At Peace

My Lifetime Stories in blog

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Establishing a good home

We are in the process of designing our own house, Alhamdulillah. The opportunity should be used wisely, Insya-Allah, especially in striving for a well designed house. Because I am a Muslim, I want to make sure that my new house suits the requirement of a good Islamic home. But what is it? My wife suggested that we have a courtyard in the house with orange tree like in Muslim's house in Andalusia, Spain - but obviously our climate would not fit the growth of the tree plus i am lazy to clean up the courtyard, so i have to scrap the idea.

I was busy looking for the 'physical islamic design' until I found this book on how to establish an Islamic home. The physical design is important, but certainly not as important as having a good Islamic family. No point of having a place for prayer, or even a mosque in the house for argument sake, when nobody actually prays there!

A home is a place of rest

What is the function of a house?

And Allah has made for you from your house a place of rest. (Al-Nahl: 80)
Safety for a man in times of tribulations is to stay in his home. (Al-Tabari)

At the very least, the house should fulfill these 2 functions (resting and security), apart from our ultimate goal in life which is to worship Allah.

Physical characteristic of an ideal Islamic home

1. A spacious house

Happiness has 4 elements: a good wife, a spacious house, a good neighbour and a good riding beast. (Ibn Hibaan).

2. A good neighbourhood

Even though we might be busy working and have no time for socialising with our neighbours, still our kids and family will be exposed to their kindness and sincerity. We'll need them especially when we are away to look after the house. Prophet asked us to make dua for a good neighbour:

O Allah, I seek refuge with You from a bad neighbour in my permanent home , for the neighbour in the desert (i.e on a journey while travelling) moves on. (Bukhari)

3. Near to a mosque

Even though there is no specific hadith, common sense prevails as to, if our house is closer to the masjid, then we are more likely to hear the azan and attend the jamaah prayer and be part of the mosque community.

4. A proper place for prayer

This is in accordance to the advise of the prophet that we should not make our home like the graveyard(i.e we are not allowed to pray on graveyard, so we should pray in the house as well as in the mosque). For those living in Ireland, we know how difficult it is to have a decent space to pray even with your wife. It does not need to be a room, an empty space would do.

5. Library

Islamic and general knowledge are important to be established among family members. No doubt that acquiring knowledge is compulsory. Having a library (or a space for books) will be helpful to trigger the interest of reading for the visitors and family members. However, make sure we fill the racks with good books, not with some gossip magazines. There should also be books for children and some of which we can give as gifts.

6. Enough room for separation

This include separate rooms for the daughters and sons (or visitors) as prophet advised us to separate the sleeping arrangement between boys and girls when they reach certain age. This point also means that we should have a spacious enough room to accommodate different gender of family members so that they won't need to sit next to each other.

7. Not having hanging pictures

Scholars have differrent opinions on the permissibility of pictures. What is not allowed is to have statutes or animate picture especially hanged on the wall. This is to close any door that can lead to syirik oridolatory. Picture from camera was allowed by certain scholars but still with the reservation not to hang it up high.

8. Toilet not facing kiblat

Although some scholars said that you can face the kiblat while in the toilet, some others say no. Therefore to be in the safe side, while we have the oppurtunity, why not we make sure our toilets are not facing the kiblat.

9. Building the house not from riba source

This should be the first rule. It would be nicer if we can avoid debt altogether, but paying hundreds of thousands in cash, not everybody can do that.

Filling the home with tranquility

Like I said, what is more important is to fill our new home with happiness and tranquility, starting with ourselves and the family. Specifically we should feel our homes with prayers (not to be like the graveyard), and helping out with the housework like Rasulullah did.

Furthermore, we have to strive hard to make sure that all the activities in the house is within the permissibility of our religion. TV and Internet (if we choose to have one) should be in the general area and the activities are monitored. Should we organise a meeting or gathering, then it should be done within the boundaries of Islam.

Smoking is haram, hence there should not be ash-tray in the house to promote the behaviour.

One thing that is difficult to achive, hence the relatively long discussion in the book is to have male driver and female servants. We heard stories over and over again even at the time of Rasulullah the occurrence of fitnah and zina among the house occupants. The discussion is rather long and i don't intend to dwell to much on it. However, the basic principle is the same. Different gender (male & female) cannot be left alone in the house, as the third will be syaitan. Does not really matter whether they are really good people or not. They are plenty of suggestion, some will suit us, some will not. After we have exhausted all the options and we still could not find solution, probably it would then be permissible (with great caution). Wallahu a'lam.


If you have other ideas, please give suggestions. I am nearly sure (while writing this article) that we are going to have difficulty to achieve these objectives. Some will even be defensive to the ideas that we have to go extra length to build a house. For me, this is my effort to bring the rahmat of Allah into the house i am going to live in. We will fail definitely to achieve perfection as we are human being, but that is what this life is constantly about. Make mistakes and ask for forgiveness from Allah.

Please visit my house, when it is finished, Insya-Allah. You will increase your provisions by visiting your brothers and prolong your life and hopefuly we will be included into the groups who will receive the shade of Allah's throne when there is no shade in the Day of Resurrection.



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