Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Muslim family is the heart of a healthy community

The God-fearing Muslim family is the heart of a healthy community. The piety of a family is dependant on the piety of individual members of the family, and the piety of a community is likewise dependant on the piety of the families who make up the community.

Islam attaches great importance to the family, how it is established and how to keep it together. For the Muslim family to keep up it’s high position it maintains a state of love and harmony, and you find in it feelings of amicability and kindness. Allah says,

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy.” (Ar-Rum 30: 21)

He also says,

“They are Libas [i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her)] for you and you are the same for them.”
(Al-Baqarah 2: 187)

The Qur’an made it clear to married couples that each of them is essential to the other. Allah says,

“It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.” (Al-A’araaf 7: 189)

It cannot be imagined that one could lead a normal, steadfast human life if there was a complete destruction of the normal family structure. Those people who call for the abolishment of the family structure do not do so for the good of humankind. Their call was – and still is - a discordant sound in the passing of history.

The family is established on mutual understanding, the exchanging of views and cooperation. Allah says in relation to nursing and weaning babies,

“The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of his child. And on the (father’s) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no sin on them.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 233)

A happy family which seeks stability and continuity builds its life on firm principles, the most important of which are: the raising of children, mutual respect of each others rights, courteousness in dealing with one another and widening one’s family’s and one’s own horizons. Here, couples can find the pure quietude that the Qur’an spoke about, and if a difference occurs between them then true love will melt it away.

The Wise (Allah) know that a person can sometimes be affected by an atmosphere of disagreement and feelings of hate, and then Satan finds what he is looking for sought after for destruction of the existence of the family. The Qur’anic viewpoint was to purify the emotions and to return to life its clarity and to the family its beauty. Allah says,

“…And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.” (An-Nisaa 4: 19)

And for this reason Imam Ibn Katheer said about this verse,

“It means: and perhaps your patience in holding onto them despite your mutual dislike is much better for you in this world and in the hereafter.”

If the members of a family exchange love for stubbornness; and this is a bad sign and a defeated beginning; nothing can destroy a family as stubbornness and argument. Small disagreements can be blown out of all proportions and become huge points of stubbornness, and major disagreement. How often do we hear tell of or witness marriages failing though they are but newly wed?

Many researchers have decided that family breakdown is the main cause of juvenile delinquency; therefore the family is responsible for protecting itself from disunity before it experiences breakdown and ceases to function as a family unit. Also one cannot pretend that life is or should always be trouble-free; quite the opposite in fact; a normal healthy life will always have it’s ups and downs.

Everything in this world no matter how insignificant has a wisdom behind it and serves a purpose, so what is the role of the Muslim family?
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Building a Family

Building a family on a sound, rational basis is not an easy task, conversely it is a momentous duty that requires preparation and preparedness. Married life is not all fun and games; rather it is a series of responsibilities and duties, whoever proposes marriage without ability or suitability is ignorant, unaware of the wisdom of Allah’s Divine Law, and whomsoever uses marriage for evil purposes, or denies its rights deserves the anger of Allah and His punishment; so one must always behave righteously in this life. Allah says,

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones…” (At-Tahreem 66: 6)

Family life is a life of work. And life has its costs and burdens; so it needs someone to be in charge to direct it’s actions, and supervise its safety this leadership is called Qiwaamah in the Qur’an and it is the lot of the man. Leadership is not for the purpose of reverence and domination but it is a post of supervision and upbringing. It does not mean denying the wife her own personality and wishes, or preventing her from expressing her opinions or having any say of what goes on in the family.

Allah has prepared the woman for certain jobs, and has prepared the man for certain jobs. They are each suited to their own jobs by reason of the physical and mental differences between them. If women were made to be the protectors and maintainers in place of men the woman would be charged with more than she could handle, and the family would be deviated from its normal course and would face trials and difficulties. There are essential differences between men and women which enable them to perform the gender-specific tasks which have naturally and traditionally been theirs to perform. If the roles of men and women were reversed, it would harm the family, and ultimately the community at large. Those people who call for the removal of man’s natural assertiveness and leadership are fools because that goes against the natural Law of Allah.

Al-Qiwaamah means that the head of the household is responsible for the physical safety of his family, and for their safety from a religious standpoint. He protects them from evil fashions and deviation, and provides the perfect example in the way he abides by the Limits set by Allah, and his exaltation of his religious rites and ceremonies, unashamedly and with the best of character and moral standard. He is like a shepherd that protects his flock.

The head of a household is required to strike a balance between his work, his acts of worship and being free for his family; to give each one it’s due, e.g. the rights of the wife, bringing up the children etc. If the head of the household is unable to make time to sit by himself or with members of the family to talk to them and listen to them, later on, when it is too late to do so, or is no longer possible, he will regret not having made the time.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas said,

“The Messenger of Allah said to me, ‘I have been told that you fast all day and then stay up all night (in worship) Don’t do so; For your body has it’s rights on you, and likewise your wife has rights upon you: fast and break your fast; fast three days in each month for that is (as if you were) fasting your whole life.’” (Bukhari & Muslim)
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

mistakes during arguments!

‎5 Killer Mistakes that Husbands and Wives Commit During an Argument or a Dispute:

1) hiding one's intention and feelings

2) inviting others to take part in the dispute

3) rushing to the courthouse

4) destroying others person's confidence and sense of self-dignity

...5) fighting in front of the children
(Inshallah you shouldnt be arguing in the first place!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

husband? or mother in law?


Who has the right to be obeyed: the husband or his mother? What if the mother gives some instructions and the husband gives different instructions -- who is to be obeyed? Especially if the husband and his wife are living in his father's house? What if the parents tell their son to tell his wife that she should do something, and the husband objects to that? Is she in turn obliged to listen to what her in-laws tell her, against the objections of her husband?.


Praise be to Allaah.
Many shar‘i texts indicate that a woman’s obedience to her husband takes precedence over her obedience to any other person, even her own parents, so how about people other than them?

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: When a woman gets married, her husband has more authority over her and her parents, and obedience to her husband is more obligatory for her.

And he said: She does not have the right to go out of his house except with his permission, whether her father or her mother or someone tells her to do that, according to the consensus of the imams. End quote. Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 32/361

So the husband's father and mother do not have any authority over the wife and she is not obliged to obey them in what they tell her to do, whether the husband approves of that or not. The most that can be said concerning this matter is that she should respond to the wishes of her husband's father and mother as much as is required to be kind and maintain a good relationship, within the scope of her ability, but only in that which will not conflict with obedience to her husband.

The scholars of the Standing Committee said: There is nothing in Islam to indicate that the wife is obliged to help the husband's mother, except within the bounds of kind treatment and as much as she is able, out of kindness towards her husband and out of respect to her duties towards her husband.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 19/264, 265

In that case, the role of the wise and smart husband is to help his wife to avoid conflict with his family or confrontations with them; he should take matters into his own hands from the outset and try to be kind when reconciling between them and prevent division between them.

If it is possible to have separate accommodation for himself and his wife, that is what he must do and that is better in order to maintain good relationships and keep his life free of headaches.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Marriage Etiquette

Marriage Etiquette

Marriage is a gift, a special bond between man and woman, husband and wife.  Much has been written about how we should behave towards a spouse after marriage, but no texts are more appropriate than the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.  Within this article, we have attempted to bring together information on marriage etiquette from a variety of sources, which we hope will guide and inspire you in this most wonderful relationship.
A spouse has been described as “a partner, companion and best friend”.  The closeness between spouses is unlike any other relationship.  The following verse from the Qur’an sums it up perfectly:“They are your garments and you are their garments” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:187].  This illustrates how “spouses provide one another with the protection, the comfort, the cover, the support and the adornment that garments provide to humans”.
The first few years of marriage are often the most challenging as this is the period when husband and wife are getting to know each other better and adjusting to each other’s habits and personalities, as well as to their new roles in society.  There are, however, a number of matters of etiquette for married couples to observe which will help to ensure harmony and understanding during this time of transition, as well as in the long term.


Everyone has different expectations of marriage but it important that these expectations are realistic.  The “happy ever after” portrayed in many Hollywood and Bollywood films is achievable but we must remember that it takes time, patience and effort to build and maintain this strong marital bond.
First and foremost, do not expect your partner to be perfect.  Only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) is perfect.  All of us have our good points and our bad points, and husbands and wives must learn to delight in the good points and accept the bad.  We cannot expect to always agree with our spouses.  They are not an extension of ourselves; they are their own person with their own personalities, views, likes and dislikes, which we should try to understand rather than change.
A happy marriage cannot be taken for granted. It requires constant giving from both sides.  Be mindful that even small things can make a huge difference to the relationship.  Be honest with your partner.  Both partners in marriage should feel free to speak their mind but must be careful not to hurt the other’s feelings.  Pay each other compliments and show appreciation for the things that your spouse does for you.
Problems between couples may arise from a lack of information before marriage.  Therefore it is important to discuss your future expectations beforehand.  Such issues could include whether the wife will work outside the home, when the couple plan to have children, where and with whom (if anyone) they should live, how they will work together to ensure a happy marriage, etc.
In marriage, the husband takes the lead.  However, according to Islam, marriage is a partnership.  Rather than being a dictator in the relationship, the husband is seen more as a shepherd who is responsible for and to his flock.  In Islam, a leader is one who serves, manages, provides and nourishes and does so with humbleness and humility.  The husband is expected to consult his wife (Shura), especially in relation to family matters, and to respect and value her opinion.

