Friends have a large influence on our lives. Islam has emphasized on choosing companions who are upright and noble. The Prophet (peace be upon him said), “Man is on his friend’s religion. Therefore, man should see with whom he is making friends.” (Abu Dawood, no.4815).
Friendship that leads one to Allah’s disobedience is not worth it. Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi mentions in his book Mukhtasar Minhaj Al-Qasidin (pg. 126-132) some valuable points on this topic:
Know that not everyone is suitable to be your friend. You must verify that this potential friend has the necessary characteristics that make friendship with him something to be desired. The one you seek to befriend must have five characteristics:
• He must be intelligent, as there is no good in befriending an idiot, as he will only harm you when he wants to benefit you. By intelligent, we mean one who understands things as they are, either on his own, or if they are explained to him;
• He must have good manners, and this is a must. One who is simply intelligent might be overcome by anger or desire, and obey his desire. Thus, there would be no benefit in befriending him;
• He must not be a fasiq, as such a person would not fear Allah, and whoever does not fear Allah cannot be trusted;
• He must not be an innovator, as his over-indulgence innovation is feared from befriending him;
• He should not be eager in seeking the dunya.”
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We were sitting in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) one day, and he said, “A person is about to arrive from this mountain path who is from the people of Paradise.”
So a person from the Ansar arrived, his beard dripping with water from wudhu and his left hand carrying his sandals. He greeted us with salaams.
The second and the third day too the Prophet (peace be upon him) said similar words and the
same man appeared in the same condition.
Abdullah Bin Amr Bin Al-Aas followed the man sought his permission to stay with him for three days .
So Abdullah spent three nights with this person. But he did not see him stand up for the night prayer at all! All he did was, mention Allah and make takbeer when he turned sides on his bed. He would do this till he stood up for the Fajr prayer.
However, Abdullah said, “I never heard him speak anything except good.”
So when the three days were over, Abdullah told the man, “O, servant of Allah! I heard Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) saying on three occasions, ‘A person is about to arrive who is from the people of Paradise,’ and you arrived on those three occasions.
But I have not seen you perform a great deal of deeds, so what is it that made the Prophet (peace be upon him) say that about you?” He replied, “I do not harbor disloyalty to any of the Muslims within me, and neither do I feel jealous for the wealth that Allah has bestowed upon them.”
Abdullah said, “This is what has (made you special) and it’s something we cannot endure.” (Musnad Ahmad – Hasan)
* Knowledge of and love for Allah and the Deen. This is one of the most precious and enduring gifts you can pass down to your daughter, one that will benefit her in this life and the next.
* Memorization of the Qur’an. No matter how little you have memorized yourself, push your daughter to memorize as much she can. Encourage her and help her to revise. It will stand her in good stead in her life and will be a source of reward for you after your death as well.
* A good example of Muslim womanhood. Most girls look to their mothers for guidance. Embody the characteristics of a strong, faithful Muslimah and she will be inspired to follow your example.
* A sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Instill a sense of confidence in your child by encouraging her skills, talents and personality to develop. Make her feel secure in her identity and show her that she is loved and appreciated. This will have a positive impact on her future relationships and how she interacts with the world.
* A sense of modesty. Instill a love for Hijab in your daughter and encourage her to be modest, never boastful or conceited, in all areas of her life.
* Your language. If you speak Arabic, be sure to teach it to her so that she has the key to the understanding of the Qur’an. Also, if you have a mother tongue or speak a second language yourself, pass it on: a second or third language is always an asset, whether in study, work or social environment.
* A skill that you have. If you are an avid gardener, knitter or love painting, pass your skill onto your daughter. With so many ‘traditional’ skills being lost in today’s fast-paced world, you owe it to her to share your knowledge and pass it on to the next generation.
[Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 43, Number 622]
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Umar (Radi Allah Anhu) : Allah’s Apostle (sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 43, Number 624]
Narrated Anas (Radi Allah Anhu) : Allah’s Apostle (sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.”
[Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 43, Number 629]
Narrated Abu Huraira (Radi Allah Anhu) : Allah’s Apostle (sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) said, “Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.”
IT is narrated that a man came to a knowledgeable person from among our pious predecessors and asked him, “I just had a child, what should I do?” The answer came, “If you are just now asking this question, then you have already lost.”
This narration shows how serious Muslims used to be about raising children. So much so that they told this man, who had just had a child that he had lost. This is because they believed correctly that the proper upbringing of a child begins even before the child is conceived. It begins by us being good Muslims ourselves, choosing good mates and educating ourselves about Islam, and how to be good parents and how to raise good Muslim children. Unfortunately, many Muslim parents today do not understand the importance of raising good Muslim children the way they should.
As we go about our daily lives, pursuing our occupations as homemakers, doctors, businessmen, teachers or whatever we may be, how often do we forget that the most important job we have is being a shepherd, and that it is this job that Allah will call us to account for on the Day of Judgment. For Allah ‘s Prophet(peace be upon him) said:” All of you are shepherds and each one is responsible for his flock. A leader of a people is a shepherd and responsible for them. A man is a shepherd over his family and is responsible for them. A woman is a shepherdess over her husband ‘s house and his children and she is responsible for them. And a servant is a guardian over his master’s property and is responsible for it. So all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.” (Bukhari)
As parents, Allah, has made us responsible for our families. It is the primary responsibility of parents to raise their children as Muslims. And therefore, as shepherds we must never give our children the impression that Islam is merely a series of rituals to be done in a certain way, day in, and day out.
Rather, we should be keen to tell them and to convey to them Islam as a complete way of life, and it is the way of life that brings about true peace and happiness, in this world as well as in the Hereafter.
As shepherds, we must realize that it is our responsibility to guide our flock and to keep them away from the prohibited pastures. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “Whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the hima (private pasture) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O people) Beware! Every king has a hima and the hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things.” (Bukhari)
As parents, are we outraged when our children bring home bad grades from school, yet we are indifferent when that same child misses salah(prayer). Are we more concerned with our child’s place in Harvard than we are with his place in the Hereafter? Are our homes places where the Qur ‘an is only dusted off for the ritualistic reading during the month of Ramadan?
So, how do we become good shepherds? The first step is to make a self-evaluation. We need to ask ourselves, are my feelings about Islam in accordance to what Allah requires of me? Does my action match my speech? How much of my time do I spend learning about Islam and/or performing acts of obedience to Allah? Only after affirming the strengths and weaknesses of our own Islam and constantly striving in our practice of Islam, can we begin to guide our flock on the path that is pleasing to Allah.
As parents and as shepherds our primary responsibility is fulfilling the commands of Allah “O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from the fire.” (Qur’an; 66:6)
Our flocks are the future of this religion. Are we raising them to be good shepherds?
There is a tradition usually attributed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which is variously interpreted to mean that the mother is responsible for teaching her children their religious obligations and good behavior that will win them Paradise; or it may mean that we earn Paradise by serving our mother throughout her life.
Either way, it shows the great esteem, honor and respect that Islam has for mothers. While the fourth commandment in the Bible is Honor thy father and thy mother, the Bible does not mention the mother separately as deserving good treatment.
The Quran, in contrast, gives special recognition to the mother s suffering in bearing and nursing her child: And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.
His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. (31:14).
Becoming a mother is one of the greatest joys of a Muslim woman.
Today in the Muslim world, even where many of the precepts of Islam are ignored, Westerners are often amazed at the gentle, loving treatment that parents receive. An Arab proverb says if you want to know how a man will treat his wife, look how he treats his mother.
Becoming a mother is one of the greatest joys of a Muslim woman. She knows that her child is both a gift and a trust from God.
She carries a great responsibility in raising a family, not only in caring for their physical needs, but also in educating them in their religion and morals.
For this and other reasons, Islam calls upon all Muslims, male and female, to be educated, for how can a woman teach her children when she herself is ignorant?
Islam also recognizes that, compared to the man, the woman is by nature more psychologically fitted to nurturing, more compassionate and patient.
For that reason, Islam decrees that husbands must maintain their wives and children, and it encourages mothers with young children to remain at home with their children rather than work outside the house. And, in case of divorce, custody of young children goes to the mother.
All this respect and honor goes to the mother, even if she is a non-Muslim, and also to maternal aunts.
Thus the woman does not cut from her own family when she marries, but her children continue to honor the kin relationships of both their mother and father.
10. Use your `Fitnah’ to win the heart of your husband
All women have the ornaments that Allah blessed them with. Use the beauty Allah – Azza wa Jal – has bestowed you with to win the heart of your husband.
9. When your husband comes home, greet him with a wonderful greeting
Imagine your husband coming home to a clean house, an exquisitely dressed wife, a dinner prepared with care, children clean and sweet smelling, a clean bedroom – what would this do to his love for you? Now imagine what the opposite does to him.
8. Review the characteristics of the Hoor Al-Ayn and try to imitate them
The Qur’an and Sunnah describe the women in Jannah with certain characteristics. Such as the silk they wear, their large dark eyes, their singing to their husband, etc. Try it, wear silk for your husband, put Kohl in your eyes to `enlarge’ them, and sing to your husband.
7. Always wear jewelry and dress up in the house.
From the early years, little girls have adorned themselves with earrings and bracelets and worn pretty dresses – as described in the Qur’an. As a wife, continue to use the jewelry that you have and the pretty dresses for your husband.
6. Joke and play games with your husband.
A mans secret: they seek women who are lighthearted and have a sense of humor. As Rasul Allah – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – told Jabir to marry someone who would make him laugh and he would make her laugh.
5. Thank your husband constantly for the nice things he does. Then thank him again.
This is one of the most important techniques, as the opposite is a characteristic of the women of hellfire.
4. An argument is a fire in the house. Extinguish it with a simple `I’m sorry’ even if it is not your fault.
When you fight back, you are only adding wood to the fire. Watch how sweetly an argument will end when you just say sincerely, “Look, I’m sorry. Let’s be friends.”
3. Always seek to please your husband, for he is your key to Jannah.
Rasul Allah – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – taught us that any women who dies in a state where her husband is pleased with her, shall enter Jannah. So .. please him.
2. Listen and Obey!
Obeying your husband is Fard! Your husband is the Ameer of the household. Give him that right and respect.
1. Make Dua to Allah to make your marriage and relationship successful.
All good things are from Allah. Never forget to ask Allah ta’ala for the blessing of having a successful marriage that begins in this Dunya and continues on – by the Mercy of Allah ta’ala – into Jannah.
And Allah knows best