Positive Habits Which Build Happy Families

happyfamily

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.

Was ‘Tahneek’ Specific to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?

tahneek

Source: هل تحنيك الصبي خاص بالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم؟

[Translator’s NoteTahneek is the practice of rubbing a piece of softened date on the roof of the mouth of a newborn. It is a noble practice from Islam with which the newborn is greeted upon entering into the first moments of this life, before any other type of food enters his/her stomach.]

Aisha reported that newborn infants used to be brought to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh). He would bless them and rub their palates with dates [tahneek] (Bukhari and Muslim).

In general, the people of knowledge recommend doing tahneek after a child is given birth. Imam Nawawi even narrated a consensus over it. However, some of the people of knowledge viewed the practice as something specific to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Shaykh Al-Uthyameen said in Fatawa Noor ‘alaa Al-Darb (6/228):

“Tahneek is the first thing that a child tastes after birth but is the practice legislated for anyone other than the Prophet (pbuh)? There is a difference of opinion over it.

There are those scholars who say that tahneek was something specific to the Messenger (pbuh) due to the blessing in his saliva and to make it the first thing that enters into the child’s stomach mixed with a date, therefore, this is not legislated for anyone other than him.

There are also those scholars who say that it is allowed for anyone and not just the Prophet (pbuh) because the purpose is to have the child’s first taste be that of dates. In other words, whoever does tahneek after a child’s birth, then there is no harm and whoever didn’t do it, then that is ok as well.”

This practice not being specific to the Prophet (pbuh) is what is generally followed by the scholars. The practice is reported from among the salaf [early generations]. There is evidence to show that the practice was well known among the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Imam Ahmad reported in his Musnad from Anas (11617):

“Umm Sulaim gave birth a to a boy one night. She disliked to do tahneek on him until the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had done so. So I carried him early morning with ajwah dates [to the Prophet (pbuh)] and found the Prophet (pbuh) rubbing tar on his camels or marking them. So I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, Umm Sulaim gave birth last night and she dislikes to do tahneek until you have done so.’ So he replied, ‘Do you have something with you?’ I said, ‘I have ajwah dates.’ So he took some of them and chewed them and then he gathered his saliva and poured it in the child’s mouth. Then the child began to lick it. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Love of the Ansar is dates.”

Anas’s statement in the hadith, ” She disliked to do tahneek on him until the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had done so”, shows that the practice of tahneek was well known to them.

Ibn Kathir said in Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah (9/303):

“Al-Hasan Al-Basri was born during the caliphate of Umar bin Al-Khattab. He was brought to Umar and he supplicated for him and did tahneek on him.”

It states in Tuhfah Al-Mawdud (p. 33):

“Muhammad bin Ali narrates from the mother of Ahmad bin Hanbal’s child, ‘When I gave birth, Ahmad said, ‘Bring me those dates.’ Then I said to Ali’s mother, chew these dates and do tahneek on him. So she did so.'”

People of Knowledge recommend that if someone cannot find dried dates, then he should use ripe dates, otherwise, anything that is sweet.

Imam Nawawi said in Sharh Sahih Muslim (14/122-123):

“The scholars have agreed on the recommendation of doing tahneek on a newborn with dates. If this is not possible, then whatever is closest to it in sweetness and meaning. The one who does the tahneek chews the dates until they become liquid [enough] to be swallowed [by the child]. Then he opens the child’s mouth and places the liquid in it so that it enters into the child’s abdomen.”

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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Brief Meanings of Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, and La ilaaha illa Allah

dhikr

Certain often repeated words of praise for Allah in Arabic are usually translated in a very boring way. The translation comes off as dull and even confusing at times. However, in Arabic the meaning is very profound but is lost through such translations. Below, I’ve attempted to show the true meaning of four such words in addition to their usual boring translations just to show you the difference.

The following four are also known as tasbeeh, tahmeed, takbir, and tahleel in the Arabic language.

Subhan Allah (سبحان الله): Meaning Allah is perfect in an absolute sense without any defects or imperfections of any kind. Usually translated as Glory be to Allah.

Alhamdulillah (الحمد لله): Meaning all praise and thanks belong to Allah alone because He is the originator of everything. To praise or thank something is indirectly praising and thanking Allah because He is its true Creator. Usually translated as Praise be to Allah.

Allahu Akbar (الله أكبر): Meaning Allah is greater than everything else not just in your life but the entire existence. Usually translated as Allah is Great.

La ilaaha illa Allah (لا إله إلا الله): There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone without any partners in any way or form. Usually translated as There is no god except Allah.

