Friday, March 15, 2013

Stop Women Abuse

Be mindful in your treatment of women!

Abu Muhammed

The recent violent rape and mutilation of a 17 year old girl in the 'sleepy' town of Bredasdorp in the Cape Province of South Africa sparked country wide outrage and anger. While this incident has placed South Africa squarely in the international limelight as being the 'Rape Capital' of the world with an estimated 683 000 incidents of rape annually, it has to be stated that Rape is an international phenomena that takes place both in developed and developing countries, in countries traditionally classified as 'civilised' and 'first world' as well as those known as 'uncivilised' and 'third world'. While we can go down the route of making this issue a 'numbers game' and declaring the country with the lowest incidence of rape to be most civilised, the fact of the matter is that even one rape is one too much. Rape is reflective of a deep-seated, systemic dysfunctionality of a society wherein women are treated with total disrespect having no value.

 On the scale of 'ill treatment and disrespect shown to women' rape may well weigh the heaviest, given its gruesome nature and violation of a woman's honour there are many other acts of physical, verbal and psychological abuse, mostly domestic perpetrated against women even in the most civilised countries and societies, symptomatic of a serious underlying psychological problem in the manner and way women are treated. In America, the so called bastion of freedom and liberties of the modern world and the protagonist of modern day feminism,

·         22 million women in the United States have been raped in their lifetime. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

·         More women are injured due to domestic violence than those injured in car accidents and muggings combined ('Hope Alliance report')

·         One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds (UN Study on the Status of Women)

·         25% of American women will suffer domestic violence in their lifetimes (Survey of Women's health)

·          Cost of domestic violence by partners exceeds $5.8 billion of which $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental health costs. More than 8 million days of paid work lost collectively by victims of domestic violence which is equivalent to the loss of 32 000 full-time jobs (Cost of Intimate Partner violence against women in the United States, – Centres for Disease Control & Prevention, Atlanta) 

If such is the incidence of physical abuse one can well imagine the level of verbal and psychological abuse and general disrespect that women face. The manifestation of abuse is nothing other than a reflection of the psyche of society moulded, shaped and churned out by the mass media machinery where women are used to sell anything from a tooth pick to a truck tyre! Hence women are seen as nothing other than commodities and sex objects whose only function is to serve the visual and physical gratification of men. A woman is judged more on her physical appearance than her mental and intellectual capacity. The multimillion dollar fashion and cosmetic industry, which generates almost $600 billion a year, is sufficient proof of this.

The current situation that women the world over find themselves in, although camouflaged by all the glitz and glamour, is not very different to the situation that women found themselves in during the period of Jaahiliya (Ignorance) of pre Islamic Arabia.  Arabia was a male-dominated society. Women had no status or rights of any kind other than as sex objects and commodities that could be bought, sold and even disposed of. The number of women a man could marry was not fixed. When a man died, his son 'inherited' all his wives except his own mother. A savage custom of the society was to bury their female infants alive. Modern day abortion being no different other than being more sophisticated. Even if a man did not wish to bury his daughter alive, he still had to uphold this 'honourable' tradition, being unable to resist social pressures. Drunkenness and gambling were common vices. It was during such times that women were sold off in lieu of debts or offered as guarantees. One point worthy of mention is that in spite of women being treated in the manner mentioned above it was still considered an act of cowardice for a man to violently attack or show aggression to a woman.

It was at this time and to such a community of drunken, male dominated and war mongering people that Allah Ta'ala chose to send His Final Prophet (May Peace be upon him) with the final revelation – Al Quraan. In a period of 23 years the Noble Messenger of Allah made such an effort and prepared these 'backward' desert dwellers to become the beacons of light that would radiate out of the sand dunes of the deserts of Arabia to illuminate the minds, hearts and souls of humanity who were then grovelling in the oceans of darkness. Together with removing Idol worship, forging human brotherhood between the black and the white, the slave and the master, uplifting the oppressed and downtrodden, giving hope to the weak, inculcating sober habits and perfecting good character he also redefined the position of women in society and restored to them their equality, honour, dignity, humanity and position in society. No more was a woman a mere commodity with no rights but rather she was recognised as an individual with full rights to ownership, education, inheritance, respect, honour and marriage. Perhaps the highest accolade given to a woman was that Islam recognised her sacrifice during child bearing and birth (Qur'an-Surah 46, Verse 15) and therefore made her deserving of most respect from her children even above the father (Hadith-Bukhari & Muslim) and also categorically stating that 'Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother' (Hadith-Ahmad, Nasai)

This venerated position of women was imprinted on the psyche of every male of the society. This was achieved through equating the service and happiness of parents to great and meritorious acts like striving in the Path of Allah and Hijrah (migration) for the sake of Allah. Such was the zeal with which the once male dominated society treated and served their women that a companion once carried his mother on his back to allow for her to fulfil the rights of the Haj (Pilgrimage) and yet thereafter acknowledging that he had not fulfilled the right of her one 'turning' towards him as an infant out of concern for his well being.

 The Noble Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) also said, 'Among the Muslims the most perfect, as regards his faith, is the one whose character is excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their women well' (Hadith-Tirmidhi). In another narration it is mentioned 'I command you to take good care of the women' (Hadith-Bukhari) and also, 'Do not beat Allah's female servants (i.e women)' (Hadith-Abu Da'ud, Ibn Majah). The Noble Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) also said 'How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats his camel and then embraces her?' (Hadith-Al-Bukhari) 

Based on the above some scholars like Ata bin Rabah (May Allah's mercy be with him) stated, the fact that the Noble Messenger of Allah(pbuh) never resorted to the permission of beating and said, 'He who beats his wife is not a good person' (Hazimi, al-Itibar)

From the above we learn that Islam encourages the kind treatment of women and forbids in both word and spirit, their abuse in any form, be it physical, verbal, emotional and psychological. It therefore stands to reason that rape is something that Islam condemns in the strongest terms and, in fact a rapist in an Islamic country would be sentenced to death by the Islamic courts

It was this type of thought that permeated the psyche of Muslim societies from the time of the Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)until this day and any behaviour to the contrary by Muslims today is nothing other than their deviation from the principles advocated by Islam and the lifestyle of the Noble Messenger of Allah(pbuh). Issues like honour killings and spousal abuse in Muslim societies which are often highlighted in the media and for which Islam is criticised are practices that have their place in culture and have no basis in the Qur'aan and Sunnah.  Shariah always has an 'inner' as well as an 'outer' mechanism that are used to achieve its objectives. In the issue discussed, if the psyche of the society could be described as the 'inner' mechanism to allow for women to be respected and honoured then it must be said as an 'outer' mechanism Islam advocates the institution of Hijab so that women are judged for what they are truly worth and not merely objects for men's gratification. As much as the media always makes an issue of and maligns the treatment of women in Islam it is interesting to note that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world (Guiness book of records) and in the west, in particular, most reverts are women who have no hesitation in donning the hijab. In fact, they do so with much pride. 

In Islam rape and all other forms of women abuse are reviled. In fact The Noble Messenger of Allah (pbuh) discouraged and penalised adultery, fornication and rape.

Wa'il ibn Hujr reports of an incident when a woman was raped. When he the rapist was later positively identified the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him ) said "Stone him to death." (Hadith-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud).

May  Almighty Allah Ta'ala grant us the wisdom, courage and moral strength to uphold the rights and dignity of our women in society …ameen. 

April Fool's Day

Who's fooling who???...April Fool's Day

By Abu Muhammad Yusuf

It may be "cool"…but it's a foolish and unislamic practise of another fool!

Allah, The Most Wise, says:

 "Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies." (Qur'an-40:28)

"Curse of Allah upon those who lie." (Qur'an-3:61)

Origins and History of April Fool Day

There are differing opinions concerning how this day originated:

·          Some said it developed from the celebrations of spring at the equinox on March 21.

