Expert’s opinion : Are you lucky- Does your family give you tears of joy and merry?

Qurrata Aaiyyun                                                          Image Courtesy


Ya Allah (swt), give us the undeserved gift! What gift?  – a gift from our wives and our husbands, and our children, give us what makes our eyes so happy that it makes us cry- Qurrata Aaiyyun  it cools our eyes.

Do you know what that means? It makes you so happy that you want to cry.

When you listen to your children recite the Quran, and they love reciting the Quran- it makes you so happy that you want to cry.

When you look at your wife, and how she is raising your children- it makes you so happy that you want to cry. When she looks at her husband, who wakes up her children for Fajr, and takes them to the Masjid- she wants to cry, she is so happy. Our husbands cry and our wives cry; but they don’t cry because they are happy… they cry for other reasons.. We are asking Allah (swt) for tears of joy – we want to be so happy with our family. But, how can we achieve that?

When you go home, every day you fight with your wife.

She asks: “Why are you so late?”

You say: “Why are you asking me? You always ask me! Don’t you know there is traffic? Look outside the window!”

This happens every single day. Then, you get so angry that when you look at the child, you are like:

“Why are you playing with the toy? Why do you look happy? We don’t have happiness here. Where is your homework?”

Child says: “I didn’t get any homework…”

“Why not? I am going to complain to your school!”

God, this is not Qurrata Aaiyyun. There are people, who come to the Masjid for Salah, which is supposed to give you peace, make you calm and settle you down. Then, they go home, and there is a tornado that walked into the house. Children hide under the bed, and the wife gets off the phone. You cannot be the reason for your family to be afraid of you!

You should be a reason for your family to be joyful, overjoyed. Children should love you, they should run to you, and hug you when you come home – that is the relationship you should have with your children.

And, while I am on this topic, twenty, thirty and forty years ago, parenting was different – now, it’s not the same. For fathers- you cannot afford to be authorities over your children, you can no longer afford that. You have to be friends and authorities with your children. Our fathers were not friends with us, they were authorities. We didn’t like nudge our dad on the back and say: “Hey dad, let’s go play some basketball; let’s go play some football!” We didn’t do that.

When Abu (Baba, or Aba Jan) came home, we sat straight and said: “Assalamu Alaikum!” You get their shoes. That was twenty or thirty years ago, but nowadays, your kids don’t do that. And they won’t! We are living in 2016, brothers and sisters! We have to accept the reality that our children are exposed to a lot of things- no matter if you are in the Muslim world, or anywhere else.

“Ahtaraam” (respect) will remain. You have to respect your parents. However, we, as parents are the only ones, who can give to our children the love of Islam. And, you will not be able to give it to them, if you are only in authority, if you only yell at them and tell them what to do- without being their friend. Every father here should know, and master the video games their children play. First of all, it’s a problem, if you let them play video games; however, if you are letting them play, and  are not stopping them- then you better be sitting there, and playing with them. Don’t watch the news – you are not going to change the world! Believe me – you have watched enough news, and nothing has changed. Listen to it in the car, don’t come home and watch TV, don’t come home and watch the news – come home and play with your kids, do homework with your kids, talk to your kids, take your kids to the Masjid-  do that with them and make your kids love you. If we, fathers, don’t do this, we will lose our next generation – I am guaranteeing you.

Bridging the Gap between Hearts

respect2Every individual expects recognition of his/her rights by the people he/she lives with. The fulfillment of this expectation builds a relationship of give and take between two people. This, if defined in one word, is what is known as “respect”. It is through respect that one learns to notice other people’s rights; and in return, gets his/her rights fulfilled as well. Human relationships are strengthened when the seed of respect is sown; whereas its absence may yield devastating results which are quite noticeable at present with the increasing percentage of people falling prey to life shattering evils.

A glimpse at the past and present 

Allah Almighty (swt) sent Prophets (as) upon nations that deviated from the straight path till a seal to the Prophets (as) was put with the revelation of the final message. Man found it comprehensible as Prophet Muhammad (sa) practiced what he preached. That was how people adopted his way of life and considered it a responsibility to pass it on. To be more precise, it was the acquisition of this “knowledge” that justified man’s role as a man- because it was what our Creator chose for our betterment.

The lives of the Arabs revolutionized with the advent of Islam. But prior to that, they lead completely different lives. Evil lurked in their society to the extent that there remained no evil that they weren’t involved in. What we see these days is similar to the pre Islamic times, but a total opposite to the golden times. One can easily see how our priorities have changed. The rule is quite simple. In order to do good, one must know what good really is. And, that happens through the acquisition of knowledge that revolutionizes beliefs.

Concept of respect in Islam

Islam is the way of life that sets certain rights and responsibilities for each and every individual despite of the restrictions of age, nationality, race, or class. This rule in return brings contentment for everybody. Following are some points regarding the concept of respect in Islam:

1.      Respecting parents

Parents are such people in our lives who, in order to fulfill our needs, often give up theirs. Most of us must have witnessed our mother’s sacrifice when she gave up her wish to buy new clothes on Eid to grab ours. Our father must have taken us for recreation, even though at times he may be feeling tired. Both of them must have had sleepless nights just because of us. It is due to such reasons that in Islam parents are said to be treated likewise when they grow old.  Allah (swt) says,

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.” (Al-Isra 17:23-24)

2.       Restoring an orphan’s property

Living with a family, especially with parents, provides a supportive environment which no other thing can substitute. This is what an orphan child yearns for. Islam condemns the act of depriving an orphan of his/her rights. Allah (swt) says,

“And give unto orphans their property and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by adding it) to your substance. Surely, this is a great sin.” (An-Nisa 4:2)

3.      Greeting with respect

It is in Islam that even a greeter is said to be greeted better than him/her. Allah (swt) says,

“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.” (An-Nisa 4:86)

4.      A bully is up to no good

Scornful attitude is what we hear people calling “cool” these days. We often find it in educational institutions under the name of ragging, which at times crosses all limits- despite of the teachers’ intervention. And many children and even adolescents fall prey to depression- just because of this. It would not be wrong to say that children often learn such responses from their parents when they are busy in ridiculing others. No matter how normal we term it as, Allah (swt) has a commandment for that which we need to know. Allah (swt) says,

“O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith (i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: “O sinner”, or “O wicked”, etc.) And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.).” (Al-Hujurat 49:11)

5.      Respect for a wife

If any man intends to treat his wife with respect, he must learn to do that from the life of Prophet Muhammad (sa).

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) that the Prophet (sa) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Marital Blues: He Loves Who?

divideredThis is the dilemma most of the men around encounter, as soon as they step into a marital relation. The first few months are a bliss, since there is absence of responsibilities and family pressures. He is solely a husband enjoying with his better half and guarding and combating for his beloved’s rights and desires. He cannot imagine a single thorn to prick her feet that would cause her pain or anguish. However, the picture starts to dim, as the time passes by. Later things start to deteriorate, when he is being questioned by his emotional mother and sentimental wife. The tug leaves him despicable and perturbed. “What can I do to make each of them happy?” is a common question that pops up on the surface of his consciousness. He starts to avoid and ignore the situations that direly require his supervision, wise decision and problem solving. He spends most of his time secluded in his own cave. The love is now out of the window.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve. Women are possessive by nature. One of my male teacher said, women are possessive. It is all about their family – its wellbeing, its health and all related to their own kith. For this reason, it is natural for a mother to feel insecure and jealous when her son’s attention, love, care, and time is divided. She cannot tolerate the shift and thus, resentment follows towards the new addition. In this situation, the man has to be cautious of the mother’s feelings and tackle accordingly by giving her time and constant reassurance about the status she still holds in his life. On the other hand, the wife who is newly wed to him craves for his attention and time, love and care. He should balance the two entities with insight and not to make any one of them feel unloved and ignored.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve

There are some common points to ponder on before a man reacts.

Firstly, a woman who is now your wife is not an outsider. She is a part of you and your life. She is not a third person. So do not, I stress, do not make her feel like a fish out of water. It is not about her and us (you and your biological family). When you expect her to treat and take care of your own family like hers, then make her feel a part of the family too. If you are going to shun her and talk behind her back; make detail discussions about her attitude and behaviour to others behind doors; complain to your parents, especially your mother, about her actions or words that you find offending etc. – it all will make her feel isolated. When you expect her not to bad mouth about your family, and some issues that she might be facing with people around; and to deal with the shortcomings with tolerance and oft forgiveness- then you are expected to be as generous as you want her in regard to her short comings and not to bad mouth, complain or nag about her bad points to your family.

Being a man, you are held responsible to earn the bread and butter for the family. You are made the head (Ameer) of the family. Working outside by dealing with people, and surviving peak rush hours of traffic, bearing losses, or not meeting up the desired target may make you vulnerable and depressed. As you expect home and your spouse to be pleasant, the same is expected of you. Pouring down your frustration and tiredness on your spouse and kids is not at all justified.  How can we forget the example of our beloved Prophet (sa) (may peace be upon him) who used to be playful and loveable towards his wives, and he used to pamper them too even when he was given such a difficult and challenging work of Dawah (spreading Allah’s (swt) Deen) and also facing a lot of felicity and turmoil.

A man should neither misbehave with his mother nor speak to her in a loud tone, specifically when the spouse or the kids are around. A mother who has taught you how to speak is not at all worthy of your foul language and raised tone. Treat her in a respectable way, even if you do not agree to her terms and conditions. She may feel degraded in front of others and this will give birth to a grudge in her heart against your spouse (as she might feel her responsible for this outburst of anger and misbehaviour). Satan is everywhere and he loves to instill assumptions in our hearts. Accusations are a result of these whispers of Satan mostly.

You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

You are required to be a man with his own set of rules; forget those days of leniency and childhood. It’s time to act like a grown up instead of crying and complaining. Safeguarding the respect of both is crucial in attaining a good and friendly environment at home. You need to open your ears, but not to believe in everything you listen. At times what you see is not the truth but a manipulated and falsified lie. Do not turn a deaf ear to your spouse’s complaining by considering her guilty every time, and accusing her for things she did not do. Generalizing complains that you have got against her will break her into pieces, and will not earn anything but lack of trust in future. You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos. Limit other’s interference and influence over your decisions- especially governing your own family. It is all about maintaining a balance. You need to decide it yourself by an honest retrospection about your actions. And if you have decided it once that you are too good to be challenged, and you have done a lot to make things workable and your spouse happy- then no one can help you and your highly held ego. We all make mistakes and we all have some short comings. Wise is the one who does not drown in his ocean of I, me, and myself notion and in the pool of self-assumed goodness and sacrifices- but the one who looks beyond it and is ready to make a change. Where a female is involved, you have to deal with it like a fragile thing with lots of emotions, appreciation, recognition, and praise. And when two females are involved, then with these things, the aid of Allah (swt) is a must. Consistency is required when dealing with females, you are not required to do big lofty things, but little tiny things on a daily basis will do wonders. Calling her or texting her once in a day will make her more than happy. It is not necessary to buy expensive gifts every time, a surprise note or a flower will surely earn you grade points.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos.

Supplicate to Allah (swt) for being accurate in your decisions and to be fair in dealings. Pray for tranquility and love among the family members and a heart that is ready to forgive and forget. Dwelling on past issues will not bear any good outcome. So stop being critical and sarcastic. When it is cancerous for you to compliment your spouse, it is cancerous for the relation when you pass nasty comments even under the banner of joke.

In a nutshell, marriage is for man and not for boys. It is not a platform to satisfy your sexual desires and physical needs. If you are not ready to bear the responsibility and to manage all affairs with a hard nerve, then kindly don’t opt to tie the knot soon.

Five Moments to say ‘I Love You’ to Your Wife


  1. When she feels wronged or has committed wrong.

Due to our human nature, most of us tend to move into a reactive mode in two phases of our life: a) when someone has been unjust to us and we are looking for allies and evidences to prove our innocence, and b) when we have perpetuated injustice upon others and try to evade responsibility, either out of ignorance or guilt. In both cases, a spouse’s relationship is tested. It is not recommended to encourage incorrect behaviour but it is best to first reassure your wife that you love her, in spite of her being the victim or the victimizer. Once your emotional account is loaded and she appreciates your sincerity, she will normalize faster and overcome the emotional disturbance within her.

  1. When she falls ill.

Today, nobody welcomes sickness, unlike the Sahabah and our predecessors who got worried when Allah (swt) did not send them ailments. They would think that perhaps He (swt) wanted to grant everything to them in this world and, hence, hold back any chances for repentance. Yes, one should never pray for illness, but when it arrives, it is advised to exercise patience. Help your wife to do that by spending some extra time with her. If that is not possible, ask her what will comfort her. Perhaps employing some reliable help for the house for cleaning or cooking, or maybe letting her spend time with her own family would help. Inform her that her recovery means a lot to you. A bouquet of flowers or something she loves will always cheer her up, too.

  1. When PMS arrives.

This is a state that men most misunderstand because they are not educated about it.  Biologically, a woman becomes very vulnerable during her menstruation period. Due to her hormones, she may become moody, depressed, unnecessarily angry, and at times weepy, too. And you may or may not even be the reason for a battle she decides to pick. It is best to exercise patience with her and not demand things she would not be able to deliver in such a volatile state of mind. The Prophet (sa) is known to rest his head in Aisha’s (rtam) lap while she was menstruating. He handled her very gently and fondly. In the absence of intimate relations between spouses, some women also feel unwanted and under-valued. Hence, a reassurance of your love for her will bring back her sense of belonging.

  1. When your baby is on the way.

Most women are pampered when the first baby is on the way. However, they do experience a mixture of emotions ranging from elation to fear of labour and the upcoming responsibilities. They still need your support every now and then, especially if you live in a joint family setup and do not get sufficient time together. If the pregnancy is a difficult one, where the woman experiences severe nausea and vomiting, and is prescribed bed rest, it is even more challenging for the mother-to-be. For women who are expecting a child and who already have kids to worry about and care for, you can provide trusted help for the house, occasional retreats to her family’s care, if that comforts her, and your tender understanding.

  1. After your baby has arrived.

Amidst the joy of a new baby and postpartum pain of delivery, a new mother is literally besieged with emotions and responsibilities. She has sleepless nights, emotional and physical distress of establishing breast feeding, postpartum bleeding causing weakness, biological developments in the body, influx of guests and family wanting to greet the newly-arrived baby, and in case where she has older children, the guilt of not being able to take care of them. On top of that, she is not able to offer Salah, which makes her spiritually vulnerable. Also, after the arrival of the new baby, the husband and wife sometimes don’t get sufficient time together to talk and share. Hence, make the additional effort to fulfill her needs and spend time with her, facilitating her in her efforts to re-build emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Quranic recitations can be played for the mom and baby to protect them from Satan’s attack.

In times of happiness, one is emotionally self-sufficient and might not need to hear terms of endearment so often.  “I love you” should therefore be said and felt more often in times of distress and misery.


Practical Steps to Become a Productive Muslimah

productivity1Before I begin, I would like to confess that I am a striving Muslimah myself like anyone of you. Therefore all these reminders are for me and you both.

I pray to Allah (swt) that we all become firm in our faith, steadfast on the straight path and gain the reward as promised by Him.

1. Gain knowledge

Being a mother, wife, daughter and a homemaker, all at the same time is not that easy as we all know. But as a Muslimah we have a responsibility towards our Deen. Serving our Deen is the basic purpose of our life. In this regard, seeking knowledge takes the first position. Without knowledge, we won’t know what to do and how to do for the sake of Allah (swt).

The Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” (at-Tirmidhi)

2. Learn It, Be it!

Whatever we learn or understand, whether it is a verse of the Quran, a Hadeeth or any Dua, we should make sure that we start applying it in our daily life.

Once we start observing them, they become a part of our habit and eventually our character.

3. Get smart via smart phones

The big question is how to manage time for learning while juggling between household chores, kids and other responsibilities.

Almost all of us own smart phones and there are lots of beneficial apps available from which we can benefit. Listening to Islamic lectures widens our thoughts and hearts. Play them while cleaning, cooking, nursing your baby etc. so that you use your time in a productive way.

4. Some verses a day keep the devil away!

Use some time of the day, especially when the kids are sleeping, to go through the verses of the Quran so that we are able to concentrate more.

5. Sharing is gaining

We are obliged to share the knowledge Allah (swt) has provided us with, which has become very much easier in this age of technology. We can adopt our own ways to share what we learn. But, not to forget, every small deed should start from home. We should never consider ourselves superior to the other.

6. Serving the family

Doing even the smallest chores at home with the intention of seeking Allah (swt) pleasure will make them fruitful, even making a cup of tea for your hubby.

7. Long-lasting impression on the little brains

Use your creativity to instil Islamic values into the little minds of your children. Simply remind them that their family, toys, dresses are all signs of Allah’s (swt) love, this can be understood even by a toddler.

To conclude, living a life as a productive Muslimah or at least trying to be one, will remind people around you about Islam and it might benefit them as well. All our actions are solely based on our intention as per Hadeeth. Therefore we should strive for good only to please Allah (swt) alone. Keeping our hearts, as clean as possible, is a quality of a Muslimah for “Allah (swt) does not look at your appearance or your possessions; but He looks at your heart and your deeds.” (Muslim)

In the end, don’t forget to keep making Dua, not just for yourself but for others as well.

Beautiful Weaves – Relations with In-Laws

Beautiful Weaves

The Man Who Marries – The Most Critical Player

In a Muslim household, the man of the house is the Ameer (leader). He is the shepherd, who will be held accountable for his flock. He is their leader; he knows them, nurtures them and trains them to become effective members of the Ummah socially, physically, emotionally, mentally and, most significantly, spiritually.

Consider a household in which a set of parents just got their son married. The entire family lives together under one roof. Who will be the Ameer of this family: the father or the son? Until now, it was the father, of course, but now, after their son has wedded, he needs to become the Ameer for his own family as per Islam’s demand. His wife and his offspring to be born will be his responsibility all the way.

The greatest problem that joint family setups and over-protective parenting of today poses is that the man, who is married, hasn’t grown up to be a man. He is clueless about his role, obviously untrained, living in the shadows of his parents and sometimes even financially dependent. This automatically spells disaster. If he has no vision for himself, his wife or the family to come, he will not be granted any freedom to take his decisions either.

He will be an easy prey to manipulation from either side, be it his wife or his parents. Since he will have little courage to stand up for anyone’s rights, he will be controlled. This man will never be able to do justice with any of his relations, because he will eventually tilt towards the oppressor. The oppressed may be the parents or his wife and family.

If boys can go through vigorous and multiple years of academic education and career counselling, why aren’t they prepared for such a pivotal role of their life that will determine their eternity: hell or heaven? And if this sounds too dramatic for you, read on:

“And those who break the Covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allah’s mercy), and for them is the unhappy evil home (i.e. Hell).” (Ar-Rad 13:25)

It is the effectiveness of this role as an Ameer that defines a man’s success and place in his family. If he is able to provide financially, decide wisely, love empathetically, forgive patiently and, above all, treat everyone justly, he will command everybody’s respect and earn Allah’s (swt) mercy, too.

The best means to train yourself is to seek guidance from the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (sa). Parents of boys should offer to them opportunities for taking decisions; it doesn’t matter whether they are wrong or right. They should be encouraged to learn conflict resolution skills. Parents can discuss varied scenarios from home, school, workplace, market and elsewhere and invite them to analyze situations and resolve issues. Shura (advise) should be sought from them, concerning important family matters, so these boys groom into competent Muslim men.

All these means are stepping stones to empowering them for their future role as Ameers of their own families. If they are old enough to marry and be accountable before Allah (swt), why do parents think that their sons are not mature enough to lead their own flock?

Father – The Navigator

With the passage of time, the role of a father has been diminished merely to that of a bread winner. Once he stops putting food on the table for his family, he is not remembered much. This may be due to the fact that while he was striving hard to finance the needs of his family, he was hardly around for bonding with them.

In Ibrahim (as), we see a dynamic father whose genes, sacrifice for Islam and prayers to Allah (swt) prove the obedience we all know Ismail (as) for. Sahih Bukhari narrates that after the death of Hajrah (as), Ibrahim (as) came to visit Ismail (as) and his family; however, Ismail (as) had left Makkah before his arrival. He met Ismail’s (as) wife instead and inquired about him. She replied that he had gone to search for livelihood. Then, Ibrahim (as) asked her about their condition and way of living. She said, complaining to him: “We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution.” Ibrahim (as) replied: “When your husband returns, convey my salutation and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).” When Ismail (as) returned home, he felt something unusual. He asked his wife, if anyone had come in his absence and she narrated the whole message to him. Ismail (as) told his wife: “It was my father, who visited you, and he has told me to divorce you. Go back to your family.”

Ismail (as) married another woman from the tribe of Jurham. Ibrahim (as) stayed away for some time, as long as Allah (swt) wished; he again visited his son but did not find him. He came to Ismail’s (as) wife and asked her about him. She replied: “He has gone to search for his livelihood.” Ibrahim (as) then inquired: “How are you getting on?” asking about their sustenance and living. She replied: “We are prosperous and well-off (i.e., we have everything in abundance). Then she thanked Allah (swt). Ibrahim (as) asked: “What kind of food do you eat?” she answered: “Meat.” “What do you drink?” “Water.”

Ibrahim (as) said to his daughter-in-law: “When your husband comes, give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.” When Ismail (as) returned, he asked his wife, if anyone had called on her. She replied: “Yes, a good-looking old man came to me.” She praised him and conveyed his message to Ismail (as). Ismail (as) replied: “He was my father, and he has ordered me to keep you with me.”

This is the true concern a father has for his son – to be married to a virtuous and God-fearing girl, who safeguards the progeny and serves as a content, loyal and loving companion. Ibrahim (as) ensured that his son builds a strong Muslim home, not the sustenance he was earning, the kind of camel he was riding or the amount of savings his bank account held.

Ismail (as), in turn, was a devout son, who understood what his father meant and immediately paid heed to his command, as he realized Allah’s (swt) pleasure lied in it.

Mother – The Door to Jannah

Often parents end up spending more than 70% of their earnings (and sometimes all their savings) on the well-being of their children. They don’t keep accounts of it, of course, but it is understood that the very best that comes to the family directly goes to kids.

It is natural for these parents to feel insecure, lonely and at times, abandoned, when their kids (especially married sons) begin their own family lives. The situation is worse, if they have not taught the Islamic values and responsibilities the son has to fulfil towards his parents in terms of kindness, care and time spent together. Adding fuel to fire, a stranger in the form of a daughter-in-law steps in. She is viewed with great suspicion and mistrust. She is perceived as a competitor to the mother-in-law, especially when the son forgets to balance his roles and set his priorities.

Often out of envy and possessiveness, mothers do not want to let their sons go, thinking that they will be loved less and altogether forgotten one day. This may assume extreme measures in cases of single mothers, who are either widowed or divorced. Seeing their children settling in their marital lives gives them fear of losing them.

Parents should ensure that their married children assume the new challenges of life independently and patiently. It is recommended to spend on their children, but it is imperative to invest in one’s retirement and for old age comforts. In case the kids are unable to support them, these parents must have financial independence for themselves. It is a great relief to be able to sustain oneself at an age, when one has no income and many medical expenses.

In terms of expectations, married sons (and not their wives) should be held accountable for the parents. If the sons themselves are not available, they have to hire help or arrange any other required means to take care of their old parents. However, if parents do not teach their children the value of this care, it is very unlikely that the sons will ever serve them. It is the custom of disbelievers to consider daughters-in-law to be slaves, servants or caregivers for their husbands’ elderly parents. In Islam, it is the duty of the son or the daughter equally, married or not.

If the daughter-in-law is a God-fearing soul, she will proactively participate in whatever she can contribute. However, it should be considered that if she has children and her own parents to look after, she might be pressed for time. Sadly, parents seldom marry their sons to such practicing Muslimahs, as recommended by our Prophet (sa). Today, many brides are selected purely on the scale of materialism. When homes break up or men surrender before their headstrong wives, parents are the first ones to be thrown out of the family photograph.

When mothers-in-law are the dominant force, another gloomy question lurks – whose house is it? If the daughters-in-law actively participate in the kitchen, they are considered to be interfering, their management skills are incompetent or they are too concerned about impressing their husbands. If they stay aloof, they are considered to be indifferent, lazy or useless.

Management skills of two ladies can be poles apart yet good in their own ways. There is no perfect recipe for running a house. Management styles are as diverse as the people involved. However, in joint family setups, this is a very common stumbling stone. A mother-in-law, who has been managing the home turf for the past twenty-five or so years, is naturally the ‘queen bee’. She can’t be stripped of her title and honour. The daughter-in-law, who has just joined the family, has her own dreams, ideas and priorities; she might find all of these are being trampled upon. The kitchen is a woman’s dominion, which may easily turn into a battleground. For maintaining peace in home, kitchens must be separately owned and managed.

Muttaqi (pious and God-fearing) mothers are a gift of Allah (swt). They are the binding force of the family. With their invaluable experience, they have a great opportunity to transfer priceless traits to the next generation and leave behind Sadaqah-e-Jariya for themselves.

Daughter-in-law – The Peacemaker

Not long ago, mothers taught their daughters the valuable skills of becoming good wives. Nowadays, this mental preparation and training is increasingly skipped. Since no university offers such courses, for many girls, life after marriage may somewhat resemble a bomb exploding in their face. What? I can’t sleep until noon? I can’t chat on my mobile for hours? I have to cook breakfast for my husband that early? I need to clean up my room? I have to mingle socially with my in-laws? That’s it! I am filing for divorce!

You might think this is an exaggeration. However, tragically, it is true. Young girls of today sometimes want to break up simply because they cannot cope with their roles as wives and mothers. For maintaining the perfect figure, they never ate well; thus, their bodies lack the nourishment required for physical challenges of house chores and child bearing. They were raised to go to school, attend college and take up a job – not for being a part of home management. In other words, they were expected to behave like men. Thus, it is only natural that they revolt, when they are expected to do anything else. They feel as if someone else’s role is being imposed on them.

In some cases, married couples, who live with the parents-in-law, enjoy privileges without participating in responsibilities. In other extreme stories, daughters-in-law are treated like servants. With no love for the parents-in-law in her heart, anger and disdain for her husband, because he wouldn’t stand up for her, and frustrated to the core, she sizzles until she can’t take it anymore. The results are easy to predict: the couple gets a divorce, the couple moves out to a new dwelling after an ugly brawl with the parents, or lives on ‘unhappily ever after’.

What does Allah (swt) say about this? After commanding us not to sever ties of kinship, He also advises us to fear Him and be patient. It is impossible to love, honour and care for people, if we think selfishly – Allah (swt) always has to be in the centre. A girl has no blood ties with either her husband or his family. These relationships require nurturing and tending to on a daily basis. It is like a group of strangers coming together and making an effort to like and live with each other. Some will take more initiative, while others might just sit back and do nothing about it.

