One of the great blessings that Allah, The Exalted, bestowed upon mankind is the provision of homes that give them shelter and tranquility. He reminded them of this blessing in Soorat An-Nahl (no. 16), also known as the Soorah of blessings (as it speaks of numerous blessings conferred by Allah upon mankind). Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And Allah has made for you from your homes a place of rest…} [Quran 16:80]

A home is a place of rest and comfort and a manifestation of the Divine Mercy upon mankind wherein man relishes privacy and affection, and wherein man shelters himself from heat and warms himself from cold. His home conceals him from people’s eyes and shields him from enemies.

Al-Haafith Ibn Katheer  said in his Tafseer: “Allah, The Exalted, underlines the perfection of His Blessings upon His Slaves in that He has given them homes to rest therein, shelter themselves and enjoy privacy, and benefit of them in all manners of benefit.”

The Muslim home is the strong building block of a society that adheres to the way of life that Allah ordained for mankind. In Islam, the family is a divine system, a divine lifestyle, part of the Prophetic guidance, and an aspect of human behavior. Life in Muslim homes is an embodiment of the all-inclusive concept of worship and a continuous educational process. The family life created by the marriage of a man and a woman is one of the great signs of Allah, The Exalted. He Says (what means): {And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.} [Quran 30:21]

This means that Allah, The Exalted, rendered family life a source of tranquility for the family members, where their souls find reassurance, their inviolability is upheld, and their honor is shielded, and under whose care future generations are raised. Thereby, Allah intends for Muslim homes to be strongholds of goodness, love and harmony, fortresses of righteousness, compassion and safety, and abodes of virtue and kindness.

The Muslim recognizes how valuable the blessing of having a home and shelter is when he sees the heart-breaking conditions of those who are deprived of this blessing; namely, the homeless and refugees among our brothers and sisters in faith who live in shelters or on sidewalks. Contemplating their conditions, Muslims come to know with certainty what it means to suffer dispersion and deprivation due to the loss of home and shelter.

Rectification of Muslim Homes:

Since the Muslim family and the Muslim home are the main pillar in the edifice of the Ummah, the basic building block of society, and the actual school from which active members of society graduate to assume their social roles as politicians and leaders, scholars and judges, educators and preachers, students and fighters in the Cause of Allah, and righteous wives and mothers who provide due nurturing care for the future generations, then the stronger this building block is, the firmer and more impenetrable the structure becomes. Conversely, the weaker it is, the flimsier the structure becomes, and the more vulnerable it is to collapse and cracking.

For all these reasons, Islam actively strives to rectify Muslim families and homes and lays the foundations for their establishment, so that a Muslim home should have its distinct features and characteristics that distinguish it from other homes.

Features and Characteristics of the Muslim Home:

Righteousness of the Spouses:

In Islam, the foremost foundation upon which a Muslim home is based is the righteousness of the spouses, who are the pillars of that home. Therefore, the primary duty of a Muslim is to choose a righteous wife endowed with religious commitment and good moral character, because she shall be the most important factor in the rectification of the Muslim home, Allah Willing, next to the righteous husband. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet  said: “A woman is sought for marriage for four reasons: her wealth, her family lineage, her beauty, and her religious commitment. So, choose the religiously committed one lest you be a loser.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] He  also urged the guardians to choose for their womenfolk righteous suitors, who should be endowed with good moral character and religious commitment. He  said: “If there comes to you a suitor with whose religious commitment and moral character you are pleased, marry off (your daughter or female under your care) to him, or else there will be Fitnah (turmoil) in the land and widespread corruption.” [Ibn Maajah]

As a righteous husband and a righteous wife are united by the bond of marriage, a righteous home is established by the Will of Allah. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And the good land – its vegetation emerges by permission of its Lord; but that which is bad – nothing emerges except sparsely, with difficulty. Thus do We diversify the signs for a people who are grateful.} [Quran 7:58]

It is Founded on Faith:

One of the characteristics of the Muslim home is that it is based on the foundations of faith and good doing; the bond uniting its members is the bond of faith. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith – We will join with them their descendants…} [Quran 52:21]

A Muslim household is distinguished by the adherence to the teachings of Islam, establishing the bonds of amity and enmity and of love and hatred only for the sake of Allah, and avoiding the imitation of the enemies of Allah, The Exalted, or celebrating their polytheistic festivals that are alien to Islam and which are religious innovations. The Prophet  said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Abu Daawood and Al-Bazzaar]

It is Devoted to Prayer:

Another distinctive characteristic of the Muslim home is that its occupants regularly perform the prayer. Men hasten to perform it in the mosques; Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {… and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].} [Quran 2:43] Women also regularly perform and observe the prayers, being the very pillar of the religion and the most confirmed obligation, second only to the proclamation of the Two Testimonies of Faith.

Moreover, the male household members earnestly perform the voluntary and Sunnah prayers at home to boost their sincerity of intention and to be good role models for the rest of the household members. The Prophet  said: “O people, perform some prayers in your homes (meaning voluntary prayers), for the best of prayers apart from the obligatory prayers are a man’s prayers in his home.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Moreover, he  said: “Perform some of your prayers in your homes and do not turn them into graves.” [Al-Bukhari] He  also said: “When one of you has performed the prayer in the mosque, he should give his home a share of his prayers (meaning voluntary prayers), for Allah blesses his home by his prayers therein.” [Muslim]

Verily, prayers illuminate homes after they illuminate the hearts of those who regularly perform them.

