Tue 21 October 2014
26 Dhu al-Hijjah 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


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Muslim Family (Click here for multiple questions on this Lecture)

The Bedrock of Human Civilisation

Family 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).

Features of a Muslim Family

A Muslim 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, UK).

A question to think about : What are the benefits of having a family?

Distinct Role of Family members

Family 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.

A question to think about : What are the roles and responsibilities of a man and a woman in the family? Are there differences?

Parental Duties

It is 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 31:13-19)

Children's Responsibilities

Children 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)

A question to think about : What rights and responsibilities do children have in the family?

Good Conduct in the Family

Prophet 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.

Sharing Tasks

Prophet 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.

Extended Family and Social Qualities

Extended 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 and narrow-mindedness.

A question to think about : Is living in an extended family a good, long term solution?

Making Family Lively

Prophetic 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)

Together Towards Paradise

Virtue 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.