Islam and Family Protection
Prepared by: Dr. Mohammad Ali Al-Khuli, Extracted from his book, "The Need for Islam" (http://www.islam-qa.com).
Islam serves the psychological health of man in different ways. In this part, I am going to deal with how Islam organizes man-woman relationships.
The Safety of the Family
Islam gives priority to the safety of the family, since it is considered to be the highest social unit, and helps to ensure the physical and psychological needs of all. If the family is destroyed through divorce, the husband suffers the loss of his mate, the wife suffers the loss of her mate, and the children suffer the loss of their father, their mother, or both.
How can the child grow healthily without parents? A child does not need milk and food alone. He needs love also. He needs guidance. He needs an example to imitate. He needs attention. He needs a language model so as to learn language. The child, who is the adult of tomorrow, cannot grow socially, emotionally, and mentally as well as he should, outside his family. A child deprived of his parents? affection usually develops emotional disorders. When he lacks his parents? love, he feels everybody hates him. So he may develop anti-social attitudes. His social maladjustment and emotional maladjustment usually result in mental disorders.
Family as the Best Place
The family is the best place for a child to grow emotionally, socially, mentally, and even physically. Therefore, Islam protects the family so as to protect the child. In other word, Islam protects everyone by protecting the family, because every one of us was a child and because the child of today is the adult of tomorrow.
Protecting the Child
Islam protects the child in several ways. One of them is to prevent the possibility of having children born outside families. In other words, Islam prevents having children outside marriage. In the other words, Islam prevents illegitimate children. As we know his father, or mother, or both usually abandon an illegitimate child. An illegitimate child is usually sent to an orphanage or special centers, where the child gets food and clothes, but cannot get the affection he needs.
No Illegitimate Children
How does Islam prevent illegitimate children? Islam limits sexual intercourse to marriage only. This limitation is not a theoretical one; it is a practical one. Islam prohibits the free intermingling of two sexes, because if the two sexes intermingle freely, nothing can stop illegal sexual intercourse. Islam is a perfect net of instructions. If the sexes intermingle freely, the unavoidable result is illegitimate sexual intercourse and illegitimate children. Islam wants legitimate children only and legal sexual intercourse only. Therefore, Islam prevents the free intermingling of the two sexes.
Not only that, but Islam also requires the woman to dress decently. In Islam, the woman?s clothes should cover her hair and all her body except hands and feet. If the woman is semi-naked, as she is in some countries, the result is obvious. If the woman is publicly semi-naked, she becomes a female only.
The Wife and the Mother
Islam looks at the woman as a wife and a mother. In contrast, some non-Islamic societies look at a woman mainly as a sex object at the expense of her role as a wife and her role as a mother. As a result, Islam formulates instructions to suit the woman?s role as a wife and the woman?s role as a mother, because the family needs a wife dedicated to her husband and a mother dedicated to her children.
We said that Islam blocks the way to illegitimate children by blocking the ways leading to illegal sexual intercourse. This is one way to protect the child. The second way to protect the child is to protect the family. When marriage takes place, a new family is established. When children are born, the family grows in number. Islam protects the family from divorce, which damages all the members of the family.
No Free Intermingling
Islam does not allow the husband to intermingle freely with other women so as to protect his relation with his wife. Islam does not allow the wife to intermingle freely with other men so as to protect her relation with her husband. In Islam, the husband is wholly tied to her husband. This is the only way to protect marriage from divorce, to protect the family from destruction, and to protect children from fatherless ness, motherless ness, or both.
In contrast, in societies that allow the two sexes to intermingle freely, there are two main problems. Firstly, in such societies there are many cases of illegal intercourse and illegitimate children. Secondly, marriage is increasingly short-lived, and divorce is the end of many marriages. Of course, divorce is not only the end of marriage, but also the beginning of problems for the ex-husband, the ex-wife, and their children.
I must observe that although western countries are scientifically and technologically progressive and are sensitive to statistics related to industry and economy, they do not show the same sensitivity to statistic related to social life. When a western economist considers the figures and numbers of a certain economy, he concludes something about that economy. In contrast, when a western sociologist or psychologist considers the statistics of divorce in his country, he concludes nothing!
In some western countries, 60% of marriages end up in divorce. What does this mean? It simply means that the social structure there destroys marriage and that the western way of life nowadays leads to the destruction of marriage and the destruction of the family. This result is not difficult to predict. In the west, the two sexes mingle freely; alcohol is drunk as frequently as water; woman are almost naked everywhere. The result of this mixture is clear.
In some non-Islamic countries, the formula now is this:
Males + Females + Alcohol + Feminine Nakedness = Illegitimate Children + Destruction of Marriage + Homeless Children.
In the contrast, the Islamic formula is exactly the opposite:
Males separated from Females + No Alcohol + Feminine Modesty = Legitimate Children + Protection of Marriage + Protected Children.
I think it is time for western specialists in psychology and sociology to look into the statistic about their social disease and to compare these statistics with others in Islamic countries in order to have a practical clue about the difference between Islam and no-Islam. Islam protects the child by protecting the family and by protecting marriage. Islam guarantees a true father and true mother for every child and thus secures the psychological health of the child.