Question: How much time should we be spending with our families?
If you’re not fulfilling your time with Allah, then don’t expect that you’re going to give the rights of the dunya or your wife or your children, which Allah is saying, ‘to know that your sons and your wealth, meaning your family, your wealth, is nothing but a confusion for you, a distraction for you,’ even the Holy Prophet (AS) said this. He was saying this when he was giving a khutba and he saw his grandchildren walking. He stopped and then he said, ‘I try, I try, I try, I couldn’t, I have to go down and take them,’ and then remembering the ayat of Allah, he’s giving warning to himself. But look at the situation, that is his work, now he’s giving a khutba, you understand? There is a work that a man must know first he has to do.
Nobody ever doubts this ayat, nobody will doubt this ayat if they are at work and their wife calls them, or their children wants to Face Time them right away when they’re doing work, nobody questions that ayat to say that your wife and your property and your children is nothing but confusion for you, correct or no? So when it comes to the dunya, everybody believes that. Yes, there has to be certain separation, but why when it comes to religion people are saying, ‘no, no, no, no, it’s not like that.’ Everything has to change from the bottom up, the change has to be systemic. But what is a father to the family? How is he providing that leadership, how is he providing? Because in Islam it is the father and the husband that provides moral leadership, religious leadership that he is going to show and others are going to follow. These days a lot of things are upside down. It’s very difficult. First thing they teach is don’t obey, first thing is question, question, you understand? So now you’re asking me how much time you’re supposed to spend, your working and your this and your that, I say, ‘first, take out some time to spend with your Lord.’ It’s not even so much that you spend half an hour, one hour, we don’t expect that, how are you even going to have that idea, that attitude in your head? First change that, what are you thinking about when you first wake up? ‘Ah, I have to think,’ don’t think of that, renew your Shahadat, think about your Lord, say, ‘what am I going to do for my Lord today?’ Even if you don’t mean it, you hate it, think that, change that direction, you understand? Go clean yourself up, renew your wudhu, pray two rakaats first before you do anything else, before breakfast, before this, before that, pray Salatul Shukr.
You’re not doing this so that you can get into paradise, you’re not doing this to get blessings, you’re doing this so that your iman, your faith is strong, your attitude is proper, so that now you can spend the day with your family, with your friends, with everyone properly, because you’re putting Allah first. How long does it take? Not long. If it’s up to the ego, the simplest things become the most difficult things. But for the egos sake the most difficult thing, the most difficult crime, sin to commit, you will find a way to make it to easy, correct or no? So do that first. You understand? Find time to be with your Allah. Then that time Allah will make time for you to spend with your loved ones, to give them their rights, and He will make time inside of time also there for you. So that now you are going to be with your family and you’re not going to lose your mind. Now you’re going to be with your family and you’re not going to be so irritable. Now when you spend time with your family you’re going to understand, you’re going to look at your wife, you’re going to look at your child, and you’re going to say, ‘Allah, Allah, what is Allah teaching me? How Allah is showing this to me?’ Then that time you spending time with your family is not because you feel that, ‘oh, they’re in need of me, I have to give,’ it’s not that position anymore. It is now that time you are thinking, ‘what is Allah teaching me?’ And it doesn’t have to be, ‘okay, I’m going to spend time, what is Allah teaching me?’ it doesn’t have to be like that also, but things are going to come, things you’re going to discover now. Through your children you’re going to discover your Allah, through your family you’re going to discover your Allah, you’re going to discover the Prophet (AS), you’re going to understand what are the blessings, then that time you spending time with them also is not out of a sense of responsibility, but because there is something there that your spirit needs. And this is not the something that you’re going to say, ‘I’m going to spend one hour, two hours, three hours,’ no. It will come, and it’s going to be, how you say, very satisfying to you. You cannot be like this, to spend time with them and you are not stepping on your ego too, it cannot be. These days people don’t spend time with each other, let alone their families, fathers go home and then take out their cellphone first, no? And the whole day they’re just checking that with their families, why are you doing that? The fathers especially now, if the woman is staying at home whole day, if they are, doing like this, like this, first time maybe they’re going to talk to a real adult now. You understand what is their need, what is so difficult for you to spend five, ten minutes just talking like this, it’s a big release for them too. Okay, do that, and then you’re going to do and say and fix the things that you want to do. Especially here living in this country.
