FOSTER A CULTURE OF ISLAMIC LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE:
Fostering and nurturing a learning environment at home where family members share Islamic teachings regularly can help all members to become more knowledgeable about Islam, improving one’s life in turn. Let’s remind ourselves that the prophet (Sallellahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to teach his wives / family and even servants quite regularly.
Al-Tabari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “We must teach our children and wives the religion and goodness, and whatever they need of good manners. If the Messenger of Allah (Sallellahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to urge the teaching of female servants, who were slaves, what do you think about your children and wives, who are free?”
Discussing Islamic wisdom regularly can help us to stay informed and involved in ongoing self assessment. Most of us are usually preoccupied with issues related to our responsibilities, work, relationships and disappointments in life. While discussing these matters with our family members, we can relate them to how the prophet (Sallellahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and his companions resolved such matters. We should find opportunities to discuss such issues when everyone comes together as for instance during meal times.
Family members should also use the learning opportunities at home to learn and advise each other on matters of halal and haram. This can help us ward off Satanic whispers related to making haram appear as acceptable. Let’s remind ourselves that once we cross those lines and start characterizing the bad as acceptable, Satan further raises those limits and does not stop until he completely pushes us into the darkness of evil and shirk (polytheism).
Another way to foster a learning environment at home is for each family to instill the love of Islamic literature and books. So, beyond keeping a Quran and a book on hadith, the family should look to maintain literature on Quran interpretation and books of renowned Islamic scholars that can help family members get a deeper insight into the wisdom of the Quran and the Sunnah.
MAKE FAMILY DECISIONS THROUGH MUTUAL CONSULTATION:
Involving the family in important matters before making a decision ensures closeness among the members. Allah says in the Quran,
“… and who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation…” [Surah al-Shoora:38].
Mutual consultation allows for each member to have a sense of importance and responsibility. Besides, when trying to solve a problem, the more brains that are involved, the better the chances for a solution. Problems can be resolved with one-on-one conversations between parents and children, and other family members. Rather than venting frustrations and focusing on the problems, family members should find ways to engage in conversations where solutions are sought in an amicable manner. Venting frustrations, blaming each other, harsh tones, and demeaning each other not only does not solve problems but also sours relationships and closes all doors for future consultations and trust. Let’s remember the hadith of the prophet (Sallellahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) where he compared harshness with good behavior. He (Sallellahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “Allah loves kindness and rewards it in such a way that He does not reward for harshness or for anything else.”
[Reported by Muslim, Kitaab al-Birr wa’l-Sillah wa’l-Aadaab, no. 2592]
UNDERSTAND AND FULFILL RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARDS OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS:
Living with other family members also necessitates that each of us learns the rights of others. As Muslims, we should know the rights of our parents, children, spouses, siblings, and others. For example, Allah provides us clear instructions about kindness to parents. He (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) Has instructed us:
"And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. 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 reprimand 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 young.” (Surah Bani Israeel: 23,24)
As we can see, the Quran is clear with regard to our duties to our parents. By fulfilling our responsibilities towards them we can also serve as a good example to our children in the practice of patience and kindness. Similarly, we should learn our responsibilities in dealing with our children. When parents recognize the child as an individual, address him and include him / her in discussions on general topics, a proper rapport is formed and the child finds it easier to obey them. Reminders could be given and situations that parents themselves were in could be discussed to help each other get and stay on the track of Islam. When parents make the mistake of considering themselves perfect (and their imperfections are quite obvious!) they lose their own credibility and the respect of their children as well.
This applies to other family members as well. Knowing the rights of other individual within the family can help us fulfill our responsibilities as prescribed to us by Islam and can help us live Islam within our families.
The Quran and Sunnah provide us ample guidelines on various aspects of living Islam within a family. Examples include verses of Surah Al Muminun (23: 1-11), Surah Luqmaan (31:13-19) and others. When the elders and responsible parties of a household highlight the importance to live Islam within a family, and practice these virtues and manners, this inspires the children to learn as well.
Finally, let’s remind ourselves that to simply becoming knowledgeable about these issues doesn’t help unless we live by these practices. One of the Islamic scholars stated that if faith (eemaan) was simply knowing the facts in one’s heart, then that is similar to Satan’s situation because he was very knowledgeable about his Lord (rabb), yet his arrogance and pride led him to become argumentative and disobedient to Allah, and in the process became the worst of creatures.
– MAY Allah (SWT) Guide Us And Our Families!