Islamic Family-life Ethics


Author(s): Ayatullah Husayn Mazaheri

Publisher(s): World Islamic Network (WIN)

Category: Family

Topic Tags: Islam Family Ethics


This book is a presentation of 24 illuminating talks given by Ayatullah Hussein Madhahiri to highlight the concept of the home and family in Islam; a concept that is based on faith and love.

Translator’s Note

“Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home”

John Howard Payne,’ Home Sweet Home

This book is a presentation of 24 illuminating talks given by Ayatullah Hussein Madhahiri to highlight the concept of the home and family in Islam; a concept that is based on faith and love.

For eligible girls and boys this will be invaluable information before they embark on matrimony and make a home of their own.

Islam lays great stress on the importance of the family institution. Today, when we look at the Western society, it gives us a fair idea about the Need of a close-knit family as required in the Islamic society. In the Western society old parents are forced to spend their twilight years in homes for the aged. Perhaps they get all the physical comforts in these homes, but they badly miss the love and affection of their near and dear ones.

Here I would like to mention the experience of a friend of mine and his wife who stayed as paying guests with an old American couple in a small university town for a couple of years. This young couple

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gave a lot of love and affection to the old landlord and his wife. When they were returning home after completing their studies, the old man said with tearful eyes, “Son! With you we really enjoyed true filial love and affection. Our own sons and daughters come to us only for the family get-togethers during the holiday season and seldom bother about us the rest of the year! Now that you are going, we shall badly miss you!”

The foundation for the family and home in the Islamic society that is laid with the marriage of a young couple is the most beloved in the eyes of Allah and flourishes with the passage of time.

The publication of this compendium of the erudite lectures of the learned Ayatullah shall be a guide, Inshallah, for the young individuals who are on the threshold of embarking on married life. Our sincere good wishes and blessings for all such young persons!

The First Talk

1. Compatibility Between Faith and Nature

With the strength given by Allah and the blessings of the Immaculate ones, I am beginning my talks in this Holy Month of Ramadan. As you know, the subject of discussion during these talks will be Islamic family morals and values. I pray to Allah, through the Intercession of Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.), to render this series of talks beneficial for the audience. The first talk presented today is the preface, which is to be followed with relevant discussions in the subsequent sessions.

From the study of the Holy Quran we learn that

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Islam is the faith of nature. This means that there is absolute compatibility between faith and nature. Allah says in the Holy Book:

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَکَ لِلدِّینِ حَنِیفًا فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتیِ فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَیهَْا لَا تَبْدِیلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِکَ الدِّینُ الْقَیِّم

So set thy purpose for religion as a man by nature upright—the nature of Allah, in which He hath created man. There is no altering the laws of Allah’s creation. That is the right religion. (Sura ar--Rum, 30:30).

This means that Islam is the faith that wants its followers to tread the middle-path and that it is in accordance with nature and shall be there for all times. There is balance in Islam, neither shortage nor excess. This is also the reason that the Prophet of Islam (s) is the last of all the prophets sent to the world by Allah. There shall be no change in the fundamentals of faith in the future.

Today’s discussion will mainly focus on ‘nature’. Nature is commonly taken to mean creation. I invite rapt attention of my learned and knowledgeable audience. As all of us know, our knowledge is of two types. One is the knowledge acquired through instruction and the other is that which is acquired through instinct. An example of the first type of knowledge is a lecture given by a teacher to the pupils in a class. Another example is the talk that I am giving to you now that you are listening to, with rapt attention! This type of knowledge is related

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to, and directly proportional to, the wisdom or intelligence of the subject. The second type of knowledge is related to the instinct of the person.

This type of knowledge is not acquired or learnt, but is present in people. This knowledge is not related to the intelligence of a person but it is related to his instinct. For example: a person feels hungry and the hunger is satiated once he takes his food. To know that one is hungry or thirsty is also knowledge but this type of knowledge cannot be acquired through learning, it is present in people and has been placed in man by Allah. Man feels hunger, thirst, cold, heat etc. through his instinct. When he drinks water, his thirst is quenched. Instinct is also of two types. One type of instinct is common to all animals, and is perhaps stronger in animals. The examples I have given are examples of this type of instinct. Instinct works without any intervention on the part of the person. With regard to instinct, when man exercises his discretion, it is called nature. Nature needs to be supported by knowledge and requires man to pay attention and exercise his discretion.

2. The Nature of knowing or understanding Allah

A human being possesses innumerable instincts. One of these is the instinct of recognizing Allah or God. This means that man always makes an effort to find God.

Instinctively a person recognizes Allah. If the curtains are raised and man gets rid of his baser traits, he will find Allah just as a

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thirsty person finds water to quench his thirst. This faculty of recognizing Allah has nothing to do with education and training. It is instinctive and results only from intuition. Every one of us has, at some time or other, experienced obstructions in our lives. There are occasions when we find ourselves totally helpless. On the face of it, there appears to be no place for us to turn. This is the time when, like a thirsty person, we find Allah. In the Holy Quran, in more than twenty verses, clear mention is made about this. For example:

فَإِذَا رَکِبُواْ فیِ الْفُلْکِ دَعَوُاْ اللَّهَ مخُْلِصِینَ لَهُ الدِّینَ فَلَمَّا نجََّئهُمْ إِلیَ الْبرَِّ إِذَا هُمْ یُشْرِکُون

And when they board the ships they pray to Allah, making their faith pure for Him only, but when He bringeth them safe to land, behold! They ascribe partners (unto Him). (Sura ‘Ankabut 29:65).

When a person is on the high seas and his boat capsizes due to the ferocious waves, and he finds himself cut off from all sides, this is when according to the Holy Quran, he recognizes Allah. He now pleads with Allah for succor. In this condition he calls the one and only Creator, Allah, and forgets his many gods. The calamity makes the person a monotheist, because all his attention is focused on one God. This is the crucial moment when a person finds Allah! At this moment the man believes in the Lord who is All-hearing and All-seeing, he believes in the Lord who

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is Beneficent and Omnipotent. The man discovers the ‘absolute truth’ in these adverse circumstances.

When a person finds himself confronted with calamities from all sides and says, “O Allah! You are able to do everything, deliver me. You know my predicament! You are kind to me! You are Most Merciful! You are Bountiful!” Thus when the person is in dire circumstances, he recognizes the one who is perfect, and in doing so he comprehends the unity of Allah and, as mentioned in the Holy Quran, calls to Allah only!

A hundred and twenty four thousand prophets came to this world, with the sole purpose of keeping alive this human instinct of recognizing Allah. This is the natural instinct that gets revived in the hearts of men in times of need. The prophets came to keep this instinct alive, to make man reach that stage where he will always search for Allah. The purpose of the prophets, the pulpit, the prayer niche (mahrab) and worship is to ensure that man always remembers Allah. In Surah Taha, Allah illustrates this point thus:

إِنَّنیِ أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنیِ وَ أَقِمِ الصَّلَوهَ لِذِکْرِی

Lo! I, only I, am Allah. There is no god save Me. So serve Me and establish prayer for my Remembrance. (Sura Taha 20:14).

How will you understand that there is only one god? To understand this, you will have to pray to Him. This is because performing the prayers (salah) is communicating with Allah. According to the ayah, the pulpit and

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the prayer niche are for the sole purpose of attaining nearness to Allah and to understand His Omnipotence. A hundred and twenty four thousand prophets came to this world with their messages. Their aim was to ensure that man recognised Allah and didn't forget Him! Man has to be as restless in search of Allah just as a thirsty person searches for water! O man, you too should always thirst for your Lord. If people strive to see through the eyes of their hearts, they will always have communion with Allah! They will attain a status that is highlighted in the Holy Quran as follows:

رِجَالٌ لَّا تُلْهِیهِمْ تجَِرَهٌ وَ لَا بَیْعٌ عَن ذِکْرِ الله

Man whom neither merchandise nor sale beguileth from remembrance of Allah…(Sura An-Nur 24:37)

If man becomes Allah’s true servant, then no impediment can ever hamper him. If we cannot see Allah with the eyes of our hearts then, as the Holy Quran says, there is a curtain pulled over our eyes!

If a person becomes a truly dedicated creature of Allah, then he will not experience any impediments in his path. If we cannot witness Allah through the eyes of our hearts then, the Holy Quran says, there is a curtain that is in front of us. If one doesn’t search for Allah in the way a thirsty man searches for water, if Allah doesn’t reign supreme over his heart, then know that some curtain is drawn over the eyes of the heart. If these curtains are raised,

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the person will find Allah, because finding Allah is embedded in human nature. When man finds Allah, he finds that he is insignificant, he is nothing and humbles himself in front of his Lord.

3. Prayer is Instinctive

Prayer is also instinctive. Fasting during this Holy month of Ramadhan is in accordance to mans’ nature, because when man recognizes his Lord, he wants to get closer to Him. In the Holy Month of Ramadan, fasting brings man closer to Allah.

We notice that some people draw a lot of pleasure fasting in this felicitous month. Imam Sajjad (a.s) used to express extreme happiness at the commencement of the month of fasting. As the month drew to a close, he used to cry.

A person who has recognized his Lord, and has removed the curtains from his heart gets so much pleasure from offering prayers, that nothing else can compare with it. He enjoys it so much that according to Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.):

“Offering two genuflections (rakaat) of prayer in the night is more dear and superior to me than all the good in this world.”— Wasail Shia, Vol 5, Page 286

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq says that if someone offered him all the riches of the world for not offering the two rakaat of the Night Prayer (Salatul Layl), he would refuse to accept it! The reason for this rejection is that the Imam (a.s.) is aware of Allah. He has attained proximity to Allah and is aware that absolute humility before the Creator is achieved with

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salah. Being charitable is not difficult for him because it gives him pleasure. When a person reaches this stage, he sacrifices not only his worldly belongings but also his own life and dear ones in the way of Allah. The Holy Quran has observed in this regard:

تَتَجَافیَ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ یَدْعُونَ رَبهَُّمْ خَوْفًا وَ طَمَعًا وَ مِمَّا رَزَقْنَهُمْ یُنفِقُونَ (*) فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّا أُخْفِیَ لهَُم مِّن قُرَّهِ أَعْینُ ٍ جَزَاءَ بِمَا کاَنُواْ یَعْمَلُون

Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of what we have bestowed on them. No soul knoweth what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do. (Sura Al Sajdah 32:16,17 )

The Holy Book says that there are some people who have recognized Allah and have drawn aside the veils of the heart. These are the people who leave their beds in the darkness of the night and stand for salahul layl, and spend out of whatever Allah has given them. . The delight one experiences by reciting salahul layl and being charitable can be understood only by those who have reached this stage. When a person recognizes Allah, salah and sawm (fasting) come naturally to him. Deriving joy from salah and fasting become natural for him. He not only pays khums and zakat, but is willing to sacrifice everything in the way of Allah. Sacrificing himself and his children comes naturally to him. He does not need to be told to fulfill

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his obligations. On the contrary, fulfilling his obligations is a routine thing for him.

If a person is able to recognize Allah the way He should be recognized, then he strives to offer salah, fast and pay khums or zakat. Now he will wish to circumambulate the Kaaba. He has his sights on performing the Sai (the obligatory rounds) between the hillocks of Safa and Marwah. He wishes to do everything that pleases Allah, whom he has recognized! It is He who is ruling over his heart. Nothing else will find a niche in his heart when one has achieved this level of dedication. All the mandatory and optional worship become instinctive for him. He recognizes Allah with his heart’s eyes as one instinctively recognizes hunger and thirst.

Some people can perceive, instinctively, all perfections in Allah, and thus love Him. These individuals have such profuse love for Allah that, in sheer impudence, when Ibn Ziyad confronted Sayyida Zainab in his court saying, “Have you not seen how Allah has treated you!” she stood up and said, “Do you not perceive? Are you blind? In Kerbala, I saw nothing except good from Allah. I have sacrificed my brother for the sake of Allah, whom I have recognized.” When an individual finds Allah, then Jihad, Amr-bil-Maroof (enjoining righteousness) and Nahi-an-il-munkar (forbidding evil), befriending Allah’s friends and shunning His enemies becomes instinctive for him. If a human being wishes to remain a human being, it is necessary for him to fast. Fasting

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brings one closer to Allah. If a person desires to become complete he has to get close to Allah. Then all other obligations like khums, zakat etc. will become his instinctive practice. In a nutshell all Islamic practices become instinctive for the Mu’min.

If we wish to attain this stage, we should purge all the curtains from our hearts, recognize Allah and strengthen our beliefs. One should not allow his beliefs to weaken. If anyone in this gathering finds salah to be a burden, he is ill. Sometimes people are hungry, but they don’t know that they are hungry because they are ill. He is not interested in food, even though he has not eaten for two days. Because of his illness, the instinct for hunger has been suppressed. The person who listens to these lectures in this Holy Month of Ramadan, but is not motivated to give charity, is sick too. He is like a person who has not eaten for a couple of days and still has no inclination to eat. He has reached a stage where heavy curtains have veiled his heart; these are the curtains of being engrossed in the world, of bad traits, of repeatedly sinning. He has reached a stage where salah, which has been described as the food for the soul, gives him no joy. He cannot even correctly fast, an act which connects one with Allah and is a source of delight for the perfect man.

Once, during the time of the

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Holy Prophet (s), a lamb was slaughtered and its meat distributed. The Prophet enquired whether anything was remaining. Someone told him “Only the neck is left, everything else has been distributed for the sake of Allah”. The Prophet said “No, you should say that everything else is there, only the neck has been wasted, because the neck has not yet been given.” Being charitable, doing tawaf (circumambulating) of the Ka’ba, being friends with the friends of Allah and being the enemy of His enemies are things which don’t require to be proven.

You must have proof and evidences for your beliefs. There are many people who can explain the philosophy of Mulla Sadra well, but does this mean that worship comes naturally to them? These things don’t require education. Some illiterate people are better than philosophers because they have cleansed their hearts. They have been successful in illuminating their dark hearts because of their love for Allah. Because they perform the obligatory and recommended worships, and especially because they avoid sin, their hearts are enlightened by Allah. Their example is like that of iron in fire. When iron is put into fire it becomes so red that it cannot be distinguished from the fire. What is required is to avoid sin and purify oneself.

4. Importance of Prayer

إِنَّنیِ أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنیِ وَ أَقِمِ الصَّلَوهَ لِذِکْرِی

Lo! I, only I, am Allah. There is no god save Me. So serve Me and establish worship for My remembrance. (Sura Taha 20:14 )

In this

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verse, Allah points the way to His creatures for achieving His remembrance through prayer. If man wishes to see Allah, he should do it through the vision of the heart. Similarly he can hear Allah through the medium of his heart! The way to achieve both these faculties is through sincere prayer. Man should establish a strong rapport and link with his Lord. This is done through establishing prayer - that is Iqamat as Salah - this is what brings man closer to Allah quickly.

The mandatory prayers must be offered at the earliest, during the scheduled time for each prayer. I also fervently appeal to this knowledgeable gathering that in the ongoing month of Ramadan they should offer the optional Night Prayers (Salaat al-Layl). In this Holy month, prayer should be the source of communion with our Creator, Allah! Lucky is the person who establishes communication with Allah during this blessed month. It will be like conversing with Allah. How can one converse with Allah?! It is possible through recitation of the Holy Quran! Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says:

O servant of Allah! When you recite the Quran and reach where it says ‘ya ayyuhal ladheena aamanu,’ you should say ‘labbayk, labbayk’ [that means ‘Yes, O Lord! Yes, O Lord!’]

There are lots of people who, when they hear ‘ya ayyuhal ladheena…’ they hear only through their mortal ears and not the ears of their hearts. One who hears the word of Allah through the ears of his heart; verily he

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can say ‘labbayk!’ What is the purpose of dua? Dua is to establish close rapport with Allah, it is conversing with Allah! While offering prayer you, particularly I mean the youth, should not let your thoughts wander - whether you have had sufficient food or not, whether the prayer will be answered or not! The prayer should be offered with utmost sincerity, wanting Allah to say, ‘labbayk, labbayk!’ The Holy Quran, in many a place says, “call out to Allah and he will answer you.” One meaning of this statement is that if you call Allah, your prayer will be answered. But the fact is that Allah answers the prayers according to the abilities of the supplicant. If the supplicant has asked for something harmful, Allah gives him better than what he has asked for! ‘Ud-ooni astajib lakum’ - O My creature! Continue conversing with Me!

Prayer is definitely the best way of conversing with Allah. In the salah, reciting the Surahs is Allah talking to the supplicant. In the other parts of the salah the supplicant talks with his Lord. The greatest pleasure in this is for the lover of Allah. The persons whose hearts are ruled by Allah derive the maximum pleasure from their prayers!

5. The Prayer of Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.)

This discussion has prolonged. I therefore wish to conclude it now. But I am confident that it will turn out to be better than what I originally visualized. Lady Fatima Zahra (a.s.) was young. We all know that youth is the period when people

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need more sleep. The youth sleep for longer hours than older people. Once, when Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.) was tired after the hard toil of the daily chores, the Prophet (s) entered her house and found her asleep. She was asleep, but was holding her baby in one arm, while her other hand was on the grinding wheel. Hearing the sound of his steps, she awoke from her slumber.

The Prophet (s) said, “Dearest daughter! Bear the bitterness of this world for the Blessings of the Hereafter!” Fatima Zahra (a.s) was tired, she had small children to tend to, she had no servant to help her in the daily household chores. But when Fizza came to help in the work, the Prophet (s) visited Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.) and suggested to her to share the responsibilities of the daily chores with the new servant! He told her that Fizza too is a human being like her and by sharing the work they could lessen each others burden. He suggested that she should perform the chores herself on one day and the next day Fizza should do the tasks! Fatima Zahra (a.s.) performs the household tasks that are very tiring, similarly she attends to the needs of the husband which is also a difficult task. In the subsequent talks we shall discuss how Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.) performed these tasks so well. But, during the nights, which is the best time for prayers, where is sleep for her?!

There is no

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sign of fatigue. She stands up in prayer so much that her feet swell. It is mentioned about two great personalities who used to stand so much in prayer that their feet were always swollen. One was the Prophet of Allah (s.a.) and the other his daughter, Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.). She used to wake up in the nights and stand in prayer till the dawn. Her supplications always used to be for the benefit of others. Imam Hasan (a.s,) says, “She used to stand in prayer from night until morning! During her supplication she would pray for her neighbors and Muslims in general. Once I suggested to her that it would be nice if she prayed for us as well! She replied, ‘First for the neighbors and then for the members of the family!’”

The Second Talk

1. Islam and Human Inclinations

Islam ordains that we should fulfill our natural instincts and inclinations. It is mentioned in many traditions that human beings have no right to suppress their natural instincts and emotions under false notions of morality.

The Quran says that just as a person should be concerned about his hereafter, he should also be concerned about his worldly life. He should also be concerned about his natural inclinations and emotions.

وَ ابْتَغِ فِیمَا ءَاتَئکَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الاَْخِرَهَ وَ لَا تَنسَ نَصِیبَکَ مِنَ الدُّنْیَا وَ أَحْسِن کَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَیْکَ وَ لَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فیِ الْأَرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا یحُِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِین

And seek the abode of the hereafter in that which Allah hath given thee and neglect

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not thy portion of the world, and be thou kind even as Allah hath been kind to thee, and seek not corruption in the earth; Lo! Allah loveth not corrupters. (Sura al Qasas 28:77)

This means that you should utilize whatever wealth and status Allah has bestowed on you to prepare for your hereafter. But remember that you should not ignore your worldly needs in the process. You should strike a balance between the two and not lean overly to one side. Getting totally absorbed with worldly matters only is not desirable. Similarly, dedicating one’s wealth, health, youth and wisdom only for the hereafter too is not required of a person.

During the time of the Prophet (s) and his vicegerents, some people had adopted a misguided way. They wrongly thought that a person has to think only of the hereafter all the time and that the world should be shunned. They believed that they should abstain from the natural and legitimate instincts. But when the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.) learnt of this erroneous view, they opposed it strongly.

The author of Wasail quotes one tradition thus: Three women approached the Prophet (s) one day. One of them said, “O Prophet! My husband has shunned the company of his wife.” The second said, “My husband has stopped eating meat!” The third said, “My husband has stopped using perfume!” Hearing the women, the Prophet (s) was upset. He saw that misguided ideas were beginning to take root amongst his followers.

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Although it was not the time for any mandatory prayer, he proceeded to the mosque. He went in such a great hurry that even his cloak was not properly placed on his shoulder and one end of it was touching the ground. He ordered the people to assemble in the mosque. People rushed there leaving aside their tasks. The Prophet (s) ascended the pulpit and said,” I have heard that my companions are getting wrong ideas.” He added, “I am Allah’s Messenger, I eat meat and delicious food! I wear good clothes! I wear perfumes and keep the company of my wives and have conjugal relations with them! Whosoever opposes my ways is not my follower!” The Prophet (s) has repeated this sentence on several occasions: ‘One who does not adopt my ways is not a Muslim’.

There is another anecdote similar to this one, quoted by Faydh Kashani in al-Saafi. This proves the point that the need was very much felt to repeat this important instruction. Once when a verse pertaining to the retribution for sinners in the hereafter was revealed, some believers got very scared and started abstaining from worldly necessities and pleasures. Faydh records that once a woman came to Bibi Ayesha for some errand. Although the woman was married, she was devoid of the normal embellishments married women generally wear. Hadhrat Ayesha asked her, “Has your husband expired?” She replied in the negative and said that he had left home and retired to the wilderness with

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two of his friends for prayer and penance in loneliness. She also said that he had vowed to have no conjugal relations with her. One of her husbands’ friends’ had vowed not to eat good food. The third friend had vowed not to keep social contact with others. Bibi Ayesha related this conversation to the Holy Prophet (s).

The Prophet (s) was very upset with the actions of the three men. This tradition, too, quotes that the Prophet hurried to the mosque in such a state that his cloak was not properly draped over his shoulder. Although it was not yet time for salah, he went to the mosque. He asked people to assemble in the mosque and addressed them from the pulpit. “I have heard that misguided ideas are taking root in the minds of the Muslims. I have heard that some Muslims have retired to the hills and caves to busy themselves in prayers. They do not maintain relations with their wives, they do not eat good food and abstain from meeting people socially. I, your Prophet, do eat good food and keep affectionate relations with my spouses! Faman raghiba an sunnati falaisa minni One who abandons my ways is not from me! Every person who obstructs the growth of progeny, who avoids marrying and spends all his time in prayer is not a Muslim.” This was the way of the Holy Prophet as well as that of the Infallible Imams.

It is recorded in history that when

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Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) entered the Mosque of Kufa for the first time, he found some persons busy offering prayers although it was not yet the time for mandatory prayers. When he enquired about them, he was told that they were ‘Rijal al Haq’ - the People of the Truth! The Imam (a.s.) asked, “Who are these Rijal al Haq?” The reply was, “These are the persons who have forsaken the world. They eat, if they get some food to eat. Otherwise they starve and keep praying in the mosque!” Hadhrat Ali (a.s.) was angry at hearing this. As recorded by Asad al Ghaba, he flogged those people and said, “Don’t set wrong examples for the Muslims! Your practice is un-Islamic!” Then he added in anger, “Even dogs live like you. If someone takes pity on them and gives some food, they eat. Otherwise, they keep starving.” Then Hadhrat Ali (a.s) had them thrown out from the mosque.

At the time when Hadhrat Ali (a.s.) had assumed the temporal Caliphate, he visited Basra. He visited the house of one of the elite persons of the city and objected to the pomp and show on display there. In order to evade Hadhrat Ali (a.s.)’s question, the person changed the subject and said, “O Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.)! I have a brother who lives like a hermit. He avoids all company and has forsaken the world. He sits in one place praying all the while!” Imam (a.s) left the opulent person alone because

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now a more important issue had occupied his attention. He sent for the brother and asked, “Why have you forsaken the world?” The person replied, “O Ali! I see you and I want to be like you!”

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “No! You cannot be like me! I am the chief of the Muslims and the chief must adopt the standard of living of the most downtrodden of the Muslims! For you, the correct way is to adopt the middle path. You should not forsake the world. You must toil to earn a fair livelihood. You must adopt a progressive way of life so that you live contentedly with your wife and children!” In the twelfth chapter of the book Wasail al Shia, there are many traditions of the Imams (a.s.) that condemn procrastination and laziness and exhort Muslims to engage in hard work.

One person came to Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) and said, “O Hadhrat! I have grown very old and have no work. I sit in a corner of the mosque and keep remembering the hereafter! I keep praying!” The person had assumed that the Imam (a.s.) would appreciate and praise his actions. On the contrary, three times the Imam (a.s.) said, “Hadha min amal ash Shaitan” - This is not an act of a human being! This is not the way of a Muslim! This is the way of Satan. Satan has succeeded in his stratagem that is why you have forsaken the world and busied yourself

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only in prayer! The man asked, “O son of the Prophet (s)! Then what should I do?”

The Imam (a.s.) replied, “As long as you have strength in your body and limbs, continue to do work that can benefit you and your family! If you don’t have sufficient work, then help your neighbors and relatives.” Then the Imam added, “Yes! But you must ensure that you don’t sacrifice your hereafter for worldly gains! As soon as the time for a mandatory prayer arrives, leave all else and offer the prayer! Pray when it is time for prayer, and work when it is time for work!”

I would like to say some words about Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.), and I want the young boys and girls to keep in their minds what I am saying. The biographers of Hadhrat Amir al Mu’minin have recorded that he was a lion by day and a supplicant (Abid) at the night. At the time of prayer his dedication would be complete and while at work he would toil so hard that innumerable oases for the benefit of the society are credited to him during the twenty-five years of his working life. He always helped the poor, weak and disabled persons. We should remember that shunning the company of others and suppressing legitimate desires is not allowed in Islam. Islam permits its followers to have legitimate desires and to strive for their fulfillment.

Experience shows and even the psychologists will tell you that people who live in

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isolation, people who shun the world, the youth who can marry but do not, over a period of time their desires descend to the subconscious and these people fall prey to psychological diseases. Once a person is under this psychological pressure he becomes worse than a dog if he were to get any power or authority. If he does not have any power or authority he becomes disheartened, and presents a very morose and gloomy appearance. Such people are unable to socially interact with others. The society shuns them. They may not be economically depressed but are psychologically incapable of taking on the responsibilities of a family. Such men become a source of trouble for themselves and their wives and such ladies remain depressed and it is to be borne in mind that depressed people cannot raise children effectively.

The people who are unable to shoulder the responsibilities of married life, those whose hearts have hardened because of committing sin after sin, fit the following description given by the Holy Quran:

إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابّ ِ عِندَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُکْمُ الَّذِینَ لَا یَعْقِلُون

Lo! The worst of beasts in Allah’s sight are the deaf, the dumb, who have no sense. (Sura al-Anfal 8:22).

Those who have brains but do not think are worse than beasts. They are worse than dogs and the impure (najis) animals. Some people stifle their sexual instinct, while others stifle their natural religious inclination. Both these type of people invite grief and disappointment. The Holy Quran says about such a person that

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he possesses eyes but he cannot see, he has ears but he cannot hear, he owns a heart but is unable to understand. Such a person is like a wild animal or even worse than that. He paves the way to Hell for himself.

وَ لَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ کَثِیرًا مِّنَ الجِْنّ ِ وَ الْانسِ لهَُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا یَفْقَهُونَ بهَِا وَ لهَُمْ أَعْینُ ٌ لَّا یُبْصِرُونَ بهَِا وَ لهَُمْ ءَاذَانٌ لَّا یَسْمَعُونَ بهَِا أُوْلَئکَ کاَلْأَنْعَمِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَئکَ هُمُ الْغَفِلُون

Already have we urged unto Hell many of the jinn and humankind, having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle—nay, but they are worse! These are the neglectful. (Sura al-’Araf 7:179).

This means that a group prepares itself for hell. Their hereafter is Hell. These are the people whose religious instinct has been stifled. Their naturally endowed instinct of searching for God has become extinct. Curbing the religious instinct, of course, is a sin. Suppressing ones sexual instinct, depriving oneself of food, isolating oneself from the society etc. are things which can reach the subconscious level. When this happens it becomes a barrier to perfection. Then it is very difficult to get that person back on track.

2. Life Under Islamic Purview

Islam categorizes human life into three distinct types:

1. Basic life

2. Comfortable life

3. Luxurious life

Basic Life

The basic life is one in which a person is self sufficient in terms of food, clothing and shelter. If a person provides these basic requirements for

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himself and his family, he becomes deserving of rewards from Allah. Later on we shall see that a man who strives hard to provide livelihood for his family and a woman who toils hard at the home to provide comfort to the family deserve a reward equivalent to performing Jihad in the way of Allah.

The person who strives to provide for his family is like the Mujahid who performs Jihad in the way of Allah . Wasail Shia- Vol 12, Page 43

If a person is capable of working for his own upkeep, it is obligatory (wajib) for him to work and not be a burden to others. If a person has the strength to work and provide livelihood to his wife and children but is lazy and neglects his duty, it is prohibited (haram) for him to be lazy and neglectful. The rights of a wife are among the important rights that have been mentioned in Islam. Therefore, if a person is able bodied to earn the essentials of life, then it is crucial and obligatory to acquire these with his own toil. But if a person is disabled, sick or infirm, then it is the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide for his needs. If the Islamic government is unable to do so, then all Muslims are obliged to help all those in need of help.

There is a verse of the Holy Quran which, in the Holy month of Ramadan everyone, particularly the ladies, must bear

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in mind. The verse reads:

لِیُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَهٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَ مَن قُدِرَ عَلَیْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْیُنفِقْ مِمَّا ءَاتَئهُ اللَّهُ لَا یُکلَِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا ءَاتَئهَا

Let him who has abundance, spend of his abundance, and he whose provision is measured, let him spend of that which Allah hath given him. Allah asketh naught of any soul save that which He hath given it. (Sura al Talaaq 65:07).

Quran says that it is essential for every human being that he must take care of his needs and the needs of others within his means. This would mean that if a person has the means of maintaining ten persons, or twenty persons, he should look after them. But if a person cannot maintain ten people, he should be charitable according to his means. He should reduce a morsel from his own iftar and help others with it. Similarly he should give one of his dresses to clothe a needy person. If we ponder upon this verse, we realize that all of us have the means to be charitable. The Prophet of Islam (s) gave a sermon on the last Friday of the month of Shaban and reminded the people that everyone should be concerned about others. They should arrange food for the breaking of the Ramadan fasts. This instruction is especially for those who have the means to do so. One of the listeners of the sermon got up and asked the Prophet (s): “O Prophet of Allah! What should be done by those

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who don’t have the means to serve food for the breaking of the fasts?” The Prophet (s) said, “Feed others even if it is just with a single dry date or a sip of water!” This tradition should not be taken literally to mean that one should offer a single date for iftar and keep count of the number of dates he has given, and when this number reaches a thousand the person thinks that he has given a thousand iftaris. It means that one should serve his fellow men according to ones means. The person who has the means to help others should do so and the person who cannot help others should do whatever he can. Has Allah provided you with iftar? Yes? Then share this iftar with others to the best of your ability. Self-sacrifice is an altogether different topic that is not a part of our discussion today. Today we are discussing that acquiring the essentials of life is mandatory for everyone according to Islam. It is incorrect for a person to be so immersed in worship that he does not acquire the essentials of life. It is also incorrect that a certain section of the society eats and drinks while the poor have to suffer the pangs of hunger.

Comfortable Life

Islam appreciates comfortable life for the people. During the time of the Prophet (s) some people started indulging in a wrong practice. They began to avoid the consumption of good food. It was then that the

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following verse of the Holy Quran was revealed:

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِینَهَ اللَّهِ الَّتیِ أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَ الطَّیِّبَتِ مِنَ الرِّزْق

Say: who hath forbidden the adornment of Allah which He hath brought forth for his bondsmen, and the good things of His providing? (Sura al-’Araf 7:32)

O Muslims! Whatever Allah has provided in this world is for you so that your life is pleasant and comfortable! Then, why do you deny good food to yourselves? Why don’t you marry? Why do you choose not to have children?

Allah says that whatever is there in the world is for you. If the unbelievers eat it is also because of you. Actually, it has been created for you. Heaven has also been created for you, but regarding Heaven, the unbelievers will not even be able to smell its fragrance. This verse shows us that Islam desires a comfortable life for everyone, for all mankind. Those who can provide a pleasant life for their families must do so! Those who can contribute to the comfort of the society and their relatives must do so. Islam permits man to live a comfortable existence in the world. .

Islam has a very effective economic system. It is a pity that while there is plenty of water in the cistern, we, the Muslims, remain thirsty! Islam has a wonderful law called the ‘Qanoone Mawasaat’ or the law of mutual cooperation. Under this law the Muslims are required to cooperate and help each other. But we have forgotten this law.

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Many a time the Prophet (s) used to express his regret from the pulpit that his Umma would ignore the Law of Mawasaat after him. All Muslims must lead comfortable lives. One who deprives himself of a comfortable life, on purpose, is committing a forbidden act according to the Holy Quran. Shunning comforts of life is tantamount to being stubborn. Man should avoid being stubborn and mould his life according to the norms laid down by the Holy Quran. He should not be a slave to his own whims and fancies. He must refer to the examples set by the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.) as his role models for life.

We see that the widows dress in black for the rest of their lives. Quran says that this is a wrong attitude. Such a thing has not been prescribed by the Quran; people have made it up themselves. Some widows refuse to consider marriage. If someone mentions that she should have a husband, she becomes upset. The Quran says that it is wrong for her to become upset. This is a type of stubbornness, and is against the teachings of the Quran and the infallible Imams. We see eligible young men avoiding matrimony, inspite of being able to marry. We see that a young girl rejects the proposals that are made to her saying that there is no hurry. Have they asked their sexual instinct whether there is any hurry or not? Ask those hormones that circulate in

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your blood whether there should be hurry or delay. Ask the Holy Prophet whether you should marry or delay marriage, in your present condition. The Prophet of Islam (s) has said, “Marriage is my Sunnat and one who avoids my sunnat is not from me.”

The girl who prefers to remain a spinster and the young widow who refuses remarriage and the man who remains a bachelor are, according to the Islamic Shariah, not (good) Muslims. Here I would like to say a word of advice to the young men and women that you should not impose your desires and your thoughts on Islam. Instead you must find out what Islam prescribes, you should find out what the Holy Prophet and the Infallible Imams have said, you should find out what your Marja and those who know about Islam say. Acting in matters of Islamic Shariah according to your own inclinations is a grave sin. If someone perpetrates innovations in the matters of Islam, all muslims and especially the erudite scholars are required to raise their voices against such acts. A tradition says that if wrong thoughts or wrong beliefs begin to circulate in the ummat, it is necessary for the erudite scholars to protest. If they do not do so, Allah’s curse will be on them.

Luxurious Life

A life of luxury and lavishness is not desirable in Islam. Islam condemns such life when its practitioners adopt it. Islam condemns becoming a slave to fashion, heavy use of products of beautification, expensively decorated

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homes and wearing of designer and expensive dresses. Islam does not want people to have big desires. Do not desire for more and more. When you have a wife, you should not desire another wife. Spend enough to live in comfort. Quran condemns the expensive way of life in strong terms:

وَ إِذَا أَرَدْنَا أَن نهُّْلِکَ قَرْیَهً أَمَرْنَا مُترَْفِیهَا فَفَسَقُواْ فِیهَا فَحَقَّ عَلَیهَْا الْقَوْلُ فَدَمَّرْنَهَا تَدْمِیرًا

And when We would want to destroy a township We sent commandments to its folk who live at ease, and afterwards they commit abomination therein, and so the word (of doom) hath effect for it, and We annihilate it with complete annihilation. (Sura al-’Isra’ 17:16)

The Holy Quran says that if a community indulges in a life of luxury, then it will certainly get destroyed. This type of life encourages them to indulge in forbidden acts. The above verse pertains to the way of life of communities. But we are now quoting verses from Sura al Waqiah that deal with the way of life of individuals:

وَ أَصحَْبُ الشِّمَالِ مَا أَصحَْبُ الشِّمَال فیِ سمَُومٍ وَ حَمِیم وَ ظِلٍ ّ مِّن یحَْمُوم لَّا بَارِدٍ وَ لَا کَرِیمٍ إِنهَ ُمْ کاَنُواْ قَبْلَ ذَلِکَ مُترَْفِین

And those on the left hand: What of those on the left hand?In scorching wind and scalding water And shadow of black smoke, Neither cool nor refreshing, Lo! Heretofore they were effete with luxury. ( Sura al Waqiah, 56: 41-45)

The Holy Quran says that the people on the left are very ashamed. Who are these people? They are the

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ones who are facing retribution of the Hellfire. They are those who indulged in sin after sin! Then Quran asks: Why do people indulge in sin after sin? It is extravagance, and indulging in luxury that drag a person towards sin. This is the reason that the Holy Quran has ordained:

َ کُلُواْ وَ اشرَْبُواْ وَ لَا تُسرِْفُواْ

Eat and drink but don’t waste ((Sura al-’Araf 7:31)

The Third Talk

1 Biological Scientists on Matrimony

The main topic of our discussion during this session is domestic morals. In this direction whatever we have dealt with in the previous talks was a sort of preface, although rather inadequate! Today’s talk is on the importance of matrimony in light of the findings of the biological scientists.

When the hormones associated with the sexual instinct are released in the body, they bring about a peculiar revolution in the body and soul of a person, whether a girl or a boy. The resulting changes are so obvious that it manifests itself in the appearance of the person. Islam terms this changed condition as the age of buloogh. According to Islam, buloogh is that stage when the hormones associated with the sexual instinct are released and become strong in a person. In other words, the person experiences a strange transition. When these hormones are released, the person automatically experiences an attraction that is called sexual attraction.

Prior to this the sexual instinct was dormant, but now it begins to manifest itself. As soon as this happens, the young person must be handled very

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carefully. I have previously said that if these manifestations are not handled thoughtfully, the results could be serious. We should also bear in mind that the sexual urge is not like the urge for eating and drinking. Sexual urge is also not like the desire to amass wealth, acquire property and other similar human desires. If Freud’s theory has to be accepted, then all the desires have their root in the sexual desire. His theory seems incorrect. But romance, poetry and other related instincts can be connected to the sexual instinct in a person. You very seldom hear that someone has written a poem on bread or water, for instance. But poetry is mostly about love and romance. The love of one person for another arises from the sex instinct that manifests itself in the persons.

Here I would like to make a point to the young sons and daughters! If two young boys, or two young girls, have unusual love and affection for each other, then they must watch out, otherwise they might be exposed to a grave risk. This love must certainly be stopped. They may argue that they are just friends and the friendship is not because of sex instinct, but they are lying. If one person has extreme feelings towards another, it definitely is love. And love is a product of the sex instinct. The purest form of love, unadulterated with any other instinct, can only be one’s love for Allah. One may develop love for

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Imam Hussein (a.s) and Kerbala, or for Imam Zamana. If one has an unusual love for Allah or these personalities, it is certainly a blessing. But if this is not the case, then the affected individual must realise that he is in a very dangerous situation. Reciting poetry for the beloved or becoming a lover of someone is because of the sexual urge.

2. Quranic View of Matrimony

The Holy Verse reads:

لِیُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَهٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَ مَن قُدِرَ عَلَیْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْیُنفِقْ مِمَّا ءَاتَئهُ اللَّهُ لَا یُکلَِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا ءَاتَئهَا

Let him who has abundance, spend of his abundance, and he whose provision is measured, let him spend of that which Allah hath given him. Allah asketh naught of any soul save that which He hath given it. (Sura Al Talaaq 65:07)

This verse pertains to the lives of human beings and this verse is also about wives. Men and women are absolutely natural and essential for each other, in the same way that bread and water are essential. If a person cannot acquire these essentials on his own, others must assist him. Since the sexual instinct is different from other human instincts, the Holy Quran has a specific and distinct commandment about it:

وَ أَنکِحُواْ الْأَیَمَی مِنکمُ ْ وَ الصَّلِحِینَ مِنْ عِبَادِکمُ ْ وَ إِمَائکُمْ إِن یَکُونُواْ فُقَرَاءَ یُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَ اللَّهُ وَسِعٌ عَلِیم

And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maidservants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means,

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Aware. (Sura An-Nur 24: 32)

The importance of matrimony in the society is stressed in this verse. Here the word ‘ankihu’, meaning marry, is used in a collective sense hinting at the importance of matrimony in the society. It is the responsibility of the parents to get their young ones married. If the parents don’t have the means, then the Islamic government must discharge this duty. If it is unable to do so, the society has to bear this responsibility. Quran says that the society has to take the responsibility of helping the poor boys and girls marry. It also says that people should have faith in Allah that after matrimony they will flourish. If you trust in Allah, and believe Him to be the Sustainer, then marry and do not worry unduly about the future!

If your trust in Allah is firm, if you work hard enough, if you follow the commandments of Islam, then fear of poverty should not worry you. Another verse of the Quran exhorts the society to help remove the poverty and penury of individuals. It urges people to help each other in the society. Particularly in the matter of matrimony, the Quran exhorts the society to help those young boys and girls marry, who don’t have the means to meet the expenses of marriage.

3. Matrimony in the Light of Tradition

The author of Wasail is one person who has a right over the Mumineen in general and the Maraji’ in particular. In his invaluable book he has recorded almost six thousand traditions.

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He has recorded traditions that say that there is great felicity for the person who helps a young man get a bride or helps a young girl get married. When one reads these traditions, one feels as if there can be no felicity greater than this.

It is narrated from Imam Musa ibn Jafar (a.s.) that on the Day of Reckoning three types of persons will be under the shade of the Firmament. One of the groups will consist of the persons who helped someone to marry. In this tradition the Imam (a.s.) says that on the Day of Judgment Allah will grant such persons with His Blessings. (Wasail al-Shia, Vol 14, Page 27)

Similar traditions are recorded in other chapters of the book too. The author has recorded more than twenty such traditions. One such tradition is:

“Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) said that a person came to his revered father. The Imam (a.s.) asked him, “Do you have a spouse?” The person replied in the negative. (I mention this especially for the benefit of those young girls and boys who can marry, but won’t) Then the Imam (a.s.) said, “If Allah gives me whatever is there on the earth and asks me to remain without a wife, I would turn down the offer!” Here ‘whatever is on earth’ does not mean millions of dollars, it means the earth and all that it contains. The Imam is addressing girls as well as boys that if Allah gives him the earth and all

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that it contains, but if he is without a spouse even for one night, this wealth has no value. Then the Imam said to that person, “Let me tell you the difference between those who have spouses and those who don’t. If a married man or woman offers two rakaat of prayer, it is more felicitous than the worship of an unmarried person, who prays at night and fasts during the day.”

It is narrated from the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s) that no house is liked more by Allah than that which is built on the foundation of matrimony. This tradition points to a very special fact. The fact is that when you get a young girl and a young boy married, you are helping to make a home! What is more felicitous - making a home or making a mosque or a school? The Holy Prophet (s) says that when young couples marry and make their homes, it is definitely more felicitous!

There are several other traditions stressing the importance of matrimony in Islam. The least reward is stated in the tradition that says that when a married man or woman offers the morning prayers, a reward of forty rakaats is entered in their record of deeds. It means that the rewards for all the prayers offered by married persons are enhanced 70 times! This is the importance of matrimony in Islam.

To the contrary, about those young men and women who can marry but won’t marry, the Prophet

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(s) and the Imams (a.s.) have made the following observation: The lowest of the men are those who die single.

There are several other such traditions that severely condemn men and women remaining unmarried. I am not recounting them here because they can cause a feeling of depression in the minds of the audience! If the readers wish to know more about these, they may refer to Volume 16 of Wasail al Shia.

The sayings of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.) are no exaggerations. The Shias of the Ahl al Bayt have a special belief. Their belief is that all the Divine Commandments are based on attaining certain advantages (Masaleh) and avoiding certain evils (Mafasid). If Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has given certain orders, it follows that there must be some reason for it. If Imam Baqir (a.s.) has asked men to refrain from certain things, there must be something negative about them. This is a confirmed belief of the Shias.

4. Importance Of Sexual Instinct In Islam

The instinct of sex is different from other instincts in the human beings. When other instincts reach a peak and become strong, they make the person helpless. Sexual instinct is different in this aspect. Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) could resist all the temptations of Zuleikha and was able to shake her off. Zuleikha had already made up her mind. According to the Quran, if it were not for Prophet Yusuf’s infallibility and his firm determination, he too would have succumbed.

When Hadhrat Yusuf was again confronted with

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a bevy of beautiful women at Zuleikha’s chambers, they cut their hands, instead of cutting the apples. All those beautiful women became attracted to and desired Yusuf (a.s.). From this very difficult situation too Prophet Yusuf came out unscathed. Here I would like to quote a verse from the Holy Quran that I request the young ones and their parents to bear in mind:

قَالَ رَبّ ِ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلیَ َّ مِمَّا یَدْعُونَنیِ إِلَیْهِ وَ إِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنیّ ِ کَیْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَیهِْنَّ وَ أَکُن مِّنَ الجَْهِلِین

He said my Lord I prefer the prison to them, and if Thou will not fend off their wiles from me I shall incline unto them and become of the foolish. (Sura Yusuf, 12 :33).

Prophet Yusuf says that if Allah had not been merciful, he would have been trapped by the women and become wretched and helpless. In the sentence ‘akoon minal jaheleen,’ jahl means desire overcoming intellect. Thus in this verse, Yusuf (a.s.) is quoted saying that O lord you were merciful, you helped me to overcome my sexual instinct. These verses pertaining to Prophet Yusuf prove that the sexual instinct is different from other instincts. If we ponder over the fact, we find that Islam has a very unique view regarding the sexual instinct. The unique thing is that it doesn’t ask its followers to suppress this instinct. People should not do anything that might extinguish this instinct forever. Therefore, the first commandment is that people should not look at one another with lust or amorous intent.

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This is a sort of defensive measure and is not asking total abstention. Viewing someone with lustful looks is considered sinful. Looking at someone with desire causes the person to become wretched, because one glance can be enough to cause infatuation, which is a disease worse than cancer.

Therefore the Holy Quran addresses every lady and says: “O lady! When you move with, or talk to a male stranger you must exercise care in selection of your dress and your behavior. O lady! If you are put in a situation when you must speak with a male stranger, then talk only to the extent that it is absolutely essential”.

Even while conversing with someone over the telephone, the talk should be restricted to the bare necessities. When a woman walks in the lane, she should ensure that the chador is worn properly. Also, the chador should not be of a material that might attract attention of the wayfarers. The footwear and the posture of walking too should not be such that men become aware of you. If your chador is transparent, this is oppression because it can arouse passions. If a youth gets motivated due to the carelessness of women, it might often be difficult for him to control his sexual instinct.

We conclude from the foregone discussion that the sex instinct requires the attention of the parents and the young boys and girls. The instinct will be at its zenith from the age of fifteen or sixteen years to about

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28 years. During these twelve to fifteen years one can have the legitimate pleasures of the sex instinct. After this period the Need of a wife or a husband starts tapering down. But the society has grown so callous, that a major part of this prime period is spent by the youth without matrimony because of economic and other reasons.

5. Moderation In Dowry

If we avoid extravagance and luxurious life, then all our social problems can be resolved. Is it not possible that the excessive dowry that we give to one daughter be distributed among ten such daughters, so that ten girls can be married! The ladies and gentlemen in our society might not agree to such a suggestion. But Islam says this is possible! Maula Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) is an example for our society. There is a couplet written by Imam Ali (a.s.) in which he says that a luxurious life makes one mentally weak and destroys him psychologically. This is the thing which causes pride in individuals and the society and makes man a worshipper of things other than his Lord. Man becomes a slave to the society. This curse of dowry that the parents have to bear is like a yoke, breaking their backs. Marrying a daughter is akin to being ground with a mortar and pestle. We are all neck deep in this morass – you, me, the villager, the city dweller, the wise, the ignorant, the learned, the illiterate – all of us are involved in this.

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If we are contented in the matter of dowry, we shall be able to marry away several daughters in the place of one. You might say this frugality is not possible. I insist that it is possible!

An anecdote reported by Ayatullah Haeri should serve as an example for all of us. He reports that once, while a Shaykh was seated with a group of his students, a trader brought a cloak for him. He saw that the cloak was very good, but wearing it would be unbefitting for him. On the other hand, refusing a gift, too, would not be correct. Therefore he asked the trader about the cost of the cloak. The trader did not want to reveal the price of the cloak. So the Shaykh asked him, how many ordinary cloaks could be bought for the price of that expensive cloak. The trader said that about eighteen ordinary cloaks could be bought for that money. The Shaykh said, I accept this cloak, but is it possible to get this cloak exchanged for eighteen ordinary cloaks?” The trader agreed to the suggestion, took away the expensive cloak and returned with eighteen ordinary cloaks. The Shaykh distributed the cloaks among his students and draped one over his own shoulder. Then he turned towards the trader and asked him, “Is this gift from you better or the earlier expensive cloak that you brought for me? If I had worn that cloak, I would have been the only person wearing it. But

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now there are eighteen persons wearing new cloaks!” You might say that such things are not possible in our daily lives. I say, they are possible, and should be possible. We all have to answer to Allah for our deeds. A tradition says: Each one of you is a ruler, and every ruler will be questioned about the people under his rule.

Dear young people! If we wish to revolutionize our lives, get rid of worries and remove the ills from our society, we shall have to take a second look at our ethics and character! We shall have to reform our domestic ethics. We should tell our daughters that the heavy dowries that they carry at the time of their wedding could suffice for giving dowries to as many as sixteen brides. Thus, she can have the pleasure of celebrating the wedding of sixteen sisters.

Today’s discussion is incomplete. Inshallah, I shall continue this discussion in my subsequent talks.

The Fourth Talk

1. Obstruction To Matrimony

Today’s discussion will focus on the impediments that the present society wrongly imposes to obstruct matrimony. I shall dwell on these very briefly. Removing these impediments by delivering one or several talks on the matter might not be possible. But I am certain my talk will start the audience thinking!

2. Making Lame Excuses

The first impediment in the way of matrimony of young people is the making of lame excuses, sometimes by the prospective bride and sometimes by the prospective groom. Sometimes even the parents come up with illogical excuses for not getting

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their young children married. These excuses have, in several cases, resulted in girls of the age of thirty remaining at home, unmarried. There are also persistent bachelors of forty plus years of age! When they are asked the reason for not marrying, they say that they couldn’t find a suitable match! Here I would like to say something. I shall also dwell on this matter in my subsequent talks .It is not possible for a girl or a boy to find a match which is 100 percent to her/his liking. In normal circumstances if someone fits the bill about fifty percent, it should be fine. If the requirements are met up to about seventy percent, the match can be considered excellent.

Many illogical excuses are made even by families who claim to be religious. The worldly types have different reasons and excuses. For example, the boy expects a house along with the bride, or considers beauty to be a must in his future wife, or wants to marry into a family with a very high status. He is unable to get the bride of his choice because he himself comes from a family with a lower status. So he keeps waiting to find such a match. Similarly, girls remain unmarried because their mothers say that the prospective groom doesn’t own a house, is short in height or doesn’t have the desired good looks! These are mere excuses. These are things which the intellect cannot accept as valid excuses. In this

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gathering itself, perhaps, there are several girls who might have received twenty or more proposals that must have been refused on such flimsy grounds. There must also be such boys in this gathering who are trying to get married for the last two to three years but have been unable to get a suitable bride, even while there must be many girls amongst their relatives or neighbors. But they must have found some flaw in each one of them, and are still searching. In the end these excuses will lead them to a very bad wife.

The Prophet of Islam (s.a.) used to say, “O people! When your daughter reaches the age of consent, get her married. A mature girl is like a ripe fruit on a tree. If it is not picked on maturity, it will fall and go waste. Similarly when a girl matures, if she does not get married, she will waste. Same is true for the sons. If a boy reaches the marriageable age and does not marry, he too will be wasted. There used to be several people making such excuses even in the gatherings addressed by the Prophet (s). Some of them asked, “O Prophet of Allah! What sort of match we should find for our daughters?” The Prophet (s) replied, “The Mu’minin are matches for each other.” (that is, some have the same status as some others) Wasail al Shia, Vol 14, Page 39

A mu’min is one who has a good character, follows

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the faith implicitly, and he is the kufu or match for another mu’min. If such a person asks for the hand of your daughter in marriage, agree to the proposal.

The people asked, “O Prophet (s)! Who is a match?”

The Prophet (s) repeatedly said:

“If you find a boy whose akhlaq (ethics) are good and follows the Faith properly, give your daughter in marriage to him. If matches are made without considering the aspects of akhlaq and faith, it will cause mischief and disturbance in the Islamic Society.

Wasail al Shia, Vol 14, Page 51

What more mischief and disturbance could there be in the Islamic society than is prevailing now? The Prophet of Islam (s) said from the pulpit that one should look for a boy with good moral character and faith as a match for their daughters. When a mother looks for a match for her daughter she should check whether the boy is proud, or jealous. She should check whether the akhlaq of the boy is sound. It has been quoted in the traditions that if someone looks only for the apparent good looks and the wealth in fixing matches for their children, the consequences of such marriages are tragic. If wealth is the only criterion for a match, you will end up with regret, because such a match will be proud of his wealth or good looks or ancestry, and it is this pride which becomes a cause for differences and wretchedness later on. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “Give

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your daughter to a person who practices the faith properly. If he likes and loves her, he will respect her. Even if he doesn’t like her, his faith will not permit him to be cruel to her.” How felicitous is this tradition of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.)! I suppose there is not even one person in this gathering who has not made such excuses, even though the Prophet (s) himself has not attached any importance to them, rather has negated them.

During the times of the Prophet (s), some unusual matches have taken place so that these flimsy excuses are eliminated. Examples are the marriages of Juwaybir, Zubair and Miqdad. The Prophet (s) got a beautiful girl with good akhlaq married using faith as the only criterion to establish the fact that the basis of marriage should be religion and akhlaq, not good looks or ancestry. I do not say that you should totally disregard other factors. I say that the criterion for marriage should be faith and akhlaq. If you like a girl seventy percent, you should not make further excuses in finalizing the match. You should not take recourse to istakhara, which is only meant for special situations when human wisdom and discretion fail, and it is not possible to obtain the opinion and advice of other Mu’minin. In situations where confusion prevails, istekhara can be resorted to.

But in situations where everything is crystal clear, when the intellect can guide you, when a proposal has come from a

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boy who fits well into the norms of piety and morals, doing an istakhara is meaningless. Istakhara in Islam, in fact, means that a person offers two rakaats of prayer and thereafter says the following words a hundred times, “Astakhirullaha be rehmateh” (O Allah! Make what I am going to do felicitous for me!). Thereafter he should busy himself with what he had planned to do. The work will, God willing, be good for him. This is the istakhara that the author of Kitabe Jawahir has recommended in his book. It means to ask the best from Allah in your works. Sometimes when an istakhara comes negative, people do it again and again till they get a positive response. This is absolutely wrong.

In conclusion we would like to say that the excuses made by parents or the boys and girls for avoiding and postponing matrimony must be avoided. Instead, we should place trust in Allah. Allah will set the future right. According to the Holy Quran one should neither grieve over the past, nor be fearful about the future.

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِیَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَیْهِمْ وَ لَا هُمْ یحَْزَنُون

Lo! Verily the friends of Allah are (those) on whom fear (cometh) not, nor do they grieve. ( Sura Yunus, 10: 62).

The friends of Allah neither grieve over the past nor are they fearful about the future because they place their trust in Allah. We too should, in matters of matrimony, stop making excuses and make positive decisions putting absolute trust in

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Allah. These excuses have all been rejected and refuted by the Prophet (s), the Imams (a.s.) and the religious scholars.

We quote here an incident about Kashif al Ghita, who was a Marjae Taqleed. There are very few examples like him in wisdom, erudition and chivalry. One day, after the lesson he said to his students, “I have a daughter who has reached the age of consent. If I find a morally upright and religious young person, I shall give her in marriage to him.” Hearing this, one of the students got up and sat down. According to the custom of that time, this meant that he was offering himself as a match for the daughter of the eminent cleric. Kashif al Ghita asked the boy to follow him home and adjourned the class. The student went behind him. The cleric knew that the boy was morally upright and a good student in the group. He knew that the boy was a good practitioner of the moral values of Islam. But neither did he have any wealth nor property. Kashif al Ghita told his daughter that there was a proposal for her from a boy who was morally and religiously upright but had no worldly wealth. Would she be interested in marrying the boy? She told her father that all the authority vested in him. The contract of marriage was immediately drawn; the young couple was tied in wedlock. Kashaf al Ghita vacated one room at his house and settled

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the couple there. When he got up for the night prayer, he knocked at the door of the young couple and said, “I have placed a container of water at the door of such and such room. Go and offer prayers.” The couple performed ghusl and recited Salahul Layl. The story we have related about Kashif al Ghita, it doesn’t conclude here because:

وَ الَّذِینَ جَهَدُواْ فِینَا لَنهَْدِیَنهَُّمْ سُبُلَنَا وَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِین

As for those who strive for Us, we surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good.

(Sura Ankabut, 29 :69).

Those who strive in Allah’s cause have been promised help by Him. Khashif al Ghita’s son-in law, Shaykh Muhammad Taqi, reached such a high state of learning that he could write a commentary on ‘Ma-alim’. Even now, after three to four hundred years his commentary is recognized as very authoritative. All the sons of Kashif al Ghita became mujtahids. His family was so morally upright and religious that all the scholars of Isfahan were humble before them. The marriage which takes place according to the wishes of Allah and the Prophet (s) will be very felicitous. Quran wants us to marry on the basis of Islamic principles. This is the way of the Prophet (s), the Infallible Imams (a.s.) and the way of the mujtahids.

Allama Majlisi was an erudite scholar but was also very wealthy. To gauge his learning, a glance at his book Bihar al Anwaar should be sufficient. We can say with

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confidence that so far, after him, a scholar of his erudition has not been born. Allama Majlisi had a daughter who was not only a scholar and a mujtahida, but also very beautiful too. As far as lineage was concerned, she belonged to one of the highly respected families of the time. Allama Majlisi arranged her marriage to his student, Sayyid Saleh Mazandarani, who had no name, fame and property worth a mention. But he was religious, morally upright and a good student of religion. Allama Majlisi married his daughter to him because of his good akhlaq. It is said that once Mazandarani was unable to solve a question of jurisprudence. When he came home and referred it to her, she was able to give a learned reply to the question! Although the daughter was not an ordinary person, the Allama selected this youth as a match for her because he found him morally upright and religious. He was a father who made no recourse to excuses. He used to say that the Prophet of Islam (s) has said:

“When a person approaches you for the hand of your daughter, and you are sure about his good character and practice of the faith, then give your daughter in marriage to him. If you don’t do this, then there will be much mischief on the face of the earth!”

3. Unnecessary Show

The second impediment is more important and more difficult to avoid these days. In the earlier days the bride used to bring a Quran

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with her. Gradually a candle holder was added to the list, and all of you know what the list includes today. The things have reached such a pass that even if the groom sells himself, he cannot buy the quantity of gold that he has to give to the bride at the time of the marriage. This prompts young boys to refuse matrimony. If the bride carries a Quran and an ordinary mirror with her, can it not suffice? What difference does it make if the groom brings an ordinary ring for the bride? What calamity will befall if the bride presents the groom an Aqeeq ring? Instead of this a chain of gold is put in the neck of the groom as if the hanging noose has been put on his neck! The first problem is that he cannot offer prayers with gold around his neck! The second problem and wretchedness is that if at the time of solemnization of Seegha e Nikaah the groom wears a golden ring on his finger and a golden chain on his neck, sins will be recorded on his book of deeds because ornamentation of men with gold is forbidden (Haram). Gold rings, watches, chains, spectacle frames and all things which are ornamentation for men fall under the forbidden category. Now, what difference does it make if the groom wears a silver chain or a silver ring studded with an aqeeq or even if he wears nothing at all on his finger? Even

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if people pass comments, neither will the sky fall on the earth, nor will the earth rise upto the sky. On the contrary, it is our bad deeds that spoil the skies and destroy the earth.

Is there anyone bold enough to break these unpleasant practices? But these practices cannot be done away by the efforts of a few people. All of us have to work towards it. We know that the city of Qum has certain distinguishing qualities. Cannot the people of Qum take the lead in putting an end to these practices? They should stop the practice of bringing expensive mirrors and candelabra as part of the bride’s trousseau and conduct simple marriages. Slowly all other places will follow suit, and a day will come when the Islamic government will declare that we are the ones who have rid ourselves of this menace.

One person came to the presence of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.). The Imam (a.s.) asked him if he was married? The man replied in the negative. The Imam (a.s.) then said that if the entire world and all that it contained was given to him for remaining without his spouse for a night, he would not accept it. Then he said that a two-unit salah of a married man or woman is more felicitous than the entire night worship of a single person. Wasail al Shia, Vol 14, Page 2

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) gave seven dinars to a person and asked him to go and get

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married. Those days the amount was sufficient for a modest wedding. Nowadays, one may have to sell his house to be in a position to arrange his wedding! This extravagance is not liked by Allah.

Once the Prophet of Islam (s) was seated with his companions when a woman came to his presence and said, “O Prophet of Allah! I am not married. Kindly arrange my marriage.” The Prophet (s) turned towards his companions and said, “Is any one of you willing to marry this woman?” One of the companions stood up and gave his consent. The Prophet asked him what he could offer for the dowry. The man said that he had nothing except the shirt that he was wearing. The Prophet (s) asked him if he remembered anything from the Holy Quran. The man said he remembered only one chapter, Waqiya, from the Holy Book. The Prophet (s) then asked the woman if she was willing to accept the chapter as the dowry for her marriage to the man. When the woman agreed, the marriage was solemnized. The Prophet (s) used to give lessons to the people that they should not make excuses for delaying marriages. Today people from all fields including clerics, traders, the learned, the illiterate, the rural and the urban populations are involved in this undesirable practice. Why? The affluent sections are more involved in this than the poorer sections. Just think why people make excuses for delaying marriages. Why are they taking shelter behind istakhara

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to invent excuses for delaying and postponing marriages? The things have reached such a pass that even while the Seegha e Nikah is being recited, the groom is thinking of how and when he will clear the loan he has incurred for buying the gold for the marriage. Does this not happen? Can the marriages not be solemnized without giving gold?! People should have trust in Allah that He will give more in the future! It is not at all possible that a good act performed in the way of Allah remains without reward! When you do something for a common person, he thanks you. If you do something for Allah, do you think Allah will not bless you?

O mothers! Gold can be gifted even after the marriage. Your main concern should be to find a good groom for your daughter who will love her. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that even if the husband doesn’t love his wife, his faith should be such that it does not allow him to be cruel to her and does not permit him to make her unhappy. However we find that even if the husband can cover his wife with gold ornaments from head to toe, he doesn’t do it, because before marriage his feelings were abused, by your placing obstructions in the path of marriage. O mothers, by making these excuses you are abusing his feelings and love.

In the days gone by, a custom was that the groom was given some clothes

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after the proposal was accepted. Then a box of sweets was added to the list. Now it is said it doesn’t look nice that only the groom is given gifts and the mother-in-law is given nothing, so something should be given to her too. Those who have the means can give and will definitely give. But what of those who do not have the means? They are forced into debts. A person who earns on a daily basis, a person who is not in a position to buy a kilo of apples for his children or a kilo of fruit for them for iftar is expected to also gift something to his mother-in-law, in order to please her. And if she is not a good woman no amount of gifts will please her. If she is a good person, she will always be happy whether you gift her something or nothing because these things cannot buy love. If someone thinks to the contrary, he is mistaken. In the Mathnavi, Maulavi says that a person went to attend the nature’s call and recited the prayer that is prescribed for wudhu (ablution) prior to prayers. When the same person went for doing the wudhu he recited the prayer meant for reciting at the time of attending the nature’s call! Maulavi told to the person that he remembered the prayers very well but forgotten what they were meant for! For marriages too, people think that the love of the son-in-law is proportional to

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the gold given, or that love is in covering the bride in gold. This is a wrong concept. This can only bring worries, debt and problems for both the newly-weds! Love is that which is endowed by Allah. In the Holy Quran He says:

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ ءَامَنُواْ وَ عَمِلُواْ الصَّلِحَتِ سَیَجْعَلُ لهَُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ وُدًّا

Lo! Those who believe and do good works, the Beneficent will appoint for them love. (Sura Maryam, 19: 96).

The Holy Quran says that if you want your son-in-law to love your daughter, you must establish a strong connection with Allah. You should be concerned with what Allah wants from you. Can anyone of you say with confidence that Imam Zaman (a.s.) is pleased with these marriages. Can we claim that Islam is pleased with our marriages, our excuses, our extravagance? Imam Wali al-‘Asr (a) is not pleased, The Prophet (s) and Sayyida Fatima (a.s) are not happy. We should break free from and do away with these undesirable obstructions to marriage.

4. Excessive Mahr

Another big problem is the fixing of mahr (dowry). There was a time when the non-revolutionary and non-religious types used to quote one million, two million, and three million. Now, after the revolution, people say that mahr should be equal to the number of the Prophets (s) – one lakh, twenty four thousand (124,000) units of modern money - at the mention of which people have to take to their heels. In Qum, another thing is added to this is the sheer baha. Do you know what

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sheer baha is? It is an evil practice. It means to take money from the son-in-law for nursing your own daughter (breastfeeding her). The best thing is that after extracting this amount from the groom, it is not even given to the mother; it goes into the pocket of the father. What is sheer baha? Are you selling your daughter by charging sheer baha? Sheer baha means that you are selling your daughter. The Jurists say that a person who cannot pay one lakh or 85,000 tumans cannot agree to pay the same.

Traditions say that a sign of an inauspicious bride is her high mahr. If there is no love, what will the mahr achieve? People keep a high mahr to bind the son-in-law to the daughter - when he is unable to pay the mahr, he will not be able to leave her. But what if the boy does not love the girl? The boy gives enough money in the house, he does not beat her so you cannot accuse him of being cruel, he does not use bad language so you cannot accuse him of having bad akhlaq. He just refuses to speak to her. She may bear this for a day or two. In the end, this house will become worse than a prison for her. After about a year in this situation the girl starts feeling that not only has she lost her mahr but might even lose her life! So she forgives him the

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mahr. In short, the mahr cannot bind a husband against his will. Some people have come up with a revolutionary idea that the girls can be married away without fixing any mahr. I don’t agree with them because a marriage cannot be solemnized without fixing a mahr. It is also not correct when some people fix a copy of the Holy Quran or five coins as mahr. I believe that the mahr should be neither excessive nor small. The middle way should be adopted, and even then the mahr should be fixed keeping in mind the status of the boy and the girl.

5. LavishWalima Or Reception

The fourth impediment and problem in marriages is lavish walima. Walima is considered a felicitous custom in Islam, but which walima? The walima that the Prophet of Islam (s) held at the wedding of Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.). A goat was slaughtered and the poor of Medina were invited. After the poor of Medina, who could not afford meat, had eaten the Prophet (s) ordered the leftover food to be distributed amongst those poor who did not attend the feast or those who had not eaten the food. After this walima, the Prophet (s) led his daughter to the groom’s house. But today’s walima is nothing short of a headache. We find the father of a girl unwilling to get her married. On investigation we find that in reality he cannot afford the walima, so he makes all kinds of excuses, even while the daughter is more

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than twenty or twenty-five years old. My dear brothers this type of walima is totally wrong. Don’t be under the impression that it will bring divine rewards. This type of walima attracts divine punishment instead of divine rewards. Walima is given to make the marriage felicitous, but the type of walima we give neither makes the marriage nor the bride felicitous.

A Wrong Practice

When a person dies, we find that his son and heir is not occupied with acts that bring Divine Reward for his father, but he is occupied with footing the bill for the majlis (condolence ceremony) of the father. He is worried about the food to be served after the majlis. People keep coming to give condolences and this goes on for a few days. The son is forced to sell his house to conduct a majlis for his father, and feed the people after the majlis.

According to Islam when someone dies, other people should not allow food to be cooked in this house for three days. Instead they should take food for the bereaved family, and not go there to eat. To go and eat in a house where a death has taken place is makrooh (abominable). Some days back a youth had come to meet me. He said that his father had died, and with great difficulty he had managed to take a loan of 70,000 tumans. The first calamity is that his father had died, and then he had to feed people for a week, make

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arrangements for tea etc. He thought that he had done something good for his father whereas his father is complaining in his grave because his son took a loan and is cursing all those who eat at his house the whole day, because of which his wife, his daughter and his son are suffering. If you want to hold a majlis or a walima the best way is to be concerned about the poor, do not forget them.

It is related that a lady used to cook sweets one day of the week and ask her son to distribute it amongst the people at the cemetery. One day the son was very hungry, so instead of distributing it at the cemetery, he ate it himself and returned home. At night the lady saw her dead husband in a dream. He informed her that the sweets she had distributed the entire year had not reached him, but he had received the sweets she had distributed the day before. On investigation the lady found out that it was the sweets her orphan son had eaten.

We should be concerned about the children of the dead person. We should be concerned about the poor, not about those who can afford to eat. It is not right to stay for weeks at their houses, and become a headache for them, while they have to worry about getting meat, oil, chairs etc. Is this not troublesome for them? Islam forbids such things because when we keep

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going and eating at their houses they have to keep taking loans. Loans are, by themselves, enough to kill a person. The type of walima we have for our marriages and kind of majlis we hold for the dead are wrong. We should put an end to these practices, because Allah is not pleased with us. Our Prophet and the Imams are not pleased with us. Our Imam is not pleased with us.

The Fifth Talk

1. The Dowry (From The Bride)

One of the worst practices of our times is the custom of huge dowries. By this I mean the dowry which is against the shariah, the dowry which amounts to extravagance, the dowry which poses a hindrance to marriage. The result is that the girl has reached thirty years of age, but her father is unable to get her married because he cannot give her the dowry her friends or neighbors were given. The girl is twenty years old, and is getting many proposals, but the father is making excuses. He thinks that if he accepts a proposal, from where he will get the dowry. He is in such a position that he cannot even give a minimum dowry. Dowry should be given, but how much and what should be included in the dowry. The dowry should be given by the father if he can, if he cannot the Islamic government should give the dowry, failing which it is the duty of the people to provide the dowry. Only the essentials of life should be included

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in the dowry, which was the dowry the Prophet (s) had given to Sayyida Fatima Zahra (a.s.).

When the marriage of Sayyida Fatima Zahra (a.s.) was fixed, the Prophet (s) sent out two men and a lady to the bazaar to acquire the necessities for the dowry. They purchased 17 things costing a total of 63 Dirham. Included in these 17 things there was a chador. We should note that there was only one chador and not many! The chador was neither too expensive nor such that it wouldn’t properly cover a lady’s body. There was also a burqa (clothing worn by ladies over their dress when they go out of doors) and there was a dress. Hadhrat Fatima (a.s) gave away this dress to a needy person and went to Imam Ali (a.s.)’s house in the dress that she was using at home! In the morning the Prophet (s) visited her. He asked, “What have you done to your new dress?’ She replied, “I have given it away for the sake of Allah!” The Prophet (s) asked her, “Why didn’t you give away the old dress in charity instead of the new one?” She replied, “Allah says that when you want to give something in charity for my sake, give that which you like, so I gave away my new dress for the sake of Allah.” As a part of the dowry there was a tanned skin of a goat to be used as a spread for sitting on

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the floor and a comforter filled with the peelings of dates. There were also some earthen pots and an earthen jug for water. When the Prophet (s) saw the dowry, there were tears in his eyes.

The ladies are requested to view this dowry with the eyes of their hearts. Then the Prophet (s) prayed to Allah, “O Allah, make this dowry, which comprises mostly of earthen products, felicitous.” Dowries should be according to necessity. How can we rid the society of this evil that we practice today? If the brides’ suitcase is not overflowing that night is like the first night in the grave for her mother. On the other hand when the mother-in-law sees that the brides’ suitcase is not full, she creates a hue and cry. Sometimes matters reach such a stage that the dowry is sent back. This is the reason that the daughter is thirty years old, but is unable to go to her husbands’ house. I appeal to the well-off people that when they give dowry they should not create difficulties for the society. There was a time when the television, washing machine, fridge, and freezer were not a part of the dowry. Then someone added one item to the list, and another added another item. Now things are such that it is even difficult to think about marriage. If you want to give, by all means do so, but only after the girl has already gone to her husband’s house and do it

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quietly, so that nobody comes to know. For Gods’ sake do not give rise to these troubles in the society. Don’t do things which result in daughters of poor families remaining unmarried. Let her also see her husband’s house. When you give such dowries you think it to be good, but neither is it good nor felicitous. Especially if the bride is stingy, she will allow no one to use her dowry, with the result that still only the old things are used in the husband’s house. She creates an uproar if someone even tries to touch her things, she wants her dowry to be preserved for the next hundred years, so that they are included among antiques.

Another major problem is a house. These days from the cities to the villages, we find that the father, son, brother, sister are not willing to stay together. The daughter-in-law doesn’t want to live under the same roof with the mother-in-law and the mother-in-law does not want to live with the daughter-in-law! The house must be separate, even if it is a rented premise! This is a major deterrent for young men who then avoid getting married. In most cases their earnings are not sufficient to set up a separate household. When proposals are received from eligible boys, the first question that comes up is whether they own a house for independent living.

The question whether the boy is pious or not is never raised. If the boy is not pious and has

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poor akhlaq, then tomorrow this very house will become a prison for the bride. The issue of a house is a major one. In older days this was never an issue. Four daughters-in-law used to live together in one house - and happily. Nowadays a separate house is required, because people want easy comfort. This is one of the problems of modern age.

One of the leading clerics of Isfahan told me that once a youth came to him and said that his parents were not getting him married. He requested the cleric to persuade his parents to consent to his marriage. One early morning the cleric went to the home of the youth and gave a long sermon to the parents about the importance of matrimony. In conclusion he very strongly recommended that they give their consent to their son marrying and settling down to a happy conjugal life. After hearing the talk the mother of the youth said, “As long as I am alive, no daughter-in-law will cross the threshold of this house!” In utter dejection the cleric turned towards the youth and said, “The only solution for you now is to pray for the death of this old lady!” The things have reached such a pass that the mothers don’t want to welcome daughters- in- law in their homes and the girls are not willing to marry into homes they will have to share with the mothers-in-law!

Our society is riddled with so many problems. There is one

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problem followed by another, and then another. This chain seems never-ending. Can something not be done about these issues? Can these problems not be solved?

After overcoming all these hurdles, if a marriage takes place, then fights erupt between the husband and wife - a major cause of which is a desire for a luxurious life. When we analyze the causes of differences between man and wife, we find that the wife expresses her unwillingness to continue using the dresses available in her wardrobe. She wants to change her dress every few hours. She refuses to wear the same dress for two different occasions. If she has to attend more than one function on the same day, she wants to change the dress before going to the second party. If there are several functions on the same day, she wants as many changes of dress as there are parties. Thus starts a fight between the man and the wife. The husband says, “It would have been better if your father had given many expensive dresses with the dowry!” The wife rebuffs, “My father has given me in marriage to you. Now it is your duty to make dresses for me. Not even a month has passed since their marriage and the bride is demanding clothes and gold from her husband. Within this first month of marriage, the girl demands her savings bond (Wathiqa). She says that she will sell the bond to buy new clothes and gold. She says that she

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is the owner of the bond, and thus has the right to use it as she pleases – and if she wants to sell them in order to buy articles of beautification, why should her husband object? If the matter ends with the redemption of the bond, even then it is alright. But the demands don’t stop here. They just keep increasing. Our day-to-day life is such that when a person marries, he feels as if burdened with a calamity. He regrets getting married. What I have presented in front of you today is just a glimpse of the difficulties we have created in the society today, which are like a cancer for the society.

The remedy of these evils is simple. There are a couple of verses of the Holy Quran. If our society follows these, the malady will disappear.

وَ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِینَ یَمْشُونَ عَلیَ الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَ إِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَهِلُونَ قَالُواْ سَلَمًا

The (faithful) slaves of the Beneficent are they who walk upon the earth modestly, and when the foolish ones address them answer: Peace! (Sura Al Furqaan, 25: 63)


وَ الَّذِینَ إِذَا أَنفَقُواْ لَمْ یُسْرِفُواْ وَ لَمْ یَقْترُُواْ وَ کَانَ بَینْ َ ذَلِکَ قَوَامًا

And those who, when they spend, are neither prodigal nor grudging: and there is ever a firm station between the two(Sura Al Furqaan, 25: 67)

The selected men of God are those who tread the land with humility! When the ignorant talk in ignorance, they wish them peace. When they spend, it is neither with extravagance nor

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with stinginess. Their expenses are always moderate. They are the Mu’minin who are neither extravagant nor are they misers!

‘Wa kaana baina zaalika qawwama’ - If man refrains from extravagance, if he guards himself against luxuries, then he will be safe from many a calamity. In such circumstances a youth can get married while he is still studying, which is not normally the case. This is because there are a lot of problems in the society. The society is ill with diseases like extravagance and the like. If there is no extravagance, no reckless spending, but a middle path of modest spending is adopted, the youth can pursue a university education and even get married

2. Miserliness

People should not be miserly in their expenses. Islam looks down upon miserly persons with contempt. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

وَ لَا یحَْسَبنَ َّ الَّذِینَ یَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا ءَاتَئهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَیرًْا لَّهُم بَلْ هُوَ شرٌَّ لَّهُمْ سَیُطَوَّقُونَ مَا بخَِلُواْ بِهِ یَوْمَ الْقِیَمَهِ وَ لِلَّهِ مِیرَثُ السَّمَوَتِ وَ الْأَرْضِ وَ اللَّهُ بمَِا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِیر

Let not those who act niggardly with any of His bounty God has given them consider it better for them; rather it will be worse for them: they will be charged on Resurrection Day with anything they were so niggardly about. Allah holds the inheritance of Heaven and Earth, and Allah knows what you do. (Sura Ali Imran, 3: 178)

Those who have been bestowed by Allah with some wealth should not be miserly in spending it. They should not remain under the impression

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that their miserliness will do them any good. On the contrary, they will regret this attitude because on the Day of Judgment, this wealth will be turned into a noose that will be fastened round their necks. Whatever wealth exists in the universe belongs to Allah and He is aware of what men do in this world! The Holy Quran tells us that those who do not spend their wealth on their family and children, and do not keep them in comfort are not doing something good. On the contrary they are doing something bad. It then informs us that the wealth, the miser saves through his stinginess will be put around his neck in the form of a noose on the Day of Judgment. He will be brought to the grounds of Judgment wearing this noose and will have to stand there ashamed, with this noose around his neck. If, besides this verse of the Holy Quran there is no tradition condemning stinginess, even then this verse is deterrent enough. A person should, besides his family, help those in need in the society. Do we want Allah (s.w.t.) to convert our wealth, property, and belongings into a noose on the Day of Judgment and put it around our necks, while we are humiliated? Dear brothers, miserliness is a bad deed. But, on the other hand luxury and extravagance is also wrong. The Quran says that a society riddled with unwise spending and luxury is on its way to destruction

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and evil.

It is mentioned in the book Meraj al Sa‘adat that once there was a miserly person. He used to tell his children to touch the bread with the bottle of the clarified butter from the outside and eat it. One day he traveled out of town and had locked the bottle of the clarified butter in a closet. The children were about to eat their bread by touching it to the door of the closet when the father arrived. He picked up a stick and hit them saying, “Can’t you live without eating the clarified butter even for a day?!” A miserly person is never at ease. He doesn’t even get peaceful sleep at night.

The Holy Quran says:

وَ إِذَا أَرَدْنَا أَن نهُّْلِکَ قَرْیَهً أَمَرْنَا مُترَْفِیهَا فَفَسَقُواْ فِیهَا فَحَقَّ عَلَیهَْا الْقَوْلُ فَدَمَّرْنَهَا تَدْمِیرًا

And when We would destroy a township We send commandment to its folk who live at ease, and afterward they commit abomination therein, and so the word (of doom) hath effect for it, and We annihilate it with complete annihilation. (Sura al-’Isra’, 17: 16)

For example there are storms and earthquakes that destroy huge populations and towns. But the evil of luxurious living that our society is afflicted with today is more dangerous than these storms and earthquakes. Reckless spending, according to the Quran, is harbinger of a sad and bad end!

وَ أَصحَْبُ الشِّمَالِ مَا أَصحَْبُ الشِّمَال

فیِ سمَُومٍ وَ حَمِیم

وَ ظِلٍ ّ مِّن یحَْمُوم

لَّا بَارِدٍ وَ لَا کَرِیم

إِنهَُّمْ کاَنُواْ قَبْلَ ذَلِکَ مُترَْفِین

وَ کاَنُواْ یُصِرُّونَ عَلیَ الحِْنثِ الْعَظِیم

And those on

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the left hand: What of those on the left hand?

In scorching wind and scalding water

And shadow of black smoke

Neither cool nor refreshing.

Lo! Heretofore they were effete with luxury

And used to persist in the awful sin. (Sura al Waqiyah, 56: 41 –46)

Amongst the people of the past there are those who carry their book of deeds in their left hands. It is a pity that the people of the left hand will suffer in the fire of Hell! They will be engulfed with boiling waters and dense black smoke of Hell. It will neither be cool for them nor will it be comforting! These are the people who lived in luxury in the world and indulged in immoral acts. The people of the left hand will face a painful torment in Hell. Because of their immoral and luxurious ways, they committed sin after sin. The Holy Quran says that the Prophets (a.s.) of the past had warned such men against their evil ways. About such men the Holy Book says:

وَ مَا أَرْسَلْنَا فیِ قَرْیَهٍ مِّن نَّذِیرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُترَْفُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُم بِهِ کَفِرُون

And We sent not unto any township a warner, but its pampered ones declared: Lo! We are disbelievers in that which ye bring unto us. (Sura Saba, 34: 34)

Whenever Allah sent a warner to any people, it was the people who were indulging in luxuries who refuted the commandments communicated to them. If there was no other verse condemning extravagance, this verse of the Holy Quran should be

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sufficient for people to abstain from their wasteful ways.

A question then arises as to what constitutes the life of moderation and equanimity? Such an ideal life is one in which one has enough to eat, he should have a modest abode and dress to wear. Such a life is really comfortable. It is narrated that the Prophet (s) was once traveling with his companions. He came across a shepherd during the journey and asked for some milk. The shepherd refused to give any milk. The Prophet (s) said, “May Allah bless you so much that you are not able to account for your possessions!” When the entourage proceeded further, they came across another shepherd with his flock. This person, when asked for some milk, offered all the stock that he had with him. The Prophet said, “May Allah give you sufficient sustenance that you don’t have to depend on others for their help!” In surprise the companions asked the Prophet (s), “O Prophet of Allah! Your prayer for the person who refused to part with his milk appeared better than the prayer you offered for this generous shepherd!” The Prophet (s) replied, “No! In plenty there is nothing more than trouble and headache! A life in which a person is contented with his modest earnings is better than a life of luxury. Such people will never have any psychological ailments.” Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) has said that life should be one of contentment and not of opulence. Opulence takes

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people towards unhappiness and oppression.

3. Summary Of Discussion

The summary of our talk is that we have to revolutionize our lives, we have to bring about a change in our lives. We need to take stock of our ethics. The first step in this direction is to bring about changes in our system of marriage so that gradually we can shake off these evil practices from our society. Our lives should be constructive and definitely not one of luxury that brings about ruin. When does a Muslim lead a truly happy life? It is when he has a house of his own, then buys one for another. When he leads a middle class existence, he helps others to lead a middle class existence too. Dear brothers! As we are in need of material things, so do we need spiritual contentment! We should strive to fulfill our material needs and live happily. But more important than this is our spiritual needs Spiritual needs are not satisfied by having good food, good housing or a good spouse. Our spiritual needs are satisfied by helping the oppressed and helping the needy. Every individual must give a helping hand in the marriage of at least one couple in a year. There is the august example of Lady Fatima Zahra (a.s.) before us - that she preferred to wear a used garment with patches and gave away the new one to the needy! Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) used to continue wearing old dresses and gave away the new

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apparel to others. Fatima Zahra (a.s.), despite being the owner of the Garden of Fadak, preferred wearing clothes made out of rough yarn.

It is famous that a trader visited Ayatullah Sadr (r.a.) with his spouse. The trader went to the chambers of the Ayatullah and the wife went to the ladies’ quarters and knocked at the door. The Ayatullah’s wife came to the door and opened it. Seeing her in very ordinary clothes, the trader’s wife thought she must be one of the servants in the house. She said, “Where is the lady of the house? I wish to meet her.” The Ayatullah’s wife felt shy to tell that she was the lady of the house. She said that she was not at home. The trader’s wife went away. At this moment the Ayatullah came to the ladies’ quarters and found that his wife was rather upset. When he asked her to tell the reason for her bad mood she recounted to him what had transpired with the trader’s wife. The Ayatullah told her, “Yes, when you say you are not a lady, you are really not one! The real lady was one who wore a shawl of two patched pieces of cloth and dedicated the produce of the Garden of Fadak for the poor and needy! Similarly, a master is not the person who spends his life in false luxury but one who helps the persons in need and clears the debts of others! A true lady is

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not one who drapes herself in expensive shawls. A true lady is one who has four or five shawls out of which she keeps one for her own use and gives away the rest to needy women who have none to cover their heads!"

