How to maintain a healthy home


Health is a blessing from Allaah The Almighty, the virtue of which is not recognized by many people. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There are two blessings which many people waste: (they are) health and free time (for doing good).”[Al-Bukhaari, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah] Health is a crown that adorns healthy people, so the Muslim family should take care of the following things in order to enjoy good health:

  • Discipline is the key to the health of a Muslim home and is required in all aspects of life such as sleeping and eating well.
  • Living in a well-ventilated house which lets in plenty of air and sunlight is also necessary, as they are important for health.
  • Having natural plants inside and around the house, as they purify the air and provide more oxygen.
  • Maintaining a moderate temperature in the home.
  • Maintaining cleanliness is one of the most important factors for good health.
  • Having furniture which meets health and safety standards to ensure the comfort of family members.
  • Bearing in mind that ‘prevention is better than cure’.
  • Taking all family members for regular health check-ups in order to avoid epidemics and seasonal outbreaks of diseases.
  • Taking the necessary precautions to prevent illnesses, such as following a schedule for vaccines and various prophylactic medicines.
  • Wearing comfortable clothes that would not prevent blood circulation in the body. Also, wearing heavy clothes in the winter  and light clothes in the summer.
  • Following health instructions when standing, sitting, sleeping, ascending or descending the stairs, watching television and carrying or lifting heavy things.
  • Eating a balanced diet that contains all the nutritional elements that are necessary for the body. Food should meet the nutritional requirements for every family member according to their age and health.
Necessary nutritional elements:
The types of essential nutrients necessary for the body and the kinds of food that contain them:
Proteins: They help in building the body as they provide it with the compounds that the body needs in order to grow and compensate the body for the tissues that it loses. Therefore, proteins are necessary for children as their deficiency slows down the process of building and renewing body tissues. Proteins can be found in meat, fish, eggs, milk, soya beans, lima beans , peas etc.
Carbohydrates and Fats: These provide the body with the energy it needs in order to move and exert physical effort. One should not eat a lot of this kind of food as it may lead to obesity . Foods that contain carbohydrates are cereals such as wheat, corn and rice, fruit, jam, candy, potatoes, taro etc. Animal fats such as butter and ghee andvegetable fats  such as olive,corn and cottonseed oil are also rich sources of energy.
Vitamins and Minerals: They protect the body from diseases and increase its vitality. They can be found in vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish.
Some bad nutritional habits:
  • Drinking tea or stimulants while eating or directly after a meal. This prevents the absorption of iron and causes anemia. Thus, it is better to drink tea two hours or more after eating.
  • Failing to chew food well overstrains the stomach and causes indigestion.
  • Eating a lot of hot, spicy food causes gastric ulcers.
  • Eating too much fried food that is cooked in fats causes indigestion and overstrains the digestive system.
  • Not having breakfast weakens the body and lowers energy levels.
  • Drinking soda or water while eating causes indigestion as it decreases the secretion and efficacy of gastric juices.
  • Hands should be washed before eating or preparing food. Hair should not be combed in the kitchen so that it does not fall into the food.
Some health tips while cooking:
  • Refreezing meat and fish more than once spoils them. Thus, they should be cut and divided into packs each of which would be sufficient for one meal.
  • Salad should be prepared immediately before a meal so that it does not lose its vitamins because of being exposed to the air.
  • Oil should not be used for frying more than twice, and it should be filtered in order to remove impurities.
  • Water used for boiling vegetables can be reused, except that which has been used for boiling cabbage, potatoes and cauliflower.
  • Meat, chicken and fish should be seasoned with onion and lemon before frying or grilling, then salt and spices should be added after that.
  • If cooked food is over salted, the extra salt can be absorbed by adding a whole potato then removing it after it is cooked.
  • The nutrients of certain vegetables like potatoes, squash, carrots and eggplant lie on the surface, so they should not be over peeled in order to preserve their nutritional value.
  • When cooking food that has a mucilaginous consistency such as okra or taro, lemon juice should be added to the water before adding the vegetables in order to preserve its nutritional value.
Healthy posture while working:
  • When lifting something heavy, it is preferable to bend the knees while keeping one’s body in an upright position.
  • When carrying heavy objects, they should be held as near to the body as possible.
  • When hanging clothes on a clothesline, wet clothes should be put in a laundry basket or bucket on a chair or a high table in order to avoid bending many times.
  • When sweeping or wiping the floor, the appliances used should be of a suitable length in order to avoid too much bending.
  • When pushing something heavy, the force of pushing should be at the center of the item being pushed.
  • When sitting down to do some work, one must ensure that the height of the table and the chair are suitable for the nature of the task and provide adequate support to the body.
  • Do not consume or administer any medicine unless one is sure that it is suitable for that particular ailment, and use it only after consulting a doctor.
  • In case of a fracture or sprain, one should go to the nearest hospital so that the doctor can make a splint for the patient.
  • If any foreign body penetrates the skin such as a piece of glass, wood, or nail, it should be taken out of the body by tweezers then a disinfectant should be put on the affected part. If it is difficult to take out the foreign body, one should go to the nearest hospital or clinic to do the necessary treatment.
  • It is preferable not to use any medicines for the eye or the ear except after consulting a doctor.
Home pharmacy:
Having a first aid kit at home is necessary in order to help an injured person quickly until the doctor arrives or until the patient is taken to the hospital. It is not necessary that one of family members be a doctor or a pharmacist in order to prepare this kit. However, one should take the following factors into consideration:
  • The first aid kit should be kept out of reach of children in order to prevent poisoning in children  as a result of them mistakenly taking medications while thinking they are some kind of candy. This is especially necessary nowadays since medicine packages tend to be attractive and colorful, and often lack safety catches that cannot be opened by children.
  • The home first aid kit should consist of separate racks for different types of medications. For instance, one rack may contain medicines to treat burns and injuries, the second one may contain bandages and so forth, while the third one may contain eye drops and ointments prescribed by the doctor, another rack may contain medicines taken orally.
  • It is preferable to have a special first aid kit for children’s medications.
  • The first aid kit should be kept in a well-ventilated place that is neither hot nor humid. Some medicines have to be kept in the refrigerator, so there must be a special area  assigned for this in the refrigerator if possible, which is kept out of reach of children.
  • The name of the medicine should be written in clear and readable handwriting on the packages in which they are placed, if necessary.
  • If several members of the family are sick at the same time, the name of each patient should be written on their medicine in order to avoid confusion.
  • Patients should take the prescribed dosage at the times specified by the doctor and the pharmacist. They should not stop taking the medicine prescribed by the doctor until the doctor has been consulted.
  • Patients should not retake the medicine without consulting the doctor.
  • If taking any medicine results in an allergy such as a rash or redness of the skin, the patient should stop taking the medicine at once, then consult the doctor or the pharmacist as soon as possible in order to avoid any complications.
  • If one of the family members uses medications for chronic conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, gastric ulcer, rheumatism etc., such medicines should be kept in a separate corner of the home first aid kit. These medicines should only be opened by the patient personally or by the person who gives him the medicine so that they would not be confused with other medicines.
  • The home first aid kit should contain a disinfectant, scissors, tweezers, gloves,bandages, a gauze bandage , plaster, cotton and a thermometer.
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What to do when a child is born?


