“The topic of the PhD which I am undertaking compares the prophetic model of social restoration and the equivalent from the West. This leads me to discuss the problems facing the family circle today.
In recent years family problems have increased tremendously and the divorce rate is higher then ever before. The reason behind this is that in the past, entering a divorce used to be regarded as a very difficult situation whereas presently it has been facilitated by the easy manner men adapt when talking about it amongst themselves. Some men now joke with each other about how they have divorced their wives in a state of anger. Moreover, divorce has also become a figure of speech “alayia at-talaa’…”(“I swear to divorce her if…”) which is an expression easily used by everyone all the time. In addition, the number of single people has increased and the age of marriage for young girls has been delayed to later ages. It has become the norm to be single lady aged 30 a single man aged 35.
Conflicts between the married couples have increased while mutual understanding has diminished. The warmth of the married couple’s relationship has also changed. For example, in the past the man used to be very careful in keeping his household together, saying, “O people! Help, a home is being destroyed!” whereas these days, each partner wants to blame the other for the mistakes which keep increasing; each partner wants to have the absolute word in the house. Every day there is constant arguing; everyday there is a betrayal; everyday there is a divorce and everyday there are secret or open Internet relationships between men and women. These relationships create colossal damage to marriage in later life.
Such examples cause concern, since the family circle with the close bond between its members used to be the basis for this Ummah’s survival.
This bond in the family circle is the only remaining hope of survival for this Ummah. If the values nourished in the family circle are destroyed, then everything will be destroyed. Then another 300 more years have to pass for the Ummah to be able to regain its glory.
The West is surpassing us in Science, in Education and in other such domains. Therefore, this bond amongst the family members was the only thing we used to surpass the West in. The uniqueness of having family members closely bonding with each other made us do better than the West by far.
In the international congress about family, the head of the Arabic family association firmly said, “O you westerners, we are weaker then you in a lot of things but we have one factor; if we use it we will lead the world in 5 years. You also have the same factor but you neglect it. If you continue neglecting it, you will be destroyed. This factor is the bond of the family circle.”
These words that I say now are more important than a million lessons in morals, worshipping methods and praying. I am calling for the family to remain closely bonded together. If it does, the society will have a bright future.
It is possible that all defences for the survival of the Ummah may be demolished, one after another, but the final defence is that the family circle must remain strong.
If this final defence was destroyed, then surely the Ummah and society will also be destroyed. Therefore, let us hold fast to this last survival hoop and each one of us say: My family!
The framing of the human brain includes 4 factors. These are the Media, the School, the Mosque and the Family.
The most available factor of the other three is the Media. Although its influence is very fast, it lacks depth in building the character of a person, which the other three factors have. Therefore if you brought up your child appropriately from a young age, no tool in the media can ruin him.
Media is the fastest spreading mode in influencing a person’s mind and therefore their character. As seen today, the Media is the only mode that’s “in the picture”. Therefore, it is very effective in helping to frame a person’s mind and character.
Education is facing a lot of problems and is in need of improvement over a long period of time. The education system, the curricula and student numbers (which are ever increasing in comparison to the decreasing number of teachers) are all issues that need to be addressed by the school, who should be implementing its proper role in society.
I lived in the mosque before and I know that if you offer a young man someone who can teach him proper religious and ethical education; it would be of no use if he was not brought up properly at home. Thus we need extraordinary effort and a lot of time in restoring his personality.
It is the most important; it is the deepest means of building a character and the most influential for the young minds and their morals. It is also the nucleus for all of the other modes of mind framing and character building.
It is in your hands to either allow or to prohibit the other 3 modes from your kids. You can decide for them the satellite TV channels they can watch, the school they attend and the mosque they go to.
Thus, the family circle is the last remaining hope for the Ummah as the most effective for our kids’ minds.
Raise your son properly. Provide a healthy atmosphere for him. This may be done by making him see that you support, take care, and stand by his mother or by making him see that his mother is respecting his father. This healthy atmosphere could also be provided when your son sees that your income is coming from a halal source. Moreover, have your son actively feel a part of the family, by sharing thoughts and making suggestions with the rest of the family members on different issues ranging from methods of treating other members of the public to respecting the elders.
This love that your child practises inside his home will be a protection tool for his future and life.
Therefore, after this, do not worry about him if he travels abroad alone to study. Let him experience seeing other people from different races with different cultures. He will never go to waste.
If you plant a seed of ideal moral character inside your family, your child will pass the teenage years easily and safely, as you wish him to be. Even if the other mind framing means badly influence him, he will return to his initial upbringing.
The last defence for the survival of this Ummah is the close bond of family members. That is why I say to young girls and to young boys: Please be careful who you choose for marriage and look at how Allah (the Blessed, the One above All) referred to the family in the Qur’an with what can be translated as, “And among His Signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect” (TMQ, 30:21) (1).
Allah (SWT) wanted to tell us that the nucleus of the universe is “the family circle”.
(1) TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur’an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur’an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.
written by Amr Khaled