The Message International Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine published by ICNA. What you find in ‘The Message magazine’ is a universal publication for the whole of Muslim community. Echoing the concerns and ideas pertaining to Muslims in America, this non-profit publication is a forum for the youth searching their Islamic identity in a western land.


Family 2013_3_story6

Published on January 29th, 2014 | by Suzy Ismail

2

Rebuilding Broken Family Bonds

It’s impossible to fix what is broken if we won’t acknowledge the damage

The Rasool (SAS) reminds us that “The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family” (Al-Tirmidhi). How many of us can say that we truly live our lives in emulation of the Rasool (SAS)? How many of us can honestly say that our nicest smile is saved for our children? That our sweetest voice is saved for our spouse? That our kindest compliments are given to our parents? Unfortunately, in the concern about how we present ourselves to the world, caring so much about our reputations, many of us have strayed from keeping the best part of our selves for our families. Instead, where we try the least is in our own homes. Once we stop trying to be the best to our families, all that is best within our families begins dying.

It’s never too late for us to fix what is broken.  It’s never too late to pick up the pieces and build again

It’s hard for some to accept that there is a problem in our communities today and that the root of the problem may be found in our own homes. It’s impossible to fix what is broken if we won’t acknowledge the damage. We don’t like to be told that we’ve neglected a most important part of our lives. We don’t like to hear that we’ve given priority to the wrong things and, in the process, lost a piece of who we are. And so we are left saddened, hurting, and feeling less than whole even when we can’t articulate why. As much as it pains us, the first step towards healing is recognizing the truth. And the truth is that we are broken. The hard question we must ask ourselves is whether or not it is too late to salvage the broken bits of our families that have scattered here and there. Is there hope to rebuild our broken bonds again?

Many of us wonder sometimes, how did it happen? How did I lose that connection with my family? The breakdown doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an insidious process of loss and pain. And Shaytan is able to break into the bonds of family life in small steps when we are steeped in filial security and feel most confident and comfortable in our connections. Sowing the seeds of personal discord in family life is among that which gives Shaytan the most pleasure. The Prophet (SAS) said: “Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments [for creating dissension between people]; the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: I did so and so. And he [Iblis] says: You have done nothing. Then one amongst them comes and says: I did not spare so-and-so, until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife. Shaytan goes near him and says: You have done well. He then embraces him” (Sahih Muslim).

Cherish your family members, open your heart to them, and enjoy every moment you have together

How can we guard against this assault on family life? How can we protect ourselves and the sanctity of our family connections when Allah (swt) tells us in the Quran: “(Iblis) said: ‘Because You have sent me astray, surely, I will sit in wait against them [human beings] on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones’ [i.e. they will not be dutiful to You]” (Qur’an, 7: 16-17). Shaytan does not approach a family all at once but slowly and when the family members feel most comfortable, content, and secure in their own surroundings. It might begin with an increased attachment to the cell phone, like a mother who checks her phone for texts, emails, and Facebook posts repeatedly, at dinner, at soccer games, at family gatherings. Then, the family dissolution might move to the father spending late nights in seclusion on the laptop, the children constantly connected to the iPad, the teenagers glued to the Internet, video games, and the TV. Soon, the entire family is connected only to gadgets and technology and not to one another.

The next step in the family breakdown might be an increasing lack of communication. Slowly, the parents stop talking to each other except in shouting matches, or even worse… they simply stop talking. The children might no longer have anything they want to share with the parents since they’d rather share with friends. Before anyone realizes what is happening, the adults in the family stop talking to their own parents or siblings because of the burden that “real” relationships represent. It doesn’t happen overnight, yet we’re shocked when it happens to us. We might find ourselves moving away from our connections and blaming it on work, busy schedules, lack of time, and a million other excuses that Shaytan conveniently supplies. Before you know it, you wake up and the realization hits you hard…you’ve lost your sense of family. The husband and wife no longer have companionship. The children lock themselves in their rooms and look to friends or popular culture for guidance. And then we wonder why? Where did our families go? How can we fix it? Is it too late?

