The family is the foundation of the community.
فقال – سبحانه – : وَاللّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجاً وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَزْوَاجِكُم بَنِينَ وَحَفَدَةً وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ أَفَبِالْبَاطِلِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَبِنِعْمَتِ اللّهِ هُمْ يَكْفُرُونَ ( سورة النحل 72 ) .
And Allâh has made for you Azwâj (mates or wives) of your own kind, and has made for you, from your wives, sons and grandsons, and has bestowed on you good provision.
Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: I did so and so. And he says: You have done nothing. Then one amongst them comes and says:
مَا تَرَكْتُهُ حَتَّى فَرَّقْتُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ امْرَأَتِه
I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife.
– قَالَ – فَيُدْنِيهِ مِنْهُ وَيَقُولُ نِعْمَ أَنْتَ ” رواه مسلم .
The Satan goes near him and says: ‘You have done well. A’mash said: He then embraces him.
Islam encourages starting a family and gives guidance on how to build and maintain a family.
The family home is an abode
The family home is an abode meaning it is a place of peace and ease, not conflict and difficulty. Allah says:
وَاللّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّن بُيُوتِكُمْ سَكَناً … ( سورة النحل80 ) ،
And Allâh has made for you in your homes an abode
The family relationship in the family home
Family begins with the husband and the wife. There relationship should be peaceful. Allah says:
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا لِيَسْكُنَ إِلَيْهَا … ( سورة الأعراف189) .
It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife [Hawwâ’ (Eve)], in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her
: وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجاً لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ( سورة الروم21 ) .
And among His Signs is that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.
Allah created things in pairs for them to find solace in one another and compatibility.
… لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ؛
that you may find repose (tranquility) in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.
Choosing a spouse: Good character and Deen.
Islam does not allow forced marriages – a woman cannot be forced to marry somebody she does not like or want to marry.
Islam gives guidelines for the husband and wife regarding their roles and responsibilities.
Learning Roles and Responsibilities
There are roles and responsibilities that are shared, and then there are roles and responsibilities that are specific to the husband and specific to the wife, taking into account the differences between them.
The relationship between the spouses resembles one person
… هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ … ( سورة البقرة187 )
They are Libâs [i.e. body-cover, or screen for you and you are the same for them.
Cover each others faults and weaknesses, do not expose them or your relationship with them to the others.
The foundation of happy marriage is kind treatment and mutual respect.
Regarding kind treatment Allah says:
… وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ … ( سورة النساء19 ) ،
and live with them in kindness
And regarding mutual respect Allah says:
… وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ … ( سورة البقرة 228) .
And women have rights over their husbands to those of their husbands over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, and the men have a degree over the women
The foundation of a strong and solid family relationship is mutual respect of the individual views and characteristics of each spouse as well as friendship and co-operation.
Individual Roles and Responsibilities
Each partner has rights and responsibilities that are specific. Allah says:
والرجلُ راعٍ على أهلِ بيتِه وهو مسئولٌ عنهم ، والمرأةُ راعيةٌ على بيتِ بعلِها وولدِه وهي مسئولةٌ عنه
a man is the guardian of his family (household) and is responsible for his subjects; a woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them
Some of the responsibilities of the man are:
، عن عائشة – رضي الله عنها – قالت : قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ” إنَّ مِن أكملِ المؤمنين إيمانا أحسنُهم خلقا وألطفُهم بأهله ” رواه الترمذي ..
Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “The Believer in terms of faith is he who is best of them in manners and mild to his family.”
وقال – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ” خيرُكمْ خيرُكمْ لأهلِه ، وأنا خيرُكُم لأهلي ” رواه الترمذي وابن ماجة بإسناد صحيح..
Allah’s Messenger said, “The best of you is the best among you to his family and I am the best among you to my family
: الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاء بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ … ( سورة النساء34 ) .
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allâh has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.
It is a responsibility to show care and consideration, to be accommodating and to look at the general interests of the family rather than his own. Being the maintainer is not a license to be a tyrant and an oppressor to his wife.
فقال : ” دينارٌ أنفقته في سبيلِ الله ودينارٌ أنفقته في رقَبة ودينارٌ تصدَّقْت به على مِسكين ودينارٌ أنفقْته على أهلِك .. أعظمُها أجراً الذي أنفقتَه على أهلِك” رواه مسلم .
Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Of the dinar you spend as a contribution in Allah’s path, or to set free a slave, or as a sadaqa given to a needy, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spent on your family.
Matters of money should not become a reason for discord in the family. Allah says:
، يقول الله – عز وجل – : لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّا آتَاهُ اللَّهُ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْساً إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْراً (سورة الطلاق7 ) .
Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allâh has given him. Allâh puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allâh will grant after hardship, ease.
The foundation of a good home is Taqwa, not money
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيراً وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيباً
O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwâ (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allâh through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an All-Watcher over you.
It is impossible for the atmosphere in the home to always be how a person wants it to be as humans by their very nature do not live in a constant state of satisfaction. So each spouse should be ready and prepared for some difficulty and hardships and to overlook and forgive one another.
The Prophet Muhammad said:
قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ” لا يفْرَكُ مؤمنٌ مؤمنة ؛ إنْ كرِه منها خُلقاً رضِي منها آخر ، ( أو قال غيره ) ” رواه مسلم .
A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.