Sat 23 August 2014
27 Shawwaal 1435 AH  



LECTURES

Man is in Loss

Parenting

Building Personality

Muslim Personality

Marriage

Muslim Family


Ingredients of a Blessed Family

Journey to Parenthood

A New Arrival in the Family

Infancy and Pre-school Nursing

School Exposure

Adolescence

Issues of Social Ills


new lectures to follow...


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Ingredients of a Blessed Family (Click here for multiple questions on this Lecture)

Family, the bedrock of human civilisation, is a sacred institution and as such it needs to be universally preserved. It should not only be defended robustly, but promoted with passion and conviction. In the midst of global 'anti-family' crusade by a powerful group in the developed countries the challenge has become all the more important. The promotion or rejection of family values is linked to the perception of life on earth and the role of man and woman in human destiny. Those who have firm belief in divine revelation can not conceive of weakening the family structure. Happy family brings a sense of belonging, anchor and root that build balanced personality to contribute in the society. Unhappy family creates disaffection, pain and frustration that give rise to broken personality, full of confusion. Distortion in family leads towards 'distorted personality' who could turn to be dangers to society and even to humanity. Unhappy and distorted families have their own root causes.

A Question to think about : What moral values and feelings should be at the heart of our family life?

What are the ingredients of a blessed family?

Love

Love is at the core of family life. It is the gel that produces a rock-solid relationship among the members. Love emanates from heart. Hearts joinand create the fountain of love between people. Love is imbedded in human nature and a gift from Allah. Human history has exceptional stories on love affairs. Love for one's own children is obvious. But love between husband and wife, the two grown up people, needs nurturing. Pure physical attraction can not create love or maintain it for long. Attraction before marriage that gives rise to the romance of 'boy-friend, girl-friend' relationship in the modern West most often fails in the test and ends up in changed relationship. People looking for a 'family life' can contribute to permanent love. They have the best chance to succeed in their relationship. An Islamic vision of life in the family makes love exceptionally rewarding. This needs Allah's special blessing without which men and women could be in the pit of fire (al-Qur'an 8:63). Love should not be blind, except for Islam. Islam demands unconditional love for Allah and His messenger, above anything else, including one's life. (al-Qur'an 9:24). Love between parents transmit to children. Children growing up in a family where parents lack minimum level of love may grow up with emptiness. Love has external manifestation and that is natural. This should not be so ostentatious that it creates public indecency. Ostentatious love in public is not consistent with Islamic and human decency and as such deplorable.

A Question to think about : The strongest bond of love is between Allah and his creation. In which other forms can love exist?

Kindness, Care and Compassion

These tender feelings are at the heart of family and social life. Allah, "Most Gracious, Most Merciful" (al-Qur'an 1:2), has created man out of His love and mercy and demands from us the same. Have mercy on those in the land, so that the One in Heaven will have mercy on you. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi) Allah is kind and He loves kindness in all affairs. (Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim). He who is deprived of leniency is deprived of goodness. (Muslim) When Allah, the Exalted, wills some good towards the people of a household, He introduces kindness among them. (al-Musnad, Sahih al-Jaami). Allah loves kindness and rewards it in such away that He does not reward for harshness or anything else. (Sahih Muslim) Children deprived of kindness and compassion in their childhood are punished for no fault of their own. Parental indifferences and ill temper kill their childhood and may rob them of their future happiness.

Respect

One who does not respect the elders and show kindness to the young ones is not among us. (Hadith) Human beings are the manifestation of divine will, with Allah's 'spirit in each of them, and as such deserve due respect. Every human being grows up with certain traits of personality. Even the twin brothers or sisters have unique characteristics. Respect for an individual is a natural demand that brings reciprocity. We all learn from each other, even from a tiny baby. Every one has opinion on different aspects of life. Respect for opinion and the freedom of expression give rise to motivation and creativity. Of course, the formulation and expression of opinions depend on family and social environment. Positive encouragement is essential to achieve these. Even though family members live under the same roof, every one has a world of his own that needs to be respected. As children grow older, they need to learn the etiquette of a Muslim house. Islam teaches decency, and family is the first institution where they should learn them. Islam requires members of the household to seek permission when entering into another person's room. Parents, of course, need to know what is happening in their children's world, but they should do this with full honesty and without being intrusive and insensitive.

