Today’s society places much emphasis on the nuclear family system. Husband, wife, and 2.5 children is seen as the norm. The extended family system is considered a relic, something that is out of date.
With most parents working in corporations, leaving home early and returning back late, neglect of children is a natural by-product. Add to this that these children are separated from their grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.
When you’re alive, you’re able to maintain such a lifestyle through the help of daycare, nannies, and eventually, kids grow up to care of themselves. But what happens if you die and your children are still young?
In the past, the extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles) all helped raise the extended family’s children – especially if one or both parents passed away whilst children were young. They stepped in and this fostered unity within the family and gave the children a greater sense of self despite losing one or both parents. Moreover, this extended family support ensured that children didn’t suffer financially when they lose their parents and that expenses and experiences were shared.
While many of us live and work far distances from our families, it’s important to keep the above in mind and ensure that our children are part of a wider social network of family and relatives and not an isolated unit in an increasingly uncertain world.
The Prophet has said: “You and your wealth are the wealth of your father.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
What this hadith is pointing to is the legacy that is left by inter-connected family relationships, and how generationally we benefit from them.
The Prophet also said: “Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin.” [Sahih Al Bukhari]
Denying the necessity of the extended family has been shown to not only narrow the experiences of the family as a whole but to have very deleterious effects on society (Sarkisian & Gerstel, 2012. Nuclear Family Values, Extended Family Lives).
Strengthening Social Relations
In advocating for closer family relations, we allow our children to not only honour their relatives but also become accustomed to those who may be their guardians if we were to pass away early in their lives.
Moreover, this ensures that when we draft an Islamic Will we can designate who will care for our children after we die, allowing our social preparations to extend well beyond our deaths.
By pooling our resources, maintaining close family ties, and saving for our futures, we can build spiritual, financial, and social wealth that will allow our families to prosper.
Secure Your Children’s Future with a Will
If you haven’t made an Islamic Will, remember that the Prophet said:
“No one that has anything that can be inherited should sleep for two nights without a will in his possession.” [Sahih Muslim]
For those readers in the USA, a service like MyWassiyah.com allows Muslims to create an estate plan in a Shariah compliant, legally valid, and cost-effective manner. By signing up today through this link (Affiliate link), you’ll support the work that Productive Muslim does as well as get 20% off your own Will.
All of this is part of the spiritual preparation that we must make as Muslims, using all means at our disposal to place our families in a situation that prepares them for the next life and preserves them in this life.
All of us are concerned for the future of our children. It is imperative that we take individual responsibility to be the best version of ourselves spiritually so that they may be provided for in the future. Part of that spiritual preparation is trusting that the means that a lot has given us are sufficient for creating a bright and fulfilling life for our kids where they are cared for by loving family members and can support themselves monetarily through the best of Halal earnings that we can provide for them.
My hope is that in this article, we’ve shown how trust in Allah, strengthening our families and making moral and ethical financial decisions can secure our children’s future against adversity in the best manner possible.
Click here to read on How to Prepare Your Children’s Future Financially
Click here to read on How to Secure Your Children’s Future Spiritually