The Newborn Child Born into Islam – Qur’an and Sunnah on parenting

Children are a source of delight and an adornment for the world
granted by Allaah to their parents, they give vigour to the hearts,
joy to the souls, pleasure to the eyes. They are the fruit from whom
good is to be hoped for when they frequently supplicate:

“Our Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy as they did bring me up when I
was small”

and they are the ones in every nation upon whom hope for the future
lies, and they are the youth of tomorrow upon whose shoulders the
call to Islaam is carried. Indeed Islaam has indeed elevated the
status of children and has laid down manners for their treatment
relating to all their affairs and each stage of their and from these
are the manners for welcoming their arrival in this life.

Our Prophet (SAW) was a living example, educating, cultivating the
Muslims upon the practices of Islaam, teaching them how to worship
their Lord in the best of ways. But a number of Muslims have strayed
from his pure teachings and have substituted that which is gold for
that which worthless.

So here are the manners the Prophet (SAW) taught us with regards our
new-born.

Encouragement to have Children

Allaah says, “So now have sexual relations with them,, and seek that
which Allaah has ordained for you.”

And the Prophet (SAW) said, “Marry the loving and fertile because
through you, I will compete with the nations for superiority in
numbers”(Abu Dawood)

And it is important that the Parents bring up their children upon
righteousness, so that the Parents will benefit from them during
their lives and after their death. Allaah’s Messenger (SAW) said,

“A servant will have his rank raised and will say, ‘O my Lord how has
this come about for me?’ He says, ‘through your sons after you
seeking forgiveness for you'”(ibn Maajah)

Know that what has preceded applies equally to both boys and girls,
and indeed Islaam has encouraged the bringing up of girls, and Allaah
condemns those that are distressed at the birth of a girl, and the
Messenger (SAW) came elevating the status of this gift from Allaah,

“whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood – he and
I will come together on the Day of Resurrection (like this) – and he
interlaced his two fingers”(Muslim)

meaning in Paradise. So can their be a greater honour given to
daughters?!