·         Some said that this innovation appeared in France in 1564 CE, after the introduction of a new calendar, when a person who had refused to accept the new calendar became the victim of some people who had subjected him to embarrassment and made fun of him, so he became a laughing-stock for others.

·         Some said that this innovation goes back to ancient times and the pagan celebrations connected to a specific date at the beginning of spring, so this is the remnant of pagan rituals. It was said that hunting in some countries was unsuccessful during the first days of the hunt in some countries. This was the origin of these lies which are made up on the first day of April.

·         The Europeans call "April Fool" le poisson d'avril (lit. "April fish"). The reason for this is that the sun moves from the zodiacal house of Pisces to the next house, or because the word poisson, which means fish, is a distortion of the word passion, which means suffering, so it is a symbol of the suffering endured by Jesus (peace be upon him), according to the claims of the Christians, and they claim that this happened in the first week of April.

·          Presently people call this day April Fools' Day, as it is known to the English. That is because of the lies that they tell so that those who hear them might believe them and thus become a victim for those who are making fun of him.

The first mention of April Fool in the English language was in a magazine known as Dreck Magazine. On the second day of April in 1698 CE, this magazine mentioned that a number of people were invited to come and watch the washing of black people in the Tower of London on the morning of the first day of April.

'Aasim ibn 'Abd-Allaah al-Qurawayti wrote that many of us celebrate what is known as April fool or, if it is translated literally, the "trick of April". But how much do we know of the bitter secret behind this day? According to his research Islam was flourishing in Spain and those seeking the downfall of Islam made a careful study and concluded that it was because of the taqwa(piety) of the Muslims that Islam was so successful. So they introduced the younger Muslim generation to wine and other intoxicants and made such evils freely and cheaply available.

This tactic evil tactic produced results and the faith of the Muslims began to weaken, especially among the young generation in Spain. The result of that was that the enemies of Islam subdued the whole of Spain and put an end to the Muslim rule of that land which had lasted for more than eight hundred years. The last stronghold of the Muslims, in Grenada, fell on April 1st, hence they considered this to be the "trick of April."

From that year until the present, they celebrate this day and consider the Muslims to be fools. They do not regard only the army at Granada to be fools who were easily deceived; rather they apply that to the entire Muslim Ummah. It is ignorant of us to join in these celebrations, and when we imitate them blindly in implementing this evil idea, this is a kind of blind imitation which confirms the foolishness of some of us in following them. Once we know the reason for this celebration, how can we celebrate our defeat?

Let us make a promise to ourselves never to celebrate this day. We have to learn from the Spanish experience and adhere to the reality of Islam and never allow our faith to be weakened again.

It does not matter what the origins of April fool are. What matters more is knowing the ruling on lying on this day, which custom we are sure did not exist during the first and best generations of Islam. It did not come from the Muslims, but rather from their enemies.

The evils perpetrated on April Fools' Day are many. Some people have been told that their child or spouse or someone who is dear to them has died and unable to bear this shock, they have suffered great trauma. Some have been told that they are being laid off, or that there has been a fire or an accident in which their family has been killed, so they suffer paralysis or heart attacks, or similar diseases. There are the endless stories and incidents that we hear of, all of which are lies which are forbidden in Islam and unacceptable to common sense or honest chivalry.

Islam forbids lying even in jest and it forbids frightening a Muslim whether in seriousness or in jest, in words or in actions.

Abu Umamah Al-Bahili (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, " I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even if its just for the sake of fun'' (Hadith-Abu Dawud).

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah(RA) that the Messenger of Allah(peace be upon) said:"The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 33; Muslim, 59)

Hazrat Wasilah[Allah be pleased with him] reported that the Messenger of Allah(peace be upon) said: "Do not display pleasure at your brothers misfortune."(Hadith-Tirmizi)

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah(RA) said: "They said, 'O Messenger of Allaah, you joke with us.' He said, 'But I only speak the truth. " (Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1990)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever imitates a people is one of them." (Hadith narrated by Ahmad)

It was narrated by Mu'aawiyah ibn Haydah[ra] that he heard the Prophet (pbuh) say: 'Woe to the one who talks to make the people laugh and tells lies, woe to him, woe to him." (narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 235. He said: this is a hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by Abu Dawood, 4990).