As a true agent of change and devout Muslimah, every young married girl must grab the opportunity to make that effort. If there is a misunderstanding, do not prove it right by behaving just like that; prove it wrong by behaving otherwise. It takes a while for strangers to become friends – it requires time and hard work. Also, positive thinking and sincere prayers are like a rescue boat sailing high on the stormy seas, whereas self pity, jealousy and lack of empathy for others is like the “Titanic”, running into the iceberg that sunk it.

For solving problems, we should first understand the parties involved and address their obvious and hidden intents by asking: Why do they behave in a certain way? Once the root cause is unearthed, it is easier for us to devise our own strategies in handling the situation. Also, always separate the problem from the person. Just because someone behaves a certain way doesn’t mean that this person is malicious or downright wicked to the core.

Husband and wife are like garments for each other; they are meant to protect, beautify and confide in each other. A wife is the source of solace, comfort and enjoyment for her husband. Honouring the parents of husband is like honouring him. If a husband treats his wife well, it is because of the upbringing he has received at the hands of his parents. Later, when the young wife becomes a mother, she realizes the pains his parents must have gone through in raising him. It is the right of every parent to be respected. Our in-laws are not our blood relations. Yet, they are no less in significance, as our ties with them will influence the happiness of our own marriage.

May Allah (swt) grant us the forbearance and wisdom to build strong Muslim homes. Ameen.

The Women in Your Life

Women in Your Life

  1. Centre of gravity

As a man, you must understand that every woman in your life wants herself to be the focal point of your life. This includes your caring mother, your loving wife and your affectionate sister. Give them all their share of attention and love and maintain a balance in it. It might sometimes feel like walking on a tight rope, but you will be able to nip many evils in the bud, if you can master this art of attention-giving. Chat with them, compliment them and make them feel cherished. Find out what they want to hear from you. Be expressive and warm.

  1. A bankrupt account

Too often, we are tight-lipped about matters that bother us. Learn to communicate this to your loved ones. Let the women in your life know what heightens your misery. It may include seeing discord at home, picking fights over trivial matters or expressing unnecessary criticism. Inform them that it breaks your heart when they behave in a certain manner. So the next time any one of them slips, she would know why you are upset and would not build tolerance for anti-family behaviour. When the Prophet’s (sa) wives requested him for a raise in their monthly stipend, he left them for approximately a month, as a clear indication that worldly affairs were not his priority.

  1. A place for all

As a married man, you will have to decide each and every person’s place and rights in your life. You will respect and care for your mother. You will seek her guidance, as she knows you well and is experienced about matters of life. Getting married doesn’t mean that you will not spend time with her anymore. Similarly, your wife is your trusted companion; she is the closest to you. You will shower her with love and provide for her needs. She will offer you support in ways that others can’t. In response, you will support her, especially in matters related to your own family and your kids’ upbringing. Your sisters will look up to you, if younger, or treat you like a boy, if older. You will have to love them back and be there for them, when needed. Communicate this to all the women in your life, so that none of them would try to twist your arm for dominating you.

  1. Old versus new

This is a challenge in which most men fail. At the expense of new relations, they sometimes abandon their old ones. A mother will always be a mother; no one has contributed or sacrificed what she has in raising you. As per the Prophet’s (sa) Hadeeth, she does have the greatest right over you, while you have the greatest right over your wife. As you enter into the delicate marital relationship, you will have to get to know her better and not take your marriage for granted. Above all, communicate to all parties the importance of both old and new relationships. No one will be forsaken for the other one.

  1. Apples and oranges

The last thing you want to do is draw comparisons between the women in your life. If Aisha (rtaf), the fourth highest narrator of Ahadeeth, could not bear to hear our beloved Prophet’s (sa) praise for his beloved wife Khadijah (rtaf), after the latter’s death, can our women fare any better than that? Women are insanely jealous. If you ever try to compare your mom’s recipes with your wife’s recipes (even if you are right) or vice versa, you may end up in deep trouble.