A Question to think about : Explain the ideology that parents and children need to respect each other. ?

Consultation

Allah (SWT) has commanded believers to conduct their affairs and settle their differences in consultation (al-Qur'an 3:159, 42:38). It is illuminating that Allah (SWT) discussed with His angels about His plan to create man on earth. This is mentioned in the Qur'an. Consultation is the prophetic way of life, which Prophet Muhammd (pbuh) practised in his domestic and public life. In order to teach his ummah of the importance of consultation he even decided to go against his own opinion in the battle of Uhud. Consultation produces confidence, trust, interest, mutual respect and team spirit in the family. It enhances creativity and responsible outlook among members of the family. It gives a sense of ownership in everybody's mind, which is essential for any venture to succeed. It helps cure the disease of arrogance and egotism. It is the pillar of successful Islamic social life. Consultation in a family creates lively and dynamic environment. However, consultation needs diligence and relevance. Loyalty Loyalty has relational aspect and a wider meaning. The minimum requirement in a family is that husband and wife must be loyal to each other in their marital relationship. Infidelity is a grave sin, punishable in harshest manner. While fidelity is rewarding in both the worlds, infidelity brings suspicion, mental torture, frustration and a 'hellish' atmosphere in this world and a real Hell in the Hereafter. In the wider sense, a family blends together through loyalty and trust among its members. In the history of mankind, family loyalty extended to tribal loyalty and created kingdoms and civilisations. 'Asabiya' (or tribal loyalty) was at the heart of pre-Islamic Arab features. Islam refined its dynamic and powerful features with a view to creating a 'global ummah'. Its potent force held sway and created an unparalleled civilisation. Ibn Khaldun, al-Muqaddimah. Compromise and Sacrifice Family is about generations of close knit people living together, with shared space and other material resources. Sharing itself needs compromise and sacrifice.

Sacrifice has many dimensions. Proper spending of time and wealth for the family is also sacrifice and in Islam this is treated as worship. Sacrificing one's opinion for wider benefit is also difficult for many. Sacrifice starts from the conscious understanding of what it means. It is an inescapable phenomenon in the world of creating human destiny, in Islamic work. Sacrifice is linked to self-surrender to Allah and the fullest conviction for Islam. It is an essential Islamic training that builds an individual's character and personality in order that he plays a meaningful role on earth. Sacrifice of the last Prophet (pbuh) and his blessed companions, in the wake of insurmountable barrier, was the stepping stone for the ascendancy of Islam. The history of mankind teaches one single message, e.g., sacrifice is at the core of victory.

A Question to think about : What is the importance of 'sacrifice'?

Justice

Justice is at the heart of Allah's creative design. The creation of Heaven and Hell is because of this unfulfilled justice on earth. The Arabic words, 'Qist' and 'Adl', are very wider indeed. Justice is inter-twined with Truth. Maintaining proper balance between rights and responsibilities is also justice. Justice in the family does not necessarily mean equal share in everything for every one. In real world, Justice means equitable and balanced dealings. Most importantly, dealings in the family should not be seen as unjust, especially by the children. We may not be fully aware, children are keen observers of what happens around them and what their parents say or do. It becomes all the more important that parents become extra cautious in their behaviour and dealings. Family is a mini-state and justice established there has impact on the society. Openness and Transparency When parents are open and transparent in their affairs, they have tremendous positive effect on the children. This may sometimes put parents on the spot, but this is what it should be. Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) personal and family life was in the full glare of history. If parents attempt to hide some of their bad habits from their children, they have serious negative consequences on the children's personality. Muslim parents cannot play the role of Jekyll and Hyde.

Islamic Ethos

Establishment of an Islamic ethos in the house is the parental responsibility. Children do contribute to that, according to their age and maturity. When rituals and spirit of Islam are consciously cultivated and practised in a family, they create a dynamic and happy environment where each member guards the other from evil. This gives rise to a positive learning atmosphere in the society.

A Question to think about : How can we establish Islamic ethos in our homes?

Supplication

Supplication for children by the parents is rewarding. Allah likes this. This is a prophetic practice. It creates love and respect for each other. The Qur'an and Hadith books contain many supplications of this nature.

A Question to think about : Which duas (supplications) should we try to recite on a daily basis?