This is first in a series of articles translating lectures by Amr Khaled. I have recieved these via email from a dear sister, Nada Ibrahim. I am sharing these for your reading. The articles are short, easy to understand and backed by Quran and Sunnah. Hope you enjoy reading them.
Paradise in Our Homes
In the name of Allah , the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. All praises be to Allah and peace and blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad (SAWS ).
What will we be talking about this Ramadan?
Every previous Ramadan we had something to talk about. In “On the Path of the Beloved” we talked about the life of the Prophet (SAWS), and in “In Thy name We live” we talked about the Most Beautiful Names of Allah. This time, and for thirty days, we will come closer, and talk about ourselves, about our homes and families. We want our family members to come back together again, to bring back the missing love in our houses, to gather our families together again. Family members are now living individually in separate rooms each engrossed with his/her own interests, as if they are living in isolated islands! The month of Ramadan is the best opportunity to bring our families back together, so let this be your goal this month, and this is actually the aim of this program: to help families unite and get back together again.
To whom this program is addressed?
This program is addressed to all family members. It addresses young men and women showing them how to deal with their parents and how to choose their friends. It addresses fathers, showing them how to deal with their children. It also addresses mothers cherishing their invaluable roles in our lives and showing them too how to deal with their children. This program addresses brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and every person who seeks the welfare of his/her family and wants to gather its members.
How will this subject be tackled in the program?
We know that each and every person has their own trouble in their daily family lives, and that every person must have suffered painful problems. However, this Ramadan, we will not talk about these problems in detail, although we might do this some time after Ramadan. In this program, we will suggest some simple yet essential rules and principles that are needed for any family to get back together and to solve any problem. No problem can be solved without considering these rules. They are the keys to bring back love and harmony to our families. Each episode will deal with one of these rules.
Why this program is called “Paradise in Our Homes”?
Many people are already tired of this life, thinking that it is full of problems, wars, and pain; all of which make it seem unbearable. We must know however that Allah (SWT ) is very merciful. He gave us something very valuable: our homes and families. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And Allah has made for you of your homes a dwelling…” (TMQ , 16:80). Our homes should be the real source of peace, happiness, and serenity. Our homes should be our paradise in this world until it is the time to enter Allah’s jannah (Paradise) in the hereafter. Our homes are a mercy from Allah. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Gardens of Adn, (Eden) which they will enter, and the ones who were righteous of their fathers and their spouses and their off springs (will enter too); and the Angels will enter to them from every gate. ‘Peace be upon you, for that you endured patiently.’ So favorable is the (Ultimate) Outcome of the Residence!” (TMQ, 13:23-24). All family members will be together in the jannah having angels entering to them.
What does this program have to do with revival?
The subject of this program is very much connected with revival. In “Life Makers”, we used to say that we must work for the revival of our Islamic nation; however, we found that we are facing many problems. The world has far surpassed us industrially, agriculturally, and educationally. On the other hand, we still have some hope; we still have something the rest of the world lacks. We have the warmth of our familial relationships and kinship ties. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “… and We have made you races and tribes that you may get mutually acquainted” (TMQ, 49:13). We still have this merit among us and we should work hard to save it, because if we loose our social relationships, we will loose all hopes of revival and bright future. We have already lost so many things that were in our advantage. Let us not loose what we have left in our hands, the family; our last resort. Therefore, let us worship Allah and save Islam by trying to save our kinship ties, our families, and our homes. Allah (SWT) associates revival and reformation with the families as He says what can be translated as, “And who say, “Our Lord, bestow upon us from our spouses and offsprings comfort of the eyes, (Literally: the coolness (when) the eyes settle down) and make us an imam (Leader) of the pious” (TMQ, 25:74). They ask Allah to reclaim their spouses and children so that they in turn will lead the world to reformation.
Thus, do you have the will and the intention to restore our families for the sake of Allah and Islam? Let us all promise Allah together that we will work this Ramadan to re-unite our families and save Islam by saving our families and relationships.
The first rule:
The first practical rule to start with on the first day of Ramadan is a spiritual one. It can be thought of as a magic spell for the restoration of love and harmony in homes. It is a very simple and easy rule, yet it has never failed. This rule is: to worship Allah (SWT) together. The common defect is that every person in a particular house is worshipping Allah alone, maybe out of shyness or lack of time. The father, the mother, and their children, each one of them is worshipping Allah but apart from the others. Why don’t you try to pray with your wife two Raka’as a day. Try to gather your family before iftar (breakfast) to read Qur’an or to supplicate together. Try to say some dhikr (the remembrance of Allah) a few minutes while you are with your family in the car. Imagine what would happen if the whole family would gather and worship Allah together like this. A family who worships Allah together will never fight or argue for other irrelevant issues. Their faith in Allah will be strengthened and Allah will bestow His mercy and blessings upon the entire house. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And that He, Ever He, makes to laugh, and He makes to weep” (TMQ, 53:43). Therefore, true happiness is in the hands of Allah, and whenever He finds a family gathered together for His sake, He will provide them with happiness and contentment. In the days of the Prophet (SAWS), there were families who were used to worshipping Allah together.
There are five kinds of worships that we must focus on this Ramadan to do them with our families:
1. to read the Qur’an together; even just a quarter a of a juzu’ (part of the Qur’an)
2. to pray together; even just two Raka’as a day
3. to say dhikr; even just for five minutes a day
4. to supplicate Allah together, even though in colloquial language
5. to provide iftar together for a fasting family.
On amrkhaled.net, you will find a downloadable checklist with those five items. Try them with your family, and if some family members do not want to participate, let them listen to this episode. If they still refuse, try to find at least one member who would like to worship Allah with you, and pray for the rest. Maybe later during the month the others will appreciate what you are doing and would like to join you. Abu Huraira reported the Prophet (SAWS) as saying: Do not make your houses as graveyards. Satan runs away from the house in which Suraht al-Baqara is recited (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1707). Imagine what would happen if you read the whole Qur’an together! Jabir reported the Prophet (SAWS) as saying: When any one of you observes prayer in the mosque he should reserve a part of his prayer for his house, for Allah would make the prayer as a means of betterment in his house (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1705).
Allah (SWT) said what can be translated as, “And command your (extended) family to (observe) the prayer and constantly (endure) patiently in it. We do not ask of you (any) provision. We, Ever We, provide you, and the end is to (the ones having) piety” (TMQ, 20:132). Some men claim that they do not have the time to pray with their families because they are working for the family. This ayah  indicates that all provision comes from Allah, and that there is no need to worry about money.
Let our motto this Ramadan be: I will worship Allah (SWT) through my family, I will enter Allah’s paradise through my family, or: I will help in reviving my nation through my family. This is because if our families re-unite, we will definitely be on our way to revival.
I ask Allah that this Ramadan will be the beginning of union, happiness, honor and revival.
 The word Allah is the Arabic term for God. Although the use of the word “Allah” is most often associated with Islam, it is not used exclusively by Muslims; Arab Christians and Arabic-speaking Jews also use it to refer to the One God. The Arabic word expresses the unique characteristics of the One God more precisely than the English term. Whereas the word “Allah” has no plural form in Arabic, the English form does. Allah is the God worshipped by all Prophets, from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.
 SAWS= Salla Allah alayhe Wa Salam [All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him]
 SWT = Suhanahu wa Ta’ala [Glorified and Exalted Be He]. 3
 TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur’an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur’an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.
 Raka’a: one unit of Islamic prayer
 A verse in the Qur’an