family is the Islamic social order. The
aim of Islam is to establish an ideological society, with moral codes,
commitment to the Khilafah and purposive orientation of human behavior where the
discipline is not an imposed discipline, but one that flows out of every
individual’s commitment. In the society where, the social codes have been
followed and the system operates in a way that strengthens and makes strong
bond between all family members.
foundation of family system
The Almighty Allah states in Quran,
And Allah has made for you from your homes a place
of rest ( Al-Nahl: 80)
Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and family
According to Islamic teachings, the
relationship starts with nikkah (marriage).It is the firm contract of rights
and duties between spouses. This firm bonding brings husband and wife together
for the entire life and both get equal rights and are assigned equal duties. The
contact between man and woman is natural. In this universe, the Almighty Allah
has created things including human beings in pairs. The Almighty Allah
We created you in pairs an Naba 78:8 2
A reason for the creation in pairs i.e.
man and woman is, when they join in nikkah, complete humanity. Marriage bond is
provided to the fulfillment of sexual desire in a most appropriate way.
Institution of family becomes sacred as its establishment and maintenance is decreed
by Almighty Allah Who states in Quran,
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? Ar-Rum 30:213
Principles and rules for man and woman in family
Family is an important institution of
state. Principally, a state is required to be headed by a person; a family is
also required to have a head. A man possesses those qualities which are
required for the custodianship of family. In fact, in His book Allah says,
are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them
to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means”
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him)
“Allah says ‘Men are the protectors and
maintainers of women’ meaning that the man is in charge of the woman, i.e.,
he is the leader and head of the household, the one who disciplines her if she
goes astray because Allah has made one of them to excel the other’ i.e.,
because men are superior to women and are better than women. Hence Prophethood
was given only to men, as was the position of khaleefah, because the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘No people shall ever prosper
who appoint a woman as their ruler.’ This was narrated by al-Bukhaari from the
hadeeth of ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Abi Bakrah from his father. The same applies to
the position of qaadi (judge), etc.
spend (to support them) from their means’ refers to the
mahr and the spending on women’s maintenance that Allah has enjoined upon men
in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him). So a man is inherently better than a woman, and he is
superior to her because he spends on her. So it is appropriate that he should
be in charge of her, as Allah says, ‘but men have a degree (of
responsibility) over them’ al-Baqarah 2:228. 5
‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah said, narrating from Ibn
‘Abbaas: ‘Men are the protectors and maintainers of women’ means that
men are the leaders of women and they should obey them in areas where Allah has
enjoined obedience. Obedience may mean treating his family kindly and
protecting his wealth.”
Ibn Katheer, 1/490) 6
. Man has an edge over woman in some
The Quran states, ‘And in no wise covet those
things in which Allah hath bestowed his gifts more freely on some of you than
on others: to men is allotted what they earn and to women what they earn: but
ask Allah of His bounty: for Allah hath full knowledge of all things. ‘An- Nasa
In family, man is required to provide
sustenance to his wife and children. Woman is free from all economic struggles.
Instead, she is expected to be obedient to her husband. She is guardian of the
private life of her husband. It is wife who knows all weakness and frailty of
man and husband became vulnerable if his wife did not take care of him.8 .A man
can take the following measures to restore order at home. Woman should be
persuaded through arguments and guidance and then through warning to mend her
ways. If woman does not do adhere, then, man should separate his bed from her
and try to make her realize the negative consequences of her behavior. If this
does not work, man is then allowed to punish his wife physically. However, the
physical punishment should not be severe in nature, but should be that of a
teacher correcting students. It is pointed out that punishable disobedience is
not an ordinary one. Physical punishment of wife is allowed when it challenges
authority of the head of family. An anarchic situation is expected to appear in
family, if it is not checked in time.9Moreover, disobedience does not mean an
error, carelessness, or negligence. Secondly, the punishment should not be
severe. According to Javid Ahmad Ghamidi, the punishment should not leave a permanent
imprint on the body.10 .If punishment works and behavior of wife return to
normal, then she should be pardoned and man should not be in search of a pretext
to take revenge from her.11
order to maintain the bond of marriage, Islam emphasizes greatly on the
reconciliation of husband and wife if there is a dispute between them. In such
cases, formation of a reconciliatory committee is suggested husband’s side and
the other from the wife’s side.
