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Articles and Essays on Marriage and Family in Islam


The Muslim Home: Forty Recommendations

By Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid


  1. Introduction
  2. Forming the Household
  3. Creating an Atmosphere of Faith in the Home
  4. Islamic Knowledge in the Home
  5. Meetings at Home - (this section is missing)
  6. Good Manners at Home
  7. Evils in the Home - (this section is missing)
  8. The Home Inside and Out

1. Introduction

Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All praise be to Allah, we praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own selves and from our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides, no one can lead astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

The Home is a Blessing

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "And Allah has made for you in your homes an abode" [al-Nahl, 16:80].

Ibn Katheer (Ra) said: "Here Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, 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.'"

What does the home represent to each one of us? Is it not the place where he eats, enjoys intimacy with his wife, sleeps and rests? Is it not the place where he can be alone and can meet with his wife and children?

Is the home not the place that offers cover and protection to women? Allah tells us: "And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance" [al-Ahzaab, 33:33].

If you think about those who are homeless, who live in shelters, or on the streets, or as refugees scattered in temporary camps, then you will realize the blessing of having a home. If you listen 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 caf‚ or park or on the sea-front, and I keep my clothes in my car", then you will realize the disruption that results from not having the blessing of a home.

When Allah punished the Jews of Banu Nadeer, He took away this blessing and expelled them from their homes, as He said: "He it is Who drove out the disbelievers among the people of the Scripture (i.e. the Jews of the tribe of Banu al-Nadeer) from their homes at the first gathering." Then He said: "They destroyed their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers. Then take admonition, O you with eyes (to see)" [al-Hashr, 59:2].

There are many motives for the believer to pay attention to putting his house in order. First, protecting himself and his family from the Fire of Hell, and keeping them safe from the burning punishment: "O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded" [al-Tahreem, 66:6].

Second, the great responsibility borne by the head of the household on the Day of Reckoning. The Prophet (peace be upon him - sallahu allahi wa salaam) said: "Allah 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."

Third, 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 Islam at times of fitnah (strife, tribulation). The Prophet (saws) said: "Blessed is the one who controls his tongue, whose house is sufficient for him, and who weeps over his mistakes."

And the Prophet (saws) said: "There are five things, whoever does one of them, Allah will be with him: visiting the sick, going out for jihad, entering upon his leader with the intention of rebuking him, or sitting in his home so that the people are safe from him and he is safe from the people." (or as he said it).

And the Prophet (saws) said: "The safety of a man at times of fitnah is in his staying home."

The Muslim can see the benefit of this advice when he is residing in a foreign land where he is unable to change much of the evil around him. Then he will have a refuge which, when he enters it, will protect him from doing haram things or looking at haram things, and will protect h is wife from wanton display and unveiling, and will protect his children from bad company.

Fourth, 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 halaal pursuits, otherwise it will be spent in wrongdoing.

Fifth 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 neighborhoods, and neighborhoods form societies. If the building blocks are sound, the society will be based on the laws of Allah, 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 dai'yahs, seekers of knowledge, sincere mujaahideen, righteous wives, caring mothers and all other types of reformers. Because this subject is so important, and our homes are full of so many shortcomings and evils and examples of negligence, this begs the very important question:

What are the means of reforming our homes? The following contains advice on this topic. May Allah benefit us from it, and cause the Muslims to focus their efforts on reviving the Muslim home. All the following advice revolves around two things: achieving our interests, which is by establishing that which is right and good, and warding off evil, by removing that which can cause it or bring it into our homes.

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2. Forming The Household

Making a good choice when choosing a wife; "And marry those among you who are single (i.e., a man who has no wife and a woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the saalihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people)" [al-Noor, 24:32]. The head of the household must select a righteous and suitable wife based on the following conditions described in various ahadith:

"A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty or her religion. Choose the one who is religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust [i.e., may you prosper]!" (Agreed upon).

"This world is all temporary conveniences, and the greatest joy in this life is a righteous wife." (Reported by Muslim, 1468).

"Let every one of you have a thankful heart, a remembering tongue [remembering Allah] and a believing wife who will help him with regard to the Hereafter." (Reported by Ahmad, 5/282, and al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah from Thawbaan. Saheeh al-Jaami', 5231).

According to another report: "A righteous wife to help you with your worldly and religious affairs is the best treasure anyone could have." (Reported by al-Bayhaqi. Saheeh al-Jaami', 4285).

"Marry one who is loving and fertile, for I will be proud before the other Prophets of your great numbers on the Day of Resurrection." (Reported by Ahmad. Saheeh al-Irwa', 6/195).

"I advise you to marry virgins, for their wombs are more fresh, their mouths are more sweet and they are more content with little." According to another report: "and they are less likely to deceive." (Reported by Ibn Maajah. Al-Silsilah al-Saheeh, 623).

Just as a righteous wife is one of the four elements of happiness, so a bad wife is one of the four elements of misery, as it says in the saheeh hadith: "One of (the elements of) happiness is a righteous wife, who when you see her you feel pleased, and when you are away, you feel that you can trust her with regard to herself and your property. And one of (the elements of) misery is a bad wife who when you see her, you feel upset, she keeps attacking you verbally, and when you are away, you do not feel that you can trust her with regard to herself and your property."

On the other hand, it is also essential to look at the situation of the prospective husband who is proposing marriage to the Muslim woman, and to agree to his proposal in accordance with the following conditions: The Prophet (saws) said: "If there comes to you one with whose religion and character you are pleased, then marry your daughter [or sister, etc.] to him, otherwise there will be fitnah and great corruption in the land."

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.

The righteous man and righteous woman together will build a righteous home, because "the vegetation of a good land comes forth (easily) by the Permission of its Lord, and that which is bad, brings forth nothing but a little with difficulty" [al-A'raaf, 7:58].

Striving to Guide One's Wife

If one's wife is righteous, this is a blessing indeed, and this is from the Bounty of Allah. If she is not that righteous, then it is the duty of the head of the household to strive to guide her. Any of the following scenarios may apply:

A man may marry a woman who is not religious in the first place, because he himself is not religious at first, or he may have married her in the hope of guiding her, or under pressure from his relatives, for example. In these cases he must strive hard to guide her. A man must also realize from the outset that guidance comes from Allah, and that Allah is the One Who reforms people. One of His blessings to his slave Zakariya was, as He said: "and [We] cured his wife for him" [al-Anbiya', 21:90].

This curing or reforming may have been physical or religious. Ibn 'Abbas said: "She was barren and could not have children, then she had a child."

