Taking Care of Things At Home

My siblings are devoted to the cause of Allaah; obtaining knowledge of the deen [religion] and spreading its message through active da'wah; alhamdulillah. However, they both abandon the affairs of taking care of the house and its chores for only me. I am very happy at their devotion but will I be sinning if I were to ask them to pay some more attention to taking care of things at home?


When we think of a young religious person, too often we think of someone who spends all his time with other Muslims, going to the Islamic center, or attending religious classes. When he is not outside engaged in these outside activities, we think of him devoting all his time to personal devotions like reading Islamic books, reciting the Qur'an, or listening to recorded lectures. Sadly, we do not think of this young person having anything whatsoever to do with the rest of the household. This is, in fact, a grave mistake that many religious young people make. The world needs of the household must be met.

Too Busy or Just Deficient?

Who, then, is going to purchase the household's needs? Who will take members of the family to the places where they have to go? Who will entertain the guests? Who will pickup so-and-so from the airport? Should the "pious" member of the family be the one to say: "Sorry? I have no time. I am busy!"? This "pious" person has failed to carry

Out his proper role at home. Therefore, someone else will have to be the one to carry it out. That someone else may be deficient in his religion, but because he is the one taking care of the needs of the household, he is going to be the

One to have the greatest influence. His words will be heeded and his commands obeyed. His opinions will carry weight. As for the religious young person, his word will carry no weight whatsoever, since he never does anything to benefit anyone else. Sometimes the situation is even worse than this. There are cases, where the religious person does not leave the affairs of the household to another family member, but rather to a servant or the driver. The driver is the one to take the girls to school and to the shops. This stranger; then, is the one who stays with them for hours on .end in the car or at the


Shopping center. This is a serious shortcoming on the part of the religious person. Serving the members of one's family is the best way to influence them. A religious young person should safeguard the weaker members of the family from having to leave the home too much. He should take care of their needs himself. He should go to the Shop for them.

Home Is Not A Hostel

His home is not some hotel where he goes to sleep, eat, and drink. It is definitely not his place to do nothing but act like an emperor, ordering. Others around and piling on prohibitions without providing any alternatives. If you want to be listened to, then you have to expend some time and effort to make sure that your household's needs are met. You must take the time to get the things that they need and take them where they need to go.

Some of our religious young men and women do not carry out the housework that their families expect of them. They seek to excuse themselves from their household chores with excuses like reading the Qur'an or listening to a taped lecture! Then they wonder how they can have a positive effect on the other members of their household who are engaged in sinful activities. In order to be able to counteract the sinful behavior that goes on in the home and bring about positive change, you must first build up your own position within your household by serving your family and catering to their needs. Do not make yourself invisible. Make your presence known by doing things for others.

Do Not Flee from Your Home

Some of our young, religious people flee from their homes in one way or another after becoming religious. They feel that they cannot bear staying at home surrounded by what they regard as sinful behavior or as their families

Casual religious attitudes. Some seek to escape the temptations at home by going overseas to study or by simply moving away from home. There are often clear signs in their behavior that they are merely running away. Some of them even leave home without their parents' permission. They forget that when a man asked the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallaam) if he could go to war, the Prophet (sallal/aahu alayhi wasallaam) immediately asked him if his parents were alive. When he said that they were, the Prophet said:

"Your jihad is to take care of your parents!"(Bukhaari)

They also forget that when another young man approached the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallaam) to go and fight, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi WA sallam) asked him if his mother was alive. When he found out that

She was, he told the man:

"Woe unto you! Attend her at her feet and you will attain Paradise." (Ibn Maajah).

The hadeeth is authentic (Saheeh); so, if we want Paradise, the quickest way to get there is by honoring our mothers.

Until They Die

During the reign of 'Umar b. al-Khattab (RA), a young man named Kullab volunteered to fight in Syria with the army of Yazid b. Abi Sufyan. The boy's father approached 'Umar and appealed to him in poetic verse about how his son had abandoned his father and mother. 'Umar asked him what was going on and the old man said: "He left for Syria and abandoned his two elderly parents." Upon hearing this, 'Umar shed tears and promptly wrote to 'razid ordering the young man to be returned with all of his possessions to 'U mar. When the man arrived, 'Umar asked him: "So

You are Kullab?" Then he said to him: "Go to your parents and honor them, and stay with them until they die." [Ibn "Asakir; Tarikh Dimashq (50/270, 276)] Sometimes a person is unable to cope with his duties as a Muslim at home. Such-a person is definitely not going to be able to engage in this effort of disseminating Islam to others. How can a person who cannot even cope with his duties in his own home think he can take on broader responsibilities? The first duty of our young people is to establish themselves at home by fulfilling their responsibilities to their families.

