by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Creating opportunities for meetings to discuss family matters. “…and who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation…” [al-Shoora] 42:38 –
This is a time when the family members can sit together in a suitable place to talk about issues within and without the family that affect them. This is a sign of strong ties, interaction and cooperation within the family. No doubt the man is the one whom Allaah has appointed to be in charge of his “flock’s” affairs and he is primarily responsible and is the decision maker, but giving room to others to contribute – especially when the children get older – is good training for them to learn to bear responsibility, as well as giving everyone the confidence of knowing that his or her opinion is valued when they are asked to express their points of view.
Examples of this are discussions concerning going for Hajj or for ‘Umrah during Ramadaan, and other trips, travelling to visit relatives and uphold family ties, or for vacations; organizing weddings and ‘aqeeqahs for newborns; moving from one home to another; and
charitable projects such as finding out about the poor people in one's neighbourhood so the family can offer help or send food to them.
Families can also discuss problems faced by themselves or by relatives, and talk about how to solve them, and so on… It is worth pointing out here that there is another important kind of family meeting, which is holding frank discussions between parents and children. Some of the problems of adolescence can only by solved by one-on-one conversations between parents and children, where a father talks, calmly and quietly, with his son about matters that have to do with the problems of youth and the Islamic rulings pertaining to adolescence, and a mother talks to her daughter and tells her what she needs to know about Islamic rulings and helps her to solve the problems that she may face at this age..
The father or mother may open the discussion with words such as “When I was your age…” This will have a great effect in making what they say acceptable to the youngster. Lack of such frank discussions will force the children to talk to bad companions, which leads to so many other evils..