Some characteristics of Muslim home (Part-1)

19 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

One of the great blessings that Allah, The Exalted, bestowed upon mankind is the provision of homes that give them shelter and tranquility. He reminded them of this blessing in Soorat An-Nahl (no. 16), also known as the Soorah of blessings (as it speaks of numerous blessings conferred by Allah upon mankind). Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means):

{And Allah has made for you from your homes a place of rest…} [Quran 16:80]

A home is a place of rest and comfort and a manifestation of the Divine Mercy upon mankind wherein man relishes privacy and affection, and wherein man shelters himself from heat and warms himself from cold. His home conceals him from people’s eyes and shields him from enemies.

Al-Haafith Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer: “Allah, The Exalted, underlines the perfection of His Blessings upon His Slaves in that He has given them homes to rest therein, shelter themselves and enjoy privacy, and benefit of them in all manners of benefit.”

The Muslim home is the strong building block of a society that adheres to the way of life that Allah ordained for mankind. In Islam, the family is a divine system, a divine lifestyle, part of the Prophetic guidance, and an aspect of human behavior. Life in Muslim homes is an embodiment of the all-inclusive concept of worship and a continuous educational process. The family life created by the marriage of a man and a woman is one of the great signs of Allah, The Exalted. He Says (what means): {And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.} [Quran 30:21]

This means that Allah, The Exalted, rendered family life a source of tranquility for the family members, where their souls find reassurance, their inviolability is upheld, and their honor is shielded, and under whose care future generations are raised. Thereby, Allah intends for Muslim homes to be strongholds of goodness, love and harmony, fortresses of righteousness, compassion and safety, and abodes of virtue and kindness.

The Muslim recognizes how valuable the blessing of having a home and shelter is when he sees the heart-breaking conditions of those who are deprived of this blessing; namely, the homeless and refugees among our brothers and sisters in faith who live in shelters or on sidewalks. Contemplating their conditions, Muslims come to know with certainty what it means to suffer dispersion and deprivation due to the loss of home and shelter.

Rectification of Muslim Homes:

Since the Muslim family and the Muslim home are the main pillar in the edifice of the Ummah, the basic building block of society, and the actual school from which active members of society graduate to assume their social roles as politicians and leaders, scholars and judges, educators and preachers, students and fighters in the Cause of Allah, and righteous wives and mothers who provide due nurturing care for the future generations, then the stronger this building block is, the firmer and more impenetrable the structure becomes. Conversely, the weaker it is, the flimsier the structure becomes, and the more vulnerable it is to collapse and cracking.

For all these reasons, Islam actively strives to rectify Muslim families and homes and lays the foundations for their establishment, so that a Muslim home should have its distinct features and characteristics that distinguish it from other homes.

Features and Characteristics of the Muslim Home:

Righteousness of the Spouses:

In Islam, the foremost foundation upon which a Muslim home is based is the righteousness of the spouses, who are the pillars of that home. Therefore, the primary duty of a Muslim is to choose a righteous wife endowed with religious commitment and good moral character, because she shall be the most important factor in the rectification of the Muslim home, Allah Willing, next to the righteous husband. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said: “A woman is sought for marriage for four reasons: her wealth, her family lineage, her beauty, and her religious commitment. So, choose the religiously committed one lest you be a loser.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] He also urged the guardians to choose for their womenfolk righteous suitors, who should be endowed with good moral character and religious commitment. He said: “If there comes to you a suitor with whose religious commitment and moral character you are pleased, marry off (your daughter or female under your care) to him, or else there will be Fitnah (turmoil) in the land and widespread corruption.” [Ibn Maajah]

As a righteous husband and a righteous wife are united by the bond of marriage, a righteous home is established by the Will of Allah. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And the good land - its vegetation emerges by permission of its Lord; but that which is bad - nothing emerges except sparsely, with difficulty. Thus do We diversify the signs for a people who are grateful.} [Quran 7:58]

It is Founded on Faith:

One of the characteristics of the Muslim home is that it is based on the foundations of faith and good doing; the bond uniting its members is the bond of faith. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith - We will join with them their descendants…} [Quran 52:21]

A Muslim household is distinguished by the adherence to the teachings of Islam, establishing the bonds of amity and enmity and of love and hatred only for the sake of Allah, and avoiding the imitation of the enemies of Allah, The Exalted, or celebrating their polytheistic festivals that are alien to Islam and which are religious innovations. The Prophet said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Abu Daawood and Al-Bazzaar]

It is Devoted to Prayer:

Another distinctive characteristic of the Muslim home is that its occupants regularly perform the prayer. Men hasten to perform it in the mosques; Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {… and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].} [Quran 2:43] Women also regularly perform and observe the prayers, being the very pillar of the religion and the most confirmed obligation, second only to the proclamation of the Two Testimonies of Faith.

Moreover, the male household members earnestly perform the voluntary and Sunnah prayers at home to boost their sincerity of intention and to be good role models for the rest of the household members. The Prophet said: “O people, perform some prayers in your homes (meaning voluntary prayers), for the best of prayers apart from the obligatory prayers are a man’s prayers in his home.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Moreover, he said: “Perform some of your prayers in your homes and do not turn them into graves.” [Al-Bukhari] He also said: “When one of you has performed the prayer in the mosque, he should give his home a share of his prayers (meaning voluntary prayers), for Allah blesses his home by his prayers therein.” [Muslim]

Verily, prayers illuminate homes after they illuminate the hearts of those who regularly perform them.

Remembrance of Allah and Obedience to Him:

Another distinct characteristic of the Muslim home is that it is devoted to the remembrance of Allah, The Exalted, and obedience to Him. Thikr (remembrance of Allah) is a shield for the homes against the devils from among mankind and Jinn and from all evils. Therefore, the Islamic Sharee‘ah prescribes for the Muslim to recite Thikr and remember Allah, The Exalted, upon entering or exiting his home, eating, drinking, sleeping, waking up, starting any action or activity, entering or exiting the restroom, and putting on or taking off his clothes. Thikr is prescribed in all given situations and states.

Such devotion is perceptible in the homes that are ‘alive’, whereas the homes that are devoid of Thikr, they are ‘dead’ and so are their inhabitants. The Prophet said: “The example of the home where Allah is remembered and the home where Allah is not remembered is that of the living and the dead.”

Sadly, there are many dead homes that are rather shelters for the Jinn and devils. They are devoid of the remembrance of Allah, filled with evils, and only the instruments of the devils can be heard therein.

How ugly homes are when they are devoid of the remembrance of Allah, as they become dwellings for the devils where they live and reproduce, turning them into lonely graves and derelict ruins. The hearts of their inhabitants become blinded, and the angels abandon them.

Seeking Knowledge and Acting upon It:

A Muslim home is founded on the principle of seeking knowledge and acting upon it; its occupants teach and advise one another. A father is endowed with knowledge and piety, and he instructs his children and urges them to follow the Sharee‘ah etiquette. He edifies them on the rulings pertaining to ritual purity and prayer and the Islamic etiquette of seeking permission, and he teaches them what is lawful and what is unlawful. He directs, teaches, and advises his household members constantly, and thus the home would be founded on learning about the truth and acting upon it.