Alhamdulillah, Allah (swt) in His infinite Mercy provides opportunities for us to always better ourselves and to better our family lives. It’s never too late for us to fix what is broken. It’s never too late to pick up the pieces and build again. Here are some practical steps that can help us in rebuilding our families:

Unplug

Force yourself to disconnect from the technology that pervades our lives. We cannot have meaningful connections with our families if we are always turning to our devices and gadgets to connect with others. Make an agreement among family members to daily observe a downtime when no one will use the laptop, computer, phone, or any other device. It can be for a time after dinner or before bed. This can be a valuable time for family members to talk, play games, pray together, and just enjoy one another’s company.

Communicate

Schedule regular “talking time.” This is very important for the well-being of the parents’ relationship and for the children to know that they always have a parent to talk to. A typical day often consists of multiple siblings bumbling into the car at school pick-up time talking over each other, vying for parental attention, with the parent juggling phone calls with dinner and bedtime routines, and a general rush-rush feel of trying to get everything in after the school day. Following that kind of craziness, everyone in the family needs and deserves some appointed connecting time. Try using an egg timer and set it for five minutes. Enter each child’s room before bedtime and appropriate five minutes of dedicated time where your child can tell you anything that is on his/her mind. Or you and your child can just have a simple, pleasant conversation. Your spouse can do the same. Then do the same with your spouse and spend 10-15 minutes (or longer if needed or wanted). The kids will love their “five-minute” dedicated parent time, and you and your spouse will find yourselves looking forward to your together-time as well.

Respect

Build respect in the companionship and camaraderie between you and your spouse, you and your parents, and you and your children. Spouses should commit to being on the same page, always displaying a united, cooperative, mutually respectful front in dealing with and/or disciplining the children. Don’t let your children see you divided. Your marriage should be a place of trust, rest, tranquility, care, and mercy. If you can’t find that in your marriage, you won’t be able to provide that to your children. For single parents and blended families, the task is often even greater in establishing the family connection. Regardless of the situation, respect in the family begins with self-respect. It’s easy sometimes to fall into the trap of self-recriminations and feeling like you’ve fallen short in some aspect of family life. Don’t get sucked into that downward spiral. Respect starts from within and radiates outward.

Support

Recognize that no one exists in a bubble. As a family, you must provide the emotional as well as physical and spiritual support for one another. Institute an environment of safety and security. Avoid frequent criticism of your children or your spouse. Nagging never yields anything but hurt feelings and bruised emotions. Find family activities like biking, hiking, walking, or even reading together — anything that strengthens the bonds of affection and mutual encouragement and appreciation, and commit to the activity on a regular basis.

Connect

Don’t lead completely separate lives. Yes, it is important to nurture your own interests and pursue self-enriching activities. However, it’s equally important to always come back to home-base and to recognize the role of the family in your life and to enjoy the blessings of being with people who truly care for you. Find yourself, but also find each other and do things together. Our time on earth is limited and the Rasool (SAS) said: “Get hold of five things before five things happen: your youth before old age, your health before sickness, your riches before poverty, your leisure before business, and your life before death” (Tirmidhi). Recognize what is most important and reprioritize. Ask yourself how you are using your youth, your health, your wealth, and your time to enrich your own life and your family’s life in this dunya.

Be Responsible

Foster a sense of responsibility in all family members, including children and both spouses. What are the rights and responsibilities in a family? How can everyone be a part of fulfilling those? The Qur’an mandates the importance of being good to our parents. Be an example to your own children by not neglecting your responsibilities to your own parents. “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that [you show] kindness to parents. Should one or both of them attain to old age with you, say not any word of contempt unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. And lower unto them the wing of mercy and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little. Your Lord is best aware of what is in yourselves. If you are righteous, then lo! He was ever forgiving unto those who turn unto Him” (Qur’an, 17:23-25).

Mend What’s Broken

Acknowledge and fix whatever has gone wrong in your family. Have a serious heart-to-heart with your spouse and with your children about why you feel that your family is not living up to its potential. Don’t approach it as a time for blame but as a time for honesty and recommitment. The family must work together to improve the dynamic and to strengthen the bonds between family members. Make sure that each member realizes the importance of family ties and that Islam warns us of the consequences of breaking family relations. Jaabir ibn Muntam (RA) narrates that the Rasool (SAS) said, “The person who breaks family ties will not enter Jannah” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Be Proactive

Be the change you want to see. Set a good example and make changes in your own behavior as a motivation for other family members. Family is about cooperation. Initiate and follow through. Don’t think or convey that your spouse/parent/child is solely responsible for the discord or estrangement within the family. Be the one who searches for solutions, suggests creative ideas, initiates positive change, and demonstrates the attitude and perception of family as a blessing from Allah (swt). Be the first one to convey in large and small ways that you appreciate the family as having the potential to be a strong, united team; and the home as a place meant to provide happiness and peace.

