THE FOUNDATIONS OF A PEACEFUL FAMILY

Question: Dear Ustadh, we have a desire to discuss the topic regarding the establishment of a family. Firstly, what is the status of the family in Islam?

Islam gives great importance to family life. Families are the roots of societies.Islam establishes a happy and well balanced family structure through the love and truthful respect it places. In other words, it aims to embed love and peace in regard to family ties; so much so that it is said, “The paradise for a person is their own home.” In Islam this family journey begins with a lofty marriage (Nikah). Such a structure and understanding can only be achieved through a lawful foundation; based upon the highest criteria of love. Thus, Islam lays a condition that both parties give promise in the name and in the presence of Allah Almighty. With the word of olden days, “There is blessing and abundance in marriage.”  This saying expresses the importance of the marriage (Nikah) as the foundation for a happy and peaceful family life. It is apparent that relationships outside of marriage ruin and cause damage to both societies as a whole and spirituality of each individual inhabitant.

Question: Dear Ustadh, can you please elaborate on the topic regarding the marriage (Nikah)?

Marriage means, protecting human nature and honour. Islam gives great care and importance to marriage, offspring, education, and protection of the family; all to honour the blessing of humanity. So much that, the worst attack that could be committed towards this honour of humility is the crime of fornication. Fornication is such a horrible act that attacks the lawfulness of marriage while ruining the generation that may arise from it.

This Divine fact can be understood through the “Wahdaniyyah” attribute of Allah Almighty which He has restricted to Himself alone. Thus, He is One and has created everything else in pairs; through placing attractive and attracted as a mean for a husband and wife to reach physical and spiritual maturity through assimilation. Allah Almighty has made family life compulsory and has commanded a marriage act to protect the high esteem of mankind, given by Him. Thus, the act of marriage maintains the continuance of human generations in purity and blessing. Allah Almighty has blessed and made marriage abundant upon the nation (Ummah) of Prophet Muhammad upon him be peace and blessings; Allah blesses the marriage that rests within the borders of Qur’an and Sunnah (Traditions) with the happiness of paradise while still on earth.

Allah Almighty 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. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum, 30:21)

Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings has said:

“A woman is married for four things; her wealth, her beauty, her status and her religion. Try to marry the religious one, may your hands receive goodness.” (Buhari, Nikah, VI. 123; Muslim, Rada,53)

So we understand that, the second most valuable gift for a believer to have is a righteous partner after possessing the first precious value virtue which is piety Taqwa.

So a righteous man is the firm and unshakeable pillar of the peaceful palace; and a righteous woman is the most valuable treasure of the blissful garden. This truth is expressed in the following hadith:

 “The greatness of a person is in his reflecting his faith on his life, his character is in his channeling his mind always to doing good, and his honour and nobility is in his beautifying his moral conducts.”

A family must be established upon a firm foundation. This establishment must be based upon correct and firm fundamentals, within the borders of Divine criteria that provide balance at every stage of life. Thus, one should even be cautious during the period of engagement. However, unfortunately at our present time we witness some couples who live as if they were married while they are only engaged; due to these faults they receive unrecoverable harm.

I must express that, the period of engagement is nothing more than two parties giving promise to each other for the further step of marriage. Of course this stage cannot be considered as marriage. Therefore the couple is still not lawful for each other. Thus they must be cautious and aware of the borders of unlawful (haram) and lawful (halal) within their relationship. I would like to remind the narration of Ibn-I Abbas regarding this matter:

Allah Almighty created our mother Eve from the left rib of Adam upon him be peace, while he was asleep. After waking and seeing her, Adam upon him be peace felt incredible inclination towards Eve thus he reached out his hand to touch her but at that moment the angels called out:

“Oh Adam, do not touch her!.. You are not married yet!..”

,Following t-his, the marriage of Adam and Eve took place, as for dowry (Maher) it was decided for them to utter three salawat-sending blessings to Prophet Muhammad upon him be peace and blessings. So this became the first marriage that took place in the presence of Allah Almighty. Thus, marriage achieved sublime meaning with the salawat to Prophet Muhammad upon him be peace and blessings, it was filled with the manifestations of mercy, blessing, abundance and plenitude.

Question:Dear Ustadh, what do you think of the wedding ceremonies?

The wedding ceremony must be far from all kinds of wasting and showing off. Elegance and gentleness is best…

On the other hand, those who are lonely and weak must be invited to the wedding feast too, thus as the Messenger of Allah upon him be peace and blessings warns in the following hadith:

“The worst wedding feast is the one which wealthy people are invited but not the poor.” (Bukhârî, Nikâh 72; Muslim, Nikâh 107. Also: İbni Mâja, Nikâh 25)

It must always be kept in mind that, we receive blessing and easiness upon the Ummah as a result of the prayers of the weak people. Therefore, it is extremely important that those weak and lonely people are invited to such places. It is also so narrated that one day Musa upon him be peace called out to Allah asking:

“Oh Lord! Where must I search for you?”

Allah Almighty replied:

“Search for Me near those who have broken hearts.”

In this respect the prayers of the lonely people with broken hearts are more likely to be accepted; therefore we should observe and seek for their prayers and blessings.

Also, we must not neglect asking and receiving good prayers from righteous people.

Question: Dear Ustadh, what are the matters that young married couples should be careful of in order to maintain the happiness in their family?

It must be well understood that the perfect development of the community cannot be possible without men and will also be incomplete without the women. The true personality and identity of the person emerges in the most obvious way within the family life. The family will achieve higher spiritual levels if the couples carry out such acts which will implement the feeling of awareness of the Divine watch (ihsan). We must take shares from the lives of the Prophets, the Saints, and the Friends of Allah Almighty. Also, the happiness of a family depends on both parties observing each other’s rights with respect and even further clenching this respect with love.

The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, in a part of the farewell sermon said the following regarding the women’s rights:

“O my people! Observe the rights of women! Treat them with love and compassion! I advise you to fear Allah in their regard! You have them (women) as trusts of Allah; Their chastity and honour in the Name of Allah.”

The happiness and tranquillity in the family can be obtained and protected through the couples using their capabilities on the correct places. Islam is very sensitive and gives great importance to marriage; also marriage is a lofty establishment related to both physical and spiritual senses.

The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, says:

“Marry and do not divorce, for verily divorce causes the ‘Arsh (Allah’s Throne) to shake.” (Muhtâru’l-Ehâdîsi’n-Nebewiyye, 228)

Certainly, protection from such a state is possible by gaining the expected happiness through preserving the value of both men and women. The couples can obtain happy days, fine and deep memories, sincere joy, prosperity, peace and pleasure under the shadow of the Divine criteria; and this would manifest upon the couples by being loyal and sincere towards each other as servants of Allah.

It has been stated in a hadith as:

A person, who wakes up during the night and wakes his wife to pray together or to perform two rakats of prayer separately, will be recorded among the men and women who abundantly praise Allah.

Overall the fine matter that we understand as the clue for in short the family happiness depends on two grand codes:

1.The sincere intimacy between the couples;

2.Encouraging each other to piety (Taqwa).

Oh Lord! Grant upon us the life of piety, that You may be pleased with our servitude and obedience; make our homes a paradise of grace and happiness.

Amin!