What Are Muslim Family Values?
The word “Family Values” is a big political football here in the United States. It is often used by Christian Conservatives to promote a certain ideology.
While Islam certainly places a high value on the family, it does not do so for political or even nationalistic reasons. Islam does so, because Muslim family values are crucial to creating a thriving society.
There are some overlap between the American idea of family values and Islamic family values. For instance:
- Both discourage abortion.
- Both are against gay marriage.
- Both downplay or minimize feminist ideologies
However, despite these commonalities, there are several differences.
- Western family values puts great emphasis on Judeo-Christian beliefs and the Bible.
- Western family values have a definite “American” tilt which may not blend well in other societies.
- Western family values do not go much further than the father, mother, and children. Islamic family values include the entire family.
What I’ve done is compile some of the most important fundamentals of Muslim family values. These are the backbone of what we can call “Islamic Family Values.”
This is a work in process. There may come a time when some of these Pillars of Muslim Family Values will be removed, merged, or updated. And I would be happy to hear your suggestions of other items should be included.
But for the most part, I doubt many Muslims will have any dispute with these Pillars.
1. The Quran and Sunnah are the Framework
We cannot begin to discuss Islamic family values without including the two most important texts in Islam: The Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Everything starts there.
The Quran is the Word of Allah and contains several passages and verses that are important to Muslim families. There is no way to establish a stable Muslim family or an Islamic society, without referring to the Quran first.
Some of the important family lessons taught in the Quran are:
And as the Quran gives us the basic framework for building a stable Muslim family, the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, contained in the books of Hadith, provide the details. The hadith expound on and explain the concepts contained within the Quran.
In fact, there are some aspects of the family that the Sunnah has that are not detailed in the Quran. For example:
- Death, funeral, and burials.
- Treatment of wives.
This should make it clear that the Quran and Sunnah are the most important factors of Muslim family values.
2. The Father is the Leader and Provider for the Family
There was an article on another Muslim website about a Muslim stay-at-home dad. Reading this man’s story, it seems that he may have been forced to accept his situation due to his economic situation.
But in general, Muslim men are the leaders and providers for the family. It is his responsibility to go out and find a way to make money for his family. With this duty comes great benefits and responsibilities. As Allah says in His book:
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard
Chapter 4, Verse 34.
3. The Mother is the Nurturer and Caregiver
As it is the primarily the father’s role to provide for his wife and children, it is primarily the mother’s role to care for her family and establish the home.
This does not mean that Muslim women cannot work. What it does mean is that her primary duty is to care for her children and maintain the home. Just like the father can lend a hand in helping with the children and housework, the mother can go out to work if her husband agrees.
The ideal situation is for the Muslim mother to stay at home and care for her children while her husband works. But sometimes that is just not possible. Nonetheless, the mother still has certain responsibilities that promote good Islamic family values.
Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing.
Chapter 2, Verse 233
4. Children are Raised According to Islamic Principles
This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.
It is impossible to establish a stable Islamic family unless the children are raised properly. And while these guidelines are established by the Quran and Sunnah, a modern family has to look a little further than the literal text.
The main problem in today’s family is the television. There are too many corrupt things on TV that are just a click away.
In addition to television, Muslim families must also contend with music, video games, and the internet.
In order to properly raise children, it is important that these new entertainment mediums be strictly monitored or perhaps even banned from your household.
5. The Extended Family Is Preferred Over the Nuclear Family
This is one of the major differences between Muslim family values and Western family values.
In the West, the modern nuclear family consisting of a father, mother, and children is romanticized beyond belief. This family structure is promoted on television, movies, and in politics.
But in Islam, the family does not just include the father, mother, and kids. It includes grandparents, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, and even cousins.
The Islamic rulings towards marriage, divorce, and inheritance all presume that the extended family is involved. So it is imperative that all Muslims living in the West adjust their mindset to this reality.
Your family is more than just your parents and siblings. It is everyone in your family.
6. Marriage Should Be Approached According to Islamic Principles
This is where most problems start: marriage.
I’ve written extensively about marriage in Islam. It is a very important part of any person’s life but especially a Muslim’s.
Unfortunately, Western culture has come to dominate much of our thinking regarding this important part of life. Too many Muslims are handling their marriages like their non-Muslim counterparts.
Inshallah, I will probably devote more time to this subject than to any of the others. After all, a new family starts when two people get married therefore it is the foundation of the Muslim family.
Some of the topics I will discuss are:
Also brothers, I highly encourage you to click on the red banner below this post and register for the Imancipated Man Summit. This is a virtual summit that will show Muslim men how to reach their true potential. Inshallah, this is something you should not miss.