Allah (SW) said: {Moreover, it is God

[alone] who has enabled you to make for yourselves houses as places of [rest and] residence. And He has enabled you to make for yourselves tents from the hides of cattle, which you find light [to carry] on your day of journeying and on the day you encamp. 16:80}

In this ayah, Allah (SW) mentioned residences first because it is the long term home base that brings (Sakan) tranquility and stability. The houses or tents made from the skins of cattle were mentioned second as these were primarily for traveling, yet even those who are traveling need a place of (Sakan) and rest too.

The word (Sakan) has many meanings: “The opposite of movement; this is why the knife is called (sikkeen) in which it rests the moment an animal is slaughtered.” It also means: “to reside” which connects the original meaning, to stop from the movement you engage in outside when you enter your home. The term (Sakan) is also used in reference to (Tuma’neenah) or “tranquility” for it reflects the calm status of someone’s mind or heart. “Sakan is to enjoy relaxation or tranquility, like being among family.” This general term describing homes as (Sakan) is comprehensive and inclusive to all areas of relaxation and resting in the physical, emotional, and spiritual sense.

But first let us remember that we are enjoying the blessing of being in homes (apartments, condos, houses etc), something we might take for granted and not fully appreciate. Remember there are many homeless with no roof to cover them. Just remember the people in Gaza, Syria and others who are still living without shelter. Always be grateful to Allah (SW) for this blessing among the countless blessings from Him {And were you to [endeavor to] count the blessings of God, never could you enumerate them.} 14:34.

This comprehensive meaning of (Sakan) in homes is not just because of the four walls around you and a roof over your head. It is a feeling of peace and tranquility that only Allah (SW) can put in the hearts and minds of people. One doesn’t attain that from living in mansions or having luxury furniture. It is attained through the recognition of the blessings from Allah (SW), even for a house made of animal skin or mud. It is not attained by living in a fancy neighborhood, but rather it is how close your family members are to each other.

Our homes are places of (Sakan) because marriage, which is the reason for establishing homes, is made as a relation of (Sakan) too. Allah (SW) said: {And of His [wondrous] signs is that He created for you, from yourselves, mates, so that you may repose in them. And He has set between you genuine [mutual] love and [tenderhearted] mercy.} 30:21

There are many factors that invite tranquility into our homes, but I will focus only on one factor which I believe is the most important one, and that is the remembrance of Allah (SW). Allah (SW) said: {But whoever turns away from my remembrance, for him, indeed, there shall be a stringent life and we shall bring him to assembly, on the Day of Resurrection, blind.} 20:124.

Remembrance of Allah (SW) helps you deal with the daily stresses of life. If you think materialistic things would help you feel better in your home, the prophet (pbuh) reminds us that it is only the remembrance of Allah (SW) and nothing else that can do that. When Fatima came to ask the prophet (pbuh) for a servant and did not find him at home, he came later to her house when she and her husband Ali were almost ready to sleep. He said: “Shall I tell you of something better than what you asked for!” They said yes. He said: “When you go to your bed, say ‘Subhan Allah’ 33 times; ‘al Hamdulillah’ 33 times; ‘Allah Akbar’ 33 times, and that is better for you than a servant.” Hadith narrated by Bukhari.

The remembrance of Allah (SW) brings tranquility to the heart and this feeling reflects in peoples’ lives thereby making all hardships easier on them by the grace of Allah. Allah (SW) said: {These are the ones who [truly] believe and whose hearts grow calm [with assurance] at the remembrance of God. Most assuredly, it is by remembrance of God that hearts grow calm.} 13:28

A home with the remembrance of Allah (SW) is a lively home, functional, full of energy and life. The prophet (pbuh) said: {The example of the house in which Allah is remembered in and the house in which Allah is not remembered in is like the example of the alive and dead} Hadith narrated by Muslim. You can bring this life into your home by performing (nafelah) prayers. The Prophet (pbuh) said: {Assign some of your prayers in your houses and do not declare it as graves} Hadith narrated by Bukhari. You can always bring tranquility by reciting the Quran. One of Satan’s goals is to destroy families, but the Quran shields our homes from the whispers of Shaitan. The prophet (pbuh) said: “Do not make your homes cemeteries because Satan runs away from the house in which the chapter of Al Baqarah is read in it.” Hadith narrated by Muslim.

This remembrance of Allah (SW) is to be seen through the collective effort of both spouses to be close to Allah. Aiesha narrated that the prophet (pbuh) would pray in the night and when he performed Witr he would wake her up and say: “Wake up and pray Witr O Aiesha.” Abu Hurairah narrated that the prophet (pbuh) said: “Mercy of Allah shall be on a man awakened in the night to pray and he awoke his wife for prayer. If she refuses he wipes her face with water. And mercy of Allah shall be on a woman awakened in the night to pray and she awoke her husband for prayer. If he refuses she wipes his face with water.” Hadith narrated by Abu Daoud and Ahmad.

Let us invite tranquility into our homes through the remembrance of Allah (SW). I pray to Allah (SW) to protect us, our spouses, children, families and all those we care about, Ameen.

By Sh. Kifah Mustapha