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Quranic Guidance on Family Values

 

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The Importance of Family in Islam

In Islam, family is considered as a fundamental institution. Allah has laid great emphasis on the importance of family values in the Holy Quran. The word ‘Ahl al-Bayt’ literally means ‘People of the Household’, where ‘Bayt’ refers to a home or household. This word is often used to describe the Prophet Muhammad’s family, but it has a broader textual meaning as well. In the Quran, Ahl al-Bayt refers to one’s family, parents, children, spouses, and siblings, and is invoked as a unit of social organization, protection, and membership in the community.

The Role of Women in the Family

In many societies, women are often restricted to domestic chores and considered as a weaker part of the society. However, the Quran has deputed great respect for women and has recognized their tremendous contribution to society, especially in the sphere of family. The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) once said: “The best of women is the one whose behavior is the best.” The Quran advises women to be obedient to Allah, their husbands, and their parents (Surah Testament, Verse 24). Women have rights and responsibilities within the family as well. For example, a wife has the right to seek maintenance from her husband (Surah Testament, Verse 7) and also has the right to receive her dowry (Surah Four, Verse 4). Women are also expected to take care of their children, preserve the chastity of the household (Surah Six, Verse 151) and treat their parents with kindness and respect (Surah Lucrative Charms, Verse 36).

Parental Responsibilities and Obligations

Parents play a vital role in nurturing their children, not only physically but also spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Islam recognizes the privilege parents have in shaping their kids’ characters and values. The Quran reveals that parents are responsible for ensuring that their children progress in morality, uprightness and good deeds. (Surah Testament, Verse 23). Children are also obligated to respect, honor and obey their parents for as long as they are undisciplined (Surah Roman, Verse 31). According to the Hadeeth, the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) has advised that a man should cherish his mother for three days after his father’s demise, thereupon, for the period that he would have cherished both (his parents) (Sunan Abi Dawud).

The Concept of Marriage and its Benefits

Marriage is a divine institution that is commanded by Allah and is considered as a blessing for both men and women. Islam encourages people to marry in order to build families and kinship ties. Marriage forms the basis of a healthy and prosperous society and promotes partnership, affection, and mutual understanding. In the Quran, Allah advises: “And marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly, (or do justice to their rights) then only one” (Surah IV: Verse 3). The Quran also highlights the importance of treating one’s spouse kindly and equitably, and encourages couples to live together in harmony (Surah IV: Verse 19).

Parent-Child Relationship: Rights and Obligations

The Quran emphasizes that parents have the right to be treated with kindness, respect, and understanding by their children, irrespective of the age of the child. Children are obligated to show gratitude to their parents for raising them and instilling in them moral, spiritual, and intellectual values. Islam condemns the disrespect of parents, for the Quran states: “But pray ye for them (i.e. Your parents) too; and meditate upon them in the night and day with (the appropriate) Slah (i.e. Sadly) from your own (self)” (Surah XVIII: Verse 23-24). The term Slah in the Quranic context defines profound reflection and realization that combines grief, sorrow and acceptance of hardships with piety.

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