By Haroon Balogun
Strong family ties built on the teachings of Quran and Sunnah provide the necessary foundation for a happy and joyous home and in turn contribute to the overall health of a society. On the other hand, members of a troubled families struggle to maintain calm within and watch helplessly as day to day troubles tarnish and strain their relationships, and as a result grapple with daily stress in lives.
In extreme cases, this results in corrupting the very foundations of societies at large. Society becomes messed up and governance becomes disordered. The fact many people tend to ignor is that family is the mirror of the society. As family members, therefore, everyone has the obligation to take the necessary measures to strengthen these foundations.
Having a family is a blessing and its members must work to make family life at home peaceful and joyful. Allah says in Q16-80: “And Allah has made for you in your homes an abode …”
Place of protection
A home is also a place of protection from the fitnah (corruption) of the outside world. The Prophet (S) said: “The safety of a man at times of fitnah is in his staying home.”
Islamic teachings based on the foundation of the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w) provide us with those guidelines. To benefit from those guidelines, we ought to “live” Islam within our families. We do not become Muslims simply by being born into a Muslim family. Rather, Islamic character is formed from a combination of parental efforts, personal struggle, prayers and supplications.
The necessity to bring Islam within our families is underscored by Allah telling us in the Quran to protect ourselves and our family members from the fire. He says in Quran 66 v 6: save families hell fire
“O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is human beigns and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.”
Protecting one’s family from the fire refers to fostering a guiding environment for our families. The Prophet (s.a.w), too, stressed that we all actively help to lead our families in the right direction. He said: “Allah will ask every shepherd (or responsible person) about his flock (those for whom he was responsible), whether he took care of it or neglected it, until He asks a man about his household.”
We know that the walls of a home have little to do with the building of healthy dynamics within family members. That usually comes from living our lives according to the principles of Islam. So, how do we live Islam within our families and nurture a good home? There are six principles that families can use to live Islam within their families. This in turn can help in building the foundations of a joyous family.
Make home a place for the family to worship Allah
Let us start with the basics. Allah clearly tells us that He created us to worship Him. That involves following Allah’s commands in our daily lives as well as remembering Him through various Ibadat such as prayers, Quran recitation and so on. Within a family, we need to ensure following all that is needed to fulfill our minimum responsibilities of worshiping Him along with helping others to perform theirs. For example, Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah (S) used to pray qiyaam at night, and at the time of witr he would wake her up to pray witr. (Reported by Muslim, Sharh al-Nawawi, 6/23).
The importance of family members frequently engaging in Allah’s worship at home is evident through other ahadith as well as the Quran. Allah says in the Quran: “And We inspired Musa and his brother (saying): ‘Take dwellings for your people in Egypt, and make your dwellings as places for your worship, and perform al-salaah, and give glad tidings to the believers.’” (Q10s:87). In a hadith, the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Do not turn your houses into graves …” (Reported by Muslim, 1/539).
One of the signs of a home that is filled with Allah’s remembrance is for it to become lively at Tahajjud, Fajir, and other prayers. This habit alone can bring tremendous peace to one’s household.