Alhamdu Lillah, most Chicago Muslim families are among the affluent economically, educationally and In Sha Allah, religiously. I pray to HIM to put baraka (blessings) in what HE gives us. Baraka will bring happiness. Without baraka, we may have a lot, but lack happiness. Life is not always smooth sailing and our families face problems: social, economic, health, etc. How to cope? Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) and our Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wasallam) gave us plenty of advice.
Here are some examples:
- Have taqwa and remember Allah when you are at ease, HE will remember you at times of hardship. Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) said, “Whoever fears Allah – Allah will make a way out (of his problems) for him and will provide for him in ways that he did not expect. And whoever relies on Allah – Allah will be sufficient for him.” (Qur’an: Al-Talaq 2-3).
When the angel heard the supplication of Prophet Yunis (Jonah) they said this voice is familiar. Let your voice in supplication and in reading Qur’an be familiar to the angels.
- Have tawakkul (leave it to Allah after you do your part) but not tawakul (lack of planning and irresponsible behavior). Rely on Allah and prepare. Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alaihi wasallam), said tie your camel and rely on Allah.
- Let your spouse, parents, in-laws and children know you love them and you care about them. Say it, show it, mean it and practice it on daily basis. Your smile means a lot.
- Leave the house by saying salam and enter the house by saying salam.
- Be content with what Allah (subhanahu wata ‘ala) gave you and praise HIM for your blessings. Don’t dwell on how much more others have instead.
- Live up to your responsibilities and exercise your rights wisely. Fulfill your responsibilities as you nicely ask for your rights. Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alaihi wasallam) said “Each is responsible for fulfilling what he/she is entrusted with, the imam, the husband, the wife and the servant. Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alaihi wasallam) said, “The best amongst you is the best to his wife and family, and I am the best to mine.”
- Ask for what is doable without causing a hardship, forgive and have mercy on others. Allah (subhanahu wata ‘ala) said in the Quran, “Allah charges a soul only with what is in its capacity… Our Lord do not burden us with what we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us.”
- Consult and listen before acting. Allah said to his Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wasallam) “Consult them.” When decisions are made jointly, each party becomes accountable for upholding that which he/she agreed to. Considering the feelings of others encourages them to consider yours.
- Don’t let minor arguments develop into crises. Take the lead and discuss with your spouse to put an end to what is perceived as a problem before it becomes a problem.
- Do not hang your dirty laundry for others to use for entertainment.
By Dr Bassam Jody