'Ataa' said: "She was harsh of tongue, and Allah reformed her."

There are various means of guiding or reforming one's wife, such as:

  • Paying attention to correcting her worship of Allah in all its aspects, as will be discussed in detail below.
  • Striving to strengthen her imaan, such as: encouraging her to pray at night (qiyaam al-layl).
  • Encouraging her to read Qur'an
  • Encouraging her to memorize Dhikr and remember the appropriate times and occasions for saying them.
  • Encouraging her to give charity.
  • Encouraging her to read useful Islamic books.
  • Encouraging her to listen to useful Islamic cassettes that can increase knowledge and strengthen iman - and continuing to supply her with them.
  • Choosing good, religious friends for her, with whom she can form ties of sisterhood and have good conversations and purposeful visits.
  • Protecting her from evil and blocking off all avenues for it to reach her, by keeping her away from bad companions and bad places.

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3. Creating an Atmosphere of Faith in the Home

Making the home a place for the remembrance of Allah - The Prophet (saws) said: "The likeness of a house in which Allah is remembered and the house in which Allah is not remembered is that of the living and the dead, respectively."

We must make our homes places where Allah is remembered in all kinds of ways, whether in our hearts, verbally, during prayer, by reading Qur'an, 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 Allah, as mentioned in the hadeeth. What must they be like when all that is heard therein is the music of Shaytaan with instruments and singing, backbiting, slander, and gossip?

What must they be like when they are filled with evil and sin, such as the haraam mixing of the sexes and wanton display between relatives who are not mahram 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 Allah have mercy on you!

Make your homes a Qiblah

What is meant is taking the home as a place of worship?

Allah says: "And We inspired Moosa and his brother (saying): 'Take dwellings for your people in Egypt, and make your dwellings as places for your worship, and perform al-salaah, and give glad tidings to the believers'" [Yoonus, 10:87].

Ibn 'Abbaas said: "They were commanded to take their dwellings as places of prayer [lit. mosques]."

Ibn Katheer said: "This - and Allah knows best - was because of the intensity of the tribulation that they were facing from Pharaoh and his people. They were commanded to pray much, as Allah says: 'O you who believe! Seek help with patience and prayer.' [al-Baqarah 2:153], and as it was reported in the hadith that the Messenger of Allah (saws), when he was distressed by something, would pray."

This explains the importance of worshipping at home, especially at times when the Muslims are in a position of weakness, as happens in some places where the Muslims cannot pray openly in front of the non-believers. In this context we may think of the mihraab of Maryam, which was her place of worship, as Allah says: "Every time Zakariya entered the mihraab to visit her, he found her supplied with sustenance" [Al-Imran, 3:37].

The Sahaabah (ra) used to be keen to pray at home - apart from the fard or obligatory prayers (which they prayed in congregation in the mosque) - and there is a moving story concerning this.

Mahmood ibn al-Rabee' al-Ansaari reported that 'Utbaan ibn Malik - who was one of the Companions of the Messenger (saws) and was one of the Ansaar who had been present at Badr - came to the Messenger of Allah (saws) and said: "I am losing my sight, and I lead my people in prayer. When it rains, the valley between me and them gets flooded and I cannot get to their mosque to lead them in prayer. O Messenger of Allah, I would like you to come to come and pray in my house so that I can take it as a place for prayer." The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "I will do that, insha'Allah." 'Utbaan said: "The next day the Messenger of Allah (saws) and Abu Bakr came in the morning. The Messenger of Allah (saws) asked for permission to enter, and I gave him permission. He did not sit down until he entered the house, then he said, 'Where would you like me to pray in your house?' I showed him a corner of the house, then the Messenger of Allah (saws) stood up, said Takbeer, and we stood in a row behind him, and he prayed two rak'ahs and gave the salaam at the end of the prayer" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 1/519).

Spiritual training for the members of the household

'A'isha (ra) said: "The Messenger of Allah (saws) used to pray qiyaam at night, and when he prayed witr he would say, 'Get up and pray witr, O 'A'isha.'" (Reported by Muslim, Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, 6/23).

The Prophet (saws) said: "May Allah have mercy on a man who gets up at night and prays, then he wakes up his wife to pray, and if she refuses he splashes water in her face." (Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawood. Saheeh al-Jaami', 3488).

Encouraging the women of one's household to give charity is another means of increasing faith. This is something very important which the Prophet (saws) encouraged, when he said, "O women! Give in charity, for I have seen that you form the majority of the inhabitants of Hell." (Reported by al-Bukhari, al-Fath, 1/405).

One of the new ideas is to have a box at home for donations to the poor and needy: whatever is put in the box belongs to them, because it is their vessel in the Muslim home.

If the family members see an example among them fasting on al-Ayyaam al-Beed (the 13th, 14th and 15th of each Hijri month), Mondays and Thursdays, Taasoo'aa' and 'Aashooraa' (the 9th and 10th of Muharram), 'Arafaah, and frequently in Muharram and Sha'baan, this will be a motive for them to do likewise.

Paying attention to dhikr and Sunnah du'a's

Muslim reported in his Saheeh that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "When any one of you enters his home and mentions the Name of Allah when he enters and when he eats, the Shaytan says (to himself): 'You have no place to stay and nothing to eat here.' If he enters and does not mention the name of Allah when he enters, [the Shaytan] says, 'You have a place to stay.' If he does not mention the name of Allah when he eats, [the Shaytan says], 'You have a place to stay and something to eat'" (Reported by Imam Ahmad, al-Musnad, 3/346; Muslim, 3/1599).

Abu Dawood reported in his Sunan that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "If a man goes out of his house and says, 'Bismillah, tawakkaltu 'ala Allah, laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa Billaah (In the name of Allah, I put my trust in Allah, there is no help and no strength except in Allah),' it will be said to him, 'This will take care of you, you are guided, you have what you need and you are protected.' The Shaytan will stay away from him, and another shaytan will say to him, 'What can you do with a man who is guided, provided for, and protected?'" (Reported by Abu Dawood and al-Tirmidhi. Saheeh al-Jaami', no. 499).


Imam Muslim reported in his Saheeh that 'A'isha (ra) said: "When the Messenger of Allah (saws) entered his house, the first thing he would do was use Siwaak." (Reported by Muslim, Kitaab al-Tahaarah, chapter 15, no. 44).

Continuously reciting Surat al-Baqarah in the house to ward off the Shaytan: There are a number of ahadith concerning this, such as: The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Do not make your houses into graves. The Shaytan flees from a house in which Surat al-Baqarah is recited." (Reported by Muslim, 1/539).

