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Persevering through Family Pressure Alhamdulillah, I was born to loving parents who made a change in their lives – change for Deen to become the objective of their lives and the lives of their progeny till Qiyaamah. So with the grace and mercy of Allah Ta‘ala, I did not face any challenge within my home, as the environment in our home had already been created and was an environment of Deen and the sunnah. But yes, I did face many challenges. Most of us do at some point in our lives, and maybe we face the hardest challenges (when it comes to hijaab and niqaab) with our own family and relatives. Although I grew up with some of my cousins, my siblings and I were always different (we did not go to every place that they went to and we did not do everything they did). We dressed differently, our lifestyles were different and we were home schooled. Being little, we played together, we prayed together and weekends were spent together (but my parents did not compromise on the manner in which they were raising us). But things began to change when we reached pre-teens… I started wearing the niqaab early, before salaah etc. became fardh on me, and it was entirely my own choice to do so. Initially, I even felt like I couldn’t breathe with my niqaab and felt extremely hot in it! Alhamdulillah, about ten months later, I began making purdah (not interacting with and remaining concealed) from boy cousins, non-mahram uncles and all non-mahram men, only with the favour of my Rabb. Some would make it a point of discussing certain places or topics which they knew would make me feel totally uncomfortable! They would comment on the modest dressing of myself or my siblings. I became a stranger to them, as if I was an alien from mars! Just because I did not allow a photograph of myself to be taken or I did not take photos myself... Just because I wore a burqa over my cloak... Just because I made purdah from boy cousins... It hurt... They were not making fun of me. To me, they were making fun of Deen. May Allah Ta‘ala protect and save us all and our progeny till Qiyaamah, aameen. There were naturally many braais, family functions, engagements, weddings, etc. which we did not attend as our purdah would have definitely been compromised. Grandparents and relatives would become upset and we were made to feel as if we were in the wrong. However, time passes. Eventually, grandparents and relatives came to realize that I was not trying to practice on Deen because of my father. I don’t know why some people feel that my loving father was strict in the way he brought me up. If a child’s upbringing is on Deen and the sunnah, why is it regarded as strict? To me, it is pure and true love, as my parents are making an effort to protect me from so many evils and are concerned about my Aakhirah which is everlasting! We often face the challenge: The happiness of family vs The happiness of Allah Ta‘ala. Regarding this challenge, I always think of this hadeeth, which I have heard or read in ta’leem: ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) narrates that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said something to this effect: “He who seeks Allah Ta‘ala’s pleasure at the cost of people’s anger, Allah will suffice him against the trouble caused by people, and he who seeks the pleasure of people at the cost of Allah’s anger, Allah will leave him to the people.” (Sunan Tirmizi #2414) Sometimes or many a times, we are made to feel like strangers for practicing on Deen and adhering to the sunnah. May Allah Ta‘ala bless us with the glad tidings of our beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who said, “Islam had commenced like a stranger in the world (outwardly seeming like the odd one out in society), and soon before Qiyaamah, Islam will again be seen as a stranger (among the people). Glad tidings be for those who are regarded as strangers (on account of them remaining steadfast on Deen).” (Saheeh Muslim #372) Alhamdulillah when there is a good environment at home, and the father and mother are on the same Deeni wavelength, then it becomes easy and natural for the children to practice Deen. I can only thank Allah Ta‘ala for the decisions my loving parents made. I do not feel like I was deprived of anything! The first step of doing any good is hard – like the feeling of not being able to breathe the first few times I wore my purdah! Once, I attended a ta’leem programme for young girls. The ‘Aalim that addressed us from behind the screen mentioned, “When we take a step to obey or get closer to Allah Ta‘ala, our battle with Shaitaan starts. All along he was not worried about us, but when we decide to make Deen and the sunnah our objective, he will try harder to dissuade us from achieving our goal.” Beloved sister! Maybe you are not wearing the niqaab and making purdah, but just respect the girl or woman who is. Make it easy for her to remain committed to Deen and her purdah. Encourage her – tell her that you admire her for taking a step closer to Allah Ta‘ala. O Allah! Bless us all with true modesty and chastity and fill our entire being with noor and hayaa. O Allah! Give us the courage to do good and the strength to stay away from all types of evil, aameen. Uswatulmuslimah.co.za
