Praise is to Allah, Lord of all creation, and peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions, and those who follow his guidance until the Day of Judgement...
Allah, the Almighty, says in the Quran: (O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may come to know one another. Indeed, the most honourable among you with Allah is the one who has most piety [Taqwa]. Indeed, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware) Surah al-Hujurat 13
Dear brothers and sisters, it is a worthwhile venture to give greater attention to the needs of caring for the family, reinforcing its cohesion, and assuring bonding and openness among its members. It is through the robust integrity of the family that the spirit of love and giving can be spread to surrounding society. In this respect, we offer our praise and appreciation for the efforts of parents, and their conscientious striving, and highly value the elderly, who deserve from all of us, every manner of gratitude and devotion, for all their efforts during a long and eventful lifetime.
On the basis of the noble Prophetic directive, “all of you are responsible, and all of you shall be accountable for those in your care”, we come to appreciate the importance of fruitful communication across generations, and the necessity of caring for children and the youth, in compassion and tenderness; raising them well on the Quran and Sunnah, in a life full of belief in Allah (Iman), refined manners, excellent role models, positive interaction with society, and a good education elevating them on paths to success.
All this requires the warmth of family to nurture it. Undoubtedly, the family is the building block of society’s structure, and the human being’s first and most important sanctuary. Therefore, if the family is the first thing on which the individual’s eyes open, then by right, he should find care and tenderness within it, and should receive balanced and appropriate guidance along the path of upbringing; moreover, the family should be by his side, and he should stand by it, in the different phases of growing up.
The family is not merely a group of individuals, few or many; fundamentally, it is an expression of the noble human bond, framed in care and responsibility, solidarity and mutual support, and built on the finest of emotions—love, tenderness, and mutual respect. Therefore, weakening this bond, or rendering it superficial, represents real loss to society, with consequent harm to the individuals.
The distinction afforded by family stability reflects on society, in terms of explicit gains. The integrity of the family ensures a more stable society, and the thriving harmony between father, mother, and children, guarantees more social warmth.
It is not to society’s benefit for individuals to lack harmony in their families, or be deprived of love and affection within their homes. Care within the family is the safety valve for society, and so, the integrity of the family and its success in performing its role provides a significant service to society as a whole.
Even with the attention focused on the individual, the family must not be neglected. Rather, it must be placed at the centre of attention as well. Success, which is the aim of members of society, does not come solely from the individual, as perhaps many may believe; rather it is the success of the family as well. Therefore, individual success needs also to be measured according to its positive reflection on the family.
For this reason, effort must be directed towards reinforcing, supporting, and encouraging the family to be successful and cohesive. Islam considers the close-knit family, established on the bond of marriage between man and woman, to be the natural and essential cradle for raising future generations. It is the foundation for the happiness of the individual and stability of society. From this perspective, Islam draws attention to the need to employ all measures and means to support the family structure and protect its fabric from all threats weakening it, or marginalising its role.
As the family faces increasing challenges in light of the rapid changes in people’s lives, there is no escape from the need to care for the family and support it. Especially since the family remains the key refuge and cradle for the human being. We are required to direct a generous portion of our attention to treating the problems of the family and resolving them. Indeed this is what we, in the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) and our member organisations, attempt to contribute to, in cooperation and coordination with our partners in European societies.
... and Allah is behind every success,
Wa assalamu alaykum wa rahmat Allah
Your brother, Chakuib Ben Makhlouf
President of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE)