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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES-03

0106-THE FAMILY, (BAYT) (PART II)

Lecture for year 4 Medical Students on June 30 & July 07, 2001 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.

D. MARITAL DYSFUNCTION

Occurrence of marital problems: Problems occur in marriages even among the best of people. The prophet (PBUH) had a domestic problem that resulted in a 1-month separattion from his wives (KS 479). The problem was resolved peacefully when the prophet gave the women a choice and they chose Allah and the messenger returning to their marriages. Fatimat al Zahra the princess of women in the universe, sayyidat nisaa al ‘aalmaiin (KS 419) and the best of women in jannat, afdhal nisaa ahl al jannate (KS 419), and a highly desired bride courted by both Abubakr and Omar (KS 418), married Ali Ibn al Abi Taalib (KS418) and experienced marital problems. She found household work hard, mashaqqat ‘amal al ddaar (KS419). She complained about her spouse and the prophet reconciled them (KS 419). Spouses change; a good person on marriage may become something else once in the home. It is therefore a constant struggle to maintain the good and suppress the bad. Marriage by its own nature is not a perfect institution but it is the best alternative for bringing up children, building a society and providing psychological security. The imperfections arise from putting together people of different psychological make-ups, different moods, different upbringing and life experiences. It takes time for them to work out their differences, find their compatibilities and live together happily. Problems preferably should be prevented or solved peacefully. No good ever comes out of a marital fight. Those involved should be aware of the consequences of marital discord on the whole family in both the short and long terms.

 

Symptoms of marital dysfunction: Marital failure manifests in the appearance of the home, and behavior of the 2 spouses. The general atmosphere in the home is unhappiness. There is depression, loss of interest, and de-motivation. A failing wife feels uncomfortbale with failure of her nurturing role as home manager. She may try to compensate or prove herself by outside activities. This only makes the home situation worse. A failing husband behaves like a dictator and avoids being in touch with the problems in his home. He resorts to being psychologically distant and uninvolved in the affairs of the family.

 

Causes of  problems in marriage: The following are possible causes of marital problems: sexual dysfunction, poor communication, infidelity, incompatibility, mental illness, personal incompetence of either spouse, social stresses, social dysfunciton, and poor communication. Sexual problems can be discussed and treatment sought for them like any other illness. It is prohibited to abandon the marital bed for any reason, tahriim hijrat al firaash (KS 542). Incompatibility is the commonest cause of marital conflict. Spouses may be incompatible on the basis of age, socio-economic status, religiosity, and basic personality characteristics. Attempts should be made to avoid incompatibility while selecting a spouse. When it is discovered after the marriage it should be accepted, analyzed, and measures taken to mitigate its impact. You have to think "we' instead of "I" and "you". Selfishness and egotism are expressed as: pride, stubbornness, arrogance  rage/anger, hate, envy and jealousy, impatience, and narcism. Infidelity could be the crime of zina. Lesser forms of zina that also destroy a family may involve a secret longing, love, or bonding to another person of the opposite sex whether real or imagined. This creates a situation of comparison that always puts the spouse at a disadvantage and eventually results into an emotional gap between the spouses. Mental illness and unresolved psycholgical scars from childhood could destroy a marriage. The original problem should be recognized and treated. Many problems should not destroy a marriage because they are manifestation of mental ilness that can be treated. Incompetence of the spouse and neglect of basic duties eventually causes frustration that detroys the family. Some sources and factors can put severe stress on a marriage. A strong marital relation can withstand them; a weak one may succumb. Among the causes of stress are: arrival of the first child, poverty, inlaws, and intimate involvement of outside parties. The involvement of outside parties is condemned (KS 547).

 

Marital conflicts: Misunderstandings should be minimized. The best policy is to avoid conflict by each spouse doing what pleases and avoiding what annoys the other. Unresolved conflicts could lead to spousal physical or emotional abuse. Conflicts should be solved primarily by the two spouses talking to one another and finding the cause of conflict. If they can not resolve the matter they should seek arbitration by people of wisdom and character.