It was narrated by Asmaa´ bint Yazeed[ra] that the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said: "It is not permissible to tell lies except in three (cases): when a man speaks to his wife in a way to please her; lying in war; and lying in order to reconcile between people." (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1939)

When our Muslim Ummah is being disgraced and humiliated by the Kuffaar from East to West, how is it possible for a believer with even a minute degree of Imaan(faith) to engage in this evil custom of April Fool's Day!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Honesty is the only policy...

Honesty is the only policy…


Several years ago a Sheik recounted what happened to him after he had moved to London. He often took the bus from his home to the downtown area. Some weeks after he arrived, he had the occasion to ride the same bus. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a twenty pence ('tuppence') too much change.  As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the twenty pence back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, "Oh, forget it, its only tuppence. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it." Just than the verse of the Qur'an flashed through his mind like a lightning… "O you who believe!  Fear Allah and be with those who are truthful." (Qur'an-9:119).   When his stop came, the Sheik paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the twenty pence back to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change". The driver with a smile, replied," Aren't you the new Imam in this area? I have been thinking lately about accepting Islam and going to worship at your Mosque. I just wanted to see what you would do, if I gave you too much change." When the Sheik stepped off the bus, his knees became weak and soft, he had to grab the nearest light pole and held on for support, and looked up to the heavens and cried, "Oh Allah, I almost sold You and Islam for twenty pence!"


In the pathway to wisdom, Honesty is the first step!


The final Messenger of Allah is reported to have said: "When something weighs on your conscience, give it up." [Hadith-Tirmidhi]


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wedding Planning- The Wedding of a Queen!

The Wedding of a Queen!


Fatimah (Radiyallahu Anha) is the youngest daughter of our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Out of all the children, she was the most beloved to him. He said, 'The Queen of the ladies in Jannat is Fatimah.' He also said, 'Fatimah is part of my body. Whoever grieves her, grieves me.'

Fatimah (Radiyallahu Anha) is the youngest daughter of our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Out of all the children, she was the most beloved to him. He said, 'The Queen of the ladies in Jannat is Fatimah.' He also said, 'Fatimah is part of my body. Whoever grieves her, grieves me.'

When Fatimah (Radiyallahu Anha) reached the age of fifteen, proposals for her marriage began to come from noble families. But the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) remained irresponsive.

Ali (Radiyallahu Anha) who was 21 at the time, says: It occurred to me that I should make a formal proposal, but then I thought, 'How could this be accomplished, for I possess nothing.' At last, encouraged by the Prophet's kindness, I went to him and expressed my intention to marry Fatima (Radiyallahu Anha). The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was extremely pleased and asked, 'Ali! Do you possess anything to give her in Mahr?' I replied, 'Apart from a horse and armour I possess nothing.'

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, 'A soldier must, of course, have his horse. Go and sell away your armour.'

So, Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) went and sold his armour to Uthman (Radiyallahu Anhu) for 480 Dirham and presented it to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). Bilal (Radiyallahu Anha) was ordered by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to bring some perfume and a few other things and Anas (Radiyallahu Anha) was sent to call Abu Bakr, Uthman, Talha, Zubayr with some companions from the Ansar (Radiyallahu Anhum).

When these men arrived and had taken their seats, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) recited the Khutbah (sermon) of Nikah and gave Fatimah (Radiyallahu Anha) in marriage to Ali (Radhiallaahu Anhu). He announced, 'Bear you all witness that I have given my daughter Fatimah in marriage to Ali for 400 Mithqal of silver and Ali has accepted.' He then raised his head and made Dua saying, 'O Allah, create love and harmony between these two. Bless them and bestow upon them good children.' after the Nikah, dates were distributed.

When the time came for Fatimah (Radiyallahu Anha) to go to Ali's (Radiyallahu Anha) house, she was sent without any clamour, hue and cry accompanied by Umm Ayman (Radiyallahu Anha). After the Isha Salat, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) went to their house, took permission and entered. He asked for a basin of water, put his blessed hands into it and sprinkled it on both Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) and Fatimah (Radiyallahu Anha) and made Dua for them.

The sovereign of both worlds gave his beloved daughter a silver bracelet, two Yemeni sheets, four mattresses, one blanket, one pillow, one cup, one hand-grinding mill, one bedstead, a small water skin and a leather pitcher.

Hence, with much simplicity the wedding of the daughter of the leader of the worlds was solemnised. In following this Sunnah method, a wedding becomes easy to fulfill.

This blessed event teaches us important lessons pertaining to Nikah:

1. The many customs that accompany engagement ceremonies are contrary to the Sunnah. In fact, many are against the Shariah and are regarded unlawful. A verbal proposal and answer is sufficient.
2. To perform Nikah at an early age is wise and beneficial.
3. It is advisable to invite close associates for the occasion of Nikah. However, extravagance should be avoided.
4. It is appropriate that the bridegroom be a few years older than the bride.
5. If the father of the girl is an Aalim or pious and capable of performing Nikah, then he should himself solemnise the marriage.
6. It is good to give the Mahr Fatimi as dower.There is no harm in giving less.
7. It is un-Islamic for those, who do not possess the means, to incur debts in order to have grandiose weddings.
8. The present day practice of the intermingling of sexes at weddings is prohibited and contrary to the Shariah.
9. Great care must be taken as regards to Salat on occasions of marriage by all – including the bride and bridegroom.
10. The unnecessary expense incurred by the bride's family in holding a lavish feast has no basis in Shariah.
11. It is un-Islamic for the engaged couple to meet each other and also go out together.
12. Three things should be borne in mind when giving one's daughter gifts and presents at the time of Nikah:
- Gifts should be given within one's means (it is not permissible to take loans, on interest for such presents);
- To give necessary items;
- A show should not be made of whatever is given.
13. It is Sunnat for the bridegroom's family to make Walimah.
(Note: In Walimah, whatever is easily available should be fed to the people and care should be taken that there is no extravagance, show and that debt is not incurred in the process.)
14. To unduly delay Nikah after the engagement is un-Islamic.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Control That Everyday Scourge - Irritation
By Sister S Bemath

When you're pushed from all sides for quick answers, quick results and quick fit-in jobs- . . . constantly interrupted . . . misunderstood because those around you haven't listened and you have to repeat explanations. When you feel tired and have a headache and people make unreasonable demands . . . meet with criticism, ingratitude, intolerance and noise -- it's only natural to feel upset and irritated.

Irritation is common in this frenetic age. Even worse is the venting of it in snappy remarks like "Can't you see I'm busy?" If you've spent a long time trying to do a job well, it's easy to snarl, "If it isn't right, do it yourself." Yet, for your own sake and, because of the need to create harmony around you, it's essential to develop the habit, not only of controlling but transcending irritation.

In the East, it is taught that irritation produces a subtle inner poison which cuts off the channels of life-giving electricity that should flow freely through our body as invisible waves of distorted force, building a stagnant, unpleasant atmosphere and contaminating everything around us. We've all experienced the negative effects of a place, sensing that something is wrong but we don't quite know what.

On the other hand, what a joy it is to visit the home of someone who is calm, positive, serene in difficult circumstances and quick to utter a constructive, tension-breaking remark. Such a person creates an atmosphere which uplifts the spirits and makes us feel good, no matter how humble the setting. Of course, there may be times when it is necessary to express justified annoyance; but we must learn to do this in non-damaging ways at the right time, not as a snap-back reaction. Sometimes silence is the only response. Hasty words, hurled in a flash of irritation, can have long-lasting adverse effects.

"Surely silence can be sometimes the most eloquent reply." (Hadhrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib R.A.)

How can you protect yourself from expressing your own irritation, or from being at the receiving end of the another's? You can strive to be detached, observant and analytical. Detachment helps us not to identify with negative impressions. When you observe things impersonally, trying to analyse and understand the cause, you minimise hurtful effects. What is happening?, Why?, How can you improve the situation?

