Sunday 20th Apr 2014
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Rejuvenating Family

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Family is the foremost and key institution whose moral strength and stability decides the health of a society. The very existence and survival of human civilization depends on a sound family system. It is the first collective unit which men and women build for a peaceful and progressive life. If this basic cradle of humanity is destroyed, the whole human society would crumble and disintegrate in no time.

The west, because of its revolt against the laws of God and rejection of ethics and religion, is facing the grave danger of destruction of family and the consequent disintegration of society. Never in the past the human civilization had come face to face with a challenge of such grave dimensions.

Islam lays great stress on cordial and affectionate relationships between husband and wife who form the core of a family. It recognises and values the physical as well as ethical relation which binds together spouses. It says that the love and kindness between spouses is one of the signs of God and the primary means of promotion of love, kindness and cooperation in the human society. It is the natural and God-created school for all the good qualities humanity requires. Therefore, formation of a family through the institution of marriage is a must. A person who does not marry and is not ready to share the responsibilities of a family  life is an incomplete person who poses a danger to the very foundations of a civilized society. Therefore, Islam makes it an obligation for society to see that no man or woman remains single and spouseless. It strongly recommends marriage even to those who are poor and do not find enough means to fulfil the responsibilities of family life. In this way getting married and having a family is a religious duty, a guarantee of society’s moral health and a necessary social obligation. Family ensures other bounties like continuation of human generations, affection, training and protection to the young ones and security for the aged. Without these no society can move forward or even survive.

It is not that only west is heading towards civilizational suicide because of disintegration of family. In India also this fundamental unit of society is faced with several challenges and dangers. Selfishness, lack of sense of responsibility and hedonism are taking the toll of family system. Unfortunately the Muslim families are also no exception to the moral slide being witnessed in Indian society. Urbanisation and growing influence of unhealthy trends like over-individualism, moral laxity, promiscuity and race to gain more and more material benefits have further complicated our problems. Family discord is on the rise. Relations between spouses are not as pleasant as in the past. Khula and divorce cases are increasing. Men and women both are becoming more demanding of their rights and less conscious of their obligations. Broken families are producing more patron-less and wayward children who become misfits in society. These devastating trends are raising their head in the Muslim society also in a big way. Even cases of murders and bride burning are being reported in the Muslim society. They were unheard of in the past.

The Muslim Ummah was created by God and organised by His Last Messenger (peace be upon him) to be an ideal one with the best and the noblest human behaviour and social organisation. Unfortunately we have lost that coveted position long back. We are affected by the negative influences of western as well as Hindu society. The holistic Islamic approach to life has been lost. We have become less God-fearing and almost as materialistic as any other community. Therefore it is high time that we took effective corrective steps without delay.

The first priority is reorientation of our individual and social life towards God and stress on achieving His pleasure by inculcating Islamic behaviour. Secondly, the principles of Islamic social system and importance of familial bonds should be stressed and taught to our young boys and girls. Thirdly, our men and women should be instructed about Islamic teachings of love, mercy, sympathy, cooperation and sacrifice. Fourthly, elders of every family should provide guidance for the younger members of the household. Fifthly, every expanded family must evolve a system of periodical ijtimas (family meetings) to educate and train its members to follow ethical principles in managing the family affairs. Sixthly, family courts should be established at different levels to promote reconciliation and adjudicate disputes. And lastly, genuine fear of God should be nurtured as a means to develop a healthy family system which may ensure peace and tranquillity, honour and dignity and protection and security to every member. Such families would give us strength to face the ever-increasing challenges being posed by the society which is increasingly becoming immoral and irresponsible. Such a God-fearing Muslim society composed of pious and loving families would be like a beacon and provide the much-needed guidance for the Indian society.



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