By Sheikh M. Salih Al-Munajjid
12 May 2013
AND Allah has made for you in your homes an abode…” (Al-Nahl 16:80)
The home is a blessing. Here, Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) commented: “Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, is mentioning about His complete blessing on 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 home represent for each one of us? Is it not the place where we eat, enjoy intimacy with family members; sleep and rest? Is it not the place where we can be alone and can meet with our wives 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…” (Qur’an, 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 blessings 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 others’ house, sometimes in a café 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).” (Qur’an, 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: “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.” (Qur’an, 66:6)
Secondly: The great responsibility borne by the head of the household on the Day of Reckoning.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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.”
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 Islam at times of fitnah (strife, tribulation).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Blessed is the one who controls his tongue, whose house is sufficient for him, and who weeps over his mistakes.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 and respecting him, or sitting in his home so that the people are safe from him and he is safe from the people.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 his wife from wanton display and unveiling, and will protect his children from bad company.
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 halal 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 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 mujahideen, 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.
— Excerpts from Sheikh Munajjid’s book, ‘The Muslim Home – 40 recommendations’