Related societal bonds tie individuals comprising any society together. The strongest of all societal bonds is that of the family. The beginning of humankind on this planet started through a husband and wife, Prophet Adam and his wife, Hawwa (Eve) in an atmosphere of high moral standards, with divinely guided knowledge and wisdom. A well-balanced family system is the foundation of a happy life. The Qur’an speaks often of family and the importance it holds in society.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: the best of you are those who are best to their families and I am the best of you to my family. He also said: “It is only the evil one who abuses women and the honored one who honors them.” A strong base of knowledge, righteous actions, family education, treating one another with love and mercy, and learning to be satisfied with the gifts God-Almighty has given you in your family, are the cornerstone of a happy home.
“And among His signs is that He has created for you, from yourselves, mates that you may incline towards them and find rest in them, and He has engendered love and tenderness between you. Surely in this are signs for the people who reflect” (30:22) (1)
Islamic Family Values
Based mainly on intelligence and spirit, marriage is not to be seen as the purpose of life. It is meant to be the creation of compassion through a life-long friendship, as well as a means to continue the human race. This friendship is not one that will end in this world, but will continue in the eternal afterlife. Perhaps Gulen said it best when he stated, “What is right is beautiful in character, and the one who is right is sweet. Even if the right falls into the mud, it remains pure and upright. Even if the unjust is washed with musk, it remains impure.” (2)
God-Almighty reminds us of the beauty of this eternal friendship, found in marriage, in the Qur’an when He said “…they are a garment for you and you are a garment for them.” (2:187) The soundest foundation for a nation is a family in which material and spiritual happiness flows. If a nation can make its homes as enlightened and prosperous as its schools, and its schools as warm as its homes, it has made the greatest reform and has guaranteed the contentment and happiness of future generations.
The Qur’an does not only speak of martial relationships. In fact, it offers many superb examples of communication between all family members. In particular, Surah Luqman is full of wisdom and sincere advice for a father/son relationship. In addition, Prophet Abraham in Surah 19 verses 41-50 offers an engaging conversation in regards to dealing with disagreement with a parent. Similarly, we turn to Abraham and Ishmael’s conversation in Surah As-Saffat surah 102 when looking for advice in how to consult our children in our affairs.
Islam gives each family member an important role to play. Fathers and mothers are to raise their children to do righteous deeds, and in return children are to listen, obey, and respect the rights of their parents, on a basis of love and respect. While there is indeed no perfect family, we all must strive to be the best version of ourselves, particularly toward our families.
Unal, Ali. “The Miraculous Quran.” The Miraculous Quran.
Gulen, Fethullah. Pearls of Wisdom. Somerset, NJ: Light, 2005. Print