The Wedding Night

Bridal-Room-Decoration-6

The wedding night marks the beginning of a whole new kind of relationship deeper and more personal than any other relationship one will ever have, entailing a deluge of unique experiences and considerations.

Between a husband and wife, nothing remains hidden. There are no veils and no barriers, and no shameful parts. How could there be, when the husband is a garment for his wife and she for him? They are to seek comfort and tranquility in one another.

They will be able to enjoy what has always been forbidden to them. This new permissibility is a realization for the husband that this person is his wife, life-partner, and mother of his children. Consequently, his new bride deserves to be treated with the utmost care, consideration, and sensitivity from the very first moment. Therefore, the wedding night should be a night filled with tenderness, intimacy, affection, and joy. In that night, the husband should be seeking to establish ties of love and affection with his wife and placate her worries and fears about the new life she has just embarked upon, so as to ultimately feel secure and at peace with him.

Alhumdullilah, as with all aspects of life, Islam provides us with simple guidelines, which make this event meaningful and blessed for the couple.

The final disposition of things is for those of pious practice, as the Lord of the Worlds said: “As to the Righteous, they shall be amidst (cool) shades and springs (of water). And (they shall have) fruits, – all they desire. ‘Eat and drink to your heart’s content: for that which you worked (for righteousness).’ Thus do We certainly reward the Doers of Good.” (Al-Mursalat 77:41-44)

Kindness toward your wife, when you wish to enter her chamber

When one goes into his wife’s chamber on the wedding night, it is desirable to show her kindness, such as presenting her with something to drink, etc. This is found in the Hadeeth narrated by Asma’ bint Yazid Ibn As-Sakan, who said: “I beautified Aisha (rta) for Allah’s Messenger (sa), then called him to come to see her unveiled. He came, sat next to her, and brought a large cup of milk, from which he drank. Then, he offered it to Aisha (rta), but she lowered her head and felt shy. I scolded her and said to her: ‘Take from the hand of the Prophet (sa).’ She then took it and drank some. Then, the Prophet (sa) said to her: ‘Give some to your companion.’ At that point, I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (sa), rather take it yourself and drink, and then give it to me from your hand.’ He took it, drank some, and then offered it to me. I sat down and put it on my knees. Then, I began rotating it and following it with my lips, in order that I might hit the spot from which the Prophet (sa) had drunk. Then, the Prophet (sa) said about some women, who were there with me: ‘Give them some.’ But, they said: ‘We don’t want it.’ (i.e., we are not hungry). The Prophet (sa) said: ‘Do not combine hunger and fibbing!’ (Ahmad)

The husband should place his hand upon his wife’s head and offer a supplication for her

At the time of consummating the marriage with his wife or before that the husband should, place his hand on the front part of her head and mention the name of Allah (swt) Most High, and pray for Allah’s (swt) blessings. As in the statement of the Prophet: “When any of you marries a woman … he should hold her forelock, mention Allah (swt) Most High, and pray for His blessings saying: “O Allah (swt), I ask You for the good in her and the good with which You have created her, and I seek refuge in You from the evil in her and the evil with which You have created her.'” (Bukhari)

The husband and wife should offer two units of prayer together

This is an established practice of the pious predecessors, as related in the following narration: On the authority of Shaqeeq who said: “A man named Abu Hareez came and said: ‘I have married a young girl, and I am afraid that she will despise me.’ ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood said to him: ‘Verily, closeness is from Allah (swt), and hatred is from Shaitan, who wishes to make despicable that which Allah (swt) has allowed. So, when your wife comes to you, tell her to pray behind you 2 Rakat.'” In another version of the same story, “‘Abdullah went on to say: ‘And say: ‘O Allah (swt), give Your blessings on me in my wife, and to her in me. O Allah (swt), join us together as long as You join us in good, and split us apart, if You send to us that which is better.'” (Ibn Abi Shaibah and at-Tabarani and ‘Abdur-Razzaq: Saheeh)

Before cohabitation with one’s wife or husband, it is desirable to mention the name of Allah (swt)

When a Muslim man is about to enter his wife, he should always say first: “In the name of Allah (swt), O Allah (swt), keep us away from the devil, and keep the devil away from that which You may grant us (i.e., offspring).”

