Threats and Challenges Facing the Family

Author : Dr. Ahmad al-Harasees

Date Added : 12-01-2023

Threats and Challenges Facing the Family

"Failure to Shoulder the Responsibility of Upbringing"


The family is the essential building block of society in the sense that it is the children`s first cultural, educational, and environmental vessel. The family consists of a group of individuals related by bloodline. It also holds society together and plays a key role in building a righteous, integrated, and closely knitted society in which love, cooperation, national unity, and security prevail. Moreover, the family is built on love, mercy, and dwelling in tranquility; as reflected in the following verse: " 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}. 

One of the most important challenges facing the family nowadays is failure to shoulder the responsibility of upbringing, and this can be attributed to ignorance or negligence.

One of the major threats to the family is parents' failure to perform the responsibility of upbringing their children. This is despite the fact the Allah mentioned this responsibility in the Quran and tied it with children`s obedience and dutifulness to parents. He The Almighty Says {What means}: "Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." {Al-Isra`/23-24}.

The importance of this responsibility is clearly reflected in the Prophetic tradition. Ibn 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects, the man is a guardian of his family, the woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband's house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects."

[Agreed upon].

Every person has certain responsibilities and will be held to account for them before Almighty Allah. It is worth pointing that fulfilling duties towards one`s dependents will be to his/her  benefit, in the first place, and that of society, in addition to receiving a reward for that from Allah. Conversely, failure to do so will have negative repercussions on society and being subjected to severe punishment from Allah. This is why the Prophet (PBUH) directs his nation to fulfill its duties in the best manner possible and guides to that, which is best for it with regards to religious and worldly interests.

In addition, a baby is born with a pure and sound hearts, so we must teach it the sound Aqida (Islamic creed) and arm it with piety and righteousness to achieve a sublime and strong society.

The responsibility of the man according to the above Hadith is achieved through raising his children and educating them, which requires keeping them far from suspicious matters, in addition to providing them with life essentials, such as clothes, food, and accommodation, but with moderation. He must also take care of them, do what is in their best interest and treat them justly. "Indeed, Allah Will Question everyone who is responsible about his charge."

As for the woman`s responsibility according to the same Hadith, it is reflected in serving her husband, raising his children to be righteous members of society, dealing with them patiently at times of hardship, managing their affairs, in addition to preserving her husband`s wealth.

Through inquiry and considering the situation of the families, we can summaries the educational methods as follows:

1- Authoritarian parenting style. This is the traditional method in which the parents control the personality of their children by imposing orders and setting up rules not up for discussion. They bear down heavily upon their children to control their behavior. This style makes the children lose self-confidence, rely heavily on their parents, don`t think on their own, and seek parent`s approval for every step they take. However, a gap may appear between the parents and their children as the latter grow older. This is to the level that the children become overwhelmed with the desire to get rid of their parent`s domination to enjoy their independent personalities.

2- Free-range parenting style. This is an easy method in which the parents don`t insist on certain rules of behavior, so there are no limits or controls. This style involves a great deal of freedom, but little order and guidance. This causes the children to become rebellious and disobedient, not governed by order or rules and tend to be impulsive. In addition, when they become teenagers, they tend to commit shameful practices, such as taking drugs. 

3- Balanced parenting style and its effect on the children. This method is a combination of the two previous methods of parenting; however, their negative aspects are avoided while the positives are highlighted. This method focuses on the child and developing his/her capacities, which means supporting the child`s independence within reasonable limits. Moreover, it must be stressed that marriage is a commitment that requires ability and competence, and here we don`t mean material capacity alone; rather, the capacity to maintain the marital relationship and find a balance of give and take, rights, and obligations; all of which emanates from responsibility.