Giving the good news of the Birth

The near of kin who are anxiously waiting should be informed so that
they can stop worrying and congratulate the parents and supplicate
for the baby. Allaah mentions this good news being conveyed to a
number of His Prophets, from them Zakariyyah of his son Yahya,

“Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in a
private room (saying), ‘Allaah gives you glad tidings of Yahya'”

Giving the Adhaan in the ear of the newborn

The first practice to do is to make the adhaan in the ear of the
baby, so that the first words that the baby hears is the name of
Allaah, and the kalima.

It is to be given straight after the birth, or very soon afterwards
as he (SAW) did with his grandson al-Husayn, as is related by Abu
Raafi’ who said,

“I saw the Prophet give the adhaan for prayer in the ear of al-Husayn
ibn Alee when his mother Faatimah gave birth to him,” (Tirmidhee)

It should be given with it’s usual wording in a voice which is
audible to the baby, not so loudly that it risks harm to the baby or
alarms it.

Only the adhaan is to be given, not the iqaamah as well as there is
no authentic evidence to support this. Giving the adhaan only is also
the reported practice of the Khaleefah Umar bin Abdul Azeez. This is
closer to the sunnah, and Allaah knows best.

The sunnah has not specified as to which ear it should be given,
however the Messenger (SAW) used to love to do good actions starting
from the right, so it would be more appropriate to give the adhaan in
the right ear.

4) The Tahneek

This means to softening a date and then rubbing the palate of the new-
born with it just after the birth or soon after. This is done by
putting a piece of the softened date on the finger and rubbing it
from left to right in the mouth of the baby.

Ibn Hajr said, “if one is not able to find a dry date, then a fresh
date should be used, and if that is not available then anything
sweet.” (Fath 9/588)

It is not essential to chew the date rather it may be softened in any
way. The action of chewing as reported in the sunnah was something
specific to the Messenger (SAW) due to the blessings that Allaah had
placed in his saliva.

It is done by the father or the mother or anyone from the People of
Knowledge whose supplication is hoped would be accepted. So he should
perform tahneek and supplicate for the child as was the practice of
the Companions.

Imaam Nawawee says, ” scholars are agreed upon the recommendation of
performing tahneek upon the baby after it’s birth.” (Sharh Saheeh
Muslim 4/122)

Aaishah (ra) reports, “new-born children used to be brought to the
Messenger of Allaah and he would supplicate for blessings for them,
and rub a chewed date upon their palate.” (Muslim)

Naming the child

The baby may be named on the day of it’s birth or later on the
seventh day or past the seventh day, as this is what is clear after
study of all the evidences from the sunnah.

It is the father or the mother who chose the name for the baby. If
they differ amongst themselves then it is the father who has the
choice, he may name it himself or give his wife the right to choose.
The fact that this is the right of the father is shown by the
principle that the child is ascribed and attributed to the father, as
Allaah says,

“Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is
more just in the Sight of Allaah”

It is also allowed for the parents to allow others to name the child,
since our Prophet (SAW) used to name some of the children of his
Companions.

The name should carry a good and praiseworthy meaning as the
Messenger (SAW) said,

“On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and
your fathers names, so make your names good.” (Abu Dawood)

It is recommended to call oneself a servant of Allaah (Abdullaah) or
the servant of any of the names of Allaah. Then it is recommended to
name a child after a prophet, due to the hadeeth,

“call yourselves by the names of the Prophets” (Abu Dawood)

and the hadeeth,

“a son was born to me this night and I called him after my forefather
Ibraaheem” (Muslim)

Then it is recommended to name the child after any pious person in
the hope that it will become like him/her. Then it is recommended to
name by any name which has good meaning.

It is forbidden to name a child with a name that denote servitude to
other than Allaah, for example Abd an-Nabi, Abd ar-Rasool etc, just
as it is forbidden to name them with names that are particular to the
Unbelievers like George, Michael, Susan etc.

The names of tyrants and evil personalities should be avoided such as
Fir’awn, Qaroon, Abu Lahab etc.. Likewise it is disliked to name with
the names of the Surahs of the Qur’aan like ‘Taa Haa’ or ‘Yaa Seen’
as is reported from Imaam Maalik and others. There is no authentic
hadeeth which ascribes the above two as being names of the Prophet
(SAW).