About this the Prophet (sa) said: “After that, if Allah (swt) decrees that they will have a child, the devil will never be able to harm that child.” (Bukhari)

What the husband should do the morning after his wedding night

The following morning, it is desirable for the husband to visit those relatives, who came and visited him to greet and pray for him and his bride. It is also desirable for them to do likewise for him, according to the following Hadeeth narrated by Anas (rta): “The Messenger of Allah (sa) gave a feast on the morning of his wedding night with Zainab (rta), at which he fed the Muslims to satisfaction on bread and meat. Then, he went out to the Mothers of the Believers (i.e., to his other wives), gave them greetings, and prayed for them, which they returned in kind. This is what he used to do on the morning after a wedding night.” (Ibn Sa’d and An-Nasai)

The prohibition of spreading bedroom secrets

It is forbidden for either the husband or the wife to spread any of the secrets of their bedroom or private relations to anyone outside. The following Hadeeth is about this: “The worst in position of all people in the estimation of Allah (swt) on the Day of Resurrection will be the man, who cohabits with his wife, or the woman, who cohabits with her husband, then either of them divulges the secret of his mate.” (Muslim)

Five Successful Secrets of Travelling with a Child

Vol 3-Issue 2   5 Successfull secrets of travelling

If you’re a new parent, learning how to travel with a child, these tips can make the difference between a pleasant experience and an unpleasant one.

Be flexible

Keep your itinerary simple. Keeping too many activities can over stimulate your children. They get bored sightseeing for long periods of time and prefer being able to run around and explore at their own energetic pace.

Pick a family-friendly destination

Choose a relaxing child-friendly destination, such as a nature resort or beach, and skip the crowded, over-stimulating tourist destinations. Look for hotels that let kids stay free in their parents’ rooms and provide free meals within the price of the room.

Bring water and plenty of snacks

A bag of snacks and a water bottle are critical components of any trip. Children can get dehydrated during a flight, and toddlers can’t always wait for food service. Pack your child’s bag carefully with simple snacks such as fruits, small juice cartons or cookies. Pack extra diapers and clothes as well as toys to keep them entertained.

Plan frequent rest stops

If you’re driving, break up your trip, so your kids can stretch and run around to blow off some pent up energy. End your driving day early, so all of you have time to unwind after a long day on the road.

Think safety

If you’re taking a road trip, make sure your baby’s car seat is properly secured and use window shades to keep the sun off. Put a small card with identification information in your child’s pockets, just in case you get separated.

Special Alert!

“Travel teaches toleration,” said Disraeli. Especially nowadays, as our lives are greatly controlled by machines and their moods. Air travel, for instance, brings long queues of security checks at the airport, delayed or cancelled flights, and endless hours of commuting on the ground as well. Don’t be shocked to discover that the person sitting right next to you in the plane is allergic to kids. You may be greeted with frowns and cold stares every time your little one decides to brawl or toss everything around him.

Robert Benchley said: “There are two classes of travel – first class or with children” Traveling can be a test of nerves for those with young kids and a perfect, fool proof vacation in mind! Just remember, with kids nothing is fool proof. They can surprise you in seconds. Don’t forget that only one of you can throw a tantrum at a time, either the kids or the parents. Since the kids are at a greater risk of short circuits every now and then, it is highly recommended that parents behave themselves, so they may be able to mange their kids with sanity and patience, and enjoy their getaway. Bon voyage!

From Childhood to Adulthood

transitionFor young Muslim adults, puberty entails not only physical change but a host of social changes as well. No longer innocent children, developing adults are expected to be more conscious of their clothing, gaze, and even his social etiquettes. Suddenly finding themselves confronted with a list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ can be overwhelming and confusing. As parents, we can make this easier for our adults-to-be by making them aware of these protocols, long before their transition to adulthood begins. The following are a few tips towards this.

