Fri 19 September 2014
24 Dhu al-Qa`dah 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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The Onset of Parenting
(Click here for multiple questions on this Lecture)

Parenting starts from the moment one decides to get married. The sort of spouse one wants to marry tells what sort of children he wants to have. Truthful, honest and believing men and women will look for same quality in their partners to have children of the same qualities. On the other hand, partners of vile qualities will naturally give rise to children of similar nature. (al-Qur'an 24:26)

The Significance of Marriage

Marriage is a sacred social contract between a man and a woman. It is also a religious institution. From the beginning of human history men and women are bonded in marriage to have progeny so that human continuity is maintained. This has given rise to families that form societies and nations. Only recently, especially after the Second World War, marriage as an institution has come under threat. Marriage is fundamental to human society. As such, all great religions have emphasised on marital life for earthly peace. In Islam it is treated as 'half-faith'. "When a servant of Allah marries, he has completed half of his religious obligations, and he must fear Allah in order to complete the second half" (al-Baihaqi). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has also said, "Marriage is part of my Sunnah, whoever runs away from my path is not from among us". Husbands and wives are compared as garments to each other (al-Qur'an 2:187) Marriage gives tranquillity (al-Qur'an 30:21) of mind in the spouses. Allah has prescribed marriage as the only way for conjugal relationship and family life in human society (al-Qur'an 2:221, 5:5, 24:33).

Polygamy

Polygamy and its implication are important in regard to individual and social circumstances. Islam has permitted polygamy for men on special circumstances with the condition that justice is not to compromised. (al-Qur'an 4:3) Marriage in the modern West Due to extreme liberal and permissive life style as well as fanatical feminism, marriage in the West is running the risk of extinction. Almost every country in the western world is observing rapid decline in marriage as a sacred man-woman relationship. Britain has probably seen the worst. From 68% in 1970s, marriage rate has plummeted to 58% in the early 1990's. Continuous rise of young people cohabiting without marriage created concern in the past. But now-a-days, even the Church establishment seems to have given in to this social trend. Britain has also the highest divorce rate in Europe. Young men and women in the modern West engage themselves in the nerve-wracking exercise of picking their boy-friends and girl-friends with a view to having 'good time' or 'fun time' with the opposite sexes. Here the 'boy meets girl' experience gives rise to extra-marital sex and often unwanted children even after continuous reminder of 'safe sex'. There is little life-time commitment from either of the partners.

Marriage in Islam

In Islam, parents, relatives, friends and, of course, the boys and girls themselves scout for prospective partners. The matured people and well-wishers all contribute to build a family. The families and the society all have stakes in the success of a Muslim marriage. Everybody, including the groom and the bride, look for a match. The family backgrounds, attitudes of individuals, etc, are also considered important. Arranged and Forced Marriage 'Arrangement' is essential in Islamic marriage. Islam has nothing to do with 'forced' marriage. Both the groom and the bride has the right to say 'no' to a marriage. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) annulled marriages in cases they were done forcibly. "Khansa bint Khidam (RA) narrated that her father gave her in marriage when she was a matron and she disliked that marriage. So she went to Allah's Messenger (pbuh) and he declared that marriage invalid" (Sahih al-Bukhari).

Early Marriage

Islam prefers marriage at the right age, i.e., sooner after puberty when a boy or girl becomes physically, emotionally and intellectually matured. Marriage is a conscious commitment to a life partner for future family role. It is a responsible job that affects not only the spouses but also the children that are going to be born to them. As such, minimum economic sustainability is important. In the Industrialised countries where promiscuous relationship has become norms, Muslim boys and girls should commit themselves to marriage as early as possible so that allurement of life can not drive their passion into un-Islamic acts. 'Prevention is better than cure'.

Compatibility

Islam has nothing to do with the concept of the so-called 'high caste', 'low caste' aspects in marriage. They are the features of alien cultures, eg, the Hindu caste system. 'Compatibility' and 'worldly wisdom' look for social, intellectual and educational match between the partners in Muslim marriages. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, "Do not marry only for the sake of beauty, may be the beauty becomes the cause of moral decline. Do not marry even for the sake of wealth, may be the wealth becomes the reason of disobedience. Marry rather on the grounds of religious devotion". A Muslim society has the support mechanism in the well-knit family and society.

Choosing a Marriage Partner

Choosing a marriage partner is a challenging job. Bonding two hearts is a matter of Allah's blessing. Allah has the control on our hearts. Man can only try but only Allah can join hearts (al-Qur'an 8:63). Both the partners need to satisfy each other regarding the issues they feel important, no matter how trivial they could be. Family background, personal habits, attitude, manners, etc are, as such, important ('Bent Rib : A Journey through women's issue in Islam' by Huda-al-Khattab, Ta-ha Publishers, London 1997)

Divorce

Unwanted though, marriage could also go wrong. Instead of living a hellish life in that situation, Islam has allowed separation, divorce. (al-Qur'an 2:228, 2:236). Allah has revealed a whole chapter on divorce (Chapter Talaq). Hoever, divorce is considered as the most disliked thing in Islam. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, "of all things permitted by law, divorce is the most hateful in the sight of Allah (Sunan Abu Dawud).

Planning for Parenting

Marriage provides solace, comfort and pleasure between two people. On the other hand it teaches compromise and sacrifice to live together. But the main objective of marriage is to have children for the continuity of human progeny on earth. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has encouraged Muslims to have more children so that his ummah becomes large in the Day of Judgement. Of course, the health of the mother and other Islamic factors are important. With the arrival of children the parental responsibility and parenting enter a new phase .