Strengthening the Bond: Family in Islam – Yasmin Mogahed
The following was taken from Sister Yasmin Mogahed’s Facebook Page:
Notes that a brother shared from my talk at MCA last weekend on “Strengthening the Bond: Family in Islam”:
– The litmus test is not how you treat the public; it’s how you treat your family.
– No matter how you treat your family, you have an assumption that they will always be there.
– Treating family well is tied to sincerity because it’s not something public. It’s what we do behind closed doors.
– Ironically, and sadly, we are best to everyone else and not to our families.
We have these beautiful concepts, but how do we achieve them? How do we build the bond?
7 Ways to Build Familial Bonds
-Allah is gentle and loves gentleness.
-He who is deprived of gentleness is deprived of good.
Often we save all our gentleness for those outside, and when we get home, we’ve ‘used it all up’
2. Showing affection
-He who does not have mercy will not have mercy upon him.
-Aisha RA, narrated that the Prophet (saw) would drink from her cup at the same spot she did.
3. Stop focusing on our rights, and start focusing on our responsibilities
-Everyone wants to know about their rights, but not their responsibilities.
-A lecture on the rights of women should be filled with 99.9% men & vice versa, not the opposite.
4. Controlling our anger
Hadith: The strong person is the one who can control himself in a fit of anger.
Make it unacceptable to not control anger with family, just like we would if a police officer pulled us over.
Hadith: “Don’t get angry” repeated thrice
5. Helping each other in the home
Problem: we put culture above religion
-We may keep sunnahs of clothes/beard, but not how the Prophet (saw) was with his family and home.
-He stitched his own clothes and helped with chores. He served his family, and when the time for prayer came, he went.
6. We shouldn’t help and teach the community while neglecting our homes.
Qur’an 66:6: “O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from a fire, the fuel of which is human beings and stones.”
-saving our families is mentioned
7. Dealing with family problems
Two things to remember before nasiha:
1. Whatever you see, bring to mind your own sins to give nasiha not from a place of arrogance (arrogance is one of the worst diseases of the heart)
*biggest complaint, nasiha givers are self-righteous
2. Find gratitude and realize that it was only Allah who protected you from doing worse than the sin you are speaking against
*The hearts turn. Never feel like you’re safe. If the Prophet (saw) made du’a (Oh Turner of hearts, keep my heart firm upon Your deen) then who are we not to?
*What comes from the heart, enters the heart.
Facing painful treatment from family
Read the message in the bottle. In situations, seek to find the message in the bottle that Allah swt is sending you.
Don’t be passive about abuse. Many people think the definition of sabr is turning the other cheek. Nay, it means constancy. Perseverance. We’re told that Allah swt does not allow injustice. We should also not approve of injustice.
Sometimes within a hardship itself, there’s a gift. If it brought you closer to Allah swt; it was in fact a gift. And if a ‘gift’ takes you away from Allah swt, even if it’s money or status, then it was in fact a punishment
Sometimes, when everyone in your family is against you, when your whole community is against you; Allah swt is facilitating you to turn completely to Him. That’s tawheed.