In this counseling answer:
“What is worth considering is how you can give your wife the support that she needs so that she can have time to sit with you and share the learning process together. Also, you can consider, while you are at home, the ways in which you can support your wife morally and in the duties of the household. Then you too can share in developing the manners of the children. It is through the Islamic code of manners, when genuinely excercised, that there descends a calm. It helps to train us in the reciprocity of rights.”
As-salamu `alaykum brother,
If you do not mind, I will try to answer your second question first, although it cannot be answered adequately in this space. You know the first and defining rule that I was taught when I attended my first lesson in Islamic jurisprudence, is that there is no point in learning if you are not going to practice, in fact it becomes haram (forbidden by Allah), because one becomes responsible for what one knows. This was the commitment that had to be made before proceeding with any further lessons.
We can learn all that we want, but what is the point if we do not take responsibility for it? After all, it is in the real world that we can best appreciate how strong or how weak an element of knowledge is. It is also the only time that we can fully understand the depth of that fragment of knowledge. That is why in Islam, commitment to a healthy marriage is seen as the medium by which one matures and is made able to take on the responsibilities that life offers.
One can appreciate how disorientating it is to live in a noisy atmosphere full of tension. Most of all, it is the mother who deals with the ‘nitty gritty’ and who faces head-on those tensions, which by your account seem to last all day! There you are, trying to think, and there is your wife getting worn out by it all. It is a wonder that she finds time to pray let alone to pray properly i.e.with full concentration.
Check out this counseling video
Your wife, I think, has to be avaliable at all times, regardless of her needs and regardless of the desire to pray. It is good that you help out, even if it is only a little. You know, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
” Who among the people is most deserving of a fine treatment from my hand? He said: Your mother. He again said: Then who (is the next one)? He said: Again it is your mother (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who (is the next one)? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Again, it is your mother. He (again) said: Then who? Thereupon he said: Then it is your father. In the hadith transmitted on the authority of Qutalba, there is no mention of the word” the people”.
- (Muslim 32 #6180)
However, the importance that Islam places on education for men, women and childen can not be stressed enough, hence your desire to learn more. I remember a small community of converts where the women were kept busy looking after the household and had no time to even read the Qur’an’. While the men were busy sharing knowledge, the women were busy educating the children, not according to Islam but according to what they knew before becoming Muslims. They were too busy looking after the children and the visitors and barely had time to pray.
So what is worth considering is how you can give your wife the support that she needs so that she can have time to sit with you and share the learning process together. Also, you can consider, while you are at home, the ways in which you can support your wife morally and in the duties of the household. Then you too can share in developing the manners of the children. It is through the Islamic code of manners, when genuinely excercised, that there descends a calm. It helps to train us in the reciprocity of rights.
From those rights, one is more able to waste less energy with daily battles and divert those energies to more constructive and creative endeavors. One is more able to spend time with the children instead of avoiding them or getting them to be quiet. For instance, if you want them to stop fighting amongst each other, although they might be too young to understand the ‘whys’ of it all, they are at an age where a little distraction could help. Communicating with them at their level is the trick, and one can help them understand through stories, visits, activities in the home and little jobs around the house.
When you pray, leave a place next to you so that if they wish, they can join you, even if it is only mimicking. There is play time and relaxation time. Instill the sense of beauty in calmness when reading or listening to the Qur’an so that they may be quiet when you pray, when they see you reading and when they themselves hear the Qur’an playing or being recited.
Try to allocate relaxation time, when they need to calm down for instance, but remember they have their own sense of time, so once you understand the rhythm of their day, there are always clues as to what you can introduce and when. When they are noisy and boisterous and they want your attention, do not respond until they speak to you in an appropriate manner, but for this to happen, you also must speak to them with much consideration, so that they can learn to consider you. At the same time, they need their energy outbursts, to climb and to fall. Their social skills are determined by what happens in the home and that includes you and how you treat your wife.
“There is a sadaqa to be given for every joint of the human body; and for every day on which the sun rises there is a reward of a sadaqa (optional charity) for the one who establishes justice among people.”
- (Bukhari 3: 49 #870)
So give justice to your wife and support her in a manner that she can feel less tense about raising the children. Less tension leads to less frustration, and less frustration to less shouting, for if your wife has to continually struggle against the odds all day, she will have no energy or presence of mind to reflect on what she is doing.
Just imagine what can be done when the children are not fasting. There are lots of things that can be done, but you have to include yourself in the picture instead of focusing solely on the children and your wife.
As regards the death of your beautiful daughter, this hadith is the closest to what you have in mind:
“A woman whose three children die will be shielded by them from the Hellfire.” On that a woman asked, “If only two die?” He replied, “Even two (will shield her from the Hellfire)”.
- (Bukhari 1# 3 #101)
The approach you took on her death was a wise one. To have prolonged her life in any way would also have prolonged her suffering. Who knows, even though she lived a short time, her life and death has probably contributed towards your current thoughts on your children who remain with you.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides.