[Family Life – Part 1] Tips on Building a Productive Muslim Household

[Family Life - Part 1] Tips on Building a Productive Muslim Household | Productive Muslim

Photo by Viktor Hanacek: picjumbo[dot]com

This is the first of a series of 3 articles providing you with successful tips on how to make your family life and home more productive. This series will explain 21 ways to help your household become happier, more peaceful and thus, more productive. We will begin with the first 7 tips that will contribute to a productive household, In sha Allah.

What is one of the greatest accomplishments one can achieve that produces a benefit for the individual, his family and the community at large? It is the realization of a happy, peaceful, and productive household.

Although having a productive household is one of the most fulfilling and beneficial aspects of this life, it is often neglected as a goal to aspire towards. One is indeed remiss in failing to make a happy and content household a primary goal. It is well known that strong productive families are the foundation of healthy civilizations. Sound families are also what help make individuals within families healthy mentally and emotionally. It is quite apparent that a productive household is one of the primary goals one should wish to attain. It should also be an ambition towards which one directs his or her children as they mature.

What are some of the ways in which you can achieve a happy productive household? Here are 7 ways you can start today!

1. Put Allah First in Your Life

If you do not have a good relationship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), you will not have a healthy relationship with your family members. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us how to behave with one another. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) tells and shows us how to behave with one another. If we do not fear Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and have the hope for His reward, we will have little motivation to do some of the prescribed recommendations from Qur’an and Sunnah, which contribute to a more enjoyable household. This is particularly the case when the requirements or suggestions do not suit our personal goals or interests.

Putting Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) first in your life empowers you to think of every situation in the context of His guidance and in terms of the akhira. This means you pick your battles wisely, behave with tolerance and seek to understand before being understood.

2. Be Forgiving

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in Quran:

“Whoever pardons and makes reconciliation — his reward is [due] from Allah.” [Qur’an: Chapter 42, Verse 40]

“… and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you?” [Qur’an: Chapter 24, Verse 22]

The ones who can hurt you the most are your loved ones. They are the ones to whom your heart is attached and you are closest. Because of this close relationship, you expect and desire more from them than you would from distant acquaintances or strangers. For these reasons, when you are slighted by a loved one, the pain is more severe. However, when you keep in mind that your forgiveness of their mistakes is not for them, but for you, by gaining Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)’s pleasure and your reward from Him, the task of forgiving becomes much easier.

Maintaining a forgiving disposition enhances your productivity because you prevent your mind from becoming a war zone for past slights.

3. Smile Often Around Your Family

Jarir bin Abdullah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) never refused me permission to see him since I embraced Islam and never looked at me except with a smile (on his face). [Bukhari]

According to hadith, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) also said: “When you smile to your brother’s face, it is charity.” [Tirmidhi]

How do you feel when you see someone smiling at you? Does it make you want to smile back at them? Does it put you in a better mood? Does it soften your heart some? One of the simplest ways to make your home more productive is by putting on a cheerful face. Of course, this can certainly be harder to do at times, particularly when there are unresolved problems and uncomfortable tension in the home, but the greater the difficulty, the greater the reward. Keep this simple heart softener in mind.

By smiling, you can “trick” your brain into feeling content  and contentment enhances productivity. In addition, smiling is infectious  so you automatically improve the general mood of your entire household by this simple act.

4. Cook Homemade Meals

You may be wondering what cooking has to do with a productive household. Well, it is not the cooking act itself. It is what is associated with cooking a meal and what accompanies a home-cooked meal. Think back on when you were young. Do you recall your mother’s or your grandmother’s homemade dishes? Do you remember them cooking your favourite dessert or dinner? Do you remember smelling their fresh baked bread, cake or cookies?

Food has an effect on all five of our senses. We nurture others with food. When you cook a delicious meal for your family, they have something enjoyable to look forward to. They have something pleasurable to participate in once the meal is complete. When you cook meals for your family, you are demonstrating your care and love for them.

5. Avoid Getting Angry

According to hadith, the Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “The strong man is not the one who can overpower others (in wrestling); rather, the strong man is the one who controls himself when he gets angry.” [Ahmad]

If there is a main ingredient that contributes to lack of productivity in the home, expressing one’s anger might be it. When one is angry, he loses his sense of rationale. He may spurt hurtful words, abuse others physically or even kill loved ones. And in the aftermath, once Shaitan has fled, he is filled with regrets. Avoid making your household a house of horrors, by taking heed of the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) suggestions on how to alleviate anger.

According to hadith, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “I know a word which, if he were to say it, what he feels would go away. If he said “I seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan,” what he feels (i.e., his anger) would go away.” [Tirmidhi]

Additionally: “If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent.” [Al-Albani]

Also the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “If any of you becomes angry and he is standing, let him sit down so his anger will go away; if it does not go away, let him lie down.” [Al-Albani]

6. Be Patient With Your Family’s Imperfections

One of the best ways to help you avoid becoming angry with your family members is by being patient with their imperfections. Not one of us on Earth is perfect. We all have our faults. Our children sometimes talk disrespectfully to us. Our womenfolk may not dress as modestly as they should. Television, movies, and the computer present countless inappropriate images and examples to which family members are continually exposed and misguided. Keeping this in mind can help us avoid reacting brusquely with our family when they err. Instead, we can direct them toward proper behaviour through our own example and by gentle reminders. The rewards of struggling to be patient are enormous.

“You who believe! Endure and be more patient… and fear Allah, so that you may be successful.” [Qur’an: Chapter 3, Verse 200]

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” [Qur’an: Chapter 39, Verse 10]

“And be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.” [Qur’an: Chapter 8, Verse 46]

The one who practices patience with his family will be rewarded for his restraint. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will also be with him, and who better to have as a helper in this world? Having the ability to be patient and acting on this restraint is one of the greatest blessings from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Being patient aids your productivity by putting a lid on rough emotions, maintaining peaceful ties, and also by providing a form of spiritual purification.

7. Make Dua for Your Family

The above points are all helpful in helping us attain a happy and productive household. However, we must always remember that all success comes from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). It is crucial that we remember to ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to bless us with a happy and loving family. He has power over all things.

Every family has its own unique situation with family members and circumstances. So of course, each of us will have our own distinct dua to make to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for our families. However, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has given us general dua from Qur’an that we can make for our family as well. Here are some of these duas:

“Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqun.” [Qur’an: Chapter 25, Verse 74]

“O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.” [Qur’an: Chapter 3, Verse 38]

“O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) one of peace and security, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols.” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 35]

“O my Lord! Make me one who performs As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat ) and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation. [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 40]

Also, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to say for his grandsons Hassan and Hussein:

“I seek refuge for you two with Allah’s perfect words from every Shaytan (devil) and poisonous creature and every evil eye.” [Bukhari]

May Allah bless us all to achieve one of the greatest blessings, achievements and goals of this world: A happy productive household!

The next article will cover 7 more helpful tips that can help make your home happier, more peaceful and more productive, In sha Allah.

Which of these tips have you found to be most effective? Which ones do you struggle with? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Read the other parts: (Part 2 | Part 3)