Verily all praise is due to Allah, and peace and blessings upon our humble and beloved Prophet, and upon his family and companions.
To proceed: There is a saying which goes: “Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house”. It means not to correct other people if your household needs help. A better quote is that given by Allah Himself: “O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from the fire whose fuel is Man and rocks, over it are stern angels…” [s66: v6].
The companions, the scholars, and those who follow their way are the ones who are the first to implement what they preach, and work first on their families.
Abdullah bin Umar related how when his father, Umar bin Khattab (r.a.a) used to implement a practice on the people, he would implement it first on his family. If any of his family were to break any rules, they would receive double punishment. Umar understood the importance the family plays in a Muslim society.
As ‘dedicated’ Muslims, declaring our intention to fix the world’s problems, giving Dawah to people who don’t even care, we have lost focus of the most vulnerable people to either be guided or lost – our family.
It’s not good enough to call others to our religion without initially checking on the devotional needs of our family. Nor to leave their educational needs to other people. This is why Allah has commanded us to marry only the pious: “Choose [the best] for your generation because [the failure of a single] generation can lead to crises” [Ibn Majah].
Today’s men allow their wives to attend unIslamic functions, to intermingle with men, and reveal their honour. Haven’t they heard the saying of the Prophet (s.a.w), who declared: “A man’s sins are as great as his wife’s ignorance”? If he argues that he cannot control her actions, then woe onto him! The Messenger of Allah clearly stated that “whoever is submissive to the likes and dislikes of a woman will be thrown by Allah into Hell,” and “Shame on a man who becomes his wife’s slave.” [Al-Firdausi]
And the wives who allow their husbands to play with Riba, and watch adulterous movies. Indeed, the first account a woman will have on the Day of Judgement is that over her husband.
Prophet Zakariya (a.s) cried to his Lord for a son who would succeed him in the establishment of Allah’s religion. And the pious believers call to their Lord for a righteous family: “Our Lord! Grant us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes and guide us the grace to lead the righteous” [s.25;v.74].
Children are an important investment, for both this world and the Hereafter. In this world, they are the carriers of this religion. The knowledge we teach them will be passed on for further generations. It is beyond rationality to think as to why this crucial knowledge is left at the hands of non-Muslims. We have been commanded to give priority to our family, and our children. The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Rearing a son is better than giving charity. There is no better gift from a father to his children than good (education) and behaviour” [Tirmidhi].
O You who spend the days conversing on your rights over your wives, and the disobedience of your children! You are their guardian, so guard well. You place them in the schools where sexual perversion is taught and encouraged, where drugs are rife and ill manners appreciated. You spend no time to teach, you forgot their rights, yet cry out for yours. How many sisters who are forced to wear the Hijab, yet rip it off when they get to school. You can find the time to see to the needs of your belly, but not your children.
“All children are born innocent. It is their parents who make them Jewish, Christian or Zoroastrian.” [Bukhari and Muslim].
Our children are also our Hereafter: “When a man dies, only three deeds will continue to earn him merit. These are an endowment or scholarship or continuous charity, beneficial knowledge, and righteous sons who pray for him.”
The Prophet (s.a.w) used to spend his day with his wives, see to their needs, play with the children, and go about his daily work. And so the Sahaba had ingrained into their hearts this practice, commanding their family towards good first, then to others.
That was the attitude of the best generation of Muslims. That is the example we must follow.