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Lesson The Status of Family in Islam

In this lesson, we will learn about the concept of the family in Islam and its significance within the religion.

  • Learn about the concept of the family in Islam
  • Explain the status of the family in Islam
  • Identify the pillars of family building in Islam

The Concept of an Ummah (Nation of Followers)

An ummah consists of individuals who share common traits, such as roots, language, history, and, most importantly, religion. These individuals emerge from marital homes comprised of a husband and a wife. And they, in turn, will form new families that will produce sons and daughters who will continue this cycle, thus ensuring the ummah's survival and prosperity.

A healthy marital life is a foundation for the lifeline of the ummah. Thus, it is necessary to focus on its foundation: The family unit.

Although human beings are social by nature, they do not find comfort except by living in a society that connects them through various relationships. Additionally, they need to allocate certain feelings and emotions toward a limited number of individuals, those being other family members. The Family in Islam is a social unit consisting of a man and a woman brought together through religious matrimony and the offspring that come from that union.

Islam has taken care of this social entity; it starts with urging people to marry and care for the rights of the young, and it ends with regulating the relationship between all members of a single family. This family structure is the ideal display of a person's humanity as Allah, the most high, willed it.

The Status of the Family in Islam

The family in Islam is the cornerstone for the formation of a healthy and balanced human society.
The family is the ideal and pure construct from which individuals come forth and under which bonds are formed.
The family in Islam is the first place in which various sound social behaviors are formed in a person and in which people learn what their rights are and the duties that they have to carry out.
The family in Islam is the one that nurtures the instinct of the father so his lineage can be extended, with the purpose of preserving humankind.
A testament to the high status of the family in Islam is that Allah has enumerated it from the many blessings He bestowed upon humanity. Allah says: ﴾O mankind, fear your Lord Who created you from a single soul and created from it its mate, and from both of them created countless men and women﴿ [An-Nisa:1].

Marriage in Islam

Allah placed in both the man and the woman an instinctive inclination towards the other and made marriage a legitimate means to fulfill this inclination. He made it a means by which mankind can reproduce and preserve its existence. Therefore, Islam urges marriage through both the Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ.

The Islamic family is built upon two main pillars of support

Psychological Support

It includes the psychological comfort as well as affection and mercy as mentioned in the statement of Allah: ﴾And among His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves that you may find comfort in them, and He placed between you love and mercy. Indeed, there are signs in this for people who reflect.﴿ [Ar-Rum:21]

Material Support

It consists of fulfilling the terms of the marital contract and the commitment of each of the spouses to his or her duties, including expenditure, care, and taking care of the affairs of the home and what is in the best interests of the children.

Islam encourages both spouses to take care of this building and to preserve it so that it does not collapse and leave the individuals seeking shade within it dispersed. That is why Islam urges patience and the continuation of the marital relationship, even if passion between the two parties disappears. Allah says: ﴾And live with them kindly. And if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah places in it much good.﴿ [An-Nisa:19]

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