6) The Aqeeqah

After the seventh day of the arrival of the new-born, as a form of
welcome for it and to give thanks to the One who gave the blessings,
it is prescribed to slaughter a sheep. The Messenger (SAW) said,

“Every child is in pledge for it’s Aqeeqah which is sacrificed for it
on its seventh day, and it is named on it, and its head is shaved”
(Abu Dawood)

If the new-born is a boy then two sheep are to be sacrificed, and if
it is a girl then one sheep. This is the position of the majority of
the scholars and Companions. The Prophet (SAW) said,

“for the boy two equal sheep, and for the girl, a single sheep.” (Ibn
Maajah)

So it is permissible to sacrifice the male or female sheep or goat,
and this is best. As for sacrificing other animals then the scholars
have differed over this.

The sacrifice should be done by the father or a close relative, for
our Prophet (SAW) performed the Aqeeqah for his two grandsons. It is
also obligatory to mention the name of Allaah over it while
sacrificing, and if a close relative is performing the Aqeeqah then
he should add, ‘this aqeeqah is the Aqeeqah of so and so’ mentioning
the name of the person on whose behalf he is performing the aqeeqah,
as is reported in the hadeeth related by al-Bayhaqee.

The meat of the sacrifice may be distributed cooked or uncooked,, but
it is preferred that it should be cooked as this leads to greater
blessing as mentioned by a group of the scholars.

Shaving the baby’s head

On the seventh day after the birth the head of the baby should be
shaved. So when al-Hasan was born the Prophet (SAW) told his
daughter, Faatima (RA),

“shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver to the
poor” (Ahmad)

The right side of the head should be shaved first, then the left as
mentioned in the hadeeth,

“shave, and he indicated to the right side of his head, and then the
left” (Muslim)

It is not permissible to shave a part of the head and leave a part,
as this was prohibited by the Messenger (SAW) as reported by al-
Bukhaaree. The strongest view seems to be that the head of the boy or
the girl should be shaved, as is reported that Faatimah weighed the
hair of her daughter (Muwatta) but the scholars differ on this, and
Allaah knows best.

The shaving should be done after the sacrifice, and our pious
predecessors liked to rub some perfume over the baby’s head after the
shaving.

Then it is prescribed to give the value of the baby’s weight of hair
in silver in charity, and it is recommended to give this charity on
the seventh day also, but it is not necessary to do so, and may be
delayed.

Circumcision

It is prescribed that the boy be circumcised, it is recommended that
the circumcision take place on the seventh day, but it is obligatory
to circumcise before the boy reaches puberty.

Rights Due to Parents, No Old age Home in Islam!


None can deny the parents‘ favor upon their children. The parents are the underlying reason for the existence of the child. They have reared him in his babyhood and experienced painstaking efforts to provide full comfort and sound well-being. Your mother had you in her womb while you were a parasite there sharing her food and whole being for nine months. In this context, Allah says:

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship…” (31:14)

It is a preliminary stage followed by incubation and breast feeding for two years marked by peculiar fatigue and hardships. The father, on his part, is meanwhile also fully engaged catering for his child and bringing him up, not sparing any sort of instructions or guidance he could provide his child with; the child, meanwhile, a helpless creature is neither harmful nor useful to himself.

Allah has always enjoined that children should be good and thankful to their parents

Allah has always enjoined that children should be good and thankful to their parents and He says:

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents, – unto Me is the final destination.” (31:14)

“… And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.” (17:23, 24)

Lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy.

The right of parents upon you is to do good with them. You should be good to them physically as well as monetarily, and also with your words and your actions. You should be obedient to them unless in it there is disobedience to your Lord or there is some harm to you. Be kindhearted to them and serve them as they need your help. In their old age, in case of any ailment or weakness, never consider them a burden on you, neither speak to them harshly, because one day you will also become as old as they are. You will be a father as they are your parents and, if life permits, soon you will be an old man before your children just like your parents became old before you. So you need the help of your children as your parents need you today. If you are doing good to your parents then you must have the good news of a great reward and a better showing from your children, because whoever remained good to his parents, his children will also be good to him; and whoever annoyed his parents, will also be annoyed by his children. It is the process of recompense that deeds provide the results accordingly “as you sow, so will you reap. Allah has ranked the rights due to the parents high next only to His and the Prophet’s, Allah says:

“Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents…” (4:36)

And Allah also says:

“…give thanks to Me and to your parents… (31:14)

Being dutiful to one’s parents assumes priority even over Jihad (fight in the cause of Allah) as is narrated in the tradition of Ibn Mas’ood when he asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h.):

“Which deed is most beloved by Allah?” He said, ‘Observing prayer in time.’ “And next to that?” He said: ‘Being dutiful to one’s parents.’ “And next to that?” He answered: ‘Jihad (fight in the cause of Allah).'”

