For the Love of Family
In Juz 21 Allah introduces us to some Verses that ought to make us think about our relationships with family differently. He gives us food for thought in terms of what our intentions are for others and what we want to get out of those relationships. Sinfulness causes families to be split apart. The pain that carers of addicts experience remains in their hearts until their loved-one returns back to the Path of Allah. Let us reflect on Juz 21;
“And among His Signs is that He created for you (Adam) from dust, and then from the ribs (Eve), and then from his offspring from the semen – and behold, you are human beings scattered!” (30:20)
The comfort of marriage
In some places in the Qur’an Allah describes the husband and wife as being ‘closer than a garment’. Just like our clothes, we offer protection, comfort, modesty, closeness. When things are going wrong in the marriage, the partner can sometimes feel like that item of clothing that irritates the skin, itchy, uncomfortable and you just want to take it off. Addiction or sinfulness can take us to those places. Shaitan causes hatred between the spouses. Addiction is the cause of so many marital breakups and children being raised in single-parent families, often growing up with low self-esteem and low sense of self worth.
Sometimes, we find parents of addicts looking for spouses for their adult children in the hope that marriage will make them wake up and change. Unfortunately, the added responsibility of marriage often exacerbates the addiction and results in bringing hardship to the new spouse and any children that are brought into the world. If someone is unable to be responsible for their own self, how can we expect them to marry? Allah says
“And among His Signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, that you may find comfort in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (30:21)
If we cannot even bring comfort to our own selves how can we offer a place of solace for a wife or husband – and eventually children. It is not recommended to marry when we are still in the state of addiction or excessive sinfulness. We must work hard to overcome our urge to sin first and then consider what we have to offer someone else. Marriage is about joining someone in their Islam to help them get to Paradise. Can we help them in this way?
Anas ibn Maalik (R) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“Whoever Allaah blesses with a righteous wife, then He has assisted him in half of his deen. So therefore, let him fear Allaah in the other half. (Al-Mustadrak: 10/2681) Al-Albaanee declared the hadeeth hasan in Saheeh At-Targheeb (1916)
So those of us who are already married, are we fulfilling our marriage according to Allah’s purpose? Of course, we can all make improvements and increase our efforts to be a comfort for each other. If we really love our spouse we will want to help them get to Paradise, we will want to help them stay on The Straight Path of Allah, holding their hand all the way! We need to be on the same path, heading the same way if we want our marriages to work. We will find that the closer each spouse gets to Allah, the closer they will get to each other and live in harmony and peace.
The bond between parent and child
Islam teaches us to be kind and merciful at all times with our parents. Even in the case where it is our parent who is stuck in a cycle of sinfulness. Look to the example of the prophets whose parents did not accept their call. Ibrahim was tested severely with his own father, who even tried to kill him. Many Muslims today, some reverts, find that their parents are against them embracing Islam and try everthing to divert them, yet Islam teaches us to be kind and polite to them anyway and obey them in everything except that which goes against Allah. The relationship between parent and child is one to be cherished.
“And we have enjoined on man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship and his weaning is of two years. Give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me is the final destination.” (31:14)
Those of us who are parents will understand the feeling as we hold our newborn baby. Our hearts gush with love and we have all hopes and fears for the future of our innocent child. We want nothing but good for them in this life and the next. Imagine the pain of a Muslim parent who’s child goes astray from the path of Allah. Sometimes it is so hard for parents to know what to do, how to help them, what to say. Allah tells us about the story of Prophet Luqman and how he advised his son in the hope that he would remain on The Straight Path so let us reflect;
- “Oh my son! Join not in worship others with Allah.” (30:13)
- “Oh my son! If it be anything equal to the weight of a gran of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth.” (30:16)
- “Oh my son! Perform prayers, enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and bear patience whatever befalls you” (30:17)
- “And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster”. (30:18)
- “And be moderate in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the donkeys.” (30:19)
Ya buyana – Oh my son! – The way The Prophet Luqman addressed his son demonstrates his softness in speech, endearingly advising his son. If we want someone to love Allah, love Islam, we must not be harsh in our words. Here the Prophet Luqman shows us some beautiful words of wisdom that he used in the hope of keeping his son motivated to stay of The Straight Path of Allah. Maybe, we don’t have parents around or maybe they don’t advise us like this. But we have these beautiful words for all the sons and daughters of the world to come and we must reflect upon them and see how we can use these words to change our ways and improve ourselves in order to come closer to Allah.
Our family in The Hereafter
We have been placed with our family in this life for a reason. They will test us or they will help us. They could be a means for us to attain Paradise, or our behaviour with them could be a means for us to earn Allah’s anger. Getting to Paradise would be easier if we were solitary beings but we are not. Allah put us in families so we could all help each other try and get to Paradise. So let us do that! Before it is too late! This life is too short to hold grudges and hate one another. We must forgive and move on and have mercy.
“Oh mankind! Be conscious of your Lord, and fear a Day when no father can help his son, nor a son can help his father. Verily, the Promise of Allah is true, do not let this worldly life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver (shaytan) deceive you about Allah.”
For those of us with no family, who find ourselves alone and in isolation we need to realise that this has happened for a reason. Even the prophets of Allah, like Ibrahim, spent many years in isolation. The Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, prior to revelation would take himself off to Mount Hira every Ramadan and spend time alone in the cave, thinking and reflecting on life and praying to Allah. Prophet Ayub (Job) was abandoned by all his family during his sickness and test. However, what is amazing is this is the time they all found their Lord, Allah.
“…And they will not find, besides Allah, for themselves any Wali (protector) or any helper” (33:17)