Surah Al-Jinn: A Brief Explanation

jinn

Following is a brief exegesis (tafseer) of Surah Al-Jinn. If you are interested in a thorough discussion on the Islamic viewpoint on Jinns, then Sh. Yasir Qadhi has excellent talks on this topic.

For detailed discussion:

The Reality of Jinn in the Qur’an and Sunnah (Part 1)

The Reality of Sihr (Black Magic), Exorcisms & Jinns (Part 2)

For a brief discussion:

The World of the Jinn & Black Magic

Source: Tafseer Al-Muyassar

Ayah 1 & 2: Say, [O Muhammad], “It has been revealed to me that a group of the jinn listened and said, ‘Indeed, we have heard an amazing Qur’an. It guides to the right course, and we have believed in it. And we will never associate with our Lord anyone.

Commentary: Say, O Messenger, Allah has revealed to me that a group among the jinn listened to my recitation of the Qur’an. Afterwards, they said to their people: We have certainly heard a recitation which is marvelous in its eloquence, rhetoric, wisdom, rulings, and reports. It calls towards to truth and guidance, hence, we have believed in it and acted in accordance to it. We will never [from now on] associate a partner with our Lord, who created us only for His worship.

Ayah 3: And [it teaches] that exalted is the nobleness of our Lord; He has not taken a wife or a son.

Commentary: The Greatness and Majesty of our Lord are exalted. He has [certainly] not taken a wife nor a child.

Ayah 4: And that our foolish one has been saying about Allah an excessive transgression.

Commentary: Our foolish one, meaning Iblees (Satan), was saying against Allah the Exalted [something] far from the truth by claiming that He has a wife or a child.

Ayah 5: And we had thought that mankind and the jinn would never speak about Allah a lie.

Commentary: We never thought that anyone would ever lie against Allah, whether among humans or jinns, by attributing to Him a wife or a child.

Ayah 6: And there were men from mankind who sought refuge in men from the jinn, so they [only] increased them in burden.

Commentary: Men among mankind used to seek refuge/protection in men among the jinn. But the latter [only] increased mankind in fear, terror, and horror. This act of seeking refuge in other than Allah is something which Allah rebuked the people of ignorance for and is [a form of] major shirk, which He does not forgive except through sincere repentance to Him. In this ayah is a severe warning against resorting to magicians, charlatans, and their likes.

Ayah 7: And they had thought, as you thought, that Allah would never raise anyone [after death].

Commentary: And the disbelievers among mankind thought as you thought, O [fellow] Jinns, that Allah would never raise anyone after death. [Some interpreted this ayah to mean that they thought that Allah would never send anyone as a Messenger].

Ayah 8: And we have sought [to reach] the heaven but found it filled with powerful guards and burning flames.

Commentary: And [remember], O fellow Jinns, [that] we used to seek to reach the heaven so that we may listen to the speech of its people [i.e. angels]. However, we now find it filled with many angels who guard it with burning meteors that they throw at anyone who approaches [uninvited].

Ayah 9: And we used to sit therein in positions for hearing, but whoever listens now will find a burning flame lying in wait for him.

Commentary: Before, we used to take seats [near] the heaven so that we may listen [secretly] to the discussions [of the angels], but whoever tries to eavesdrop now will find a meteor [thrown at him], which will burn and destroy him.

Ayah 10: And we do not know [therefore] whether evil is intended for those on earth or whether their Lord intends for them a right course.

Commentary: We do not know, O fellow Jinns, [why such things are taking place and] whether Allah wants evil to be sent down to the people of earth or that He intends for them goodness and right guidance.

Ayah 11: And among us are the righteous, and among us are [others] not so; we were [of] divided ways.

Commentary: From among us are those that are righteous and God-Fearing. And from among us are also those who are disbelievers and transgressors. We are divided and [follow] different ways.

Ayah 12: And we have become certain that we will never cause failure to Allah upon earth, nor can we escape Him by flight.

Commentary: We [the Jinn] realize that Allah is competent over us and that we are in His grasp and [under] His authority. Hence, we can never escape His command wherever we may be and we can never slip from His punishment [by] escaping into the sky.

Ayah 13: And when we heard the guidance, we believed in it. And whoever believes in his Lord will not fear deprivation or burden.

Commentary: So when we heard the Qur’an [being recited by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)], we believed in it [immediately]. And we acknowledged that it is the truth from Allah. Therefore, whoever believes in His Lord, then he does not fear a decrease in his good deeds nor an unjust increase in his evil deeds [on the day of judgment].

Ayah 14 & 15: And among us are Muslims [in submission to Allah ], and among us are the unjust. And whoever has become Muslim – those have sought out the right course. But as for the unjust, they will be, for Hell, firewood.

Commentary: Among us Jinns are those who are submissive and obedient to Allah. And among us are also the unjust wrong doers, who have departed from the true path. So whoever accepted Islam and submitted himself to Allah through obedience, then he is on the true path. [Such people] struggled in their choice [to find the truth], so, Allah guided them to it. As for those who were unjust [to themselves by turning away] from Islam, then they are fuel for Hell.

Ayah 16 & 17: And [Allah revealed] that if they had remained straight on the way, We would have given them abundant provision.  So We might test them therein. And whoever turns away from the remembrance of his Lord He will put into arduous punishment.

Commentary: If the disbelievers among mankind and jinn were to follow the path of Islam and didn’t deviate from it, then We would send down upon them abundance water and expand their sustenance in the world in order to test how they would be grateful for the blessings of Allah upon them. But whoever turns away from the obedience of his Lord, listening to the Qur’an and reflecting on it’s meaning, and acting in accordance to it, then he will be entered into a severely painful punishment.

Ayah 18: And [He revealed] that the masjids are for Allah, so do not invoke with Allah anyone.

Commentary: The mosques are [established] for the worship of Allah [alone], so do not worship in them anyone other than Him. And sincerely worship and supplicate to Him in them. In this ayah is an obligation to free the mosques from anything that may taint the sincerity towards Allah or following His Messenger Muhammad (pbuh).

Ayah 19: And that when the Servant of Allah stood up supplicating Him, they almost became about him a compacted mass.

Commentary: When the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stood worshiping His Lord, the jinn were almost upon him piled up in groups, some of them over others, from their overcrowding to listen to the Qur’an from him.

Ayah 20: Say, [O Muhammad], “I only invoke my Lord and do not associate with Him anyone.”

Commentary: Say, O Messenger, to these disbelievers, “I only worship my Lord alone and do not associate with Him anyone in worship.”

Ayah 21, 22, & 23: Say, “Indeed, I do not possess for you [the power of] harm or right direction.” Say, “Indeed, there will never protect me from Allah anyone [if I should disobey], nor will I find in other than Him a refuge. But [I have for you] only notification from Allah , and His messages.” And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger – then indeed, for him is the fire of Hell; they will abide therein forever.

Commentary: Say, O Messenger, to them: “I do not have the power to remove harm from you nor can I bring you benefit. I can never save myself from the punishment of Allah if I disobey Him nor can I ever find refuge [from] other than Him [so] I flee to Him from His punishment. But I [only] inform you from Allah what He commanded me to inform. He sent me with His message to you.” Therefore, whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and turns away from the religion of Allah, then his recompense is the fire of Hell from which he will never be taken out.

Ayah 24: [The disbelievers continue] until, when they see that which they are promised, then they will know who is weaker in helpers and less in number.

Commentary: When those who associate partners with Allah see what they were promised of the punishment [with their own eyes], then they will come to know who is the weaker helper and the least in troops. [Meaning: those who associate partners with Allah have no helper at all and they are fewer in number than the soldiers of Allah. They will realize this on the Day of Judgement.]

Ayah 25, 26, 27, & 28: Say, “I do not know if what you are promised is near or if my Lord will grant for it a [long] period.” [He is] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone. Except whom He has approved of messengers, and indeed, He sends before each messenger and behind him observers. That he may know that they have conveyed the messages of their Lord; and He has encompassed whatever is with them and has enumerated all things in number.

Commentary: Say, O Messenger, to these people who associate partners with Allah: “I do not know whether the punishment which you are promised is close at hand or my Lord will give it after a long time.” Allah is free from any imperfection and He is the Knower of that which is hidden from sight. He does not make apparent His knowledge of the unseen to anyone from His creation except the one whom He chooses for His message and from His favor. He lets know some of the unseen to such a chosen prophet. And He sends angels in front and behind the Messenger to protect him from the jinn so that the latter do not eavesdrop on the Messenger and whisper [the stolen information] to the soothsayers. Muhammad (pbuh) knows that messengers before him faced similar circumstances as him by preaching the truth and that he is protected as those messengers before him were protected from the jinn. Allah encompasses in His knowledge all that is with them, whether apparent or hidden, and nothing escapes from His knowledge. He has enumerated all things in number, hence, the Messenger does not fear anything from them [because he knows Allah is protecting and watching over him].