Praise be to Allaah.
Honouring the father’s wife, treating her kindly and asking
after her are part of honouring one’s father and upholding ties of kinship
with him, especially since he is asking you to do that and urging and
encouraging you to do so.
The father’s wife is not one of the relatives (rahm) with
whom one is obliged to uphold ties of kinship, unless she is related to you
by blood, but not asking after her is regarded as offending the father, and
falling short in upholding ties with him.
It says in Subul al-Salaam (2/628): The scholars
differed as to the definition of the relatives with whom one is obliged to
uphold ties of kinship. It was said that they are the relatives to whom
marriage is forbidden. Based on this, the children of paternal and maternal
uncles (i.e., cousins) are not included in this. This who hold this view
quote as evidence the fact that it is haraam to be married to a woman and
her paternal aunt or maternal aunt at the same time, because that would
result in the severing of family ties.
And it was said that it applies to anyone who is connected by
inheritance, which is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Then the closest to you and the next
And it was said that it applies to anyone to whom you are
related, whether you would inherit from him or not.
Moreover, as al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad said: there are degrees of
upholding the ties of kinship, some of which are higher than others. The
least of them is not forsaking them and upholding ties by speaking, even if
it is only saying salaam. That varies according to ability and need, and
some of it is obligatory and some is mustahabb. If a person upholds the ties
of kinship to some extent but not fully he is not regarded as having severed
the ties of kinship, and if he falls short of what he is able to do and
should do, he is not regarded as upholding the ties of kinship.
Al-Qurtubi said: The ties of kinship which should be upheld
are general and specific. The general ties are the ties of religion which
must be upheld with friendship, sincerity, justice, fairness and fulfilling
obligatory and mustahabb rights.
Specific ties include, in addition to that, spending on
relatives, checking on them and forgiving their mistakes. End quote.
Conclusion: The father’s wife should be honoured and ties
with her upheld, and you should check on her and ask after her, based on
ties of religion and because upholding ties with her is part of upholding
ties with your father.
And Allaah knows best.