11th May, 2011
MAY 15: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES:
A CALL TO STRENGTHEN FAMILY TIES
Sunday 15th May, 2011 will be observed worldwide as the International Day of Families. This is in recognition of the vital role of families in building the society.
The family unit is a microcosm of the larger society and its status reflects in the overall condition of the population in a country. Islam places high premium on family ties since every human being belongs to one family or another. It therefore follows that suffering in the land will reduce to a large extent if we all take care of members of our families. The Glorious Qur'an repeatedly lays emphasis on the need to care for the Ulul-Qurba (blood relations; Qur'an 2:83; 4:7, 4:36; etc).
Regrettably, the social crisis facing Nigeria and the world in general today emanates from the family unit. The rise in crime, drug abuse, cultism, examination malpractice, bribery and corruption in Nigeria can all be traced to this single unit in social statistics.
The Glorious Qur'an enjoins parents to educate their children and give them proper care (Qur'an 2:233). Parents who engage in child abuse by feeding fat on under-aged children or wards who are made to hawk wares on the streets are therefore committing sin. Education is the Allah-given right of all children. Governments of all nations are therefore enjoined to make education free at all levels. In the alternative, education must be made cheap and affordable. Children must be well fed, comfortably accommodated and decently clothed by parents.
In loco parentis, parents and guardians must also sermonize young ones who live under them. Nigeria faces a moral burden today because family heads have abandoned their traditional responsibility of guidance. Parents employ and pay mercenaries who impersonate their children in examination halls. Society hails the rich even when the source of wealth is known to be illegal. Dilligence and discipline are frowned upon and labelled as 'old school'. Homo sapiens now worship materialism.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) calls on parents to set aside special periods to counsel children and wards. Prophet Luqman set this good example in Qur'an 31: 13-21. He taught his children to fear Allah, to be prayerful, to be humble, to be honest and to shun greed and materialism. The future of nations like Nigeria is still bright if parents can emulate Prophet Luqman.
MURIC also charges Nigerians and the rest of the world to maintain close family ties with all members of the extended family. The eradication of poverty will remain a dream if each family unit is fragmented into the 'haves' and 'have-nots'. Efforts should be made to extend economic empowerment to members of the family. Qur'an 17:23 commands goodness to parents. We therefore remind all men to take good care of their parents. A river that forgets its source will soon dry up.
Finally, we urge governments to introduce a free medical care scheme for all pregnant women. This will reduce the high incidence of pre-maternal fatalities. Families are sustained through regeneration and this is impossible without successful pregnancy period.
Is-haq Akintola (Ph.D),
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
Yahoo Group: groups.yahoo.com/group/muslimrights
Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace