Thursday, November 1, 2007

KHUTBAH : Family and Love in Islam

Love and Affection in Family Life

My dearest brothers,
Allow me to remind all of us, and myself, to always be conscious of Allah, and have taqwa to Him, in the truest sense. One of the ways to have taqwa and consciousness of Allah is to make our own families, through love and kindness, into families that have strong faith and taqwa to Allah.

My dear brothers,
In the past month of Ramadan, we have heard of the need to develop our families into exemplary families, as part of our Islamic identity. Such families will hold on strongly to Islamic principles, guided by knowledge and iman, are loving and affectionate, and each member of the family respect the other. Today, we will focus more on how we can develop love, affection and kindness in our families, with the ultimate aim of developing families with taqwa.

My dearest brothers,
Let us begin by understanding the message of Islam itself. Islam is a religion well-suited to the natural state of mankind (fitrah). God has created mankind in pairs (from man and woman), so that they can live together as families.

Through family life, mankind do not only ensure his continuity and the bearing of progeny, but will also be able to live a calm and tranquil life that is full of love. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

(Surah Ar-Rum: 21)
Which means: And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.

My dear brothers,
Thus, immediately after we complete our marriage ceremony, or what is more popularly known as the ’aqad nikah, we take on new responsibilities as a husband and soon, a father. Leaders of the family are responsible to guide their families to have strong faith and taqwa.

One of the main roles and responsibilities of a husband is to treat his wife well. A good treatment of one’s wife is testimony to his faith and iman. Our beloved Prophet peace be upon him said:

Which means: The most complete among the believers in their faith/iman are those who possess the noblest character and are most gracious to their families (wives). (Narrated by Imam Tirmizi)

Love and affection in our families will help us guide them to the right path. Leadership is ineffective, in fact, non-existent, if a leader is not respected. But respect itself normally is an outcome of strong familial relations – families that live with love and affection.

My dear brothers,
One of our important responsibilities as head of the family is to imbue our family members with taqwa and iman. To succeed in doing this, we need to do the following:

First: We need to be good examples and role models.
To be an effective head of the family, it is most important that we become role models to our children and wives. We have to practice what we preach; it is easier for our families to follow our advice when they see us doing it. This should be practiced in our everyday lives, in our ibadah, when doing housework, etc. Remember the proverb: the acorn does not fall far from the tree.

For example, how are we going to stop our children from smoking when we smoke everyday? Or to encourage our children to study when we do not even have a habit of reading?

Second: Make time for the family.
No doubt, as the head of the family, it is our responsibility to maintain and provide for our wives and children. As a result, our time with the family might be limited. Still, that is no excuse for not spending time with our families. Remember, it is not just the length of time spent with your families, it is also the quality that is important.

Make full use of your time with your family by engaging in meaningful activities together, even if it is for a short time. Simple things like having breakfast or dinner together, performing prayers together, watching TV, cycling, or even shopping together, are some things that can easily be done as a family. Remember, we need to create and make time. Otherwise, we will never find the time.

Third: Give praise and affection.
In trying to build strong family ties, we also need to be aware of positive or excellent things done by our wives or children, no matter how young they are.

Praise them when you see them do something good, and appreciate their efforts by saying thank you, or Jazakumullah kheiran (may Allah reward you with kindness).

Remember, such small acts of kindness and praise is easily said and will encourage them further to do good. When they feel appreciated, they want to do more good deeds.

Let us ask ourselves, what do we feel when something good happens at work, when we are commended and given due praise by our boss, for example? Surely we feel appreciated and inspired to work harder to improve our work.

Other than praise, we need to show affection. Praise accompanied by a display of affection is even more meaningful to our wives and children. They will feel more loved. So, touch their hands or shoulders with love every time you praise them. It will have a greater impact, mainly because they feel loved.

My brothers,
Remember, this has to be done everyday; we need to be seen as a fair person, one who gives praise and rebukes equally. Let us not be seen only as a stern disciplinarian. Let us not be known by our families only for our anger. Let us also be known as loving husbands and fathers.

Hopefully, with loving and respectful relations in our families, our family institutions will become much stronger. With this, InshaAllah, we will be able to lead our lives in manner that will bring us the pleasure and blessings of Allah in this world and the hereafter, Amin.

Source : MUIS

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