What are the characteristics of a Muslim family?

1- Observing the restrictions of God the Almighty (orders and prohibitions), and acts of worship (praying, fasting and giving zakat). Prayers are not to be taken lightly and parents must teach their children to pray even if this leads to beating them, depriving them of certain things or shunning them. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven and beat them if they neglect prayers when they reach the age of ten; and separate them from each other in their beds” [AbuDawud]. No leniency is to be shown with regards to drinking alcohol, gambling, fornication, usury, stealing or cheating.

2- Abiding by the ethics of Islamic law in:
Politeness with God the Almighty by sanctifying His name when it is mentioned, acknowledging His blessings and favors, and attributing all goodness to Him. God the Almighty says: “Whatever blessing you have is from Allah, and to Him you turn for help when distress befalls you” [16: 53]. It is incumbent to attribute evil to oneself for God the Almighty says: “…and whatever ill befalls you is from yourself...” [4: 79], and, “Whatever misfortune befalls you is of your own doing…” [42: 30]. Politeness with God means to resort to Him in all matters since asking other than God the Almighty or ceasing to ask Him for whatever one wants incurs His anger. This is demonstrated in the story of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) who beseeched the king’s cup-bearer to mention him to the King and tell him about the injustice he faced. Satan caused the cup-bearer to forget to mention Yusuf to the King and he remained in prison for seven more years. God the Almighty says: “He said to the one he thought would be saved, ‘Mention me to your master.’ However Satan made him forget to mention him to his master, and so Joseph remained in prison for a number of years” [12: 42].

• Concerning hijab, God the Almighty says: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and wives of the believers that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments [when in public], so as to be recognized and not harmed. Allah is most forgiving and most merciful” [33: 59].

• It is important to speak only good words as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “It is not befitting for a believer to be involved in taunting or frequently cursing or in indecency or abusing [others]” [recorded by Al-Tirmidhi].

• Accepting fate and destiny without grieving for what is lost. Grief does not change reality except that (because of it) we forfeit the reward of exercising patience and accepting God’s decree. Grieving a loss or a calamity is like objecting to it and is not befitting for a Muslim. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “He who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and follows the ways and traditions of the days of ignorance is not one of us [i.e. a Muslim]” [recorded by Al-Bukhari]. A Muslim should not be defeated by a calamity but is to exercise patience and ask God the Almighty to compensate him. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Excellent indeed is the matter of a believer! There is good in all his affairs, and this is only for the believer. If something good happens to him and he is grateful, then this is good for him, and if a calamity befalls him and he is patient, then this is also good for him” [recorded by Muslim].
• Mutual appreciation between the members of the family who must respect and show beneficence to each other. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “He is not of us who does not have mercy on our young children and honor our old people.”
3- Spending wisely and refraining from extravagance and wastefulness. God the Almighty says: “O Children of Adam, dress yourself properly whenever you are at worship: and eat and drink but do not be wasteful: God does not like wasteful people” [7: 31]. God the Almighty commends His good servants who are not wasteful. He says: “They are those who are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but keep a balance between the two” [25: 67] and “Be neither miserly, nor so open-handed that you suffer reproach and become destitute” [17: 29].
4- Refraining from ill-gotten gain, theft, cheating, usury, gambling, anger and injustice no matter what form it takes. If the members of a family are mindful of God the Almighty then they must all know that to Him is the ultimate destination. In the early period of Islam, Muslim women would tell their husbands before they left to work: “Beware of ill-gotten gains; we can endure hunger but we will never endure hellfire.”

Source: dar-alifta.org

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