Sunday, November 27, 2016

Building a Happy Home - I

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We all seek happiness, rest, stability and peace of mind, and we want to avoid the causes of misery, worry and disturbance -- especially at home and within the family. This can only be achieved by believing in Allah, The Almighty, Alone, relying on Him, entrusting one’s affairs to Him as well as utilizing all lawful means.

Importance of Establishing a Family and Infusing Affection at Home

One of the most effective factors that influences individuals and the society is the righteousness of the family as Allah, The Almighty, has made it a haven for humans, both males and females, where they can settle down and rest. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.} [Quran 30:21]

This verse indicates that both the husband and wife find tranquility with each other at times of worry, and find happiness at times of distress.
Marriage is based on the companionship and closeness that emerges from mutual love and affection. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.} [Quran 2:187]

Moreover, the marital home is the environment in which children are raised and this can only be achieved through an affectionate mother and a hardworking father.

What other environment could be better than a good family atmosphere?

Pillars of the Muslim Family Structure:

There are many pillars upon which the Muslim family is based, which safeguard the family from disunity and separation:

• Believing in Allah, The Almighty, and fearing Him:

The foremost and most important of these pillars is adhering to the most trustworthy handhold of faith: believing in Allah, The Almighty, and the Hereafter and fearing Him, as well as avoiding oppression or despotism. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day. And whoever fears Allah -- He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah -- then He is sufficient for him.} [Quran 65:2, 3]

Faith increases by striving to worship Allah, The Almighty, and obeying Him, especially when the husband and the wife continually advise each other to do so. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said in an authentic Hadeeth: “May Allah have mercy upon a man who gets up at night and prays, and awakens his wife; if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah have mercy upon a woman who gets up at night and prays, and awakens her husband [to pray]; if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.” [Ahmad,An-Nasaa’i, Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah] [Ibn Khuzaymah, Al-Haakim and Ath-Thahabi: Saheeh]

The relationship between the spouses is not just a worldly materialistic relationship or a lustful one. On the contrary, it is an honorable, spiritual relationship and when this relationship is achieved, it lasts even after death, in the Hereafter. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants.} [Quran 13:23]

• Living in kindness:

Living in kindness can only be achieved when each spouse knows his/her rights and duties. It is not wise to seek perfection for the household and its members, because perfection is impossible and unattainable for humans.

It is sensible to have realistic expectations and accept each other’s shortcomings. A man, who is the head of his household, is required to be more patient than the woman, as he knows that she is physically and emotionally vulnerable by nature. If she is held accountable regarding every big and small matter, she will feel restricted and unable to achieve anything. Besides, exaggeration and over-zealousness in admonishing women in an attempt to rectify their affairs could lead to divorce.

The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “Treat women gently, for a woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper portion; so, if you try to straighten it, it will break and if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women gently.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Al-Haafith ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “This is advice to reform women gently without exaggeration or leaving them as they are. The criterion for this is that he should not allow her to commit sins or to abandon an obligation, but he may leave her as she is with regard to lawful matters.”

A husband should not give free rein to feelings of distress regarding his wife, but he should disregard some of her shortcomings and remember her strengths, as he is sure to find many, if he is fair-minded. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.” [Muslim and Ahmad]

A husband should be patient in this regard as he does not know what is better for him. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.} [Quran 4:19]

How can there be any affection or tranquility between the spouses if the husband is bad-tempered, narrow-minded, foolish, hasty, difficult to satisfy, easily angered, keeps reminding his wife of his favors when he comes home and has ill thoughts of her when he is outside the house?
Happiness and living in kindness can be achieved through leniency, avoiding bad conjectures and baseless illusions. Sometimes, jealousy leads some people to have negative thoughts and to suspect their spouse's behavior -- a matter that could potentially disrupt one's marital life and create discord without any sound proof. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And do not harm them in order to oppress them.} [Quran 65:6]

The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best of you is the one who treats his family best and I am the best one amongst you towards my family.” [At-Tirmithi, Ad-Daarimi, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan: Saheeh]

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