 

E. MARITAL FAILURE

Marital dissolution: A marriage can be dissolved in three ways: (1) death (2) divorce (3) annulment by a court of law due to defects such as insanity, male impotence, vagina closed, riddat etc. The Qur’an has given legal guidelines on divorce (p. 1100 2:227-232, 33:28, 33:49, 65:6-7). The causes of divorce may be from the husband, nushuuz al rajul (p. 1220 4:128) or from the woman, nushuuz al mar at (p 1280 4:34). Divorce is not a solution to marital problems. Although permitted, it is the most hated of the permitted things, abghadh al halaal (KS 348). It is a sin to ask for divorce, ithm man talaba al talaaq (KS 345). Reconciliation should be attempted before the final divorce, al islaah (KS 348). Even after divorce, good treatment of the wife in enjoined by the institution of the post-divorce financial support, nafaqat al talaaq (p. 1095 2:229, 2:236-237, 65:6-7). When a divorce occurs, both spouses are partners in the failure. Marriage is not disposable. You do not abandon a difficult relation instead of correcting it. Alternatives to divorce must always be explored before resort is made to this most hateful of all permissible things. The following factors are related to the risk of divorce (1) Socio-economic (SES) differences between spouses (2) a big age difference or both being too young (3) financial difficulties. Divorce is preceded by (1) withdrawal of love (2) lack of attention to the needs of each spouse (3) belittling (4) criticism. Divorce impacts both the spouses: anger, depression, and a feeling of relief if the relation was abusive. Children of divorce are affected economically and emotionally. They can not understand what happened. The effects are long-term.

 

Broken family: A broken family has either sufferred from death of a spouse or family breakdown. Some families are healthy and are functioning well to fulfil their functions. Others are are abnormal and pathological. A familly can be broken in two ways: divorce and death of a spouse. Divorce is the worst that can happen to the family. It breaks the family unit and members are scattered while continuing to nursse bitter feelings towards one another. Death of a spouse is a cause of material and psychological deprivation but is not as bad as divorce because there are no continuing feelings of enmity among family members. In some cases it pulls the remaining members of the family more closely together

 

Family failure: The signs and symptom of family failure are usually very obvious even to a casual visitor: bad physical appearance of the home (dirt, poverty), poor behavior and interaction of family members (conflict, laziness, lack of outings and regular meals). The house is not organized and is often dirty. A dirty and poorly- kept house indicates lack of pride in the home and family. Meals are not regular. An occasional visitor will not feel comfortable. The children avoid being in the home and prefer being out somewhere. One or both of the spouses may opt to stay out of the home as much as is possible usually giving excuses related to work or responsibilities out of the home. Poverty may be inevitable due to circumstances beyond your control. In many cases it is due to family failure when family members can not work together as a team to support the family materially. Unhappy family bread-winners can not be as economically productive as those who come from happy and supportive families. Conflict is more likely in a family than other social settings because of the close interaction and inter-dependence of family members. Conflict is the commonest manifestation of family failure. Love and mutual help are replaced by acrimony and bad feelings. Conflict is commonest between the spouses. It could also occur between parents and children or among the children. Other members of the extended family may also be involved. Lack of routines and regular meals are manifestations of lack of leadership and initiative in a failing family. Laziness indicates lack of purpose and low motivation.

 

3.0 PARENTS AND RELATIVES

A. GOOD TREATMENT OF PARENTS (BIRR AL WAALIDAYN):

The Qur'an has in many verses enjoined good treatment of parents, birr al waalidayn (p 188 2:83, 2:215, 4:36, 6:151, 17:23-24, 29:8, 31:14-15, 46:15-18). Good treatment of parents is one of the most loved work to Allah (KS 247), is a reason for for entering heaven (KS 247), and has great rewards (KS 247). Good treatment of elderly parents ensures entry to jannat (KS 247). Good treatment covers both the father and the mother, wasiyyat bi al ab wa al umm (KS 247). The mother has preference in companionship, al umm ahaqq al naas bi al suhbat (KS 248). Birr al walidayn includes doing good for them, ihsaan ila al aba. (p 1 2:83, 4:36, 6:151, 17:23, 46:15),  honoring them, takrim al aba (p 1 12:99-100), praying for them, dua li al aba (p 1 9:114, 19:47, 26:86, 60:4), and extending the good treatment to their friends (KS 247). The friends must be respected during the life and after the death of the parents.