This Hadith (Prophetic saying) reported by Bukhari and Muslim points directly to the significance of the rights due to one’s parents.

Unfortunately, most people have forgotten these rights, instead disobedience and severance of ties have risen to harden the hearts, and even they contempt and detest their parents. Some people have even deemed themselves superior to those two old good creatures. A recompense is sure in store for those disobedient children, sooner or later.

Good Character

This includes suppressing one’s anger, and being gentle and humble. Allah Most High has said: Surely, you are of tremendous nature, (The Holy Quran: 68/4) and: Those who suppress their anger, and forgive other people – assuredly, Allah loves those who do good. (Quran: 3/134)

Bukhari and Muslim relate that Abdullah Ibn Amr (May Allah be pleased with you) said, “The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) was never immoderate or obscene. He used to say, ‘Among those who are most beloved to me are those who have the finest character.'”

They also narrate that Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) said, “Never was the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) given the choice between two things without choosing the easier of them, as long as it entailed no sin. If it did entail sin, he was of all people the most remote from it. Never did he seek revenge for something done against himself; but when the sanctity of Allah was challenged, he would take vengeance for His sake alone.”

The meaning of good character is the inclination of the soul towards gentle and praiseworthy acts. This may take place in one’s personal actions for Allah Most High, or in actions which involve other people. In the former case, the slave of Allah has an open and welcoming heart for His commandments and prohibitions, and does what He has imposed on him happily and easily, and abstains from the things which He has forbidden him with full contentment, and without the least dissatisfaction.

He likes to perform optional good acts, and abstains from many permitted things for the sake of Allah Most High whenever he decides that to abstain in that way would be closer to perfect slavehood to Him. This he does with a contented heart, and without feeling any resentment or hardship. When he deals with other people, he is tolerant when claiming what is his right, and does not ask for anything which is not; but he discharges all the duties which he has towards others. When he falls ill or returns from a trip, and no-one visits him, or when he gives a greeting which is not returned, or when he is a guest but is not honored, or intercedes but is not responded to, or does a good turn for which he is not thanked, or joins a group of people who do not make room for him to sit, or speaks and is not listened to, or asks permission of a friend to enter, and is not granted it, or proposes to a woman, and is not allowed to marry her, or ask for more time to repay a debt, but is not given more time, or asks for it to be reduced, but is not permitted this, and all similar cases, he does not grow angry, or seek to punish people, or feel within himself that he has been snubbed, or ignored; neither does he try to retaliate with the same treatment when able to do so, but instead tells himself that he does not mind any of these things, and responds to each one of them with something which is better, and closer to goodness and piety, and is more praiseworthy and pleasing.

He remembers to carry out his duties to others just as he remembers their duties towards himself, so that when one of his Muslim brethren falls ill he visits him, if he is asked to intercede, he does so, if he is asked for a respite in repaying a debt he agrees, and if someone needs assistance he gives it, and if someone asks for favorable terms in a sale, he consents, all without looking to see how the other person had dealt with him in the past, and to find out how other people behave. Instead, he makes “what is better” the imam of his soul, and obeys it completely.

Good character may be something which a man is born with, or it may be acquired. However, it may only be acquired from someone who has it more firmly rooted in his nature than his own.

Among those who are most beloved to me are those who have the finest character. – Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)

It is well known that a man of sensible opinion can become even more sensible by keeping the company of intelligent and sensible people, and that a learned or a righteous man can learn even more by sitting with other people of learning or righteousness; therefore it cannot be denied that a man of beautiful character may acquire an even more beautiful character by being with people whose characters are superior to his own.

And Allah gives success!

Rights of children in Islam


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

The rights of children are not guaranteed by the actions of their parents, their communities, or even their governments. Allah Himself guarantees children’s rights.

Allah Himself guarantees children’s rights.

Islam establishes a legal framework and embodies a code of ethics designed to protect the rights of an individual, including his or her right to live in a secure society.

For children, security is of the utmost importance. In Islam, the rights of a child begin even before birth; in fact they begin before conception.

