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Factors Supporting Love & Mercy in the Family

Author : Dr. Mufti Ahmad Al-Khasabeh

Date Added : 13-02-2022

Factors Supporting Love & Mercy in the Family


An Article by:

Dr. Mufti Ahmad Al-Khasabeh


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World. May His peace and blessings be upon our Master and Role Model Prophet Mohammad, the seal of all Messengers.

Undoubtedly, the family is society`s basic unit and pillar of social cohesion and advancement, so it is necessary to provide the individual with safety on the physical and psychological levels. Islam has devoted great attention to this matter through establishing the principle of love and mercy amongst members of the family. Allah the Almighty says{What means}: "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect."{Ar-Rum, 21}. This verse highlights many things:

First: Man finds rest in wife in the sense that she is a means of peace and stability for him due to the amount of sympathy and affection that she has in her heart. Thus, her function resembles that of the house; just as the man gets rid of physical difficulties by resting in his house, he gets rid of psychological difficulties by finding rest in his wife. Allah says {What means}: "They are your garments and ye are their garments." {Al-Baqarah, 187}. For more details, kindly check {At-Tahrir Wat-Tanweer, Vol.21:72 by Ibn Ashour}. 

Second: Love between husband and wife, which includes using wisdom and kindness when dealing with family members.

Third: Mercy refers to tenderness between husband and wife, which is a means of protecting family against breaking up and could be associated with love or be an alternative for it, in case it was lost. For more details, kindly check {Tafseer Al-Qur`an Al-Atheem, Vol.6:309 by Ibn Katheer}.

In fact, strengthening the principle of love and mercy in the family requires the presence of supporting factors; the most important of which are:

First: Pre-Family-Formation Stage:

This is manifested in choosing the right spouse since marriage requires both spouses to adopt every means possible to make their marriage a success. A Muslim woman and her Wali (Guardian) search for a suitor whose religion and character are satisfying. This is because the Messenger of Allah said: "When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks your daughter in marriage, accede to his request. If you do not do so there will be temptation in the earth and extensive corruption." {Tirmidih}. Here, the wali of the woman is directed to choose for her the man whose religion and character are satisfying since non-adherence to this Prophetic guidance may lead to trials and spreading corruption in the land.

Similarly, the man must be keen on choosing the good wife whose religion and character are satisfying. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, "A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!".

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Here, it is important to remind that it isn`t true what people say that a person has neither will nor choice when it comes to marriage. Rather, marriage is amongst the actions that are based on a person`s choice, however, this doesn`t negate Allah`s pre-knowledge of that choice and that He the Almighty wrote down in the Preserved Tablet all that has happened and will happen, which will pass as written. In other words, a person isn`t compelled to do anything.

At this stage, the suitor or woman proposed to usually seek others` opinion and advice about each other, and the testimony of these consulted persons is a trust that they will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment, in addition to being amongst the rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim. The Messenger of Allah {Peace and blessings be upon him} said:"A Muslim has six duties towards other Muslims: When you meet him, you should salute him; when he invites you, accept his invitation; when he asks for your advice, give it to him; when he sneezes and praises Allah, say May Allah have mercy on you; when he is ill, visit him; and when he dies follow his funeral.” Related by Muslim."{Sunan Abi Dawoud}.

Fatima bint Qais reported that Abu 'Amr b. Hafs divorced her absolutely when he was away from home, and he sent his agent to her with some barley. She was displeased with him and when he said: I swear by Allah that you have no claim on us. She went to Allah's Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) and mentioned that to him. He said: There is no maintenance due to you from him, and he commanded her to spend the 'Idda in the house of Umm Sharik, but then said: That is a woman whom my companions visit. So better spend this period in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum, for he is a blind man and yon can put off your garments. And when the 'Idda is over, inform me. She said: When my period of 'Idda was over, I mentioned to him that Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan and Jahm had sent proposal of marriage to me, whereupon Allah's Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: As for Abu Jahm, he does not put down his staff from his shoulder, and as for Mu'awiya, he is a poor man having no property; marry Usama b. Zaid. I objected to him, but he again said: Marry Usama; so I married him. Allah blessed there in and I was envied (by others)."{Muslim}. However, it is permissible for the consulted person to give advice without mentioning the faults of the suitor or woman proposed to. It suffices to say that he/she isn`t suitable, and if he had to mention their faults, then this isn`t considered backbiting. For more details, kindly check {Hashiyat Ibn Abdeen, Vol.3:312}.

Second: Post-Family-Formation Stage:

Family members should show best behavior when dealing with one another since marital relationships are based on living with women on a footing of kindness and equity since Almighty Allah says {What means}:" on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity."{An-Nisa`, 19}. They also rest on mutual respect between spouses and children as it isn`t permissible for any of them to cause harm to any other member of the family or create discord within the family. Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, "The believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behaviour,"{Musnad Ahmad}. In addition, narrated 'Aishah: that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The best of you is the best to his wives, and I am the best of you to my wives, and when your companion dies, leave him alone."{Tirmidih}.

A-Family members should observe clemency and forbearance when addressing family issues. Amongst the factors that strengthen the principle of love and mercy in the family are the following:

 Avoiding the amplification of mistakes, creating harmony between positive and negative aspects, pardon and amnesty, overlooking mistakes that don`t jeopardize the structure of the family, self-restraint, avoiding causes leading to getting angry, and reasoning with other members of the family, which is the best technique to solve problems, be they small or big. In fact, the presence of forbearance in the family is a sign of goodness and blessing. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, "When God has a good purpose towards a household, He bestows forbearance upon them." {Musnad Ahmad}. Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated, ‘A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, advise me.” The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Do not get angry.” The man repeated that several times and he replied, “Do not get angry.”{Related by Bukhari}. Addressing al-Ashajj of 'Abdul-Qais, The holy Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: Verily, you possess two such qualities, which Allah loves: insight and deliberateness."{Related by Muslim}.

On the other hand, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) warned against hatred between spouses where he (Peace and blessings be upon him) said:" A believer must not hate (his wife) believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another."{Related by Muslim}. This is why breaking up the family is amongst the key aims of the devil and the aversion that takes place between the spouses is attributed to the whispers of the devil. Jabir reported that Allah's Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said:

Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: "I did so and so." And he says: "You have done nothing." Then one amongst them comes and says: "I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife." The Satan goes near him and says: "You have done well." A'mash said: He then embraces him."{Related by Muslim}.

B-In case of conflict between spouses, their families should interfere in a positive manner to end the conflict or reduce it, and promote convergence since many marital fights could be aggravated by the negative interference of spouses` families leading to the loss of mercy and love.

C-Avoiding discrimination between children and gifting them equally:

Sharia commands dealing with one`s family members with kindness to deepen love and mercy, and each parent should extend his/her love and affection to every child and spread the spirit of love and happiness withing the household. Narrated Orwah Bin Al-Zubair (May Allah have mercy on them) that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him)-while hosting a man from the Ansar-kissed and hugged Al-Hussein, so that man said: "I have a child and I have never kissed him." Thereupon Allah's Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Then what can I do if Allah has deprived you of mercy?" {Related in Fada`il Al-Sahabah by Imam Ahmad}. 

Surprisingly, some individuals live a state of contradiction where they lead a double life. On the one hand, they are cheerful all the time and treat people gently. On the other hand, once they go home, they assume a frowning face. Moreover, it is disliked for a father to favor one child over another when gifting; especially without a valid Sharia excuse. The Messenger of Allah said: "Fear Allah, and observe equity in case of your children." {Bukhari&Muslim}.


However, it is justified for the father to favor a child when gifting if he/she is very poor, very sick, needs money for tuition, and the like.

Al-Shirbini(May Allah have mercy on him) said: "It is recommendable for the father to observe equity when gifting his children; the female gets the same share as the male. This based on the Hadith(Fear Allah, and observe equity in case of your children). Others said that they are to be given shares according to the rules of inheritance where the male gets twice the share of the female, just as Allah has prescribed. Indeed, He is the Best to decide."{Moghni Al-Mohtaj, Vol.3:P.567}.

In conclusion, once love and mercy are lost, the family breaks up leading to grave consequences on society. On the contrary, when love and mercy prevail, the family becomes productive and strengthens the structure  of society. Thus, every member of the family should perform his/her duties towards other members and claim his/her rights with kindness. We pray that Allah showers our society with love and mercy. Finally, we end this article with "Praise to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds."








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