Remembrance of Allah and Obedience to Him:

Another distinct characteristic of the Muslim home is that it is devoted to the remembrance of Allah, The Exalted, and obedience to Him. Thikr (remembrance of Allah) is a shield for the homes against the devils from among mankind and Jinn and from all evils. Therefore, the Islamic Sharee‘ah prescribes for the Muslim to recite Thikr and remember Allah, The Exalted, upon entering or exiting his home, eating, drinking, sleeping, waking up, starting any action or activity, entering or exiting the restroom, and putting on or taking off his clothes. Thikr is prescribed in all given situations and states.

Such devotion is perceptible in the homes that are ‘alive’, whereas the homes that are devoid of Thikr, they are ‘dead’ and so are their inhabitants. The Prophet  said: “The example of the home where Allah is remembered and the home where Allah is not remembered is that of the living and the dead.”

Sadly, there are many dead homes that are rather shelters for the Jinn and devils. They are devoid of the remembrance of Allah, filled with evils, and only the instruments of the devils can be heard therein.

How ugly homes are when they are devoid of the remembrance of Allah, as they become dwellings for the devils where they live and reproduce, turning them into lonely graves and derelict ruins. The hearts of their inhabitants become blinded, and the angels abandon them.

Seeking Knowledge and Acting upon It:

A Muslim home is founded on the principle of seeking knowledge and acting upon it; its occupants teach and advise one another. A father is endowed with knowledge and piety, and he instructs his children and urges them to follow the Sharee‘ah etiquette. He edifies them on the rulings pertaining to ritual purity and prayer and the Islamic etiquette of seeking permission, and he teaches them what is lawful and what is unlawful. He directs, teaches, and advises his household members constantly, and thus the home would be founded on learning about the truth and acting upon it.

Hayaa’ (Bashfulness and Modesty):

The Muslim home is founded on Hayaa’, a trait that incorporates all goodness and yields nothing but good outcomes. It is a home that is free of whatever offends Hayaa’ and human dignity or promotes vice and bad morals.

A manifestation of Hayaa’ is that the household secrets are honored and the disagreements are kept private and concealed from others, especially the private relationship between a man and his wife, as the Prophet  said: “Among those who will have the worst position in the Sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection is a man who has intimate relations with his wife and then divulges her secret.” [Muslim]

Cooperation in Righteousness and Piety:

In the Muslim home, the occupants cooperate in performing acts of righteousness and upholding Taqwa and obedience to Allah, The Exalted, and His Messenger . If there is a weakness in a woman’s religiosity or shortcomings in her conduct, a husband who is righteous would try to rectify such weakness and exert effort to instruct her and guide her away from whatever contravenes the Sharee‘ah. Likewise, a Muslim woman cooperates with her husband in fostering his religiosity; whenever she notices any shortcomings or faults on his part, she offers her sincere advice and guidance, adheres to patience and endurance, and strives to save her husband from the punishment of Allah, The Almighty. Thus, a Muslim home is founded on mutual solidarity, support, cooperation, exchange of sincere advice, and devotion to good doing and Tawqa. It was narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah  used to perform voluntary night prayer while she would be sleeping; and when the Witr prayer was yet to be observed, he would say: “Wake up ‘Aa’ishah to perform the Witr prayer.” [Muslim] He  also said: “May Allah have mercy upon a man who wakes up at night, prays, and wakes his wife to pray; and if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face, and may Allah have mercy upon a woman who wakes up at night, prays, and wakes her husband to pray; and if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.” [Abu Daawood and others]

Honoring the Neighbor and Showing Hospitality to the Guest

Another distinct characteristic of the Muslim home is that it is founded on honoring neighbors and showing hospitality to guests. Therefore, the Prophet  said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day let him honor his neighbor, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day let him be hospitable to his guest as due (one day and one night).” [Al-Bukhari] He  also said: “By Allah, he is not a (true) believer! By Allah, he is not a (true) believer! By Allah, he is not a (true) believer!” He was asked, “Who is he, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “The one whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil.” [Al-Bukhari]

Among the rights of a neighbor over a Muslim are the following: “Support him when he seeks your support, help him when he asks for your help, lend him when he asks to borrow from you, visit him when he is sick, and follow his funeral when he dies.” All of those are among the rights of the neighbor.

Preservation of Sound Fitrah (Natural Disposition):

A Muslim home keenly maintains and preserves the sound Fitrah of its members; a man guards his manhood, and a woman guards her femininity. Accordingly, boys are protected from imitating women, and girls from imitating men. The imitation of the opposite sex is a manifestation of permissiveness and westernization. It is a source of evil and a means of promoting dissoluteness and depravity in the society, and it opens the doors of corruption. It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Messenger of Allah  cursed women who imitate men and men who imitate women.” [Al-Bukhari]

Our homes are a trust, our wives are a trust therein, and our sons and daughters are a trust therein, and we shall be held accountable before Allah, The Exalted, for everything that happens in our homes and for whomever He placed under our care and guardianship. He shall ask every guardian about those under his care, as whether he fulfilled their due rights over him or fell short in that?

Oh Allah, preserve the homes of Muslims and help us build them on the foundations that You love and are pleased with. Amen.


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