In Islam, the rights of a child begin even before birth; in fact they begin before conception.

Caring for and raising children in the proper manner is a duty on parents and it is not always easy. In fact, Allah reminds us in the Qur’an that children may indeed be a great trial for their parents.

(إِنَّمَآ أَمْوَلُكُمْ وَأَوْلَـدُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ)

“Your wealth and your children are but a trial…” (Al Qur’an 64:15)

The triumphs and tribulations of life are a test and children are no exception. They can bring great joy but sometimes they also bring great sadness. Allah in His infinite wisdom never leaves an individual alone in the face of life’s trials.

The triumphs and tribulations of life are a test and children are no exception.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Every one of your (people) is responsible. And every one is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them.”-(Bukhari and Muslim)

Children are a trust given to their parents and parents are to be held responsible for this trust on the Day of Judgement.

Parents are required to feed, clothe, house, nourish and sustain their children, and provide them with security and education.

Parents are required to feed, clothe, house, nourish and sustain their children, and provide them with security and education.

Parents too are responsible for the religious training and spiritual guidance of their children. The heart of a child must be filled with faith, peace and tranquillity.

A child’s mind must be entertained with proper guidance, knowledge and wisdom, a true sense of purpose and moral and ethical understanding. All of this must be accompanied with emotional support and encouragement, a feeling of belonging and being valued.

The heart of a child must be filled with faith, peace and tranquillity, with emotional support and encouragement, a feeling of belonging and being valued.

Seeing the Prophet kissing his grandson, a person named Alaqr’a Ibn Habis found this behaviour strange and said, “I have ten children, but I never kissed any of them.” He Prophet replied, “The uncompassionate will not be treated mercifully.”- (Bukhari and Tirmidhi)

If parents fulfil this responsibility of showing compassion, they will be free from the consequences of its neglect on the Day of Judgement. The children will become better citizens and a pleasure to the eyes of their parents, first in this life and then in the hereafter. Allah says,

﴿وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإِيمَـنٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَآ أَلَتْنَـهُمْ مِّنْ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَىْءٍ كُلُّ امْرِىءٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهَينٌ)

“And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith – We will join with them their descendants, and We will not deprive them of anything of their deeds…”-(Al Qur’an- 52:21)

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Upon death, man’s deeds will stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and a pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays to Allah, for the souls of his parents.”- (Muslim)

Such a statement reflects the value of proper child-rearing. It has an everlasting effect, even after death.

Source: The Rights of children in Islam Reviewed by Muhammad AbdulRaoof

AUTHORITY, CONSULTATION and OBEDIENCE


 

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

AUTHORITY, CONSULTATION and OBEDIENCE

The family is a group of people closely related by blood or marriage who usually live together. In every human group there is a leader and a hierarchy of authority so that the members act in co-operation for the common good.

Husband and wife - relation of coordination

The head of the family in an Islamic marriage is the husband, by virtue of his role as the maintainer of the family:

﴿الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَلِهِمْ فَالصَّـلِحَـتُ قَـنِتَـتٌ حَـفِظَـتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ وَاللَّـتِى تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِى الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَبْغُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلاً إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيّاً كَبِيراً ﴾

 “Men shall take full care of women with the bounties which Allah has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter, and with what they may spend out of their possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which Allah has (ordained to be) guarded … ” (Qur’an 4:34)

(وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِى عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكُيمٌ)

“And women have rights equal to the rights incumbent on them according to what is equitable; and men have a degree above them.” (Qur’an 2:228)

This “degree” of difference in legal rights in marriage and divorce is a reflection of the husband’s leadership role, and in no way implies that the woman is inferior as a moral and spiritual being. This point is stated in several Qur’an verses and Hadith.

(فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّى لاَ أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنْكُمْ مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى بَعْضُكُم)

“And their Lord answered them: Verily I will never cause to be lost the labour of any of you. Be you a male or a female the one of you is as the other.“(Qur’an 3:195)

﴿إِنَّ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَـتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَـتِ وَالْقَـنِتِينَ وَالْقَـنِتَـتِ وَالصَّـدِقِينَ وَالصَّـدِقَـتِ وَالصَّـبِرِينَ وَالصَّـبِرَتِ وَالْخَـشِعِينَ وَالْخَـشِعَـتِ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقَـتِوالصَّـئِمِينَ والصَّـئِمَـتِ وَالْحَـفِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمْ وَالْحَـفِـظَـتِ وَالذَكِـرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً وَالذَكِرَتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْراً عَظِيماً﴾

(Verily, the Muslims: men and women, the believers: men and women, the Qanit: men and the women, the men and women who are truthful, the men and the women who are patient, the Khashi`: men and the women, the men and the women who give Sadaqat, the men and the women who fast, the men and the women who guard their chastity and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.) (Qur’an 33:35)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“All people are equal, as equal as the teeth of a comb. There is no claim of merit of an Arab over a non-Arab or of a white over a black person or of a male over a female. Only God-fearing people merit a preference with Allah.” (Ahmad)

A wife should therefore acknowledge her husband’s administrative leadership and not dispute it or set herself up as a rival in taking ultimate decisions that affect the whole family. A ship with two captains will never reach its destination.

However, leadership in Islam also has its obligations. The leader at all levels is to be motivated by love and concern for those under his care, who will naturally respond by loving their leader.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

“The best of your leaders are those whom you love and who love you, for whom you pray and who pray for you, and the worst of your leaders are those whom you hate, and who hate you, whom you curse and who curse you. “(Muslim)

All forms of tyranny, oppression and exploitation of the weak are condemned, and the tyrant is warned:

“Fear the prayer of the wronged, for truly there is no veil between him and Allah.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Abu Dawud,)

“The tyrant shall not enter into Paradise.” (Abu Dawud and Ahmad)

The leader is moreover obliged to consult his followers. A chapter of the Qur’an is entitled “Shura” (meaning Consultation) and it contains a description of the believers as those

(وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُواْ لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلوةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ)

“Whose rule (in all matters of common concern) is consultation among themselves…” (Qur’an 42:38)

Leadership in Islam is identified as a responsibility. It exists at various levels both in pub1ic affairs and in the family.

According to a saying of the Prophet:

“Take care: each of you is a shepherd and each of you shall be asked concerning his flock. A leader is shepherd over (his) people, and he shall be asked concerning his flock; and a man is a shepherd over the people of his house, and he shall be asked concerning his flock; and a woman is a shepherd over the house of her husband and over his children, and she shall be asked concerning them; and the servant of a man is a shepherd over the property of his master, and he shall be asked concerning it. Take care, then, each of you is a shepherd and each of you shall be asked concerning his flock.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi.)

As can be seen from this Hadith the wife is given responsibility within the family for the smooth day-to­day running of the household and the upbringing of the young. We shall return to this aspect of her role in another section. Here we are concerned only with the aspect of leadership and authority in the home.

This brings us to the use of the words “ordering” and “obeying” which are used in translating some Qur’an verses or Hadith about husband/wife relationship, for example “when he orders her, she obeys”. The Arabic word “amr” used in the original text certainly has the general meaning of “to order” or “to ordain”. However, in the context of family life it obviously does not have the same connotation as it would have in, for example, the army! The family is not a military unit, and for a husband to give out orders to his wife like a sergeant-major on the parade would be most out of place, and indeed probably counter-productive. The relationship of husband and wife is quite different. They are not described as matter and servant in the Qur’an but as “garments to each other” -loving, sympathetic and protective. The records of the Prophet’s relationship with his wives are an example of this.

"Husband and wife are garments to each other" -loving, sympathetic and protective

Basically women (even strong-willed ones) still feel that it is natural for a husband to lead, provided he does so in the manner mentioned above, with wisdom. It is one of the comforts of marriage for a woman that she does not have to take sole responsibility for all major decisions in the family.

Allah has created men and women as complementary to one another in co-operation and not in competition.

Source:  The Ideal Muslim Wife by Aisha Lemu,Islamic Education Trust

Islamic Family


One of the reasons that the Islamic family works is because of its clearly defined structure, where each member of the household knows his or her role.  The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:

“Each of you is a shepherd, and all of you are responsible for your flocks.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

The father is the shepherd over his family, protecting them, providing for them, and striving to be their role model and guide in his capacity as head of the household.  The mother is the shepherd over the house, guarding it and engendering in it the wholesome, loving environment that is necessary for a happy and healthy family life.  She is also the one who is primarily responsible for the children’s guidance and education.  Were it not for the fact that one of the parents assumed the leadership role, then inevitably there would be perpetual disputation and fighting, leading to family breakdown – just as there would be in any organization which lacked any single hierarchical authority.

“God puts forth a similitude: a (servant) man belonging to many partners, disputing with one another, and a man belonging entirely to one master.  Are those two equal in comparison?  All the praises and thanks be to God!  But most of them know not.” (Quran 39:29)

It is only logical that the one who is naturally the physically and emotionally stronger of the two parents is made head of the household: the male.

“…And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar (to the rights of their husbands) over them – according to what is equitable.  But men have a degree (of responsibility, etc.) over them…” (Quran 2:228)

As for the children, the fruits of their parents love, Islam lays down comprehensive morals enjoining parental responsibility and the child’s reciprocal dutifulness to its parents.

“And treat your parents with kindness.  If one or both of them attain old age in your care, never say to them a word (suggesting) disgust, nor reproach them, but address them with reverent speech.  And humble yourself out of mercy before them, and pray:  ‘My Lord!  Be merciful to them for having cared for me in my childhood.’” (Quran 17:23-4)

Obviously, if the parents fail to inculcate the fear of God within their children from an early age because they are themselves heedless, then they cannot expect to see righteous gratitude returned to them.  Hence, God’s severe warning in His Book:

“O you who believe!  Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones.” (Quran 66:6)

If the parents do indeed strive to raise their children upon righteousness, then, as the Prophet said:

“When the son of Adam dies, all his actions have ceased except [three, a continuing charity, beneficial knowledge and]  a righteous child who prays for their parent.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

Regardless of how the parents raise their children, and irrespective of their own religion (or lack, thereof), the obedience and reverence that a Muslim son or daughter is required to show them is second only to the obedience due to the Creator Himself.  Thus His reminder:

“And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): ‘Worship none but God and be dutiful and good to parents, and to kindred, and to orphans and to the poor, and speak good to people, and perform the prayer, and give the alms.’” (Quran 2:83)

In fact, it is quite common to hear of elderly non-Muslims converting to Islam as a result of the increased care and dutifulness their children gave them following their (i.e. the children’s) becoming Muslims.

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them…’” (Quran 6:151)

While the child is obliged to show obedience to both parents, Islam singles out the mother as being the one deserving the lion’s share of loving gratitude and kindness.  When the Prophet Muhammad was asked, “O Messenger of God!  Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me?”  he replied: “Your mother.”  The man asked: “Then who?”  The Prophet said: “Your mother.” The man asked: “Then who?”  The Prophet repeated: “Your mother.”  Again, the man asked: ‘Then who?’  The Prophet finally said: “(Then) your father.”(Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim.)

 “And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents.  His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty (30) months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: ‘My Lord!  Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good.  Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will).’” (Quran 46:15)

Conclusion

There exists in Islam a general principle that states that what is good for one is good for another.  Or, in the words of the Prophet:

“None of you truly believes until he loves for his (believing) brother what he loves for himself.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

As could be expected, this principle finds its greatest expression in a Muslim family, the nucleus of the Islamic society.  Nevertheless, the dutifulness of the child to its parents is, in truth, extended to all the elders of the community.  The mercy and concern that the parents have for their children is likewise extended to all the young ones.  Actually, it is not as if the Muslim has a choice in such matters.  After all, the Prophet did say:

“He who does not show compassion to our young, nor honor our elders, is not from us.” (Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi)

Is it any wonder, then, that so many people, raised as non-Muslims, find what they are looking for, what they have always believed to have been good and true, in the religion of Islam?  A religion where they are immediately and warmly welcomed as members of one loving family.

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces to the east and the west.  But righteous is the one who believes in God, the Last Day, the Angels, the Scripture and the Prophets; who gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the wayfarer, to those who ask, and to set slaves free.  And (righteous are) those who pray, pay alms, honor their agreements, and are patient in (times of) poverty, ailment and during conflict.  Such are the people of truth.  And they are the God-Fearing.” (Quran 2:17)

Respecting Elders


In the Islamic world, one rarely finds “old people’s homes.”

The strain of caring for one’s parents in this most difficult time of their lives is considered an honor and a blessing and an opportunity for great spiritual growth.

In Islam, it is not enough that we only pray for our parents, but we should act with limitless compassion, remembering that when we were helpless children, they preferred us to themselves.

Mothers are particularly honored. When Muslim parents reach old age, they are treated mercifully, with kindness and selflessness.

In Islam, serving one’s parents is a duty second to prayer, and it is their right to expect it. It is considered despicable to express any irritation when, through no fault of their own, the old become difficult.

Allah  said in the Holy Quran:

Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If one of them or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect, or scold them, but say a generous word to them. And act humbly to them in mercy, and say, “My Lord, have mercy on them, since they cared for me when I was small.” (Quran, 17:23-24)