In case of separation, a method has been
proposed, leaving room for reunification of the couple. After two pronouncements
of man divorcing his wife, they can reunite on their own. After the third
pronouncement they can reunite only if the woman marries another man and that
man divorces her or dies. If a person violates the proposed method of divorce
then certain punishment can be awarded to the violator.12
After separation, the most important
issue is future of the children. In views, upbringing of children by the
parents is very important. His summaries the teachings on the subject as
enumerated in the Quran: The divorced woman is required to breast feed her
infants for two years if father of the children wishes so. During this period
man is required to pay for living expenses to his ex-wife according to his
financial status, requirements of the woman and customs of the locality. After
paying to mother, the child can be breast-fed by another woman as well.13
Another important issue after separation
is the second marriage by any of the ex-spouses. The holy Qur’an clearly
instructs that nobody should hinder the marriage of the ex- spouse. Islahi
warns that some families consider second marriage as an insult and try to
prevent women from doing so. In such situations, Islahi says, woman starts
unlawful, secret sequel contacts. As doors of remarriage are closed for woman,
she has no choice but to elope. It thus results in stigma and humiliation of
her family14 .In some cases it even generates enmity and inflicts heavy
financial and human losses.
The method of separation is not simple;
rather the most complicated one and divorce should not be taken lightly. If
somebody wishes to pronounce divorce, he should think a hundred times about the
far-reaching consequences of such a decision.15The provision talaq (divorce)
with nikkah is not a part of the original scheme (a man and woman live together
for the whole life) but it is the unavoidable treatment of an unwanted
situation which does occur in social life.16Separation of husband and wife is
the most undesired among lawful things before God.17
3. Man and Woman
interaction and Pardah
A family i.e. man, woman and their
children cannot live in isolation. They have to contact people outside the
family. For a woman it is necessary to cover her face when she goes
It was narrated from
Safiyyah bin Shaybah that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) used to
say: When these words were revealed – “and
to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and
bosoms)” – they took their izaars (a kind of garment) and tore them from
the edges and covered their faces with them.
Narrated by (al-Bukhaari,
But according to some ulma during time
of emergency, a man is allowed to touch a woman. A woman can also appear
without veil before a judge.19
According to Muslim scholars, in three categories
that a woman can meet and this classification can be named as closest circle of
relatives; a closer circle of relatives and friends; and outsiders and
The closest circle includes closest relatives
only e.g. husband, father, brother, father-in-law, nephews, stepbrothers, small
children etc. In such a situation, a woman is allowed to appear without any
veil before these relatives. She is also not prohibited to display her beauty
Second category of people includes all
those people set down in verses of surah, Al-Noor. These verses described the
kind of Pardah, which Muslim women are required to observe strictly.
The third category comprises outsiders
and strangers. Usually a woman meets such people in public. It is asserted that
all Muslim women are instructed to remain at home and should not go out
In order to protect dignity of the
Prophet, the wives of the Prophet were instructed to remain in their homes.
Moreover, the wives were instructed to
be available in their homes, as their special status and responsibilities
required from them.
In verse (33:59) the wives of the Prophet
and Muslim women were instructed to wear jalbab when they came out of their homes.
This Ayah clears the man and woman social aspects interactions. The Almighty
tell the believing women to reduce some of their vision and guard their
private parts and not expose their adornment except that which necessarily
appears thereof and to wrap a portion of their head covers over their chests
and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their
husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their
brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands
possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who
are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their
feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in
repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed (24: 31)
This verse shows that it is for the
protection of Muslim women from the mischievous people.
Principles and rules for Parents
Parents in a family occupy a unique place.
It concludes that after God, a person should be more grateful to his parents.
Among the parents, mother’s position is superior to father.
In the holy Quran it is stated that,
‘And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to
his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and in years twain
was his weaning: (hear the command) “Show gratitude to Me and to thy
parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal (’31:14, 15) 21
The following hadiath refers to the
above mentioned verse,
The Holy Prophet said, If anyone did not thank his parents,
he did not thank Allah.
Although, the reason of mothers superiority,
their sacrifices are greater than fathers during each stage of child rearing.
The women bear the hardships at the time of birth and then render all kinds of
sacrifices in the nurturing of children. Therefore, man is instructed to give
much attention to his mother.
A man came to
the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants
the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then
who? So he replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet
replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So he replied:
“Then your father.” (Sahîh Bukhârî 5971 and Sahîh Muslim 7/2)22
towards parents is not something taught by religion alone. In fact, God has
imbibed in human nature of kindness towards parents. This attitude later on was
practiced by the prophets and his companions. It has been recognized in all
religions that after God, parents have the greatest rights over their children.
It further states that the first realization of the right of any individual
over another individual is the recognition of parents’ rights. Kindness towards
parents is not enough, they need heartfelt affection and love .In fact, pure
love and complete obedience towards parents is required from the children. It
is possible that a person may commit mistakes in his dealing with parents, but
if love and affection exist these unintentional mistakes can be forgiven and
forgotten. Man should always request for God’s blessings on his parents
kindness and obedience. The limitation has been pointed out in verse of the
But if they press you to associate others with
Me in My Divinity, (to associate) those regarding whom you have no
knowledge (that they are My associates), do not obey them. And yet treat
them well in this world, and follow the way of him who turns to Me in devotion.
Eventually it is to Me that all of you shall return, and I shall then tell
you all that you did.”Surah
It means that when father asks his children to
associate deities with God, then the younger should not obey them. If there is
a conflict between duties towards God and parents, the later should not be obeyed.
They should treat them with tenderness and respect and all their needs should
be fulfilled. All kind of support should be extended to them in time of
necessity. Even if parents behave harshly, they should not be answered in the
same tone. It is pointed out that the actual time of trial for children came
when parents reach old age. He said that before reaching to old age, parents
only have rights. In the later age they become reliant upon their children. In
such a situation, children should keep in minds their own childhood, when they
were dependent upon these parents and who extended every kind of affection and
support to them. Children should serve their parents to the utmost level.
Principles and rules for children
In fact the parents are
instruments of shaping their child either, good or bad. The greatest service
which the parents can render to their children is that they train them to be good
mannered, kind, friends of humans, well meaning, freedom loving, bold, just,
wise, righteous, noble, faithful, dutiful, hard working, educated.
The Holy Prophet said: “The best
thing a father provides to his child is good manners and ethical training.”
The mother has a more
important function to perform towards the upbringing of their offspring.
The Holy Prophet said; “Heaven
(i.e. Janna) is under the
feet of one’s mother.”
The mothers particularly bear
more responsibility for the upbringing of the children. The children spend most
of their childhood with the mothers. The foundation of the direction their
future is bound to take is laid here. So, the key to the vice or virtue of a
person and the progress or decline of a society is with the mothers of the
Family is the first and real place for
educating and teaching mannerism and social norms to children. According to
The child’s mind is like the virgin land.
Whatever is put into it, will be accepted.
The imprints of this non-formal
education institution can be observed in the later life of an individual.
According to the Prophetic teaching a baby is born on his nature i.e. Muslim
and it is the parents, who make him or her Christian, Jew or Zoroastrian. It is
very important and difficult that a baby is brought up on his nature and it
flourishes and is nourished.
In the beginning children merely imitate
their parents. Later parents can guide them in socialization and educate them
in the moral values. Parents should be cognizant about the upbringing of their
children and should focus on their socialization. It is not a mundane duty but a divine
Al-Tabari (may Allah have mercy on him)
must teach our children and wives the religion and goodness and whatever they
need of good anners.24
The most delicate and crucial period of life is
the childhood. The foundation for the future personality of the individual is
established at this time. The slightest neglect might cause harm to the child’s
future personality and temperament.