 

B. DUTIES TO PARENTS:

Parents must be respected and never shown any contempt whatever their behavior.  Each spouse should show consideration to the parents of the other spouse like his or her own parents. Talking to parents must be polite. Ibrahim (PBUH) was polite with his non-beliving father. Righteous parents should be followed (p 12 2:133, 12:38). Parents must be obeyed as long as they do not order committing a sin (p 14 37:101-102). Their reputation and wealth must be kept. Attempts must be made to do what pleases them. They must be consulted and apolofies must be offered them if for some reason their advice can not be followed. There must be an immediate response when parents call. Kindness and generosity to parents in their senility and weakness is only a partial repayment of their efforts when the children were young. Gratitude for the parents' suffering and sacrifices must be shown.

 

C. MISTREATMENT OF PARENTS, UQUUQ AL WALIDAYN:.

Parents can not be abused, insulted, or cursed.. Cursing or mistreating, uquuq,  parents is considered one of the major sins, kabair, and leads to severe punishment (KS 248). Allah responds to parents' dua against their children (KS 248). The voice should not be raused in the presence of parents. Parents must always be told the truth and no lies should ever be told to them whatever the excuse. The grand-children and spouses can not be preferred above parents in any situation. Generosity must be extended to parents; miserliness to them should be avoided. Parents of others should bever be mistreated or insulted. They may insult your parents as a return and you will have caused injury to your own parents.

 

D. BIRR AL ARHAAM:

The near kindred, dhawi al qurba (KS 248) are…. The Qur’an enjoins good treatment of the near kindred, al ihsaan ila dhawi al qurba (p. 937 20:83, 4:36). This includes feeding them, it’aam dhawi al qurba (p. 937 90:14-15), giving them financial support, infaaq ala dhawi al qurba (p. 937 2:177, 2:215, 4:8, 8:41, 24:22, 59:7), joining kindred relartions, silat dhawi al qurba (p. 937 16:90), and loving them, mawaddat al qurba (p. 938 42:23). They have definite rights that should not be violated, huquuq dhawi al qurba (p. 937 16:90, 17:26, 30:38) and these include rights of inheritance as enunciated in the law of inheritance, miraath dhawi al qurba (p 937 4:7-8, 4:11, 4:33). There is great reward for joining kindred relations, ajr silat al rahim (KS 246, KS 247). A person is rewarded for good companionship with relations, ajr husn suhbat al aqaarib (KS 248). It is sin to cut off kindred relations, ithm qatiu al rahim (KS 246). Doing good for relations is expiation from sins, birr dhawi al arhaam kaffaarat (KS 246). Good treatment of the paternal uncle, birr al ‘amm and the maternal aunt, birr al khaalat (KS 248). Kindred relations are more deserving of charity, dhawi al rahim ahaqq bi al sadaqat (KS 247).

 

D. RELATIONS AS SOCIAL INSURANCE:

Islam teaches joining kindred relations and castigates cutting them off. The extended family is supposed to be an association for mutual material and psychological support. Good relations within this association ensures that help will be available at the time of need.

 

E. KINDRED RELATIONS AND RELIGION:

It is duty to call the kindred relations to Islam, dawa dhawi al qurba (p. 937 6:74, 19:42-47, 21:52, 26:70, 26:214). However love for kindred relations should not stand in the way of establishing the truth, ‘adam muhabaat al qurba fi al haqq (p 937 4:135, 5:106, 6:152) or the correct aqidat, ‘adam muhabaat al qurba fi al aqidat (p 937 9:23-24, 9:113-114, 11:42-47, 19:47, 43:26, 58:22, 60:1-4, 111:1-5).

 

4.0 CHILDREN

A. GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT

Physical Growth: Gowth refers to increase in body size. The stages of physical growth are: infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and old age.

 

Physical Development: Development refers to the pattern of movements or change that begin at conception and continue throughout the life cycle. Development increases functional specialization and capability. Development involves change but not all change is development. Development includes both maturation and increasing experience. Development  has biological, cognitive, and social aspects. They normally go in tandem in a normal child. Development is a continuous process. Later development builds on earlier experiences.

 

Breast-feeding by the mother, irdhau al mar at waladaha (p. 1093 2:233, 65:6, 2:233, 65:6) is strongly emphasized because it is the best nutrition in the first stages of growth and also has important psychological effects.

 

Retarded growth and development: Development impairments early in life could affect the capacity for development later in life. Parents must be aware of the rapid growth and development of children and should adapt their parenting to the requirements of each stage of growth and functional development.

 

B. RELATIONS OF PARENTS  and CHILDREN

IDENTITY

Lineage, nasab (p. 1217 25:54): For psychological stability a child must belong to a set of parents, a family and a community. Knowing the parents is the basis of the child’s self-identification. Without it the child will have no self-esteem. The ceremony of aqiiqat introduces the child to the community (KS 389).

