The Family And the Character Building
In regard to the third pillar, that of human virtues like love, kindness and mercy, I would like to let the Qur'an speak for me:
"We have instructed man to be kind to both his parents. His mother bears him with nausea and gives birth to him painfully. Bearing him and weaning him last thirty months, until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years (of age), he says:
"My Lord, make me grateful for Your favour which You have shown to me and to both my parents, and let me act honourably so that You may approve of it. Be good to me with respect to my offspring; I have turned toward You and am one of those who are Muslims" (46:15) We are further told in the Qur'an:
"Your Lord has decreed that you should worship nothing except Him, and (show) kindness to your parents; whether one or both of them attain old age (while they are) still with you, never say to them: 'Shame!' nor scold either of them. Speak to them in generous fashion. Protect them carefully and SAY: "My Lord, show them mercy, just as they cared for me as a little child" (17:23-24)
What a spirit of mutual kindness, this lowering of the wing of mercy on us while we are helpless. And later on, our protecting tenderness to our children and our elders when they are in need of it! If we are good and patient, understanding and encouraging in our behaviour towards our family members, thus bringing forth the very same virtues in them as well, we are sure to carry these virtues forward into human society as well. A tender and considerate family father will also be good to those whom he meets outside the home, just as he will be strict and uncompromising when he has to protect his family or his fellow men against vices that are out to undermine or destroy these virtues.