What does the home represent to each one of us? Isn't it not the place where one eats, rests, and enjoys the company of his family members? If we think about those who are homeless, or living in shelters, or as refuges scattered in temporary places, then we will realize the blessings of our home.
There are many motives for the believer to put their homes in order:
1. Protecting oneself and the family from the fire of Hell, and keeping them safe from the Allah's punishment.
2. The great responsibility borne by the head of the household on the day of judgment.
3. The home is a safe haven to protect us from evils and keep one's own evils from people, it is a refuge prescribed by Islam at times of fitnah (tribulation).
4. The home shares a big part of the human life, and therefore maintaining a healthy home provides a good environment to spend the time in the worship of Allah, and refraining from wrongdoing.
5. The home is an essential part of building the strong blocks for the Muslim society.
Following are tips to help you revive and strengthen your Muslim home:
Make Your Home a Place For the Remembrance of Allah
Revive your homes with all kinds of Dhikr. The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 Quran, by discussing Islamic issues, or by reading different kinds of Islamic books.
Help Your Family Increase Their Faith
Encourage your house members to pray, fast, give charity as means of increasing faith.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 throws water in her face." (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
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-Ayyam al-Bid (the 13th, 14th and 15th of each Hijri month), Mondays and Thursdays, Tasu'a' and 'Ashura' (the 9th and 10th of Muharram), 'Arafah, and frequently in Muharram and Sha'ban, this will be a motive for them to do likewise.
Learn Supplications Related to Home
The messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) 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: '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.'". (Ahmad)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said:
"If a man goes out of his house and says, 'Bismillah, Tawakkaltu 'Ala Allah, La Hawla Wa La Quwwata Illa Billah (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?'"(Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)
"When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) entered his house, the first thing he would do was use Siwak." (Muslim)
Continuously Recite Surah Al-Baqarah to Ward Off Shaytan
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
"Do not make your houses into graves. The Shaytan flees from a house in which Surat al- Baqarah is recited." (Muslim)
Concerning the virtues of the last two Ayat of this Surah, and the effect of reciting them in one's house, he (peace be upon him) 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." (Ahmad)
Teach Your Family
"O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones..."
Allocate some time for the family, and even for others such as relatives, to hold a study-circle at home and encourage them to come regularly, so that it will be an ongoing commitment for you and them.
Build Your Islamic Library
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.
Include books of varying levels, so that old and young, men and women can all use them.
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 Hadiths properly given.
One way in which you can help family members find a book when they want it is to organize the books according to subject, Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh ..etc.
One of the family members could also compile alphabetical or subject indexes of the library, to make it easier to look for books.
Consult and seek advice from those who have experience in the field of books.
Whomever Allah wishes good for, He helps him to understand His religion.
Have a 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? Having a home audio library containing good Islamic tapes by scholars 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.
Listening to Quran recitation will have a great impact on family members, whether by reflecting on the meaning, or help memorizing it.
We often find that tapes for children have a great influence on them. Have them listen to a young Quran reciter, or Du'as recited at various times of day and night, or Islamic manners, or Nashids (with no instrumental accompaniment)with a useful message, and so on.
Distribute good tapes by giving or lending them to others after listening to them.
Invite Righteous People and Seekers of Knowledge to Visit Your Home
"My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women...". [Nuh 71:28]
If people of faith enter your home, it will increase in light (Nur), 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.
Avoid Showing Family Conflicts In Front of Others
It is rare for people to live together under one roof without any arguments, but reconciliation is better and correcting oneself is a virtue.
What shakes the unity of the family and harms its infrastructure is when conflicts are brought out into the open before the members of the family, who then split into two or more opposing camps, not to mention the psychological harm that is done to children, especially little ones.
Think about a home where the father says to the child, "Do not speak to your mother," and the mother says to him, "Do not speak to your father."
The child is confused and filled with turmoil, and the entire family lives in an atmosphere of hostility. We should try to avoid conflict, but if it happens, we should try to hide it.
We ask Allah to create love between our hearts.
Have a Schedule for Meals And Bedtime
There is nothing nicer than a family gathering together at the table and making the most of this opportunity to ask how everyone is and to discuss useful topics.
Spread Kindness in the Home
'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 'When Allah - may He be glorified - wills some good towards the people of a household, He introduces kindness among them.' ".
This is one of the means of attaining happiness in the home, for kindness is very beneficial between the family members, and brings results that cannot be achieved through harshness, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Allah loves kindness and rewards it in such a way that He does not reward for harshness or for anything else." (Muslim)
Showing affection towards family members is one of the things that lead to creating an atmosphere of happiness and friendliness in the home.
The prophet (peace be upon him) used to show his affection towards his wives, children and everyone around. Abu Hurairah said:
"The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) kissed al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, and al-Aqra' ibn Habis At-Tamimi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra' said: 'I have ten children and I have never kissed any one of them.' The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) looked at him and said: 'The one who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.'"
Resist Bad Manners in The Home
Every member of the household is bound to have some bad characteristics, such as lying, backbiting, gossiping and so on. These bad characteristics have to be resisted and opposed. 'A'ishah said:
"If the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to know that one of his household had told a lie, he would try to ignore him until he repented." (Ahmad)
Shield Your Home Against Common or Hidden Evils
Beware of non-Mahram relatives entering upon women when their husbands are absent.
Men and women should sit separately during family visits.
Beware of the dangers of having male drivers and female servants in the house.
Beware of the dangers of TV.
Beware of the evils of the telephone.
Remove everything that contains symbols of the false religions of the Kuffar or their gods and objects of worship.
Remove pictures of animate beings.
Do not allow smoking in your homes.
Do not keep dogs in your homes.
Avoid too much decoration in your homes (keep it simple).
Pay Attention to Family's Health and Safety
When any member of his family got sick, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) would blow on them and recite al-Mu'widhatayn (last two Surahs of the Quran). (Muslim)
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." (Tirmidhi)
May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
From "40 Recommendations for the Muslim Home" by Sheikh Muhammad Al-Munajjid
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