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Recite Surat al-Baqarah in your houses, for the Shaytan does not enter a house in which Surat al-Baqarah is recited." (Reported by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak. 1/561; Saheeh al-Jaami', 1170).

Concerning the virtues of the last two Ayat of this Surat, and the effect of reciting them in one's house, he (saws) said: "Allah wrote a document two thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, which is kept near the Throne, and He revealed two Ayat of it with which He concluded Surat al-Baqarah. If they are recited in a house for three consecutive nights, the Shaytan will not approach it." (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 4/274, and others. Saheeh al-Jaami', 1799).

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4. Islamic Knowledge in the Home

Teaching the Family

This is an obligation which the head of the household must undertake, in obedience to the command of Allah: "O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones." [al-Tahreem 66:6]. This ayah is the basic principle regarding the teaching and upbringing of one's family, and enjoining them to do what is good and forbidding them to do what is evil. There follow some of the comments of the mufassireen on this ayah, in so far as it pertains to the duties of the head of the household.

Qutaadah said: "He should command them to obey Allah, and forbid them to disobey Him, and direct them in accordance with the commands of Allah, and help them to do that."

Dahhaak and Muqaatil said: "It is the Muslim's duty to teach his family, including relatives and female slaves, what Allah has enjoined upon them and what He has forbidden."
'Ali (ra) said: "Teach them and discipline them."

Al-Tabari (ra) said: "We must teach our children and wives the religion and goodness, and whatever they need of good manners. If the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to urge the teaching of female servants, who were slaves, what do you think about your children and wives, who are free?"

Al-Bukhari (ra) said in his Saheeh: "Chapter: a man's teaching his female slaves and wife." Then he quoted the hadith of the Prophet (saws): "There are three who will have two rewards: a man who has a female servant whom he teaches good manners and teaches her well, and teaches her knowledge, and teaches her well, then he frees her and marries her: he will have two rewards."

Ibn Hajar (ra) said, commenting on this hadith: "The chapter heading refers specifically to female slaves, and to wives by analogy, i.e., teaching one's free wife about her duties towards Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger is more clearly essential than teaching one's female slaves."

In the midst of all a man's activities, work and other commitments, he may forget to allow himself time for teaching his wife. One solution to this is to allocate some time for the family, and even for others such as relatives, to hold a study-circle at home. He can let everyone know the time and encourage them to come regularly, so that it will be an ongoing commitment for him and for them. Something similar happened at the time of the Prophet (saws).

Al-Bukhari (ra) said: "Chapter: can the women be given a day exclusively for them to seek knowledge?" and quoted the hadith of Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (ra): "The women said to the Prophet (saws): 'The men always crowd us out and we cannot reach you, so set aside a day for us when we can come to you.' So he set aside a day when he would meet them and teach them."

Ibn Hajar said: "A similar report was narrated by Sahl ibn Abi Salih from Abu Hurayrah, according to which [the Prophet (saws)] said: 'Your appointment is in the house of so and so,' and he came to them and spoke to them.'" What we learn from this is that women should be taught in their houses, and we see how keen the women of the Sahaabah were to learn.

Directing teaching efforts to men alone, and not to women, is a serious shortcoming on the part of dai'yahs and heads of households. Some readers may ask, suppose we set aside a day, and tell our families about it - what should we study in these gatherings? Where do we begin? I suggest that you begin with a simple program to teach your family in general, and the women in particular.

It is also important to teach women some of the ahkaam of fiqh, such as the rulings on tahaarah (purity) and menstrual and post-partum bleeding, Salat, Zakat, Siyam (fasting) and hajj, if she is able to go; some of the rulings on food and drink, clothing and adornment, the Sunan al-fitnah, rulings on maharam (who is a Mahram relative and who is not), rulings on singing and photography, and so on. Among the important sources of such information are the Fatawas (rulings or edicts) of the scholars, such as the collections of Fatawas by Shaykh 'Abi al-'Azeez ibn Baaz and Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-'Uthaymeen, and other scholars, whether they are written Fatawas or Fatawas recorded on tapes.

Another matter that may be included in a syllabus for teaching women and family members is reminding them of lessons or public lectures given by trustworthy scholars and seekers of knowledge which they can attend, so they can have a variety of excellent sources for learning. We should not forget either the radio programs of Idhaa'at al-Qur'an al-Kareem; another means of teaching is reminding family members of the particular days when women can attend Islamic bookstores, and taking them there, within the guidelines of Shari'ah [i.e., proper hijab, etc.]

Start building an Islamic Library in your Home

(For al-Jumuah's list of Islamic books that make up a good library, click here.)

Another thing that will help in teaching your family and letting them develop a understanding of their religion and help them adhere to its rules, is having one's own Islamic library at home. It does not have to be extensive; what matters is choosing good books, putting them in a place where they are readily accessible, and encouraging family members to read them.

You could put books in a clean and tidy corner of the living room, and in a suitable place in a bedroom or guest room; this will make it easy for any member of the family to read constantly.

In order to build a library properly - and Allah loves things to be done properly - you should include references so that family members can research various matters and children can use them for their studies. You should also include books of varying levels, so that old and young, men and women can all use them. You should also have books for giving to guests, children's friends, and family visitors, but try to get books that are attractively presented, edited properly and with the sources and classification of the ahadith properly given. You can make the most of Islamic bookstores and exhibitions to build a home library, after consulting and seeking advice from those who have experience in the field of books. One way in which you can help family members to find a book when they want it is to organize the books according to subject, with books of Tafseer on one shelf, books of hadith on another, fiqh on a third, and so on. One of the family members could also compile alphabetical or subject indexes of th e library, to make it easier to look for books.

Home Audio Library

Having a cassette player in every home may be used for good or for evil. How can we use it in a manner that is pleasing to Allah?

One of the ways in which we can achieve this is to have a home audio library containing good Islamic tapes by scholars, fuqaha’, lecturers, khateebs, and preachers.

Listening to tapes of Qur’an recitation by some Imams, for example those recorded during Taraaweeh prayers, will have a great impact on family members, whether by impressing upon them the meanings of the Revelation, or by helping them to memorize Qur’an because of repeated listening. It will also protect them by letting them hear Qur’anic recitation rather than the music and singing of the Shaytan, because it is not right for the words of al-Rahman (Allah) to be mixed with the music of the Shaytan in the heart of the believer.

Tapes of Fatwahs may have a great effect on family members and help them to understand various rulings, which will have an impact on their daily lives.

Muslims must also pay attention to the sources from which they take Fatwahs because this is the matter of religion, so look to where you take your religion from. You should take it from someone who is known to be righteous and pious, who bases his Fatwahs on Qur’an and Sunnah. Ask an expert. “. . . Allah, Most Gracious: ask, then about Him of any acquainted (with such things)” [al-Furqaan 25:59].

Listening to lectures by those who are striving to raise the awareness of the Ummah, establish proof and denounce evil, is very important for establishing individual personalities in the Muslim home.

There are many tapes and lectures, and the Muslim needs to know the features of the sound methodology so as to distinguish sound lecturers from others and look for their tapes, which they can listen to with confidence. Among these features are:

  • The lecturer should be a believer in the ‘Aqeedah of the Saved Group, Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, adhering to the Sunnah and firmly rejecting bid’ah.
  • The speaker should be moderate, neither extremist nor lenient.
  • He should base his talks on sound ahadeeth.
  • He should have insight into people’s situations and the realities of the Ummah, and should offer the appropriate remedy for any problem, giving the people what they need.
  • He should speak the truth as much as he can, and not utter falsehood or please the people by angering Allah.
  • We often find that tapes for children have a great influence on them, whether by helping them to memorize Qur’an by listening to a young reader or du’a’s to be recited at various times of day and night or Islamic manners or nasheeds (religious “songs” with no instrumental accompaniment) with a useful message and so on.

Putting tapes in drawers in an organized fashion will make it easier to find them and will also protect them from getting damaged or from being played with by young children. We should distribute good tapes by giving or lending them to others after listening to them. Having a recorder in the kitchen will be very useful for the lady of the house, and having a recorder in the bedroom will help a person make good use of time until the last moments of the day.

Inviting good and righteous people and seekers of knowledge to visit the home

“My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. . .” [al-Nooh 71:28].

If people of faith enter your home, it will increase in light (noor), and will bring many benefits because of your conversations and discussion with them. The bearer of musk will either give you some, or you will buy from him, or you will find that he has a pleasant scent. When children, brothers, and parents sit with such visitors, and women listen from behind a curtain or screen to what is said, this offers an educational experience to all. If you bring good people into your home, by doing so you keep bad people from coming in a wreaking havoc.

Learning the Islamic rulings with regard to houses

Praying in the House

With regard to men, the Prophet (saws) said: “The best of prayer is a man’s prayer in his house – apart from the prescribed prayers.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, no. 731).

It is obligatory to pray (the five daily prayers) in the mosque, except if there is a valid excuse. The Messenger of Allah (saws) also said: “A man’s voluntary prayers in his house will bring more reward than his voluntary prayers at other people’s places, just as his obligatory prayers with the people are better than his obligatory prayers alone.” (Reported by Ibn Abi Shaybah. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2953).

With regard to women, the deeper inside her home her place of prayer is, the better because the Prophet (saws) said: “The best prayer for women is [that offered] in the furthest part of their houses.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani. Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3311).

A man should not be led in prayer in his own home, and no one should sit in the place where the master of the house usually sits, except with his permission. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “A man should not be led in prayer in his place of authority, and no one should sit in his place in his house, except with his permission.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2772). (I.E. no one should go forward to lead him in prayer, even if they recite Qur’an better than he does, in a place that he owns or where he has authority, such as a householder in his home, or an imam in a mosque. Similarly, it is not permitted to sit in the private spot of the head of the master of the house, such as a bed or mattress, etc, except with his permission.)

Seeking permission to enter.

“O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them, that is better for you, in order that you may remember. And if you find no one therein, still, enter not until permission has been given. And if you are asked to go back, go back, for it is purer for you. And Allah is All-Knower of what you do” [al-Noor 24:27-28].

“. . . so enter houses through their proper doors. . .” [al-Baqarah 2:189].

It is permissible to enter houses that are empty if one has some legitimate business there, such as a house prepared for guests. “There is no sin on you that you enter (without taking permission) houses uninhabited (i.e, not possessed by anybody), (when) you have any interest in them. And Allah has knowledge of what you reveal and what you conceal.” [al-Noor 24:29].

Not feeling too shy to eat in the houses of friends and relatives, and in houses of friends and relatives and others to which one has the keys, if they have no objection to that. “There is no restriction on the blind, nor any restriction on the lame, nor any restriction on the sick, nor on yourselves, if you eat from your houses, or the houses of your fathers, or the houses of your mothers, or the houses of your brothers, or the houses of your sisters, or the houses of your father’s brothers, or the houses of your father’s sisters, or the houses of your mother’s brothers, or the houses of your mother’s sisters, or (from that) whereof you hold keys, or (from the house) of a friend. No sin on you whether you eat together or apart . . .” [al-Noor 24:61].

Telling children and servants not to barge in to the parents’ bedroom without permission at the times when people usually sleep, (before Fajr, at siesta time, and after ‘Isha) lest they see something inappropriate. If they see something accidentally at other times, this is forgivable, because they are tawwaafeen (those who go about in the house), and it is difficult to stop them. Allah says, “O, you who believe! Let your legal slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions: before Fajr prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the ‘Isha prayer. (These) three times are of privacy for you; other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, - attending (helping) you each other. Thus Allah makes clear the ayat (verses of this Qur’an, showing proofs for the legal aspects of permission for visits, etc.) to you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” [al-Noor 24:57].

It is forbidden to look into the houses of other people without their permission. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Whoever looks into someone’s house without their permission, put his eyes out, and there is no diyah or qisaas [blood money or retaliation] in this case.” (Reported by Ahmad, al-Musnad, 2/385; Saheeh al-Jaami, 6046).

A woman who has been divorced by talaaq for a first or second time [and could still go back to her husband] should not leave or be made to leave her home during the ‘iddah, and she should still be supported financially. Allah says, “O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their ‘iddah (prescribed periods), and count (accurately) their ‘iddah (periods). And fear Allah your Lord (O Muslims), and turn them not out of their (husband’s) homes, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open illegal sexual intercourse. And those are the set limits of Allah. And whoever transgresses the set limits of Allah, then indeed he has wronged himself. You (the one who divorces his wife) know not, it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass (i.e, to return her back to you, if this as the first or second divorce).” [al-Talaaq 65:1].

It is permissible for a man to forsake his rebellious wife inside or outside the home, according to the interests prescribed by shari’ah in any given case. The evidence for forsaking her inside the home is the ayah: “. . . refuse to share their beds . . .” [al-Nisa’ 4:34]. With regard to forsaking women outside the home, this is what happened when the Messenger of Allah (saws) forsook his wives, leaving them in their apartments and staying in a room outside the houses of his wives. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Talaaq, Baab fi’l-Eelaa’).

One should not stay alone overnight in the house. Ibn ‘Umar (ra) reported that the Prophet (saws) forbade being alone and said that a man should not stay overnight alone or travel alone (Reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 2/91). This is because of the feelings of loneliness etc. that come from being alone, and also because of the possibility of attacks by enemies or robbers, or the possibility of sickness. If one has a companion, he can help fight off attacks and can help if one gets sick. (See al-Fath al-Rabbaani, 5/64).

Not sleeping on the roof of a house that has no protecting wall, lest one fall. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Whoever sleeps on the roof of a house that has no protecting wall, nobody is responsible for what happens to him.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, al-Sunan, no. 5041; Saheeh al-Jaami, 6113; its commentary is in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood, 13/384). This is because one who is asleep may roll over in his sleep, and if there is no wall he may fall off the roof and be killed. In such a case, nobody would be to blame for his death; or his negligence would cause Allah to lift His protection from him because he did not take the necessary precautions. The hadeeth may mean either.

Pet cats do not make vessels naajis (impure) if they drink from them, or make food naajis if they eat from it. ‘Abd-Allah ibn Abi Qutaadah reported from his father that water was put out for him to make wudoo’, and a cat came and lapped at the water. He took the water and did wudoo’ with it, and they said, “O Abu Qutaadah! The cat drank from it.” He said, I heard the Messenger of Allah (saws) say: ‘Cats are part of the household, and they are among those who go around in your houses.’” (Reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 5/309; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3694). According to another report he said: “They [cats] are not naajis; they are among those who go around [al-tawwaafeen wa’l-tawwaafaat – refers to children, servants, etc.] in your houses.” (Reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 5/309; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2437).

Removing Anything that May Distract the Worshipper

Anas (ra) said: “ ‘A’isha had a decorated, colorful curtain which she used to cover the side of her house. The Prophet (saws) said to her, ‘take it away from me because its decorations keep distracting me when I pray’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari, 10/391).

Al-Qaasim reported that ‘A’isha (ra) had a cloth with decorations on it, which she used to cover a small sunken alcove (used for sleeping or storage). The Prophet (saws) used to pray facing it, and he said, ‘Take it away from me, because its decorations keep distracting me when I pray.’ So she took it away and made pillows out of it” (Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh, 3/1668).

Another indication of this is the fact that when the Prophet (saws) entered the Ka’bah to pray in it, he saw two rams’ horns. When he had prayed, he told ‘Uthmaan al-Hajabi, “I forgot to tell you to cover the horns because there should not be anything in the House to distract the worshiper.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, 2030; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2504).

This also includes avoiding praying in places where people pass through, or where there is a lot of noise and voices of people talking, or where they are engaging in conversations, arguments etc, or where there are visual distractions.

One should also avoid praying in places that are very hot or very cold, if possible. The Prophet (saws) told us to delay praying Dhuhr in summer until the hottest part of the day was over. Ibn al-Qayyim (ra) said: “Praying when it is intensely hot prevents a person from having the proper khushoo’ and presence of mind, and he does his worship reluctantly, so the Prophet wisely told them to delay praying until the heat had lessened somewhat, so that they could pray with presence of mind and thus achieve the purpose of prayer, having khushoo’ and turning to Allah.” (Al-Waabil al-Sayib, Daar al-Bayaan edn. , p. 22)

Not Praying in a Garment that has Decorations, Writing, Bright Colors, or Pictures that will Distract the Worshiper

‘A’isha (ra) said: “The Prophet (saws) stood up to pray wearing a checkered shirt, and he looked at the patterns in it. When he had finished his prayer, he said, “Take this shirt to Abu Jaham ibn Hudhayfah and bring me an anbajaani (a garment with no decorations or checks), because it distracted me when I was praying.” According to another report: “These checks distracted me.” According to another report: “He had a checkered shirt, which used to distract him whilst he was praying” (Reports in Saheeh Muslim, no. 556, part 3/391).

It is better not to pray in a garment that has pictures on it, and we should be especially careful to avoid garments with pictures of animate beings, like many garments that are widely available nowadays.

Not Praying When there is Food Prepared that One Wants to Eat

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Do not pray when there is food prepared.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 560).

If food has been prepared and served, or if it is offered, a person should eat first, because he will not be able to concentrate properly and have khushoo’ if he leaves it and gets up to pray when he is wanting to eat. He should not even hasten to finish eating, because the Prophet (saws) said: “If the dinner is served and the time for prayer comes, eat dinner before praying Salat al-Maghrib, and do not rush to finish your meal.” According to another report: “If dinner has been put out and the iqaamah has been given for prayer, eat dinner first and do not rush to finish it.” (Agreed upon. Al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Adhan, Baab idhaa hadara al-ta’aamu wa uqeemat al-salaah; Muslim, no. 557-559).

Not praying when one needs to answer the call of nature

No doubt one of the things that can prevent proper khushoo’ is praying when one needs to go to the washroom. The Prophet (saws) forbade praying when one is suppressing the urge to urinate or defecate. (Reported by Ibn Maajah in his Sunan, no. 617; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 6832).

If anyone is in this position, he should first go to the bathroom and answer the call of nature, even if he misses whatever he misses of the congregational prayer, because the Prophet (saws) said: “If any one of you needs to go to the toilet, and the prayer has begun, he should go to the toilet first.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 88; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 299).

If this happens to a person whilst he is praying, he should stop praying, go and answer the call of nature, purify himself then pray, because the Prophet (saws) said, “There is no prayer when there is food prepared or if one is suppressing the urge to expel waste matter.” (Saheeh Muslim, no. 560). Without a doubt, this trying to suppress the urge takes away khushoo’. This ruling also applies to suppressing the urge to pass wind.

Not praying behind someone who is talking (or sleeping)

The Prophet (saws) forbade this; he said: “Do not pray behind one who is sleeping or one who is talking.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 694; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 375). He said, a hasan hadeeth, because one who is talking will distract the worshiper with his talk, and one who is sleeping may expose something that will distract the worshiper.

Al-Khattaabi (ra) said: “As for praying behind people who are talking, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal considered this to be makrooh because their talk distracts the worshiper from his prayer.” (‘Awn al-Ma’bood, 2/388).

As regards not praying behind someone who is sleeping, a number of scholars thought that the evidence for this was weak (including Abu Dawood in his Sunan, Kitaab al-Salaah, Tafree’ Abwaab al-Witr, Baab al-Du’a’, and Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari, Sharh Baab al-Salaah khalf al-Naa’im, Kitaab al-Salaah).

Al-Bukhaari, may Allah have mercy on him, quoted the hadeeth of ‘A’isha in his Saheeh, Baab al-Salaah khalf al-Naa’im: “The Prophet (saws) used to pray whilst I was lying across from him on his bed . . .” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Salaah).

Mujaahid, Taawoos and Maalik thought it makrooh to pray facing someone who was sleeping, lest he expose something that would distract the worshiper from his prayer (Fath al-Baari, ibid.).

If there is no risk of that happening, then it is not makrooh to pray behind someone who is sleeping. And Allah knows best.

Not occupying oneself with smoothing the ground in front of one

Al-Bukhaari (ra) reported from Mu’ayqeeb (ra) that the Prophet (saws) said concerning a man’s smoothing the ground when he prostrates, “if you have to do that, then do it only once.” (Fath al-Baari, 3/79).

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Do not wipe (the ground) when you are praying, but if you have to, then do it only once.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 946; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 7452).

The reason for this prohibition is so as to maintain khushoo’, and so that a person will not make too many extra movements in prayer. If the place where one is going to prostrate needs to be smoothed, it is better to do this before starting to pray.

This also applies to wiping the forehead or nose when praying. The Prophet (saws) used to prostrate in water and mud, which would leave traces on his forehead, but he did not bother to wipe it off every time he raised his head from sujood. It remained there because he was so deeply absorbed in his prayer and his khushoo’ was so strong that he took not notice of it. The Prophet (saws) said: “Prayer is an occupation in itself.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari, 3/72). Ibn Abi Shaybah reported that Abu’l-Darda’ said: “Even if I were to get red camels, I would not like to wipe the gravel from my forehead.” ‘Ayaad said: “The salaf did not like to wipe their foreheads before they finished praying” (al-Fath, 3/79).

Just as a worshiper should avoid anything that will distract him from his prayer, by the same token he should avoid disturbing others. This includes:

Not disturbing others with one’s recitation

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “All of you are speaking to your Lord, so do not disturb one another, and do not raise your voices above one another when reciting.” or he said, “in prayer.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, 2/83; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 752).

According to another report, he said, “do not compete with one another in raising your voices when reciting Qur’an” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, 2/36; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1951).

Not turning around during prayer

Abu Dharr (ra) said: “The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: ‘Allah continues to turn towards His slave whilst he is praying, so long as he does not turn away, but if he turns away, [Allah] turns away from him.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 909; Saheeh Abi Dawood).

Turning away during prayer is of two types:

  • The turning away of the heart to something other than Allah.
  • The turning away of the eyes.

Both of them are not allowed, and are detrimental to the reward for the prayer. The Messenger of Allah (saws) was asked about turning away during prayer, and he said: “It is something that Shaytan steals from a person’s prayer.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Adhaan, Baab al-Iltifaat fi’l-Salaah).

The one who turns away with his heart or his eyes during prayer is like a man who is called by the ruler and made to stand before him, and when the ruler starts to address him, he turns away, looking to the right and the left, not listening to what the ruler is saying and not understanding a word of it because his heart and mind are elsewhere. What does this man think the ruler will do to him?

The least that he deserves is that when he leaves the ruler, he is hated and no longer valued. One who prays like this is not equal to one who prays with the proper presence of mind, turning to Allah in his prayer in such a way that he feels the greatness of the One before Whom he is standing, and he is filled with fear and submission; he feels too shy before his Lord to turn to anyone else or to turn away. The difference between their prayers is as Hassaan ibn ‘Atiyah said: “The two men may be in one congregation, but the difference in virtue between them is as great as the distance between heaven and earth. One of them is turning with all his heart towards Allah, whilst the other is negligent and forgetful” (Al-Waabil al-Sayib by Ibn al-Qayyim, Daar al-Bayaan, p. 36).

As for turning away for a genuine reason, this is OK. Abu Dawood reported that Sahl ibn al-Hanzaliyyah said: “We started praying – Salat al-Subh (Fajr) – and the Messenger of Allah (saws) was looking at the ravine.” Abu Dawood said: “He had sent a horseman at night to guard the ravine.” This is like when he carried Umaamah bint Abi’l-‘Aas, and when he opened the door for ‘A’isha, and when he came down from the minbar whilst praying in order to teach them, and when he stepped back during Salat al-Kusoof (prayer at the time of an eclipse), and when he grabbed and strangled the Shaytan when he wanted to interrupt his prayer. He also ordered that snakes and scorpions should be killed even during prayer, and a person who is praying should stop and even fight one who wants to pass in front of him whilst he is praying. He told women to clap during prayer [if they spot a mistake on the part of the imam], and he used to wave or gesture to people who greeted him whilst he was praying. These and other actions may be done in cases of necessity, but if there is no necessity, then they are just idle gestures that cancel out khushoo’ and are therefore not allowed during prayer. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 22/559).

Not raising one’s gaze to the heavens

The Prophet (saws) forbade us to do this and issued a warning against it. He said: “When any one of you is praying, he should not lift his gaze to the heavens, lest he lose his sight.” (Reported by Ahmad, 5/294; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 762).

According to another report, he said: “What is wrong with people who lift their gaze to the heavens whilst they are praying?” According to another report, he said: “that they raise their gaze when they make du’a’ during salat?” (Reported by Muslim, no. 429).

He spoke out strongly against it, to the extent that he said, “Let them stop it, or their eyesight will be taken away.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, 5/258; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5574).

Not spitting in front of one when praying

This is incompatible with khushoo’ and good manners before Allah. The Prophet (saws) said: “When any one of you is praying, let him not spit in front of himself, for Allah is before him when he prays.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, no. 397).

He also said: “When any one of you stands up to pray, he should not spit in front of himself, because he is talking to Allah – may He be blessed and exalted – as long as he is in his prayer place; and he should not [spit] to his right because there is an angel on his right. He should spit to his left, or beneath his feet, and bury it.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, no. 416, 1/512).

He said: “When one of you stands to pray, he is talking to his Lord, and his Lord is between him and the Qiblah, so none of you should spit in the direction of his Qiblah, but to his left or under his feet.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath al-Baari, no. 417, 1/513).

If the mosque is furnished with carpets and so on, as is the norm nowadays and a person needs to spit, he can take out a handkerchief or whatever, spit into it, and put it away again.

Trying not to yawn when praying

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “If any one of you feels the urge to yawn during prayer, let him suppress it as much as he can, lest the Shaytan enter . . .” (Reported by Muslim, 4/2293). If the Shaytan enters, he will be more able to disturb the worshiper’s khushoo’ in addition to laughing at him when he yawns.

Not putting one’s hands on one’s hips when praying

Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allah (saws) forbade putting the hands on the hips during prayer.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 947; Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-‘Aml fi’l-Salaah, Baab al-Hadhr fi’l-Salaah).

Ziyaad ibn Subayh al-Hanafi said: “I prayed beside Ibn ‘Umar and I put my hand on my hip, but he struck my hand. When he had finished praying, he said, “This is crossing in prayer. The Messenger of Allah (saws) used to forbid this” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, 2/106 and others. Classed as Saheeh by al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej al-Ihyaa’. See al-Irwaa’, 2/94).

It was reported that the Prophet (saws) said that this posture is how the people of Hell rest; we seek refuge with Allah from that (Reported by al-Bayhaqi from Abu Hurayrah. Al-‘Iraaqi said, its isnaad appears to be Saheeh).

Not letting one’s clothes hang down (sadl) during prayer

It was reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) forbade letting one’s clothes hang down during prayer or for a man to cover his mouth (Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 643; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 6883. He said, this is a hasan hadeeth).

In ‘Awn al-Ma’bood (2/347) al-Khattaabi said: “Al-sadl: letting one’s clothes hang down all the way to the ground.” It was reported in Marqaat al-Mafaateeh (2/236): “Al-sadl is completely forbidden because it has to do with showing off, and in prayer it is even worse.” The author of al-Nihaayah said: “It means wrapping oneself up in one’s garment, leaving one’s hands inside and bowing and prostrating in it.” It was said that the Jews used to do this. It was also said that al-sadl meant putting the garment over one’s head or shoulders, and letting its edges come down in front and over one’s upper arms, so that a person will be preoccupied in taking care of it, which reduces khushoo’, unlike garments that are tied up properly or buttoned, which do not dist ract the worshiper or affect his khushoo’. These kinds of clothes are still to be found nowadays in some parts of Africa and elsewhere, and in the way some Arabian cloaks are worn, which distract the worshiper and keep him busy adjusting them, retying them if they become loose and so on. This should be avoided.

The reason why it is forbidden to cover one’s mouth was explained by the scholars as being because that prevents a person from reciting Qur’an and doing sujood properly. (Marqaat al-Mafaateeh, 2/236).

Not resembling animals

Allah has honored the son of Adam and created him in the best way, so it is shameful for the son of Adam to resemble or imitate animals. We have been forbidden to resemble or imitate a number of postures or movements of animals when we pray because that is contrary to khushoo’ or because it is ugly and does not befit the worshiper who is praying. For example, it was reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) forbade three things in prayer: pecking like a crow, spreading one’s forearms like a carnivore, or always praying in the same place like a camel keeping to its own territory. (Reported by Ahmad, 3/428).

It was said that when a man always prays in the same place in the mosque, making it his own, it is like a camel keeping to its own territory. (Al-Fath al-Rabaani, 4/91).

According to another report: “He forbade me to peck like a cockerel, to sit like a dog or to turn like a fox.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, 2/311; Saheeh al-Targheeb, no. 556).

This is what we were able to mention about the means of attaining khushoo’, so that we may strive for them, and about the things that detract from khushoo’, so that we can avoid them.

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5. Meetings at Home (This Part is Missing)


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6. Good manners at home

Spreading kindness in the home

‘A’isha (ra) said: “The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: ‘When Allah – may He be glorified – wills some good towards the people of a household, He introduces kindness among them.’” (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/71; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 303).

According to another report: “When Allah loves the people of a household, He introduces kindness among them.” (Reported by Ibn Abi al-Dunya and others; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1704). In other words, they start to be kind to one another. This is one of the means of attaining happiness in the home, for kindness is very beneficial between the spouses, and with the children, and brings results that cannot be achieved through harshness, as the Prophet (saws) said: “Allah loves kindness and rewards it in such a way that He does not reward for harshness or for anything else.” (Reported by Muslim, Kitaab al-Birr wa’l-Sillah wa’l-Aadaab, no. 2592).

Helping one’s wife with the housework

Many men think that housework is beneath them, and some of them think that it will undermine their status and position if they help their wives with this work.

The Messenger of Allah (saws), however, used to “sew his own clothes, mend his own shoes, and do whatever other work men do in their homes” (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/121; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4927).

This was said by his wife ‘A’isha (ra), when she was asked about what the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to do in his house; her response described what she herself had seen. According to another report, she said: “He was like any other human being: he would clean his clothes, milk his ewe, and serve himself.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/256; al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 671).

She (ra) was also asked about what the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to do in his house, and she said, “He used to serve his family, then when the time for prayer came, he would go out to pray.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 2/162).

If we were to do likewise nowadays, we would achieve three things:

  • We would be following the example of the Prophet (saws)
  • We would be helping our wives
  • We would feel more humble, not arrogant.

Some men demand food instantly from their wives, when the pot is on the stove and the baby is screaming to be fed; they do not pick up the child or wait a little while for the food. Let these ahadeeth be a reminder and a lesson.

Being affectionate towards and joking with the members of the family.

Showing affection towards one’s wife and children is one of the things that lead to creating an atmosphere of happiness and friendliness in the home. Thus the Messenger of Allah (saws) advised Jaabir to marry a virgin, saying, “Why did you not marry a virgin, so you could play with her and she could play with you, and you could make her laugh and she could make you laugh?” (The hadeeth is reported in a number of places in the Saheehayn, such as al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 9/121). The Prophet (saws) also said: “Everything in which Allah’s name is not mentioned is idleness and play, except for four things: a man playing with his wife…” (Reported by al-Nisaa’i in ‘Ushrat al-Nisa’, p. 87; also in Saheeh al-Jaami’). The Prophet (saws) used to treat his wife ‘A’isha affectionately when doing ghusl with her, as she (ra) said: “The Messenger of Allah and I used to do ghusl together from one vessel, and he would pretend to take all the water so that I would say, ‘Leave some for me, leave some for me,’” – and both of them were in a state of janaabah (impurity). (Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, 4/6).

