Training Oneself within the Family
So far our discussion was on the formation of families and its advantages. In the previous discussion, the advantages were mentioned. One of these is the training of the self within the family. Home is a place for embellishing oneself with noble traits. Within the family, the husband and wife can train themselves, embellish themselves with noble traits. They can not only cultivate good habits themselves, but also motivate other members of the family to follow suit. But in the eyes of sociologists, achieving these two things - training themselves and motivating others, is rather difficult. A person needs some effort for curbing the base traits and planting the sapling of virtue in his mind. Normally people struggle to make a smooth transformation in their natures.
فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَ
وَ مَا أَدْرَئكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُ
But he hath not attempted the ascent— Ah! what will convey unto thee what the Ascent is!— (It is) to free a slave. (Sura al Balad, 90: 11-13)
Expelling undesirable habits from one’s nature is a difficult task. But one has to get rid of them before they assume stormy proportions. When one succeeds in this effort, the person plants the sapling of virtue in his nature. To nourish this sapling one has to make strenuous efforts. He has to persevere. It is said that the nafse ammara (base instinct)is like an elephant. The trainer of an elephant has to constantly hit on its head to train it. If there is the slightest negligence on the part of the trainer, the animal can overcome him. The base instincts and the mean traits in a person are also like the untrained elephant. Believe me, all the Prophets (s.a.)came to the world, with their books, for the sole purpose of guiding the people to curb their nafse ammara!
هُوَ الَّذِى بَعَثَ فىِ الْأُمِّيِّنَ رَسُولًا مِّنهُْمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيهِْمْ ءَايَتِهِ وَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَ يُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَبَ وَ الحِْكْمَة
He it is who hath sent among the unlettered ones a messenger of their own, to recite unto them His revelations and to make them grow, and to teach them the Scriptures and Wisdom… (Sura al-Jumu’ah, 62: 2)
The Prophet of Islam (s)came with the Miracle of the Quranfor the people to reform their psyches. The Prophets (s.a.)have gone through untold hardships performing this task. But their success was not commensurate with the toil put in by them. The reason for this was that the task was very formidable.
The matter that needs our attention, and particularly that of the ladies, is that they are like a madrasa or schoolat home. They are the foundationfor the establishment of the home and the family and are the instructors of morality for the members of the family. In a family the wife is a mentor for the husband, the husband is a mentor for the wife and both together are mentors for the children.