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Rule No:14 - Mashwarah (consulting) in a Muslim Home

Our beloved Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, despite his vast knowledge and wisdom, was instructed by Allah Ta’ala to consult with his noble Sahaabah (Radiyallahu anhum) (companions) and make mashwarah with them regarding to important issues as is indicated in the above aayah.

If Nabi B, the best of all mankind and the pride of the creation of Allah Ta’ala, was commanded to  consult with others, how much more important is it for us to also consult with each other in our day to day issues.

Many problems and misunderstandings that arise in our homes and in our dealings can be easily resolved by merely making mashwarah and consulting with each another.

A solution to many problems

Perhaps many of our problems are as a result of us not introducing this great sunnah in our homes. We feel a sense of pride within ourselves and don’t see the need to make mashwarah with our household members.

However, in business related issues we are inclined to consult and are prepared to even pay exorbitant fees to consultants to gain sound business advice. It is of utmost importance that we also discuss our day to day issues with members of our family.

Daily after our ta’leem at home, one should sit with his wife and children and make mashwarah with them regarding the day to day affairs. With mashwarah, ease and comfort is brought into our lives, misconceptions and misunderstandings are eradicated and the help of Allah Ta’ala descends upon us. It is mentioned in a Hadith, “That person who makes mashwarah will never regret.”

The Battle of the Trench

Before the Battle of khandaq, when Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam consulted the Sahaabah (RA) as to what should be done to defend Madinah Munawwarah from the approaching army of the Quraysh. Various Sahaabah (RA) presented their suggestions. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam finally accepted the opinion of Hadhrat Salmaan Faarsi (RA) who suggested that a trench be dug around Madinah to protect the Muslims. This brilliant idea never occurred to any of the other Sahaabah. However, through mashwarah, Allah Ta’ala saved the Muslims from the Ahzaab (Quraysh and their allies).

Simple Solutions

Sometimes, simple solutions may not occur to us, yet it may easily come to the mind of a young child in our home. With mashwarah, one is able to explore the ideas of all the individuals present. Simple issues can become very complicated if mashwarah (consultation) does not take place. Take the following examples;

1. Schools are closing and everyone is preparing for the holidays. By sitting together in mashwarah, the family can plan their daily ibaadat, work, study and leisure time. One comes to know what plans the rest of the family may have. Perhaps some individual is planning something while the other individual has something else in his/her mind. This can later lead to an argument and even a fight at home since everyone is preparing to do what occurs in their minds. The mother may be planning to go to her mother’s house whilst the father planned to go to his mother’s house. Both individuals have their plans in their minds but since these issues were not discussed earlier, it could lead to a major fight and argument at home, there by spoiling the entire vacation. Yet if the sunnah of mashwarah was implemented, then one could easily explore what is in each other’s minds and come to some amicable decision whereby all members of the family would be pleased. Half the holiday could be spent at the maternal granny’s home and the other half at the paternal granny’s home. In this way the entire family is happy, everyone enjoys the holiday and everyone is in good spirits after the holidays to start work all over again. Otherwise, a major misunderstanding may take place, the entire holiday could be spoilt and the repercussions may affect them even after the holidays.

2. One of the ongoing challenges mothers face at home is what to cook the next day. They are always perturbed and concerned as to what to serve their families. If we have a daily mashwarah in our homes, we can easily resolve this problem as well. With such mashwarah, children can be served with appetising nourishing meals and avoid junk foods.

In this manner many of our day to day issues and problems can be solved just by making mashwarah with our household members.

Training our children

Whilst it is the duty of the father to run the affairs of the home and all decisions will be taken by him, daily mashwarah at home is a process of training our children to consult with their elders. They will learn never to make their own decisions and will always consult with their seniors in important matters arising in their lives.

As children reach the age of adolescence, they are faced with many challenges. If they are in the habit of making mashwarah from a young age, they will insha Allah consult with their seniors in all the challenges that they face and will be saved from great harm. But, Allah forbid, if they are not in the habit of making mashwarah, they will then act according their own initiatives and try to face up to each challenge on their own, resulting in possible disaster.

Teenagers tend to turn to their friends for advice when they do not have an open communication with their parents. In many cases, unfortunately, friends dispense the worst possible advice to them and thus lead them to destruction. It is important that parents know who their children associate with and guide them accordingly.

Conclusion

Allah Ta’ala has commanded in the Qur-aan, “Consult them in your affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, place your trust in Allah for verily Allah Ta’ala loves those who place their trust in Him.” By introducing this great sunnah in our lives, we will indeed gain the proximity of Allah and His beloved Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. We will be saved from many misunderstandings and we will insha Allah be blessed with goodness and happiness in our homes thus transforming our homes into gardens of Jannah.

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