It is reported that the Prophet (sal/al/aahu alayhi wa sallaam) said: "Every human being from Adam's descendants was created upon 360 joints." What should we understand by this hadith


The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallaam) said:

"Every human being from Adam's descendants was created upon 360 mafsil. So whoever magnifies praises Him. Declares 's oneness. glorifies Him. Seeks His forgiveness, (and likewise whoever) removes a stone. thorns, or a bone from a footpath, or calls to what is right. or forbids what is wrong, will have it counted for him to the number of those 360 digitals. Indeed, he walks that day and removes himself away from Hell." (Muslim)

This hadith has been causing a lot of unnecessary confusion and debate In recent years. This has been the case ever since the Arabic word mafsil was defined in Arabic medical books as corresponding precisely with the English word "joint" as it is defined in the field of anatomy. As a consequence, people began to seek anatomical lessons from the hadith. Some people argued that we need to believe the human being has 360joints - as defined by modern medical terminology - regardless of what empirical observations might tell us.

Other people sought to find a "scientific miracle" in the hadith by "proving" that the human body does indeed contain 360 joints as defined by the field of anatomy or some tailor-made definition. Even the enemies of Islam have gotten into the act. They set about trying to cast doubt on Islam through demonstrating that the body does not have 360 joints – again according to some particular, contemporary definition of the word "joint"

Joints = Mafsil?

What we all must realize is that when an anatomist determines that a human being has a certain number of "joints" in her body, she is using a term that has a particular definition in her field of expertise. This definition may not necessarily coincide with the meaning intended by the Arabic word mafsil in a hadith text of 1400 years ago. This is further complicated by the fact that the same concept is referred to later in the hadith as "those 360 digitals".

The Arabic word here is sulama, which usually refers to the digital bones of the hand and foot. This implies the number of bones more that it does the number of joints. What it tells us for certain is that the intended meaning of mafsil in the hadith is clearly different from how the English word "joint" is defined in contemporary anatomy. There is absolutely no reason to assume that the intended meaning of the word mafsil in the hadith would just happen to coincide with the definition of "joint" in a modern medical textbook. It is wrong to impose this or any other particular, terminological meaning upon the Arabic word in the hadith,

Anatomical Definition

There are many ways that the word mafsil can be understood in the hadith while still taking the hadith on its literal, apparent meaning. This kind of textual uncertainty is one of the major reasons why the popular tendency today of interpreting the Qur'an and Sunnah in so-called  "scientific" terms is ill-advised. The English word "joint", as an anatomical term, is the location at which two or more bones come together.

Joints, furthermore, are classified anatomically into simple and compound, depending on the number of bones involved, and into complex and combination joints: I.Simple joint: 2 articulation surfaces(shoulder joint, hip joint ... ) 2.Compound joint: 3 or more articulation surfaces (radio carpal joint ... ) 3.Complex joint: 2 or more articulation surfaces and anarticular discor meniscus(knee joint ... ) From this brief exposition, it should be clear that the number of joints in a skeleton does not correlate with the number of articulation surfaces. The number of articulation surfaces would usually be much higher, and this would differ depending on the animal in question.

1400 Years Ago?

This shows us one possible ambiguity into the meaning of the hadith. The Arabic word mafsil can be used linguistically to mean "articulation" in a very loose sense, even though today its usage has been normalized in the field of anatomy to specifically mean "the location at which two or more bones come together ". It was not restricted to that narrow meaning 1400yearsago. There are other possibilities for the meaningof mafsil in the hadith, For instance, it might refer to the number of ranges of motion the human body is capable of. This dynamic understanding of the word is a perfectly sensible one in the context of the hadith, since the topic of the hadith is our actions and how rewards us for our good deeds.The hadith is not discussing a topic of anatomy, but rather one of worship.

This leads to a totally different calculation, since some joints are immovable, others are slightly movable, whole still others are freely movable. Understandably, calculating the number of possible motions would be highly subjective, depending on the criteria used to define a motion. What matters, with respect to our understanding of the hadith, is that  rewards use for our deeds many times over, and this correlates in some way to an aspect of how He created our functioning bodies. The hadith Is telling us about a matter of the Unseen - 's great generosity, mercy ,and reward – and not a matter of anatomy. And  knows best








This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited