Positive Habits Which Build Happy Families


Source: Shakwmakw.com

Happy families are built on a set of pillars. The most important of these pillars include: love, understanding, and mutual respect among everyone. These pillars manifest based on how everyone in the house, big and small, interact with each other and commit to them.

Happy families distinguish themselves with certain positive habits which bring their hearts together and leave no room for disagreements and bickering. Following are some of the most important of these habits which every family seeking happiness should implement:

Eating Meals Together

Although family members are usually busy in their lives with work, school, university and other scheduling conflicts, it is very important for them to sit at least once a day together for a meal on one table. Studies show that doing this helps families share emotions and thoughts among each other.

Greetings in the Morning and Evening

It is a must for families to exchange greetings in the morning after waking up and in the evening after returning from work or school. These greetings must be accompanied with a clear smile. This increases the bonds of love between everyone in the house.

Talking More Than Watching Television

With availability of numerous means of entertainment today, such as, television, computers, video games, etc., family members often no longer find time for chatting. This has greatly [negatively] impacted the power of social and family relationships in the homes. Therefore, it is a must for families to get together from time to time and keep away for some time from means of modern technology.

Family Trips

Collective trips is a tradition which now is lacking among many families. It is an important activity for sharing memories and strengthening family relations. For that reason, specific time must be set aside from time to time for family trips. Include all members of the family for such trips whether outside of the country or within it.

Mutual Trust

It is advised not to keep secrets and hide them from the rest of the family members. This is because they are your main support whenever you get into a problem. Keeping secrets contributes to weakness in family relations and shattering of mutual trust among them.

32 Ways of Honoring Your Parents


Source: How Do We Raise Our Children and What is Obligatory on the Parents and Children – By Muhammad bin Jameel Zeno, pg. 30-31

  1. Address your parents with proper etiquette and do not say to them uff [expression of annoyance] nor rebuke them. And speak to them with good words.
  2. Obey your parents always unless it is something sinful, in which case, do not obey them because obedience to the Creator takes preference over obedience to the parents.
  3. Be kind to your parents and do not frown at them nor stare at them with anger.
  4. Preserve their reputation, honor, and wealth and do not take anything from it without their permission.
  5. Do acts to make things easy for them even when they don’t tell you to, for example, helping them [with things], buying supplies for them, etc.
  6. Seek advice from them in all of your affairs and apologize when you have to disagree with them.
  7. [When they call out to you], quickly answer their calls with smiling faces.
  8. Honor your parents’ friends and family members in their lifetime and after they’ve died.
  9. Do not argue with them and when they do something wrong, clarify the right thing to them with good manners.
  10. Do not keep insisting [things] on them nor raise your voice at them. Listen to their speech and behave properly with them. Also, do not bother one of your siblings out of honor for your parents [because it would annoy them].
  11. Stand up for them when they enter [into the room] and kiss their forehead.
  12. Help your mother in the house and do not delay assisting your father with his work.
  13. Do not travel if they do not give their permission even if it is for something important. But if you must go, then apologize to them [before leaving]. Also, do not cut off writing to them.
  14. Do not enter into their room without their permission especially during times of sleeping and resting.
  15. If you are afflicted with smoking, then do not do so in front of them.
  16. Do not eat food before them and honor them in food and drink.
  17. Do not lie to them and do not blame them when they do something you don’t like.
  18. Do not prefer your wife or kids over them, rather, seek to please them before anyone else because the “pleasure of Allah is in the pleasure of parents and the anger of Allah is in the anger of parents.”
  19. Do not sit in a place higher than them [ex: you sitting in a chair while they are seated on the floor] nor stretch out your feet in their presence out of arrogance.
  20. Do not arrogantly attribute the relationship to your father [ex: I belong to such and such family; my father is so and so high official, etc.] and be warned from denying them goodness or hurting them with even one word.
  21. Do not be stingy in spending on them until they complain to you [for their lack of resources] because this is a shame on you and you will see that from your children [as well]. The one who condemns will be similarly condemned.
  22. Often visit your parents and present them with gifts. Thank them for raising you and tiring themselves for you. Just think about your own children and how much you endure for them.
  23. The person most deserving of your honor is your mother then your father and remember that paradise is under the mother’s feet [based on a hadith which means serving your mother is a means to entering paradise].
  24. Beware of being ungrateful to your parents and their anger because it will bring unhappiness in this life and the afterlife. Your children will treat you like you treat your parents.
  25. If you request something from your parents, then be kind to them and thank them for having given it to you. If they refuse to give you what you requested, then excuse them. Do not constantly ask them for things because it could bother them.
  26. When you are able to earn a living, then work and help your parents.
  27. Your parents and wife have a right on you so fulfill their rights and try to reconcile between them when they disagree.
  28. If your parents argue with your wife [over a disagreement], then be wise and try to make your wife understand that you are on her side if she is right and that [at the same time] you are compelled to please your parents.
  29. If you disagree with your parents with regards to marriage or some other path in life, then seek judgement through Islamic law because it is the best aid for you.
  30. Supplication of the parents is answered, whether good or bad, so beware of their supplication against you.
  31. Have good manners with the people because whoever cursed the people, they will curse him in return [ex: you curse someone’s parents so they in turn curse your parents].
  32. Visit your parents in their lifetime and after their death [at their graves] and give charity on their behalf and often supplicate to Allah for them saying: “My Lord forgive my parents”, “My Lord, have mercy on them both as they brought me up when I was small”, etc.

We Need Quality Khutbahs in Our Mosques


There was an excellent khutbah (sermon) last week in my local mosque. I looked around to see if everyone was enjoying it just as much as I was and they were! The vast majority of people were really engaged into his talk. Usually most people are not really paying attention. This got me thinking that how great it would be if we had more quality khutbahs in the mosques on a regular basis. The reality is that most khutbahs on Fridays are low quality and it is very difficult to follow the khateeb (speaker). Most Fridays I’m just internally begging the guy to hurry it up and finish so I can go. Afterwards, I can recall little to nothing from what was discussed. I usually end up day dreaming and just delving into my own thoughts during the speech. But it wasn’t like that last week. I was really engaged the whole time. There are a number of reasons why most khateebs give bad quality khutbahs. Following five are the most common ones that I’ve found:

1) English is not their first language – They cannot communicate the message across very well. The listener is lost due to bad grammar, mispronunciation, bad sentence structure, etc. This is not to say that there aren’t some khateebs who give great khutbahs despite English not being their first language. But this is the exception not the rule.

2) They’re not qualified to be speaking – They mix random things up and deliver a khutbah that makes little to no sense and occasionally isn’t even Islamically acceptable.

3) The khutbah is not relevant to the audience – These are khateebs who talk about issues that the vast majority of the audience doesn’t care for because they’re not relevant to their lives. This is why it is ideal that the khateeb be someone who can connect with the culture in which he is giving the khutbah. He shouldn’t be someone who lives in a bubble and is ignorant of what’s going on around him.

4) The khutbah is void of wisdom – This is when a khateeb gives advice in a way which may not be appropriate for the time. Either it is too harsh of an advice or too soft depending on the situation and the topic at hand. The khateeb should be careful and make sure that what he’s saying is not taken either too lightly or too harshly, otherwise, the audience will reject the message. This also includes speaking about issues that the audience is not yet ready for or may find too idealistic. The message should be practical. For example, demanding that people should regularly pray five times a day in the mosque while many may not even be praying regularly in their houses.  A better khutbah would be to talk about the importance and benefits of praying five times a day.

5) The speaker is not built to speak – Public speaking is a form of art and not everyone can do it. I’ve seen very knowledgeable people who cannot give good khutbahs. Some people are just not speakers. They’re not meant for it.

The question is then why do mosques allow this to continue? It’s very simple. There is more demand and less supply. There are so many Friday prayers going on around the country and the mosques are desperate to fill those spots with people willing to give khutbahs but there aren’t enough good quality khateebs available to fill the spots. Most mosques do more than one prayer every Friday plus satellite locations for many of them. If the mosques were to make a good quality khateeb a condition, then you’re not going to be having too many Friday prayers in the country because the supply is too low. So what ends up happening is that mosques will put almost anyone forward as long as they can comfortably talk just to fill the demand of khateebs.

I hope we can have more quality khateebs in the future one day so that they can permanently replace bad quality khateebs. Imagine if we could have good quality khutbahs given each week all across the U.S. It is then, I hope insha’Allah, that more Muslims will get positively influenced and the religion revived among the masses.

Raising Righteous Children – Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah

righteous children

Source: Tuhfah Al-Mawdud by Ibn Qayyim – P. 158-161 and P. 168-171

Allah Says in the Qur’an [meaning of which is], “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones” [Qur’an 66:6]. Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Teach them [the religion] and teach them good manners.” Al-Hasan said, “Command them to obey Allah and teach them goodness.”

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven. Spank them [1] for [not offering] it when they are ten and separate them in their beds [2]” [Abu Dawud].

The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Inspire your children’s first words to be La ilaha illa Allah [there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah] and prompt them with it during death” [Al-Hakim]

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is reported to have said, “One of you teaching good manners to his child is better for him than giving half a sa’a in charity everyday to the poor” [Tabrani].

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was asked, “O’ Messenger of Allah, we know the right of the father but what is the right of the child?” He (pbuh) responded, “That he be given a good name and be taught good manners” [Bayhaqi]. Sufyan Al-Thawri said, “A person should compel his child to seek [knowledge of] hadith because he is responsible for him. Whoever wants the worldly life [through knowledge of hadith], then he will find it and whoever wants the afterlife, then he will find it.” Ibn Umar said, “Teach good manners to your child because you are responsible for him and he is responsible for being dutiful and obedient to you.”
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