So, like I said, everything has to turn also, because no matter how much time you spend with your family, it’s never enough, correct? It’s never enough. And especially the way that they want it, it is never enough. The way they want it it’s never enough, but if you do it the way that Allah (SWT) wants it, you’re going to be very thankful for every minute that you have, you look forward for it, and then that’s it. You’re not going to be more greedy, they’re not going to be more greedy with that time because it is enough, you understand? But the problem with raising a family, right now, everybody just raises a family, that’s it. You don’t raise a family, you’re supposed to raise a community. A family is just one part of that community. When you try to raise a family you will fail. Because the children need more than just a father and a mother. They need uncles, they need cousins, correct or no? They need grandfathers, they need grandmothers, they need teachers, they need a whole village to raise them, the children. When you don’t give them that and then they put everything on you, of course you’re going to fail, because you cannot do everything. Same thing now, your family now, they expect everything to come from you, and you expect everything from them, because we are taught, ‘oh, one man needs one woman and then that’s it, their universe is complete, that’s all that they need form each other,’ no, there’s no such thing like that. You meet one, you meet one, and then you become complete, no, you are already complete. You don’t need each other to be complete, Allah has created you one and unique and complete. And He’s showing that you go to another person only because of your search for Allah.
Hawa Ana, why do you think she ate from the forbidden fruit? Why was she fooled? Hawa Ana, what is that wheat compared to everything else that is in paradise, you cannot even compare. Why do you think? Because she wants to taste it? Because she wants to taste it, because she’s hungry? Everything else in paradise, things that you cannot even imagine that is there, why do you think she went to the forbidden fruit? She ate from it and convinced her husband to eat from it. Because the sheytan came and put a fitna, and saying to her, ‘this love that you have with your husband, it is going to end. You are going to be separated from him. You are going to die.’ They don’t know that concept of death in paradise, because there’s no death in paradise, there’s no hunger, there’s no separation, there is no sadness. So when sheytan said, ‘you know, this is going to happen to you,’ in the form, from the mouth of her best friend, the snake, she said, ‘what can I do now?’ He says, ‘take from this, eat from this, and you will never be separated from him.’ She’s not doing it because she wants to taste it, she did it because she doesn’t want to be separated from Adam (AS). That’s why her punishment was, when she was crying for hundreds of years in Jeddah and Adam (AS) was in Sri Lanka, they were separated from each other, she was not crying because she was separated from paradise and she was separated from Allah, she was crying because she was separated from Adam (AS). Adam (AS) was not crying because he was separated from Hawa Ana, he was crying because he was separated from Allah. When you have that protocol, tamam, it’s okay. When you don’t have that protocol and you’re crying for each other, then what happens now? It’s finished. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love her, but he knows that now if the relationship, especially for the man, for the leader, you don’t have that luxury, other people, the ones following you, maybe they have that luxury, you don’t have that luxury now to disconnect yourself from your Allah, because you are in front, you don’t have that luxury. Others they may have that luxury, they can fail, they can drop, they can do so many things, you cannot. Especially in these days, they’re saying a father is what? A father is an idiot, correct? Look into every TV program, the father is always an idiot. Every cartoon the father is an idiot. Every time you’re seeing the wise woman and the very foolish father. Why can’t they both be wise? Why can’t they both be foolish? ‘Oh they cannot,’ they have a different agenda there.
It’s what I’m saying, certain things have to change from the bottom up. So, now you want to spend time with your kids doing everything, you have a jamaat it will be easier. Once they have enough time spending time with their friends and they come back, okay, a little bit they spend time, they’re not needing you so much also. You understand? Because you have already let them to spend time with their friends, and now they have a little bit of time for you and that’s it, they don’t expect everything from you. InsyaAllah, slowly, step-by-step. Selam Aleykum wa rahmatullah.
Shaykh Lokman Efendi Hz
Khalifa of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs),
Osmanli Dergah Spring Hill, Florida
7 Muharrem 1441
September 6, 2019