Religious and moral upbringing
The Surah summarizes Luqman’s wisdom
instructing to care about families and to direct utmost attention to raising
children by basically teaching them faith, morality and the very purpose of
who was not prophet but a wise man Allah had blessed him wisdom In Quran Luqman
advice to his son,
1. Not to ascribe divine powers to anything
other than Allah.
2. To be good and kind to parents.
3. To obey parents unless they command what is wrong.
4. To understand that all our deeds, however minor, are recorded and will be
brought to light.
5. To be constant in prayer.
6. To enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.
7. To bear what befalls him with patience.
8. To avoid pride, arrogance and boastfulness.
9. To be modest in manner and speech.
all parents implemented Luqman’s advice then there would be no need to worry about
the fate of the children because they have been shown the path that leads to
All basic teachings of religion,
morality and etiquette should be communicated to them with love and affection
in a way that the children do not consider it a burden. Even when children do
not follow instructions, a father should not be very harsh to them. Parents
themselves should become role model of practicing ethical values. Teach their child with affection and love is
more effective. Parents should constantly remind their children about the
purpose of this life i.e. trial life and the occurrence of the Day of Judgment.
The presence of children in a family is not only blessing of God but is an
occasion when God tests human beings.
Allah has said to the Prophet Moses (in a hadith al-qudsia):
“Loving children is the best of acts because the purpose of their creation is
for worship of Allah and witnessing the Unity of Allah. If the children die in
their childhood, they would enter the Heaven. (Mustadrak al-wasail ,v 2, p. 615)25
The parents, who
don’t pay attention to the education and training of their children, become
guilty of negligence. The parents are also answerable to the society. Today’s
children will be men and women, the citizens of tomorrow. The fabric of the
society will be made of these individuals. Whatever lessons they learn today,
they shall put them into practice tomorrow. If their upbringing today is
perfect, the society of tomorrow shall be flawless. And if today’s generation
follows a faulty program of training it is imperative that tomorrow’s society
will be evil and perverted. Ali, The Commander of the Faithful, says:
“Evil off-spring is among the greatest
hardships for the parents.”(Ghurar al
hukm, p. 189)
Today’s children are tomorrow’s parents.
Today’s children can be tomorrow’s reformers. If they have received good
training at the hands of their parents, they in turn can carry forward this
practice with their children. By giving the right training to their children,
the parents can render invaluable service to their society. The efforts which
the parents make to educate their children and the hardships that they undergo
in this quest result in the creation of thousands of professors, doctors, and
engineers. It is the parents who strive to nurture perfect human beings,
capable and pious mentors and other professional. The parents, who nurture
truthful, pious children not only serve their children and the society but also
create a niche for themselves in the society.
6. Principles and rule as a member of society
A family that is united and whose
members support one another, Almighty Allah gives them sustenance.
Our holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) said, “The best of virtues is to maintain the ties
with one who has severed it; to give in charity to one who has deprived you of
help; and to forgive one who has done wrong to you.”3 He
also said, “Do not sever the ties with your relations even if they have severed
them with you.
The right of the neighbor is important to the
right of kin. Muslims and a non-Muslims neighbor are equal in this right
because the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) established the right of the non-Muslim
neighbor when he said:
“There are three kinds of neighbors:
1. some of them have three rights upon you: the right of Islam, the right of neighborhood,
and the right of relationship.2. Some have two rights: the right of Islam and
the right of neighbourhood.3. Some have just one right: the non-Muslim who has
the right of neighbourhood.”17
The Prophet said, “The best neighborly act is to be
trustworthy for those who are your neighbors.”18.
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “Accursed, accursed is
he who harasses his neighbour.” He also said, “One who does not maintain
good neighborly relations with his neighbors is not one of us.
A good believer is truthfulness in speech and
action, and fulfilling the promise. The importance of this quality and
fulfillment of promise is more emphasized when we realize that many non-Muslims
judge Islam by the action of Muslims. As much good a Muslim does, he positively
portrays Islam to non-Muslims through his good conduct
peace, reconciling differences, making
friends of one another, and lessening disagreement between them are supposed to
be great reward.
The holy prophet said, ‘Making peace is better than
a whole year of praying and fasting.’
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Let
sustenance flow from God through cha