In a hadīth we learn that Uqbah ibn Amir رضى الله عنه took hold of Prophet’s ﷺ hand and said “Oh Messenger of Allah, inform me of the virtuous deeds.”

Prophet ﷺ said 3 things to him: “Bond and join relations with the one who severs relations with you, give to one who deprives you and turn away from and ignore the one who is unjust to you.”

In all 3 points of advice, Prophet ﷺ told Uqbah ibn Amir رضى الله عنه to have the upper hand and to be the better one.

Regarding the first piece of advice, we should remind ourselves that صِلَةُ الرَّحِم (Ṣilat al-raḥim) means the joining and bonding of the relations of kin, blood and family, and is a very noble concept and an obligation.

In another famous hadīth Prophet ﷺ explained that the one joining and fulfilling the obligation of Ṣilat al-raḥim is not simply the one who reciprocates. The joiner is not the reciprocator. The Prophet ﷺ said that the joiner and keeper of good relations is one who when others sever relations with him, he bonds them and joins them.

As an example, if one person forms a good relationship with you, then you are simply reciprocating. This is not a virtue but an obligation. But the joiner and the keeper of good relations is that person who bonds and joins relations with that person who severs them.

[This short excerpt is based on “From Darknesses to Dawn: A Tafsīr of Sūrat 113 – al-Falaq” which was delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 30th of March 2012].