"Ignore them and you take the wind out of their sails, get irritated you give them the upper hand."

You must try to develop the habit of appreciation and gratitude -- try to see something good about the person or situation irritating you, or think of the negative happening as your opportunity, perhaps, to learn self-control and patience. Pray that Almighty ALLAH will change you and give you wisdom to deal with the situations better. Patience is a virtue and shows inner strength, just to put yourself in a position where you can smile at the situation and the irritation instead of getting upset with those causing it. You must try also, consciously, to build a joyful, beautiful atmosphere around you -- through the beautiful creations of ALLAH, plants and flowers; through orderliness (which cuts down on unnecessary irritation caused by losing things); and making brief breaks when things become hectic.

Hymn the praises of ALLAH TA'ALA (make zikr),go to a window to breathe some fresh air, do some neck, shoulder and eye exercises to release tension, or take a quick walk around the garden if you're at home, reflect, meditate, ponder etc Those few moments of tranquility can restore you and enable to cope better with irritating  circumstances. Respond positively and don't  just react impulsively!. A response is always considered creative and positive; a reaction usually hasty and negative. Strive, at least, for harmlessness in all you dealings.

And it helps to remember that those difficult people who upset and irritate us so much are our greatest teachers, for they help us develop qualities of patience and self-discipline. Since they, too, are part of ALLAH'S creation, we can pray for them, bless them silently, and ask for help in dealing with them. Above all, cultivate laughter, joy,prayer and serenity. These, perhaps, are your greatest weapons against that everyday scourge -- irritation.

Sibling Rivalry

Deconstructing Sibling Rivalry

Tricks for Muslim Parents

By M Zain

Although sibling rivalry is normal, it can be rather taxing if it persists without any guidance for reform in a positive light.

Every mother knows that raising a child is full of challenges. However, once that first precious child becomes an older brother or sister, a new challenge emerges for parents – sibling rivalry.

The "HE'S NOT BEING FAIR," to "SHE RIPPED MY DRAWING," to "I NEVER WANT TO PLAY WITH THE BABY AGAIN," to "I HATE HIM!" are all loud telling signs of sibling rivalry. The quieter signs are the grumpy sulks in the corner of the house and the cold treatment from one sibling to another.

Although sibling rivalry is normal, it can be rather taxing if it persists without any guidance for reform in a positive light.

The trick mostly is to honor your children as unique individuals with distinct personalities and strengths. There are a lot of advantages in diversity, and children should learn how to capitalize on that. Remind them that Allah created a diverse population, and within families too; there are differences for each member to benefit from.

Also, it is important to tell the kids gently and remind them that though we can choose who we befriend, Allah has already decreed our siblings. In fact, siblings have been chosen for all of us, as our closest companions, and this is very true while growing up.

Although it may be frustrating when the baby tears down the "tallest tower in the world," or when the eldest is being a bit too bossy, siblings are the closest relations your children have genetically; ties between them should not be severed.

As parents, we can help cultivate the closeness of siblings camaraderie, helping everyone get along, work together, and love each other unconditionally.

Honor Their Personalities

Everyone is different, respect that. Some children are louder than others. One may need more quiet time than his brothers. One little sanguine girl could have a little brother with a melancholic disposition. An extrovert boy is no different from his introvert sister, as these are both special personality traits that have advantages and disadvantages.

The important thing here is not to compare – no child is better than the next, whether it relates to their personality traits, strengths or interests. The more we focus on the postive aspects of the above, the more children will find that they are appreciated as individuals.

Get to know their unique personalities and honor them. When each child finds that mom and dad respect them as individuals, the higher the likelihood that they will also respect each other as individuals.

Figure Out Their Love Languages

Learn to love your children and their love language. Gary Chapman, the author of "The Five Love Languages," lists down our five main love languages as: undivided time, touch, gifts, positive affirmations and acts of service. Every person speaks at least one main love language followed by a secondary love language.

