Why Is the Family so Important to Muslims?
By Ali Unal
The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families; children are treasured and rarely leave home until the time they marry.
Parents are greatly respected in the Islamic tradition. Mothers are particularly honored: the Qur'an teaches that since mothers suffer during pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing, they deserve a special consideration and kindness.
It is stated in the Qur'an:
"And we have enjoined upon man (to be good) to his parents. With difficulty upon difficulty did his mother bear him and wean him for two years. Show gratitude to Me and to your parents; to Me is your final goal." (Qur'an 31:14)
A Muslim marriage is both a sacred act and a legal agreement, in which either partner is free to include legitimate conditions. As a result, divorce, although uncommon, is permitted only as a last resort. Marriage customs vary widely from country to country.