For the sake of Allah’s pleasure, for the sake of our children, for the sake of a better hereafter, for the sake of Islam, for the sake of Imam Zamana, ponder over these points a little. Do not say that the points are good, but what can I do?

O Allah! Give us better sense and a right spirit for the sake of the sacrifice of Bab al Hawaij Hadhrat Abbas (a.s.) who didn’t quench his thirst on the bank of the river remembering the thirst of the little children of Imam Husayn (a.s)! O Allah! Give us the spirit of sacrifice in our lives! (Ameen)

The Sixth Talk

1. The Sanctity Of Home

So far our discussions were about domestic morals. Now we shall deal with the sanctity of the home.

We learn from the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Ahl al Bayt (a.s.) that a house that promotes love and affection is certainly an ideal home! The inhabitants of such homes take care of each other. They are regular in salah (prayers), fasting and are God fearing. They maintain a rapport with Allah through regular supplication. Such homes have an elevated position in the view of Allah. Allah desires such homes to prosper. Such homes appear shining to the inhabitants of

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the Firmament as do the stars to the people of the earth. We also learn from the Holy Quran and traditions of the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) that a house where people have differences and hatred, where people are not regular in offering salah or fasting, where people commit sins, are like ruins. Such homes are not auspicious. Satan frequents such homes, while angel despise them.

The Holy Quran says:

فیِ بُیُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَن تُرْفَعَ وَ یُذْکَرَ فِیهَا اسْمُهُ یُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِیهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَ الاَْصَال

In houses which Allah hath allowed to be raised andwhere His name is remembered He is glorified therein In the morning and evening. (Sura al An-Nur, 24 : 36)

Allah says that certain homes are such that He himself wants them to be exalted, for example when a person tries to raise the spiritual level of his house. These are the homes where Allah’s name is called out and the tasbeeh is recited. The occupants of these homes remember Allah – these are the homes that are exalted near Allah. These are the homes where salah is recited, the zakat is paid, and the occupants of such homes fear Allah that is they avoid sins.

This verse has an obvious meaning, which I have just mentioned. That is to say that Allah considers some homes to be as sanctified as masjids or madressas. Why are they sanctified? Because pious people live in them. And Allah is remembered in these homes. Salah and fasting takes place here, there is

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no sinning, and no differences between those who live here.

However there is another hidden interpretation of this verse The Infallible Imams (a.s.) have made a commentary on this meaning of the verse. They say that there are some persons who are entitled to azmat or greatness. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) interprets the word buyuut (homes) in the verse as the hearts of the persons and not the homes built of brick, mortar and wood. These homes, according to him, are the sanctimonious bodies like that of the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.).

Once Qatada came in the presence of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.). He was awed with the Imam’s (a.s.) personality. He said, “I have visited many learned men and had long sessions of discussions with them. But I never had such feelings as I am having now!” The Imam (a.s.) asked, “Are you aware with what sort of person you are conversing now? You are in front of abodes that have been elevated by Allah where He is remembered and His dhikr is done morning and evening! They are the people who cannot be diverted from Remembrance of Allah by any activity of trade or playful pastimes.”

The other meaning of this Verse of the Holy Quran is interpretative (Taweeli). This we cannot understand. The Imams (a.s.) are the interpreters of the Quran, and are entitled to interpret it and do tafseer of the Quran. A part of the Quran is evident and is binding on all (Hujjat). Another

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aspect of the Book is hidden. Everyone can make use of this hidden aspect of the Quran according to his own ability.

The summary of this discussion is that the verse tells us about homes in which there is no strife. These are the homes wherein the housemates serve each other so that there is comfort. The man works and serves his children because they are Muslims and should live in comfort The Holy Quran says that only such a house is held in high respect by the angels. They are the homes that earn the pleasure of Allah. But those homes where strife exists, where the wife misbehaves with her husband, where the husband and wife don’t have love and affection for each other, are, according to this verse of the Quran, homes which are not exalted. According to the traditions of the Ahl al Bayt too, such homes are inauspicious. According to riwayaat these homes are the abodes of the Satans. The Satans frequent these homes. In such homes the inhabitants don’t offer prayers regularly. They never try to establish rapport with or supplicate to Allah. They have no care for the Day of Reckoning. Such homes, according to the Quran and traditions, are abodes of darkness.

Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) says, “The house in which the Holy Quran is recited and Allah is remembered, where the inhabitants don’t commit sins, is an auspicious house. The angels keep visiting such houses. The Satan keeps away from there. Satan and

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his cohorts, inspite all their efforts, cannot have access to such homes.” Amir al Mu’minin further says, “The house where the inhabitants commit sins, where Satans come freely, but is despised by angels, is an inauspicious house. The children who are bred in such houses may not grow into pious persons. According to scientific and psychological norms too, it is difficult for such children to be successful in life. A house bereft of love and affection can offer nothing more than worry and anxiety. It is the children who are unfortunate in this environment. Such homes are prisons for the children.

A house where sins are rampant, where strife exists, extinguishes the inherent abilities of the children who are raised there. The lives of such parents and the children are always sad. According to traditions, if you desire your house to be auspicious then salah, fasting, supplications recitation of Quran should take place in your house. If you want your children to be auspicious, if you desire your wealth to be auspicious, then you should make an effort to ensure that your house is not a place for sinning. Traditions make it very clear to us that if our homes are abodes of sin, then we should not expect them to be felicitous. Your life will be wasted in this house; the children born in this house will be inauspicious. All of us should bear a tradition in mind, which tells us that:

“You see the stars twinkling in the sky.

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Similarly the house where there is no thought of sin, where the inhabitants offer prayers, supplications, observe fasts; the angels see such houses as shining stars.”

Another tradition says:

“A house in which dog is kept is not visited by the angels.”

There are three meanings of this tradition:

--- One meaning pertains to breeding of dogs at home as is done in the Western Cultures.

These people will be grouped with Yazid on the Day of Reckoning because Yazid

used to play with dogs and monkeys!

--- In the second meaning is that 'house' refers to the hearts of men. If this heart has evil qualities, the light of the Lord cannot shine in it. It cannot be divinely inspired. The angels inspire man. Angels enter the hearts of those men who have cleansed their hearts, and do not raise dogs in their hearts – pride, jealousy, etc. This is the best interpretation of this tradition

--- The third meaning of this tradition pertains to the subject of our discussion. A house

where there is no goodwill, where the husband behaves with the wife like a wild animal, where there is constant strife amongst the inhabitants, is not visited by the angels. Angels do not visit the home of people who have the qualities of animals. Apparently this meaning is also correct.

The logical meaning of the tradition fits more into the second and the third interpretation given above.

If the angels don’t visit our homes, if Allah’s blessings are not bestowed upon us, then it

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is a matter of concern for us. But it is more so for the innocent children who grow in such homes. Remaining on the right path for children raised in such homes is very difficult.

The Holy Quran says that a home is a place for rest. A husband and wife are meant to provide comfort to each other. Homes where sins are committed, where Satan visits freely and where angels are shy of coming are not places of comfort. On the contrary unrest and hardships prevail there. The Holy Quran says:

أَ فَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْیَنَهُ عَلیَ تَقْوَی مِنَ اللَّهِ وَ رِضْوَنٍ خَیرٌْ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْیَنَهُ عَلیَ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانهَْارَ بِهِ فیِ نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَ اللَّهُ لَا یهَْدِی الْقَوْمَ الظَّلِمِین

Is he who founded his building upon duty to Allah and His good pleasure better, or he who founded his building on the brink of a crumbling, overhanging precipice so that it toppled with him into the fire of Hell? Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. (Sura Tawbah, 9: 109)

This verse says that if the walls and pillars of a house are strong, only then will the roof be permanent. On the contrary, if one builds a house on land that is prone to floods, it will be carried away by the flood

The Holy Quran says that your life and home should be based on Taqwa (piety). In such a home the inhabitants are regular at offering prayers; they recite the Holy Book, observe mandatory fasts, supplicate to Allah and abstain

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from sin.

The Holy Quran says:

یخََافُونَ یَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِیهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَ الْأَبْصَر

...(Men) who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned.(Sura An-Nur, 24 : 37)

A home in which the inhabitants have the fear of Allah is a strong home. The progeny coming out of such a home is always strong and firm. Spending time in such a home is auspicious. A house in which there is no fear of Allah, is according to the Quran, a house built on land that is frequented by floods. Whenever there is a flood, this house will be washed away into Hell. The people of such homes are bereft of the blessings and mercy of Allah. There is no felicity in such homes. Angels don't visit these homes. Instead you will find anger, sadness, oppression, troubles and tribulation. If you need Allah's succor, it is imperative that your homes be free of sins. They must be places where the inhabitants offer prayers. If you visit the mosque for offering the mandatory prayers in congregation, you must offer optional prayers at home. The Quran says that you should not be like the Jews and the Christians who restrict their prayers to the congregations at the Synagogue and the Church. Islam lays great stress on making your homes the places of prayer and supplication. Your homes should be the places of recitation of the Quran, offering of prayers, mutual help and affection.

2. Household Chores

In Islam one of the most important aspects of worship is the

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man and wife helping and serving each other. You are aware that martyrdom in the way of Allah is very blessed. We read in the traditions that a woman who serves her husband by cooking food, cleaning dishes, making his bed etc. will get reward from Allah equal to the reward of a martyr. Similarly traditions inform us that a man who helps his wife at home so that she is not inconvenienced and strives to provide sustenance to his wife and family will be eligible for reward equal to that of a martyr.

Serving at home is a great worship. If you wish that your home remains an auspicious and a blessed place, that angels come to your house, if you want to live a blessed life, and above all this if you desire that noble children be turned over to the society from your house, it is imperative for you to maintain a strong relationship with Allah. One of the ways to achieve this is to maintain love and affection between the husband and wife. Lucky are the men who keep their wives contented and happy. Unfortunate is the lady whose husband is not pleased with her, Unfortunate are the couples who don't live in peace. Birth of noble progeny in such homes is impossible!

3. The Effect Of Ill-Gotten Wealth

If illegitimate income (the income got from charging interest, taking bribes, cheating, etc.) comes to a family and the sustenance of the members is drawn from it, then be assured that angels don't enter

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such homes. Such homes are surrounded by fire. The angels in the Heavens see such homes as being engulfed with fire. The Holy Quran says that the angels pity the innocent children and women who are engulfed by fires in these unfortunate homes.

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ یَأْکُلُونَ أَمْوَلَ الْیَتَمَی ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا یَأْکلُُونَ فیِ بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا وَ سَیَصْلَوْنَ سَعِیرًا

Lo! Those who devour the wealth of orphans wrongfully, they do but swallow fire into their bellies, and they will be exposed to burning flame.( Sura an-Nisa’, 4: 10)

Here the word "orphans" is used allegorically. The verse means that if a person consumes ill-gotten wealth, it is tantamount to consuming fire. Use of ill-gotten wealth is as forbidden as depriving an orphan of his rights. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says about this verse that those who don't give Khums and Zakat and consume the wealth on which Khums and Zakat have not been paid, and consume the wealth which has been accumulated by bribery, interest, cheating, and gambling are eating fire! When food is laid on the table in a house where Khums and Zakat are not paid, a person blessed with the ability to see such things, can actually see the wife and children consuming fire.

فَکَشَفْنَا عَنکَ غِطَاءَکَ فَبَصَرُکَ الْیَوْمَ حَدِید

…Now we have removed from thee thy covering, and piercing is thy sight this day. (Sura Qaf, 50: 22)

On the Day of Judgment the delicacies that you coveted so much, the ill-gotten wealth that you collected and consumed will turn into Hellfire!

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In Hell this will be the recompense they will get. The women and children of such homes have to be pitied. It is impossible for the children of such homes to turn out felicitous. The very same women and children of this man will be his sworn enemy on the Day of Reckoning! They will catch him by the scruff of his neck and ask him, "O unjust person! Why did you feed us fire? Why did you not pay Khums? Why did you feed us your ill-gotten wealth? Because you fed us with wealth that was forbidden we turned towards sin instead of worship. You have deprived us of felicity by giving to us ill-gotten sustenance!"

It is mentioned in the traditions that on the Day of Judgment the most unfortunate person will be the one cursed by his family members although he toiled hard in the world to provide sustenance to his wife and children. They will plead with Allah, "He has fed us with wealth on which Khums was not paid and he fed us on the bribes he had taken forcibly. He made us hard-hearted! O Allah! Put him through a harsh accounting!"

وَ قَدِمْنَا إِلیَ مَا عَمِلُواْ مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَهُ هَبَاءً مَّنثُورًا

And We shall turn unto the work they did and make it scattered motes. (Sura Al-Furqan, 25: 23)

The Holy Quran says in this verse that there is a group of people who have been regular at prayers, had performed the Hajj and made pilgrimages to the

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Holy places, shed tears during the meeting held to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) - Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that these acts of worship are so luminous, that this worshipper will come in a white dress, shining like a lamp on the grounds of reckoning - but because he had consumed forbidden wealth and usurped the wealth of others, all his good deeds will be taken away from him and turned over to others. At this juncture others will laugh at him in ridicule and say, “His wife and children have eaten his good deeds” The ill-gotten wealth was consumed by the wife and children in the world, now he is the one who has to answer for it. Now he has to turn over his good deeds to his wife and children and go into Hell, empty handed.

Fulfilling the rights of other people is difficult. Beware and be assured that if forbidden wealth enters your house, then the mercy of Allah will surely depart, blessings will flee this house, love and affection departs from this house. A day comes when the very children for whom you toiled will on the Day of Qiyamah curse you and make you an inmate of Hell.

The Seventh Talk

1. Mutual Understanding At Home

In the previous talk it was discussed that Islam strongly disapproves of dissensions and disagreements. Opposed to these, friendliness, affection, unity and brotherhood are given prime importance. These traits are considered sacred by Islam. The Holy Quran says that one very significant characteristic

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of the inhabitants of Hell is that when they meet on the Day of Judgment, they will all be cursing each other. Each one will blame the other for making him hell-bound! The other will counter him with a similar argument. The Herald will announce that Allah's retribution for both of them will be doubled! Firstly because they spoke ill of the believers in the world and then because they forced others to speak ill about themselves.

The Holy Quran says:

کلَُّمَا دَخَلَتْ أُمَّهٌ لَّعَنَتْ أُخْتهََا حَتیَّ إِذَا ادَّارَکُواْ فِیهَا جَمِیعًا قَالَتْ أُخْرَئهُمْ لِأُولَئهُمْ رَبَّنَا هَؤُلَاءِ أَضَلُّونَا فََاتهِِمْ عَذَابًا ضِعْفًا مِّنَ النَّارِ قَالَ لِکلُ ٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَ لَکِن لَّا تَعْلَمُون

....Every time a nation entereth, it curseth its sister (nation) till, when they have all been made to follow one another thither, the last of them saith unto the first of them : Our Lord! These led us astray, so give them double torment of the Fire. He saith:For each one there is double (torment) but ye know not. (Sura al-’Araf, 7: 38)

Alas! You are unaware. The sign of the inhabitants of the Hell, therefore, is that they will talk ill of each other and none of them is ready to accept his own fault.

2. Blaming Each Other

Whenever a husband and wife are in disagreement, none of them wants to take the blame for any mistake. The husband says that the wife has been the cause of his troubles and the wife counters with a similar claim. The husband says that the children have gone astray

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because of the wife's shortcomings in their upbringing. A house where such criticizing and exchange of foul language, takes place is like hell. These people will come to know only when the curtains are raised!

I would like to inform the ladies and the gentlemen that the world and the hereafter are the two sides of the same coin! The apparent side of the coin is the world and the hidden side is the hereafter. Whatever happens in this world, its reality will become evident and clear in the hereafter! If the fire of Hell comes upon us, it is the result of our own acts!

ذَلِکَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَیْدِیکُم

This is on account of that which your own hands have sent before....(Sura Ali Imran, 3: 182)

If we get the bounties of the Heaven like the houris, it is on account of our own good deeds.

کلُُواْ وَ اشْرَبُواْ هَنِیَا بِمَا أَسْلَفْتُمْ فیِ الْأَیَّامِ الخَْالِیَه

(And it will be said unto those therein): Eat and drink at ease for that which ye sent on before you in past days. (Sura al-Haaqqah, 69: 24)

On the Day of Reckoning the people will be addressed, "O those who have fasted during the auspicious days! These are the bounties that you have sent while you fasted. Eat, drink and enjoy yourself!" If there is strife and difference of opinion in your house; when a man and wife quarrel; when a brother and sister argue and exchange harsh and foul language, when (God forbid) a wife misbehaves

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with her husband, when a husband uses foul language with his wife, what is obvious is that the husband and wife are bad-mouthing each other, but in reality this house is Hell. One day when he opens his eyes he realizes that his house is actually Hell. The bad deeds of the spouses have been converted into physical forms.

The Holy Quran, in the verse quoted earlier (al-’Ara, 7f:38) describes the importance of actions of people living in a place. If they have differences in their lives, they will exhibit differences in the hereafter too and blame each other. If there is usage of bad language and physical violence here, then in the hereafter too they will use of bad language and violence. What you sow here, is what you will reap there. If there is foul language in your house and the atmosphere of your house is cold, then it will result in Hell-fire there. Contrary to this the Holy Quran says about the inhabitants of the heaven thus:

عَلیَ سُررٍ مَّوْضُونَهٍ

ُمُّتَّکِِینَ عَلَیهَْا مُتَقَبِلِین

On lined couches,

Reclining therein - face to face. (Sura al-Waaqi'ah, 56: 15, 16)

Those who have lived in their families amicably, doing good and pious deeds, will enjoy all the comforts in Heaven.

لَا یَسْمَعُونَ فِیهَا لَغْوًا وَ لَا تَأْثِیمًا

إِلَّا قِیلًا سَلَمًا سَلَمًا

There hear they no vain speaking nor recrimination

(Naught) but the saying: Peace (and again) Peace! (Sura al-Waaqi'ah, 56: 25, 26)

The inhabitants of Heaven will neither talk evil, nor hear evil. They will only greet each other pleasantly. They

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will be grateful to each other, and each one will thank the other for getting them admitted to Heaven. This is the quality of the inhabitants of Heaven. If you want love and understanding to remain, then the husband must thank the wife, for example, for preparing tasty food, and then the wife smiles back saying that it was he who had brought such good grocery so that she could do justice to her culinary skills using them! If such an the environment prevails in the house, where the spouses are thankful to each other, where love and understanding prevails, where each one is ready to admit his fault, where each one is willing to excuse the other, such people will ultimately find themselves in Heaven.

3. Spirit Of Understanding At Home

Brothers and sisters! Your actions should be such that you earn the bounties of Heaven in the hereafter! Appreciate and praise each other at home. Own up to your faults. It is generally experienced that men tend not to accept their failings. I ardently appeal to them that if ever they are angry, although getting angry is forbidden, they should apologise to the subject of the anger once the anger subsides! Accepting ones fault is a sign of maturity. The home should be a place of learning for us. The home is like a wonderful book that gives instruction, particularly to women, in the art of living and ethics. If, unfortunately, a man commits a mistake, and stubbornly refuses to own up to it,

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the wife should discreetly try to mend the fences. She should not adopt an attitude of confrontation nor be proud (the attitude of 'why should I mend fences'). Anger and pride both belong in Hell!

If you wish to make your home heavenly, try to create an amicable and happy atmosphere there. If one of the couple, man or wife, is ready to strike a compromise over any dispute, the atmosphere returns to normalcy. At times like these, instead of saying, 'it's your fault' say 'it's my fault'. If one person bears with a little patience the fight will dissolve. If you want the blessings of Heaven you have to have patience. Conflicts should not persist in homes, they should be gotten rid of immediately and should not last for even an hour. Man should uphold his dignity and the wife should be patient even if the husband, sometimes, is at fault! The Holy Quran says that such is a good wife!

َالصَّلِحَتُ قَنِتَتٌ حَفِظَتٌ لِّلْغَیْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ الله

So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. ...( Sura an-Nisa’, 4: 34

There are two qualities of a good wife. One is that she is forbearing with her husband, even if he is wrong at times. The other quality is that she is chaste, whether she is alone or in company, whether her husband is present or is away. She is never without hijab even if she is in the presence of her husbands close relatives.

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She is never without hijab in front of namahram, even if he is only her husband’s brother. She is very careful about her hijab and gait when she goes out in public places. Whether at home or outside, she covers herself properly. In the eyes of the Holy Quran such is an ideal wife.

Here I would like to draw the attention of women to the first part of the verse that stresses the point that good wives are obedient. Whenever there is a difference of opinion with the husband, the wife should discreetly avoid confrontation. Differences are bound to take place. Neither the husband nor the wife wants strife in the house. But if some differences crop up, the Quran wants one of the spouses, especially the wife, to step down and be patient with her husband, keeping quite so that the fire of dissension can die out. Pouring fuel on this fire in reality only increases the fire of the hereafter

Allah exhorts in the Holy Quran that the believing people should fear the fire of Hell and save themselves and their families from the Hellfire. This fire will burn you and reduce you to ashes. The fuel of this fire will be humans and the stones! The people of faith should be scared of the inferno of Hell. The Holy Book warns that there should not be conflicts in the home. Such conflicts and differences will destroy your dignity and personality. God forbid that either the husband or

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wife should ever resort to physical violence. If they do, then their dignity and respect cannot remain intact. We pity the women who don't have love for their husbands. We pity the homes where there is no happiness. A woman with a dead heart cannot give a cheerful daughter or a prosperous son to the society! Similarly a morose man cannot be a useful member of the society nor can he earn a better hereafter for himself! As the saying goes, a severed hand might be of some use, but a broken heart is absolutely useless!

Imam Musa ibn Jafar (a.s.) says in one of the traditions:

Beware of restlessness and laziness as both these traits are impediments for your life in this world and in the Hereafter!

The Imam (a.s.) has asked people to be active and abstain from laziness. The women should actively perform the chores at home. The men should avoid laziness and keep themselves busy in performing their duties. One should not be unhappy, because an unhappy person will not find benefit either in this world or in the Hereafter. It is very well known that a woman with a dead heart can neither run her home nor can she take care of her husband and the children. Similarly a dead-hearted man will be nothing more than a drone for the society at large.

وَ لَا تَنَزَعُواْ فَتَفْشَلُواْ وَ تَذْهَبَ رِیحُکمُ ْ

....and dispute no one with another lest ye falter and your strength departs from you.... (Sura al-Anfal, 8: 46)


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should not fight amongst ourselves, or else we will have to face defeat and disappointment. Differences lead to the ebbing of your ability to face difficulties. A Muslim commands respect and has a personality. If one lakh Muslims were to be united, they could force not only America and Russia, but the whole world to spend sleepless nights. Then they would not be drawing up plans to make Muslims their servants. A person who has a foul tongue should not think that he is harming his wife in any manner by abusing her. In fact, he is harming himself; it is his tongue that is dirty. The first harm is that when he uses foul language, it destroys his own character. His dirty tongue stains his own character. Similarly, a wife who verbally abuses her spouse is harming herself rather than causing any insult to him. The biggest harm is that the husband stops loving her. The woman who doesn't have her husband's love and affection, and a man who has lost his character should seriously ponder over the verse of the Holy Quran quoted here. Dissensions and differences in a family are as bad for the inhabitants as being placed in the deepest pit of the Hell. Here there is no pit of Hell, so imagine yourself perched on a stone atop a tall mountain, with the valley below full of raging fire. Dissension is like the stone you are sitting on falling into the valley below. The Holy

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Quran says that one of the most valuable bounties of Allah is the instinct of love and affection. The Holy Book is doing a favor to us when it says:

وَ اعْتَصِمُواْ بحَِبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِیعًا وَ لَا تَفَرَّقُواْ وَ اذْکُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَیْکُمْ إِذْ کُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَینْ َ قُلُوبِکُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَنًا وَ کُنتُمْ عَلیَ شَفَا حُفْرَهٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَکُم مِّنهَْا کَذَلِکَ یُبَینِ ُّ اللَّهُ لَکُمْ ءَایَتِهِ لَعَلَّکمُ ْ تهَْتَدُون

And hold fast, all of you together, to the cable of Allah, and do not separate. And remember Allah's favor unto you: how ye were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts so that ye became as brothers by His grace; and (how) ye were upon the brink of an abyss of fire, and he did save you from it. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations unto you, that haply ye may be guided. (Sura Ali Imran, 3: 103)

At the outset, the Holy Quran says that Muslims should, together, firmly hold Allah's Rope and remain united. Be brothers to one other. Then it reminds us of the times when they had not embraced Islam and were inimical towards each other. What a great blessing Allah has bestowed on them that they are now united under one banner. The Muslims are also reminded of the time when they were at the brink of the fiery valley of Hell. Allah has saved them from that eventuality. Although this verse is addressing the early Muslims, it is relevant for all times. It is also relevant to

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our present discussion. The husband and wife who have love and affection for each other should be thankful to Allah. They must pray to Allah that the atmosphere of love remains forever in their homes. The husband should always be thankful to his wife and pray that the spring of love always flows in their house. The wife should appreciate his love and affection. Even if both of them thank Allah day and night, it will not be enough thanks for this blessing. Our discussion now proves that a woman who is shrewish by nature and an ill-tempered husband who persist with differences in their lives literally bring themselves to the brink of the fiery valley of the Hell. Now all that is required to land them in Hell is for them to topple over.

A person fell down from a height and died from the fall. An acquaintance of his saw him in a dream. The dead person told his friend, “Neither is there a Munkar nor any Nakeer nor any pressure (Fishaar) of the grave! I fell straight from the world into the center of the Hellfire!

Dear audience! Everything in this world is transient! Only two things will remain for ever. They are the spirit of service and forbearance! These are the traits that make a person radiant! Such persons will have radiant faces (like the full moon) when they are resurrected on the Day of Reckoning. Their faces will be so radiant that they will attract the attention

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of the others present in the Grounds of Reckoning!! The second thing that is permanent is the bounties of Heaven and the retributions of Hell! The world will cease to be.

Differences amongst us have got so deep rooted that the youth are worse than the aged, the educated are worse than the uneducated, the trader is worse than the laborer. We notice in our society that there are physicians who are highly respected for their practice, and who exhibit good ethics (akhlaq) in the society, but when we open the hearts of their wives we find a flowing river of blood on account of the doctor, inspite of his education. We find women who are forward thinking, highly respectable in the society, mix well with other women, but at home we examine the hearts of their husbands we find the poor man imprisoned by the witch that is his wife. It is true that the society is the mirror of the thoughts of its people. To illustrate my point, I shall mention here a very good example:

It is said that during a sermon the speaker asked, "Those men who are not happy with their wives may please stand up!" Except one person, the entire audience stood up. The speaker said, “I thank Allah that at least one person in this audience is happy with his wife!" That person, who was sitting, called out, “You are not correct! I am unable to stand up because my wife has broken one

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of my legs! I am unable to stand up!" Our societies are definitely such that it is difficult to find a man who is pleased with his wife and vice versa.

It is mentioned in the traditions that if differences spring up between two Muslims, or between husband and wife, it is imperative they should try to patch up the matters the very same day! The general practice is, that the younger of the two should apologise to the other. This may also mean that the wife should apologise, even if the husband was at fault. The traditions further say that if the matters are not sorted out the same day, then definitely a truce must be struck the very next day. If the younger party is still adamant, then the elder should go and apologise!

Then no rancor should persist between the two, although both have done wrong by lashing each other verbally. Still they should let go of what happened and not harbor ill feeling towards each other. If the parties are unable to patch up on the second day, it is obligatory that they come to terms on the third day. The late Kulaini has recorded more than ten traditions on the subject. Allama Majlisi has narrated more than thirty traditions pertaining to this subject. The Imams (a.s.) have said that if the parties don't make a truce even after three days, they will not remain Muslims! Even if we don't have any care for our children and

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the world, we must, at least care for the commandments of the Imams (a.s.) in the matter i.e. we must care for Islam. Differences should be nipped in the bud. Why are there so many differences between us? If a husband is faced with economic difficulties in his work what fault is it of his wife that he should take it out on his hapless wife. Similarly, if the husband is not measuring up to the expectations of the wife, despite his best of efforts, she should not nag him for his failings. Place yourself in his shoes and judge whether you can afford that expensive necklace or dress. If you cannot afford it, why do you fight with him, abuse him and wail about it. In the name of Allah, when you decide on the dowry for the daughter, consult each other and come to an understanding. Think how you can lighten the burden instead of abusing each other. If you claim the dowry forcefully, the marriage can never prosper.

The Eighth Talk

1. Cultivating The Habit Of Sin

The things that become the cause of departure of Allah's blessings from a person or a household are the sins that are perpetrated within in. There are many types of sins. Sins are categorized into major and minor. But this categorization is not the subject of discussion here. Sins are also categorized into 'permanent' and 'temporary' sins. Sometimes a person commits a sin, for example, he tells a lie. This is a forbidden act and he must repent

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and make efforts not to repeat it. On repenting, it goes into the category of temporary sins. But if the person becomes a compulsive liar and keeps telling lies again and again, he renders himself a permanent sinner. If a person always talks ill of others, regularly gossips, is always finding faults in others and is a habitual oppressor – this type of sinning is so dangerous that the Holy Quran says:

ثُمَّ کاَنَ عَقِبَهَ الَّذِینَ أَسَُواْ السُّوأَی أَن کَذَّبُواْ بَِایَتِ اللَّهِ وَ کاَنُواْ بهَِا یَسْتَهْزِءُون

Then evil was the consequence to those who dealt in evil because they denied the revelations of Allah and made a mock of them. (Sura ar-Rum, 30: 10)

Those who commit sins as a habit must beware and forsake this habit. These sinners come to such a pass that they start ridiculing the Ulama, the minbar and the mehrab! They even start denying the verses of the Holy Book!

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that when a person commits a sin, a black spot appears in his heart. If the person repents, this black spot disappears. But if he continues sinning, unrepentant, then the black spot starts spreading, and the darkness of sins surrounds the whole heart, which can never be rectified. As good Muslims we must all try to refrain from sinning. Due to our fallible nature, if we commit a sin then immediate repentance is the only remedy, along with the determination not to repeat the act again.

There is another category of sins: When

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a man commits sins, he should realize that he is committing a great wrong. For example when a man looks at a namahram female, he should experience an uneasiness within himself. If he tells a lie or backbites, he should also realize that he is committing a great wrong. Sometimes this realization that he is committing a great offense also goes away. This happens when a person sins repeatedly. When a person commits sins again and again, the instinct that reminds him that he is sinning becomes dormant thus rendering him a perpetual sinner. When this feeling is lost, it is worst than repeating sins, because at this stage the chances of repentance and reform remain very slim.

2. Abandoning The Veil Is A Moral Exhibitionism

Once at a marriage party a lady came dressed improperly. She knew that this was a wrong thing to do. Later, if she regrets her action, repents cries out to her Lord, and tries to mend her ways, then it is good. But if she continues with this improper style of dressing, it will, slowly, become her habit. In all respects she is a decent person. It upsets her to even hear about sexual deviations. If she hears that someone has committed adultery, she criticizes them and acknowledges it as a great wrong. But this improperly dressed lady herself is committing a greater offence. When she applies makeup, wears sleeveless blouses and transparent stockings, and then goes to shops, without hijab, talks and laughs, her act is worse than committing adultery. The

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reason for this is she has been shameless, which is a sin bigger than adultery itself. The Holy Quran says:

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ یحُِبُّونَ أَن تَشِیعَ الْفَحِشَهُ فیِ الَّذِینَ ءَامَنُواْ لهَُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِیمٌ فیِ الدُّنْیَا وَ الاَْخِرَه

Lo! Those who love that slander should be spread concerning those who believe, theirs will be a painful punishment in the world and the Hereafter... (Sura An-Nur, 24 : 19)

Those who adopt such shameless and uncouth ways and promote such habits, for example, a youth taking pleasure in staring at namahram young girls, or a repair-man on a house visit, talks to the ladies of the house, who in turn joke and laugh with him. The Quran says that such shameless friendliness invites double punishment. This is sin more serious than committing adultery. The Holy Quran says in this regard:

وَ مَن یَفْعَلْ ذَلِکَ یَلْقَ أَثَامًا

..... and whoso doth this shall pay the penalty.( Sura al- Furqan, 25: 68)

A person who presents himself for adultery, or does the act, will, in both situations, qualify himself to go to the Hell, and remain there permanently. He will not only go to the Hell but will get the most horrible treatment therein. It is said in the traditions that the person who offers himself for adultery, or perpetrates the act in this world will have such stench emanating from his private part that the other inhabitants of the Hell will get disturbed. But the sin of shamelessness is an even bigger sin. Women who don't cover their heads in

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public, wear half-sleeve blouses, transparent stockings and then walk in the streets in full view of namahram men, or travel by public transport tempt others to emulate them. These women not only adopt sinful ways, but set a bad example for others to follow. She goes shopping and the shopkeeper instead of advising her appropriately, talks to her. Sometimes we find that a woman is chaste and upright, but she does not realize the gravity of her sin. Coming in front of namahram and talking to them is something very normal for her. She converses freely with her husband's elder and younger brothers, she exposes her arms and hair in their presence. She must mend her ways and express repentance over such acts of the past. What is very regrettable is that we become oblivious of the fact that we have adopted sinful ways. We even fail to realize that we are doing something wrong. I very fervently appeal to the ladies that they should avoid unnecessarily going to the bazaar and the malls. If they have to go out, then they should be properly dressed and covered.

Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) says that a time will come for the followers of the Prophet (s) that women will wear transparent stockings and roam about on the streets. He further said that when such things happen, it will be the period of intrigue and turmoil. Such women will be consigned to Hell, where they will remain for eternity. They will face

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retribution there for thousands of years. The women, therefore, should take special care of their dress. If they wish to wear flimsy stockings, they should fold them twice to ensure that their limbs are not exposed to strange eyes. If the sleeves of their blouse are short, they should ensure to change into a proper garment while going out or else cover their arms properly. When a lady goes to a shop, and pays the shopkeeper, she should not forget that she is a namahram for him. If she has to talk to the shopkeeper she should not prolong the conversation, but keep it to the point.

3. The Second Trait

A second, and positive, trait of a good lady is that she remains aloof in the presence of namahram males. When she talks to them, she gives short answers. Laughing and joking in front of namahram is a sin. The late Kulaini writes a back-breaking narrative in al-Kaafi that Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) said if a woman narrates a lewd joke to a strange man, as a retribution for the act, she will be consigned to the Hell for one hundred years! Businessmen should be careful. If their wealth that comes from such sources is spent in their home, their homes cannot be blessed abodes.

4. To Make Excuses For Sin

A person commits a sin, accepts that he has sinned, but then tries to condone it by making some excuse. This is a very dangerous situation. Some women expose their faces in public places and wear improper dresses and then

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condone it by saying this is progressiveness and liberation. In the name of modernity, some people converse freely and joke with namahram women and backbite. Some men create dissensions in the society through gossip and falsehood terming it as political expedient. Such irresponsible acts fall in the category of gheebah (backbiting) and will attract acute retribution.

Therefore I appeal to you that there should be no sins in your life. A sin whether big or small brings about degradation for man. The second appeal I make to you is that dread of sinning should never leave your heart. Even after due care, if one commits a sin, he should not try to condone it. If the fear of sin is not there in the heart of a person and he falls into the habit of making excuses for and condoning such acts, then he can never be repentant in his life. He renders himself a compulsive sinner. Such persons can never hope to get the intercession of the Ahl al Bayt on the Day of Judgment!

I would like to draw the attention to another thing that is seen in every household. It is to be found amongst the businessmen as well as the laborers, the educated and the illiterate, the revolutionary and the non-revolutionary. The dread of this sin has left our hearts and we even make excuses for it. Even if we shed tears of blood over this problem it will not be enough of repentance. This is

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the bad habit of backbiting and slandering. Similarly people indulge in sins like listening to music and songs; seeing passionate videos and pornographic films can only pity the homes where there is music and lewd things. It is not I who is using this word pity but it is the word used by Imam Jafar al Sadiq (a.s.). A person came to the Imam (a.s.) and said, “O son of the Prophet (s)! There is no music in my house, or dance! But my neighbor has employed a dancing girl who dances and sings. When I go to my toilet, I listen to her singing for a while! What effect it will have on me?" The Imam (a.s.) replied, “Pity on you! Go and have a ghusl (bath) of repentance! Offer a prayer and then repent" Then Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) added, "Music and dance is not compatible with our Shia households!"

Definitely amoral films, music and dance are not compatible with our households! The children, who are raised in homes where these things are common, can only be pitied! As said by the Prophet (s) Satans live in such homes and these are devoid of Allah's blessings and the presence of the angels!

5. Backbiting And Slander

I am mentioning two things with a lot of regret. There are very few homes where backbiting and slander, spreading of rumors and lies don't exist. These are major sins. The consequences of these habits, according to the Holy Quran, are very serious.

وَیْلٌ لِّکُلّ ِ هُمَزَهٍ لُّمَزَه


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to every scandal-monger and slanderer. (Sura Humaza, 104: 1)

Woe be to the person who searches for faults of people in front of them. For example, a wife has prepared the food that the husband has not liked. In such an event, he starts ridiculing the wife. Or when a husband buys something and brings it home and the wife doesn't approve of it, she starts criticizing it severely. The Holy Quran disapproves of such persons. They should know that they will be consigned to the Hell where not only their skins, but their very bones will burn! The same goes for gheebah. Backbiting is tantamount to eating a mu'min brother’s flesh. Do not backbite. Backbiting is like eating the flesh of dead animals. There can be no felicity, no piety and no mercy of Allah in homes where carrion is eaten and where dogs are raised.

There is a tradition quoted from Imam Husayn (a.s.) which is also quoted in Tohaf al Uqool from Imam Zain al Abedeen (a.s.):

Backbiting is the food of the dogs of Hell

The meaning of this saying of the Imam (a.s.) is that a person, who backbites again and again, becomes a habitual backbiter. The backbiter goes to the Hell in the form of a dog. When these dogs become hungry, according to Imam Husayn (a.s.) and Imam Sajjad (a.s.), they are fed with the backbiting they had done in the world in the form of rotten, foul smelling, putrefied fleash! It is a pity, that

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in most of our homes, people indulge in backbiting. Which is the home where people don't ridicule their friends behind their backs?!

O ladies! Don't be harsh while dealing with your children. Be especially mindful about respecting the children. If, their feelings are hurt and they start speaking ill of you behind your back, the fear of the sin of gheebah will leave their hearts, and they will fall into the habit of sinning. Then, they forget the norms of decency and turn into beasts. Slander is falsely attributing something to a person, behind his back. The difference between backbiting and slander is that in the case of the former, one takes pleasure in recounting the person's failing behind his back. In the case of the latter, the slanderer concocts false stories about the person in his absence.

It is observed in our society that when a person is backbiting, and someone forbids him to do so, the backbiter retorts that the person about whom he is backbiting does in fact have this shortcoming. This is a satanic talk. If a person does indeed have the fault about which you are talking in his absence, it is backbiting. If you backbite you will be turned into a dog. If there is no fault in a person that you attribute to him, then it is downright slander. Do you know about the retribution for these sins?

إِنَّمَا یَفْترَِی الْکَذِبَ الَّذِینَ لَا یُؤْمِنُونَ بَِایَتِ اللَّهِ وَ أُوْلَئکَ هُمُ الْکَذِبُون

Only they invent falsehoods who believe

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not Allah's revelations, and (only) they are the liars. (Sura al Nahl, 16: 105)

The Holy Quran asserts that those who blame each other falsely are not Muslims. They are downright liars.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that those who practice slander will be stationed in putrid pools of their own blood. They will stand in there for fifty thousand years, till everyone has given their accounts. Then in a state of humiliation, these people will be taken to Hell. I regret to say here, that most of our homes are the abodes of slanderers. The angels see your house in its true form. You cannot see it, but they can see that your house is full of filth and blood. With our limited vision we are unable to see this awful state of affairs! The angels don’t even want to look at your home, because your house is overflowing with blood. When did this happen? When the inhabitants of the house did not repent to undo the damage. The filth and blood of Qiyamah is prepared in this world. When you were backbiting in the world, it gave rise to this filth. On the day of Qiyamah you will have to stand on this very filth. The vision of people will be very sharp on the Day of Judgment. They will be able to clearly see the filth and gore surrounding them! We should take utmost care to see that we don't attribute anything to a person without making sure of

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the truth in the matter. Is there anyone in our midst who can say with confidence that he neither listens to any talk about any person without positive proof nor does he say anything about a person unless he is sure of the veracity of what he says! We are such people that even while fasting we indulge in slanderous gossip! Even if we shed tears of blood over this heinous habit, it won't be sufficient! The Holy Quran says: Pity the person who spreads false rumours. Pay attention to this sin, it is indeed a great sin. The Quran says:

إِذْ تَلَقَّوْنَهُ بِأَلْسِنَتِکمُ ْ وَ تَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِکمُ مَّا لَیْسَ لَکُم بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَ تحَْسَبُونَهُ هَیِّنًا وَ هُوَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِیم

When you received it with your tongues and spoke with your mouths what you had no knowledge of, and you deemed it an easy matter while with Allah it was grevious. (Sura An-Nur, 24 : 15)

The Quran says that what you speak, and has become a habit for you, is considered an easy matter and you attach no importance to it, but remember that Allah attaches great importance to it.

وَ لَا تَقْفُ مَا لَیْسَ لَکَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَ الْبَصَرَ وَ الْفُؤَادَ کلُ ُّ أُوْلَئکَ کاَنَ عَنْهُ مَسُْولا

And pursue thou not that which thou hast not the knowledge of: Verily, the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these shall be questioned about it. (Sura al-’Isra’, 17: 36)

Don't go after things about which you don't have absolute knowledge. Allah

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will question your hearts, eyes and ears about what you thought, heard and saw. The Quran tells us not to follow doubts. When you hear about something accept it only in the presence of proof. If you want to say something you must not say it unless you have evidence, failing which, be assured that your heart, your tongue, your ears will give evidence against you.

