When we talk about our marriages, we are more concerned about what we will report to our mothers, relatives and friends. What is the value if everyone approves of what you are doing but Allah is angry with you?
Upbringing children requires a heart and someone who is truly committed to please Allah. For example, are we ready to cut back on the expenses to allow working parents to spend more time with the family?
If we are with Allah, He will be on our side in everything we do. We will be guided in all our decisions and the effect is that our marriage and children will be for Allah. We are hesitant, but look at what Allah has given us despite all the mistakes and sins we commit. Look at the amount of Allah's forgiveness and mercy, including over all of our secret sins that Allah has cloaked from everyone else. Who is stopping us from reaching out to Allah?
If you marry for Allah, the joy is immense. We cannot choose our blood relatives, but we can choose our friends and spouses. The only decision that we are allowed to make by ourselves of our own free will, is who we will marry. At this stage, on such a crucial issue, we should not push Allah and His messenger out of the equation, for how can the result be a happy household? On the contrary, it can be a wedding cursed by Allah because it has nothing to do with Allah. How can one then have blessed children? Rasulullah SAW reminded Fatimah RA, his daughter, that the husband is the key to jannah or jahannam. However, many men exploit that license as use this as a tool of threatening and oppressing! And this leads to a new generation of abuse reaching to the offspring.
If you want to break this cycle, then have dignity and be for Allah. Consult with Allah on the choice of spouse, and Allah will choose for you. However, be prepared that the choice may not be what you like, in terms of looks, size, age or money. A spouse selected by Allah has nothing to do with all these elements, because the goal should be the person who will lead you and your children to jannah, the partner with the right criterion who will help raise the next generation of the ummah to elevate the deen of Allah.
The mother of Maryam AS asked for the child in her womb to be pious and to belong to Allah in order to carry the message. She gave birth to a girl even though she was hoping for a boy. Allah accepted her du'a by giving her a child who would grow up chaste and untouched by man, and who would give birth to Isa AS of a pure mother without the intervention of a father. Do mothers generally carry this kind of hope when they are carrying their child? We have misunderstood the reason of having children – originally, to carry the message, but now, in order to have something cute to cuddle and show off, and to inherit our property.
All this can be cured with a proper journey of iman. This will free you from all the social stereotypes and dunia pressures, and everything you do will attract a blessing from Allah.
Both husband and wife, mother and father, should work together in their self development. Otherwise, neither of them is qualified to be a role model, and if that were the case, what kind of values and qualities will be imparted to the children? Where both parents are busy, then from where is the child supposed to obtain his moral compass and personal values? To compound the issue, parents then over-compensate their lack of quality time by pampering their children instead of preparing them for adulthood.
The family unit is the nucleus of the ummah, but if these units are hollow, lacking in values, compassion or social awareness, then how can we even complain about our overall lack of unity and leadership?
After what you have read, if you are a man, you should assess what you are doing to develop your manhood, character, manner and goal in life, and what you are going to do in order to achieve it. For women, consider how you are going to develop the qualities of a woman, being the mother and role model of the future generation.
We are in a huge state of confusion, because we are uneducated about the basics of Islam, and consequently, we lack direction, purpose and goal in life. If we lack these basics, the nafs and shaitan overpower us and we ignore the purpose of life and what our duties to ourselves and others are.
Each of us counts. Ask yourself, do you want to be the pioneer, role model, hero and the one that everyone tries to emulate? Do you want to be ones who choose and marry for the sake of Allah, in order to establish the pillar of society? If so, the first step is to develop yourself in preparation for that role.
We are the ones who will take up the banner of Islam and responsibility on our shoulders, and we should do what it takes. To bring up our children, we have to develop ourselves first. We cannot pass on values which we lack. Let's wake up to the reality, and not be in denial any further. We should inculcate the integrity and responsibility to carry the future of the ummah, individually and collectively, with each of us being responsible and ready to answer to Allah for what we have done. May Allah allow you and I to be a role model to mankind and elevate the banner of Islam, ameen.