Who truly uphold the ties
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The one who maintains a relationship with his relatives only because they maintain a relationship with him is not truly upholding the ties of kinship. The one who truly upholds those ties is the one who does so even if they break off the relationship.”
After explaining in previous ahadith the obligation and virtues of maintaining the ties of kinship, the following question arises, who is the one who truly upholds the ties of kinship?
This was explained by the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) in the above Hadith when he (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The one who truly upholds those ties is the one who does so even if they break off the relationship.”
If the relationship with relatives is merely one of returning favours and giving like in return for like, and not taking the initiative, then this is not upholding the ties of kinship, it is only responding in kind.
Some people follow the principle of giving a gift in return for a gift, and visiting in return for a visit, so if someone does not give them a gift, they do not give him a gift, and if he does not visit them, they do not visit him.
This is not what is meant by upholding the ties of kinship at all, and this is not what is required by Islam.
This is merely responding in kind, it is not the higher degree which Islam urges us to reach.
And Allah knows best!