Bedrock of Human Civilisation
is the bedrock, cradle of human civilisation. It is the foundation
and basis of Muslim society. Adam and Hawa (AS), our first
father and mother, struggled to cultivate and endure in the
earth as husband and wife. Gradually their family multiplied
into multitude. Family gives mooring, anchor, stability and
tranquillity among the close blood related and other members.
(al-Qur'an 4:1, 30:21).
of a Muslim Family
family has some unique features, e.g. it provides a secure
and healthy 'home' environment for its members, it guards
against passions of whims and desires and channelise them
to wholesome and meaningful pursuit, it proliferates human
virtues, such as, love compassion, sacrifice, justice etc.
and it provides a refuge against any difficulty. (Women in
Islam by Aisha Lemu & Fatima Heeren, The Islamic Foundation,
question to think about :
What are the benefits of having a family?
Role of Family members
is the microcosm of a society and as such there are distinct
role for its members. "Each one of you is a trustee (shepherd)
and is accountable for that which is entrusted to him. A ruler
is trustee and is accountable for his trust, a man is a trustee
in respect of his family, a woman is a trustee in respect
of her husband's house and children." (Sahih al-Bukhari and
Muslim). Men has obviously the leadership role in the family
and in the family context women have to be loyal to men (al-Qur'an
2:228, 4:34). Leadership raises the question of responsibility,
consultation (shoora) and justice. As shepherd of the house
women have responsibility over the house and children.
question to think about : What
are the roles and responsibilities of a man and a woman in
the family? Are there differences?
incumbent on parents to provide their children with basic
human necessities, such as food, cloth, shelter, education
and medical support. This is treated as and Ibadah for the
parents. It is also important for the parents to provide their
children with love, warmth, compassion, etc. As human being
consists of body and spirit, parents must provide their children
with the life skills and spiritual nourishment. (al-Qur'an
have their own share of responsibilities at home. (al-Qur'an
2:83, 4:36, 17:23-24, 29:8, 31:14-15, 46:15). There are many
traditions regarding children's responsibility toward their
parents. Bukhari and Muslim narrate, 'A man came to Muhammad
(pbuh) and asked permission to go to Jihad. The Prophet asked
him, "are your parents alive?" The man said, "yes". The Prophet
responded, "then strive to serve them." The rights and responsibilities
inter-twined. One's responsibility is the other's right. Rights
and duties of husband, wife, parents and children are inscribed
in Shariah. No Superiority Except in Piety Al-Qur'an also
declares that no one is superior to other except in the quality
of piety (al-Qur'an 49:13). What Islam has established is
an equitability in the role of sexes because of many factors,
such as, physiological, physical, emotional, etc. Allah has
no bias for or against men and women (al-Qur'an 33:35). No
burden bearer can bear another's burden (al-Qur'an 35:18)
question to think about : What
rights and responsibilities do children have in the family?
Conduct in the Family
Muhammad (pbuh) has emphasised the importance of good conduct
in the family. "The best of you is the best to his family
and I am the best among you to my family". "The most perfect
believers are the best in conduct, and the best of you are
those who are best to their spouses (Tirmidhi). There are
many more traditions on this.
Muhammad (pbuh) shared household works with his wives. For
genuine economic reasons both the spouses might need to engage
in financial activities. But rearing up and educating children
cannot be compromised. There should be frank discussion and
consultation between the spouses. Children need to be involved
as and when necessary and also in order to train them to become
responsible in life.
Family and Social Qualities
family with three to four generations under the same family
structure helps Muslims to acquire many social qualities,
such as sacrifice, compromise, respect, affection, consultation
etc. There is mutual support in case of needs. There may be
some inherent difficulties in this arrangement, but, after
all, children should also learn to live in the realities of
life. The western 'nuclear' family structure is the breeding
ground for individualism, selfishness, greed, 'me first' attitude
question to think about : Is
living in an extended family a good, long term solution?
examples need to be followed. He had occasional lively, but
innocent fun and humour with his wives, especially with ummul
Mu'minin Ayesha (RA). (Tirmidhi)
proliferates in a righteous family where husband and wife
lead a meaningful Islamic life (al-Qur'an 33:35). They protect
each other (al-Qur'an 9:71). Everyone in the family contributes
to the blissful atmosphere. Blessed Muslim families contribute
to the blessed societies and ultimately the ummah of purpose.
In a cautious and responsible family no one can fall through
the net. Every one watches out so that no one is lost in pitfall
(al-Qur'an 66:6). Parents and children pray for one another.