Good Deed: #177 Make Shura – mutual consultation

3:159 (Y. Ali) It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).

42:38 (Y. Ali) Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance;

The Prophet(SAW) said : ‘’Certainly Allah and His Messenger did not stand in need of the advice of anybody, but Allah has made it (the seeking of advice) a source of mercy for men. Those who hold consultation will not stray away from the path of rectitude, while those who do not are liable to do so.’’ Baihyqi

Action Plan

Formal consultation is a process to reach an agreement on an issue of mutual interest.

Every member of the family should participate in such consultation with an open mind. Some pointerson how to do this are as follows:

  • Begin the consultation with praising Allah and asking Him to bestow peace and blessings on the Prophet.
  • Be willing to sacrifice your opinion if it is not accepted, even if you are sure of its soundness.
  • Learn the details of the topic under consultation before you speak.
  • Listen attentively to what others are saying.
  • Be respectful in discussing others’ points of view.
  • Remember that the process of consultation involves abiding by what is agreed upon.
  • Involve all children in the formal family consultation.They come up with brilliant ideas.
  • Avoid being defensive or sarcastic.
  • Be rational and reasonable.
  • Make du`aa’ (supplication) so that Allah may bless your decisions at the end.
  • Make istikharah – prayer for guidance

Children’s Participation in Consultation

Children are intelligent, thinking beings who have much to contribute in discussions. Too often, parents dismiss the opinions and thoughts of their kids, thinking their youth and inexperience mean they are too young for consultation. Not so!

Doing consultation in the family helps kids learn how to communicate effectively in a safe, comfortable environment. Parents need to remember that their love is crucial in raising their children, but it is not enough to raise a well-adjusted, happy child. Communication is the key to successful development.

  • Get your children into the habit of talking with you about their day and their feelings, if they are very young.
  • Remember that consultation is among the choice characteristics of a believer (see Ash-Shura 42:38 above). Inculcate it early on. My youngest child sits down during family consultation with a pen and paper and takes notes, though he does not know how to write.
  • Let children be full participants in any formal or informal consultation in the family, unless the issue at hand has to be exclusively between the father and mother.
  • Utilize the fact that children open up in informal discussions more than in formal ones. A two-minute sound conversation with them in a car may provide a more important insight into what they feel than forced conversation.
  • Remember that children love to ask questions. Answer their questions with one of yours: “What do you think?” Think of their questions as the start of a two-way conversation (mutual consultation may pop in any time).
  • Let children come up with solutions. Instead of giving advice, ask, “So what would you like to do about this?” Or “How do you think this should be handled?”
  • Delegate an area of responsibility to your child instead of adopting a “do-this-and-do-that” style of communication with them.
  • Avoid electronic overload. TV, stereos, computers, and the like are a convenient way for kids to close off from their parents. Set rules for TV.
  • Keep your sense of humor. Laughing will not undermine your authority or sabotage the lessons. Rather, it will enhance your capacity to communicate.
  • Respect children’s opinion.
  • Listen carefully to what your kids say, without being judgmental or critical.
  • Reward good ideas.
  • source: Mutual Consultation

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