Knock, Knock

As the Quran and the Sunnah are our guides to life, the best advice is found within them. Allah (swt) has instructed us to teach our children to ask permission before entering their parents’ rooms on three occasions: before Fajr prayer, at noon (when their parents are resting), and after Isha prayer (An-Nur 24: 58). These times have been described as the times of privacy for parents.

Aurah Awareness

Make your child aware of his body parts, which will be considered his Aurah (the parts of the body Allah (swt) has forbidden to keep unclothed in front of others). Explain that no one should be allowed to see or touch them there, with the exception of those responsible for helping them in the bathroom, and with dressing and undressing. Insha’Allah (swt), this awareness will protect your child from being vulnerable to abuse. Emphasize that his/her body is special and not a source of shame, and that as a result Allah (swt) wants him to take special care of it.

Dress for Success

From a young age, dress your kids in clothing, which covers the Aurah, so that they get accustomed to avoiding very short and tight fitting clothing. Do allow them to choose what they’d like to wear, but make sure the options are those you approve of. This will, Insha’Allah, help avoid conflict, when the child is ready to buy his own clothing. Though there is no need to enforce Hijab on little girls, do encourage them, if they wish to cover their hair like their mommies. Telling them that they should enjoy their ‘freedom’ while still young can breed contempt for the Hijab.

Bed

Our Prophet (sa) has instructed to put our children in separate beds by the age of 10. (Abu Dawood) As puberty arrives soon after this age, this will make the child feel less awkward around his siblings, Insha’Allah.

Ghusl

Just as you would teach your child to bathe, make it a point to also teach him/her, how to make Ghusl. The Prophet (sa) said: “Ghusl (taking a bath) on Friday is compulsory for every Muslim reaching the age of puberty.” (Bukhari) Make Fridays special; a day to do Ghusl, wear clean clothes, and pray in Jamah (at a Masjid when possible).

Value Your Values

Teach your precious ones Islamic values, “Parents are going to have to sit down and explain their values to their own children. And this needs to start young, before society influences them,” says Marilyn Morris, who is president and founder of Aim for Success (USA). This is one of the largest organizations promoting abstinence from sex to students in grades 6 to 12.

It is necessary that parents model, what they expect from their kids, and accordingly avoid watching and reading material they want their kids to avoid. “Being careful themselves about what they (the parents) watch on TV or what movies they go to see is crucial,” Morris explains, “because that’s a bad influence on us at any age. And if our children see us doing it why shouldn’t they as well?” Bring your children, together with other children whose parents share your values, so that they all feel a part of a group. Insha’Allah this will also help reinforce what you teach them.

Honesty: The Best Policy

Children are very observant and will question every person’s actions, especially yours! Keeping your child’s age in mind, satisfy queries honestly. For example, when mommy does not pray during some part of the month, explain that this is a time, when Allah (swt) has excused her from doing so.

Let Allah (swt) be Your Guide

As always when explaining anything to your children, do make a point that the physical changes they will face have been put forward by Allah (swt). Refer to passages in the Qur’an and the Ahadeeth, not only to point out the protocols they must follow, but also highlight the rewards bestowed by Allah (swt) on those, who follow His commands. Furthermore, point out that though they will find many people, even among their peers, who may act contrary to these commands (keeping a beard, wearing Hijab, etc.), following Allah’s (swt) will is the best way to do things.

Insha’Allah the above tips will help you gently steer your children towards assuming Islamic etiquettes necessary for adulthood, and will eventually help them to guide their own little ones in the future, too.

Mind Your Mehrums

Allah (swt) has commanded: ” …Women not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s sons, their sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s son’s or their (Muslim) women (sister’s in Islam) or the (female) slaves, whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigor, or small children, who have no sense of shame of sex…” (An-Nur 24: 31)

Explain to your little ones that Allah (swt) has made a special circle, which consists of your child and his Mehrums. Point out these people and their relationship with your child. For a girl, the above circle of special people are those, whose company she may enjoy, even when she’s all grown up. No matter how old, a boy may share the company of those to whose Mehrum circle he belongs.