Similarly, each of your children expresses and understands love in a different way. For example, some children love to be hugged more than others, while other children thrive when they are able to spend undivided quality time with their parents. Figure out your child's love language and you may find that it differs from his or her sibling.

This way, you will be able to "show" love to each of your children differently, to honor their differences and to remind them that no matter how much different they are, you love them all the same.

Learn About Their Interests and Their Strengths

Children thrive the most when they are engaged in activities that interest them.

Interests are different from one child to another (but could very well be the same) and they change from time to time. So keep up with your children's interest and indulge in them as well. If two or more siblings are interested in rocks, for example, that's even better, have them work together on building rock gardens or painting rocks.

Finding common interests is a good way to build relationships.

Capitalize on their strengths. Every child has unique strengths, so recognize them and help them develop their hobbies even more.

Recognizing that each child has unique strengths will help them be appreciative and secure of themselves, and in turn will help them appreciate their siblings as well.

Carve out a Niche Each and Imbue Respect for Each Other

Now that you recognize their personalities, love languages, interests and strengths, allow them to flourish in their fields and encourage their siblings to cheer them along.

This has to happen for everyone. When siblings see each other as different but special beings that they have as companions, they will learn to respect and love each other even more.

Always remind them that there are reasons why everyone is good at something, and it's important to lend support whenever possible.

Come Together – Work as a Family

Make a list of rules and guidelines to build good kinship. Once our children realize that they are all different, unique, special and treated with equity, teach them how to value each other.

No Muslim is a believer until he wishes the same for his brother or sister, what he wishes for himself. We need to teach that to our children. If one sibling is feeling down, do something to help him out. If a sister is in need of a glass of water, help her quench her thirst.

Being nice and working together is a good guideline to work by. It sounds simple, but it is also very easy for children to fall into malicious footsteps and instigate trouble amongst each other.

Remind the older ones that sometimes they are being influnced by Satan to cause trouble amongst those who care about them the most. Teach the younger ones to respect the older ones and always capitalize on "family time" for them to come together and express their feelings.

Simple guidelines to help siblings work together is to read to each other, discuss their interests, to share their toys, and to help tidy up the home, with a duty roster if needed. If someone is hungry, help make two portions, so it can help feed another potentially hungry stomach.

If there are groceries that need to be stored, everyone must take part in helping out in the kitchen. If the yard needs cleaning, everyone has to get involved.

Working together and being nice encompasses all the mini-rules that exist in unique households. The rules are there, not to punish, but to enforce appreciation for each other and the family unit.

When Quibbles get the Wiggles

No matter how much you try iron out the problems related to sibling rivalry, there may always be bickering. View this as a learning curve and things will get better.

Separate them for a bit, calm them down, give a gentle reminder to the perpetrator(s) and move on. Every time your children exhibit good behaviour, by working together or sharing toys, remember to praise Allah and praise them too.

Tell them that you are happy with them and hope that they will always be this nice.

Make Du'a for Your Children

Make du'a, plenty and plenty of du'a, for your children.

A mother's du'a goes a long way. Ask for guidance and protection. Ask Allah to bless your children. And ask for the little things too – for them to get along, to love each other and to protect each other as brothers and sisters in Islam.

Ask for Allah to keep ill feelings at bay, like jealousy and envy. Jealousy and envy amongst loved ones have nearly always led to catastrophes like inheritance squabbles at best and the severing of family ties at worse.

We see it all the time and we hear of it through our friends, our neighbours, our distant relatives. Make du'a for your children to always care for one another, for their future children, and their nieces and nephews.

Family ties are precious in Islam, and it is important that we impart this value onto the next generation, because they will be the parents of the future.

There are many blessings in having more than one child.

Having siblings, teach children how to share and to be considerate of other people's feelings. Our children will have to deal with all kinds of people in a patient and kind manner.

We have to hone into these advantages as parents, as siblings are important members of any family, even if a little bit of rivalry surfaces from time to time and that is normal and natural for any set of siblings.