 

The only acceptable way parenthood is established in by legal marriage, majiu al walad bi al zawaaj (; 1323 3:47, 4:1, 19:20). However even a child conceived in adultery, is given legal lineage by being made to belong to the legal husband of the mother, al walad li al firaash (KS 263). A husband can not reject a child who does not resemble him (KS 263) neither can he ….him, maniu al intifau min al walad (KS 577). Legal adoption was prohibited in Islam, maniu al tabanni (p 226 37:4-5, 37:37-38, 33:40) because it distorts lineage relations. 

 

It is considered kufr to claim a false lineage (KS 543). Pride in lineage is prohibited, iftikhaa bi al ansaab (KS 543). It is also forbidden to make fun of others’ lineages, ta’ayiir fi al ansaab (KS 543). Among the legal relations between the child and the parent are the obligations of child financial support, infaaq ala al walad (p. 1322 2:233) and rearing the child, ri’ayat al walad (p 1322 12:21, 28:9, 71:21, 71:77). There are also rights of inheritance between the child and the parent, miraath al walad (p 1322 4:11, 4:12, 4:176).

 

Name, tasmiyat: A child acquires identity by carrying the family name of the father which indicates the lineage. The children are in addition given a forename usually by the 7th day (KS 85). The name should be selected with care because it has a great influence on the self-concept, identity, and self-esteem of the child. The best of names should be selected, tahsiin al asma (KS 85). The prophet changed the names of his grandchildren ro Hasan and Husain when he found that the names they had been given were not good (KS 200).

 

CHILDREN AS A TEST FOR PARENTS

Parents are tested by Allah when given children, al ibtilaau bi al walad (p 1322 8:28, 64:15). Some may become so pre-occupied by their children that they forget remembrance of Allah, inshighaal bi al walad ‘an dhikr al llaah (p 1322 63:9, 64:14). Some become proud of having many children, tafakhur bi al awlaad (p. 1322 7:55, 9:85); takaathur bi al walad (p 1322 9:69, 18:39, 19:77, 34:35, 57:20).

 

LOVE OF CHILDREN (KS 576):

Children are a gift from Allah. They must be valued. Children should know quite early that they are valued members of society and that they have roles to play. These roles change with changes in their social competence. Children are not miniature adults. They have to be treated differently. The prophet was very tolerant when Hasan and Husain jumped on his back during prostration in the mosque (KS 200).

 

Love for children, hubb al awlaad (p. 147 20:38-40, 28:7, 28:10-13) is a natural instinct in all parents and many adults of the human and non-human species. It ensures protection and security for the children. The love between children and parents is mutual. Children who are loved also love their parents. The old help the young while the young respect the old (KS 576). When parents age and become physically weak, the children extend physical help.

 

The prophet (PBUH) loved his daughter Fatima dearly, hubb al nabiy li Faatima (KS 418). He said lovingly that she was part of him, ba;adhu minhu (KS 418). While on his death-bed he whispered to her that he would die soon and she cried. He then whispered to her that she would be the first member of the family to join him and she laughed. She died 6 months after the passing away of the prophet (KS 418). Fatima loved her father and nursed him when sick (KS 418 and KS 419). The prophet also demonstrated a lot of love for his two grand-children, Hasan and Husain, hubb al nabiy li al hasan wa al husain (KS 199). He descended from the minbar one day in order to hold Hasan (KS 200). He prayed for Hasan and Husain, duaa al nabiy li al Hasan wa al Husain (KS 200). He kissed both of them before his death (KS 200).

 

The love for children and their treatment should be the same for all, al ‘adl bayna al awlaad (KS 576).Girls should also be well treated, husn mu’amalat al banaat (KS 575)

 

PARENTING

Parenting is not easy. Both parents have roles in child up-bringing. Oft forgotten is the father’s role in tarbiyah, masuliyat al ab al tarbawi (p 14 18:80-81, 19:28). Parenting is not easy. It requires time and patience. It is a process of learning by trial and error. It is physically and mentally exhausting but can be very rewarding. In the end guidance is from Allah. Despite our best efforts children may turn out as bad adults. In a few exceptional cases poorly-reared children turn out to be good adults. We should not lose heart as long as we had done the best we could for them.