Family Day Out One day out of the many days of life. A man was traveling with his Wife and Kids. On the way, he met someone standing in the roadway. So he asked him: Who are you? He said: I am Money The man asked his wife and kids : Should we ask him to ride with us? They said together: Yes, of course, because money can help us if we want to do something, and get anything we wish for. So, they took Money to ride with them. And the vehicle continued on its way until the man met someone else on the road. The Father asked: Who are you? He said: I am high Position and Power So, the father asked his wife and kids : Should we ask him to ride with us? They all answered in one voice: Yes, of course, because with high position and power we will have the ability to do anything we want and own anything we desire. The man took high Position and Power along and the vehicle went ahead. Further ahead they came across many more people who offered to add joy and comfort to their trip, and with the advice of the family, the man kept allowing them to accompany him. Yet again the vehicle was stopped by someone who wanted to give them company. The Father asked: Who are you? He said: I am Deen. The man, his wife, and the kids said in one voice: No, this isn't the time; we are looking for pleasures on this trip, and Deen will prevent us from joy; it will have control over us, and we will suffer listening to it and being loyal to it. So the man said:Deen, please wait and rest assured we will definitely return soon to you, and pick you up. Sadly Deen was left behind and the vehicle continued its trip. And out of no where something appeared in the middle of the road STOP!!! They found someone asking the father to get out of the vehicle.. He said to the father: As far as you are concerned the trip has ended!!! ! Get out of the vehicle and come with me. The father was shocked with fear and didn't say a word. Deen alone can come with you. Is he there with you? The father answered: No, but I have left him not too far behind. If you can let me go back, I can get Deen in no time. There is no going back from here. Huh! said the man. I have my Money, Position and Power, my Wife, and my Kids, The man said to him: They will not benefit you; nor will they protect you. So, the father asked: And who are you exactly? I am Death. the one you were quite heedless of and didn't take into account on your trip!! The father looked back at his vehicle; he found his wife taking control of it and continuing the trip with all of its passengers but him. 'Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.' Qur'an 9:24 'Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.' Qur'an 3:185 Let us remember, our journey may end any moment and let us make sure that our Deen is there with us. https://www.muftisays.com/blog/abu+mohammed/235_26-03-2010/family-day-out.html
Why fathers are neglected in old age A must read for all fathers! (and mothers too!) In the lifetime of most Nigerian families (but is now universally applicable), there are 3 dispensations of power: 1) The first 25 years in the life of the family (father, mother, children) where power indisputably rests with the father. 2) After the kids have grown and started working and the power shifts to the mother. 3) When the kids move out of the family house or start their own families and the power moves to the children. The 1st dispensation Total dominance of the father. He is the lion of the tribe of his house. The boss. During this dispensation, the father rules with an iron fist. He barks orders & determines what does or does not happen. The father often metes out corporal punishment to the recalcitrant children. They grow to fear him more than they love him. The father is the provider for the family & everyone is aware of that fact with all resultant consequences. The 2nd dispensation The children have finished school and have started working. Power now shifts to the mother. When the children start earning their own money, for some reason, it’s their mothers they decide to look after. They are closer to her. While the father was in charge, he was busy with the business of providing. He didn’t have much time to be a friend to the children. They spent more time with their mum and invariably grew closer to her. They also see their mum as co-victims of the father’s tyranny. The mother takes centre stage at this point. She is the first to know what’s happening with the children & she has advantage. Should any of the daughters give birth, she is the one that goes for babysitting and the children spoil her with gifts. At this stage, the father is wishing for some bond with the children like they have with their mother but that boat has sailed. Because the mother doesn’t rely much on the father for her needs at this stage, she is less likely to tolerate his lordship. The 3rd & last dispensation Power has shifted to the children. They are self-sufficient, live on their own & have own families. More often than not, whenever there is a quarrel between father & mother, the children side the mother. Years of joint-victimhood at play. Children have been known to come to the house to warn their father not to ‘disturb’ their mother. Woe to the father if his finances are precarious at this stage. This causes most men to fall ill & develop different complications. By this time the forces are arrayed against you. Stroke, hypertension, high-blood pressure. The man has a large family but no relationship with them in later life. A deeply troubling thought. Lesson: Moral, dear men, while the power lies with us, let us wield it with posterity in mind. It won’t be with us forever. 1) With the way you are treating your wife now, how will she treat you when power shifts to her? 2) What relationship do you have with your family? Loving dad or despotic, tyrannical provider? 3) Remember, the children always side with their mother. Aim to do enough to at least get a fair hearing in future moments of family strife. 4) Invest wisely for the future so that you won’t have to beg to be taken care of if despite your best efforts, you find yourself alone. Advice to children: It is not good to abandon your father who denied himself to get you prepared for life & who sacrificially sowed to make you who you are. Honour both your parents and take good care of them in their old age. That is how you too will sow into your future. Don’t let neglecting your father (or mother) be a curse on you into your future. Advice to mothers: Don’t incite your children against their father. Parenthood is not easy despite its joys. May Allah Ta’ala help each and every one of us and grant us the correct understanding. Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) Council of Muslim Theologians