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What makes a home a Muslim home?
What makes a home a Muslim home?
Is it only that Muslims live in that home or that there are frames with Ayats of the Qur'aan, Hadith or Arabic inscription on them or a Kalima sticker on the front door or some taweezes hung up here and there. A Muslim home is really one in which 5 times salaat takes place (by the females), Nafl namaazes take place, tilawat (recitation) of the Qur'an Sharif, Zikrullah, duas, muraqabah (meditation) and very important Taleem takes place. Also good Islamic characteristics are displayed by all inhabitants as well as Islamic Aadaab (Manners), etc. Taleem(an educational programme) is of vital importance in everyone's home - the laymen or the learned, for it serves the purpose of learning & teaching and revising. By repetition an encouragement to practice upon what has been learnt occurs. If there is an Alim in the house, advantage should be taken of tafsir and hadith lessons etc. as well. If there is a hafiz or qari, great advantage can be taken of Tajwid lessons. Allah reminds the wives of Nabi-e-Kareem(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) of His special favours upon them that the Ayats of the Qur'an and Hikmah(hadith) being recited in the house i.e. Taleem taking place i.e. when the wives of Rasulullah(sallallaahu alaaiyhi wassallam), requested an increase in their allowance, they were told amongst other things to make Taleem, as a special favour of Allah upon them.

Hadhrat Umar(R.A.) was on his way to take the life of Rasulullah(sallallaahu alaaiyhi wassallam) when he was told that his sister had also embraced lslam. In fury, he turned to his sister's house. T'hey were busy conducting Taleem. With the barakah (blessing) of this taleem, Hadhrat Umar(R.A.) was blessed with lmaan. Where is taking the life of Rasulullah(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam and where is being blessed with Imaan and becoming Khalifat-ut-Muslimeen - all with the barkat of Taleem.

Raslullah(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) himself was commanded by Allah to make du'a - "O Allah, increase me in knowledge," that is obviously Dini knowledge, for with regard to other knowledge, Allah's Rasul(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) made du'a, "O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowledge that does not benefit." We have made this knowledge in the form of the secular studies of our children and their homework such a great fardh while we have no time for Dini Taleem i.e. a short educational programme at home.

It is narrated in a Hadith that Allah's azab (punishment) does not descend in a place where the hadith of Rasulullah(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam) is read. Subhanallah! By making Taleem in our homes, we will be saved from the azab of Allah. A vacuum does not exist anywhere. If there is no Taleem (rahmat) of Allah in the house, then there will be all types of ghaflat (unmindfulness) like television, videos, newspapers, magazines, radios, games, idle talk of dunyi, etc. which all draw the azab of Allah. This azab then manifests itself in the form of the disobedience of the children to their parents, of them choosing alien, hated and horrible ways of the west, etc. in their attitudes, dressing, speaking, etc, Also the azab is seen in the form of no communication, etc. between husband and wife. Many a person complains that Alhamdulillah we have got every thing of dunya but there is no muhabbat (love) in our house or we are earning so much but there is no barakah. Before the end of the month, all the money is finished and so many bills still have to be paid This is yet another form of Allah's azab. By having taleem, barakah, rahmat will descend in the form of love and respect between all the family members. Money will not only be sufficient, but there will always be extra as well. We will be saved from terrible diseases, accidents, problems, etc. Aafiyat (a smooth life) will be granted.

Of what, when, and for how long, etc. should taleem be made ?
A few humble suggestions follow:- Taleem should be made of :
1. Fazaail Amal
2. Bahishti Zewar
3. A kitaab on Sunnats
4. Seerat (Life of Rasulullah(sallallaahu alaiyhi wassallam)
5. Aadabul Mu'asharat (Right social conduct)
6. Remembrance of Death and
7. A miscellaneous kitaab. When one is finished, start another one.

This taleem should be collective - the family members should preferably all sit together and let as many participants read a kitaab as is possible. Each kitaab should only be read for about 2 minutes. Beheshti Zewer and a Sunnat kitab should be read in this way that the first day 1 mas'alah/sunnat be read, which will take about 15 seconds each, the next day repeat yesterday's lesson and read another mas'alah/sunnat, which should take about 30 seconds, the third day repeat the previous 2 day's lessons and read a third mas'alah/sunnat. This should take about 1 minute each, at the maximum 2 minutes each.

The daily total taleem should not be less than 10 minutes and not more than 15 minutes. Which Muslim can say that for such great goodness in abundance he /she / the family cannot spare 10 - 15 minutes ? We all can and will lnsha-Allah. A woman was impressed at the beginning of her taleem that she used to make taleem for ± 2 hrs - naturally the young children are not yet going to be so impressed and started to object and rebel etc. So do not lengthen the collective taleem - keep it at 10- 15 minutes only, yes if you are so enthusiastic, by all means carry on individually without trampling on other rights.

Choose a most suitable time for taleem, i.e. when it is most suitable to every individual, perhaps before or after supper. This collective taleem/supper will have a good added advantage of the family meeting and uniting which is of vital importance but unfortunately is falling away or has fallen away already!
An ordinary person in Karachi is known as Mufti Achar. He is not even an Alim, forget being a Mufti. He sells achaar on a bicycle and anybody who asks him a mas'ala, he gives the answer imniediately and correctly - how?! He reads (makes taaleem) of 10 pages of Bahishti Zewar daily! Similarly, if we will make our daily home taleem punctually and with interest, we ourselves will be surprised with the good and knowledge that we will acquire - in fact people will ask where did we study and become Alims / Aaleema's, but do not make this the intention of making taleem.

This teaching will also serve as a great refresher for the knowledge of the Ulama. Their knowledge will remain fresh all the time. Not like the case of an aalim who was asked how many buckets of water must be drawn out of a well because a mouse had fallen in? The mas'ala was not fresh in his mind so he asked the person whether it was a white, grey, brown or black mouse? (This had no relevance to the mas'ala - it was only a delaying tactic). The person said I forgot to inquire about that. He said go quickly and find out, while he quickly checked out the mas'ala! This will not be so if we keep on refreshing our knowledge by our daily taleem programme.

Weekly Halqa:
We should also institute a weekly halqa (group) programme in the house. Choose a suitable time and sitting in a circle (only preferable) and one by one repeating, read the Kalemas, the whole of salaah, from Alhamdu to the end of Attahiyat, janazah salaah, dua's, after azan dua, morning and evening dua's etc. This will make everyone learn these items, keep them refreshed and correct any mistakes. May Allah Ta'ala make Taleem in the home easy and a reality for us, Ameen. We will never be able to be grateful and thankful to Allah Ta'ala and ourselves for the great goodness that will abound to us through this.

Principal of Daarul-Uloom:Azaadville,South Africa)