الْیَوْمَ نخَْتِمُ عَلیَ أَفْوَهِهِمْ وَ تُکلَِّمُنَا أَیْدِیهِمْ وَ تَشهَْدُ أَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا کاَنُواْ یَکْسِبُون

This Day We seal up mouths, and hands speak out and feet bear witness as to what they used to earn. (Sura Ya Sin, 36: 65)

On the Day of Judgment a seal will be put on the mouths. The ears and the tongues of people will bear witness against them for their misdeeds, and say that they had heard gheebah, they had uttered and accepted slander and they used to spread false rumours. Think about what you are doing in this world. The husbands have to be truthful with their wives and the wives too should be honest with the husbands. One should never resort to lies. If the chain of lies takes root in a house, then angels will abandon the place. Angels don’t enter such houses instead they curse them. It is narrated in the traditions that if a person utters one falsehood, immediately a foul smell emanates from his mouth and goes towards the Firmament and the angels start cursing him. Wives should never utter a lie to their husbands

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and similarly the husbands should always tell the truth to the wives. More important is that they should never resort to lying in front of the impressionable children. If parents make any promise to the children, they should ensure its fulfillment. Do not make false promises to the children. If you want to be a real Muslim, you should be truthful. Pity on the home where there exists hypocrisy, where the husband lies to his wife, and the wife lies to the husband. This house gives out a stench like that of a garbage dump. When the angels look at such homes, they curse these homes, they curse these couples and say: You are Muslims and yet you lie?

The Holy Quran says that Muslims must refrain from two things. One is that they should avoid idol worship and the second is to avoid telling lies. This means that the Holy Book places the heinous acts of idol worship on par with lying! Despite this, lying and falsehood is rampant in our homes! Our society is engulfed with this curse. A settlement where people are habitual liars sends out a foul stench towards the firmament and the angels curse such a place!

The Ninth Talk

1. Formation of a Household

Today's discussion is concerning the formation of the family and the importance that Islam gives to it. This is a very useful topic for discussion and I do hope that we shall be able to discuss several issues concerning our society. Formation of families gives tremendous advantages

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to people and the satisfaction of the sexual instinct becomes insignificant when compared to the benefits that are concomitant with the formation of the family structure. In the previous talk we have stressed the point that suppressing the sexual instinct is not right from the Islamic point of view. Satisfying the sex instinct is absolutely necessary and the benefits accruing to the family from this are very distinct. The first step for the formation of a family is to respond positively to the urge of nature because man and woman are absolutely necessary for each other. The progeny emanates from the mating of man and wife. When the human beings first set foot on the world, one woman was chosen for one man and they parented a few offspring. The first example of a human couple has been Adam (a.s.) and his wife Hawwa. If the family can give virtuous offspring to the society, then, in the eyes of Islam, there is, probably, nothing more blessed and rewarding than this act.

A verse from the Holy Quran stresses on the great value of human life:

مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسَا بِغَیرِْ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فیِ الْأَرْضِ فَکَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِیعًا وَ مَنْ أَحْیَاهَا فَکَأَنَّمَا أَحْیَا النَّاسَ جَمِیعًا

.....whosoever killeth a human being for other than man-slaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one,it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. (Sura al Maidah, 5:

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What we have mentioned here is the apparent meaning of the Verse. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has given another, finer (lateef), meaning to the verse. He says that if a person misguides a person from the right path, his sin is as severe as if he has massacred the entire population of the world. Similarly, if a person guides another person to the right path, saves him from going astray and turns him into a pious and truthful person, then the act will be equivalent to giving life to the entire population of the world.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Beware! Don't lead men astray with your talk. In your homes you should not implant in the minds of the children, distorted notions about the Faith, the scholars, the prayer niche and the pulpit. If you let this happen, it will be tantamount to massacring the entire population of the world. You should always use your tongue, your pen, your manners and behavior to bring people to the right path to the best of your ability. If you do this, it will be equivalent to giving life to the entire population of the world!"

The interpretation of the verse given by Imam Jafar al Sadiq (a.s.) highlights another meaning of the verse. If a husband and wife train pious offspring for the society, the reward will not only be equivalent to making a mosque or a school, nor equivalent to giving life to one or two persons, but it will be

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equal to giving life to the entire population of the world! The recompense for giving noble and pious offspring to the society is more than that for any other pious act. This is possible only if the family is established on the right path!

There are several traditions of the Prophet of Islam (s) and the infallible Imams on the subject. When a person dies, his actions are terminated and he will not earn any further benefits on account of his actions. But a person who has left behind Baqiyatus Salehat (pious assets), will continue to get more and more rewards. Pious and truthful offspring are included in the Baqiyatus Salehat of a person. When a person leaves behind a pious son or a daughter, and they offer prayers, recite the Holy Quran and perform other pious deeds, then the parents will share the rewards that the children earn! When a son or daughter earns reward for a good deed, an equivalent reward will be allocated for the dead parents too. The good deeds of such parents will not stop with their death!

One tradition that is very popular with both Sunni and Shia scholars is quoted by Sheikh Saduq (a.r.) in his book, Sawaab al Aamaal:

'If a person leaves behind Baqiyatus Salehat in the world like building a mosque, establishing a school, building a bridge or any other constructive activity, he will get rewards. But a better Baqiyatus Salehat is a person leaving behind pious and noble offspring in the

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society. In addition when the child performs any good deed, one reward is for the child himself, another is for his father and a third reward is given to his mother.'

There are umpteen traditions of this nature. Therefore people should strive to form families of a pious and noble character, so that good offspring can be turned over to the society. This is the demand of Islam, which is a faith that conforms with nature! But the enemies of humanity have, from times immemorial, perpetrated such activities that hamper the growth of pious and noble generations in the human race. The Quran says about them: mufsid fil ardh - their work is to spread mischief on the face of the earth

وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَن یُعْجِبُکَ قَوْلُهُ فیِ الْحَیَوهِ الدُّنْیَا وَ یُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلیَ مَا فیِ قَلْبِهِ وَ هُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَام

And among the people is he whose conversation on the life of this world pleases you and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart; yet he is the most rigid of opponents. (Sura al Baqarah, 2: 204)

This verse means that some people make sweet talks and win the hearts of the people till they form their own school of thought. Some examples of such persons are Marx, Freud, Nietze etc. They write books, and establish their schools of thought which then take root in the East and the West. But Allah knows what is in their hearts. The Holy Quran says that such men are

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the worst enemies of humanity. The Quran doesn't say that such men are enemies only of Islam. It says huwa 'aladdul-khisaam which means that they are the enemies of the human race! The Holy Quran enumerates one of their characteristics that if they are unable to usurp power, then they create discord in the minds of the people. But if they are able to attain power, then:

وَ إِذَا تَوَلیَ سَعَی فیِ الْأَرْضِ لِیُفْسِدَ فِیهَا وَ یُهْلِکَ الْحَرْثَ وَ النَّسْلَ وَ اللَّهُ لَا یحُِبُّ الْفَسَاد

And when he turneth away (from thee) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle; and Allah loveth not mischief. (Sura al Baqarah, 2: 205)

When they attain power, they misguide people. They loot assets and destroy entire generations. The same thing happened with Iran after the Revolution. The American bred dog attacked hapless populations in the villages and perpetrated general massacre. He not only destroyed the buildings and mosques, but also uprooted the trees and destroyed crops. Quran says, yuhlikal harsa wan-nasl, meaning that when aggressors like Saddam get power, they lead the people astray or massacre people. Their aim is always to destroy the habitations.

Another meaning of the verse is that those who are the enemies of humanity try to mislead the young generations. They entice women to discard their hijab. In the name of progress they introduce forbidden habits in the society. They misguide men into forbidden ways. They make people engrossed in serving

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their selfish ends and satisfying their base desires, and thus the present generation is destroyed. This way they ensure that not only the present generation is ruined but the future generations, too, are destroyed. This is the reason that they work more in the schools, colleges and the universities. They try to keep the children away from the pulpit and the mosque. If they don't succeed with their foul motives on the present generation, they turn their attention to ruining the future generations. Russel is a well known British philosopher. The world recognizes him as a philosopher of high caliber. He very foolishly thought it unnecessary to have a family. Even the Pharoah was of the same opinion. But the Quran says

إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فیِ الْأَرْضِ وَ جَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِیَعًا یَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائفَهً مِّنهُْمْ یُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَ یَسْتَحْیِ نِسَاءَهُمْ إِنَّهُ کاَنَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِین

Lo! Pharaoh exalted himself in the earth and made its people castes. A tribe among them he oppressed, killing their sons and sparing their women. Lo! he was of those who work corruption. (Sura al Qasas, 28: 4)

Pharaoh was an evil person. He created major problems for the Bani Israel when he established power over them. First he created differences amongst the people, and thus ensured his own success. Generally all the commentators of the Holy Quran interpret the words, yudhabbihu 'abnaaa-'ahum, to mean that he arranged killing of all new-born males to ensure that Prophet Musa (a.s.) was prevented from coming in the world! He left the new-born

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females of the tribe unharmed. But some researchers interpret the verse saying that Pharaoh did this to demoralize men and make the women shameless and hand them over to the society as play-things!

One act of Pharaoh was to destroy the future generations of Bani Israel. His plan was to make the women totally shameless. Pity on the society in which women render themselves shameless! We read in the traditions that haya (shame) or bashfulness is divided into ten parts. Nine are for women and only one for men. It is a shame for a society where all the nine parts of modesty in women disappear. That is the stage when a woman wears perfume and comes out in public, scantily dressed. So shameless does she become that she exposes her face and bares her bosom. In this condition she moves about in the bazaar or goes to a shop, talking and laughing with namahrams. Shame on such a society and more shame on such women! Pharaoh was enforcing these shameful things to strengthen his hold over the tribe of Bani Israel and to weaken their future generation. Today's exploiters too have similar plans to destroy the coming generations.

2. Modesty And Bashfulness

When these people succeed in their nefarious schemes, they destroy modesty and bashfulness in women. They involve the women in sensual acts and destroy the manliness of men. A father sees namahram males eyeing his daughter sensually, but it does not affect him. Men see their wives, daughters and sisters going to the

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market in see-through dresses, without hijab, they know that their women have dressed up for others. When a society comes to this pass, we should offer a silent prayer for it! You might wonder why the autocratic Reza Shah and the king of Turkey ordered general massacres. They did this to succeed in rendering women immodest through their tyrannical force! Whenever Reza Khan came to any meetings, he used to say that he personally did not want the women to come out of the veil, but that they were themselves insisting on this change in their lifestyle! He said that the only thing he wanted was that the women should not wear the chador. When Reza Shah had gone to Isfahan, the elders had gone to meet him with a request. He told them that the women could be in hijab, only they should not wear the chador (full body covering). The Westerners knew it well that if women don't wear the chador, there will be no stopping them; they will spiral towards complete immodesty! And, unfortunately, we saw that women reached the stage where they were seen moving semi-naked on the streets. In addition, they were proud of their immodest behavior!

Reza Shah and the king of Turkey wanted to make Iran and Turkey “liberated” and immodest in this manner. Whether it is the Pharaoh, or the foreigners, Haman or America, they all aim to misguide the future generations and promote immodesty. Therefore it is binding on Muslims that

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they implicitly follow the commandments of Islam, otherwise they will be dragged towards evil. Pharoh planned to make men weak and the women immodest. He used to start with the girls when they were still small, so that they grew up to be immodest women, and men feel no compunction. When a society is reduced to this state, then it becomes very easy to dominate and overpower the people. When you see the Quran and traditions stressing on the formation of the family, do not be surprised. Only a pious generation can truly bring about sound progress. Only a virtuous generation can make scientific progress to the extent that others envy them. Islam calls on us to look after our children so that we can turn over a virtuous son and a modest daughter over to the society. The reward for doing so is more than constructing a mosque, or visiting the Kaaba or any other worship. If a person does a lot of good deeds and another gives two virtuous children to the society which deed is better? According to Islam handing over virtuous children to the society is better. Hence I congratulate the ladies who stay within the four walls of the house, and raise virtuous children. These ladies are like the mujahideen (soldiers) who are fighting the enemy on the frontline. In addition their house is also like a school. They are rewarded so much, as if they have given life to the whole world.

3. Giving Virtuous Progeny To The Society

Islam wants

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men and women to pay attention to certain things. A wife and husband, while in the act of copulation, should not think of others. For example, the man thinking of some other woman or the wife, may Allah forbid, thinking of some other man at that time. If a child born out of such mating turns out to be an adulterer when he grows up, it is the parents who should be blamed and not the child. Islam is so particular about the upbringing of the child that it forbids the parents to display sexual behavior even if the child is still in the cradle! They must go to another room to fulfill their urge, if they desire to do so. It is mandated that during copulation no third person should hear even the breathing of the couple. They should exercise care that no third person sees their faces or the bodies during their conjugal act. Islam forbids its followers looking at namahram persons. All these commandments are to protect the future generations from going astray. The person who stares at namahram or the trader who looks at namahrams cannot give virtuous progeny to the society. Try and become modest. Islam has warns you against immodesty! Islam has warned of grave danger for a lady who doesn't mind looking at and dealing with a namahram.

The day a child is born, Islam says that the adhaan is to be recited in its right ear and the Iqamah in the left

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ear. If you wish the child to be a good Shia, put a little soil from the graveside of Abi Abdallah al Husayn (a.s.) near his lips prior to feeding the mother's milk.

Feed the child mother's milk. Mother's milk is most important for the baby's health and welfare. However the milk should be one that is from Halal sustenance. The Prophet of Islam (s) used to say:

If the child becomes foul mouthed, the sin will go into the nama-e-Aamaal (the Account of Deeds) of the parent, as well as that of the child because he is the one who has used abusive and foul language. This will go in to the accounts of the father and the mother, even if they are dead and gone! (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol 1, page 71)

A person who has given immodest progeny to the society, the traditions mention, will get retribution for the sins of the offspring in addition to the retribution of the perpetrator of the sins himself.

A lady told me once that whenever she wanted to fight with her husband, she used to leave her children with their maternal grand-parents. After the fight was over and a truce declared, she used to bring the children home! What a thoughtful way it is!

Ladies and gentlemen! If you want to fight and abuse each other, please take the child in the cradle somewhere else so that he doesn't hear your foul talk! I wish to tell you something. Our ladies, in the

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days when they never stirred out of their homes, kept some pebbles in their mouths when they were required to speak with strange men. The purpose was to make their voices as unattractive as possible to the strange men! Our fathers were men who used to recite the Quran and were regular at offering prayers. But what is our status? What is the status of our children? Such women have been endowed to the society that they take out their young daughters without a chador. It is a pity that they visit the mausoleum of Hadhrat Masoomae Qom in the same state!

One lady told me that she saw Hadhrat Masooma in her dream. Hadhrat Masooma told her that in the past she used to cry about the pitiable state of others. But now she cries over the state of affairs of our own people!

Pity the children that in the laps they witness and are raised in an environment of sexually provocative scenes, provocative songs, backbiting, slander, abuse, shouting and fights. I appeal to you again and again! Please have concern for the coming generations! At least think of your own self. God forbid you are addressed as the murderer of human beings! You will say that I have never committed such a crime in the world. He will be answered that you have killed a whole world of people .as you did not take care of proper upbringing of your children!

The Tenth Talk

1. The Benefits Of Matrimony

In the previous talk we discussed

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the advantages of forming families. One very significant advantage for the partners to establish a family is the natural satisfaction of the sex instinct. The other, and very important, advantage is providing virtuous and healthy progeny to the society. The enemies of humanity always devise stratagems to ensure that virtuous members are not there in the societies. This is the reason that the institution of the ‘family’ is attacked by them. This is also the reason for making immodesty so common. It is your duty to give importance to the family so that a healthy progeny is turned over to society. This will help to control the effects of Western Culture.

2. Peace Of Mind

Today's topic of discussion is about the fact that a decent man and wife are the source of comfort and contentment for each other. This is reflected in one of the verses of the Holy Quran:

وَ مِنْ ءَایَتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَکمُ مِّنْ أَنفُسِکُمْ أَزْوَجًا لِّتَسْکُنُواْ إِلَیْهَا

And of his signs is this: He created for you helpmates from yourselves that ye might find rest in them..... (Sura ar-Rum, 30: 21)

One of the signs from Allah is that he has created man for woman and the woman for man! If we analyse the human nature we find that a man without a woman remains incomplete. Similarly a spinster woman is incomplete without a man. In fact a man and a woman combine to form a complete identity i.e. each one is dependant on the other. In the view of the Holy Quran

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man is the support for woman, and similarly the woman is a support for man. In this world everyone needs a confidante. If we consider human nature, and the guidance given by the Holy Quran, the best source of comfort for a person in difficult times is his or her wife or husband! Wa ja-ala bainakum mawadda wa rahmat -Allah has created wife and husband as well-wishers of each other. By nature, man and wife love each other.

If we don't destroy this abode of peace, then man and wife are always a source of comfort and peace for each other. Pity on the home which offers no peace to the man or wife ! These people are like the insomniacs who don’t get sleep. Look at a person who doesn't get sleep. How restless such a person is! He cannot think properly. His body becomes sick. According to the Holy Quran sleep is the cause of comfort for the living creatures. Similarly the Holy Quran says that man and woman are the cause of comfort for each other. Therefore a man who remains single has no means of comfort. A woman who is a spinster is like a person who is suffering from insomnia. Man and wife are a source of comfort for each other. It is our duty to protect and promote the institution of marriage and formation of families!

3. Man And Wife - Ornaments For Each Other

According to the Holy Quran, man and wife are not only the source of mutual comfort, but are like

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ornaments for each other. The Holy Book says:

هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّکُمْ وَ أَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُن

They are raiment for you and ye are raiment for them. ..... (Sura al Baqarah, 2: 187)

There are two or three meanings of the word 'raiment' in the verse. One meaning is that the wife is an ornament for the husband just as a good raiment is an ornamentation for him. The Holy Quran itself is witness to this fact that it says:

یَبَنیِ ءَادَمَ خُذُواْ زِینَتَکمُ ْ عِندَ کلُ ِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَ کُلُواْ وَ اشرَْبُواْ وَ لَا تُسرِْفُواْ إِنَّهُ لَا یحُِبُّ الْمُسرِْفِین

O Children of Adam! Put on your adornment on every occasion of prayer, and eat and drink, but do not waste; indeed Allah does not like the wasteful. ( Sura al-A’raaf 7:31)

This means that when you plan to go out anywhere - to the mosque or to a meeting - dress properly and decently. Here the term 'raiment' connotes ornamentation and the meaning of the words hunna libasun lakum wa antum libasun lahun is that women are their husbands' ornamentation and they are the ornaments for their wives. The other meaning of the word 'raiment' here is that a wife is the protection for the man and prevents him from going astray. The man too performs this task for his wife. The third meaning of the word 'raiment' is that man and wife are satar or coverings for each other. A man who is single is devoid of the cover that a wife provides and similarly a

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spinster too is devoid of this cover or protection in the absence of a mate. In a nutshell, the verse says that the man and wife are adornments and covers for each other. We should therefore take care of our adornments and coverings.

Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said that the husband is like a necklace for the wife. As the necklace is an ornament for a woman, a husband too is an ornament for the wife. Then the Imam (a.s.) observed that one should take care what type of woman one chooses for a spouse. The Imam (a.s.) further added that if one has a virtuous wife, then he has a big blessing. A good wife is an invaluable possession. She is worth more than any amount of gold and silver. If the wife is not good, she is worthless, even less than a handful of sand! The same is true for a husband. If he is modest and his wife is pleased with him then it is a great blessing. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says that if husband and wife are compatible and are ornamentation for each other, then definitely this is a great blessing.

4. Man And Wife - Source Of Comfort For Each Other

In addition to being a source of comfort and protection for each other, the home is a place of amusement for the man and wife. This is definitely so if the home is as has been defined and ordained by Islam. If the wife fits into the definition of a spouse as given by Islam

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and the husband fits into the standard fixed for him, then the best place for amusement is the home itself! It is possible that at this meeting there are present many husbands whose hearts are with their wives at home! They would love to reach the comfort of the home after a full day of toil and hard work! Also it is possible that in the gathering there are ladies who are eagerly looking forward to their husbands returning home after performing their duties and business. They look forward to the husband's familiar knock at the door to welcome him and dispel all his cares and tiredness with a smile of welcome! The Prophet of Islam (s) has observed thus on the subject:

There is no greater blessing for a Muslim man after Islam than a Muslim wife who causes him joy when he looks at her. (Wasail alShia, Vol 14, page 23)

The smile of a man and wife, for each other, is a source of joy and pleasure. It is mentioned in the traditions that the value of a good wife is far more than that of gold and silver. In fact if there is anything that is most valuable after the faith of Islam, it is a good spouse for a person! The most pleasurable thing for a wife is to converse happily with her husband. Men should take care to make their wives happy and the women too should strive towards the same end.

A man came to

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the Prophet of Allah (s) and said, "O Prophet of Allah! My wife is so thoughtful that when I reach home, she herself comes to open the door and receives me with a smile. She gives me attention and converses with me. Whenever I am unhappy and tired, she humors me to dispel my unhappiness and tiredness!" The Prophet (s) said, “This woman is a servant of Allah! She is an angel and will get the same rewards for her actions as the angels get! Her actions are most valuable!"

Men too can be like that. They should know that it is only their wives who can provide them comfort. The wife's smile and her talk provide comfort to the husband. If there is no love and care in a home, the atmosphere there becomes very unpleasant. Such atmosphere is not only harmful to the husband and wife, but it badly affects the children as well. You will notice that children from homes where the atmosphere is not good have inferior abilities and poor memories when compared with other children. Remember, the shortcomings in the children are due to the mistakes of the parents. When there is no atmosphere of love and affection at home, the man becomes a victim of psychological ailments. The home then becomes a prison for him.

It happens sometimes that a husband prefers to sitting at the wayside cafe till late in the night rather than going home. In certain homes the wife doesn't bother to

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find out about her husband. It is our own fault that we have destroyed these abodes of comfort and peace by using harsh words. This happens even after they have become old or are materially very well off. Beauty is not just in dressing well but actual beauty is in the way the eyes if the other person perceives you

Perhaps the fable of Laila and Majnoon is only a fiction. But there are very good lessons in such stories. It is said that the story of the love of Laila and Majnoon reached the ears of the king of that time. The king called both of them. When they reached the court, he was surprised to see that Laila was a bedouin girl, ugly and dark with thick lips! In surprise he asked Majnoon, “How could you fall in love with this ugly girl?" Majnoon recited a couplet in reply:

"If you had seen Laila with Majnoon's eyes, you would have seen nothing but beauty in her!"

People used to tell Majnoon that he was running after a dark, ugly looking girl. He would reply that darker the musk, the more fragrant it would be!

If a wife loves her husband she will not dwell on his shortcomings. If someone tells a woman that her husband has some failings, she stands up in his defence. She does this, even if the complainant is her own mother or father! If the husband loves his wife, he too will come to her defence. She may

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not be very good looking, but for him she is the fairest of the fair! It is not necessary that women approach sorcerers to gain the love of their husbands. This is a big sin.

One woman came to the Prophet of Islam (s) and said, "O Prophet of Allah! I have committed a sin. I tried to win the love of my husband through sorcery." The Prophet (s) was furious and said, “You have turned the sky into earth, and the earth to sky! You have rendered your world dark! Pity on you!" The woman was very penitent and busied herself in perpetual prayer. The Prophet (s) learned about this activity and said, “Allah will not pardon her! He will not pardon her!" The meaning of the Prophet's observation is that the real repentance for the woman should have been in going home to serve her husband and home i.e. not to abandon the world while being fully engrossed only in worship. According to the Holy Prophet (s) if a lady desires the attention of her husband and wants him to be happy with her, then she should look after her husband, their house and the children well. He will automatically love her even if she is not good looking. Similarly if a husband desires to have the love and affection of his wife, he should treat her with respect and it is imperative that he does not use foul language. Foul language is a major cause of termination of

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love and affection between people. When he enters home, he should not vent his anger on his wife. The problems outside have come on him and his wife should not have to bear the brunt of his problems Upon entering the house do not complain and wail in front of children nor fight with your wife as these are great sins that cause Fishare Qabr (the squuzing of the grave) when the person dies!

One of the close companions of the Prophet (s) died. The Prophet (s) himself attended his burial. The people said that the person was lucky that he was interred in his grave by the Holy Prophet (s). The Prophet (s) observed, "The grave has given him so much fishar that the bones of his ribs have shattered!" The companions asked, “O Prophet of Allah (s)! He was a good man! Why did he suffer this hardship?" The Prophet (s) replied, “He was a good person but he always fought with his wife and behaved badly at home!"

A Muslim should not be foul mouthed. If someone uses abusive language, he is not a Muslim. God forbid! If someone beats his wife! If he does that, he is a shameless person, he is not a Muslim. However much learned or “forward-minded” the person might be, he will taste the hardship of Fishare Qabr when he dies. Such persons are not the friends of Allah, the Prophet (s), and the Imams (a.s.). The Prophet of Islam (s) used to say

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that on The Day of Judgment two groups will have such long tongues that they would be touching the ground and others will trample their tongues! The companions asked, “Who these people will be?" The Prophet (s) replied, "The first group will be of the persons who backbite about others and are always finding faults in others. The other group will consist of women who misbehaved with their husbands, and the men who verbally abused their wives!"

Some persons deceptively look very respectable but, in fact, they are so immature that in the presence of their impressionable children they use abusive language. For example they address their children as: “the son of a dog!" or "son of a donkey!". Such people are in fact using foul language to address themselves; they should realize that the father of a dog is also a dog. If a person becomes foul-mouthed at home and irritable, this becomes his habit. His dog-like behavior is clear to others, but he himself is unaware of his own bad habit. If he had insight, he would have realized his dog-like behavior.

The persons who call their sons dogs in a rage of anger and use abusive language against their wives, themselves develop the traits of dogs. If someone had the vision and insight of Allama Majlisi or Sadr al Muta'aleheen, he would have seen himself as a dog! Ladies should not get angry. You may be known in the society for your looks or your youthfulness, but the

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angels see you as nothing more than a she-dog. Perhaps you have a very imposing personality and the society views you with respect, but because of your foul-mouth you may render yourself into a virtual dog! When the angels in the skies look at you, you appear like a dog to them. It has come in the narratives that the misbehavior at home and use of abusive language or beatings change the status of a person. When this person dies, his spirit goes to Allah and from there it proceeds to Heaven or Hell. On the way it passes through all the stages, and when the spirit of this ill-mannered person reaches the seventh sky, the inhabitants say that a dog has arrived! Are people with such bad manners desirous of going to Allah in the form of a dog!

If you heed today's talk, then your home will be a place of peace and comfort. If a husband and wife become a source of support and comfort for each other and if they become a beautification for each other, then when they die, the angels praise them. Allah will be happy with such persons and, certainly, they will be destined for the Heaven!

O Allah! For the sake of the children of Abi Abdallah al Husayn, make our homes, our spouses and our children sources of comfort. O Allah! Give good wives and husbands to our sons and daughters who bring joy in their lives!

The Eleventh Talk

1. Training Oneself

So far our

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discussion was on the formation of families and its advantages. In the previous discussion, the advantages were mentioned. One of these is the training of the self within the family. Home is a place for embellishing oneself with noble traits. Within the family, the husband and wife can train themselves, embellish themselves with noble traits. They can not only cultivate good habits themselves, but also motivate other members of the family to follow suit. But in the eyes of sociologists, achieving these two things - training themselves and motivating others, is rather difficult. A person needs some effort for curbing the base traits and planting the sapling of virtue in his mind. Normally people struggle to make a smooth transformation in their natures.

فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَهَ

وَ مَا أَدْرَئکَ مَا الْعَقَبَهُ

فَکُّ رَقَبَه

But he hath not attempted the ascent—

Ah! what will convey unto thee what the Ascent is!—

(It is) to free a slave. (Sura al Balad, 90: 11-13)

Expelling undesirable habits from one’s nature is a difficult task. But one has to get rid of them before they assume stormy proportions. When one succeeds in this effort, the person plants the sapling of virtue in his nature. To nourish this sapling one has to make strenuous efforts. He has to persevere. It is said that the nafse ammara (base instinct) is like an elephant. The trainer of an elephant has to constantly hit on its head to train it. If there is the slightest negligence on the part of the trainer, the animal

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can overcome him. The base instincts and the mean traits in a person are also like the untrained elephant. Believe me, all the Prophets (s.a.) came to the world, with their books, for the sole purpose of guiding the people to curb their nafse ammara!

هُوَ الَّذِی بَعَثَ فیِ الْأُمِّیِّنَ رَسُولًا مِّنهُْمْ یَتْلُواْ عَلَیهِْمْ ءَایَتِهِ وَ یُزَکِّیهِمْ وَ یُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْکِتَبَ وَ الحِْکْمَه

He it is who hath sent among the unlettered ones a messenger of their own, to recite unto them His revelations and to make them grow, and to teach them the Scriptures and Wisdom… (Sura al-Jumu’ah, 62: 2)

The Prophet of Islam (s) came with the Miracle of the Quran for the people to reform their psyches. The Prophets (s.a.) have gone through untold hardships performing this task. But their success was not commensurate with the toil put in by them. The reason for this was that the task was very formidable.

The matter that needs our attention, and particularly that of the ladies, is that they are like a madrasa or school at home. They are the foundation for the establishment of the home and the family and are the instructors of morality for the members of the family. In a family the wife is a mentor for the husband, the husband is a mentor for the wife and both together are mentors for the children.

2. Need of Patience

When the husband and wife are intelligent, they serve each other and spend time in grooming of the children instead of spending time

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on unnecessary arguments, bickering and restlessness. These undesirable traits can totally uproot a person.

The Holy Quran says:

إِنَّ الْانسَنَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا

إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا

وَ إِذَا مَسَّهُ الخَْیرُْ مَنُوعًا

إِلَّا الْمُصَلِّین

Lo! Man was created anxious,

Fretful when evil befalleth him

And, when good befalleth him, grudging;

Save worshippers (Sura Ma‘aarij, 70: 19-22)

The human nature is, no doubt, fickle. Man forgets Allah both when he is well provided for, and also when he is penniless. He is like the pebbles on the street. When someone tramples on the pebbles, they scatter here and there! The fickleness of humankind is such that when they face a small hardship, they become restless. But when they do well and progress, they become conceited. Social scientists consider human fickleness as a negative trait. Such persons get upset by minor things. There are also persons who have the trait of patience and forbearance. About them the Holy Quran says:

إِنَّمَا یُوَفیَّ الصَّبرُِونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَیرِْ حِسَاب

…Verily the steadfast will be paid their wages without stint. (Sura az-Zumar, 39: 10)

Definitely there is reward for every act of piety like prayer, fasting etc. But there is one trait in human beings that will be handsomely rewarded by Allah. That trait is the patience and forbearance that one exercises in dealing with one’s spouse, in training and educating the children and dealing with the people in the community. An intelligent person discreetly tolerates the occasional tantrums of his wife and thus promotes an atmosphere of peace and tranquility at home. Heaven has eight entrances and one of

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them is reserved for the persons who exercise patience in their lives! They remain patient in difficulties and offer prayers in that spirit. These persons will enter Heaven through that door which is at an elevated place and the Immaculate Imams (a.s.) will use the same door for entering Heaven! Our master Imam Husayn (a.s) and all the martyrs, who laid down their lives with forbearance in the way of Allah, will use this threshold to enter the Heaven! When one bears difficulties with equanimity thinking that they are the forerunners of better days, will be rewarded amply in this world and the Hereafter. A woman, who trains herself and her children with patience and equanimity and discreetly faces the occasional misbehavior of her husband, will ultimately come out victorious.

The best thing that a person can do is to banish negative traits from his nature and in its place acquire virtues. This is even better than Paradise. Cleverness is not acquiring Paradise or avoiding Hell. The Shia of Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) will, anyway, ultimately go to Heaven, although after bearing the hardships of the grave, the Barzakh and the Day of Reckoning. There is very little likelihood of their going to the Hell. Even if a mu'min goes to the Hell, his stay there will be short and his final destination is Heaven! Cleverness is not avoiding Hell, because even the mentally handicapped will not go to Hell! Astuteness does not lie in becoming an inmate of Heaven.

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Even children who die go straight to Heaven without any accounting of the deeds! What is so special if you reach Heaven without accounting for your deeds? Perfection, for a person, is in achieving Allah’s pleasure through his good deeds. If a person can achieve Allah’s pleasure, he is indeed wise and perfect.

A person should do such deeds that his heart becomes the abode of his Lord. This is indeed a priceless achievement, not acquiring Heaven. Perfection is not attaining Paradise, but perfection is in making the heart the abode of the Lord, in this world! It is narrated that the heart of the mu'min is the abode of the Most Merciful. Who can make his heart the abode of the Lord? It is the person who undergoes the process of ridding himself of bad qualities and adorning himself with good qualities. The home is an excellent place for achieving this. To forgive someone or make sacrifices are virtues possessed even by animals. The home is the best place to train oneself to acquire these virtues while ridding oneself of negative traits like narrow-mindedness and miserliness.

The right way of upbringing is that where no harsh methods are used. Generally the domination of the stronger over the weak is the law of nature in animals. If the man is stronger, should he beat his wife? If you put grass in front of two animals, the stronger will push aside the weaker and eat the fodder. Similarly the stronger nations today dominate

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the weaker! Such domination is inhuman. Similarly if a man beats his wife at home to get his way, he is not a Muslim, rather, he is not a human being! Even if a wife is absolutely wrong in her attitude, the husband should not beat her. If, may Allah forbid, a person slaps his wife and her face turns red, he shall have to pay diyat equivalent to one mithqal of gold. If the man is more aggressive in anger and the wife develops black marks on her body, then the diyat is three mithqals of gold. A husband who abuses his wife will be in a burning tent on the Day of Reckoning.

Who is the person who develops in himself the trait of forgiveness and clemency? Who is the person who banishes narrow-mindedness from his nature? Which wife keeps her cool inspite of the misbehavior of the husband? Which wife keeps the confidence of her husband and doesn’t complain about him to outsiders, not even to her own parents? Is there any wife who bears the harsh treatment of her husband with a smile and prays to Allah to forgive him and guide both of them and to give them both a place in Heaven? Such ladies attain the place of honor in the eyes of Allah! These ladies will rise with Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.) on the Day of Reckoning.

Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.) was a paragon of virtue, patience and forbearance. It is narrated that she had

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cooked five breads, while fasting, during Ramadan. Just prior to the time for breaking of the fast, a mendicant came asking for food. Hadhrat Fatima (a.s.) gave all the bread to him. The entire family broke their fast with water only. The same thing happened on the second and the third day. Then a verse of the Holy Quran was revealed in the praise of her family.

Don’t be under the impression that Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.) and her family had no Need of that food. They were as hungry as any other person who had fasted the entire day. In addition, it was not that they went without food for only one day. They bore this hardship for three consecutive days!

وَ یُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلیَ حُبِّهِ مِسْکِینًا وَ یَتِیمًا وَ أَسِیرًا

And, (while needing it for themselves) they give away food, out of love for Him, to the poor and the orphan and the captive..( Sura Insan, 76: 8)

The lady who bears hardships with calmness and the man who faces difficulties with courage will rise on the Day of Resurrection with Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.).

ْ وَ یُؤْثِرُونَ عَلیَ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَ لَوْ کاَنَ بهِِمْ خَصَاصَه

…. And prefer (the needy) over their own selves, though their own lot be poverty;… (Sura Hashr, 59: 9)

The beauty of the revelation of this verse is that it was revealed for Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) and Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.) when she was ill and he was bringing a pomegranate for her. The Imam (a.s.) came

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across a blind beggar on the way who was ill too. When Imam Ali (a.s.) inquired about his health, he said, “O master! It would be fine if I got a pomegranate to eat!” Imam Ali (a.s.) gave him the fruit, that he was taking home for his ailing wife, to the blind person! Any person who wishes to be with Imam Ali (a.s.) on the Day of Judgment has to try to emulate his quality of sacrifice, patience and forbearance. If you wish to seek the Intercession of the Ahl al Bayt, then the men should follow in their lives the example of Ali (a.s.) and the women that of Fatima Zahra (a.s.).

Life is very difficult for those who are not so well-off. Do you realize the status achieved by the impoverished man who bears his lot patiently? Or the wife whose husband cannot meet many of the family's needs, but she is not disrespectful towards him, instead she is patient and appreciates him? It is mentioned in the traditions that when such people will come on the Day of Judgment, Allah (s.w.t) will express His regret. That is, the man who desires a comfortable life for his wife and children but cannot fulfill his desire and the wife who desires a comfortable life for her children but her husband is unable to meet their expenses but despite this she does not ridicule him, rather bears it patiently. When such people will come on the Day of Judgment,

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Allah (s.w.t) will express His regret. Can there be a more elevated status than this? When Allah will express His regrets to those people who had to bear difficulties in the world, they will become so happy, that they will wish that they had been shredded with scissors while they were in the world, so that they could have achieved a more elevated status today. Therefore it is better to learn to be patient in this world.

3. Home, A School

The home is a school where one learns to curb the negative human instincts. The person can nurture the sapling of nobility in this institution. A wife, who has a disrespectful and rude husband, should bear with him with patience so that gradually, being patient becomes a habit with her. If she can cultivate this trait of patience within herself, it is better than this entire world as well as the Hereafter. Those men who have disrespectful wives too should deal with them patiently. Those who can uproot negative traits and in its place cultivate patience have achieved something better than the world and all that it contains as well as Paradise and all that it contains. Allah (s.w.t) bestows His blessings on such people.

4. More Than The Late Night Prayer

Another advantage of the formation of a family is that the home and the family are more felicitous than construction of a mosque. A woman’s reward for serving her husband and a man’s reward for providing for his wife and children, and for raising the children, is more than every

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supererogatory prayer. It is even more felicitous than Salathul Layl. Salatul Layl is highly meritorious and according to the Holy Quran brings the person to the elevated place, the Maqame Mahmood!

وَ مِنَ الَّیْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَهً لَّکَ عَسیَ أَن یَبْعَثَکَ رَبُّکَ مَقَامًا محَّْمُودًا

And (in a part) of the night, forsake sleep for prayer, in addition to (what is incumbent on) thee; Maybe that exalteth thee thy Lord unto a position praised. (Sura al-’Isra’, 17: 79)

No one can understand the Maqame Mahmood until a person reaches it himself. But there is more reward than Salatul Layl for the mother who gets up in the middle of the night to feed her child, and lovingly put him back to sleep. Similarly a wife giving comfort and satisfaction to her husband is more felicitous. It has come in the traditions that when the husband and wife take the Bath of Purification (Ghusl al-Janaba), their major sins too are washed away!

Similarly it is mentioned in the traditions that when a husband and wife take the Bath of Purification, the drops of water that flow down from their bodies turn into angels who will remain alive till Doomsday! When a wife becomes pregnant, each breath that she takes is deemed a prayer. The difficulties that the mother faces in child bearing too are considered as prayer. When the child is born, it is innocent and at that time the mother too is deemed free of any sin! Allah addresses the new mother thus, “O

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lady! Start your life afresh from today! Be careful that you don’t commit any further sins!"

The Prophet of Islam (s) one day entered the home of Lady Fatima Zahra (a.s.). He found Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) busy cleaning vegetables. The Prophet (s) said, “O Ali! Do you know how much reward is there from Allah for helping ones spouse with her chores?" Then he said that the reward is equivalent to that of a person who has been martyred in the way of Allah!

A woman once told the Prophet (s), “O Prophet of Allah! I have a question and it is not only for the women of Medina but for the womenfolk of all time! The question is that "Why is there a difference between the status of men and women? Why are men given a higher status than women?" The Prophet of Islam replied, “Islam doesn’t believe in giving any special status to men in comparison with women.” The woman said, “The women, because they have to take care of their children and the home they cannot attend the Friday congregation, they cannot go to meetings, call on the sick to express their sympathies, cannot go for optional Hajj and are sometimes even unable to perform the more important Hajj Pilgrimage. It seems that our only function is to look after the home and rear the children!"

The Prophet (s) was very happy to hear this. He smiled and said:

“This is the reply for the women of Medina and all

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the women who will be in the world till the Day of Reckoning: ‘If a woman marries and keeps her husband happy, then this act is equal to the Friday congregation, the optional Hajj and other type of worship.’”

This reply of the Holy Prophet is for all wives, irrespective of whether the lady is the wife of a toiling laborer, a philosopher, a villager or a city dweller. But today’s women seem to have forgotten this commandment of the Prophet (s).

It has been mentioned in the traditions that when a housewife prepares food for the breaking of the fast (iftar) and serves it to the children and other members of the house, her reward will be equal to the reward of a martyr. Ladies think that there is reward for them only if they go to Mecca. One lady asked me “O Aga! Please pray for me! I wish to perform the optional Hajj in Mecca!” I told her, “If you want to acquire the reward for the optional Hajj you should first spend money on the beggars, old, infirm and sick persons. Imam Musa bin Jafar (a.s.) has said that if someone gives food to a deserving family for one week, the reward for this act will be more than that of performing 70 Hajj pilgrimages! Hearing this the lady told me with a crestfallen face. “You may do what you are advising me! As for me, I want to visit Mecca!”

The ladies seem to have forgotten

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that there is reward for them in running the household. They have forgotten that there is a reward in the upbringing of children. A husband working hard on his job to provide a better living to his wife and children is like a soldier struggling in the battle field of Jihad. Both are equally rewarding! If the man works for the welfare of his family, smiles for his wife, thanks her, then this gets converted into Hoorul Ein for him. Do not compare Hoorul Ein with the women of this world. If a single Hoorul Ein comes to this world, the people of this world will not need the moon. The man who smiles at his wife when he enters his home and the woman who smiles at her husband when he enters the house, have prepared Hoorul Eins for themselves. One who is desirous of acquiring the Hoorul Ein, gardens and palaces, should make efforts to do so in this life itself!

The Prophet of Islam (s) saw the angels working in the Heavens on the night of his ascension (Meraj). They were working for sometime, then they stopped working for some time. Jibrael (a.s.) told the Prophet (s), “The angels here stop working for sometime because the material with which they build comes from the world. When the material comes, the angels work. When it stops coming, the angels too stop the work.”

[The Twelveth Talk

1 Love And Blessings At Home

Our discussion today will be on love, affection and generosity. Perhaps this is the

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best topic amongst the topics discussed so far in this series of talks. Therefore I intend to analyze and discuss this subject in more detail. I pray to Allah for His help so that I am able to do justice to the discussion.

In this world love is like the gravitational pull. Just as the world exists in a stable condition because of the gravitational pull, so do the families stay together because of the love amongst their components, the members! In this universe, from small particles to the Milky Way, all the things are in their places because of the gravitational pull. If this pull is removed for one moment, the entire solar system will go haywire! Similarly, if there is no love in a home, it will scatter into small nondescript entities. We can say that a house where love doesn’t exist is like a grave, whose dweller is being punished. A house devoid of love is like an abode of the living dead! Without love, life is akin to a slow death accompanied by troubles and tribulations. But it is Allah’s kindness that when a family is formed, He bestows the natural instinct of love to its members.

