“The best of you are those who are best to their families.”
- Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Sometimes the stories of our homes are not perfect. Some of us can connect well with strangers yet have distant relationships with our fathers. We can fall in love with movie stars but resent our own mothers. We can be polite all day at school and still come home angry and abusive. It’s as though we’ve reserved our best for everywhere but home–as though the role of family in our lives has been outsourced to others.
“The role of family.” What does this phrase even mean? Throughout history and between lands, a family’s role has been defined differently, yet somehow its concept remains universal and valuable. Why? What exactly do we expect family to be for us? Some say family is meant to provide us a place to call home and a place to belong. Others may think it is more like a nursery, where we grow into adults and then go our separate ways. Some only turn to family in times of need, and yet others consider it a foundational building block of society. What do you think are the ideals of family, and why? What do different cultures and religions have to say on the topic, and how do their ideas compare or contrast with those of Islam?
Having considered these ideals, what are our families really like? Who do we consider to be family, and what is our relationship with these family members? Do they have rights upon us? Do we honor them? Do we have responsibilities towards them? Do we uphold them? Are there any differences between our ideals and our realities? If so, what can we do to bridge those gaps?
We challenge you to take a deeper look into the North American Muslim community and analyze the various concepts surrounding this theme. Be creative! Projects and submissions with the most creativity and insight will receive the highest points. Remember, this theme will encompass all of the MIST competitions and workshops at both the regional and national levels. If you have any questions regarding this theme or anything else MIST-related, please do not hesitate to contact us!