Worship in the home, its significance and an example of “my Muslim home” (Islam 5.8)
Objectives: Describe and explain worship in the home, and consider its significance.
It is important to remember that for Muslims worship is much more than just carrying out rituals, or spending one month a year in devotion and worship. The whole life of the Muslim revolves around servitude to the Lord, abiding by His commandments, living a life filled with good conduct and many righteous deeds, and upon the best of morals.
For Muslims, the home is as much a place of good conduct, worship and remembrance as the mosque. The optional prayers for men are best prayed in the home; the obligatory prayers for women are best prayed in the home; the Qur’an is recited there, children are taught there and studies of the religion take place in many a Muslim home. Festivals, weddings and other happy occasions usually take place in the home. Muslims worship Allah by living their whole life in His service, so a Muslim home is also a place of worship simply because this is where Muslims live and in their home, they are obedient to God. Much of the un-Islamic practices that take place in society around them are absent from their homes (drinking alcohol, smoking, free-mixing, music, etc.)
Prayer in the home: The pre-dawn prayer is prayed in the Mosque by men, but in a society where mosques are not always close-by, they are often prayed at home. The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best prayer of the woman is in her home.” So the home is the best place for the five daily prayers of a woman. Children follow their parents in praying, and where possible, the whole family prays together in congregation, which brings them closer in affection, building bonds between them as a family. Men are commanded to pray in the mosque wherever possible, an important place of congregation for the local community. Muslims all face the Qiblah (direction of Makkah) when they pray.
Study of the Qur’an: A home is also an important place for Qur’an study and recitation. All Muslims have a lifelong duty to study the Qur’an and to improve their knowledge of Allah’s revelation. The Qur’anic explanation is found in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) since he explained the meanings of the Qur’an to his companions, and they, in turn, remembered that and passed it on to future generations. Books that explain the Qur’an are called Quranic Tafseer books and many are now available in English and other languages, among the best of them is the Tafseer of Imam Ibn Katheer and Imam As-Sa’dī. Ideally, the Qur’an is studied and recited in Arabic, so parents have a religious duty to teach their children Quranic Arabic and Quranic recital. They can do this themselves or employ teachers to do so. The father takes the role of the head of the household so he is therefore responsible for these duties. The Prophet said: “The man is responsible over his family, and he will be questioned about his responsibility…”
The contents of the house can show that it is a Muslim home and a place of worship: the Mus’haf (print of the Qur’an) and books on Islamic teachings will be present in rooms where they are read; maybe a something to show the direction of the Qiblah, maybe a prayer mat (remember: the prayer mat is not necessary for prayer and should be taken as a necessary tool for prayer); maybe a lecture of a well-known scholar, sheikh, or the Qur’an will be playing while members of the family listen. These can easily be listened to from the comfort of one’s home via the internet through sites such as salafisounds.com or radiosalafi.com.
The parents are commanded to lead by example so that their children know the right way to behave. Food is always halal, and family members and visitors are always treated with respect. Within the home, Muslims can live the life Allah has intended for them to live.
“My Islamic home”
“There are no images of any living things either in pictures or as ornaments because images led previous nations to worshipping and venerating them, and the Prophet specifically forbade making and displaying images of living souls. Smoking is not allowed because it is a danger to the smoker and others, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permitted to harm or to return harm.” There are nice pictures of scenery on the walls of mountains, valleys and forests, and the house is pleasantly decorated, fragrant and clean. We have one room designated for prayer and study – we all pray in congregation, and we study the Qur’an and Sunnah daily with father and mother, even if it is for only half an hour. It brings us closer together and gives us a daily anchor; there are separate sitting rooms for men and women when we have visitors. We have a TV screen but we only watch online Islamic programmes (that have been approved by our noble sheikhs) or beneficial educational documentaries because other programmes show non-Islamic behaviour which could lead Muslims astray and displease Allah.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection will be the makers of images.” He also commanded his Companion and cousin, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him): “Do do pass by a raised grave except that you level it, and do pass by an image except that you deface it.”
Summary: You should now be able to describe and explain worship in the home, and understand its significance. Prayer and Qur’an study take place in the home or in the Mosque. Living an Islamic life is all about worship and much of it is centred on the home.
- Why do you think Muslim houses do not contain images and photographs of living beings?
- Some Muslims homes have extracts of the Qur’an as decorations on walls. Why is this considered wrong?
- What do you thinks would be the most obvious difference between the home of a Muslim and a non-Muslim?
- What type of programmes do you think a Muslim father would not want his children to watch, and why?
- How important do you think it is for a Muslim to live in a Muslim family? Should the government take this into account when placing Muslim children into foster care?
- ‘The house is just as important as a mosque as a place of nurturing and education.’ What is your opinion?
Abu Khadeejah, 2014.