What is the importance of loving the kin of the Prophet? What are the limits to this love?
God says, “say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I ask of you no fee, save loving kindness among kinsfolk.” Sa‘id ibn Jubayr said concerning this verse that “the Prophet did not have close ties with the Quraysh except that he had family relations with them. So it was revealed to him [in the verse mentioned above] except that you keep ties with the family that is between us.” So this verse is a directive concerning his kin and God has commanded him to inform people of this.
The Messenger of God has commanded us to love his kin and to hold fast to them, and he has reminded us concerning them, may peace be upon them all, in many hadiths. For example, “O people I am but a human and it is near that the angel of death will come to me and I must obey him, and I am leaving with you two weighty things, the first is the book of God in it is guidance and light so take it and hold fast to it. The second is my kin, I remind you of God in reminding you of my kin, I remind you of God in reminding you of my kin.” Husayn then said, “who are his kin O Zayd [the narrator of the hadith] are not his wives from his kin?” He said, “His wives are from his kin, but his kin are all those whom charity has been forbidden for them to accept.” Husayn said, “Who are these?” He said, “they are the kin of Ali, the kin of ‘Aqil, the kin of J‘afaar, and the kin of ‘Abbas.” Husayan said, “All of these are forbidden from accepting charity?” He said, “Yes.” Also the statement of the Messenger of God, “O people I have left with you that which if you hold fast to you will never go astray, the book of God and my progeny, my kin.”
We love God immensely and by our love to God we have come to love the Messenger of God who is the opening through which the goodness that God has blessed the whole world flows. By our love to the Messenger of God we love his kin whom the Messenger of God reminded us with and whom the Messenger of God exalted and increased in their description of good qualities. Therefore the love of the kin of the Messenger of God resides in the deep recesses of a Muslim’s heart, and it is a sign of love of the Messenger of God just like loving the Messenger of God is a sign of loving God.
By loving God we have loved all goodness, therefore all are directed to the same source and aid in realizing the same goal and God we ask to teach us what He wills.
There can be no problems to the degree that one loves the kin of the Messenger of God, however the problems can arise in one’s belief concerning them. We believe that there is no deity except God and that our master Muhammad is the Messenger of God and that the Prophets are infallible and other than the Prophets like the kin of the Messenger of God and the companions are not infallible , rather they are protected by the protection of God. As long as a Muslim’s belief is sound concerning these issues then he should love the kin of the Messenger of God with all his heart. These are, in actuality, levels that God bestows on who He wills. The more that one loves the kin of the Messenger of God the more they advance in ranks amongst the righteous. This is so since love of the kin of the Messenger of God is a sign of love of the Messenger of God and love of the Messenger of God is a sign of the love one has for God, and God is most high and all knowledgeable.