 

Parenting starts right from the moment of conception. The period of gestation, haml al mar at (p 1095-1096 7:189, 13:8, 35:11, 65:6) is a physiological challenge for the mother. She has to maintain herself in the best physical and mental state for optimal fetal growth. She has to continue the effort throughout the parenting period until the child reaches maturity. Goodness of the mother, salah al umm (p. 147 5:75, 19:28), is a pre-requisite for proper growth and development.

 

Parent communication with children must be open, honest, mutual, and nurturing. Parents’ words must be consistent with actions. If parents fail in living up to the standards they set, they should be honest about it and show the children that they are trying to make up.

 

Parents must have time to play with their children. Children should be shown love by kissing and hugging. Parents must also pray with them and try to be with them as much as possible even at some social functions where children's presence could create some nuisance. Parents must not continue the unhealthy attitude of keeping aloof so that the children may fear and respect them. In this way you can cower and control them while young. They rebel or distance themselves as soon as they are able to establish their independence in the teenage years. While children they do not share their concerns and experiences with the bossy parent who as a consequence can not influence them. Successful parenting requires a high tolerance level for children. Children's actions and behavior can not be judged by adult standards. Each child is an individual; each is different. Successful parents accommodate the individual variations in children and do not follow stereo types.

 

C. MORAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT:

CONCEPT OF FITRA

Children are born in a pure and natural state, fitrat (KS 575); it is the environment that shapes them into either good or bad people. Muslim upbringing of children is thus very different from the Christian one. Christians who believe in original sin think that child upbringing is cleansing them and saving them from their innate sinfulness. Islam wants to build on and develop their innate good. The first 7-10 years are the formative period of personality. Influences at this stage of life, positive or negative, have long lasting impact. Children are born sinless in a state of fitra. Capacities for both evil and good exist; the final behavior is determined by the way they are reared. The instinct to do right exists at the start. If a child is left completely in a state of nature without any outside interference they will choose to do right. The age of legal maturity is defined biologically as either 15 years or the appearance of definitive signs of puberty: In boys the first sperm and in girls menarche. Attaining the age of legal maturity does not mean attaining wisdom. Many problems arise from high expectations of legally mature but unwise children.

 

GOOD MANNERS and ATTITUDES

Good manners and attitudes are not taught but are shown to children Behave as you want your children to behave and be consistent; they will emulate you. Keep out any other competing ideas or models of behavior. The social environment that children are exposed to should be carefully controlled. Do not allow children to play with mischievous / rebellious children in the neighborhood. TV is a social environment that must be controlled. Whom you visit and who visits you matter. The main aim is to keep out negative influences. The range of positive experiences to which children are exposed should be wide and varied. Moral development is the most important aspect of parenting. Morality is ability to distinguish right from wrong. It is innate but can be developed further. Children must be guided to understand moral issues as soon as possible. Moral values are universal and are not relative. Intellectual and moral development go hand in hand. Moral values can be taught by use of stories since young children can not appreciate abstract notions like honesty. Children should be taught the kalima, love of Allah,  love of Jannat, reliance on Allah, salat, reading Qur'an, attending Salat al-Jama’at, truthfulness. Hardwork, love of learning, exploration, bravery, and courage should be encouraged. Selfishness should be discouraged. Children should be warned against sins such as: Kufr, hirk, gambling, pornography, and smoking. They should be taught to wear Islamic dress, to use the right hand, cleanliness, and respect for the visitor.

 

D. INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT:

INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT

Children are not a tabula rasa. They certainly are born with instinctive knowledge of their creator. However their data-bank is limited. Their ability to learn from the environment is also limited. At the start of life, a child has only instincts. Children gradually learns from the environment and finally have an intellect.

 

CHILDHOOD LEARNING

Two educational principles are involved in early learning, the primacy and the structuring principles. The primacy principle states that what is learned early is learned best. The structuring principle states that what is learned first structures later learning. The span of life is fixed. The aim is to prepare the child to get the best out of a fixed time. It is therefore very important to pay attention to the first years of life. Good upbringing requires exposing children to a continuum of social development so that there are no sudden jumps from stage to stage. Development is individual and there are no fixed norms. Children reach milestones in cognition, learning, intelligence, and language at different rates. The tarbiyah given must be related to the level of intellectual and social development.

 

Often ignored is helping children grow intellectually. 