The Holy Quran says:

وَ مِنْ ءَایَتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَکمُ مِّنْ أَنفُسِکُمْ أَزْوَجًا لِّتَسْکُنُواْ إِلَیْهَا وَ جَعَلَ بَیْنَکُم مَّوَدَّهً وَ رَحْمَه

And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmates from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy…… (Sura ar-Rum,

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30: 21)

The Holy Quran says that among the signs of Allah in this world, one of the signs is that He has created woman for man, so that they can join together to establish a family. They also provide comfort to each other. To help the formation and growth of the family Allah has endowed the instinct of love and affection to human beings. As you know, for every foundation there will be the Need of cement and concrete. No building can be constructed only with stone and steel. With stone and steel the correct quantities of sand and cement have to be used to provide the right binding quality to the structure. The matrimonial foundation too has similar requirements. If you can recall, in one of my earlier talks I had narrated a tradition of the Prophet (s) in which he has said:

“In the eyes of Allah, the foundation of matrimonial alliance in Islam is the most likeable." (Wasailus Shia, Vol 14, page 43)

The sand and cement to bind this foundation are the instincts of love and affection between man and wife. If there is no concrete in the foundation of a building it will be weak, similarly if there is no love among the inhabitants of a house it will be desolate. Two things require our consideration in this connection. The first is to find out what is the thing that is harmful to the formation and growth of the family. The second thing is the consideration of

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the factors that promote love and affection in marital lives of people.

2 Actions That Reduce The Love - Anger

The first thing that harms love is misbehavior and anger. If the wife uses coarse language and gets angry with her husband, then her words will be like a slap on the husband’s emotions. Similarly, if the husband is ill-mannered, his initial misbehavior will strike a blow to the love of the woman. And if the trend continues for long it will destroy the love between them, and then love will turn into abhorrence and hate. It is very important that we refrain from tongue-lashing at home to maintain the atmosphere of love and affection.

3. Abusive Language And Beating

I have said repeatedly that if a man or a woman has the habit of using offensive and abusive language, then they have no character. Allah, the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.) have strongly disapproved of this habit. One person was a constant companion of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.); wherever the Imam (a.s.) went, the person followed him. One day the Imam (a.s.) was traveling and the person was with him too. Due to the fatigue of travel, the person’s slave was falling behind. He called for the slave, but he didn’t hear the master. Even when he called for a second time the slave didn’t hear him. Now the person got angry and shouted profanities at the slave calling him the illegitimate issue of his parents. When the Imam (a.s.) heard the use of foul language, he sat down and pressed his

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hand to his forehead as a mark of displeasure. Then he said, “You have accused the slave’s mother of adultery! I was thinking all the time that you are a good person while, in fact, you are not!” The man said, “O son of the Prophet (s)! The slave’s mother is a foreign idolatress!” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Every nation has some norms of matrimony. From today you have no right to be with me or travel with me!” The narrator said that from that day he never saw the man in the company of the Imam (a.s.). What lesson do we draw from this narrative? When someone abuses his child or wife in anger, even if they are at fault, he will earn the displeasure of Allah. This abuse takes a terrible human form and will be with the person in the Barzakh, and on the Day of Reckoning and put him to shame!

Hadhrat Ayesha was once sitting with the Prophet (s). Two or three Jews came there with the purpose of ridiculing the Prophet (s). One of them passed near him and mispronounced the greeting as “Asam alaikum!” meaning, "death on you.” The Prophet (s) replied, “Alaikum!" Meaning, “I wish the same for you!” Hadhrat Ayesha was upset at the impudence of the Jew but kept quiet. After a while another Jew came and repeated the same act. When the third Jew came and did the same thing, Hadhrat Ayesha lost her cool. When someone gets angry,

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it becomes difficult to be patient and just. In her anger she said, “What are you saying you sons of pigs!” She had remembered from the Holy Quran that the Jews are the people whose ancestors had become pigs. The Prophet (s) was angry at her utterance. He said, “Ayesha! What have you done?” She said, “You are seeing what these mischievous Jews did?” The Prophet (s) said, “Whatever they said was properly replied to by me. There was no need to abuse them!” He then added, “Ayesha! Don’t you know that an abuse, if it takes on a form, it will be a very ferocious thing and will chase the person in the grave, in Barzakh and on the Day of Reckoning.”

یَوْمَ تَجِدُ کُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَیرٍْ محُّْضَرًا وَ مَا عَمِلَتْ مِن سُوءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَیْنَهَا وَ بَیْنَهُ أَمَدَا بَعِیدًا

On the day when every soul will find itself confronted with all that it hath done of good and all that it hath done of evil (every soul) will long that there might be a mighty space of distance between it and that( evil) (Sura Ali- Imran, 3: 30)

This means that all the good deeds that you do during your lifetime will accompany you on the Day of Reckoning and your bad deeds will accompany you too, but they will have such terrifying forms, that the person will be ashamed. The Holy Quran says, on that Day these persons will utter, “How I wish there was

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a great distance between me and my foul deeds!” Therefore, a Muslim has to take care to control his angry outbursts and abusive language.

Among the maxims of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s) there is one that he has specifically said about the Shias. He said, “O Shias! Be upright in your morals! Your behavior should prompt others to say in appreciation that you are the followers of Imam Sadiq (a.s.)! It is not befitting for a lady to use abusive language against her children and the husband or others. Similarly a teacher should always speak softly in the class. Corporal punishment and beating is such a sin that the Prophet (s) used to announce from the pulpit that if a person slaps his wife, he will go to the Hell with shame on the Day of Judgement! The caretaker of Hell (Malike Jahannum) will be ordered to slap the person 70 times with Hellfire! A good Muslim and a decent person never beats anyone. And if there is a woman who beats her husband, then she deserves to be called a witch and not a wife!

4. Insulting Talk

Another thing that destroys love is hurting people with ones talk. The retribution for such acts is so much that Imam Jafar al-Sadiq has said that Allah says:

"A person who insults any of my ‘wali’, wages a war against Me.”

Everyone knows the consequences one has to face in this world as well as the Hereafter for waging a war against Allah.

If a husband praises

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the looks of a stranger woman in front of his wife and a wife praises the handsomeness of a stranger man in the presence of her husband, then there is no chance of virtue prevailing in that house.

The Prophet of Islam (s) says that if a woman says to her husband that she has not found anything good in his house, then all her good deeds will become null and void. Similarly if a husband tells his wife that he has found no good in her, his good deeds too will become null and void.

We must take care that we don’t insult or ridicule anyone. The wives must exercise special care that they don’t talk against their husbands in front of others. Similarly men should not talk ill of their wives in front of others, because these acts invite great punishments. Injury through words is of two types. Some injuries heal quickly. This means that someone does strike a blow through his tongue, but it does not injure the heart much. Now this assumes the form of a scorpion, which goes with that person to his grave, and troubles him for some time. Then this punishment is withdrawn. However, if the injury inflicted by the tongue is deeper, it assumes the form of such a scorpion that will not only trouble him till the Day of Judgment, but also keep stinging him in Hell.

Someone saw a pious old person in a dream. When asked about his condition, the

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old person said that he was very comfortable, he owned gardens, had palaces and Hoorul Ein; the angels visited him and he had many servants to work for him. His only problem was that a scorpion bit his foot every morning. When asked why he was continuously suffering this bite, he said that during his life he had hurt someone with his talk and had not bothered to apologize. He said that he had assumed it to be a trivial matter and so had not repented (tauba) for it. By not repenting, he had let the scorpion remain alive. The water of repentance (tauba) can clean everything and can repel every danger. Unfortunately, some people actually feel relieved after having insulted someone. Some people say that they will feel at ease only when they have given a thorough verbal thrashing to those with whom they have some differences! What they are actually saying is that they will not be at ease until they have produced a hoard of scorpions which will keep biting them from the first day in the grave to the Day of Reckoning.

Women can hurt people with their tongue-lashing as if it is done with a sword. Then she says: now I am at peace but she is mistaken. She is not at peace, because she is unaware of the type of snake her action has formed. These snakes and scorpions can only be seen by those people who have the insight to do so; they

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see these through the eyes of the heart. That snake has entwined itself around their necks. Do they not see it? But they will see it before going to the grave when Izraeel comes to take away their spirits. At that moment, according to the Holy Quran, their vision will become very sharp. Then the wife and the husband will see the verbal injuries they have inflicted on the other, in the form of a black snake which will have wrapped itself around their necks. This black snake will go with them to their graves and keep biting them till Qiyamah. Then they will know how dangerous it is to inflict verbal injuries on others.

The husbands and wives should take care to abstain from tongue-lashing. They should not belittle each other, particularly in comparison with others. These acts strike such a blow to love, that sometimes love turns into hate. Kindness turns into hard-heartedness. Then life becomes a burden and the home appears desolate like the grave. I appeal to all the ladies and men to control their tongues and save themselves from such troubles.

The Prophet (s) once asked his companion about the strongest aspect of the Iman (Faith). What is the thing that can earn deliverance for a person? One person said, “O Prophet of Allah (s)! It is salah (prayer)!” Some said it is fasting, others said it is charity, fighting in the way of Allah, and so on. Everyone tried to mention something or other. The

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Prophet (s) said, “Everyone is right in his own way! But the thing that is very important for the deliverance of a person is that a person befriends his Muslim brothers for the sake of Allah and is the enemy of the enemies of Islam, for the sake of Allah! He should befriend his wife not for any carnal reasons but for the sake of Allah, because she is a Muslimah! If he befriends her only for his carnal satisfaction, it is not a sign of his masculinity, because then he is no different from an animal!

As I have mentioned earlier, carnal satisfaction is a small benefit among the benefits of marriage. But a man should love his wife because she is a Muslimah. The wife should love her husband because he is a Muslim, she should be proud that he is a Muslim. In the same way, the husband should be proud that his wife is a Muslimah, recites salah and fasts,

Muhammad ibn Hakim says that he was seated with Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) when an old person, with bent shoulders and a staff in his hand came there and first greeted the Imam (a.s.) and then greeted every person present individually. Then he told to the Imam (a.s.), “O Son of the Prophet (s)! I am desirous of sitting near you!” The Imam (a.s.) replied, “You may sit!” The person sat down and said, “O Son of the Prophet! I accept what you have declared legitimate as

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legitimate; and the things that you term as forbidden, I consider them forbidden! I consider your friends as my friends not because they are my relatives, but only on account of their being your friends. I consider your enemies as my enemies. Am I among those who will get deliverance?" Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) was very pleased and said, “Definitely! I was once seated with my father, Imam Sajjad (a.s.) when a person came to him and talked the same way as you have done today. Imam al-Sajjad (a.s.) told him, ‘May your heart always remain happy! At the time of your death the Prophet (s), Hadhrat Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.), Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s.) and Hasnain (a.s.) will be there. Then your thirst will be quenched with the water from the pool of Kauthar. You will be in the company of these Five Infallible persons!” Muhammad ibn Hakim further says that when Imam Muhammad Baqir narrated this, the old person started crying with joy and said, “O Son of the Prophet! Kindly relate the tradition once again!” The Imam (a.s.) acceded to the person’s request. Thereafter the old man became restless and fell unconscious. The Imam (a.s.) revived him. After regaining consciousness the person touched the body of the Imam (a.s.) as a mark of respect.

The Prophet of Islam (s) used to milk the sheep, sweep the floor of his house and make bread. We will be truly respected men when we extend a helping hand to our

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wives with their chores at home. Similarly the ladies must take care of the husbands’ comfort when they return home after a long day’s toil to earn the livelihood for the family in the highly competitive environment. Earning a livelihood and dealing with all kinds of people in the workplaces is not easy. When he comes home in the evening, he needs rest, he needs a peaceful place. Your offensive language, stern talk, and unethical behavior will not provide him with the rest he needs. The wife should desire for her husband what she desires for herself. If the husband becomes irritable, the wife should respond with a smile.

When a husband returns home and finds that his wife is not dressed in the apparel of his choice, he should not express his displeasure. If the wife is short-tempered, despite the tiredness after the day’s toil, the husband should enter the house with a smile to soothe her disturbed nerves. You should desire for her what you desire for yourself, and you should not desire for her what you do not desire for yourself. Inshallah, Allah’s blessings will be upon you in this world and in the Hereafter.

The Thirteenth Talk

1. The Birth Of Imam Hasan (a.s.)

Today is very auspicious! On this happy day Imam Hasan (a.s.) was born! Let’s all congratulate Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (a.s) in celebration of the happy event! I do pray, and hope, that the Prophet (s) will bless this gathering on the happy occasion! I hope, and pray, that every one of

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us goes from this meeting with attainment of our legitimate wishes! To suit the happy occasion, I shall first narrate a tradition about Imam Hasan (a.s.). I hope this tradition becomes a beacon of guidance for all of us.

Once a person came to the presence of Imam Hasan (a.s.) and made a fervent appeal for help. The Imam (a.s.) came out of his house with the person. When he found Imam Husayn (a.s.) on the way, he asked the person, “Why didn’t you approach this brother of mine for help?” The man said, “O son of the Prophet! I had noticed that Imam Husayn (a.s.) was in the mosque doing his I'tekaaf (retirement to the mosque for continued prayer). At that moment Imam Hasan (a.s.) said the following words that should be a source of guidance for us:

“If you had approached Imam Husayn (a.s.) during his I'tekaaf for his help, and he had fulfilled your need, then the reward for him would have been more than continuous prayer (I'tekaaf) for one month!” (Bihar, Vol 74, Page 335)

If someone provides relief to a Muslim, his reward will be more than that for spending a month in the mosque praying day and night! I, therefore, appeal to all the believing men and women that, to the extent possible, they should provide help and assistance to Muslims.

A wife who helps her husband and a husband who takes care of the needs of his wife too shall earn this reward. .This will be

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the theme of our talk today.

2. Conceit

One thing that destroys love and affection is conceit and pride in persons. If men and women are proud and conceited, then they are exposed to great dangers. Allah’s Prophets (a.s.) used to object to proud persons because they used to interfere with the mission of the Prophets. They were so conceited and proud that they never lent their ears to anyone. Conceit and pride are so dangerous that the Holy Quran says that if people acquire these foul traits, then these traits become a part of their nature and they become rebellious and vain. They become so rebellious that on the Day of Judgment too, they will remain conceited and proud in front of Allah. The Holy Quran further says that when these conceited, proud and vain persons are brought to the grounds of Judgment on Doomsday, they will learn that, in fact, they are destined for Hell. Then, they will object to Allah and accuse Him of making a mistake. They will swear that they are good people and will say that Allah is making a mistake by unjustly assigning them to Hell!

یَوْمَ یَبْعَثهُُمُ اللَّهُ جَمِیعًا فَیَحْلِفُونَ لَهُ کَمَا یحَْلِفُونَ لَکمُ ْ وَ یحَْسَبُونَ أَنهَُّمْ عَلیَ شیَ ْءٍ أَلَا إِنهَُّمْ هُمُ الْکَذِبُون

On the day when Allah will raise them all together, then will they swear unto Him as they (now) swear unto you, and they will fancy that they have some standing. Lo! Is it not they who are the liars? (Sura Mujaadalah, 58:

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The Holy Quran says that even on the Day of Judgment these proud and conceited persons will behave the same way as they did in this world. They don’t see anything other than their own point of view. Those who are proud in this world will be the same in front of Allah. I fervently appeal to the ladies and the men that they should refrain from becoming proud. The woman should not think that she is better than her husband. She should not boast about herself, her parents or other family members to her husband. She should not be vain about her good looks. If she is educated, has a diploma, attends darse kharji, then she should not brag about it to her husband. If she becomes proud and develops self-love, the first person she harms is herself. Such women cannot rule over the hearts of their husbands. Similarly the husband should not be proud about his wealth or family. May Allah keep us all away from this danger. The ladies should be very careful and never consider their husbands inferior to others. They should not air pride over the qualities of their fathers, brothers and others. This is wrong, even if her husband is poor, while her brother is rich. Even if your parents are rich and influential in the society, your responsibility is to keep your husband happy at all times, and consider him better than your relatives.

The ladies should always uphold the respect of their

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parents. They should be kind to their siblings. But all this should not be at the cost of the attention that they have to give to their husbands. The husband should also respect others, but must take special care of his wife. There are several types of conceit and every type has its own bitter fruits. One very bitter fruit of conceit is that it destroys love between people!

3. Types Of Conceit

One type of conceit results in argument and quarrel. This means that the person insists on getting his way and wants others to accept his point of view. This trait is more pronounced in some persons. They tend to force their opinions on others. They come up with meaningless arguments and expect others to agree with them. They interrupt during conversations and they are very voluble. Being wrongly stubborn is a sin. Abu Dawood says that he was amongst those two or three persons who used to argue about certain matters of Islam, each one wanting to present Islam according to his own opinion. Once, when they were in the midst of a heated argument, the Prophet of Islam (s) arrived there. He heard their heated argument. Abu Dawood says that he had never seen the Prophet (s) so angry. Then the Prophet (s) said, “Quarreling and arguing is not the way of Muslims. I will not intercede on their behalf on the Day of Judgment if they indulge in such things." He (s) added, “First Allah ordered me to stop people

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from idol worship and polytheism. The next thing he ordered me to do was to stop people from argument and quarrel!”

Ponder upon the severity of this tradition. This is an illness, which has no cure, but 90% of people suffer from this ailment of arguing and quarrelling. The Holy Quran says that quarrel and argument is instigated by Satan.

وَ إِنَّ الشَّیَطِینَ لَیُوحُونَ إِلیَ أَوْلِیَائهِمْ لِیُجَدِلُوکُمْ

… Lo! The devils do inspire their minions to dispute (Sura al An’aam, 6: 121)

The Shayateen instigate their friends and followers to argue and quarrel with you. Therefore, every person who argues and fights is a friend of Satan, and in turn Satan is his friend, because these are satanic activities, not righteous ones. If a woman creates a hue and cry in front of her husband just to get her way, or if a husband picks up a fight with his wife for the same reason, they destroy the roots of love. Quarrels destroy love. Therefore, I request the ladies, in particular not to fight or quarrel with their husbands. Don’t try to impose your way or your opinion on your husband. If the husband is wrongly adamant, the best course for the wife is to exercise patience. If the wife, in her ignorance, becomes adamant, the husband should discreetly avoid argument with her.

The Prophet of Allah (s) has said whoever exercises patience at the time of an argument, will be rewarded with three gardens in Paradise. Of these three gardens

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two are named Ridwan and Aden. The third garden has no particular name.

4. Stubborness

Another type of conceit manifests itself in stubbornness in behaviour with others. There are people who are so stubborn that they prefer to jump into a deep well rather than change their point of view. This is a very harmful trait. The Holy Quran says that people are of two types. The first category is that of persons who accept the truth. When they recognize the truth, their eyes water with sheer happiness.

وَ إِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلیَ الرَّسُولِ تَرَی أَعْیُنَهُمْ تَفِیضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَق

When they listen to that which hath been revealed unto the messenger, thou seest their eyes overflowing with tears because of their recognition of the truth (Sura al Maida, 5: 83)

On reading the Holy Quran, there is a group of people who recognize the truth and their eyes water in recognition of this fact. But there is another group who are not willing to recognise and accept the truth. They are willing to eat stones, or burn in the Hellfire, but stubbornly refuse to accept the truth. .

وَ إِذْ قَالُواْ اللَّهُمَّ إِن کاَنَ هَذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِکَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَیْنَا حِجَارَهً مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ أَوِ ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِیم

And when they said: O Allah! If this be indeed the truth from Thee, then rain down stones on us or bring on us some painful doom! (Sura al Al-Anfal, 8, 8: 32)

There was a group of people who refused to accept the

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truth and said: We are waiting, send a boulder from Heaven and destroy us, but we will not accept the truth.

Some ladies are stubborn. They refuse to accept facts and reality; rather they even refuse to listen. Similarly, some men simply refuse to listen. The poor wife is talking for the last half hour, but the husband refuses to listen. He keeps saying “no” to all that she says, but if you ask him what his wife has just said, he is unable to answer. If she says that you are saying no, but what did I say, that you have responded with a “no”, his answer is: “no”.

Occupation and colonization are horrific acts and grave sins because these things turn individuals or masses into slaves. May Allah curse those who established the concept of mass slavery. Those countries that unjustly control other countries are destined to doom. But when a wife is able to conquer the heart of her husband, it is a virtuous thing. Man and wife should make efforts to conquer each others’ hearts. But alas, the wife does not know how to conquer the heart of her husband or rule over his heart. One of the two things that come in the way of conquering the spouse’s heart is stubbornness. Those who are stubborn are mentally ill. If, god forbid, your children are stubborn, you have to gradually cure them from this malady, but you can do this only if you yourself are free from

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this illness.

5. Unrealistic Expectations

Another type of conceit results in excessive expectations. Some women have excessive and unreasonable demands that their husbands cannot fulfil. For example, a husband earns 5,000 a month, but the wife demands a dress costing 5,000 for eid. The husband says that he cannot afford to buy so expensive a dress. The wife insists that she must have it. Do not have unrealistic expectations. Even the men should exercise care in this matter. If you have not bought meat, do not expect to be served meat-balls.

I appeal to the ladies that if their husbands have limited incomes, they should not insist on spending money like some of their better placed friends. Certain women, whose husbands are officers, want to for example change the carpet. Inspite of the wife repeatedly pleading with the husband, he maintains that he cannot afford to do so. Expecting too much is a sin. Ask only for that which your husband can afford. Men should ask only for what is in the house. If a man taxes his wife with a task which is beyond her ability then, on the Day of Judgement Allah will burden him with a thing which will be beyond his capacity.

The fire of Hell is extremely difficult to bear. The destination of people who expect too much from others is Hell, if they die without repenting. A wife who knows that her husband cannot fulfil her desire, and in spite of knowing this embarrasses him by making

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demands, will be put to shame by Allah on the Day of Judgement. Self-respect is the most valuable thing for anyone. A person said that Imam Husayn (a.s.) gave away everything in the way of Allah excepting two things - his faith and his self-respect! Self-esteem and self-respect for men, especially in front of their spouses is of utmost importance. Wives should ensure that the self-respect of their husbands is not hurt at home in any manner. They must take care not to make unjustified demands. Similarly wives too expect to be respected by the husbands. The husbands are requested to respect their wives. The husband should not wound the personality of his wife, nor tax her with unrealistic expectations.

House-keeping and caring for the children are difficult tasks. It is the woman’s responsibility to keep herself and the children clean and tidy, take care of the house, and be ready to receive the husband when he returns home in the evening. But if it so happens that tea or food is not ready when the husband returns home, he should prepare this himself, instead of complaining. Don’t expect too much from your partner. Don’t try to dominate your spouse. If a truck has a load-capacity of 5 tonnes, but you load it with 8 tonnes, it will breakdown after 2 miles. Similar is the case of the wife who tries to dominate her husband, or vice versa. If you overload the truck, it will stop working, it will break

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down. Pity on the husband who has no tranquillity and happiness. Pity the husband who is not thoughtful in dealing with his spouse. According to Imam Musa bin Jaffer (a.s.) such a person has lost his world as well his Hereafter! Husband and wife trying to dominate each other and expecting too much from each other are the bitter fruits of the trait of conceit and pride.

6. Not Accepting Criticism

One of the fruits of conceit is refusing to accept any criticism. The ladies must consider seriously what I am going to say: Backbiting is forbidden in Islam but criticism is not! To seek out other peoples' faults, whether it is meant as a joke or not, done in their presence or in their absence, is not permitted. But criticism is constructive. Like a mirror, it acquaints the person with his faults. Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

Amongst my brothers my favourite is one who informs me of my failings and defects. (Bihar, Vol 74, Page 282)

Criticising people is necessary but more important is to accept and take constructive criticisms in the right spirit. People face difficulties in this matter. Sometimes the husband points out to his wife her weaknesses. But she should accept this criticism. It is not enough to verbally accept the criticism by saying “Okay, okay”. She must make practical efforts to bring about changes in her behaviour. When an ill-mannered husband cannot get along with the children, or addresses them using foul language, the wife should politely and discreetly

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point out that his behaviour will affect the children - they may fall ill. Now it is the responsibility of the husband to make a serious attempt to mend his ways. But, generally, in our homes, instead of constructive criticism, we create a hue and cry, and complain. We don’t accept criticism; especially the ladies are unwilling to accept any criticism. This is a very serious issue, because this attitude destroys the love for the wife in the husband's heart. When a husband repeatedly tells her something, but the wife pays no heed to his advice and criticisms, he turns indifferent to her. The end result will be that there will be no love left between the two!

The Fourteenth Talk

1. The Causes Of Continued Love And Affection

Our discussion is about love and sympathy. Today we shall talk about the acts that promote love between man and wife, even if they have grown very old. They might have children at home; even daughters-in-law etc. But despite all this, there will be no decrease in the love between the old couple!

2. Trivial But Important

The psychologists talk about “small, but big (important) things”. This means that there are certain things that, although small in appearance, might prove very important for making or marring an individual’s personality.

3. Taking Care Of Cleanliness And Hygiene

One of the most important things stressed by Islam is hygiene. A Muslim’s house has to be clean, the courtyard, doors and clothes must be clean and pure. The linen used in the house has to be clean and tidy. When he goes to a meeting, he

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should be properly and neatly attired. But we find that a lot of people don’t take care of their hygiene. They don’t brush their teeth properly. Their feet stink with sweat. They seldom wash their socks and the feet, considering it to be something unimportant. On the face of it, it appears to be a trivial thing, but plays a big role in disgracing this person. When someone notes foul smell from someone’s mouth, body or feet: he begins to dislike his company. Sometimes people silently curse such unhygienic persons. Such persons even attend the congregations in the mosques and religious gatherings in their unhygienic state. Some people wear shirts with soiled collars, and consider it to be a small matter, but this can lead to their disgrace.

Whenever the Prophet of Islam (s) prepared to go to any meeting, he always looked at himself in the mirror. He used to take meticulous care of his person and his dress, making sure these were neat and clean, before he left home for such meetings. It is not necessary that a person’s dress be expensive. What Islam stresses on is cleanliness. Some ladies neglect personal cleanliness while at home. When their husbands return home after the day’s work, they find the wives shabby with dishevelled hair and crumpled clothes. Probably because she has to look after her children, she does not give much importance to such things. But this amounts to carelessness in acquiring the love of the husband. It is wrong

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to take this lightly or treat it as a joke. It may appear small, but actually it is an important thing. Some men don't brush their teeth properly, whereas the Prophet of Islam (s) has said that a person who offers one rakaat of prayer after brushing his teeth will get reward equal to that for offering seventy prayers.. He (s) also said that if he did not fear that it would put the Muslims in difficulty, he (s) would have made it obligatory. If the husband does not brush the first, second or third time, the wife may bear it, but then it will create a feeling of aversion in his wife. Even if she doesn’t show her dislike for him, her heart will no longer love him. Similarly, if the wife’s mouth stinks, the husband will not like her. It is very unfortunate if a husband dislikes his wife because her mouth or body stinks. Shame on the man who is unclean at home. Cleanliness at home and in the society is of prime importance. The Prophet of Islam (s) gave so much importance to hygiene that he said, "Cleanliness is part of Faith"

If you want to recognize a true Muslim, check whether he observes cleanliness or not. You should look at his cleanliness and hygiene! If he lacks in cleanliness, then his faith is defective. If one observes cleanliness then according to Psychologists, it is a small, but important thing.

4. Expressing Friendship

It has come in the traditions that if

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you befriend a Muslim, you must express your friendship to him. It is mentioned in the traditions that a man should express his love for his wife by telling her that he loves her. Similarly a wife should express to the husband her love for him.

The Prophet (s) has said that when a husband expresses his friendship and love to his wife, she will never forget it. In common practice we consider it unimportant to express our friendship and love to others. If a husband and wife love each other, they should mention it to the spouse, at least once a month if not everyday. Not doing this amounts to carelessness. It is embarrassing for some women to do this, but they must say it. Words like these or 'Assalamun alaikum' are an expression of affection. When you meet others you should enquire about them, and express your affection for them, because Islam desires Muslims to be friends with each other. Islam wants us to maintain ties with each other, and has declared cutting of the ties of kinship a major sin. Islam does not like those who do not visit others or those who remain aloof, because these meetings increase our love for each other.

Husbands and wives should express their love for each other. Whenever they meet, they should have a smile on their faces. This may seem a small matter, but is very important for gaining love of the spouse. It has been mentioned in the traditions

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that the wife should freshen herself before her husband arrives home after the day’s work. She should wear the dress of his choice and adorn herself. She should lay the table for dinner with the cutlery etc. She should quieten the children so that they do not disturb their father who comes tired from work!

It is also recorded in the traditions that when the husband knocks at the door on his return from work, the wife herself should open the door to welcome him and not ask a son or a daughter to attend on him. She should greet him (say salaam) with a smile. These attentions might appear trivial, or the women may object that the man is being given too much importance, but these things go a long way in cementing the love between the couple. With such an attitude of the wife, even the most ill-tempered of husbands will, sooner or later, metamorphose into a loving and caring partner!

5. Giving Gifts

It has come in the traditions that when a man returns home after a visit he should carry a gift, though very small, for his wife! Every care, worry and anger should throw away when he reaches the threshold of his home. When the wife opens the door and greets him, he should respond with a pleasant smile. In fact, he should take precedence in greeting the wife! Then he should offer affectionately the gift he has brought for her. When dinner is served, he should thank

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the wife, even if he does not like the food. Some husbands might think that these pleasantries are trivial, unnecessary things. But they go a long way in strengthening the love between the man and wife! A few loving words from you is all that is required for her worries, anger and tiredness to disappear. We don’t take care of these small things and therefore the atmosphere at our homes is cold, devoid of warmth, and dull! When we investigate, we find that in many a home the cause of this cold environment is the wife. The husband enters the house and finds his wife dirty, then she does not even receive him warmly, even if the husband loves her, his love will gradually wear away. When the husband comes home and the wife serves him a dish he does not like and says, "This dish has been cooked by your aunt, eat it if you want you, otherwise remain hungry” - the result of this attitude is obvious. When the husband comes home, instead of giving her a gift, shouts at her, then a fight breaks out and there is a hue and cry all around. If you want to maintain the cool breeze of love and affection in your house, you must pay attention to these small but very important matters.

6. Asmayee And The Patient Woman

Asmayee was Mamoon's vizier. Mamoon was an evil person. Asmayee was a secretive person. He once went on a hunt and was separated from his group. Islam prohibits

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hunting for pleasure, but the Bani Umayya and Bani Abbas indulged in this act very frequently. They used to hunt and kill animals for pleasure. Asmayee says that when he lost track of his group and was trying to find them, he spotted a tent. He went to the tent and found a young and beautiful woman sitting there. With her permission, he too sat there. He asked for some water to quench his thirst. But she said, “I don’t have the permission of my husband!” Then she added, “I have some milk for my breakfast, which I can give you.” She gave the milk to Asmayee and he drank it. He waited in the tent for about an hour but the woman appeared restless during all that period. Then he saw a camel rider arriving near the tent. The person, dark and old, was the woman’s husband. Asmayee was surprised that the pretty damsel was married to the ugly old man.

The woman helped her husband to dismount from the camel, helped him to wash his hands and feet, and very respectfully took him into the tent and sat in front of him. The old man was very rude and ill-mannered. The more he got rude, the more polite the woman became. Ultimately the husband became so rude that Asmayee thought it better to bear the heat of the sun than sit in the comfort of the tent. He went out of the tent but the old man didn’t

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bother about him. Since Asmayee was a guest, the woman came to the door of the tent to bid him good-bye. Once out of the tent he mentioned to the woman that, despite her youth and beauty, she was serving her husband politely, while he continued to be rude to her. The woman said angrily, “Asmayee! I did not expect you to talk ill of my husband behind his back and try to create a rift between us!” Then she added, “I have heard a tradition of the Prophet of Islam (s) and I try to follow it. Whatever is there in the world is transient. Only the Hereafter is eternal. We have to go to our graves. We have to face the Barzakh. Our destiny is either Heaven or Hell. That is eternal! The transient things of the world, good and bad, will be over in the twinkling of an eye. I want to act on this tradition to become deserving of the Heaven. I have heard that the Prophet (s) has said:

"Faith has two parts—patience during hardships and gratefulness for the Bounties.”

A Muslim must bear hardships with patience, and thank Allah for His blessings. I serve my husband and bear his rudeness with patience so that my faith becomes perfect, and it becomes my thanks to my Lord for giving me youth and beauty.”

This is a truly Islamic lady. Opposed to this, sometimes women use the foulest possible language. Even a totally mannerless person will not use

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such words A few days ago I had told you that husbands and wives should not insult each other. I had asked the ladies never to compare the financial status of their husbands with that of other men. The husbands too should not praise other women in comparison with their wives. Some men indiscreetly tell their wives that other women are prettier than them. This one indiscreet utterance will destroy whatever little love the wife had for the husband. As far as the husband is concerned, it is a very small sentence, but it is big enough to kill love. On the contrary, the husband should tell his wife that he has not seen anyone as pretty as her. Both the man and the woman should serve each other and pay compliments to each other. One of the situations in which lying is not Haram includes praising the looks of the wife even if she is actually ugly. Similarly the wives should also sing the praises of the manliness of their husbands. These small attentions go a long way in cementing love and affection between the couples.

It has come in the traditions that when a woman perfumes herself and goes out and namahram men smell her fragrance; or if her bangles jingle and attract the attention of namahram men, the angels in the Firmament will curse the woman. Similarly when a woman wears a perfume and goes out, the ground on which she walks and everything else on it

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curses her. She will be cursed till she returns back home. I appeal to the ladies that the chador that they wear for going out should not have any fragrance. Again I appeal to the ladies not to perfume themselves when going out. If namahram men happen to smell their perfume, the angels, the walls, the earth and everything else in the environment curse them. Don’t be under the impression that the inanimate things in the environs don’t have any sense.

وَ إِن مِّن شیَ ْءٍ إِلَّا یُسَبِّحُ بحَِمْدِهِ وَ لَکِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِیحَهُم

…..and there is not a thing but hymneth His praise; but ye understand not their praise….. (Sura al-’Isra’, 17: 44)

If man has the faculty of hearing, he can hear the pillars of buildings saying Allahu Akbar! A lady who wears perfume only for her husband is praised by the angels the whole night till dawn! Allah, the Prophet (s) the Imams (a.s.) and the angels- all will be pleased with her.

For a wife wearing perfume before retiring to bed might be a very ordinary thing, but for cementing love with her spouse it is a very important act. Wearing an expensive chador for going out or moving about in the street dressed in attractive apparel, without wearing a chador, does not enhance the personality of the ladies in the least. In fact, this will only serve to tarnish their personality! The Holy Quran ordains:

َّ وَ لَا تَبرََّجْنَ تَبرَُّجَ الْجَهِلِیَّهِ الْأُولی

….. and display not your finery like the display of

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the ignorance of yore….. (Sura al Ahzaab, 33: 33)

The Holy Quran addresses the women and says that they are Muslim ladies and possess a personality of their own. They should not flirt around in finery everywhere like the women of the days of ignorance. When they go out on the street their dress should not be such that it attracts namahram men. They should cover their faces with veils so that namahram men cannot see their faces. If a woman has a good personality and wants to adorn herself, she should adorn herself for her husband. Similarly, the husband should try to look good for his wife.

No one should be under the impression that expressing ones’ personality means creating a hue and cry at home, shouting and terrifying others like wild animals do. Some husbands say that if they don’t do this, others will dominate them. This is a major flaw in their thinking. They should try to become men who are soft-spoken. Instead of using harsh language with the wife, the husband should tell her that he loves her and likes her and works so hard so that she can have a comfortable life. He should tell her that it gives him pleasure to see her in comfort. Creating a furore at home and terrifying the members of the family are not signs of manhood! Helping the wife, keeping oneself neat and clean, using a soft and sweet tongue are the signs of manhood.

One day the Prophet

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of Islam (s) was in the room of Hadhrat Ayesha when one of his other wives sent some food for him. Seeing this, Hadhrat Ayesha felt a pang of jealousy and pushed the bowl of food with her foot. The bowl broke and the food spilled on the floor. Seeing this, the Prophet (s) asked Ayesha why she behaved in that manner. He pointed out to her that not only had she wasted good food, but had also broken the bowl and had also deprived him of his wish to eat the food. The Prophet (s) told Ayesha softly that she should refrain from such acts in the future. The Prophet (s) thus set an example for men to behave politely and with maturity with their spouses.

The Fifteenth Talk

1. Polygamy And The Reasons Therefor

Today we shall discuss about the reasons for people opting for polygamy. This discussion is neither on jurisprudence nor on the cultural aspect of human life. It pertains only to the morality of polygamy.

2. Need of Having More Than One Wife

The first category of people who opt for having more than one wife are those whose first wife is ill and is unable to satisfy their sexual desires and is also physically incapable of performing the household chores. In such a situation the husband is forced to marry a second wife. The institution of marriage is considered to be very important and necessary in Islam. Christianity strictly enforces monogamy, hence its followers are facing a lot of problems. The second category is that of people whose wives are

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physiologically incapable of bearing children. In such cases both husband and wife desire a child. But it is very rare that such wives agree to the husband bringing home another wife to mother a child. I appeal to such women to arrange a second marriage for their husbands. They can look for a suitable girl to adjust with the family and live amicably.

3. Marriage For Carnal Satisfaction

Some men opt for polygamy to satisfy their lust. They think that more than one wife will provide a variety to them. Despite having a wife at home, they marry a second wife, and then a third. If possible they make a harem for themselves. This attitude arises from a very serious moral problem. The pursuit of these desires pushes a person into a dangerous valley because such desires can never be fulfilled; the person always wants more and more. There is no end to it. If you try to fulfil your desire, you will never be fully satisfied.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq says that even if a person has a quantity of gold and silver equal to that of a river, he will not be satisfied. Similar is the case of the sexual instinct, the more you try to satisfy it, the more you will crave for it. Thus we find that the caliphs of the Ummayad and Abbasid clans had made special dens of vice, with hundreds of women, but they always wanted to add more. The more they tried to satisfy their carnal lust, the

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more they craved for it. But, what is the source of this craving? Psychologists say that when men stare at women, chase them, when women move around without hijab, boldly look at and talk with namahram men, then the sexual lust is aroused. Once this happens, a man who has a beautiful and young wife, marries a second and a third; and even then continues to stare at young girls, and is still not satisfied! He dreams of setting up a harem like that of Haroun al Rashid. Similarly, those inappropriately dressed women who talk and laugh with and pay attention to namahram men are, according to the psychologists, in a very dangerous situation. Once a woman lands in this condition, she is not shy of exposing even her sensitive body parts like the hair, bosom and the arms to namahram men. For example, we often find young women going to shops wearing sleeveless shirts, so that the shopkeeper can see her bare arms.. Similarly some women sit out in the streets without covering themselves with a chador.

Psychologists say that the cause of all these conditions is the craving of the sex instinct in the human race. We also come across some old men, who are sexually weak, but stare at young girls with lustful eyes. If such a person is a shop keeper, he stares at more than a hundred young girls a day and glances at women with lustful eyes. Islam considers this to be a very

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dangerous situation. For a man and especially for a woman to be lounging in the street is a wrong act, especially when she is without proper hijab. Such a woman has no character. A respectable woman would not be out in the streets without proper hijab. She would be in her house, caring for her children, and her home. If she has some free time, she would read a good book, or listen to a religious cassette. Another problem is that when two or three women get together they must backbite, and accuse others falsely. Such women should know that Hadhrat Fatima Zahra (s.a) is not pleased with them. If such women claim to be the slaves of Hadhrat Zahra (s.a), they are lying because Hadhrat Zahra (s.a) has nothing to do with such women.

Going back to our topic, the basis of the second type of polygamy is a craving for sex. When a person practices polygamy only for sexual lust, he is not only cheating others but is also cheating himself. He says that he is remarrying for reward. In fact he only exposes himself to retribution because he wants to attain a reward by lying. He is really marrying only to satisfy his lust. The moralists condemn such marriages. Beware and don’t make yourselves the slaves of your desires. Don’t become engrossed in satisfying your hearts desires. Don’t fill your stomachs to the full, do not sleep too much, do not be lazy, and do not become talkative.

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Keep to the path of moderation; know that marrying for lust is wrong; the educators of ethics condemn such marriages.

We quote here a remark made by an eminent scholar of ethics. Only the people who have developed themselves can utter such valuable words. When we ponder over their utterances, we can’t help but wonder. One of the senior jurists of Najaf al-Ashraf used to live in Karbala. He was Aga Sayed Ibrahim Qazwini. He was very erudite and because of his exemplary manners he was very popular among the students. The daughter of Fath Ali Shah, Zia al Saltana, took a divorce from her husband. She was a very pretty and young damsel. After taking the divorce she settled down in a place near Karbala. Since she was all alone now, she sent word to Aga Qazwini through someone that she wished to marry him The Aga replied that his marrying Zia al Saltana was not appropriate. They were incompatible because while he himself was an old man, she was very young; she was a princess and he was a poor student of jurisprudence struggling to make ends meet. The following day a message came to the Aga from the princess that she would be proud to marry him and that she wished her name to be joined to his! She said that she didn’t expect any monetary support from him and, to the contrary, she offered to meet all his household expenses. When the late Aga Ibrahim saw that

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the girl was very determined, he sent word to her that his wife was a middle aged woman of forty and had adjusted very well with his penury. For many years she had put up with his penury, and had tolerated enough troubles. Now by remarrying, he did not want to create further troubles for her; hence he was not at all inclined towards marrying the princess. She was happily spending her life with him. He wished not to create any problems for her bringing home another wife. In these circumstances he forcefully turned down the proposal of the princess!”

Aga Ibrahim's words may surprise some people. But in my opinion, these words teach us a lot. I appeal to those who want to remarry for the sake of getting reward to, instead, bear the expenses of the woman they want to marry (and her children), this will be a better reward. Imam Musa bin Jafar (a.s) has said that if he was able to foot the expenses of a needy family for a week, it would be better than performing 70 hajj.

4 Marriage Of Compulsion

The third type of marriage is the marriage of compulsion. Human beings have certain desires that get satisfied sometimes, and remain unsatisfied at other times. The unsatisfied desires slowly move from the conscious to the subconscious mind. According to the psychologists, when this happens a kind of a knot is formed in the heart which is very dangerous. If this person has the knowledge and the means, he

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will set the entire world on fire.

Sometimes women don’t discharge their responsibilities. As I mentioned in my previous talk, they are not mindful about the small but very important things and unable to fulfil their small responsibilities that assume bigger proportions later on. For example: when the husband returns home from work, the wife receives him with a glum face instead of giving him a smiling reception. When such an attitude becomes a habit, the husband starts thinking that perhaps he will be more comfortable if he marries a second wife. Thus, he is hurt by his wife and re-marries, assuming that he will be free of such troubles in his second marriage. If, unfortunately, he faces the same type of treatment from the second wife, he might opt for a third marriage. He searches for peace and comfort by re-marrying. These are the marriages of compulsion.

I want to ask the ladies if a husband marries again and again, who is really at fault? The wives must admit that they are at fault because they did not keep their husbands happy. They did not discharge the responsibility that Islam had given them. They did not heed the advice of the psychologists. The most important function of a wife is to provide comfort to her husband. She must be careful about the small things in the daily life, the neglect of which might bring about serious consequences for her. What are the things that create trouble and turmoil for the

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wife? It is her neglect, her laziness and her lack of understanding that create such troubles for her.

Here I recount a historical event. There was a woman, Umm Sulaym, at the time of the Prophet (s). She was the wife of one of the Ansaar. She was a native of Madina. Her husband was a craftsman and an intelligent man. Both husband and wife had embraced Islam. Both used to fulfil their duties. They had a son about two to three years of age. Once, the child fell ill. One day after the man had left for work, the child died. The woman sat near the dead child and kept crying. After a while she thought that the child was dead and cannot come back to life. She decided that she should not make her husband sad and restless. So she kept the body of the son in such a place where her husband would not see it, because she thought that if he receives this sad news as soon as he enters the house, he will also become very miserable. Then she changed her clothes and adorned herself for her husband. Upon his arrival, she herself opened the door, and greeted him. After exchanging pleasantries the husband inquired about the condition of the child. The wife said, “Alhamdu Lillah! He is well!” They sat down, talked, and relaxed. When it was time for salah (prayer) they performed the ghusl (bath). The husband wished to attend the congregational prayer

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with the Prophet (s). Before he left home she asked him, “If someone keeps something valuable with you for safe-keeping and returns to claim it after sometime, and you refuse to give it back! What will be the consequence of the act?” The husband said, “That would be very bad, not to return what has been entrusted for safe-keeping is a big sin!” The wife said “Two years back Allah had given us something for safe-keeping. Now that the time has come for us to return it, Allah has taken it back from us. Our dear child is no more! Therefore go and offer your prayers with the Prophet (s) and then inform your friends so that they can attend his burial.” The husband said, “Alhamdu Lillah!” I don’t know why the man thanked Allah at that moment. Whatever he praised Allah for was appropriate, but he must have praised Allah the most for giving him a good wife.

وَ الَّذِینَ جَهَدُواْ فِینَا لَنهَْدِیَنهَُّمْ سُبُلَنَا وَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِین

As for those who strive for Us, we surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good.

Sura al-‘Ankabut, 29: 69)

The man entered the mosque. It appeared as if the Prophet (s) was waiting for him. The Prophet (s) congratulated him. The same night the woman became pregnant. The couple was blessed with a son again. He grew into a wise, intelligent and learned person. Scholars have written a lot about him. Allah had blessed the couple with

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a son better than the one that was taken away from them!

I ask the ladies, that if they try to emulate Umm Sulaym, will their husbands continue to shout or hit them? No. It is your own fault that your husband doesn’t appear happy at home, shouts or becomes violent. This is because you don’t look after your husband and children properly; you don’t take care of the house properly. Come morning and the woman is out in the street, and that too without hijab, talking and laughing. In the afternoon the husband returns home only to find a dirty house, a dirty wife and dirty children. There is no trace of any lunch. When faced with this situation, he is forced to consider re-marriage. He thinks that, perhaps, the second wife will keep his home; the children and herself clean, and prepare meals on time. When he re- marries, the first wife starts crying.

Ladies! Don’t become the cause of your own misfortune! If you make yourself a good housewife, take care of your husband, children and home properly, there will be no reason for your husband to re-marry. Times are such that the husband can barely afford one wife, how will he support the second wife. Inspite of this if he re-marries, it is your own fault – you neglected to look after him, forcing him to re-marry. This is termed as marriage of compulsion.

The Sixteenth Talk

1. On Divorce

Today’s topic of discussion is divorce. In Islam divorce is the

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most detested of the legitimate acts. It is well known that the Prophet of Islam (s) has said:

In my view the most undesirable thing is divorce

Christianity forbids divorce under all circumstances save one, but this meeting is not the correct place to discuss it. There is so much adultery prevalent in the Western societies, because the couples have to continue with incompatible marriages.

When we study the statistics regarding divorce in Iran, we find that the numbers are increasing year after year. This is happening despite the undesirability of divorce. Divorce is becoming like a trend in our society!

In Post-Revolution Iran, divorce has emerged as a major problem for the society. There has been a lot of debate on this issue, still the numbers keep increasing. Why is it so? We shall try to find an answer to this question in our discussion today. We know that for our beloved Prophet (s), divorce was most undesirable thing. Today we shall analyse why this undesirable practice has assumed such formidable proportions! Just as marriage was divided into three parts divorce too will be discussed in three parts.

2. Types Of Divorce

Divorce Of Necessity

One category of divorce is the divorce of necessity that Islam permits under strictly defined conditions. Islam says that although divorce is undesirable, it is permissible under the law of shariah. If a person’s hand develops gangrene, it must be amputated. If the hand is not amputated, gangrene will spread to the whole body. The affected person will not be happy, but he is resigned

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to his fate and even thanks and pays the doctor for cutting his hand and saving the rest of his body from gangrene. Necessary divorce can be treated like amputation of the hand when the unfortunate person is afflicted with cancer. Sometimes the husband and wife are totally incompatible, and inspite of forgiving and overlooking shortcomings, inspite of making sacrifices, things just don’t work out. Sometimes a pious and upright man is married to an amoral woman. Or a chaste woman is married to a lecherous and impious man. This impious man is incompatible with the virtuous lady, he feels as if he has been imprisoned. There is no solution to this problem except divorce, it is impossible to reconcile the two, they should be separated. In such situations, the divorce law is a very useful one, from the point of view of Islam as well as the society. Even Christianity accepts that the Islamic provision of divorce, with all its conditions, is appropriate. Without the divorce law, Islam would be incomplete. This law is applied when there is no other solution except separation. When a woman is not able to adjust with her husband, she becomes wayward and the husband is not able to reform her, then separation is the only solution. If a husband becomes amoral, and is beyond reform, then it becomes necessary for the wife to separate from him. Here divorce is necessary. But such cases are very rare. If these were the reasons for divorce,

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there would not be more than a hundred divorces throughout the country. The sheer number of divorces tells us that these are not the divorces of necessity.

Ladies who do not observe the hijab should know that they are oppressors, and on the Day of Judgement they will be grouped with the oppressors. What can be more oppressive than flaming the passions of unmarried men by not wearing the hijab, by displaying ones face and body to unmarried men which then leads them to sin? The fire of passion is not an ordinary one. If this youth falls into sin, it is because of this woman who refuses to cover herself. Some women go shopping and display all their feminine charms to the shopkeeper, just to strike a bargain. Some women exceed the limits of decent behaviour. They sell their respect in order to buy some cloth or a pair of socks. When I say that they sell their respect, I do not mean that they indulge fornication. I mean that they laugh and joke with namahram men and display all their charms to them. This is, in a way, selling oneself. Selling oneself does not only mean indulging in fornication; that is the final step on this ladder.

Divorce For Carnal Satisfaction

The second type of divorce is one given for vile reasons; this divorce is given for the satisfaction of the carnal desires. For example, a careless man is attracted to a woman and in order to marry her, he divorces his

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wife. Worse than this is when a woman gets attracted to a man, becomes rebellious and wants her husband to grant her a divorce so that she can marry her lover. These are divorces sought for vile reasons. These are divorces sought for satisfying passions. This type of divorce is found to be more amongst careless people. I consider it necessary to point out the reasons for such divorces, and I request the ladies to please pay special attention. This is the result of mingling of the sexes, because men and women look at each other, because men and women talk to each other unnecessarily, and more than all this it is because of a lack of hijab or wearing clothes deemed inappropriate by Islam. One type of 'selling oneself' is when the woman wears a dress that exposes some of her body, goes out of her house and shows her body to namahram men. A type of 'selling oneself' is when a woman attracts the attention of the shopkeeper by displaying her charms and joking with him. He in turn laughs and jokes and talks seductively. This type of woman, who sells herself, should know that she is a big oppressor, because the Satan comes to this shopkeeper or namahram man, and then presents this woman to him. When this happens all the love that that man has for his wife disappears and things reach such a stage that he divorces his wife and the children are left without

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any support. All this happens because the woman displayed her feminine charms to the shopkeeper or to the namahram man. This is a great oppression and attracts an equally great retribution.

A thing which brings about great turmoil is infatuation. This is an ailment which is worse than the cancer. All types of infatuations, whether between persons of the same sex, that is between two girls or two boys, or between a man and a woman, are like cancerous diseases. If, God forbid, someone becomes inflicted with this disease he can never get along with his wife. Even if she does everything for him, he wants to leave her. He does not even care about his own self-respect. When we read the poetry of lovers, we find that the first thing a person loses in the path of infatuation is his self-respect and dignity. What is the source of this infatuation? This is born out of lust for sex. Beware! Don’t let Satan mislead you. When two boys or two girls “love” each other, this “love” arises out of lust for sex, even if they call it love. Love, in the name of Allah, love for the sake of Allah only, is rare. The truth is what Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s) has said: When the love of the Lord departs from a persons heart, then the love of someone else occupies its place.

Exchanging Glances And Meeting Each Other

Some experts are of opinion that there are certain rays in the human body, which emanate from the eyes

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in the form of love. Therefore, Islam forbids people from looking at each other with the feelings of lust. The safest attitude is to refrain from looking at a namahram. Men should not talk with women except when necessary. They should not look at women except when necessary. In the Holy Quran there are several verses on this subject. At one place it tells the women not to adorn themselves and beautify themselves for namahrams. At another place, it tells the women that they should talk with namahram only to the extent absolutely necessary. At yet another place it tells the men and women not to look at each other. In the chapter of Ahzaab the Quran addresses the Prophet (s) thus:

یَأَیهَُّا النَّبیِ ُّ قُل لّأَِزْوَجِکَ وَ بَنَاتِکَ وَ نِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ یُدْنِینَ عَلَیهِْنَّ مِن جَلَبِیبِهِنَّ ذَلِکَ أَدْنیَ أَن یُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا یُؤْذَیْنَ وَ کاَنَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِیمًا

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their cover garments; that they may be known, so that they will not be troubled, God is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. (Sura Ahzaab, 33: 59)

Therefore, according to the Holy Quran the respectability, the dignity, the status and the value of a woman lies in covering herself. Muslim women must be recognized because of their veil. If a woman does not cover her face, and a man falls in love with her, then there is nothing for her except shame. God forbid that a married woman herself

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falls in love with someone. This will be the most shameful thing, and believe me, the following verse of the Holy Quran is most suitable for this man and woman:

خَسِرَ الدُّنْیَا وَ الاَْخِرَهَ ذَلِکَ هُوَ الخُْسْرَانُ الْمُبِین

He loseth both the world and the Hereafter. That is the sheer loss. (Sura al Hajj, 22: 11)

The divorces taking place in such circumstances are due to the behaviour of women who display their charms to namahram men; those veiled and unveiled women who are not careful about the way in which they speak and talk. Women are beautiful and so attractive that the Holy Prophet (s) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) have said that if a woman is walking ahead of a man, he should not look at the back of that woman! He should not walk behind her, but should allow a gap between them. This discretion is advised because women are attractive for men; if this attraction turns into adoration, and even if the woman does not respond to the man, both the man and the woman will suffer. Islam has advised men not to immediately sit in a place vacated by a woman. The man may occupy the seat after it has become cold, so that the warmth of the seat does not give rise to satanic thoughts in him. Many divorces take place because women don’t observe proper hijab, or because women talk to men or because they display their feminine charms. I appeal to the ladies to take

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special care in covering their bodies. If a namahram man looks at you with lust, you will be unsuccessful in this world as well as in the hereafter.

I would like to see separate public transport for men and women. If this is not possible, then at least there should be separate areas in the buses for men and women. God forbid, that a woman should share a seat with a man, or that the bodies of namahram men and women should touch each other, while travelling or standing in a bus, even if only their clothes come in contact. This is extremely dangerous. The woman is like a priceless jewel. Priceless jewels should be secured safely in a box. The more one guards priceless articles, the more these can be protected from thieves. Ladies and gentlemen, you should be wise in the way you behave and speak. I ask the men that if your wife does not dress appropriately and steps out of the house and others become besotted with her, then what will happen?.

Divorce Of Compulsion

The third category of divorce, like the marriage of compulsion, is the divorce of compulsion. Nearly 80% of divorces fall into this category. There can be several reasons for such divorces. The first reason is that the wife doesn’t perform her duties properly. She becomes a problem for the man. She neglects to perform the small, but important, tasks. All these small things add up to make the husband lose interest in his spouse.

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He becomes impatient with her. In extreme cases the distraught husband starts beating and being violent with his wife and children. He couldn’t care less, even if he is advised that his wife and children will be left without support. The same husband who used to confront all hardships to support his wife and children turns into a thoughtless and uncaring person.

In certain cases, it is the husband who neglects the small, but really important things. His behaviour at home is undesirable. He is very stingy and rude. The wife becomes so fed-up with him that she starts nitpicking the smallest things. Don’t be under the impression that because she is good now, she will continue to be good even after she gets fed-up. No, when the woman has had enough she will neither bother about the children, nor the relatives, but will be ready to forsake all of them if necessary.

Men should organise their time. People who have achieved something in life always have a timetable to do things. Some people are so particular that even their toilet timings are fixed. They have fixed timings for eating, sleeping and work. Those who organise their time are the successful ones. Thus I request all the men and women to organise their time properly. The men must earmark some time to spend with their children. The wife should not feel lonely. We find some men with their heads in a book all the time. They are always reading. Gaining

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knowledge is a good thing, but it should not be at the expense of the wife who feels lonely and sad. It is very dangerous if a person is so busy that he has no time to be with his family. A businessman wakes up in the morning and leaves for work. After dealing with all kinds of people when he returns home in the evening, all he wants is dinner and his bed. This is when he has not brought the accounts register home. Otherwise he falls asleep on the register itself. Such men should be aware that this is very harmful. A time will come when his good wife becomes bad. She loses interest in running the house. The man remains glued to the mosque while his children attend singing parties. When it is said: 'Work for eight hours and worship for 8 hours,' it does not mean that you should be glued to the mosque for eight hours. It means that your wife and children also have a share in these eight hours. When a man returns home from work in the evening he should ask after the wife before asking after the children, because he is closer to his wife. If a child comes forward, pick him in your arms, but your sight should be on your wife.

Some time ago a woman killed three of her children. She had inflicted seventeen injuries on one of the children. When interrogated, the woman said that whenever her

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husband came home he gave all his attention to the children and ignored her. She became jealous and decided to kill her children. I am stressing on this topic because sometimes we are faced with such situations. Sometimes a woman telephones us and cries and complains bitterly. When the matter is investigated, we find that her husband is financially well-off, and sexually not lacking. There is one problem though - he cannot reach out to his wife. He has no time to sit and talk with her.

The Prophet of Islam (s) says that when a husband reaches home he should talk to his wife before discussing any other matters. Give her the opportunity to relate whatever she wants to. Give her the opportunity to unburden her heart. And listen to her. Don’t interrupt her. Then encourage her and with great kindness help her to solve her problems. Thank her for all the trouble she takes to run the household. Then spend about half an hour talking and playing with the children.

The children, in one family, became wayward when they grew up. The mother pinned the blame entirely on their father who, she said, was always glued to books or to the Quran. He never had time for them; he never played with them or talked to them. He never asked the children where they were going or where they were coming from. The scholar, the student, the man who, on arriving home, does not pay attention to his

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wife or children, has usurped their right, and knowledge acquired by usurping someone’s right can never be fruitful or useful. This man, this student, should first meet his wife and children and then study. Then, when he has studied for a couple of hours, it is the responsibility of the wife to adorn herself, and attend to him with a cup of tea or at least a glass of water. Greet him with a smile, offer him the tea or coffee and sit next to him. All the tiredness and tedium of the husband would disappear if the wife were to behave in this way.

A person, whose wife had expired, used to cry very much. We asked him why he was so disconsolate. We told him to resign to the Will of Allah. He replied, “I am resigned to the Will of Allah! But I am sad that my well-wisher is in the grave. When I would get tired after a few hours of studying, she would bring me a cup of refreshing tea, and refresh my tired mind. All the books that I have written are thanks to her loving care and attention!”

A scientist says that if I have invented something new or if I have been able to serve the world, it was because of my wife. She always dispelled my tiredness.

If a husband neglects his wife and busies himself all the time in his studies or business, he is faced with a very dangerous situation. This is

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a reason spouses hate each other, and where there is hate, divorce raises its ugly head. The woman, although she is chaste, good, and respectable, reaches the court and obtains divorce, because her patience is over. She says that she wants peace of mind. She is not even concerned about her children. Such divorces are because of the thoughtlessness of the spouses, and not giving time and attention to each other. Men don’t shoulder their responsibilities; they don’t make the woman a part of their lives. Almost 70% of divorces are caused by such attitude of the couples. The husband and wife are suspicious about each other. If the husband is ten minutes late, the wife insults him: "Where were you? Were you with your second wife?" Then the husband retaliates by marrying a second wife, and sometimes a third. These suspicions and baseless thoughts are found in women, and also in some men. But if men are suspicious, they will have to bear a greater retribution.

The Seventeenth Talk

1. Need of A Family

Our discussion now is on the needs that a husband and a wife have to fulfil for each other. Today’s discussion is about the finances of the family and is an important one.

2. Condemning Stinginess In Material Needs

The first need which both the husband and wife have to take care of is the material needs of each other. The husband must make all possible efforts to provide material comforts to his family, but if he is miserly not only does he fail to fulfil that which

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is obligatory on him but also becomes the target of those verses of the Holy Quran which condemn miserliness. The Holy Book says that the miserly person should not think that stinginess is a virtue, it is an undesirable trait. On the Day of Judgement, the money that he refused to spend due to his stinginess will be hung from his neck in the form of a heavy chain, and he will be brought to the Grounds of Reckoning in this shameful state!

وَ لَا یحَْسَبنَ َّ الَّذِینَ یَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا ءَاتَئهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَیرًْا لَّهُم بَلْ هُوَ شرٌَّ لَّهُمْ سَیُطَوَّقُونَ مَا بخَِلُواْ بِهِ یَوْمَ الْقِیَمَهِ

And let not those who hoard up that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of his bounty think that it is better for them. Nay, it is worse for them. That which they hoard will be their collar on the Day of Resurrection. ….. (Sura Ali Imran, 3: 180)

The people who, in their stinginess, don’t spend on their families, on the society, on the poor and the needy and don’t spend in the way of Allah, will find their stinginess hung in the form of a collar around their necks. A stingy man is detested. Miserliness is one of the negative traits in men. In fact, the miserly man himself condemns it. The proof of this fact is that when someone reminds such a person that he is stingy, he doesn’t like the remark! Stinginess is one of the things that extinguish love, whether

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it is in the society or in the house. If a man can afford to keep his family in comfort but refuses to do so his family will never respect him or love him. A man should, to the best of his capabilities, fulfil the needs of his family. He should, at least fulfil their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, and if possible get them married etc. It is the man’s duty to arrange for his daughters marriage and give her some dowry. It is his duty to educate his children, and choose a good wife for his son. Being miserly and not fulfilling these needs leads to many difficulties if their material needs are not met, some children resort to theft and robbery, the woman starts robbing from her own house. Initially she picks her husbands pocket, then she begins to shoplift.! All these calamities are the result of miserliness; hence one should not be miserly.

Similarly the wife too should attend to the material needs of the husband. She must ensure that the husband gets good food at home. She must prefer him over herself and the children. If there is food, fruit, etc in the house, but the wife denies these to her husband, she is not only stingy, but also 'laeem'. Laeem persons are worse than misers. A miser is one who does not spend his own money on others, but a laeem is one who cannot bear another eating even what does not

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belong to the laeem. They stop you from spending your own money (not theirs) on the deserving and the poor, too. They justify their act by saying that when you do not spend on your own family and self, why should you spend on others! By saying such things they weaken your resolve to help the poor. The extreme case of a laeem person is one who envies others using their own money. Some people neither spend themselves, nor do they allow others to spend, neither do they allow others to help the needy and the poor. These persons are degraded and low. Laeem is that lady whose husband gets good food and fruits for the house, but she deprives him of these. One cannot expect love from such women.

In one of my previous talks I have mentioned some men who expect too much from their wives. To use a proverb, they don’t get meat, but want to eat kebab! But there are other families where the poor husband does bring the meat, but the wife serves the kebab to the children and the guests, but not to the husband! Such thoughtless women will be brought to the Grounds of Judgement in the form of the most degraded of the wild beasts. She will be asked why she denied the husband what belonged to him. The wife who metes out such treatment to her husband should not expect any love from him. And if the husband decides to marry

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again, the wife should not cry and grumble. Similarly, if a husband does not fulfil; the needs of the family, inspite of having the means to, should not expect any love from them. It is very important that the husband and wife take good care of each other. If the husband has meagre means, the wife should not embarrass him by making demands on him. She should be patient and encourage him. The husband, too, should give preference to fulfilling the needs of the family to other things. "First, one should light the lamp in his home, then in the mosque!” If a person’s wife and children are not properly provided for, how can he help others? His first duty is towards his home - to fulfil the needs of his family. It is narrated that a person died and left everything he had in the way of Allah. The Prophet of Allah (s) attended his burial. The companions met the Prophet (s) in the evening and said, “The dead man's children are hungry! He was well-off, but at the time of his death he gave away everything he had in charity.” The Prophet (s) said, “If I was told about this earlier, I would not have offered the dead person’s funeral prayer! The husband should have first taken care of his wife and children before giving any charity.”

3. Need of Satisfying The Sexual Instinct

The sex instinct in the humans has to be satisfied. Just as other desires are satisfied, this desire, too, must be fulfilled.

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It is necessary and obligatory on both the husband and the wife to satisfy each others sexual instinct. If any couple neglect this important aspect of their lives, they are committing a grave sin.

The Prophet of Islam (s) has said, “If a husband goes to bed and calls his wife, and she evades till the husband falls asleep, then the angels curse her till the morning! This is the natural right of the husband and the wife over each other!”

Similarly, the Prophet (s) has also said, “If a man neglects to satisfy his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife indulges in adultery, then the retribution will be as much for the husband as it is for the wife!”

If a wife is tardy about giving attention to the needs of the husband, and he falls into sin, that is he views namahram women with passion, then she is as much liable for Allah’s punishment as him. This sin will be entered in the account of the husband as well as the wife! On the day of Judgement, when her account of deeds will be given to her, it will be shown that she had gazed at namahram seductively. The wife will plead with Allah that she never looked at a namahram! She will be told that, “Your husband had done that, but it was because of you. You should have prevented it. You should have satisfied him sexually, whether it was before the act by adorning yourself etc. or the

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actual act itself. If a man keeps more than one wife and doesn’t satisfy them or give them equitable treatment, and if one of them gets fed-up and sighs, this sigh is sometimes back breaking, and is enough to uproot a person.

4. Need of Sympathy

The third need is that of sympathy and consideration. This distinguishes a human being from a brute. The human beings are not inanimate objects or trees. Even the domesticated animals expect some sympathy from their masters. When you see a kitten or a lamb or a puppy going near its mother to feed, the mother views it with warmth. In addition to satisfying the physical needs of the little one, the mother satisfies its emotional needs too. She does this by licking the little one, and rubbing her head on his body. If beasts require warmth and affection, humans require it more. Even a dog knows that in addition to nutrition, its puppy needs love and sympathy. Man should know that expressing love and affection for each other is food for the soul. Food for the soul is more important than food for the body. God forbid that husband or wife should have less love for the spouse.

Islam exhorts people to take special care of the orphans and the Holy Quran says that a society that doesn’t care for the orphans is not a Muslim society.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِیمِ

أَ رَءَیْتَ الَّذِی یُکَذِّبُ بِالدِّینِ

فَذَلِکَ الَّذِی یَدُعُّ الْیَتِیمَ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the MERCIFUL

Hast thou observed him

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who belieth religion?

That is he who repelleth the orphan. (Sura Maauun, 107: 1-3)

'O my Prophet! Should I show you the person who is not a Muslim, who has no faith in religion? He is the person who has abandoned the orphans.' Those who do not care about the orphans are not true Muslims. Why does Islam stress so much on helping and showing affection to the orphans? We read in the traditions that when an orphan came to the Prophet (s), he used to make the orphan sit on his lap and stroked the head of the child with affection. He always gave special care to the orphans. Even Amir al Mu’minin cared for orphans a lot.

The families of the martyrs are blessed to have the opportunity to raise orphans. There are ladies whose husbands have died or have been martyred, and they are raising their orphaned children. These ladies are earning a great reward. It is narrated in traditions that if someone caresses the head of an orphan with affection, good deeds equal to the number of the hair his hand has touched, will be entered in his account of deeds. He gets a great reward. Dealing with orphans with love and affection fetches so much reward because they have lost their father. But the orphan still needs sympathy. Allah wants to fill this void from other sources. If their emotional needs are not fulfilled, they will become rebellious. A youth, boy or girl, who has been deprived of

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love and affection, might prove to be very dangerous for the society. A society where there is dearth of affection turns into a society of criminals. A society lacking in affection will comprise of gloomy individuals.

If a woman is depressed at heart, she cannot be expected to care for her husband. She will not be able to care for the house or be a good mother to her children. Similarly a man who is depressed at heart cannot be a part of the society; he remains cut off from the society. When does a person become depressed? When he is deprived of love and affection at home. Right from the beginning of life, the child has a lot of needs. Some are dormant. For example his Need of sex is there, but it is dormant. His love for money is dormant. However there are some needs he can understand. For example, he knows when he is hungry or thirsty and when he is satiated. He knows that when he is hungry, he should suck at his mother's breast. One instinct is that of love. When the mother nurses her child, she fondly caresses him. The mother caressing her child with love is more important than the nursing itself. Similarly, when the father smiles at the child, it is more important than the mother's milk. A father who fulfils the physical needs of his children but ignores their emotional needs, is a father only in name. He is an ignorant, uneducated

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father. Some fathers are so busy with their work that they have no time for their children. When the father leaves home for work in the morning, the child is sleeping. When the father arrives home late after the days work, the child is sleeping. The father should play with the children, seat them on his lap, and caress their head lovingly. A father's smile for his child is very important and valuable. Similarly his smile for his wife and his love towards his wife is very important, because human beings crave love.

We read in the traditions that when Pharaoh was killing the male children, Hadhrat Musa (a.s.) received his upbringing under the roof of that very tyrant, in the lap of Asiya, the wife of the Pharoah! Allah put love for Musa (a.s.) in the heart of Pharoah. And he looked after Prophet Musa like a father. Allah says in the Holy Quran that Musa (a.s.) was raised in His own care! In addition to this, Musa (a.s.) was kept under the care of Hadhrat Shoaib (a.s.) for ten years. Under the care of the Prophet of Allah, he reached perfection and achieved that stage where he had the privilege of conversing with Allah. When he was ordained a Prophet Musa (a.s.) was commanded by Allah to make Haroon (a.s) his vicegerent, so that they could together frighten the Pharoah! Still Allah instructed them to treat the Pharoah with consideration.

اذْهَبَا إِلیَ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَی

فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّیِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ

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یَتَذَکَّرُ أَوْ یخَْشی

Go, both of you, unto Pharoah. Lo he hath transgressed (the bounds).

And speak unto him a gentle word, that peradventure he may heed or fear. (Sura Taha, 20: 43-44)

These verses indicate to us that a human being, whoever he might be, is thirsty for love and affection. Therefore Islam directs us to kill tyrants, but does not give us the right to abuse or insult him. It gives us permission to put the noose around his neck, but stops us from insulting him. The Judge can punish the person who insults others.

Therefore, the wife expects love from the husband more than anything else. Similarly the husband too wants love from his wife before anything else. Your son, your daughter and your wife all expect love from you. When a man enters his house, he should at least say "salaamun 'alaykum". If he does not do this, he should at least meet his family with a smile. He should not come home with a long face, because it is a big calamity for the house. Sometimes husbands and wives hurt each other a lot. If the husband is ill-tempered, he goes to the extent of beating his wife. This sin will attract grave retribution. There are some husbands who neither verbally abuse nor beat their wives, but are always angry and sullen at home. The wife might have preferred to bear a hundred lashes from the husband than his glum demeanour. Similarly there are many wives who neither

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nag the husbands nor fight with them but they always wear belligerent expressions and look angry. They even refuse to speak to her husband and are always sullen.

This attitude is worst than lashing the husband a hundred times. This attitude may lead the husband to get fed-up with his wife. A husband should not assume that if he has a good tempered wife, she will remain so forever. If there is a decrease in love from your side, she can become bad. Similarly if there is a decrease in love for your son or daughter, it will inevitably lead to disaster. One has always to bear in mind that for a human being love is a prime need. If the ladies at home become paragons of love, they will be the most successful homemakers. If a woman is devoid of feelings of love and compassion for others, if she doesn’t love her husband or children, then she is a demon! Women, by nature, are more loving than men. It is the duty of both husbands and wives to maintain an atmosphere of love and affection in their homes. May Allah help us succeed in these endeavours! Aameen!

The Eighteenth Talk

1. Spiritual And Intellectual Needs

Today’s discussion is about the fourth need - the spiritual need. Just as a person needs to be physically satisfied, he needs spiritual satisfaction. This is the main difference between human beings and the animals. Animals only have instincts and physical needs. At the most they need love and sympathy. But

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man has both the physical as well as the spiritual aspects in his nature. This spiritual aspect has been endowed to him from the Aalam e Malkoot! The human being is so spiritually developed that Allah has made a special reference to him highlighting his felicity.

فَإِذَا سَوَّیْتُهُ وَ نَفَخْتُ فِیهِ مِن رُّوحِی فَقَعُواْ لَهُ سَجِدِین

So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him. (Sura al Hijr, 15: 29)

Allah ordered the angels to prostrate when He blew His spirit into him. This privilege is endowed only to man. When we consider the material aspect of life, we find that animals have very well defined and strong instincts and needs, which are easily satisfied. Therefore, we can say that the superiority of man lies in his spiritual aspect. Man has two aspects, thus he requires two types of nourishment. One is the material nourishment required for the maintenance of the physical existence. Similarly spiritual nourishment is necessary for him. If both the spiritual and material wants are not satisfied, man perishes! The difference between the two aspects is that when a person dies physically, it is not so important. But if he dies spiritually, according to the Holy Quran, he is worse than the lowliest of the animals and is headed straight for Hell:

وَ لَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ کَثِیرًا مِّنَ الجِْنّ ِ وَ الْانسِ لهَُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا یَفْقَهُونَ بهَِا وَ لهَُمْ أَعْینُ ٌ لَّا یُبْصِرُونَ بهَِا وَ لهَُمْ ءَاذَانٌ لَّا یَسْمَعُونَ

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بهَِا أُوْلَئکَ کاَلْأَنْعَمِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَئکَ هُمُ الْغَفِلُون

Already have We urged unto Hell many of the jinn and humankind, having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle---nay, but they are worse!! These are the neglectful. (Sura al-A’raf, 7: 179)

Allah says that if man doesn’t get spiritual nourishment, then his destiny is Hell. Such men have eyes, but they don’t see. They don’t distinguish between good and evil. They have ears, but they don’t pay any heed to what they hear. They have tongues, but they speak not. They have hearts, but they don’t think aright! Then Allah adds that such men are worse than the animals. They are like the silk-worms that produce the silk thread, wind it around their bodies and perish in the process!

These, according to Allah, are the neglectful men. If someone has not received spiritual nourishment, his soul is dead. Such people should cry day and night, because of what the Holy Quran says about them. In another Verse the Holy Quran is more forceful:

إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابّ ِ عِندَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُکْمُ الَّذِینَ لَا یَعْقِلُون

Lo! The worst of beasts in Allah’s sight are the deaf, the dumb, who have no sense. (Sura Al-Anfal, 8: 22)

People with dead souls are worst than animals: they have brains, but do not think, they have the ability, but do not ponder. There are many such verses in the Holy Quran. The Prophet

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(s) has said:

There are two blessings for men—welfare and peace.

Truly, these are great blessings for men. When a man is ill, he loses interest in everything. Sometimes a person is physically well, but his spirit is ill, as the Quran says, their hearts are sick. This according to the Quran is a most dangerous state of affairs. When the heart is sick, the person rises against the Quran, the Prophet (s) and his vicegerents (a.s). He starts to interpret the verses of the Quran to suit himself; he distorts their meaning to suit himself. In the beginning of the Sura Ali Imran there are certain verses indicating that in the Quran there are Muhkam (definitive) verses and others that are Mutashabih (Ambiguous).

Such men pick up ambiguous verses and try to interpret them to suit their selfish ends. From somewhere they get a tradition and explain it to suit themselves. They invent the speech of revered people, and distort it to suit themselves. When the spirit is ill, it is not like physical illness. This illness has special characteristics. The spiritually ill person is at war with the Holy Quran. Therefore, the Quran says it is a cure, but for the spiritually ill, there is nothing but loss, and more loss!

فَأَمَّا الَّذِینَ فیِ قُلُوبِهِمْ زَیْغٌ فَیَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَبَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَهِ وَ ابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِیلِه

But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical (ambiguous) seeking( to cause) dissensions by seeking to explain it….. (Sura Ali Imran,

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3: 7)

Allah’s mercy is nothing save loss for the oppressors and the spiritually ill. For example, melons and guava are very good fruits. But they are very harmful to one ailing from inflammation of the intestines. Eating these will further aggravate the pain or even lead to bleeding from the digestive system. The verses of the Holy Quran are very useful. But for the spiritually sick person, they result in losses. This reaction is somewhat like the effect of the melon on one suffering from intestinal inflammation!

A person whose spirit is dead is harmful not only to himself, but also to others in his environment. He is like a cancer in the society. He will be a source of trouble for his own wife and children. Therefore, we must give special attention to spiritual needs of our families. Both the husband and wife should pave the way for the spiritual progress of each other. Both the mother and the father should look after the spiritual needs of their children, so that they can make spiritual progress. If parents cater only to the physical needs of the children and ignore their spiritual needs or give less importance to their spiritual growth, it is as if they are raising dogs and beasts. It is as if these parents are raising a cancer for the society. What is the nourishment of the spirit? It is salah (prayer), fasting, recitation of the Holy Quran, remembrance of Allah and remaining awake in the night

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for prayers, and communicating with Allah. If a woman doesn’t offer salah, or offers it incorrectly, then her home and her husband are to be pitied. The Holy Quran says:

یَأَیهَُّا الَّذِینَ ءَامَنُواْ قُواْ أَنفُسَکمُ ْ وَ أَهْلِیکمُ ْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَ الحِْجَارَه

O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from the fire whose fuel shall be men and stones… (Sura Tahrim, 66: 6)

If a man has strong faith, he will succeed in saving himself and his family from the Hellfire. This verse indicates that the men and women should be regular at offering salah. They must establish a strong rapport with Allah. They must recite the Holy Quran at home. They must supplicate. They must offer salatul layl (late night prayers). They should pray as soon as the time for salah sets in. If they fail to do offer their salah as soon as the time for salah sets, they will gradually become spiritually dead. If a person does not nourish his soul, his spiritual condition will be just like the physical condition of a person who has not eaten for a few days! A person who starves himself might die physically after a few days of starvation! If the spirit of a person is deprived of its nourishment, it might die too after some time! The spiritual needs are not like the material, emotional and sexual needs of human beings. It is for the fulfilment of this need that a hundred and twenty four thousand Prophets (a.s.) came into

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this world with their books. It is for the spiritual progress of man that the Prophets (a.s.) and their vicegerents (a.s.) bore untold hardships.

I draw your attention to the Ziarat of Aba Abdallah al Husayn (a.s.) that reads:

I bear witness that you established prayer (salah) and gave the zakat and practiced commanding good (amr bil ma'roof) and forbidding evil (nahy anil munkar).

When, on the day of Ashura, most of Imam Husayn (a.s.)’s companions were already martyred, it was the time for Zuhr Prayer. One of his companions said, “O son of the Prophet! The time for Zuhr has arrived. We wish to offer it behind you!” The Imam (a.s.) smiled and said, “May Allah place you in the ranks of those who offer prayers!” The arrows kept raining from the columns of the enemy but the Imam (a.s.) stood steadfast in the middle of the ground offering salah along with his companions. God forbid that any house should be without salah; such a house is filled with animals, not humans. The inhabitants of such houses may be good looking, but believe me, they are beasts and are destined for dark places.

The Holy Quran says:

فخََلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُواْ الصَّلَوهَ وَ اتَّبَعُواْ الشهََّوَتِ فَسَوْفَ یَلْقَوْنَ غَیًّا

Now there hath succeeded them a later generation who have ruined worship and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception. (Sura Maryam, 19: 59)

Those who recite salah but recite it incorrectly, those who are enslaved by sensual pleasures, desires and passions - these are surely

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the misguided ones. 'Ghay' in Arabic means misguidance. 'Sawfa yalqawna ghayyaa' means that they are definitely misguided. These are the men who have gone astray from the right path. Their final destination is Hell. Ghay is also the name of a well in Hell. If we disregard salah, if someone recites salah but at the very end of the prescribed time, or recites it in a hurry, he is also misguided and does not have the shade of the mercy of the Lord over his head. If one is deprived of the shelter of the Lords’ mercy, he becomes entangled in all sorts of deviation.

Mulla Fakhruddin Raazi has quoted a tradition in to explain Sura al Asr. This tradition is very enlightening. He writes that a woman came to the Prophet (s) in a very disturbed state of mind. She said, “O Prophet of Allah! I have committed a major sin. I am a married woman. Even then I was involved in adultery and gave birth to a baby. To hide my sin I put the baby in a cauldron of vinegar. I have already sold that tainted vinegar to people."

Imagine what a grave sin the woman had committed. Truly, if a person does not have Allah’s mercy and grace, he can get totally deviated. He gets entangled in all sorts of troubles. The Prophet (s) told the woman, “I think that you have stopped reciting the Asr prayers. All this happened because the shelter of Allah’s mercy was no

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longer over you, which was the result of your neglecting salah!” If we become regular at our prayers, and offer salah at the beginning of its appointed time, we will be safe from becoming entangled in such calamities. If you want to become noble, pray regularly at the beginning of the time for prayer, along with the after-prayer supplications (Ta'qibaat), in congregation, while observing the etiquette of salah. Women should pray at a spot in the home earmarked for this purpose. These are the acts of the truly blessed people!

If there is no atmosphere of spirituality in a house, it will be a troubled place. Its condition will be like that of a spirit suffering from an ailment. What makes the soul ill? It is sin! The Holy Quran, in some places, terms sin as an ailment. This is because sins render a person’s heart black, make the heart ill and taint the heart with 'rust'. When a person’s heart becomes sick, the first symptom is that he is unable to derive pleasure from worship. On the contrary it derives pleasure from sinning. If there is anyone in this audience who doesn’t enjoy prayers but enjoys sinning, let him know that he is spiritually ill. He must get himself treated otherwise his heart will turn black! The Holy Quran pities the person whose heart has turned black on account of sinning! Sometimes the heart has turned black, but to a lesser extent. Sometimes the entire heart becomes pitch black.

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Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that such persons will not get deliverance. The Holy Quran says:

أَ فَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْاسْلَمِ فَهُوَ عَلیَ نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَوَیْلٌ لِّلْقَسِیَهِ قُلُوبهُُم مِّن ذِکْرِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئکَ فیِ ضَلَلٍ مُّبِین

Is he whose bosom Allah hath expanded for the Surrender (unto Him), so that he followeth a light from His Lord,(as he who disbelieveth)? Then woe unto those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah. Such are in plain error. (Sura az-Zumar, 39: 22)

Fortunate is the heart that has illuminated itself with Allah’s remembrance. Radiant is the heart that is glowing with the felicity of prayer and fasting. Shame on the heart that has turned black with sin. Sins have turned this heart into stone. The Holy Quran says that the sinning hearts are hardened. Beware of the hardening of the heart. Sin, however small it may be, plays a major role in hardening the heart. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that when a person commits a sin, a small dark spot appears on his heart. If he does not repent, the spot increases in size. This process goes on till the entire heart darkens. Then the person cannot be reformed. Can you comprehend where those families have reached who listen to music, where the husband and wife backbite, accuse others falsely, oppress others and keep a lookout for faults in others? Their hearts are black; their hearts are brimming with the prohibited. But worse than sinning is the presence of negative qualities

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in people.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that sins are more harmful for the heart than piercing a knife in someone’s stomach. But negative traits are even more dangerous than sins. These traits are present in every one of us and are difficult to eliminate. One may have to struggle for twenty years to uproot the tree of negative traits from his heart. After twenty to thirty years of strenuous efforts one might be able to plant the sapling of virtue in the same heart and make it flourish to bear fruit! None can claim that he is totally free of negative traits. It is our responsibility to fight and vanquish these traits. We have to ensure that they don’t assume stormy proportions. What happens to towns and cities when they are flooded? The same thing happens to man when he is flooded with negative qualities – It completely destroys his spirituality. When a fire is small, it can be extinguished with some effort. But when it turns into an inferno, then it goes beyond control. When the negative traits become like an inferno, it is impossible to combat it. From the very childhood, children should be trained to combat these negative traits. Men should exercise total control over their tongues. Their talk with their wives and the children should be polite and morally upright.

The ladies must know that jealousy is a very harmful trait. When a person turns jealous, she starts the Battle of Jamal inspite of knowing

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the truth.. Who was the cause of this battle? It was a person with a jealous heart. When she was informed that Uthman was assassinated, she said, “Praise be to Allah, that Na’thal is dead!” When later on she heard that Imam Ali (a.s.) has become the Caliph, she said, "How I wish I had died before getting this news. If the skies had fallen on me, it would have been better than hearing this news!” Thus the seeds were sown for the Battle of Jamal. To quench the fires of this jealousy about a thousand lives were lost.

Do you know Ali (a.s.)? Who was he? Talha and Zubair knew him better than you and I. These two men knew that Ali (a.s.) had grown up in the lap of the Prophet (s). In the Holy Quran more than a hundred verses have been revealed concerning him. These two persons asked Ali (a.s.) to give them money from the public treasury. Ali (a.s.) refused. They asked him to give them positions of power in the government. Imam Ali (a.s.) did not consider them deserving of this either. They went away disappointed and started propaganda that became the cause of the Battle of Jamal. The Muslims had to bear much hardship because of this battle. What hardships were inflicted on the Muslims because of this battle? If some one asked you about the causes of the Battle of Jamal, your reply should be - the twin causes were jealousy and

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When the accursed Ibne Muljim martyred Imam Ali (a.s.) he was under the illusion that he was doing it to attain nearness to Allah! If you are asked who martyred Imam Ali (a.s.), you should reply that it was a stubborn person who committed the heinous act. Imam Ali’s personality was such, that all knew him. When this same Ibne Muljim was sitting near the pulpit of the Prophet(s), the Prophet (s) declared, “O Ali! You and your Shias will emerge successful on the Day of Judgement! O Ali! Only you and your Shias will be victorious!” Ibne Muljim was sitting nearby when the Prophet (s) said, “If your Faith and the Faith of all the men, the angels and the Jinn is compared, your Faith will surmount that of all of them put together!” The accursed person, even after hearing all this, martyred the great Imam (a.s.)!

