Title: Simple as That: The Muslimah's Guide to Building Strong Family Ties
Author: Nafla Salahudeen
Recommended for: Mothers, Wives, Daughter-in-laws
Simple as That offers a wealth of practical advice whether you're a wife, daughter-in-law, mother or mother-in-law. There are four sections in the book, each one dealing with the relationship that a Muslim woman has upon her marriage: her husband, her mother-in-law, and if Allah wills, her daughter and daughter-in-law.
The main message of the whole book is that no matter what type of relationship that you have, you must treat others with kindness because this is what Allah expects of you. This is the central message of Islamic relationships: you will be judged on how you deal with others and if you can control your anger and selfishness, your kindness and decency will come through.
I will go into a bit about the motherhood section since this blog is about parenting. The main message here to mothers is that you are a role model for your daughters. Your daughters will imitate and then take on the way you behave and act towards others. So if you want your daughters to have a great relationship with others in general and her in-laws in particular, you have to treat others and your in-laws with kindness.
Another thing is that you must put in your daughters mind that in-laws are good people too so that she grows up with a helpful 'us' attitude rather than the usual 'us versus them in-laws' attitude. This will colour how she will treat her in-laws later in life.
An important point that the author made is that mothers must prepare their daughters in contributing to household chores. This will teach her to manage her own household when she marries. I think this is so important. I've seen mothers who've neglected to give their children chores when young and when they grow up and marry, they have no clue on what to do: how to cook, clean, take care of the family and so on. No wonder they have problems with their in-laws. (But that doesn't make it alright for the in-law to mistreat her. In fact, they should have patience with her.)
I think, Simple as That is a valuable book for all Muslimahs to have. I've often wondered why there is so much animosity between daughter-in-laws and mother-in-laws. If everyone followed Islamic teachings of treating others with kindness, consideration and patience then we'd all be happier in our relationships.
Simple as That is available in both English and Tamil.
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