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Establishing an Islamic Home

Establishing a Home & The Process of Selecting a Spouse

‘Perfecting the Muslim Family’ Lecture Series by Aboo Tasneem Daawood Adeeb
December 2004, Toronto, Canada

Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen (hafidhahullaah) who is considered the Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee of our time (as said by Shaykh Muhammad al-Banna) mentioned in “A Concise Manual of Marriage” that the word marriage (nikaah) has two meanings, the second of which is that it is a contract between a man and a woman so that they may enjoy themselves sensually (have pleasure in one another), and the purpose of marriage is to have a righteous family and a sound, safe society.
Regarding the Muslim family, the Scholars of Islaam always begin with the place that the Muslim family lives (the home), since if the home is correct and it is perfected by Islaam and the Sunnah, then the end result is that the society will be perfected. (Note: this perfection is only to the extent that man is able to be ‘perfect’, different from the perfection of Allaah which is absolute perfection.)
Islaam outshines every other religion in every single aspect, whether it is how they pray, fast, sleep, drink, etc. Islaam is the perfect way of life, so the ‘ulema begin with the home because if the Muslim home has been perfected then we will have a perfect Muslim society, one that is sound and relatively safe.
Allaah (tabaaraka wa ta’ala) says:
“And Allaah has made for you in your homes an abode.”
(an-Nahl 16:80)
This abode means a place that you find tranquility and peace. So if the Muslim wants to perfect the family he has to begin with the home.
There is a difference between a house and a home. A home is more specific and detailed. So we want to have a perfect Muslim family and a perfect home. We want to make our houses a home since Allaah (Azzawajall) has designated the home as a place of refuge and tranquility and peace.
Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said:
“In this aayaah Allaah (Azzawajall) is mentioning His complete blessing to His slaves and has given them homes which are a peaceful abode to them, to which they retreat and they seek refuge. They retreat to their homes as a haven and place of solace which covers them and gives them all kinds of benefits.”
When a person goes home they should find Islaam. So whether or not he is married, his home should be a home of Islaam.
Some Imaams of the Salaf have said:
“Don’t be the friend of Allaah publicly and his enemy in private.”
So some people have dichotomy in their lives and when they’re outside they are the friends of Allaah but if you were to see them in their home you would see that they have not perfected their Islaam.
The home is a retreat and haven and it covers them and gives them all kinds of benefits. So one question that can be asked is: Is your home the place that offers cover and gives you retreat and peace and protects you and also, is the home the place that covers and protects the women?
Allaah (subhanuhu wa ta’ala) says:
“Stay in your homes and do not dress up with the adornment of the first times of al-Jahiliyyah.”
(al-Ahzaab 33:33)
So Allaah (Azzawajall) is telling us firstly the purpose of the homes and then is explaining to us with the commandment to the women to stay in their homes because the essence of the perfect Muslim family is the woman.
Some of us may have the bare essentials needed such as furniture, appliances, etc but our homes may really make us have a homeless situation if they don’t have Islaam. If they don’t perfect their Islaam they won’t be a perfect Muslim family.
There are many Muslims all around the globe that don’t even have a home, so if Allaah (tabaaraka wa ta’ala) has given us this bounty of having a home it is a duty upon us and is obligatory on us to take that house and make it a home and make our family a Muslim family. Even if you are by yourself, you are your own family so even then you have to perfect the family.
If we look in the Qur’aan we see where Allaah (Azzawajall) talks about how He punished the Jews of Banu Nadeer. He took away the blessing of the home and where they dwelt, expelling them from their homes.
Allaah (tabaaraka wa ta’ala) says:
“It is Allaah, He who drove out the disbelievers from the people of the Scriptures (Banu Nadeer) at the first gathering.”
(al-Hashr 59:2)
So He made them leave their homes and according to some of the tafaseer, it says that some of those Jews started taking the planks and wood that their homes were made from and started carrying those things with them because they wanted something that represented these homes to them. However, they were even told to leaves those things and that they couldn’t take them. This test was a punishment to make them leave.
If you look at the motive of the believer in putting his house together there are some basic steps and fundamentals to be kept in mind.
Protecting yourself and your family from the Hellfire. Allaah (Azzawajall) says:
“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire that the fuel of it is men and stones, over which are appointed angels, stern and severe, who disobey not from executing the commands they receive from Allaah but do that which they are commanded.”
(at-Tahreem 66:6)
This is talking specifically to the men or to the women if they are by themselves or alone with children, etc (the head of the family).
The great responsibility that is born by the head of the household on the Day of Reckoning. The man of the house is the Imaam and the Ameer, and his responsibility must be understood in light of the Day of Judgement.
The home is a place to protect oneself and to keep away evil from oneself and family and it is a refuge to ascribe to Islaam in times of fitnah, and we are living in times of fitnah. The ‘ulema of the past, when there was a fitnah, they would take to their homes. Even some of the Sahaabah and taabi’oon when there was a fitnah they would stay in their homes.
The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“The safety and security of a man in times of tribulations and fitnah is that he sticks to his home.”
People usually spend most of their time at home. This time indoors should be spent in worship, thikr of Allaah, learning and memorizing the Qur’aan, learning the Sunnah, teaching one’s wife and children, and so on.
The person must pay attention to the home as the utmost means of building a perfect Muslim society. This is because the husband and wife have come together to enjoy eachother sensually and to make a righteous family and a sound and safe society.
The society is formed of households and from families that form the building blocks of the society. If the building blocks are sound, the society will be formed based on the sharee’ah of Allaah (Azzawajall) and will be firm in the face of the enemies of Allaah and will be filled with a goodness that evil cannot penetrate.
If you have perfected the Muslim family and the home is a perfect Muslim home then it will become a fortress. No one will be able to cause you fitnah or bring you grief or divert you because you will have protection from this.
Even though we live in the land of disbelief, our effort in trying to perfect the Muslim family will eventually have an effect on society. The Muslim homes need to produce the pillars and foundations of the society so we can reform and guide the society and make examples by way of our families.
The first thing is to form the household. The number one thing in forming a Muslim family and perfecting the Muslim home is making a good choice when choosing a wife.
Allaah (Azzawajall) says:
“Marry those among you who are single and also marry the Saalihoon and marry those among your slaves and maid servants. If they be poor, Allaah will enrich them of His Bounty, and Allaah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, the All-Knowing.”
(an-Noor 24:32)
Likewise the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“A woman may be married for 4 things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty or her religion. Choose the one who is religious, may your hands be rubbed in dust (an Arabic expression meaning ‘may you be prosperous’). This world is all temporary conveniences and the greatest temporary convenience in the dunyaa is a righteous wife.”
(Reported by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, and Aboo Daawood)
Some ‘ulema say this narration is a discouragement pertaining to what women you should marry and others say it is an encouragement.
The man that looks at the woman in whom he will plant his seed needs to look to the future. The young woman he will select to be his wife should be one that he would want to be with in the future and would want to have many children with, and also one he can trust and he thinks is stable.
The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“Let everyone of you have these three things: a thankful heart, a remembering tongue (makes thikr of Allaah), and a believing wife, a woman who is righteous and will assist him in the aakhirah.”
(Saheeh, Reported by Ahmad)
So it’s nice to have a wife who can cook you great meals or knows a lot about computers, etc but its better to have one who can assist you in the affairs of the next life as the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) mentioned.
So the man should want the woman who will protect him in the affairs of the deen. When considering marriage, don’t just look at the beauty or the lineage because if she’s not righteous she may corrupt the home.
The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“A righteous wife to help you with your worldly and religious affairs is the best treasure anyone could have.”
(Reported by Ahmad, at-Tirmithee, and Ibn Maajah)
The old saying goes: “Your best friend is the one whom when you remember Allaah they help you and when you forget they remind you, and your worst friend is the one whom when you remember Allaah they don’t help you and when you forget they don’t remind you.”
The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“Marry the one who is loving and prolific in having children (fertile) as I shall outnumber the other Prophet’s (nation) through you.”
(Reported by Ahmad)
In all books of fiqh, the ‘ulema discourage and disparage the man who married a woman who can’t have children (although it is still permissible). The encouragement is to marry a woman who can have children.
In another narration the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) asked them: “Shall I not inform you of the men from among the people of Jannah?” Then he told them who they were. Then he said: “Shall I not inform you of the women from the people of Jannah?” They said: “Of course.” He said: “The woman who is loving, fertile and who returns to you even if you have wronged her. The one who even if you oppressed her, she says: ‘This hand of mine is in your hand and I will not sleep until you’re pleased.’ ”
Likewise, sisters must look at the man who will help her with her affairs of the next life. She shouldn’t be stuck on wealth or appearance but look at whether he is the type of man she wants to live with for the rest of her life and she wants to be the father of her children.
The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“I advise you to marry the virgins for their wombs are the most productive, their mouths are sweet, and they are the most content with the least.”
(Reported by at-Tabaraani)
We need to be very selective of our spouse because we are trying to perfect the Muslim family. You don’t want to marry one of those women who, as the Arabs say, the woman who is always complaining for her ex-husband and the children that he took, or is always reminding you of the things she did for you.
The ‘ulema have advised us to marry the righteous wife, one who is pious, chaste, modest, shy, stays out of the view of the men, and one who loves to be close to Allaah.
The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“One of the elements of happiness (from the elements of happiness) is the woman who is righteous, that when you see her she pleases you and when you are away from her she protects your property. And of the things of wretchedness is that you have the woman who when you look at her there is a feeling of misery and she flings her tongue against you and when you are away from her you don’t feel that you can trust her with respect to herself or her property.”
(Reported by Ibn Maajah and others)
This selection process is very important. Likewise for the brothers there are two basic things that any woman wants from her husband:
She can trust him.
She can feel secure with him.
If these things are put in her heart there will be very few problems with her if she is a pious woman.
The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“If there comes to you one whose religion and character you are pleased with then marry that young lady to that man. If you don’t do this there will be fitnah and corruption in the land.”
(Reported by Ibn Maajah)
So the man who is proposing to the woman should be of good deen and good character.
Also one should be striving to guide his wife. If she is not that righteous it is the duty of the head of the household to guide her. The guidance is not in our hands but it comes from Allaah, so he should be patient with the woman and instruct her.
The husband is there as an Imaam and an Ameer to guide his wife. Sometimes it is difficult to guide the wife but this can be done either implictly or explicitly.
Points of Benefit in Guiding the Wife:
Paying attention to correcting her ‘ibaadah in all its aspects.
Striving to strengthen her eemaan (encouraging her to pray Qiyaam al-Layl, read the Qur’aan, memorize the thikr and remember to say them, give charity, read useful Islaamic books, listen to lectures, etc). If one is having a sit-down with a woman before he marries her, he should ask her to give him the name of one book that she read from cover to cover in the last five years and the author so that he can get an idea of what she’s read.
Protecting her from the evil.
Keeping her away from bad places and bad friends.
In general, men don’t like a woman telling him what to do but he must rise above this as the hadeeth states: “A woman who will help him and assist him with the affairs of the next life.”
So he must humble himself and not be arrogant or proud in this.

transcription courtesy of Umm Sumayyah

Article taken from: pearlsofheaven.blogspot.com

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