 

A child has both body and mind. Both must be taken care of for balanced growth and development. This is the crucial difference between man and animals. Animals have no mind; only their bodies grow. Genetic endowment determines basic intelligence. It defines the ceiling or the potential. Environmental stimulation can increase or hamper further development. The type of early environmental exposure determines the final level of intelligence. Early stimulation has an impact because the brain is still physically growing. Children start learning very early. Parents should learn listening to children. You can learn much from them. You also understand them more to be able to guide and parent them more efficiently. Never talk baby talk to children, talk serious things to them but use the vocabulary suited to their stage of development and repeat important things often. Children understand and retain information at a level higher than what most parents imagine. Children are born with an inner drive to investigate, explore and learn from the environment. This should be used in the learning process. The natural tendency of children to explore the world and learn by experimentation should be encouraged. It should never be viewed as a nuisance to be suppressed. Learning should be a pleasure. Fear or scolding are counter productive. A warm and democratic home fosters intellectual growth. The lay-out, organization and running of the home should be designed to facilitate child development and not for the convenience of adults.

 

The first intellectual skills that should be taught are language skills. Language influences the way people think. The first words that children learn should emphasize Iman. Complex, detailed, stimulating language should be used. Read to children as early as possible. The rhyme in poetry is liked by children. Early interest in books carries through to adulthood. A second language should be taught as soon as the primary language is stable. A second language is best mastered before puberty. Arabic, the language of the Qur’an, is the preferred second language. There should be zero tolerance for colloquial Arabic.

 

E. DISCIPLINE:

Children should be taught obedience. It is of religious, moral, and social importance in later life. Obedience is an attitude. It starts with obedience of Allah then the parents then those in authority. It also includes obedience of the physical laws, sunan al llaahi fi al kawn, and acceptance of social realities. Disobedient individuals tend to be marginal individuals in society, they may commit crimes and can not be good and religious individuals with stable family life.

 

Parents unknowingly teach their children to be disobedient. A wife obeying her husband and a husband obeying his parents are very good models for children. Children do what they see and not what they are told to do. Unusual/bad behavior of children is often a reflection of bad environment. First understand the causes before deciding on corrective measures. Disciplining of children must be firm, fair and appropriate. There must be house rules that are not broken. Too much scolding or belittling is child abuse. Children should be treated as individuals. They must be respected as humans with rights, feelings and concerns. As individuals they have a God-given self-worth and an identity that is unique. Children can not be the same and should not be expected to behave is similar ways. Neither should you expect your children to be exactly like you.

 

Children must be loved and that love should be shown. Most anti-social, destructive and emotionally unbalanced adults did not have a loving environment in childhood. Parental love for the youngest children should never be conditional. As they grow you can show them your anger at their misbehavior but they should never at any one moment feel rejected by their parents whatever the magnitude of their transgression. Preference for either male or female children is an un-Islamic custom that must stop. Preferential love or treatment of boys is wrong and unacceptable. All children  are equal and should be treated similarly. Children who feel they are not well treated may develop feelings of inferiority or jealousy. On the emotional level, it is difficult to love children equally. Some children are loving, obedient, and kind. They tend to be loved more than rebellious unaffectionate ones. Parent must recognize the differences but treat them equally.

 

Building self-esteem in children requires time and effort. Teach them to communicate their feelings. Listen to them. Negotiate and compromise with them in matters that are not strict rules. Your disciplining must be fair and consistent. Give them responsibilities and tasks. Allow them to make some decisions. Have a sense of humor. Give them loving care.

 

5.0 FAMILY DESTRUCTION

A. CAUSES OF FAMILY DESTRUCTION: ZINA and ANTECEDENTS

There are behaviors and habits that weaken and eventually destroy the family. Since a successful family is the basic building block of society, its destruction means destruction of the whole society. Family destruction could be due to internal or external factors. The internal factors are zina and its antecedents. The external factors are: socio-economic and political stresses. Minor zina is committed by the eye, ear, tongue & mouth, limbs, hands etc. These are antecedents to the actual crime of illegal intercourse. A community that allows sexual misconduct in public will soon find its family morals corrupted. Spread of zina is one of the signs of the Last Day, min ashraat al saa’at dhuhuur al zina (KS 265) Social controls against zina are more powerful than the law and its deterrents. Toleration of zina violates this control which arises primarily from the immediate family. Ghiira for a wife, a daughter, and a sister is one of the social controls that prevent zina. Indecent exposure affects the family negatively in the following ways: it causes sexual stimulation that may lead to zina, it is a form of covert zina because a man can be among women without being identified, it undermines the emotional and private bond between men and women, and it removes the instinctual gender identity and facilitates zina. Free mixing of the sexes (ikhtilat) could lead to illegal temptations and sexual crimes. Isolation of a man with an unrelated woman, khalwah, (KS 540) is a strong temptation for evil and should be avoided. A woman traveling alone without her husband or an unmarriageable male, mahram (KS 542-543) or a women should displaying her ornamentation, karahiyat khuruuj al nisaa fi al ziinat (KS 539), are all causeas of temptation. Display of ornamentation is more prohibited in the absence of the husband, al nahyu ‘an al tabarruj idha ghaaba ak zawj (KS 540).

