Monday, March 29, 2010

‘My home, my heaven’

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

For ye do worship idols besides God,
and ye invent falsehood.
The things that ye worship besides God
Have no power to give you sustenance:
Then seek ye sustenance from God,
Serve Him and be grateful to Him:
To Him will be your return. (Ankabut 29:17)

RECENTLY I registered my thirteen year old son at a residential school. The fees (for food, Parents Teachers Association, etc) amounted to more than RM1000. So education is expensive; parents ought to prepare for the financial burden years ahead before their children started schooling, going to secondary schools and to university.

One factor that contributed to domestic violence is quarrels about money. It is common that couples fight over money, normally regarding who should provide for the needs of the family.

Of course in Islam, the father who is head of the family, has to provide for his family’s needs, but in today’s modern society where both husband and wife have jobs and income, splitting the money on who should pay what and how much is not easy; at times it ends in fights.

So newly wed couples have to plan the future regarding money. Perhaps they should start to have special ‘tabung’ (funds) before a child is born, then have an education fund for each child because as years pass by, at every important stage of a child’s growing up such as entering primary and secondary school and university, the financial burden could be minimised.

Even though courting couples seldom think about their future regarding financial burden as they are absorbed in ‘cinta’ (love), when they are married and then have their own families, they will realise that they can’t have ‘cinta’ only, they have to have money to run a place name home. ‘Cinta’ cannot satisfy hunger; you need money to buy food to please your stomach.

To make our home, ‘Rumahku, syurgaku’ (My home, my heaven), one aspect should not be neglected is willingness of the couple especially the husband to work hard to provide for the needs of the family. The husband has to bring in ‘halal’ money for the family needs. Have money, you could go a long way, no money you are in big trouble, as a saying goes.

Normally in domestic violence cases including those involving money, the victim would be the wife but nowadays there are reports that husbands are being beaten by their wives, said one Ustaz Amran Abdullah from PERKIM in his ‘tazkirah’ (Islamic class) at the writer's office recently.

He said the steep increase in crimes including murder, rape cases and juvenile delinquency could be traced from homes; the family system is slowly collapsing, we are now seeing and experiencing events and things that were unthinkable before such as a son murdering his father, a wife killing her husband or a husband stabbing his wife.

In his ‘tazkirah’ Ustaz Amran listed some pointers to achieve a harmonious family, what more blessing from The Almighty.

Among others, Ustaz Amran gave these advises;

1. Before being married, the future husband and wife would have to have the intention of being a good partner.

2. Thanks the Almighty for giving us a partner, the husband should think that his wife is the best for him and vice versa.

3. An exemplary husband makes his wife proud.

4. Smile when the husband returns home, the husband too should be jovial when returning from work.

5. Make sure husband and wife have time to talk to one another.

6. The husband and wife communicate with one another by SMS, telephoning etc.

7. Make the wife happy by telling her stories.

8. Have lunch or dinner together with family members.

9. Husband and wife are encouraged to take their bath together.

10. Help the wife in doing household chores such as mending shoes and shirts.

11. Practise having meetings with family members.

12. Do not divulge each other’s secret.

13. Be respectful on the wife’s family members.

14. Becoming a forgiving person.

15. Fulfill the wife’s need.

Not long ago, the government launched an ambitious program named ‘Rumahku, syurgaku’ (translated literally as ‘My home, my heaven) so that families could have homes that were peaceful heaven – like abode for them.

The most important requirement in making ‘My home, my heaven’ for Muslims is that family members should perform ‘solat berjemaah’ (hold congregational prayers). They too have to practise reading and understanding the Qur’an, reading and studying religious books and ready to help one another.

Ustaz Amran said the wife has to take great care of her husband’s sight, smell, belly and so on. She should make sure he only smells good things from his wife.

There are many books on how Muslims families could make their home ‘Rumahku Syurgaku’. Among them in my home library are ‘The Muslim Home – 40 Recommendations (In the Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah) by Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid’ (International Islamic Publishing House) and ‘Rules for the Muslim Home’ by Sa’eed Muhammad Al-Deeb, also published by In ternational Publishing House.

The writer of ‘The Muslim Home…’noted: “Having a home is a blessing from Allah, the All Glorious. So every Muslim should maintain his home in the light of the guidance and teachings of the Noble Qur’an and honourable Sunnah of the last Prophet, Muhammad (blessing and peace be upon him, bpbuh).

This book discusses issues from forming the household - making a good choice when choosing a wife, striving to guide one’s wife to the atmosphere outside ones house.

In creating an atmosphere of faith in the home, the writer recommends among others, making the home a place for ‘dhikr’ (remembrance of) Allah, making your home a Qiblah (direction of the Ka’bah), spiritual training for the members of the household, paying attention of ‘adhkar’ and Sunnah du’a (supplications) related to home and reciting ‘Soorat’ (Surah) al-Baqarah regularly in the house to ward off the Shaytan (Satan).

About good manners, the writer discusses about spreading kindness in the home, helping one’s wife with the housework, being affectionate towards and joking with members of the family, resisting bad manners in the home and hanging up the whip where members of the household can see it.

Regarding evils in the home, the writer warns about non-mahram (marriageable) relatives meeting women when their husbands are absent, about the dangers of having male drivers and female servants in the house, the dangers of TV and the evils of the telephone.

Meanwhile Sa’eed Muhammad Al-Deeb in his book ‘Rules for the Muslim Home’, puts forward ten rules “to make reader feel the severity and clarity off the word ‘Rules’, and that any disobedience’ deserves punishment either in this life, the Hereafter or in both.”

The rules are:
First rule: Cleanliness and purification.
Second rule: Neatness and, organization.
Third rule: Lowering the voice, keeping secrets, and not annoying one another.
Fourth rule: Organization of worshipping and learning.
Fifth rule: Economy on food, drink, clothes, and living.
Sixth rule: Relations and manners of dealing.
Seventh rule: Taking care of health.
Eighth rule: Protecting members of the home from deviation, and going astray.
Ninth rule: Making charity to the kinship, and the guest.
Tenth rule: The way of entering and leaving the house.

‘Insya-Allah’ (God willing) by following the guidance of scholars be it ‘tazkirah’ or reading their books; we would have the courage to transform our homes into ‘Rumahku syurgaku’ (My home, my heaven).

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