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Al-rijal qawwamun ‘ala al-nisa’ bi ma faddala Allahu ba‘duhum ‘ala ba‘din wa bi ma anfaqu min amwalihim. Fa al-salihat qanitat, hafizat li’l-ghayb bi ma hafiza Allah. Wa allati tukhafuna nushuzahunna, fa ‘izuhunna wa ahjuruhunna fi’l-madaji‘ wa adribuhunna, fa in ata‘nakum, fa la tabghu ‘alayhinna sabilan. Inna Allah kana ‘Aliyyan, Kabir.”  4:34

 Many contemporary debates about “women’s status in Islam” hinge on a few key topics: the veil, polygamy, and a few Qur’anic verses that are seen to prescribe female subordination—to men in general and husbands in particular. But the truth is that the Qur’an’s basic stance is that Muslim women are first and foremost Muslims, the religious equals of men (e.g., Q. 33:73). It refers to women and men as one another’s “protectors.” (Q. 9:71). Muslim marriage is described in terms of love and mercy (Q. 7:189; 30:21), and the Qur’an describes spouses as “garments” for one another (Q. 2:187). 

The most important of these verses occur in Surat al-Nisa (“Women”), the fourth chapter of the Qur’an. The range of ways in which its key provisions have been interpreted illustrates both the presence of androcentrism and/or misogyny in some aspects of the Muslim tradition as well as possibilities for more egalitarian readings of scripture. However, in several realms, above all marriage and divorce, Qur’anic rules are differentiated by sex, with men seemingly given greater rights and responsibilities.

Notwithstanding this, unlike every other known culture and religions in the world; Islam is the only religion that emphasized the honourable treatment of women. Knowing the nature of men the prophet (s.a.w.) in an authentic Hadith stated that “whoever has three daughters, who he gives a safe home, provides for and show mercy to, Paradise is certainly guaranteed for him” and then he was asked about two daughters with the same response as well as for one daughter.

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In furtherance of the honour, Islam commanded a child is to honour his mother three times over before his father no matter how negligent the mother is. However despite this honour and raised status that Islam gives to women, immorality has become the hallmark of some women as westernization pushed women to hand over their primary role as nurturers and caregivers to the fathers who have no intrinsic capabilities to raise male children nor accord due respect to their husbands. By nature men desire respect, and it has been proven over time that once men are respected they would play their roles. Sadly the quest for liberation and westernization among some women have pushed women into the “equality or the genders” mode. Some women have abandoned Allah’s command and what is now obvious is that westernization has not added any values to our world.

Therefore we need to retrace our steps and need to go back home; honour our husbands because Allah has commanded us to do so. They have been built as the maintainers and providers for the homes.

 It is fair to conclude that while a lot is expected from the mothers our fathers also need to reclaim their position of power because respect is earned. It is worthy of note that men have also abandoned their roles as the new world order continue to spread.

Ways to Get Your Kids to Love Prayer

As Muslims, we all know the importance of Salah (prayer). It is the first thing that we will be brought to account for in front of Allah (swt), and is the most important pillar of Islam after the Shahadah. Thus, it is very important that we encourage our children to form the habit of praying, and develop a love for performing Salah

Here are ways you can encourage your child to pray:Teach by Example

Children like to imitate their parents. Let them see you making wudu’ and taking your prayer mat once you hear the adhan. As the parent, you are the primary example to your child of what being a Muslim means. If you prioritize the prayer in your day, and do not delay or miss it, your child will grow-up knowing its importance. You can tell them, “I have an appointment with Allah. I can’t be late!”

Start Young

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not pray when they are 10 years old, and separate them in their beds.”[ Abu Dawod (459) and Ahmad (6650). Although it is not necessary for children to pray before seven years-old, it is still wise to create an atmosphere in the home that encourages them to pray when they are young.

Let Them Have Their Own Musalla

If you have space, allocate a specific room as a prayer room. If you cannot do this, then try to find a corner of a room that is only for prayer.Children will understand how important the prayer is that it has even been given its own area in the house. Teach the children that this area is only for Salah and must be kept clean and tidy.

Party Time!

When your child turns seven years, throw them a “Prayer Party!” Invite all their friends to share in the excitement of this new stage in their life. Give them their own prayer mat, hijab, tasbeeh or adhan alarm clock. They will be so excited and proud that they can start praying Salah.

Teach Them About Allah

Without an understanding of Allah, the prayer becomes just a ritual; a ritual that is lacking a spiritual and emotional connection to their Lord (SWT). From infancy, talk to your children about how Allah made everything, and how Allah provides for them and will protect them. This will inculcate a deep love for Allah in their hearts.

Make the Prophet (pbuh) Their Hero!

Talk about the Prophet (pbuh) in your home. Read stories and talk about his Seerah as part of your normal daily routine. As he becomes more beloved to them, they will take him as their role model and want to copy him. They will want to pray because he did!

Be Consistent

Although we want our children to love the prayer, there will be times when they feel lazy and do not want to pray. As parent’s it is our responsibility to make sure that they pray, particularly by the time they are ten years-old. Do not allow them to miss the prayer. To establish the habit you must be consistent, no matter what!

Family Time

One way of encouraging a positive attitude to the prayer, is to make it a collective practice. Try to pray at least once a day as a family, with the father leading the prayer. If your child is able, give him the responsibility of making the adhan (call the prayer). Take your children to the Friday prayer and Eid prayers as often as possible. The power of seeing a whole community praying together is so important and will give them a strong sense of identity.

Make it Visual!

Children respond well to visual cues and reward charts. Charts and Islamic calendars will encourage your children to pray on time. Hang it up somewhere in the home and it will act as a visual reminder to your child, reminding him of the times of each prayer. Alternatively you can make prayer tree. For every prayer the child does on time, they color in one leaf green and they know that Allah is happy with them. If the prayer is late they color in the leaf orange and they are warned that Allah doesn’t like late prayers, and they must try harder. If they miss a prayer, then the leaf is colored in red, and they are warned that Allah may not be happy with them, and they should go and make Tawbah (repentance).

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