Nearest and Dearest
Silatul Rahm is the act of upholding family relationships. Linguistically, it means womb ties, from the root words wasl, which means to join two things, and rahm, which means the womb. In Islam, we have a responsibility to build and maintain a strong family. This is because family is the foundation; it is through relationships that a person learns the values of love, trust, communication, support, and respect. In interactions with our nearest and dearest ones, we learn how to have healthy relationships with others.
In this book, we teach two key lessons about Silatul Rahm. First, we focus on the importance of spending quality time with family members. In the hustle and bustle of our lives, sometimes we don’t fulfill our duties toward our family members. We might be distracted due to the interruptions of technology. We might be short with our loved ones instead of attending to their needs. We might even put off things they ask of us because we prioritize ourselves or others over them. As parents, we must role model positive behavior with our families and invest care into these relationships so that children understand their importance. In our first story, “Mayor-ly Busy,” Asad’s dad is working on a special project, but it is only when he is neglected by his boss that he realizes that he too must prioritize and give time to those who are important in his life.
Our second lesson focuses on the importance of showing kindness to our relatives. Allah (SWT) tells us that family ties are ones that must be joined and protected. Preserving relationships with kin has a great influence on our own well-being, our contribution to the world, and the relationships we have with others. Studies have shown that children that grow up in a household with a nurturing family have better grades, less stress, higher self-esteem and confidence, healthier physical bodies, and are more likely to accomplish their life goals. In our second story, “Uncommon Cousins,” Amira learns what it means to support family, irrespective of their differences.