Importance of Family System & Identity (Ahadith 3111 – 3112)
The importance Islam places on family system and values is widely known. A family is the basic unit of a society and hence affects the latter directly. Strong family ties mean a strong society and so on. There are innumerable benefits of this strength; peace, unity, empathy, emotional stability, respect and improved health to name a few. Similarly, weakness in family ties and relationships reflect on the society as a whole. One would find chaos, selfishness, suffering relationships, trust issues etc. in such a community.
The following two ahadith are examples of how Islam enforces family system and one’s right to belong to their family and to be known as their own father’s son/daughter. If someone intentionally tries to change the identity of a person, the consequences can be severe.
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 711 :
Narrated by Abu Dhar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If somebody claims to be the son of any other than his real father knowingly, he but disbelieves* in Allah, and if somebody claims to belong to some folk to whom he does not belong, let such a person take his place in the (Hell) Fire.”
*”Disbelief” (kufr) in Arabic is also used for ungratefulness.
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 712 :
Narrated by Wathila bin Al-Asqa (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Verily, one of the worst lies is to claim falsely to be the son of someone other than one’s real father, or to claim to have had a dream one has not had, or to attribute to me what I have not said.”
Changing one’s lineage is an example of this. In areas where the hierarchy of castes and tribes still exist, people try to “switch” to a superior one just for a higher social status and better connections. This is wrong. It can lead to multiple issues of identity, marriage and inheritance.
Takeaway from this? Know your father (and family by extension).