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 The Appeal of Islamic Family Life..........

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sacha
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PostSubject: The Appeal of Islamic Family Life..........   Wed 15 Apr - 9:11




In Islam, considering the well-being of the “other”
instead of just the “self” is a virtue so rooted in the religion that it is
evident even to those outside it. The British humanitarian and civil rights
lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, a non-Muslim, stated: “What I like about Islam is
its focus on the group, which is opposite to the West’s focus on individuality.”




Individuals comprising any society are tied together by
related group bonds. The strongest of all societal bonds is that of the family.
And while it can be justifiably argued that the basic family unit is the
foundation of any given human society, this holds particularly true for Muslims.
As a matter of fact, the great status that Islam affords to the family system
is the very thing that so often attracts many new converts to Islam,
particularly women.



“With laws for almost every aspect of life, Islam
represents a faith-based order that women may see as crucial to creating
healthy families and communities, and correcting the damage done by the popular
secular humanism of the past thirty or so years, several experts said. In
addition, women from broken homes may be especially attracted to the religion
because of the value it places on family, said Marcia Hermansen, a professor of
Islamic studies at Loyola University in Chicago and an American who also
converted to Islam.”



Nowhere is this trend of a people who value traditional
family values as they embrace Islam more prevalent than in North America’s
Latino or Hispanic community. As one of Florida’s Muslims observed: “I have
seen an increasing rate in Hispanics converting to Islam. I think the Hispanic
culture itself is very rich in terms of family values, and that is something
that is very prominent in the religion of Islam.”



So, what are the particular values or traits of Islamic
family life that so many are finding so appealing?



At a Columbia University Islamic event, Hernan
Guadalupe, an Ecuadorian-American: “spoke of the cultural similarities and
family values inherent to Hispanics and Muslims. Typically, Hispanic
households are tight knit and devout, and children are reared in a strict
environment - traits that mirror Muslim households.”



And in another recent newspaper report, it was also
observed how: “Family values play an integral role in the formation of a
Muslim community. Because of those family values, there are a lot of other
norms that are consistent within the Hispanic community and Islam; for
instance, respect for elders, married life and rearing children, these are some
of the traditions Hispanics have in common with Islam.”



Some ordinary American converts also have had a say
about real life experience, and some of these are collected in a book by the
mother of such a convert; Daughters of Another Path by Carol L. Anway. One
woman, quoted in the book, spoke
about her change in attitude towards marriage and family life after converting
to Islam. “I became cleaner and quieter the further I went into the religion.
I became highly disciplined. I had not intended to marry before I was a
Muslim, yet I quickly became a wife and then a mother. Islam has provided a
framework that has allowed me to express belief, such as modesty, kindness and
love, that I already had. It has also led me to happiness through marriage and
the birth of two children. Before Islam I had had no desire to have my own
family since I hated (the thought of having) kids.”



Another woman speaks of her acceptance into the extended
family in the same book. “We were met at the airport by a lot of his family,
and it was a very touching moment, one I will never forget. Mama (her
mother-in-law) is like an angel… I have spent a lot of time in with tears,
because of what I see here. The family system is quite unique with closeness
that is beyond words.”



In Appendix C of the book, a 35 year old American
convert, at that time 14 years a Muslim, wrote about the family of her husband
and their values relative to her own American values. “I have met all the
members of my husband’s immediate family and some members of his immense
extended family… I have learned a great deal from my in-laws. They have a
wonderful way of relating to their children, a way that engenders respect for
others and great amounts of self esteem. It is interesting to see how a
child-orientated and religious orientated culture operates. My in-laws, by
virtue of being a contrast to American culture, have given me a great
appreciation for certain elements of my American cultural identity… I have seen
that Islam is truly correct in saying that moderation is the right path.”



From these quotations, one from a non-Muslim
intellectual, others from converts and reporters, and some from quite ordinary
American women who embraced Islam, we can see that family values in Islam are
one of its major attractions. These values stem from God and His guidance,
through the Quran and the example and teaching of His Messenger, Muhammad, may
the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, who indicates the family unit as
being one of the mainstays of religion and Islamic the way of life. The
importance of forming a family is underscored by a saying of the holy Prophet
himself, who said:



“When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his
religion, so let him fear God regarding the remaining half.”
(al-Baihaqi)



The two articles that follow will discuss the family in
Islam in the light of the Quran and Prophetic teachings. Through briefly
exploring Islam’s take on the themes of married life, respect for parents and
elders, and the rearing of children, we can begin to appreciate the benefits of
the family in Islam.



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wallace
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PostSubject: Re: The Appeal of Islamic Family Life..........   Sat 2 May - 13:36

That' sthe rightest idea I always think about. Making Islam a priority infront of all the necessities we see. Thank you Miss Sacha
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