Ladies and gentlemen! Abstain from stubbornness otherwise you too will end up like this. If you don’t accept criticism and always insist on only your own point of view, then you refuse to listen to anyone but your own desires. You will reach a stage when you will act only on Satan’s instigation. I appeal to every one to take care of the spiritual needs of your homes. In many situations the man is able to meet the material needs of the family. He toils to provide comfort for his family, but his wife becomes his enemy, because his love for her has

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decreased. He does not fulfil the spiritual needs of the family. Because of the paucity of a spiritual atmosphere in their homes, they turn into dungeons. These homes, in terms of the Quran, have turned dark.

أَوْ کَظُلُمَتٍ فیِ بحَْرٍ لُّجِّیٍ ّ یَغْشَئهُ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِ سحََابٌ ظُلُمَتُ بَعْضُهَا فَوْقَ بَعْض

Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness … (Sura an-Nur, 24: 40)

The actions of infidels are compared here with the darkness of the deep seas where wave after wave covers the bottom and makes it dark!

The Nineteenth Talk

1. Interference Of The Parents

Today we shall discuss about the interference of parents in the lives of their children. This topic has always been an important matter of debate. Lots of unnecessary problems crop up because of uncalled for interference in the affairs of the children by their parents. Many divorces, too, take place between young couples because of parental interference. If we really want our children to flourish and progress, we should refrain from interfering in their affairs. We should not try to become uninvited judges of their problems. We find that this malaise is deep rooted in our society. It has gone to such an extent that even the men of piety, even those who are regular in salah and even those who are understanding, intentionally or unintentionally, cause problems for their children by their interference.

We need to learn a lesson

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from animals. They care for their offspring only till the time they need it. When they are capable of fending for themselves, the father and the mother leave them free to go their own way! We find that certain birds feed grains to their chicks for a few days only. When they find that the chicks are strong enough to fly, they teach their chicks to fly. When the chick has learnt to fly, they do not allow it to remain in the nest! You must have noticed that when a lamb is born, the mother exhibits a special affection and concern for it. She feeds it with her own milk for about two months and doesn’t allow it to eat grass. When the lamb is strong enough to graze and feed itself, a degree of unconcern for the little one grows in the mother.

This instinct is found in all animals. It is found in humans too. It is only that we don’t act on it. Our duty is to give a good upbringing to our daughters in all aspects - material, emotional, and spiritual. Give her a good Islamic upbringing. When it is time to marry her off, arrange her marriage so that she can start her future life with her husband. After this, the parents should refrain from interfering in their affairs. Now comes the time when the mothers should not be nosey about the affairs of their daughters. If some differences crop up between the daughter

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and the son-in-law, the parents should side with the son-in-law, instead of siding with their daughter, even if the son-in-law is at fault. To become an obstacle in the daughters married life, to plant thoughts in her mind and gain control over her are acts of oppression. The interference of parents many times becomes the cause of break-up of marriages of young couples. Even if things don’t reach the stage of divorce, it will become the cause of reduction in love between the young couple.

It is our duty, too, to give a proper Islamic upbringing to our sons. We must take care of their material, emotional and spiritual needs and give decent men to the society. When this son becomes an adult, it is the duty of the parents to find a suitable spouse for him, so that he can start his married life. Now the parents should refrain from interfering in the matters of the young couple. If it comes to their notice that the young couples have some differences, they should take sides with the daughter-in-law even if she is at fault. Later on, point out her mistake to her and show her the correct way. But right now, it is important to put out the fire of discord and not fan it. If the parents find that the newly wedded couple are having a fight, they should wisely try to diffuse the situation. But generally we find that the parents of married young men, especially the fathers,

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side with their sons and thus create problems in their married life. Mothers in turn expect their sons to do their bidding. Even if the mother orders her son to divorce his wife, she expects him to obey her. Only then will she be pleased with him. The father wants his son to be permanently enslaved to him and do his bidding. This is completely wrong. Such people deal a terrific blow to love, create tensions and destroy homes.

ثُمَّ کانَ عاقِبَهَ الَّذینَ أَساؤُا السُّوای أَنْ کَذَّبُوا بِآیاتِ اللَّهِ وَ کانُوا بِها یَسْتَهْزِؤُن

Then the fate of those who committed misdeeds was that they denied the signs of Allah and they used to deride them. (Sura ar-Rum, 30: 10)

The Holy Quran says that those who trouble the believing men and the believing women, and don’t express sincere repentance thereafter, will not only be consigned to Hell but will have to bear the punishment of fire. Those who sow discord should know that there are two terrible punishments awaiting them. In this world they too, will become entangled in discord. A mother-in-law who creates unnecessary problems for her daughter-in-law should know, the Quran says, that her own daughter might face a similar situation. Similarly a woman who creates problems for her son-in-law should be aware that her own son will also have to face similar problems. In the Hereafter, this discord that she has created will assume the form of fire and entwine itself around her feet. At another place, the Holy Quran

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uses a more stern language:

وَ الْفِتْنَهُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْل

…..for persecution is worse than slaughter…..( Sura al Baqarah, 2: 191)

Telling tales, creating tensions and finding fault with others are sins worse that murder. The sin of killing someone is so great that if someone kills an innocent person, it is equal to killing the entire mankind:

مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسَا بِغَیرِْ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فیِ الْأَرْضِ فَکَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِیعًا

…whosoever killeth a human being for other than man-slaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, … (Sura al Maidah, 5: 32)

Spreading discord and creating bitterness between a husband and wife are sins worse than killing someone. A foolish old man who had caused separation between his son and daughter-in-law, came to Imam Husayn (a.s.). The Imam (a.s.) told him, “I have heard that you have instigated separation between your son and his wife” When the man nodded his head in the affirmative, the Imam (a.s.) rejoined, “Do you know what magnitude of sin you have committed? Instead of causing their separation, if you had cut their veins your sin would have been lighter than what you have perpetrated!” If someone cuts off the veins of another and kills him in this painful way, how big a sin is this? If a person kills someone and cuts his dead body into pieces, he will rise on the Day of Judgement in the form of a dog or a beast. Imam Husayn (a.s.) is telling us

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that causing separation between husband and wife is a bigger sin than killing two people. This tradition tells us that making up tales and creating hatred between people is a sin bigger than taking human life. In our society fault finding is generally associated with the mother-in-law. She makes allegations so that her son does not think well of his wife. What does the mother-in-law achieve by doing this? Only troubles and problems. The first problem is that her son will become disturbed. After this, her son will never strive to keep her happy. Then she will have to face punishment in the hereafter. Some mothers-in-law are so ignorant that they treat their good and considerate sons-in-law as beggars. They are so foolish, they do not ponder upon the outcome of their behaviour. Some mothers-in-law give preferential treatment to one son-in-law over the other. This happens when one daughter was married some years ago and the second one very recently! So the recent son-in-law receives better treatment. These mothers don’t realize how much they hurt their own daughters.

Sometimes the mothers-in-law use such harsh language, and inflict such deep wounds that the sons-in-law cannot forget it for the rest of their lives. People should abstain from polluting their tongues with bad language; otherwise these will assume the form of scorpions and keep stinging the person on the day of Judgement! It is a shame for the mother-in-law that instead of being friendly and affectionate with the daughter-in-law, she stings her like

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a scorpion. She should treat her as she would treat her own daughter, or even better than that. The father-in-law, who is like her father, should also love her like his daughter. Instead we find her being treated as an enemy. For example, she is told that the dowry was insufficient. Shame on the people who harbour such thoughts. Sometimes a son-in-law doesn’t speak with the father–in-law because the dowry was less. Is this not a shameful attitude? The daughter-in-law should treat the mother-in-law with love and affection because it is the mother-in-law who has brought up her husband, and then handed him over to her. She should respect and love her father-in-law because he has undergone a lot of trouble to raise her husband. I shall quote a parable here. A bitterly cold wind was blowing. A camel arrived at a hen coop. He put his head inside the coop, asked for some space and stepped right inside. In doing so, he destroyed the coop. Neither was he not able to find any shelter for himself, but instead ended up destroying the shelter of the hen. Many newly-wed daughters-in-law too are like this. They want to totally dominate their husbands. They want to drive their parents-in-law out of the house. How foolish is this attitude! This attitude is inhuman, and such people are committing a grave sin. What I want to stress here is that the parents and the children who live and share life amicably are always a

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blessed and happy family. They will be together in Heaven congratulating each other. To the contrary, in families where there are dissensions, hatred, and differences for small material advantages, they will neither have peace in this life nor rewards in the Hereafter. When a mother-in-law nags her daughter-in-law for bringing a meagre dowry, when a mother-in-law taunts a son-in-law for being poor and unable to meet the household expenses, they are earning for themselves a place in the Hell with this attitude. The daughter-in-law will be in Hell, when the husband will arrive there and curse her. Then the mother-in-law will arrive and curse her. The daughter-in-law will inturn curse her. Then the girl’s mother will arrive and curse her daughter, blaming her for landing them in Hell. I am telling you only what the Quran says. When all these will have gathered, they will blame each other, for their own faults. The Quran says that all of these are cursed, because they have landed each other in Hell. If this is going to be the outcome, why do we fight at home?

I make a fervent appeal to the daughters-in-law. They should strive to be loyal to their husbands and his family. They should strive to spend a happy and contented life with their husbands and other members of his family. I appeal to the sons, too, to be loyal to their wives and should not act on the foolish dictates of their mothers. I especially appeal to the ladies

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because if the girl remains loyal, her mother-in-law cannot interfere in their affairs or destroy their home. She should be sensible and not listen to foolish talk. If the newly wed wife heeds the gossip mill, her life will be destroyed at the beginning of the married days. In many a case the result is a divorce!

I know of several cases of divorce. When I ponder over them, I find that in most instances the mothers-in-law are the cause of the break up. The fathers-in-law, too, show a lack of understanding. Instead of adopting a discreet silence, they interfere with the affairs of the young couple. The parents of the boy should take sides with the daughter-in-law. It is the responsibility of the girls’ parents to support the son-in-law. When a small quarrel erupts between the couple, instead of brokering a compromise, they further fan the flames of discord and thus the couple starts fighting. It is a terrible thing for the husband and wife to fight with each other.

If a young wife fights with her husband and goes away to her parents’ home, her mother and mother-in-law should try to cool her down and convince her to return home. A sensible father will tell her that her home is where her husband lives and she should go back there. He will take the daughter to her husband’s home and tell him to let bygones be bygones. Thus the difference between man and wife can be nipped in the

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bud. However angry and excitable the young son-in-law is, if the mother-in-law takes back her daughter to his home and talks to him for sometime, he will cool down. If the parents-in-law are good to the daughter-in-law, treat her with affection and side with her when some quarrel erupts, the daughter-in-law, however bad she may be, will reciprocate their love, and there will be no discord in the house.

When a man returns home after the day’s hard work, which according to the Quran is a place of rest and relaxation, he expects the care and support of his wife to tide over the tiredness and refresh himself. But sometimes, instead of comfort, the home becomes a source of torture. The wife, who has been feeling lonely all day long, starts complaining to her husband as soon as she sees him. She complains to him about his parents - today your mother said this to me, your father scolded me like this. Then as soon as his mother finds him alone, she starts backbiting about his wife - your wife is stupid, she has no brains, actually she is not fit for our house. The poor man is already tired after working the whole day, listening to all this, tires him out. He becomes disturbed. The home is no longer a shelter for him. Do you realize how great a sin this is? The retribution for backbiting is more than the retribution for fornication. According to a tradition of the

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Holy Prophet (s), if a fornicator dies without repenting, then as soon as he reaches the gates of Hell, such an intolerably foul smell will arise out of his private parts that the inhabitants of Hell will plead will Allah to relieve them of the foul smell. Fornication is such a grave sin. But a bigger sin is to backbite about someone and destroy or cause a decrease in the regard others have for him. If you backbite about your daughter-in-law to your son, or accuse her falsely, it is a very grave sin. On the day of Judgement, such people will be dipped in a lake of putrid water and will stay there as long as everyone is through with giving their account of deeds. Then, they will be consigned to Hell in the same state. Don’t backbite because it is a major sin. A newly married girl and her mother-in-law should refrain from backbiting against each other. Certain mothers-in-law are so low, that they are always on the look-out for the faults of their daughters-in-law, so that they can condemn the daughter-in-law and backbite about her to their sons. If only such mothers-in-law knew what the Holy Prophet (s) has said. He(s) has said, “O people who believe. Do not be critical of others nor interfere in the matters of other people. If you do so, Allah will put you to shame on the Day of Judgement!” She should realise that tomorrow her daughter can get the same

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treatment she metes out to her daughter-in-law today. This world will pass, but what will happen in the Hereafter? The first day in the grave is very difficult. The parents-in-law should not be concerned about the dowry. Only foolish people have such concerns. They should not be worried that their daughter-in-law has brought less dowry. What they should be worried and concerned about is their graves. It is a crime for the mother-in-law to go through the purse of her daughter-in-law. Similarly the wife should not check her husband’s wallet - these actions have grave consequences.

I make a fervent appeal to the parents not to interfere in the affairs of their grown-up children. Leave them free to carve their own futures. Do not hurt others - worry about your Hereafter.

The Twentieth Talk

1. Obeying The Husband

It is natural for the wife to obey the husband. If a wife doesn’t obey her husband, she is acting against nature. As you are well aware, all organizations must have a chief or a head. Imagine the smallest organization, say, with seven members, with no chief. There will be no discipline or order in such an organisation. According to wise men, the home is not just an organisation; it is a small kingdom with many such small kingdoms making up the nation. The small kingdom, too, needs a chief. The law of nature dictates that man should be the head of the family, because providing for the household expenses and the legal responsibility of feeding and clothing

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the wife rests with the husband.

The Holy Quran entrusts this function to the husband thus:

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّمُونَ عَلیَ النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلیَ بَعْضٍ وَ بِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَلِهِم

Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). (Sura al Nisa, 4: 34)

The affairs of the home are in the control of man because he has the nature and capability of performing this function. The second aspect is that Islam entrusts the men with the responsibility of providing the basic necessities for the women. Therefore the wives should be obedient to the husbands. Similarly the children should be obedient to the father. A home where the children do not listen to their father is like an organisation where certain employees do not listen to the chief. If a wife wants to have her own way in running of the house, against the wishes of the husband, then it will be like an organization where the deputy chief disregards the chief. Obviously such an organisation cannot progress. Such organisations are subject to fights and strife. If the members of a family desire unity, peace, and comfort, the children should obey their father, and the wife should listen to her husband, because this is his right.

The second right of a husband is the right of intercourse with the wife. In this respect the wife has to be totally obedient to

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the husband. If she does otherwise, in the view of all the Jurists, she is Nashiza (disobedient). Such a woman cannot demand food, clothing and shelter from the husband because she is denying him the right to intercourse. The Holy Quran has strong views about this matter. There are several traditions too on the subject. The author of Wasail writes that a young girl came to the presence of the Prophet of Allah (s) and inquired, “O Prophet of Allah! I want to get married. What rights does the husband have over the wife?” The Prophet (s) said, “The first right that the husband has over the wife is that she should not act like a thief at home. She should not become rebellious. She should not pretend to do something and in reality do something else.” The girl said, “I shall take good care of this matter!” Then the Prophet (s) said, “The second right of the husband is that the wife must totally submit to his natural instinct of sexual intercourse.” The girl assented to this condition too. The Prophet (s) then said, “If any differences crop up at home, it will be your duty to ask for pardon from your husband and you should not sleep till he is pleased.” The third condition appeared harsh to the girl and she asked, “Do I have to ask the pardon of my husband, even if he is on the wrong, even if he is the oppressor?” The Prophet (s)

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replied emphatically, “Yes! Even if your husband is oppressive and at fault, it will be your duty to seek a truce and ask for his pardon!”

The reason for this injunction is that the very existence of woman is for love and affection. She has been created for radiating love and affection. The Holy Quran considers a woman who possesses two qualities to be good:

فَالصَّلِحَتُ قَنِتَتٌ حَفِظَتٌ لِّلْغَیْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ الله

So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. ….. (Sura an- Nisa’, 4: 34)

A good wife is one who is humble and submissive with her husband. She does not have an abusing tongue and is chaste - whether she is alone or has company. Whether she is at home or in the street, she must remain chaste. Just as she observes hijab in public, in the same way she should also hijab in front of her namahram relatives. Thus she should observe hijab in front of her husband’s brothers, in front of her husband’s uncles, in front of the shopkeepers in her neighbourhood, in front of neighbours, and acquaintances etc.,

The wife should be obedient and submissive to the husband in matters of sex. Similarly the husband should also listen to the one who helps him and co-operates with him. Just as an organisation has advisers or consultants, so does the home. At home it is the wife who helps and advices the husband. All the programmes for the family are to be finalized by

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the husband, but he should consult the wife. If she makes a good suggestion, he should accept it.

One tradition of Amirul Mu’minin (a.s.) is very popular. Some people deduce a wrong meaning from it: “Consult your wives, but don’t follow their advice!” Can he ever suggest that men should consult their wives and turn down their ideas even if they are good? Do people think that Ali (a.s.) will ever talk such nonsense. The real meaning of the tradition is that the husbands must consult their wives and turn down their suggestions only if they are not good. The men must listen to their wives, but the final decision is in his hands. He may accept her suggestion.

This above statement of Amirul Mu’minin, is totally in agreement with what the Holy Quran says on the matter. The Quran addresses the Holy Prophet, “Consult with your companions. Don’t ignore them. Don’t ignore the Muslims. Respect their personalities. But deciding the programmes is your duty.”

فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَکَّلْ عَلیَ الله

…..And when thou art resolved, then put the trust in Allah. ….. (Sura Ali- Imran, 3:159)

The Quran and the tradition of Ammerul Mu’minin (a) both say the same thing. Man must consult his wife, because she is his adviser. If her suggestion is not good, then he should exercise discretion in the matter. In one of the traditions the Prophet of Allah (s) has said that one must consult his eldest son in important matters. The son is the master for the first

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seven years, a slave or servant for the next seven years and an assistant for the next seven years of his life. For the first seven years of a child's life, we must listen to what he says and wants. During the next seven years he should be trained to do work and should be made to work, so that he becomes a good human being and is not lazy. When he becomes above fourteen years of age, he should be consulted. Our children have a special place in society that should be given to them. It is the parents who can develop children with strong characters. It is wrong to tell a fourteen-years old boy or girl that he/she is stupid or foolish.

The Holy Quran says that we must treat our children with kindness. Use words like ‘my dear’ while addressing them. Address them politely and with affection. They must be told to be polite in talking to others. They should also be instructed that any type of polytheism is a major sin. Instruct them gently, explain kindly, make matters clear for them and then leave them alone. If we do all this, we will make our children decent persons. Our kindness towards our children will nourish the instinct of love in them. The traditions indicate to us that we should maintain closeness with our children, consult them when they come of age and accept their suggestions if they are worth adopting. Some men are so thoughtless that they

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keep the members of their families uninformed about their concerns. They don’t inform their families about the nature and type of job they do, they don’t share with the family their plans for the future. It is not only the children who do not know anything; even their wives are totally ignorant about these matters. She does not know what her husband does for a living; she does not know how her husband meets the household expenses. She only knows that the husband leaves home in the morning and returns in the evening with an abusive tongue. Husbands should take their wives into confidence, because the wives are their deputies at home. If the husband is the head of the family, the wife is his helper in running the house. It is not right for the chief of any organization to ignore his deputy and keep him uninformed about the goings on. The wife, too, should cooperate with the husband in implementing his plans. This attitude will reinforce the husband's love for his wife. When the wives dutifully follow the instructions of their husbands, it is as if they are following the dictates of the Quran. The husbands must also remember that the Quran says that husbands should not ask their wives to do anything that goes against the Shariah.

The wife too has certain rights which the husband is obliged to fulfil. Psychologists say that if a person wants a comfortable and happy family-life, he should not get into

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fights and arguments. The husband should inform his wife and children about the steps taken by him in fulfilling their rights. It would be nice if the husband kept his family informed about his income and expenditure. When the husband refuses to spend, his family considers him to be a miser. But if they know that his income is less, they will no longer consider him to be a miser; neither will they make unimportant demands. If the husband disregards his wife, it will affect her character. She will no longer love her husband or be a good wife to him. I appeal to you not to insult your children, because if a young person is insulted, no crime is too big for him. The wife must obey her husband. In turn, the husband must consult with his wife and not ignore her.

2. Home And The Rule Of Law

I would like to say that laws and regulations cannot be enforced in homes. What will be more effective in the environment of the homes - laws and regulations or kindness, companionship, friendship, and thoughtfulness? The poet says:

Who am I? Layla! And who is Layla? It is I

Both are one soul in two separate bodies

If regulations come in the way, then the matters will go haywire. For example: The husband can tell the wife, “Don’t step out of the house, because this is my right.” Now the wife is obliged to take her husband’s permission before stepping out of the house. This is a right given to

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men by Islam. If the husband wants to enforce the law a hundred percent, can his wife visit her parents if she wishes to? No. She wants to visit a neighbour. She can’t. She has to live in the seclusion of the four walls of her house. But, if you enforce such strictness on your wife, she can also do a lot of things (in retaliation). There is a saying among the people that if you keep a woman in a house of steel, you cannot prevent her from going out if she is not a modest woman. Through enforcement of laws in a harsh manner we cannot prevent the wives from doing what they wish to do. But this can be achieved through companionship and being friendly. The thing that truly makes a woman totally submissive is thoughtfulness, kindness, honesty and friendship! If we make the wife our adviser and confidante instead of neglecting her, there will not be any Need of enforcing the regulations. Suppose the wife also starts enforcing rules, like the husband? For example, she tells her husband, “Pay up, or else I will not nurse the child. Pay up! Only then will I do some work in the house. Get me a servant, if I don’t have a servant to help me in the house, I will not do any work. If you work, only then will I work in the house. I am obliged to submit to you only for sex, so I refuse

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to do anything else at home.” In such a situation the home will begin to resemble a prison. A time might come when the husband thinks of dissolving the marriage. If the husband strictly enforces laws at home, the wife will start complaining within ten days. Therefore, we cannot insist on following strict laws and regulations in the day to day life! According to Quran, the best course is:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ یَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَ الْإِحْسان

Indeed Allah enjoins justice and kindness…(Sura an-Nahl, 16: 90)

This means that justice and thoughtfulness must be equally balanced. The wife must be obedient to the husband, not under duress, but with affection. The husband should keep rapport with his wife so that she obeys him. The wife should deal with the husband with such love and affection, that he is obliged to reciprocate with kindness. Kindness and obedience cannot be obtained by enforcing laws.

I know many people who adopt such stern attitude in their lives, the results of which are very unfortunate. For example: If a wife’s chador accidentally moves away from her face, the husband starts shouting at her. Maybe, the first time the wife will not protest. She may even put up with his rude remarks a few more times. But a time comes when the wife becomes rebellious and discards the chador totally, to the extent that she goes in front of the namahram in that state. In your presence she will wear the veil, but when you are away, she abandons it. Such

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things happen because the husband is an authoritarian. He is unbearably strict. There are certain husbands who tell their wives: you have no right to talk to my brother. You have no right to talk in the presence of my relatives. Such harshness results in serious consequences. Some wives too, have such negative attitudes with their husbands, even if her husband is patient. But when he has had enough, he divorces her.

I appeal to you that the environment of your home should be one of love and amity, not one of dominance and enforcing rules. For example, the woman is chaste and observes proper hijab, still her strict husband does not allow her to step out of the house. He doesn’t allow her to visit friends, or go to the market to buy something. He doesn’t even allow her to visit her parents. Should she not visit her parents? If you cannot get along with them, should she forsake them as well? By doing this you are only inviting trouble for yourself and your children. The stricter a husband is with his wife, the more stubborn she will become. What is desired of the husband and wife is to develop love and affection. Then they will be able to give their best attention to the upbringing of their children. They should be more concerned about the whereabouts of the daughter. Where does she go? Who are her friends? Does she come home on time? But if the parents become strict

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with their children, they too, will complain. We come across children who frequent places which their parents disapprove of. When the reason for this is investigated, it is found that their upbringing was not on proper lines. Even if some attempts were made at upbringing, it was not with love and affection. Islam says that both excess and deficit are undesirable. Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.) has said:

An ignorant person is either lazy or hasty.

Some characterless people can become friendly, but their friendship is such that the day they clash, their attitude undergoes such a drastic change that they start accusing others falsely. Such people cannot train their children. Even if they find some time to sit with their children, they use such harsh words that the personality of the child is badly hurt.

Another thing I want to point out is that people should desist from misusing rules and regulations. In the view of Islam this is not a good practice. I have written a book, Taqallab Dar Qanoon, on this subject. I have extensively made reference to traditions and the verses of the Quran to make my point. For example people take interest but do not call it interest. They give 10000 on loan on the condition that it will be returned along with another 1000 and the creditor will give 1kg sugar in return for the additional 1000. So, in their view no interest was taken or paid! This is definitely a misuse of the regulations.

May Allah’s

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blessings be on one of the leading personalities of the Qum Seminary, Shaykh Abd al Karim Yazdi, who once related that a man was repentant after pronouncing the Talaq (pronouncement of divorce) to his wife three times. Before the matter became public he came to the Shaykh and asked for a way out of the predicament. The man said that if they did the Halala for the woman, his family would lose their reputation in the society. Halala is the process of a divorced woman marrying another person, establishing conjugal relations with him, divorcing him to become eligible for marrying the first husband. The Shaykh says that one very pious looking person was sitting in the first row in the mosque. Thus he asked that man to marry the ex-wife, on the condition that he would have to divorce her in the morning so that she could marry her first husband. The man was also promised some money. The woman was married to that man. However the next morning the man refused to divorce her. The Shaykh said that we tried to persuade him but he would not agree. Ultimately the lady committed suicide but that man would not divorce her. One sentence that the Shaykh often repeated from the pulpit was, “Certain men of justice are worse than Shimr!”

This man was just. He had not committed any sin. He expressed his unwillingness to divorce the woman. But he is worse than Shimr because he was misusing a rule. Unfortunately

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this very danger of misusing rules and regulations is found more amongst pious people. A girl goes to school. Under the pretext of studying she tells her mother that she cannot do any housework for her. This is the misuse that the late Hajj Shaykhh had pointed out. This girl is just, her stand is legitimate as far as rules are concerned but she is worse than Shimr! Her attitude will harm the household one day or the other!

Although you are a Mu'min, you are worse than Shimr because you are too harsh and stubborn in enforcing the regulations. This attitude might render your pious wife and daughter rebellious sometime in the future.

The Twenty-first Talk

1. Compatibility At Home

Today we shall discuss about the atmosphere of harmony and togetherness at home. We should know that a hundred-percent harmony in any home is next to impossible. The husband and wife; the daughter and mother-in-law; the father and son cannot all be of the same nature! There will be marked differences between their natures and behaviour. Differences amongst the inhabitants of a home are, but natural. We cannot deny this, we have to accept this. We seem to be totally ignorant of the fact that a hundred percent compatibility is next to impossible. If there is a 100% ethical compatibility, it is indeed a great gift from Allah. However, if a husband and wife agree to the extent of, say, seventy-percent, the situation is very good. They should be thankful to Allah that they are

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highly blessed! I can say with confidence that if they are fifty-percent compatible, then too, they are lucky! Similarly if the daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law; father and son; mother and daughter agree in all matters up to fifty-percent, they will be fine. If the agreement is around seventy-percent, then they must thank Allah that their family is blessed!

But if the compatibility is around 50% to 70% what steps should we take so as to take care for the remaining differences?

Two actions can remove the existing differences between the members of such families. I shall deal with the first in this talk and the other in the following session. One of the two actions is love!

2. Love

The first thing that can obviate differences is love and affection. If love prevails between husband and wife; daughter and mother-in-law; and parents and children, then the thirty or fifty-percent difference of opinion that remains will not have any deleterious effect on their relationships. The rays of love will overwhelm these differences. Love makes people blind and deaf. One sentence of the Holy Prophet (s) illustrates this point:

If you like or love someone, then you will not notice the person’s failings

You will neither recount such a person’s weaknesses nor will you like others to mention them in your presence. If perchance, someone relates to you the shortcomings of your loved one, howsoever true, you will make an effort to defend him. If someone looks at a person with love, he hides and overlooks all his

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defects. Loving eyes are unable to see defects in the loved one. The same eyes very clearly perceive defects in the other persons. Even if one can see some defects in the loved one, he covers it up.

The story of Laila and Majnu is oft quoted. It is said that Laila had cooked a broth. Everyone was going to her to fetch their share. Majnu too gave his pot to someone to fetch some for him. When Laila was told that the pot belonged to Majnu, she threw it on the ground that it shattered to pieces. Majnu’s friend informed him that instead of sending some broth for him, Laila had broken his pot. Majnu recited the following couplet:

Agar ba deegar anash bood maila

Chira zarf mara shikaste Laila

If Laila was inclined towards another

Then why did she break my pot

Majnu said that breaking of his pot by Laila was the evidence of her love for him. If this wasn’t the case, then why didn’t she shatter the pot of any other man! This shows that Majnu never, for a moment, thought that Laila could do anything wrong! Instead he covers up her wrong action. If a wife loves her husband, she will defend him if someone speaks ill of him. She cannot bear it when someone speaks ill of her husband. This is the same lady who does not hesitate to state the flaws she notices in friends or even her brother. But when it is the turn of her husband

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she springs to his defence, because she is actually unable to see any flaws in him. I know many ladies who thank Allah when their husbands become angry with them – they say: this sternness on the part of my husband is proof of his love for me, otherwise why doesn’t he behave in the same way with his sisters. It is because my husband loves me and wants to reform me that he is strict with me.

One thing that we should remember is that while speech can create love, it can also extinguish love. Sometimes speech is like the beauty spot on the face which enhances the beauty of the person. Sometimes it is hard and burns – just like pepper.

Sometimes a husband expressing his gratitude to his wife is like the beauty spot on the face that shines like the moon, and is invaluable for the woman. A husband’s expression of gratitude creates a lot of love in the heart of his wife. On the other hand sternness and curt behaviour destroys love and is just like pepper burning the mouth. Sometimes uttering a small sentence can play a very big role in extinguishing love between the husband and wife. Islam has promised great rewards for the wife who obeys her husband, and treats him well. There is so much reward for her that even the jurists can expect just a little more. The Prophet of Islam (s) used to say that any man or woman

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who recognizes the rights of Amir al Mu’minin, fulfils the obligatory (wajibat), abstains from sins, or if he happens to sin, he repents without delay; and is married, then all the doors of the Heaven are open for them. Their station in the Heaven will be with the Prophets and the Infallible ones. The Holy Quran too says that certain people are with the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.)

وَ مَن یُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَ الرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَئکَ مَعَ الَّذِینَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَیهِْم مِّنَ النَّبِیِّنَ وَ الصِّدِّیقِینَ وَ الشهَُّدَاءِ وَ الصَّلِحِینَ وَ حَسُنَ أُوْلَئکَ رَفِیقًا

Whoso obeyeth Allah and the Messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favour, of the Prophets and the Saints and the Martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they. (Sura an-Nisa’, 4: 69)

A person who obeys Allah and the Prophet (s) a hundred-percent will be grouped with the Prophets, their vicegerents, the martyrs and the righteous ones on the Day of Reckoning, and all the doors to Heaven will be open for him. He will be permitted to enter Heaven through the door of his choice. This is a great honour which will be bestowed on him. This honour can be acquired by maintaining a home with a cordial, pious atmosphere, filled with love and affection.

We read in the traditions that when a woman gives a glass of water to her husband, Allah grants her a reward equivalent to that for a full year of worship! Obviously the reward is not for giving

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the glass of water! Allah is giving this bounty to the woman because He wants her to be obedient and loving to her husband. Similarly when a man strives to provide comfort and sustenance to his family, it is as if he is fighting in the front lines of the battle against the infidels. Why is this man being given so much reward, while it is obvious that he actually has no right to it? He is being given this reward so that the atmosphere of the house remains good, so that there is love in that house.

On the other hand the use of foul language can land a person in Hell. The Prophet of Islam (s) says that if a woman displeases her husband, whether it is with a single harsh word, or an abusive tongue, or if a husband displeases his wife with harsh language or bad behaviour, they will be the first to enter Hell. Why is this attitude considered to be a big sin? The reason is that if love doesn’t exist in the homes, life will go haywire, resulting in grave consequences. But if there is an atmosphere of love and peace at home, this home will be of immense benefit to the society. In the book, Wasail al Shia, several traditions on this subject are quoted. And we have also not been able to quote any of the traditions on this subject, narrated in the works of Allama Majlisi and other authors of

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The Prophet of Islam (s) says that if a wife bears the ill treatment of her husband with patience and does not confront him, and if a husband bears the bad behaviour of his wife with patience, this wife and this husband will occupy a station in Heaven equal to that of Prophet Ayoob (a.s) whose patience in calamities is well known. This status is not acquired as a matter of right, but it is earned with sincere effort to maintain love and amity in the family. We should exercise care that love is not snatched away from us because of our careless and hot-headed behaviour with members of our family. I appeal to you to give utmost attention to the language that is used at home. Sweet and considerate talk enhances love and amity, while harsh words destroy them.

3. Favoritism

One of the major reasons for the lessening of love and good relations among family members is unfair preference given to some members of the family over others. This happens when one son or daughter is the favourite of the parents when there are two or more children in the family. Sometimes one son-in-law or daughter-in-law is favoured over the others. We find in certain families that while distributing their assets, they unfairly apportion more to the favourite son than to the other. In certain other families they totally deny any share to the daughter against all norms of fairness! Their argument, generally, is that the daughter has taken away

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her dowry at the time of marriage and need not be given any more from their assets. This is not a good attitude. The Prophet (s) said: May Allah have mercy on the parents who help their children to be virtuous. Then he (s) added: May Allah’s curse be on the parents who carelessly leave their children uncontrolled to go astray, so much so that they become Aaq (disinherited).

What makes the children misbehave with their parents? If the son observes that his mother is on the wrong, she treats his wife badly and picks on his wife for trivial matters, still he should not misbehave with his mother. If he misbehaves with his mother he will render himself Aaq. When the son becomes Aaq, he will neither get any benefit in this world nor in the Hereafter! When a son feels that his father favours his brother over him, when the daughter feels that her brother is being preferred to her, when daughter feels that her sisters husband is being favoured over her own husband they are hurt. Such sons and daughters might start hating their parents. Pity the daughter who hates her parents. She then starts backbiting about her parents. She has no right to do so. When she backbites about her parents she becomes Aaq, even if the parents are on the wrong. The youth must respect their parents. They should not misbehave or use harsh language while dealing with their parents. The Holy Quran uses very

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strong words in this matter:

وَ قَضیَ رَبُّکَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُواْ إِلَّا إِیَّاهُ وَ بِالْوَلِدَیْنِ إِحْسَنًا إِمَّا یَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَکَ الْکِبرََ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ کِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لهَُّمَا أُفٍ ّ وَ لَا تَنهَْرْهُمَا وَ قُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا کَرِیمًا

Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none save Him, and (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain to old age with thee, say not “Fie”unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. (Sura al-’Isra’, 17: 23)

The Holy Quran says that one should be good to his parents. Being good to parents has been kept on par with worshipping Allah. It further says that even when the parents grow old and feeble, and do some injustice to the children, they still have no right to fight with the parents. Beware, never use harsh language with them. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that if the parents beat a child, he should say to them: May Allah have mercy on you. Arguing or fighting with parents is forbidden. If someone does this and the parents in their ire disown (Aaq) him, then this person is destined for Hell. But the parents too will go to Hell. When a son or a daughter goes to the Hell on the Day of Reckoning, the parents too will be asked to join them in Hell. The children go to Hell because they became Aaq, the parents go to Hell because they created the circumstances that led their child to become Aaq.

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They committed such acts that led their children to use harsh language or misbehave with them. When his mother misbehaves with his wife, the son retaliates and misbehaves with his mother. When the father is harsh with his son, the son fights with the father in turn, thus rendering himself disowned. The Prophet of Allah (s) has said that accursed are the parents who let their children become Aaq.

I appeal to the parents not to discriminate between their children. They should treat the sons and daughters equally. We see that sometimes an ignorant mother loves her daughter more than the son. Her behaviour even makes it very clear that she likes her daughter more. The first consequence of this attitude is that the love for the mother departs from the heart of the son. This is a major sin. Another sin is that the son starts hating his sister. Remember, if such feelings are created between siblings, it is very difficult to remove them. The more the siblings hate each other, the bigger their sin will be. The parents, too, are a party to the sin.

A father once distributed his assets amongst his children. He gave everything to one child, and deprived the other. As soon as the parents died, differences sprang up between the siblings. This enmity extended to the next generation. Many such examples are before us. This act is tantamount to Qate Rahm (breaking ties of kinship) which is a major sin. Who is at fault

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in such situations? It is the parents who sow the seeds of dissent amongst their children with their favouritism.

The Holy Quran has described the law of inheritance. The son has to be given one part and the daughter should receive half of what her brother gets. As far as daughters are concerned, they all receive equal inheritance. If someone gives more to one son than to the others, and gives more to one daughter than the others, then he has openly opposed Allah’s Law of Inheritance. Therefore such acts are termed as Kufr or infidelity! If a mother loves her daughter very much, it’s fine - but why does she belittle her son-in-law? If she wants her daughter to live in peace, she should treat her son-in-law with respect and attention when he visits her home! Why does she give more attention and respect to one son-in-law than the other? Why does the father compare one son to the other? Why does he tell one son that the other is better than him? This attitude is worse than killing someone. The spirit of the daughter who has been belittled gets killed. Control your speech. Be careful about your character. Be careful about these small things because these can result in grave consequences. When your sons-in-law visit you, respecting only one of them will be taken to mean that you are disrespecting the others. Sometimes the parents compare the intelligence and proficiency of two of their sons. The parent says:

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your brother is so intelligent. He studies so hard. You are such a careless person. This upsets and discourages the son who is less intelligent and smart. It is seen that the parents give more dowry to some daughters than the others because their grooms are wealthier. They don’t realise the grave mistake that they have made with this behaviour. Friends! This problem is not because of lack of wealth. This is the result of partiality and favouritism. The mothers should give equal love and affection to all their children. If the mother shows her love for her son’s child, she should show the same affection for her daughter’s child. If a child is prettier than others, he might become the favourite of everyone. In such situations care must be taken that the other less attractive children don’t feel left out. We must ensure that no one gets preference over others at home. If there is favouritism in a home, its foundations become weak. But in the homes where love prevails, everything else becomes secondary. Then there won’t be any differences between the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, or between the husband and wife. In such homes you will not find fights or use of harsh language.

The Twenty Second Talk

1. Forgiveness And Forbearance

The topic for discussion today is forbearance and overlooking faults. If the element of love is lacking in any household, forbearance and forgiveness can ameliorate the situation. Forgiveness is a divine word. When a person thinks of forgiving, he feels a radiance around him.

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Forgiveness is such a sweet and divine word that it is equal to love. The Holy Quran speaks highly of forgiveness and overlooking shortcomings, and divides it into two categories. The first category of forgiveness is that when a person notices a fault or shortcoming, he forgives for the sake of Allah or humanity.

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَ أْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَ أَعْرِضْ عَنِ الجَْهِلِین

Keep to forgiveness, and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant. (Sura al-’Araf, 7: 199)

The Holy Book exhorts Muslims to adopt the habit of forgiveness and leniency. They should enjoin the inhabitants of their homes to be kind and merciful with others. Therefore, the first stage of this attitude is that when one notices a wrongdoing or fault in anyone, he forgives him.

The second stage is higher than the one mentioned above. The Quran wants us to attain a status where we can see no wrong. A person at this stage perceives no fault in his wife or other members of the family, so there is no question of forgiving them. This is called 'forbearance and forgiveness'.

The Holy Quran expects Muslims and human beings to cultivate the trait of forgiveness. If one notices a defect in anyone, he should forgive the person as if he is not aware of the fault! The Holy Quran asks Muslims: Don’t you want Allah to forgive you on the day of Judgement? Allah pardons those who practice forgiveness and forbearance. He forgives them in this world itself. On the Day of

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Judgement, Allah will not expose the faults of those who turn a blind eye to the faults of others. You must have heard that some persons will enter the Heaven without giving any account of their deeds. Their attitude of forbearance and forgiveness is the cause of their smooth entry into the Heaven. Some persons will have to account for their deeds, and then they will be forgiven so that they can enter Heaven. But some people will not give an account at all. Thus the Quran states that if you want to be pardoned on the day of Judgement, you too should pardon others in this world. At home, one should be a person who forgives and forgets others’ faults. If you do not want to be questioned about your deeds on the Day of Judgement, then don’t rebuke anyone when you notice his faults and failings. The husband should forgive and forget the wife’s mistakes; the wife should have the same attitude with her husband. In a poem said to be composed by Amir al Mu’minin (a.s.), he says that he forgave and pardoned a degraded person who had harmed him. In the closing verses of Sura Al-Furqan, 25, the Holy Quran describes the qualities of a mu’min, and says that pious souls behave in such a way with the evil, ignorant and foolish persons as if they were totally unaware of their faults. When a man enters his house and finds it untidy, the children are not

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clean, the wife has not bothered to freshen herself, because he is a good man, he overlooks these things. He forgives and turns a blind eye to these things. A husband ill-treats his wife, and behaves irresponsibly but she forgives him and turns a blind eye to his failures. She is patient and bears with him. It is these qualities that have been described at the end of Sura Al-Furqan, 25, but in different words. These verses should be taken to mean that Mu’minin should practice forgiveness, and overlook shortcomings in others, in the same way they would overlook it if their one year old were to slap them in the face. According to the Quran, a mu'min should reach this stage. If he expects Allah to forgive him, and desires to enter Heaven without having to give an account for his deeds, he should have the qualities of forbearance and forgiveness in himself. The verse bears witness to the fact that one who doesn’t forgive, and answers evil with evil, cannot expect Allah to forgive him on the day of Judgement. Thus the second stage is to forget the evil done to him. But the Quran does not stop here. It expects more, especially from the people associated with the pulpit and the prayer niche, and those who are proud to be Shias. This is the third stage of forbearance and forgiveness. The Holy Quran says:

ْ وَ یَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَهِ السَّیِّئَه

…..and they repel evil with good….. (Sura al Qasas,

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28: 54)

This means that when someone wrongs you, you should do good to them. In fact this verse has been repeated in the Holy Quran at several places. When a person tries to harm you, do good to him. The Prophet of Islam (s) has said that be (particularly) good to a person who has been bad to you. In Sura Yusuf we have been exhorted to cultivate this trait.

Sura Yusuf is a very interesting Sura. The Holy Quran calls it Ahsan al Qasas or the best of stories. This Sura presents us with a character, which if we adopt, we can become perfect. In Sura Yusuf several subjects have been dealt with. One of these concerns our talk. The Holy Quran says that Zuleikha pestered Yusuf (a.s.) so much that he was forced into imprisonment, for several years. Even when he was released he refused to leave the prison and sent a message to the king asking why had the ladies cut their fingers when they saw him? Why had Zuleikha troubled him so much? Then a committee was constituted and the women were called to depose before it. These women bore witness to the innocence of Yusuf (a.s.). Now Zuleikha too confessed that she was at fault and that Yusuf (a.s.) was among the truthful. She admitted that Yusuf (a.s.) was innocent and that she made false allegations against him. It was only then that Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) came out of the prison. He said that he

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had made the women confess their guilt only to prove his innocence. He said that he now wished to become the Aziz of Egypt and hold the reins of the government in his hands. This would not have been possible as long as he carried the stain of false accusations on his character. If it were not for this he would have overlooked the evil of Zuleikha and the heartache of having to spend ten years in prison.

The Holy Quran says that Prophet Yusuf’s brothers came and felt ashamed on recognizing their brother. When he found them humiliated, Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) asked them to forget the past and reminded them that Allah was the most Merciful, He would forgive them. It is said that Yusuf (a.s.) even served them dinner and took good care of them. This was despite their very bad treatment meted out to him. They had tried to harm the innocent child and pushed him into a deep well. When Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) was rescued from the well, he was sold as a slave. Remembering their past ill treatment, the brothers could not eat their dinner. Hadhrat Yusuf (a.s.) said, “Don’t feel ashamed! It is because of you that I have reached here. If you had not put me into the well, I too would have come from Kanaan to Egypt in search of a little quantity of wheat like you! Today that I am the Aziz of Egypt - it is only because of you!” This

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was one aspect of the attitude of Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) with his brothers. The second aspect of the attitude of Yusuf (a.s.), as narrated by the Holy Quran, was manifested when he went to receive his parents. He made his parents sit on a throne with due respect and showed great respect to his brothers as well. The Holy Quran says:

وَ قَالَ ادْخُلُواْ مِصْرَ إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ ءَامِنِین

And he said, “Come into Egypt safe, if Allah wills!” (Sura Yusuf, 12: 99)

Prophet Yusuf (a.s.) told his brothers that they had honoured him by coming to Egypt and that they were welcome to Egypt to live in peace and comfort. This was Yusuf (a.s)’s second attitude towards his brothers. He overlooked their faults and rewarded their evil with good. The third attitude of Prophet Yusuf (a.s) really manifests his greatness. The excellence of Yusuf (a.s.) manifests from the moment when he made his father ascend the throne. Elaborate arrangements were made to receive his father along with the brothers. A tent was pitched and a throne was placed in it. A retinue went to receive the guests. When his father sat on the throne and relaxed, Hadhrat Yusuf (a.s.) said, “O my revered father! This is the outcome of the dream that I had once seen! See the status we have achieved! The enmity that Satan had created between me and my brothers has enabled me to acquire this status. Hadhrat Yusuf (a.s.) wanted to tell his father not to become

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angry with his brothers for pushing him into the well. It was not their fault; it was Satan who was to blame. It was Satan who had put his enmity in the hearts of his brothers. It was because of his brothers' doings that he acquired this position. This is the perfect man. Don’t be under the impression that the Quran just wants to narrate a story. No, the Quran is telling the Muslims to emulate the character of Prophet Yusuf (a.s.). You should not stop at forgiving and turning a blind eye to the faults of others. You should go a step further and return good for evil. At several places the Holy Quran uses words which can have more than one meaning. The commentators interpret it differently, while the scholars of ethics and the moralists give it another meaning. For example:

وَ جَزَ ؤُاْ سَیِّئَهٍ سَیِّئَهٌ مِّثْلُهَا

The guerdon of an ill-deed is an ill the like thereof. ….. (Sura al Shuuraa, 26: 40)

The meaning that is generally attributed to this verse is that, for example, when a person cuts the hand of another, the judge orders a hand of the perpetrator cut. The other meaning is that if someone harms you, you harm him. That is: an eye for an eye. In my opinion the youth prefer the first meaning over the second. But I am sure you will like the third interpretation that I am giving here. This interpretation is drawn from the Sura al Qasas that

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says “if someone wrongs you, do good to him!” The Prophet of Islam (s) stayed in Makka for thirteen long years after the proclamation of Prophethood and bore immense hardships heaped on him by his enemies. This is the reason that in that period about forty to fifty persons accepted Islam. In 8A.H, the Prophet (s), marched to Makka with a contingent of 12,000 troops, and brought Makka under his control without spilling a drop of blood. The first thing that the Prophet did was to enter the Kaaba, purify it by asking Imam Ali (a.s.) to demolish the 360 idols housed within the Kaaba. Then he came to the door of the Kaaba, which exists even today, and sat near it. The people assembled around him, and Dua-e-Wahdat was recited. Masjid al Haram was full of people. Who were these people? These were the people who used to stone the Prophet (s). These were the people who had injured his forehead. These were the people who had fought nearly 74 small and big battles with the Prophet (s) and his small band of devoted companions. While the Prophet (s) was reciting the Dua-e-Wahdat, these people were shaking like leaves, because they were expecting the Prophet to order Imam Ali (a.s.) to slay them any minute. When the prayer was over, the Prophet (s) turned towards them and asked, “Tell me! How should I deal with you?” Abu Sufian, Hinda and their like spoke out, “O Prophet of Allah! You

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may punish us the way you wish to! You can kill us and cut us into pieces!” At this juncture the Prophet (s) said, “Let the past remain in the past. I have forgiven all of you! May Allah forgive you too!” When these people declared their faith, the Prophet accepted it although he knew that some people like Abu Sufian and Hinda were incapable of accepting the faith. The Prophet (s) knew very well that they had not really accepted faith, they were only paying lip-service; still he accepted their proclamation. Even before entering Makkaa, the Prophet (s) had gone to the extent of declaring Abu Sufian’s house as the place of security: Anyone taking refuge in Abu Sufian's house would not be touched. Abu Sufian wanted a position, he was a chief of Makka, and hence the Prophet (s) gave him such a position.

We read in history that when the Prophet (s) entered Makka, one of his men went around the city, with a standard in his hand, shouting that this was the day of battle and that they had come to take revenge against the enemies! When the Prophet (s) learnt about this, he was very angry and ordered Hadhrat Ali (a.s.) to go and take away the standard from the hands of the person and proclaim in the streets of Makka that today is the Day of Blessing, today is the Day of Kindness.This was the character of our Prophet (s) and his Holy Descendants

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The Holy Quran wants us to be forbearing. It says that if someone harms us, we should forget it, and strive to do good to him! The Prophet (s) used to say that a good neighbour is not the one who is good to his neighbours – this is the duty of every Muslim. A good neighbour is one who bears with patience the ill treatment meted out to him by his neighbours! An elderly person was ill. When his neighbour came to visit him, he found the old man lying on a moist floor. Half the walls were also moist. The visitor found that the moisture was seeping into his neighbour’s house from the wall adjoining his own house. The neighbour was much perturbed and told the old man, “Why didn’t you tell me. I could have made you comfortable and got rid of all this moisture seeping through your walls”. The old man said, “I didn’t inform you because it would have inconvenienced you!” Islam requires people to have such an attitude towards others in their neighbourhoods! It expects the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law to be more affectionate and loving than this, rather Islam expects “Repelling evil with good” from them.

Friends! Please remember that true happiness doesn’t come from wearing good clothes and jewellery! Neither do these things dispel sadness, nor do these create eternal love! It is this verse which dispels sadness and creates happiness. Write this verse and hang it in the house where the husband,

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the wife and the children can see it. Gradually, they will learn to forgive. Shame on the wife who is misbehaves with her husband because he got angry with her. It is also a matter of shame for the husband who fights with his wife because she misbehaved with him. In the view of the Quran a good wife and a good husband is one who follows “Repelling evil with good!” If someone treats them badly, they repay them with kindness and mercy. If a fight erupts between a husband and wife, they hasten to make peace. The Prophet of Islam (s) told a woman, “If ever there is a fight between you and your husband, it is your duty to make up with him!” The woman said, “Even if he is cruel? Even if he is at fault?” The Prophet (s) replied emphatically, "Yes! You must take the first initiative because you are a woman! A woman has to be the epitome of love for her husband! She should totally shun any ill feelings!” In a nutshell, if there is seventy percent compatibility in our families, we can make it a hundred percent with the adoption of the attitude of forbearance and forgiveness! In the view of the Holy Quran the environment at home should be one "for attaining peace in it". May Allah make our homes the abodes of peace!

The Twenty- third Talk

1. Suspicion

Today’s discussion is about misunderstandings. Misunderstandings are like serious illnesses and play a major role in destroying

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homes. There is nothing more lethal in rendering a home barren than the element of misunderstanding amongst its inhabitants. Families should therefore abstain from allowing misunderstandings to take roots in their midst.

2. Misunderstandings Crop Up

Misunderstandings crop up because of waswasa (repeated, unfounded doubts or fears). Sometimes Satan gains control of a person's mind, rendering him worse than a hypocrite or a show-off. In other words he becomes Satan in the garb of a human being! Satan enslaves his thought-process, and the person does whatever Satan wants him to do

Sometimes Satan is also able to dominate the hearts of certain people. According to the Quran, this person then becomes an idol worshipper. This means that his heart becomes a slave to his desires, rendering him a fasiq and fajir. According to the Quran, this person becomes a Satan worshipper, not a servant of Allah. We read in the Sura Yasin:

أَ لَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَیْکُمْ یَبَنیِ ءَادَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُواْ الشَّیْطَنَ إِنَّهُ لَکمُ ْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِین

Did I not charge you, O ye sons of Adam, that ye worship not the devil - Lo! He is your open foe! (Sura Yasin, 36: 60)

O children of Adam, did you not promise Allah that you would not worship Satan? Then why are you worshipping Satan now? This verse shows us that a Satan worshipper is actually a person whose heart is enslaved by Satan. Satan eradicates the love of Allah from this person’s heart, and corrupts his thoughts. This type of a person is a Satan worshipper.

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When Satan is able to dominate over a person’s power of thinking, it is known as waswasa (repeated, unfounded doubts or fears), and this person is called waswasi. Waswasa is of two types: One of these is the waswasa of thought, which is the topic of today’s discussion. Another type of waswasa is the waswasa of action. Sometimes even pious people are inflicted with waswasa of action. They experience waswasa in worship – regarding purity (taharat) and impurity (najasat), prayer, fasting etc. We shall talk about this later, inshaallah. Anyway, when Satan is able to control a person’s power of thinking, he creates waswasa in his mind. The affected individual is then ruled by evil and wicked thoughts. If a person becomes inflicted with the waswasa of action, the individual comits lewd and wicked acts. Waswasa affects him at the time of action. Both these conditions are fraught with danger. In both these situations Satan overwhelms the thought-process of the persons. In the view of Imam Jafar al Sadiq, this condition is nothing short of madness. A man came to meet Imam Ja’far al Sadiq (a.s.), and started praising someone. He praised the man for being intelligent and then mentioned that the man was affected by waswasa. The Imam (a.s.) smiled and said, “This man is a slave of shaitan. If he is asked whether his deeds are godly or evil, he himself will tell you that his deeds are evil.”

3. Effects Of Waswasa: Negative Thoughts

One of the harmful effects of waswasa of thought

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is that the affected person always takes the negative view of things. Some people don’t see anything positive about themselves or those around them. They take a negative and morose view of everything. They never think of the strengths they or those around them have, but are always complaining about their failings and weaknesses. These are the persons who are always pessimistic about themselves, their friends and the society at large. This is a very harmful condition and, in many people, it is a result of waswasa.

Another harmful effect of always having negative thoughts is that the individual is unable to progress. He is unable to reach perfection. This attitude is also a big sin. Negative thoughts are like the flies which search for some filth to sit upon even in a garden in full bloom. If your body and the clothes are clean, flies will not sit on them. But if there is some dirt or a suppurating wound on the body, flies get attracted to it. Some men, too, are like the flies. They excel in carrying negative thoughts. .

One should abstain from negative thoughts. The wives should think positively about their husbands. Similarly men should not allow the shortcomings of their wives to dominate their thoughts. Don’t be on the look-out for her flaws; don’t hanker after dirt like flies. Instead you should always be in search of flowers like a nightingale. You should search for her positive qualities. On the whole, a human being is

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unfaithful. Even if you always treat your wife well, a single episode of misbehaviour is enough to make her forget your past good behaviour. Similarly, if a good wife misbehaves one day, her husband forgets all her past kindness. This shows that humans are not faithful. Even the Quran complains about this aspect of human nature:

قُتِلَ الْإِنْسانُ ما أَکْفَرَه

Perish man! How ungrateful is he?! (Sura 'Abasa, 80: 17)

4. Grief

Another symptom of waswasa of thought is that the person gets fed up with life and remains sad. If the person is pious, he wonders why he has come into this world. He thinks it would have been better if he had not come into the world. If this person is not religious and is not afraid of Allah, then he comits suicide. Such events are more widespread in the Western world. This is the result of waswasa of thought. The affected individual is always lost in thought, and when he is unable to come to a conclusion, he becomes fed-up with life and ends up committing suicide.

A question asked, usually by the youth is: why have we come into this world? According to the psychologists, the source of this question is waswasa of thought. Such questions are asked by unhappy people, who are fed-up with life. They don’t know the reason for their existence in the world. If you try to make them understand, their waswasa of thought does not allow them to be satisfied with your replies. If you

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present them with proofs and arguments, they will still insist that it would have been better if they had not been born. I am unable to recollect the name of the author who wrote that one morning when he got up, he found the morning to be sad and gloomy. He was still pitying the day when he happened to glance at the newspaper. He read two news items which were completely opposite to each other. The first item was about a man who had slashed his stomach with a knife and had thrown out his intestines, saying that he wanted to be without his intestines for just a minute. He died after one minute. The other item in the newspaper was an article by a lady. She wrote that, by the Grace of Allah, as soon as she woke up in the morning, she found a pleasant day coming her way. She thanked Allah for giving her life and yet another opportunity to stand before Him. The author then began to think about the source of the lady’s happiness, that man’s suicide and his own grief and depression. He came to the conclusion that all the negative thoughts had their source in waswasa of thought. In other words, it can be said that tiredness, lack of understanding and waswasa of thought affect our lives.

5. Suspicion

The worst effect of waswasa of thought is that the person becomes suspicious. First he is plagued with bad thoughts about his own family, and

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then gradually this extends to the society. If this malady progresses further, he starts doubting Allah, the Holy Quran, the Prophet (s) and his Progeny (a.s.). These doubts ultimately turn him into an unbeliever. Suspicion is from shaitan. Shaitan makes a small beginning, but as soon as man gives him an oppurtunity, he takes man to the seventh level of Hell. He will not settle for anything less. In addition, shaitan even ridicules man and says, “you have reached the depths of Hell yourself, what do I have to do with you?" Suspicion, driven by waswasa of thought, starts on a low scale, but soon escalates to the extent that one even starts suspecting Allah and the Ma'soomeen (the infallible ones.)

6. The Dangers Of Suspicion

The biggest danger of suspicion is that it may lead one to sin. Because of waswasa of thought and suspicion, the affected person sees others as sinners and bad characters. He, then, wants to punish them. We come across many youth who are pleasant, and have even participated in the (Iranian) revolution, but suspicion has turned them into sinners. They even accuse the scholars and pious people of disbelief (kufr). Because this sin can attract the death penalty, they end up murdering innocent men of piety and religious scholars. Suspicion can lead man to commit such sins. Suspicion arises from waswasa of thought. Do not underestimate a sceptic. Sometimes, the sceptic becomes involved in a strange type of madness. For example, a man suspects his wife. This is a great

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sin. Or, for example, when a man enters their path, the husband tells his wife, “He is making passes at you.” This man talks like insane people. Sometimes the wife suspects her husband, although he has become so old, he is devoid of carnal desires. But the moment he steps into the house, she creates a hue and cry and accuses him of maintaining a second wife secretly. “Where else could you have gone all this while?” she asks him.

There is a story making rounds in the society. A husband and his wife were sleeping on their terrace. As you may be aware, at night, a row of stars points to the Kaaba. The husband asked the wife,” What is the significance of this row of stars”. The wife replied, “People say that it shows the way to the Kaaba. When hajjis loose their way, these stars guide them to the correct path.” As soon as the man heard this, he started beating his wife and said, “Now I know why you make me sleep here. Your intention is to hand me over to the hajjis. After they kill me, you want to marry again”. This is probably just a story, but a man once told me about a couple. The husband was a victim of waswasa of thought, and the wife was a victim of waswasa of action. When the couple consulted this man, he turned to the lady who had waswasa of action regarding purity and impurity

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(taharat and najasat), and told her that your problem is suspicion. If you follow my advice continuously for six months, you can be cured. It was then that he became aware of the husband looking at his wife in a strange manner. He even refused to consult this man and left. After a few days the husband telephoned the man and said, “I have understood what you were trying to tell my wife. You were trying to tell her to divorce me, marry you and stay with you for six months. Then you would cure her”. It is as if the husband was insane. There are many persons with such disorders. When husbands and wives doubt each other, they assume their spouse to be a thief. For example, the husband spends some money and forgets or it falls out of his pocket, while he was unaware of it. When he can’t find the money, he pins the blame on his wife and considers her to be a thief. He considers her to be a thief, an adulteress, a shameless woman. Even the wife can suspect her husband of these things, if she becomes entangled in waswasa of thought. This is a major sin about which the Holy Quran says:

وَ لَا تَقْفُ مَا لَیْسَ لَکَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَ الْبَصَرَ وَ الْفُؤَادَ کلُ ُّ أُوْلَئکَ کاَنَ عَنْهُ مَسُْولا

(O man), follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! The hearing and the sight and the heart--- of each of

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these it will be asked. (Sura al-’Isra’, 17: 36)

O men! Do not talk about matters without knowledge. Don’t assume things. Don’t suspect others. Your eyes, your ears, and even your hearts will be questioned on the Day of Reckoning about these suspicions and these wrong thoughts! On that day, the organs of your body will bear witness against you. A husband suspects his wife but does not let her know, neither does he tell anybody, even then, when he will be brought to the grounds of Judgement, his heart will bear witness against him that he used to suspect his wife in the world. Islam has strictly forbidden doubting others. A good Muslim should act on his conviction and not on doubts. The Holy Quran says:

ْ وَ ظَنَنتُمْ ظَنَّ السَّوْءِ وَ کُنتُمْ قَوْمَا بُورًا

… And ye did think an evil thought, and ye were worthless folk.( Sura al Fath, 48: 12)

A society where people doubt each other is on its way to destruction. Their lives in this world and the Hereafter will be bleak. These days this ailment is very prevalent. May the person die who, like the silkworm, weaves a cocoon of suspicion and conjecture so that he can hide within it. I appeal to my audience to remember and recite this verse whenever any doubts crosses their minds:

قُتِلَ الخَْرَّصُونَ

الَّذِینَ هُمْ فیِ غَمْرَهٍ سَاهُون

Accursed be the conjecturers

Who are careless in an abyss! (Sura Zaariyaat, 51: 10 – 11)

Like the silkworm, a person who remains trapped in the cocoon

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of his doubts and wrong thoughts will suffocate to death. According to a tradition, the Prophet of Islam (s) faced the Kaaba and said, “O Kaaba! You are much respected! But respect for a believer (mu’min) exceeds the respect for you. Allah has declared only one thing haram with regard to you. But for the mu’min He has declared three things haram:

1. He has declared killing an innocent human haram.

2. Usurping a mu’min's, property is haram.

3. Entertaining doubts about a mu’min is haram.”

The Prophet (s) has placed murdering people, usurping others’ property, and suspecting people, on an equal level. If, God forbid, you suspect your wife and utter even one sentence about it to your innocent wife, she will never forget this sentence, even if she is always willing to forgive and forget. If the character of a woman of good character is suspected, not only will this destroy the love in her heart, but it will also sow the seeds of hate in it.

It is said that the husband of a suspicious wife came home late. The wife opened the door and told him to go back to the place where he had spent his evening. Saying this she slammed the door shut in his face and went back into the house in a huff. The man went to a hotel, rented a room, and had his dinner. The next morning he rented a house and married a second wife. He returned home after about a week. He

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told his first wife. “My dear, I have reached the place you had sent me to. From today, one night is for you, one night is for her – that is if you want it this way, otherwise one night is for you and two nights are for her.”

Yes! Men toil so hard that sometimes they develop calluses in the soles of their feet. Still they work to provide the comforts of life to their wife and children. Even after all this if the wives suspect their husbands, it goes to show that the suspicion is not a product of their intelligence, rather it is the work of someone else.

وَ إِنَّ الشَّیَطِینَ لَیُوحُونَ إِلیَ أَوْلِیَائهِمْ لِیُجَدِلُوکُمْ وَ إِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّکُمْ لمَُشرِْکُون

Lo! The devils do inspire their minions to dispute with you. But if ye obey them, ye will be in truth as idolaters. (Sura al An'am, 6: 122)

When Satan whispers in the ear of a person, goading her to do wrong, an intelligent person should not cause the destruction of her house and loose the love of her husband by paying attention to such senseless talk. May Allah protect men and women from becoming suspicious of their spouses. Being suspicious of ones spouse is a very big sin. Usually, the woman does not suspect her husband of adultery; she accuses him of re-marrying on the sly. But if the husband suspects the wife of adultery and tells her so, the jurist can order a punishment of anything

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between 29 and 79 floggings. Such suspicions are major sins and it is regarding this that the Quran says: May you die. Therefore it is imperative that there are no suspicions in the family. One should not be suspicious even while dealing with persons outside the house.

Sometimes suspicion leads one to spy on others. Spying is such a major sin that the Prophet of Allah (s) once said, “O those people whose faith is limited to their tongues and has not reached their hearts, do not spy! Do not search for defects in others. If you spy on others, Allah will humiliate you. Even if you are very intelligent, suspecting others will lead you to spy on them. Inquisitiveness and curiosity can sometimes become the cause of wrongdoing. For example: a woman standing at her threshold finds an unfamiliar young man entering the door of the neighbour's house. If she is a good Muslimah, she should assume that the young man must be their relation or visiting them for some errand. But if she spies on her neighbours and, God forbid, spreads it among the people, it will give rise to innumerable ills. Imam Husayn (a.s.) has said slitting the throat of a person is a lesser sin than causing separation between a husband and wife. Some people pretend to be very religious and pious, and yet they perpetrate such acts. They run the gossip mill and cause the destruction of happy families. They ruin the respect and reputation of

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families and cause divorces. These people want to do good but end up doing evil.

The Prophet of Islam (s) used to repeatedly say that one should always have a good opinion about his mu’min brother, and always be his well-wisher. One should always try to hide the flaws of his mu’min brother. Try all the possible ways to hide his shortcomings. If one method does not work, try the second. If it fails try a third, but don’t give up. Tell yourself: what kind of a Muslim am I that I can’t even hide the flaws of my brother-in-faith? Do we ever adopt this method? I appeal to those of you who can understand the message of the Holy Prophet and his infallible progeny to the pious people; your Prophet (s) is telling you not to be curious. Gossip mongers flit around in search of stories about others. Many people are inflicted with this disease, whether they are businessmen, soldiers, or workers – this scourge is found in everybody and it is found especially in ladies. This is a sin which is not just equal to killing someone, it is equal to taking out all the blood vessels from his body. Then why should we indulge in this act?

Inquisitiveness and gossip is a major ill, but there is a simple cure for this as well! This can be done by adopting the dictum of forgive and forget! Even if one notices a defect in his wife, he should

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think positively about it. When he does this, he is literally slapping Shaitan, who then goes away. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Slap him on his impious face! When you slap him, when you refuse to heed to his whisperings, he will run away. If you give credence to his talk, then the accursed Satan will gradually overwhelm your thought-process and turn you insane The ailment is serious, but easily curable. The ailment will destroy your world and your Hereafter, but each one of us can easily cure himself. The cure lies in giving no importance to suspicion and gossip.

إِنَّ الظَّنَّ لا یُغْنی مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَیْئا

Indeed conjecture is no substitute for the truth (Sura Yunus, 10: 36)

The Quran says that suspicion is of no use. Those who are suspicious aren’t following the Quran.

The Twentyfourth Talk

1. Waswasa Of Action

We have categorised waswasa (repeated, unfounded doubts and fears) into two kinds: waswasa of thought and waswasa of action. We have already dealt with the first category. Today we shall talk about waswasa of action.

Sometimes people get excessive doubts about the tasks they are doing. For example: while doing wudhu (ablution), performing the ritual bath (Ghusl), performing the prayers etc. They get doubts whether they have performed these actions strictly in accordance to the set norms or not. Such doubts are very harmful for homes. A person who nurses repeated doubts about his own actions becomes an outcast from the society. He can no longer feel love for his home. Those in the audience

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who have the tendency of doubting their own actions should give particular attention to this talk.

We had mentioned earlier that when Satan is able to dominate the thoughts of a person, he becomes a treacherous hypocrite and is subject to many other ills. Sometimes Satan is able to control the heart of person, enslaving him. It is evident from many verses of the Holy Quran that sometimes man comes under the spell of Satan and at other times he bows to the will of Allah. When Satan overwhelms man, he becomes a puppet in the hands of Satan. Then man becomes an idol worshipper, a money worshipper and a slave of his desires. Every action of such a person, the Holy Quran says, reflects his worship of Satan. When Satan overwhelms the thinking process of a man, he creates waswasa of thought and action in him. This places man in a very dangerous situation. He considers fantasies and falsehood to be facts and believes in them. For example: a timid person, under the spell of Satan, imagines seeing jinn when he passes through an isolated place. He imagines that someone is ordering him to run away. When he begins to run, he imagines that a dead man is chasing him in order to catch him. This fear renders him unconscious. In reality, neither was there a jinn, nor was a dead man chasing him, nor did he hear anything. It was his imagination which had affected his hearing and sight.

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Similarly a person who constantly doubts about ritual purity immediately believes that some drops of najasat (impure substances) must have fallen on his clothes, rendering them impure. In reality, no najasat has touched his clothes. He finds it difficult to believe that things are tahir (pure), but readily believes them to be impure (najis). Satan has overpowered his power of imagination; hence he readily believes in those things which are harmful to him. Such people should consider themselves ill, otherwise they would also readily believe in the purity of things. If one cannot believe in the taharat (purity) of things, he should equally not be able to believe that they are impure (najis). Readily believing that things are najis, and being unable to believe them to be pure indicates that this person is psychologically ill. Psychological illnesses progress very rapidly, and arise because Shaitan is able to dominate their power of thought. Let us now examine the source of this illness. A man, once, came to Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) and began to praise someone saying,, “He is very intelligent, but has a little suspicious nature” The Imam (a.s.), smiled and said, “ What sort of an intelligent person is he, if he is suspicious. Then he added, “Satan has overwhelmed him. His actions are Satanic and not Godly!” The Imam (a.s.) further added, “If you ask the person if his acts are Godly or Satanic, he will himself tell you that they are Satanic."

We should seriously give thought

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to the fact that Satan is bent on harming us in this world and the Hereafter! He plans to send everyone to Hell through his stratagems. He lands some people in Hell through adopting prohibited professions, some go to Hell because of fornication, some in their greed for power, some through nursing doubts, accusing others falsely and because of jealousy. Ultimately man becomes the loser in this world and the Hereafter! One incident is very famous. Someone saw Satan in a dream carrying long ropes on his shoulder. He asked Satan, “What are these?” Satan replied, “These are some nets I have prepared to catch the people. I drag them to the Hell ensnared in these nets.” Satan also had a chain in his hands. The man asked him the purpose of the chain. Satan replied, “The chain is for Sayed Razi! I had been to Sayed Razi this night and tied him up thrice with this chain. But he cut away the chain every time. “The man then asked Satan, “Why are you carrying ropes of different colours?” He replied, “I tempt different men with different colours and in different ways!” The man called on Sayed Razi next morning and narrated to him the dream. He learnt that the dream was true. Kulaini has narrated that Satan once went to Prophet Musa (a.s.) attired in colourful dress Prophet Musa (a.s.) asked him why he had worn the colourful dress and Satan replied, “ I don’t tempt my victims in

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one way. I tackle every person differently to lead him to the Hell. Regarding people of suspicious natures, I create doubts in their minds about cleanliness, correctness of the ablutions performed by them and correctness of the prayers offered by them. As for a person who is careless in matters of Faith I tempt him to become more so! I tempt women to indulge in gossip and backbiting. I tempt some people to indulge in bribery and theft. In a nutshell, I tempt people in different ways to make them earn Hell in the Hereafter!”

There are several verses in the Holy Quran that talk about Satan resolving to tempt and misguide men. He said to Allah that he would make men misguided and helpless.

قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَیْتَنیِ لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لهَُمْ صرَِطَکَ الْمُسْتَقِیمَ

ثُمَّ لاََتِیَنَّهُم مِّن بَینْ ِ أَیْدِیهِمْ وَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَ عَنْ أَیْمَنهِِمْ وَ عَن شَمَائلِهِمْ وَ لَا تجَِدُ أَکْثَرَهُمْ شَکِرِین

He said: Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on the Right Path. Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right hands and from their left hands, and Thou wilt not find most of them beholden (unto Thee). (Sura A'raaf, 7: 16- 17)

Satan says that when he himself had gone astray because of Adam (a.s.), he will definitely tempt and misguide the progeny of Adam. He says that he will create hurdles in the way of their achieving salvation and thus lead them to Hell. He

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says that he will attack men from all directions – from the front, from the back, from the left, and from in right; he has vowed to surround man from all directions. Explaining this verse, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said that when Satan says that he will come upon men from before them, it means that he will present to them a vague and poor picture of the Hereafter. When Satan says that he will come from behind them, it means that he will make men involved in collecting wealth and make them tardy in discharging the obligations of faith. When Satan says that he will come from the right, it means that he will present to them evil in the form of good and thus create doubts in their minds. When he says that he would attack them from their left, it means that he will involve men with luxury and make passions rule over their hearts. Satan misguides careless women through abandoning the hijab or observing incomplete hijab, but he does not approach the pious through this route. Instead he sends them to Hell by creating doubts in their minds.

I fervently appeal to persons who carry doubts in their minds to recite these verses every morning and evening to protect themselves from the machinations of Satan, and imagine Satan standing in front of Allah and saying that he will misguide different people in different ways. He will lead the pious into Hell through the path of taharat (purity),

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najasat (impurity), wudhu (ablution), ghusl (bath), and worship. Another verse of the Quran also means nearly the same thing, in which Satan has vowed that:

وَ قَالَ لَأَتخَِّذَنَّ مِنْ عِبَادِکَ نَصِیبًا مَّفْرُوضًا

وَ لَأُضِلَّنَّهُمْ وَ لَأُمَنِّیَنَّهُمْ وَ لاََمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَیُبَتِّکُنَّ ءَاذَانَ الْأَنْعَمِ وَ لاََمُرَنهَُّمْ فَلَیُغَیرُِّنَّ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ

…..Surely I will take of Thy bondmen an appointed portion.

And surely I will lead them astray, and surely I will arouse desires in them, and surely I will command them and they will change Allah’s creation. (Sura an-Nisa’, 4: 118-119)

At the very beginning Satan told Allah that he would tempt certain special people and certainly misguide them. He said that he will give them false hopes and teach them to disfigure the ears of animals for the sake of idols and in accordance with his instructions change the face of Allah’s creation. He also said that he would derive maximum advantage from Allah’s creatures and in the bargain tempt and misguide them. He would get them involved in acquiring wealth and fulfilling desires. Satan said that he will bring men to such a pass that they will loose their inborn instinct of good, and thereafter they would never be able to recognise Allah. Once this happens, such people will never be able to realise that one must be humble before Allah. They will never be able to realise that felicity can be earned. If someone totally submits to Satan and makes Satan his protector, he will be in great loss. O' people of doubting nature, Quran

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says that you are clearly in loss. A third verse which we quote here is also similar to the first two verses. When Satan was thrown out, he said that he would misguide everybody. Allah said:


وَ اسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ مِنهُْم بِصَوْتِکَ وَ أَجْلِبْ عَلَیهِْم بخَِیْلِکَ وَ رَجِلِکَ وَ شَارِکْهُمْ فیِ الْأَمْوَلِ وَ الْأَوْلَدِ وَ عِدْهُمْ وَ مَا یَعِدُهُمُ الشَّیْطَنُ إِلَّا غُرُورًا

And excite any of them whom thou canst with thy voice, and rally against them your cavalry and infantry, and be a partner in their wealth and children, and promise them. Satan promiseth them only to deceive. (Sura al-’Isra’, 17: 64)

Satan misguides people with his voice. What is this voice? It is all kinds of songs and music. Satan maintains two armies. One of these armies is made up of foot soldiers. They trap the people who do not have much knowledge and are unwise. Such will be sent to Hell because they act on the basis of the doubts in their minds. Another of his armies comprises of horsemen. An example of this is the centres of learning set up by the west to misguide people. Sometime illegitimate riches make a person deserving of Hell. Such a man feeds his children on this ill-gotten money. If a child is conceived, even this child turns out to be bad. We understand from this verse that Satan gives unlawful money to some people, thus corrupting their progeny. He misguides some by inciting them to take bribes; he incites some to charge

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interest. He misguides some by using his voice. Thus he does not use the same stratagem with everyone. Satan assigns a separate satan to deal with every individual. Common individuals are assigned common satans, but he assigns shrewd and knowledgeable satans for the scholars and the wise people. May Allah bless Shaykh Ghulam Reza Yazdi. He says that one erudite person used to say that: every person has a satan with him, but my satan is one who guides the other satans. He proved his point from the Holy Quran that says:

َ وَ أَجْلِبْ عَلَیهِْم بخَِیْلِکَ وَ رَجِلِک

…And rally against them your cavalry and infantry…. (Sura al-’Isra’, 17: 64)

Suratul Falaq and Naas are important to ward off the Satan. You must make your children memorise the four Quls. Whenever the children, or others, stir out of their homes they should recite these verses to shield themselves against Satan, jinn and wicked people. In Sura Falaq and Naas, a point deserves our special attention and it especially deserves the attention of those who doubt. In Sura al Falaq, Allah’s protection is sought from four things:

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِیمِ

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبّ ِ الْفَلَق

O Allah! I seek your protection from the wickedness

Of people (Sura Al-Falaq, 113:1)

Definitely one has to seek protection from the wickedness of the strong enemies.

وَ مِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَب

From the evil of the darkness when it is intense. (Sura Al-Falaq, 113:2)

The times when the evil practices of sexual promiscuity prevail, may Allah keep us protected!

وَ مِن شَرِّ النَّفَّثَتِ

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فیِ الْعُقَد

And from the evil of malignant witch-craft, (Sura Al-Falaq, 113:4)

We seek Allah’s protection in times when women exhibit their feminine charms. For example, a person is walking on the street and a woman is walking in front of him. Or when a person is busy in his work, a woman comes and starts displaying her feminine charms to him. This verse says that the person should seek Allah’s protection from the evil of such episodes and in such situations.

وَ مِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَد

And from the evil of the envier when he envieth (Sura Al-Falaq, 113:5)

People must seek protection of Allah against the envy of the adversaries.

These are four very important things for which protection is sought in this Sura. But in Sura al Naas protection is sought thrice.

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبّ ِ النَّاسِ

Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind.

مَلِکِ النَّاسِ

The King of mankind

إِلَهِ النَّاسِ

The God of mankind (Sura Al-Naas, 114:1-3)

Here King of mankind and God of mankind have a qualitative aspect, but actually the supplicant is seeking the refuge in his Lord. From what is he seeking refuge?

مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الخَْنَّاس

From the evil of the sneaking whisperer,( Sura Al-Naas, 114:4)

He seeks protection from the evil of Satan who creates waswasa (repeated, unfounded doubts and suspicions), and particularly from the evil of the Satan who creates waswasa with istidlal (proof). Khannas is a Satan who is an expert at creating waswasa in men. He knows how to involve the scholars and the

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careful people in waswasa. He knows the method of involving ordinary men and women in waswasa. Khannas and waswasa are both superlative degrees. Thus, khannas creates a very high degree of doubt and suspicion, and backs them up with (unsound) evidences. People who doubt are also just like this. They usually have very peculiar notions about their affairs. They get such ideas in their minds that even their Marjae Taqleed doesn’t get these ideas at the time of giving an edict (fatwa). They should not think that these are realistic arguments. The Holy Quran says about such doubting persons that they get inspired from Satan. Satan inspires and teaches them to speak contrary to what is told to them. If someone says that a thing is pure, Satan inspires them to insist that it is impure, and even presents proof of it being impure! When a knowledgeable person says that the way he performed the ablution and the ghusl (bath of purification) is correct, he challenges the opinion! Sura an Naas says: O Lord, I seek refuge in you from the khannas. I request my audience to regularly recite the four Quls to ward away waswaas and khannas before they create any problems for them. Do not allow the Satan to dominate you. As soon as Satan tries to mislead you, start reciting these Suras.

One should recite this Sura, and think of the meanings of its words. The meanings are: I seek Your protection, seek Your protection, seek Your protection

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from the Waswaas and Khannas who create doubts and embellish these doubts with arguments. They plan to, thus, push me into Hell!”

The summary of discussion today is that a psychologically ill person, in the view of Islam, is one whose thought-processes have been overwhelmed by Satan. According to the verses of the Quran a doubting person is one who has befriended Satan. His end will be loss in this world and the Hereafter! This loss will certainly be a total loss!

We have understood that Satan takes every person to Hell through a different route. He will take the Revolutionaries on one route, the enemies of the Revolution on another! The men of piety he handles in one way and the men of the bazaar in another. He has his own methods for a careless woman and a very different method for the pious woman who is attached to Allah, the Prophet (s) and the Infallibles! Satan knows very well how to handle a woman who is miles away from prayer and fasting! The doubting persons are Satan’s easy targets. They are in a very dangerous situation. Some psychologists are of opinion that this disease is incurable. I don’t remember the name, but one highly qualified psychologist once called on me. He had heard from people that I have been curing those inflicted with the disease of waswasa. He was much surprised. If the psychologists consider this situation beyond cure, it goes to show how dangerous this condition is. But I

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have cured many people of this disease. How have I done it? The treatment is very simple. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that when Satan tries to involve people in waswasa, they should not give any importance to Satan’s inspirations. When you do not pay any attention to him for some months, when you disregard his arguments and evidences, Satan will leave you alone. For example, the doubting wife should accept everything her husband says. The doubting husband should accept everything that his wife says. If one is involved in waswasa regarding wudhu, ghusl, salah etc, he should observe how others do wudhu, ghusl, or recite salah and copy them. But this condition cannot be treated in a couple of months; one has to work at it for atleast five to six months. If a person suffering from this ailment doesn’t follow the regime suggested by me, then his ailment will become worse day by day. Ultimately it will destroy his world and his home. It will make him depressed. This person will become useless for the society. He would end up creating hell on earth, for himself and for his family. He should also remember that Hell is ready for him in the Hereafter too! If you follow my advice, you will be able to get rid of this condition in six months, and you will be able to uproot it altogether.

I would like to make a point in conclusion. Those who don’t have doubting natures should

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give ear to what I am saying. If your wife is of a doubting nature, she cannot be corrected by shouting, beating or bad-mouthing her. She is ill, and ill persons should not be handled with sternness. Similarly if a husband, son or daughter is of a doubting disposition, they cannot be corrected by shouting or beating them. If you do this they will become more stubborn. These people are ill. They should be handled with politeness and patience. Slowly, they will all be able to overcome the ailment. You have to look after these people, and bear the necessary expenses. Request the persons with doubting natures to follow the regime suggested by me. Those who are not of doubting natures should not talk sternly or bad-mouth others who suffer from this ailment. They should maintain a friendly and helpful attitude with such persons, just like they would with any other ill person.

O Allah! For the sake of Fatima Zahra (a.s.) cure all the diseased persons, and specially those who suffer from waswasa of thoughts and waswasa of actions.

Al hamdu lillahi Rabil aalameen was salatu was salam ala Mohammad wa Alihit tahereen!

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About center

In the name of Allah

Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
al-Zumar: 9

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.

Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
Our Goals are:
-propagating the culture and teachings of Thaqalayn (Quran and Ahlulbayt p.b.u.t)
-encouraging the populace particularly the youth in investigating the religious issues
-replacing useful contents with useless ones in the cellphones, tablets and computers
-providing services for seminary and university researchers
-spreading culture study in the publich
-paving the way for the publications and authors to digitize their works

-acting according to the legal licenses
-relationship with similar centers
-avoiding parallel working
-merely presenting scientific contents
-mentioning the sources
It’s obvious that all the responsibilities are due to the author.

Other activities of the institute:
-Publication of books, booklets and other editions
-Holding book reading competitions
-Producing virtual, three dimensional exhibitions, panoramas of religious and tourism places
-Producing animations, computer games and etc.
-Launching the website with this address:
-Fabricatingdramatic and speech works
-Launching the system of answering religious, ethical and doctrinal questions
-Designing systems of accounting, media and mobile, automatic and handy systems, web kiosks
-Holding virtual educational courses for the public
-Holding virtual teacher-training courses
-Producing thousands of research software in three languages (Persian, Arabic and English) which can be performed in computers, tablets and cellphones and available and downloadable with eight international formats: JAVA, ANDROID, EPUB, CHM, PDF, HTML, CHM, GHB on the website
-Also producing four markets named “Ghaemiyeh Book Market” with Android, IOS, WINDOWS PHONE and WINDOWS editions
We would appreciate the centers, institutes, publications, authors and all honorable friends who contributed their help and data to us to reach the holy goal we follow.

Address of the central office:
Isfahan, Abdorazaq St, Haj Mohammad JafarAbadei Alley, Shahid Mohammad HasanTavakkoly Alley, Number plate 129, first floor
Central office Tel: 03134490125
Tehran Tel: 88318722 ـ 021
Commerce and sale: 09132000109
Users’ affairs: 09132000109

Introduction of the Center – Ghaemiyeh Digital Library