 

B. CAUSES OF FAMILY DESTRUCTION: SOCIO-ECONOMIC

Socio-economic changes put stresses on the family. Demographic changes may not favor family stability when husbands can not earn enough to feed the family and mothers are forced to join the labor force. Imbalance of the gender ratio is one of the signs of the Last Day, min ashraat al sa’aat kathrurat al nisaa wa qillat al rijaal (KS 106).

 

C: PREVENTION OF FAMILY DESTRUCTION

Certain regulation are necessary to protect the family from evils that will lead to its destruction. The following measures are needed: (a) Preventive measures: education, tarbiyyah, early marriage, following the sharia, maintaining the privacy of the home. Marriage must be declared publicly to avoid any confusions (KS 548). (b) Avoiding zina and its antecedents: modesty in dress, no ikhtilaat, no khalwat, huduud as deterrent, privacy of the home.

 

Avoiding zina: Zina is prohibited, tahriim al zina (p. 544 4:24-25, 5:5, 17:32, 24:2-3, 25:68, 60:12). There is great sexual temptation between men and women (p. 1101 12;23-24, 12:30-34). The private parts must be guarded, hifdh al furuuj (p 891 21:91, 23:5, 24:30-31, 33:35, 66:12, 70:29). Both men and women must be modest by covering their awrat. Nobody is allowed to see anybody else’s awrat (KS 405) except the spouse (KS 405). The awrat should be covered in salat, al awrat fi al salat (KS 405), during bathing, al tasattur fi al ghusl (KS 405), in the bath, al tasattur fi al hammaam (KS 405), in the toilet, al tasattur ‘inda qadhai al haajat (KS 405), and at all times, al tasattur kull al waqt (KS 405). The covering of the woman, hijab al mar at (p. 1092 24:30-31, 24:60, 33:53, 33:59) was enjoined on the wives of the prophet and all Muslim women (KS 185). It involves covering parts of the body, satr al mar at (p. 1091 24:31) when outside the houseThe reason for the verses of hijab, sabab nuzuul ayat al hijaab (KS 541). Hijab gives the women protection from sexual harassment so that she can undetake her duties outside the home without any fear. In addition to the physical hijaab, the woman must be modest, hayau al mar at (p 1091 28:23-25; p 1096 28:23-25) and lower her gaze, ghadh al basar (P 1091 24:31). It also involves following the regulations about the woman’s ornamentation, ziinat al mar at (p. 1078 2:234, 43:18). Un-related perons should not enter homes without permission. Their entry violates the privacy of the home and could be a source of unnecessary temptations. Each gender should maintain its psychological, emotional identity and physical appearance in manners of dress, walking or speaking. Trying to blur the distinction interferes with the complementality that is supposed to exist between the two genders. The complementality is necessary to ensure cooperation. Blurring the differences could also make sexual misconduct easier. Severe punishment is reserved for those men who imitate women, mukhanathiin, and women who imitate men, mutarajilaat (KS 190) as well as those who try to resemble the opposite gender, mutashabihiin and mutashabihaat (KS 540).

 

D. SOCIAL REFORM

Right social environment: banishment of immoral idea such as calling for alternatives to the natural family and despising motherhood, and control of the media (films, TV, books) that cause sexual stimulation

 

Socio-economic environment improvement: poverty, forced labor of children and women lead to family break-up. Full employment for husbands to be able to support the family keeps the family together.

E. HUMAN RIGHTS

Respect for human rights ensures that both men and women get protection from physical and psychological violations of their honor. The protection could be physical, psychological or even emotional. In the absence of such protection, there is stress in the family that can cause break-ups.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. June 2001