Family Relationships In Islam

by | Dec 26, 2012

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Family relationships in Islam have great values. After passing a whole busy and hectic day. I returned home from my office, badly tired, crossing the entrance of my home I was thinking about what tasks I had to do tomorrow in the office. Planning the whole thing in my terribly aching head I pressed the door handle of the main door. And I was not even completely entered in the home when my little daughter came running fast to hug me with her cute little arms opened wide.

And all of a sudden I forgot whatever I was thinking. and bowed down to pick up my daughter in my arms. Meanwhile, the smiling face of my wife appeared. She took my office bag and files from me and brought a glass of juice to freshen me, even without my demand. And My son was also sitting aside me and telling me that he scored highest in his test today. In all this beauty of my family I just totally forgot whatever tension I had a few minutes before entering my home. How my boss scolded me today. whatever plenty of tasks were assigned to me, whatever tensions and frustration I had. I was totally free of them now. And the reason was MY FAMILY. That is why great importance has been paid to family relationships in Islam.

Relationships in Islam:

Family relationships in Islam are just one of the great blessings of ALLAH Almighty on us. Which a Muslim is encouraged to enjoy freely. Because Family is considered a cornerstone of the whole society in Islam. Being a complete social institution, when we say, FAMILY. by it, we mean all relations, husband, wife, children, and parents.

The Prophet (SAWW) said,

“The best of you is the best to his family. and I am the best amongst you to my family.”Tirmidhi, IbnMaajah.

Imam Shawkaani states in his book Nayl Al-Awtar. (6/360):

“This is pointing to the fact that the best people. and those most worthy of this description are those who treat their family the best. Surely, the family deserve the most to be happy. to be treated with good manners and kindness. and to be protected from harm and provided with what benefits them. So, if the man fits this description, then he is the best of people. and if, on the other hand, he acts contrary to this, then he is in the realms of evil.
You frequently see people falling into this trap. So you see a man, when he is with his family he has one of the worst characters. he is stingy and mean and shows them little kindness.
However, when he meets others he is gentle. shows good character, joyful and does a lot of good. There is not a shadow of a doubt. that this type of person is deprived of success and has deviated from the straight path. We ask Allaah for the well being”

When it comes to family relationships in Islam. or what Islam means by building a family, then there are 2 types of major relationships which constitute whole family:

1)      Husband wife relationship.

2)      Parent-child relationship.

Both of those relations carry equal importance. although both exist in different but overlapping dimensions. We will discuss both of them one by one.

Husband Wife Relationship

For husband-wife relationship following verse beautifully portrays the right Islamic atmosphere:

“And among his signs is this. He created for you spouses from yourselves. that you might find rest in them. and He ordained between you love and mercy.” (30-21)

As an internal organization of family relationships in Islam. The man is held in charge of the family. especially the matters lying outside the family (e.g. economical, disciplinary issues, etc.). Whereas female is responsible for internal matters of a family. (e.g. looking after the home, bringing up of children, etc.). Both have equal but unique responsibilities and positions.  Often people confuse this uniqueness and equality of status of women and men in the Islamic system of family. they think a man a ranked higher. Its true in some cases like decision power is vested in man but to compensate it. women are ranked higher when she is a mother.

Men are in Charge of Women:

“Men are in charge of woman. because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other. and because they spend of their wealth (for supporting them and the family)”.

“And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them according to what is equitable, and men have a degree (of advantage) over them, Allah is Mighty, Wise.”

Holy Prophet (SAWW) said:

“it is only the evil one who abuses them (women). and the honored one is he who honors them”

Each of the husband and wife has been assigned his/her responsibilities. and both are liable to judgment equally if anyone fails to fulfill them. Both have equal rights to each other.

For a peaceful atmosphere of family. mutual understanding and love of both partners are very crucial. As marriage is not just a temporary union of two people. but it is meant for the entire span of life. Both must understand the problems and needs of each other.

Parent-Child Relationship:

When it comes to the parent-child relationship, at first Islam assigns the duty to parents, for proper and well treatment of children. Their grooming, education, food, clothing, and everything. It orders:

“Don’t kill your children for fear of poverty. it is We who provide sustenance for them and you; verily killing them is a most heinous crime.!” (Al-Isra’: 31)

And then it orders children too, to obey and care for parents. Even a bad breath against our parents has to be controlled when we are in danger.

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship non but Him. and that (you show) kindness to parents. Should one or both of them attain to old age with you. Say not “Fie” unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little. Your Lord is best aware of what is in yourselves. If you are righteous, then Lo! He was ever forgiving unto those who turn unto Him.” (17: 23-25).

In the Quran:

And similarly, the Noble Qur-an refers to a parent-child relationship is in chapter 46 called Al Ahqaf where Allah says:

And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind toward his parents.  His mother bears him with hardship and delivers him with hardship. His bearing and weaning are thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years. he says: ‘My Lord! Arouse me that I may give thanks for the favor where with you have favored my parents. and I may do right acceptable unto you. I have turned unto you repentant and Lo! I am one of the Muslims.

ALLAH loved this relationship of the child with his parents so much. that a dua  Is added to the tashahhud in prayer thus we end our prayer saying these words. 5 times a day in every 2 rakaat:

O Lord, Make me and my children steadfast in Salah. Our Lord accepts the prayer. Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers on the Day of Judgement.

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