We are the Ummah of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam and we have the honour of being the greatest Ummah. The outstanding features of Islam are its balance, justice and equity. These features of Islam are found in every aspect of our lives. It could be in the domestic aspect, social aspect, economic aspect, or in the political aspect of our lives. In the domestic aspect of our lives, the father has rights, the mother has rights, the husband has rights, the wife has rights, the children have rights and all relatives also have rights.
Everyone’s rights are in proportion to their status and position. The father does not have so much rights that they undermine the mother’s rights. The mother does not have so much right that overshadows the father’s rights. Similarly, the parents do not have so much of rights that the rights of the wife and children are neglected. Everyone has been given rights according to their status and position. It is this balanced, just and equitable system of Islam that makes all the aspects of our life so comprehensive, wholesome and successful.
Interference with this wholesome system will create an imbalance in the entire domestic system. It is only when we uphold the rules and principles of balance, justice and equity in our domestic lives that we will find peace and happiness in it.
O Mankind! Fear your Lord, He Who created you from a single soul. From that soul He created its mate and through them He bestowed the earth with countless men and women (Qur’an 4:1)
Family life is the very fundamental aspect of a strong society. It is the nucleus around which the social structure is developed. The strength of the family determines the vitality of the society. The characteristics of the family values are reflected in the outlook and sensibilities of the society.
Family life begins with the union of marriage of man and woman. It is the duty of the parents to guide the children that are born from this marriage, to educate and to train them to be good Muslims and an asset to society. This is not merely a social responsibility but an obligation under Shariah for the benefit of the children.
The parents will be questioned on the Day of Qiyaamah about how they brought up their children. They will be rewarded if they honoured their obligations and will incur the displeasure of Almighty Allah if they were negligent in honouring their obligations.
Allah Subhana Wa Ta’Ala says:
O believers, guard yourselves and your kindred against the fire. (66:6 )
Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam says:
All of you are shepherds and are responsible for your flock and a man is responsible for his family. (Muslim and Bukhari).
Just as children have rights upon their parents, parents have rights upon their children. Children are obliged to be obedient to their parents in all matters except when there is a conflict with Islam. Children must be kind and considerate to their parents especially in their old age even if the parents seem to be unreasonable in their request.
Allah Subhana Wa Ta’Ala says:
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and do good to parents. If either of them or both reach old age, do not say to them “uff”(a word of anger or contempt) and do not scold them. And address them with respectful words  and submit yourself before them in humility out of compassion and say, “My Lord, be merciful to them as they have as they have brought me up in my childhood.”(Surah Bani Israil 17:23-24)
Our beloved Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam and all the other Prophets Alaihis Salam were commanded to believe in the Oneness of Almighty Allah and to worship Him alone.
The next command is to be kind to your parents. Almighty Allah has made parents the means of creating human beings. They suffer much hardship and difficulty in raising children. Allah Almighty along with commanding His own worship ordered that children should treat their parents in a kind manner.
Hadrat Anas radiallahu anhu reported that the messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wasallam instructed: Whosoever like that Allah Almighty should prolong his life and enlarge his provision he should treat his parents well and deal with his parents in a good manner.(Durr e Mansur, p. 173, vol.4, reproduced from Baihaqi)
Treating relatives in a good manner also prolongs life and increases provisions. The child who does not render good services to his parents will incur difficulties in this world and will lose reward in the Hereafter. They will also be deprived of long life and livelihood which is bestowed upon those who are obedient to their parents and deal with their relatives in a decent manner. Your parents are your key to Paradise or to Hell depending upon your relationship with them. Whoever possesses good qualities has succeeded in this world and the Hereafter.
It is the right of the wife that the husband provides for her the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, regardless for financial situation. The place of shelter must be free from the relatives of the husband so that the husband and wife may both cohabit informally. However, if the wife agrees the husband may allow for other members of his family to share the residence.
Almighty Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has given many rights and privileges to the husband. It is a great act of worship for the woman to please her husband.
Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam said:
The woman who offers her five times daily salat, fast in the month of Ramadan, protects her chastity and obeys her husband will have the choice of entering Jannah from whichever door she wishes to enter from. (Ahmad)
This shows how great the rights of the husband are, such that by pleasing him the wife will be given the choice of entering Jannah from any of the eight doors that she pleases