If a person is the basic brick in the building of society, a family is the living cell of that structure. An individual is part of the family from which he extracts his first characteristics by which he lives. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Offspring, one of the other." [Surat Al `Imran: 34].
A family that is composed of two parents is considered the oldest social institution known to man. Family in different societies is the main source of education and cognition for its children. The development of human life, the stability of man, building civil and rural communities, increasing human experience, and multiplicity of human acquaintance have led to the participation of other institutions with the family in the duty of caring, education, and guiding; and the family has given up part of its responsibility, nevertheless, it remains the first institution in the life of modern society in education.
If the family becomes good, an individual becomes good for family is the source from which a person learns creed, manners, ideas, habits, and traditions.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "No child is born except on Al Fitrah (Islam) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal produces a perfect young animal: Do you see any part of its body amputated?" [Sahih Muslim (2658). Ibn Hajar (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: He means that an animal is born without amputation but its people cut it. [Fathul-Bary: 3/250].
Islamic legislation decreed that a family should enjoy sound religious education which instills in souls the firm sound creed to rear children in sound faith environment.
Of the goals of establish a family in Islam are the following:
1- Establishing the prescribed limits of Allah:
Meaning: Achieving Allah's Sahri`ah in all affairs and in marital relationship which means establishing the life of Muslim house on achieving the real meaning of Allah's Worship which in turn achieves the supreme goal of Islamic education.
2- Achievement of educational impact:
A child grows up in a house that is established on the piety of Allah, desiring to establish the prescribed limits of Allah and resorting to His Shari`ah in arbitration, thereby he learns or follows that without much effort or trouble where he imitates the habits of his parents and holds their Islamic creed until he becomes of age.
3- Achievement of psychological peace and security:
Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife [Hawwâ' (Eve)], in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her." [Surat Al A`raf: 189].
4- Achievement of the Messenger's command of begetting righteous children:
The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Marry and beget children for I shall boast of you before other nations on the Day of Resurrection." [Al Maqasid Al Hasanah (350)]. This a clear proof that a Muslim house must rear its children well to achieve the prime goal of Islam because boasting and pride should only be made for righteous children.
5- Protecting a child's natural disposition against error and deviation:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "No child is born except on Al Fitrah (Islam) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" [Sahih Muslim: 2658].
Islam considers a family responsible for the Fitrah (natural disposition) of a child, and considers every deviation afflicts it comes from the prime source which is the parents or those who play the same role.
For more explanation, read the following:
* Environment of Islamic education of professor `Abbas Mahjub.
* Principles of Islamic upbringing and education; Khalid Al Hazimy.
* Principles of Islamic upbringing and education, and its methods at home and inside school; `Abdur-Rahman An-Nahlawy.
* Features of Muslim family in the Glorious Qur'an; Shirin Abu `Abdo.
* Rearing a Muslim child; Mahmud `Abdul-Halim.
* Methodology of Islamic education; Muhammad Qutb.
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