The Knowledge in Household Life
Teaching (religious) knowledge is the obligation that a leader of a family should do, as a realization of Allah’s command –may He be Exalted-, “Believers, guard yourselves and your kindred against a Fire whose fuel is human beings and stones, a Fire held in the charge of fierce and stern angels who never disobey what He has commanded them, and always do what they are bidden.” (Chapter At Tahrim:6)
The verse is the basis of the teaching and education of family members, which is realized by enjoining them to do good and preventing them from committing wrongdoing. The paragraphs below contain some comments of the expert in Qur’an interpretation regarding the said verse, i.e., regarding the obligation of the head of a household.
Qatadah said, “He (head of household) should order them (his family members) to obey Allah the Glorified and Exalted and prevent them from committing wrongdoing, he is supposed to look after them in doing what Allah orders them to do and help them in it. Thus if you see an evildoing, you should keep them away from it and warn them from doing so.” (See: Tafseer ath Thabari, 28/166)
Adh Dhahak and Muqatil said, “It is an obligation of every muslim to teach his family from his kith and kin and slave about the things Allah obliges them to do, and prohibits them to do.” (See: Tafseer Ibn Katsir. 8/194)
Ali –may Allah be pleased with him- said, “Teach and educate them.” (See: Zaadul Masiir, 8/312). Al Kiya ath-Thabari said, “We should teach our children and family about religion and goodness, and whatever important and needed regarding manners and etiquette.”
Imam al Bukhari wrote in his book of valid hadith: chapter: The teaching of men to his female slave and family, a hadith: “…there are three persons who will obtain two rewards:….and a man who has a female slave, he educates her with good education, frees her, then marries her; for him two rewards.”
In his commentary of the hadith, Ibn Hajar said, “ the fitting of the hadith with the chapter title in relation of the female slave is with the indication, and in relation of the family is through analogy, because the concern over the free family members regarding their education about obligations Allah has ordained to them and the sunnah of His messenger is something that is more urgent and certain rather than the concern over a female slave.” (See: Fathul Baari, I/190)
However, activity, task, and other responsibilities sometimes cause a man to forget to spare his time in order to teach his family. Among the given solution for this problem is for him to spare a specific day in a week for his family. Probably by involving other relatives to hold a religious lecture at home. And it’ll be more effective to use the compulsory attending to himself and other family members.
Imam al Bukhari said in chapter, “should the women provided with a special day to study?” And he quoted a hadith from Abu Sa’id al Khudriy –may Allah be pleased with him-: “The women said to the Prophet, ‘The men have beaten us in serving you. Hence, please spare for us one of your days, then the Messenger of Allah promised them a certain day to meet, in which he admonished and ordered them.”
Ibn Hajar said. “In a narration of Sahl Ibn Abi Shaleh, from his father, from Abu Huraira, (there’s something) that resembled this story, he said. “Your promised time is in the house of so-and-so, “ so the Messenger of Allah visited them and preached before them.” (See: Fathul Baari, I/195)
Through this hadith, we could draw a conclusion about the urgency of the teaching for women in their houses, and about the major concern of the companions regarding the pursuing of knowledge. Beside that, the hadith also points out that focusing the teaching only on the men and neglecting the women is a major flaw for the preachers and leaders of household.
Among the lessons to be taught to women are the tafseer (interpretation) of the Qur’an and hadith of the Prophet. It is also important to teach them some cases of the ruling of purification, menstruation, ruling of the prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage if they have the ability to fulfill it, as well as the ruling related to food and drink, clothes, jewelry, sunnah fitrah, mahram and stranger, ruling of picture, song, and so on. Some important references regarding these problem of womanhood are the fatwas of the scholars, such as the Collection of Fatwa by Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz, Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Shalih al Uthaymeen, and other scholars, in the form of book or cassette. One of the references that has been translated into Indonesian language is the book titled al-Fatawa al-jami’ah lil mar’atil muslimah, published by Pustaka Darul Haq, Jakarta, in three volumes.
Included in the category of the teaching of woman and family is by admonishing them to attend the general lecture of the scholars and preachers who are the experts of their field, as long as it is possible for them to. This kind of teaching will broaden their references and source of teaching, as well as a variation for their daily routines. Do not forget to listen to the broadcast of Qur’an recitation, or play the tape of it and pay it some attention. If there is an Islamic book fair on town, there’s nothing wrong in taking them to it, by following the requirements of women travel outside her home according to shari’a.
The Importance of Family Library
The existence of an Islamic library in the house is urgently needed in helping the process of teaching of the family; it doesn’t necessarily need to be large, since the more important thing is that it could contain the selected, good-quality and needed books. The family should place it on the places that is easy to take, and every family member is suggested to read it.
Among the criteria of a good and efficient library is that it should contain references in which explanations and solutions for various problems could be found, useful books for students, books for different class of people, as well as books for adult and children, men and women.
Furthermore, if it is possible, the host could provide special books as a gift for the guests, friends of the children, and whoever visits that house. Special attention should be given to the attractive design of the books, and books that have been reviewed, edited, and tha hadith in it have been rechecked and explained clearly.
In order to facilitate the book searching, the host should arrange it according to the title or content, that is, by locating the books about tafseer, creed, hadith, fiqh, etc, in separated sections. Likewise, it is also necessary to make a book catalogue according to the title in alphabetical order, so that when a person requests certain title of book, it could be found in no time.
One of the usage of tape recorder that is permitted in Islam is by collecting cassettes that contain good Islamic content, such as the recording of the lectures given by the scholars, the Qur’an reciters, preachers, admonishers, etc.
Listening to the cassette of beautiful Qur’an recitation of some Imam of the tarawih prayer for example, will bring a major influence to the family. The influence may come from the meaning of the verses they read, and it could affect their memorization, since they always listen to it routinely. It could also affect them by keeping them from listening to the evil sounds, such as harmful songs and musics.
There are plenty of cassettes containing lectures and fatwas from the scholars that could affect the understanding of a family in fiqh, in order to overcome various problems that they have to deal with in their daily routines.
Another vital matter is to look carefully to the source where we and our family members learn the knowledge and fatwas from, because it concerns the religious matter. We should only learn about our religion from people whose piety, righteousness, and asceticism have been well known, who based his knowledge on valid indications, avoided any fanaticism to any particular school, spoke according to the indication, were consistent with the method of being in moderate, not too extreme and overburden, and not too loose and underestimate the problem, and the ones who are knowledgeable (khabir) regarding all of the problems in religion.
Allah the Glorified and Exalted declared, “the Merciful One. Ask concerning Him the one who knows.” (Chapter Al Furqan/The Criterion:59). Just how many of the cassettes containing Qur’an recitation that we find, including the ones for kids, that will give great influence to them?. The same goes for cassettes containing daily dua, Islamic etiquette and manners, Islamic nasheed that contain lessons, etc.
Inviting Pious men, Scholars, Ustadz or Student to comeover
Allah decreed, which can be translated into, “My Lord, forgive me and my parents, and whoever enters my house as a believer, and forgive all believers, both men and women, and do not increase the wrong-doers in anything except perdition.” (Chapter Noah:28)
Indeed, when the faithful men visit a house, it could add the light in it or in the family in it. Besides, we could converse, ask, and discuss with them about many problems and it will be very beneficial for all. People who bring musk will probably give it to you, or you buy it from him, or at least you could smell sweet fragrance from him.
By their visit, your father, brother, and children will join you to welcome them, and the women will listen to your conversation with them from behind the curtain/partition, and thus it becomes the lesson to all.
Learning the laws regarding The household
Among the laws that are related to the matter of household are as written below:
– Performing voluntary prayer in the house. Regarding prayer for men, the Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- had said, “The best prayer for man is the one done in his house, except for the obligatory prayer.” As for the five daily prayers, men should attend it in the mosque, except if he has sounding reason not to attend it. As for women, the more concealed her place of prayer is the better, as the Messenger of Allah said, “The best prayer for woman is in the innermost part of her house.”
– The host is more rightful to be the imam in his hiuse, and it is not permitted to sit on the place that he used to sit on without his permission. The Messenger of Allah said, “A man is not allowed to be lead in his own territory and it is not allowed to sit on his honored place in his house except by his permission.”
– Asking for permission. “Believers! Enter not houses other than your own houses until you have obtained the permission of the inmates of those houses and have greeted them with peace. This is better for you. It is expected that you will observe this.” (Chapter An Nuur/The Light:27)
– It is alright to eat inside the house of relatives, friend, and the likes, who have handed over its key to us if they are willing to it / they do not dislike it.
– Forbidding children and servant to enter the parent’s bedroom without their permission during the resting time.
– It is prohibited to peek inside other people’s house.
– It is better not to spend the night alone in the house.
– It is better not to sleep on the fenceless rooftop to prevent from falling.