to suffer because he has to live in order to take care of their needs.
Let us understand that our religion is a religion of faith, yet it emphasizes the importance of sound judgment, good sense, and a rational basis for our actions and for what we do. Thus, it is very important to understand the rational basis for the faith of Al-Islam.