In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
All praise be to Allāh, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allāh from the evil of our own selves and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allāh guides, no one can lead astray, and whomsoever Allāh leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allāh Alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muḥammad is His slave and Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters in Islām, in today’s Khuṭbah, we will like to dwell on the need for us to form or build a home that is islamically ideal, most especially in shaping the life of our children towards truth and good deeds. We must in this direction realize the fact that the home is a microcosm of society in which the children’s mentality, intellect, attitudes and inclinations are formed when they are still very small and are ready to receive sound words of guidance.
Going by definition, a home is defined as a place where the family dwells and settles down, and where they find the comfort and refuge they seek from the labour and stress of life. The home is also described as a unit of the greater organization of a nation as a whole, where authority is exercised by both the husband and the wife. From these humble definitions, we can savely say that the home consists of family members- husband, wife and children. A place where they eat, enjoy intimacy, sleep and rest. All these indicate that the home is a blessing to its dwellers. Allāh says in the Qur’ān:
وَٱللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّن بُيُوتِكُم سَكَنا
And Allāh has given you a place to abide in your homes (Q. 18:80).
Ibn Kathīr while commenting on this verse said:
“Here Allāh is mentioning His complete blessing to His slaves: He has given them homes which are a peaceful abode for them, to which they retreat as a haven which covers them and gives them all kinds of benefits.”
The blessing of having a home cannot be well appreciated if one does not think about those who are homeless, who live in shelters, or on the streets, or as refugees scattered in temporary IDP camps, especially in some parts of northern Nigeria. If one listens to a distressed homeless person saying, “I have nowhere to settle, no fixed place to stay. Sometimes I sleep in so and so’s house, sometimes in a café or park or on the sea-front, and I keep my clothes in my car”, then one will realize the disruption that results from not having the blessing of a home.
When Allāh punished the Jews of Banū Nadīr, He took away this blessing and expelled them from their homes, as He said:
هُوَ ٱلَّذِي أَخرَجَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن أَهلِ ٱلكِتَٰبِ مِن دِيَٰرِهِم لِأَوَّلِ ٱلحَشرِ مَا ظَنَنتُم أَن يَخرُجُواْ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُم مَّانِعَتُهُم حُصُونُهُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ فَأَتَىٰهُمُ ٱللَّهُ مِن حَيثُ لَم يَحتَسِبُواْ وَقَذَفَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ ٱلرُّعبَ يُخرِبُونَ بُيُوتَهُم بِأَيدِيهِم وَأَيدِي ٱلمُؤمِنِينَ فَٱعتَبِرُواْ يَٰأُوْلِي ٱلأَبصَٰرِ
He it is Who caused those who disbelieved of the followers of the Book to go forth from their homes at the first banishment you did not think that they would go forth, while they were certain that their fortresses would defend them against Allāh; but Allāh came to them whence they did not expect, and cast terror into their hearts; they demolished their houses with their own hands and the hands of the believers; therefore take a lesson, O you who have eyes! (Q. 59:2)
There are many motives for the believer to pay attention to putting his house in order.
Firstly: protecting himself and his family from the Fire of Hell, and keeping them safe from the burning punishment:
يَٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قُواْ أَنفُسَكُم وَأَهلِيكُم نَارا وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلحِجَارَةُ عَلَيهَا مَلَٰئِكَةٌ غِلَاظ شِدَاد لَّا يَعصُونَ ٱللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُم وَيَفعَلُونَ مَا يُؤمَرُونَ
O you who believe! save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones; over it are angels stern and strong, they do not disobey Allāh in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded. (Q. 66:6)
Secondly: the great responsibility borne by the head of the household on the Day of Reckoning. The Prophet (SAW) said:
Allāh will ask every shepherd (or responsible person) about his flock (those for whom he was responsible), whether he took care of it or neglected it, until He asks a man about his household.
Thirdly: the home is a place to protect oneself, to keep away from evil and to keep one’s own evil away from people. It is the refuge prescribed by Islām at times of fitnah (strife, tribulation).
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Blessed is the one who controls his tongue, whose house is sufficient for him, and who weeps over his mistakes.” The Prophet (SAW) also said:
There are five things, whoever does one of them, Allāh will be with him: visiting the sick, going out for jihād, entering upon his leader with the intention of rebuking and respecting him , or sitting in his home so that the people are safe from him and he is safe from the people.
Fourthly: people usually spend most of their time at home, especially when it is very hot or very cold, when it is raining, early or late in the day, and after finishing work or school, so this time should be spent in worship and ḥalāl (lawful) pursuits, otherwise it will be spent in wrongdoing.
Fifthly and most importantly, paying attention to the home is the most important means of building a Muslim society, because the society is formed of the households and families that form its building blocks. Households form neighbourhoods, and neighbourhoods form societies. If the building blocks are sound, the society will be based on the laws of Allāh, standing firm in the face of enemies and filled with goodness that evil cannot penetrate. Then Muslim homes will produce pillars of society who will reform and guide it aright, such as exemplary dā῾iyahs, seekers of knowledge, sincere mujāhidūn, righteous wives, caring mothers and all other types of reformers.
What are the steps or procedures that can help us to build an ideal Muslim home?
In setting up an ideal Muslim home, the first important thing to be considered is how to choose righteous spouses. A man chooses before marriage a partner who has the right Islamic characteristics that would ensure a stable and happy married life. Islām considers a good wife as the key to happiness because they are described as the best treasure a man can have. The Prophet is reported to have said in this regard:
Shall I tell you the best a man can treasure? It is good wife. If he looks at her she gives him pleasure; if he orders her, she obeys; and if he is away from her, she remains faithful to him.
He also said, “whoever is granted a good wife, he is helped to follow half of his religion, let him obey Allāh in the second half.” Such is the guidance given by the Prophet regarding the type of woman who can bring happiness, tranquility and stability to man, and who can make a cheerful, pleasant and secure home where a brood of successful, courageous and intelligent children are raised.
The woman, on the other hand, under the advice and guidance of her parents chooses for the purpose of marriage a partner whose behaviour is good and whose understanding of Islām is sound. In other words, she chooses to marry a man for whom her heart may be filled with love, and who is pleasing to her both in his appearance and conduct. The Prophet in regard to this said: “The most perfect of the believers in faith is the best of them in character and the best of you in character is he who is best to his family”.
All of the above must be achieved through asking the right questions, verifying facts, gathering information and checking sources, so that the home will not be corrupted or destroyed.
Another way of building an ideal Muslim home is to create an atmosphere of faith where the home is made a place of remembrance of Allāh.
The Prophet (SAW) said: “The likeness of a house in which Allāh is remembered and the house in which Allāh is not remembered is that of the living and the dead, respectively.”
We must make our homes places where Allāh is remembered in all kinds of ways, whether in our hearts, verbally, during prayer, by reading Qur’ān, by discussing Islamic issues, or by reading different kinds of Islamic books.
How many Muslim homes nowadays are dead because there is no remembrance of Allāh, as mentioned in the hadīth. What must they be like when all that is heard therein is the music of Shayṭān with instruments and singing, and backbiting, slander and gossip? What must they be like when they are filled with evil and sin, such as the unlawful mixing of the sexes and wanton display between relatives who are not maḥram or with neighbours who enter the home? How can the angels enter a home like this? Revive your homes with all kinds of
dhikr, may Allāh have mercy on you!
أَقُولُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ المُسْلِمينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتْ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say this and ask Allāh for forgiveness for me and you, so invoke Him for forgiveness, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.