The ways in which the Prophet (saws) showed affection towards young children are too famous to need mentioning. He often used to show his affection towards Hasan and Husayn, as mentioned above. This is probably one of the reason why the children used to rejoice when he came back from traveling; they would rush to welcome him, as reported in the Saheeh hadeeth: “Whenever he came back from a journey, the children of his household would be taken out to meet him.” He (saws) used to hug them close to him, as ‘Abd-Allah ibn Jafar said: “Whenever the Prophet (saws) came back from a journey, we would be taken out to meet him. One day we met him, Hasan, Husayn and I. He carried one of us in front of him, and another on his back, until we entered Medina” (Saheeh Muslim, 4/1885-2772; see the commentary in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 8/56).

Compare this with the situation in some miserable homes where there are no truthful jokes [i.e, jokes that do not involve lying], no affection, and no mercy. Whoever thinks that kissing his children goes against the dignity of fatherhood should read the following hadeeth: from Abu Hurayrah (ra) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (saws) kissed al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, and al-Aqra’ ibn Haabis al-Tameemi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra’ said: ‘I have ten children and I have never kissed any one of them. ‘ The Messenger of Allah (saws) looked at him and said: ‘The one who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.’”

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7. Evils in the Home (This Part is Missing)


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8. The home inside and out

Choosing a good location and design of home

No doubt the true Muslim pays attention to the choice and design of a home in ways that others do not.

With regard to location, for example:

The home should be close to a mosque. This has obvious advantages: the call to prayer will remind people of prayer and wake them up for it; living close to the mosque will enable men to join the congregational prayers, women to listen to the Qur’an recitation and dhikr over the mosque’s loudspeakers, and children to join study-circles for memorization of Qur’an, and so on.

The home should not be in a building where there are immoral people, or in a compound where kuffar live and where there is a mixed swimming pool and so on.
The house should not overlook others or be overlooked; if it is, he should put up curtains and make walls and fences higher.

With regard to design and lay out, for example:

He should pay attention to the matter of segregating men and women when non-mahrams come to visit, e. g. separate entrances and sitting areas. If that cannot be done, then use should be made of curtains, screens, and so on.

Covering windows, so that neighbors or people in the street will not be able to see who is in the house, especially at night when the lights are on.

The toilets should not be sited in such a way that one faces the Qiblah when using them.

Choosing a spacious house with plenty of amenities.

This is for a number of reasons:

“Allah loves to see the signs of His blessings on His slave.” (Hadeeth narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2819 hasan hadeeth).

“There are three elements of happiness and three elements of misery. The elements of happiness are: a righteous wife, who when you see her she pleases you, and when you are absent from her you feel that you can trust her with regard to herself and your wealth; a compliant riding-beast that helps you to keep up with your companions; and a house that is spacious and has plenty of amenities. The elements of misery are: a wife who when you see her you feel upset, she keeps attacking you verbally, and when you are absent from her you do not feel that you can trust her with regard to herself and your wealth; a stubborn riding-beast that if whip it, you get tired, and if you do not whip it, it does not help you to keep up with your companions; and a house with few amenities.” (Hadeeth narrated by al-Haakim, 3/262; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 3056).

Pay attention to health-related matters such as ventilation, natural light, and so on

Choosing the neighbor before the house

This is a matter which has to be singled out for discussion because of its importance. Nowadays neighbors have more impact on one another, because houses are closer together and people live together in buildings, apartments and compounds.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) told us of four causes of happiness, one of which is a righteous neighbor, and four causes of misery, one of which is a bad neighbor. (Reported by Abu Na’eem in al-Hilyah, 8/388; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 887).

Because of the seriousness of the latter, the Prophet (saws) used to seek refuge with Allah from bad neighbors in his du’a’: “Allahumma innee a’oodhu bika min jaar al-soo’ fi daar il-muqaamah fa inna jaar al-baadiyah yatahawwil (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from a bad neighbor in my permanent home, for the neighbor in the desert [i.e. on a journey] moves on).” He commanded the Muslims to seek refuge with Allah from a bad neighbor in a permanent home because the neighbor in the desert will eventually move on. (Reported by al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, no. 117; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2967).

There is no room here to talk about the influence a bad neighbor may have on a couple and their children or the kinds of nuisance he can cause or the misery of living next to him. But applying these ahadeeth quoted above to one’s own life should be sufficient for the one who is possessed of understanding. Another practical solution is that implemented by some good people who rent neighboring homes for their families, so as to solve the neighbor problem. This may be an expensive solution, but a good neighbor is priceless.

Paying attention to necessary repairs in the home, and making sure that the amenities are in good working order

Among the blessings of Allah in this modern age are the “modern conveniences” that He has bestowed upon us which make many things easier and save time, such as air-conditioners, fridges, washing-machines, and so on. It is wise to have the best quality of appliances that one can afford without being extravagant or putting oneself under financial strain. We should also be careful to distinguish between useful extras and extravagant additions that have no real value.

Part of caring for the home includes fixing appliances and amenities that break down. Some people neglect these things, and their wives complain about homes crawling with vermin, with overflowing drains and piles of stinking garbage, filled with broken and worn out furniture.

No doubt this is one of the obstacles to happiness in the home, and causes problems in the marriage and health problems. The smart person is the one who hastens to fix these things.

Paying attention to the family’s health and safety procedures

When any member of his family got sick, the Messenger of Allah (saws) would blow on them and recite al-Mi’wadhatayn (last two Surahs of the Qur’an). (Reported by Muslim, no. 2192).

When one of his family members got sick, he would call for soup, and it would be made for him, then he would tell them to drink it, and he would say, “It will strengthen the heart of the one who is grieving and cleanse (heal) the heart of the one who is sick just as any one of you wipes the dirt from her face.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2039; Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 4646).

One of the ways of taking safety precautions is:

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “When evening comes, keep your children inside, for the Shaytans (devils) spread out at that time. Then when an hour of the night has passed, let your children go, lock the doors and mention the name of Allah, cover your pots and mention the name of Allah, even if you only place a stick across the top of your vessel, and extinguish your lamps.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 10/88-89).

According to a report narrated by Muslim, he (saws) said: “Lock your doors, cover your vessels, extinguish your lamps and tie your knots properly [i.e., cover your jugs properly – in those days they would cover them with a piece of cloth and tie it], for the Shaytan does not open a door that is closed, or uncover something that is covered, or untie a knot that you tie. And the mouse could set the house on fire (i.e. it could pull out the wick of the lamp and set the house on fire).” (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 3/103); Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1080).

The Prophet (saws) said: “Do not leave fires lit in your houses when you go to sleep.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 11/85).

And Allah knows best, and may Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

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