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House or Home? “Home is where the heart is” forms a well-known phrase which we often hear. However, we seldom hear a person say “house is where the heart is”. The reason is simple – the word ‘house’ generally refers to just the structure, be it of brick and concrete or stone and mud, while the word ‘home’ refers to the special place to which a person belongs and where he feels most comfortable, relaxed and ‘at home’. Let us now ask ourselves, “How many of us feel at home in our own houses?” Before we ‘jump the gun’ in our eagerness to answer, let us ponder over the following: Do we feel trapped in our homes, and feel like we just need to go out? Despite us having every amenity and comfort in our homes, is it inconceivable for us to spend a holiday at home? When we enter our homes, do we feel peace, tranquillity and happiness? Are we overwhelmed by feelings of gloom, depression and frustration? If it feels as if our home is permanently permeated by the darkness of fighting, quarrelling and discontentment, then we need to look beyond Eskom for enlightenment. In this regard, we will find the ‘down-lighter of Dua and the ‘quarrel-breaking contentment-making current of the Quraan indispensable and irreplaceable. Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) says: “The house in which the Quraan is read, its household members increase, virtues and barakah multiply, angels come down upon them and the Shayaateen run far away from there, but the house in which the Quraan is not read, life there becomes difficult and empty of barakah, angels leave the house and the Shayaateen stay in it.” (Ithaafus Saadatil Muttaqeen vol. 4, pg. 466) Naturally, the environment of a house filled with Shayaateen and void of angels will be one of misery and unhappiness. However, there is no need to despair, as we literally hold the flawless formula in our hands – The Quraan. We need to enliven our houses, transforming them into homes of happiness, by daily reciting some portion of the Quraan. Whether collectively or individually, every member of the home should be part of this effort to illuminate the home with the Noor (light) of the Quraan. When recitation of the Quraan is replaced by reading posts on WhatsApp and Facebook or reading novels and blogs, then the angels are forced to flee as the Shayaateen flock to the family’s home. Just as we repel mosquitoes with ‘Peaceful Sleep’, let us repel the Shayaateen with the Quraan to enjoy peace, not only in our sleep but also in our wakefulness, and in every other aspect of our lives. uswatulmuslimah