Spending time together

It is important to make time for each other and to enjoy spending time together.  It is only through being together that we can learn to communicate effectively with our spouses, to share our hopes and fears and to feel responsible for each other.  When this bond is strong, the couple becomes a “team”, working together for the same ends.
Establish your own rituals.  Set aside time together.  This is especially important if both partners are working.  This time can be spent praying together, deciding upon finances or a weekly menu, pursuing a hobby together or simply taking time to enjoy each other’s company. Show interest in your spouse’s hobbies and encourage your spouse to take interest in yours.
Your marital bond will enable you to build a close relationship, both physically and emotionally.  However, giving each other sufficient space in the relationship will bring balance.  In addition, show forgiveness  if your partner makes a mistake and do not hold grudges.  Develop closeness and fondness by laughing and having fun together.  Plan for your future together. This will bring peace of mind and cement your relationship.

Sexual relations

Time and effort are required to establish a sexual relationship in marriage, which is in tune with the needs of each partner.  It is essential that both are informed about Islamic sexual etiquette, especially what is permissible (halaal) and what is forbidden (haram).
Before intercourse, it is recommended that spouses indulge in foreplay in order to make penetration more comfortable.
The Prophet (all Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said that, before intercourse, a husband should make Du’a to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) so that if He granted the couple a child, then it would not be affected by Shaitan“Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (in the name of Allah), O Allah! Protect us from Shaitan and protect the sustenance (child) you give us from Shaitan.”
He also told men not to leave before their wives are satisfied. If a husband wishes to have intercourse again then he should first do Wudhu(ablution) just as he would for prayer. Not only will it cleanse him, but also invigorate him. (An explanation of Wudhu can be found at the end of this article.) However, taking a bath is preferred and it is required before prayer, using the Qur’an or entering the masjid.
A couple is permitted to take a bath together and intercourse can be in any position that they choose. However, it is haram for a man to enter his wife anally and oral sex is also forbidden.
It is also forbidden to have intercourse while the wife has her menstrual period (Haidh or Mahidh). During this time, the couple may kiss or touch but the woman must cover her groin area so that it does not touch her mate. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) said: “Do everything except the intercourse.” [Muslim and Abu Dawood]
The above also applies for the first forty days after childbirth or until the bleeding stops, whichever comes sooner. Intercourse can then resume once she is clean, having performed wudhu or taken a bath.
Couples must refrain from intercourse from dawn till dusk during the month of Ramadan while they are fasting. They may kiss or hug but it should not be taken further or their fasting will be invalid. This is also relevant when they are fasting voluntarily. And, for those fortunate enough to go on Umrah to Mecca, it is important to abstain from intercourse and all intimate relations, including kissing, hugging and also talking about them. As Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) said: “But do not associate with your wives while you are in retreat in mosques.” [Qur’an: Al-Baqarah 2:187]
Intimacy between a husband and a wife should always be done privately. Revealing secrets is unIslamic.  Therefore, partners should never discuss bedroom matters with others. If discussion becomes necessary, for example, due to medical matters or where there is a need for a marriage mentor, this should take place only with an authority figure that has both partners’ interests at heart.
Our Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) recommends that husbands and wives make themselves physically attractive to each other and to pay even more attention to this after marriage.  Spouses should take care of themselves, to look good and stay clean in order not to cause offence to the other.  Elegance and beautification are encouraged in Islam.

Family and friends

Islam demands that a special effort should be made to show kindness and respect to your spouse’s family.  A bond with your in-laws does not develop overnight.  It requires regular, healthy contact, openness and a willingness to accept your differences.  Acceptance of your spouse’s family and showing them hospitality can only strengthen the bond between you and your partner and help to make marital relations easier.
In line with Islamic rules of social relations we should avoid sarcasm, backbiting and calling each other offensive nicknames.  Instead, we should make a special effort to respect each other as family members.  Everyone is different.  Therefore, do not compare your partner to members of your family and do not compare in-laws to your parents.  This can lead to friction and resentment.
Friends are important to married couples and it can be useful to schedule a “friends time” where husband and wife can meet privately with friends.  The couple should also make an effort to make family friends, friendships with other married couples.  However, of the highest importance is to develop a deep and lasting friendship with your spouse.
Taking an active role in the Islamic community is something that married couples can do together and that will heighten your commitment to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى). It is also a good way of making new friends together. Invite friends, and family, to dinner at your home and cement these relationships.

Commitment to Allah

As Islam is a way of life, it is an integral part of the couple’s relationship.  They are bound by their common faith and in their desire to please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى).  Each should be responsible for enhancing their partner’s spiritual development.  Support each other in your obedience to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and make time to pray together.  This will strengthen your relationship with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and, in turn, ensure that your marital bond remains strong.