Expect the Unexpected

Learn to roll with the punches. Establish a core of unshakeable tawakul (trust in Allah’s plan and full reliance on Him) rooted in taqwa. Family life is not all smooth sailing. Family members are the mates on your ship as you navigate the rough seas. Allah (swt) tells us in the Quran that “Verily, with every difficulty there is relief” (Qur’an, 94:6). Let the beauty of this ayah permeate your life and filter through everything you experience with your family. Where there is a down, there must be an up. Recognize that regardless of what you are going through right now, this too shall pass.

Smile — Have fun with your family!

The smile is a sadaqah to a stranger; so imagine what it is to your family who you are commanded to be the best to. Rasool Allah (SAS) said, “Do not regard any act of virtue to be insignificant even if it is meeting your brother with a smiling face.” Recognize that there should be joy in your family life. Your children should want to come home and be with you. Your spouse should be excited to see you. Be the best “you” possible for your spouse and your kids. The Rasool (SAS) would play around, joke, and race with his wives. He would tell stories to the children to make them laugh. Don’t lose the lightheartedness of life with your family. Your family should be your source of inspiration, happiness, and joy. Accept the blessing that they truly are, and the fact that your actions with your family can lead you to the ultimate reward of being with those you love most in Jannah, insha’Allah.

Finally, keep in mind that family life is a journey of discovery. Cherish your family members, open your heart to them, and enjoy every moment you have together. Family life will never be perfect, but it can be perfectly fulfilling when we realize they offer us profound and lasting love.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts


About the Author

Suzy Ismail is a speaker, consultant and author of “When Muslim Marriage Fails: Divorce Chronicles and Commentaries”.



  • Trucker Stacey

    My name is tucker stacey.This is a very joyful day of my life because of the help Dr.Trust has rendered to me by helping me get my ex husband back with his magic and love spell. i was married for 6 years and it was so terrible because my husband was really cheating on me and was seeking for a divorce but when i came across Dr.Trust email on the internet on how he help so many people to get thier ex back and help fixing relationship.and make people to be happy in their relationship. i explained my situation to him and then seek his help but to my greatest surprise he told me that he will help me with my case and here i am now celebrating because my Husband has change totally for good. He always want to be by me and can not do anything without my present. i am really enjoying my marriage, what a great celebration. i will keep on testifying on the internet because Dr.Trust is truly a real spell caster. DO YOU NEED HELP THEN CONTACT DOCTOR TRUST NOW VIA EMAIL: Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com or call +2348156885231 or ultimatespellcast@gmail.com. He is the only answer to your problem and make you feel happy in your relationship.

  • Daniel John

    ..
    My
    Name is DANIEL JOHN, From UNITED KINGDOM. I wish to share my testimonies
    with the general public about what this man called DR. IYAYI, He has
    just done for me , this man has just brought back my lost Ex WIFE to
    me with his great spell, I was married to this woman called KATE we were
    together for a long time and we loved our self’s but when I was unable
    to make her pregnant,she left me for 1 year and told me she can’t continue
    anymore then I was now looking for ways to get her back until a friend
    of mine told me about this man and gave me his contact
    email(driyayilovespellhome@gmail.com) then you won’t believe this when
    I contacted this man on my problems he prepared this spell cast and
    bring my lost wife back, and after a month I slept with her and she went for
    a test and the result stated she is pregnant am happy today am a father of a
    baby girl, thank you once again the great DR. IYAYI for what you
    have done for me, if you are out there passing through any of this
    problems listed below:

    1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.

    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be
    yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) Herbal care

    CONTACT DR. IYAYI IMMEDIATELY
    Email… driyayilovespellhome@gmail.com.or driyayilovespellhome@yahoo.com or
    contact him through his website address: http://greatdriyayilovespellhome.webs.com
    YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT HIM THROUGH HIS MOBILE: +2348110496031

Back to Top ↑

  • Past Covers

    • Categories

    • Tags