Fixing broken families – where are you on the tranquility-o-metre?
Love is the fortress for our children
And among His signs that He created for you, from among yourselves mates, to dwell with them in tranquillity and He put love and mercy among you. In that there are signs for those who reflect. (30:21)
We all know this ayah it is recited at every wedding and at walimas and as we enter the summer holidays, it is wedding season. During the Summer the children are at home, and many are in the midst of their wedding preparations.
Tranquility is the core of the home
In this ayah, Allah Almighty is addressing a very important issue – sakeena, which is tranquillity. The purpose, beyond marriage, is not just to have a family, but also to have tranquillity in the family structure. The presence of absence of sakeena which Allah Almighty is addressing here can make or break your marriage, as well as your children, who are the offspring, or the outcome of the marriage. When a marriage is well-established, on a good base,with strong pillars, and strong principles then what follows is fruitful and beneficial Insha’Allah, and vice versa.
Increased youth crime
I am addressing this issue because crimes are increasing not decreasing every day. Unfortunately, we hear about a stabbing here and a stabbing there and many youngsters are involved. How did they get into that in the first place?
The government started research into this a few years back, and one of the main conclusions that they came up with, which is not rocket science, is that this is the result of broken families. These children lack the comfort and tranquillity that should be in their home. They receive no love inside the house, no care, no understanding, and no education. This pushes them outside their home to gangsters, and to crime. No wonder Allah Almighty is saying tranquillity is the core of the marriage.
If we have no tranquillity then expect all these problems to increase, not to decrease. So, anything that brings tranquillity to the family is required to address this problem. Let me take you very quickly through the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and see how he established tranquillity, and sakeena and sukoon in his marriages. Among the last thing he mentioned in his will, his Last Sermon, he said:
‘Treat women nicely, be kind to women.’ (Bukhari)
Kindness is a two-way street
When you treat your wife nicely, this will be reciprocated. It’s not a one-way street. The marriage is a mutual contract. But as you are in charge of this very boat, you need to be the one who initiates kindness.
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said:
The best of you is the best to his wives, and I am the best of you to my wives. (Tirmidhi)
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) said:
It is also charity to utter a good word. (Bukhari and Muslim)
And in another hadith, we were told:
Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity (Tirmidhi)
Your wife and children are more deserving for this charity than anyone else. And vice versa. And a wife should also impart good words, good smiles and good character. This is how the Prophet (peace be upon him) established tranquillity inside his house. Yes, he was the Prophet (peace be upon him), but at the end of the day, he was a human being. He was a role model, who taught his companions and the ummah from his own example. He led the way in demonstrating good character.
Kindness flows to the children
When we have good character, it is reflected by our children, in their behaviour, in their thinking and mentality. It shields them against evils outside the home. However, if they are not protected enough, then anything can affect them, anything can divert them. Why? Because when they are continuously exposed to arguments, conflicts and even physical violence, or emotional abuse, they cannot wait to get out of the house, at any opportunity right or wrong, so they can escape the toxic environment.
In Surah ArRum, when Allah Almighty says:
‘Among His signs He created for you, mates
(the word azwaj in Arabic includes both i.e. husbands and wives)
to dwell in tranquillity’
This means we need to work on achieving this tranquillity. Especially this summer, review your record and check the tranquillity-metre of your relationship – what is your level of tranquillity? It is our responsibility. Allah Almighty granted us parenthood, so we are responsible to Allah Almighty in the first place and definitely to our children and our spouse. So check, are you creating tranquillity? Do you need to maintain it or boost it? Do you need to seek guidance or reconciliation? Otherwise it is too late, and the damage is done.
Love is a protective shield for our children
Let’s try our best to improve the tranquillity inside our house. This is what creates tranquillity in the community. Nothing protects our children than our love for them, our understanding of them and our compassion towards them, but if we have no time for that because we keep arguing and fighting with each other, then they will inevitably escape. If not physically, then mentally.
Marriage is not a battlefield
For those who are preparing to get married, remember that you not going into a battle-field. Don’t sharpen your knives because you are getting married. Don’t have the mentality that ‘I need to defeat him’ or ‘I need to defeat her’. No. Allah Almighty stated that marriage should be based on sakeena, mawaddah and rahmah– tranquillity, love and mercy. He could have said anything from the Arabic dictionary, but He chose mawaddha and rahmah. These form the tripod for any successful marriage.
The Mercy-o-metre and the Love-o-metre
Why do we need the rahmah? Because we are humans and we all make mistakes, so we need to able to forgive one another; we need to have this rahmah. And we need to have love, which is a given sometimes, but not always. Where are we on the Love-metre and Mercy–metre towards our children/wife/husband?
A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that a few desert Arabs came to Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him) and said:
Do you kiss your children?
He said: Yes.
Thereupon they said: By Allah but we do not kiss our children.
Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him) said: Then what can I do if Allah has deprived you of mercy? (Muslim)
We need to measure ourselves from 1-10. on the Sakina Scales, where are we? On the Love Level, where are we? On the rahmah-o-metre, where are we? And then we work towards improving our brains Insha’Allah, and this will lead to a different result. It will take some time, I understand this, but it is never too late. Being late is better than never, so let’s start and see. And, if we are okay alhamdulillah, that’s good, we always have room for improvement. We can go back, so let’s up our game. Focus on how to be more merciful towards each other, how to bring more tranquillity into your house, and reduce the conflict, debate, anxiety, depression, sadness and crying.
We need to have a life of tranquillity, because I receive phone calls from people all the time with internal conflicts within their families, between husbands and wive, children and parents, you name it. From within our own community. I’m not talking about an alien community, but from our very own community. It shows how much we need to understand the importance of tranquillity, love and mercy in our live, and act upon this from a prophetic practice.
We ask Allah Almighty to enable us to follow the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him), to bring more tranquillity into our houses, to bring more love and mercy towards our children/wives/husbands.
Khutbah delivered by Shaykh Haytham Tamim at UKAMCCC, London on 13th July 2019
Transcribed by Sana Zuberi
January 22, 2021