Amr Khaled is one of the most influential Islamic speakers in the world. The New York Times Magazine, in reference to Amr Khaled’s popularity in Arab countries, described him in its April 30, 2006 issue as “the world’s most famous and influential Muslim television preacher.” He has recently been chosen as number 13 of the world’s most influential people by Time Magazine and the sixth most influential intellectual in the world by Prospect magazine.
His words, television speeches, and Ramadan lecture series are widely watched by people all over the world. His teachings range in all Islamic topics such as politics, manners, Islamic history, changes in society, marriage, family life, etc.
One of his most famed Ramadan lecture series was called “Al Ganah Fe Boyotna” (Paradise in our Household). In this series he talked about how to bring closeness, religiosity, happiness, and understanding back into our households between all members of a family.
In the first episode he says, translated from Arabic, “A lot of people feel that life has become unhappy and unbearable…what kind of world is this? It’s all wars, problems, and pain…but God gave us something merciful, he gave us our homes…it has all the happiness you need. It has comfort and safety. Your home should be the one place of happiness in this world until you die and enter heaven.”
“God gave you paradise in this world by giving you a home and family and he gave you paradise in the afterlife by giving you heaven,” he said.
This series has 30 episodes, but the one I want to talk about today is the very first one. In this episode Amr Khaled outlines five daily guidelines that each family, whether you are still newlyweds with just a husband and wife, or if you have children, or live with extended family, should partake in for a healthier and happier home and ultimately a better life. These guidelines fall under one category: Decide to worship God together.
1. Pray together.
Praying together brings mercy and angels into the home and kicks out any evilness.
Pray at least two Rakas (one prayer) together each night. “Can you imagine a couple who prayed to God together each night waking up and fighting about a non-ironed shirt in the morning…I don’t think so,” he said jokingly. He says that just two Rak3as together can bring your hearts closer if you feel distanced from your spouse…it’s truly magical.
Incidentally he also says, “If you are a wise wife, and you want to keep your husband by your side, say to him ‘get up, lets pray together.’”
2. Read the Quran together.
Even if it is only one Ayah (sentence) each day. Or do a family Khitma (completion of the Quran) by splitting up the chapters between each person of the family in order to complete it in a specified amount of time. Or if you’re driving in the car together, you can also listen to it.
3. Do Zikr (remembrance of Allah) together.
Say Tasabeeh (repeating words like Elhamdulillah – Thank God – repeatedly) together even for only a couple minutes, whether you’re in the car or sitting in your living room.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “A home that does Zikr is a lively one and a home that does not is a dead one.” In turn, Amr Khaled says, “Your family will become lively.”
4. Say a Duaa (supplication to God) together.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate or in complicated sentences. Just say what you wish for as a family, in any language, doesn’t have to be in traditional Arabic. You can make your Duaa after a prayer or while sitting together before going to bed.
5. Be charitable together.
For example, in Ramadan feed a fasting Muslim or a family together.
Amr Khaled says that this Dunya (world/earth) was started by a family, by a husband and a wife… Adam and Eve. Not a group of people, not a company, not a single person. Therefore it is the most important entity in this world.
“A marriage is a Mithak Ghaleeth (binding covenant),” he says. Not just a contract. It is a bond stronger than that. That phrase is only used three times in the Quran, one of which is for marriage. This shows the importance of this union in the eyes of God.
….Where Practice Makes Perfect
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