For A Better Future(200 questions and answers regarding the concerns of the youth , marriage , and children )


I present this humble effort to my father and mother , who brought me up when I was little , gave me a good name , taught me writing and religious principles , and married me as soon as I became an adult . They have completed their duties towards me; in fact , they have done to me more than I deserved .

I pray to Allah the Almighty to make me successful in achieving my duties towards them as long as I live and to gather me with them in Paradise near Prophet Muhammad (s) and his pure progeny .

I hope with this dedication to give a reward to the soul of my dear father and to be dutiful to my dear mother (May Allah keep her safe and sound) .

O Allah , accept my effort and guide my children to do better than I have done !

I begin here

part 1

I do not think that there is someone who has not thought about the future ! Even the insane , who have lost their minds , think of the future at least to the extent of their eating to remain alive . Normal human beings , regardless of whether or not they have religious beliefs , often think of the future . They always ask about tomorrow � how will it begin and how will it end ?

Therefore , human beings persist in their daily routines and hence their cultures and environments determine their conduct in life � either to bring them happiness or to bring

them wretchedness , depending on the kind of culture and upbringing they receive . It is narrated that Imam al-Baqir (s) has said when interpreting the phrase �his food� mentioned in the Verse , (then let man look to his food)[1] , that it means the knowledge one receives from others . [2]

Hence , it becomes clear that culture and intellect are of great importance and that the deviate culture , which most people pay no attention to at all , is too dangerous .

At the same time when Islam has emphasized reading and researching through the Qur'an , the Sunna , and the conducts of its great leaders , we find the tragedy of aversion from reading in general and from reading the religious knowledge in particular . This is the state of many people who consider themselves Muslims whereas their Prophet (s) had encouraged and emphasized reading , seeking knowledge , mediation , pondering , and planning for the future . In fact , the Prophet (s) had spent his holy life educating the Umma with this principled method according to the verse that had been revealed unto him , (He it is Who raised among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves , who recites to them His communications and purifies them , and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom , although they were before certainly in clear error . And others from among them who have not yet joined them; and He is the Mighty , the Wise) .


After this , is it not regrettable to say about ourselves that we are Muslims and we are from the community of Prophet Muhammad (s) while we feed on bad cultures and imitate foreign habits via misleading pens , pre-planned films , and immoral books and magazines that fish in the troubled water ?

I do not deny that time and changes in technology have made a revolution in the life of man and made his requirements and ideas differ from those of man in the previous ages . However , I deny this to be a cause for man to become detached from religion , human nature , and morals , and then to submit to the news of the nowadays life and disregard what Allah has wanted from His people .

The cultural attacks and the foreign propagandas are like poisons mixed with cultural foods and with attractive colors that aim at depriving the Muslims , whether an individual , spouses , a family , or a society , of their Islamic values , pure education , and honest life . The foreigners market their goods in our countries to revive the economy in their countries . But all of that causes man to lose the eternal happiness in the afterlife .

The Muslim youth , and especially the girls , should pay close attention to these dangers and slips that are hidden behind the satellite TV stations , the internet , misleading films , meetings of amusement , singing and mixed dancing , private places

, and even the public streets where there is mixing of sexes .

Beware of all that and do not be heedless for death is not negligent ! Death precedes wishes and hopes , and the careless people will have painful torments (on the Day of Resurrection) , and then neither regret will benefit them nor will they be allowed to return to the life to repair what they have ruined .

Allah says , when talking about the careless people at the time of death , (Until when death overtakes one of them , he says : Send me back , my Lord , haply I may do good in that which I have left . By no means ! It is a (mere) word that he speaks; and before them is a barrier until the day they are raised)[4] and (And the day when the unjust one shall bite his hands saying : O ! would that I had taken a way with the Messenger ! ) . [5]

Allah has announced before , (�surely the hearing and the sight and the heart , all of these , shall be questioned about that) . [6] Then , why are these precious Divine blessings wasted in trivial amusements and used in attaining detrimental cultures contrary to what Allah has ordered ? Why this deep torpor and apathy ?

The �future� we mean in this book is two �futures . � One refers to this worldly life and the other to the afterlife because �the worldly life is the

farm of the afterlife� , and according to the Islamic view they both are considered of equal importance towards man�s life and future . Allah says , (Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer , We will most certainly make him live a happy life) , and this is the first future in the worldly life , (and We will most certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did)[7] and this is the second future in the afterlife .

It is reported that Ameerul Mo�mineen (Imam Ali) (s) has said , �Whoever does good for his afterlife , Allah will make his worldly life good . �[8]

The worldly life and the afterlife are not separate according to the Islamic view . We make our afterlife good by being good in this worldly life . Our second future depends on our first future; if our first future is good , our second future will be good and if it is bad our second future will be bad too . Allah says , ((As for) that future abode , We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for those who guard (against evil)) . [9]

part 2

Dear reader , this book has between its lines the keys of the first and the second future , which is the best and which begins with you at the present moment . Yes , now and at

every moment and with every breath you live your future . So with what thinking and culture do you want to live your future in this world in order to move , after it , happily to your second future in the afterlife , which has no equal at all ?

That which your Kind , Wise Lord has revealed to your great Prophet and that which your pure Imams have clarified is the truth that can make a happy and pleasant future .

Our present society , which is diseased with different kinds of cultural , psychological and behavioral diseases , will not recover , unless it makes a great effort to improve itself towards a better future !

This is clear in the saying of Allah , (Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they (first) change that which is in their hearts) . [10] This is the law of life . Allah says , (And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for , and that his striving shall soon be seen . Then shall he be rewarded for it with the fullest reward , and that to your Lord is the goal) . [11]

Let no Muslim man or Muslim woman think that he or she may be happy in his or her individual , marital or family life or that his or her offspring may be happy in this life and the afterlife without undertaking the responsibility of a very exacting task ! Let him or her think

deeply about the cultures on which he or she relies and on which he or she educates those around him or her in a way leading him or her to please Allah and gain His great contentment .

Dear reader , man and woman , whether you are single , married , or a father or a mother of some children ! We have tried in this book to discuss the problems of your youth , marital life , and educational affairs in three chapters , trying our best to give correct answers derived from the Holy Qur'an and the Sunna of the Prophet (s) and the Infallible Imams (s) in a scientific style and easy language to be understood by all .

Because the questions that have come to us through various formats (letters , oral questions , or studying the problems of people at large) concern different classes of society , we have given answers in an easy language that can be understood by all . We have cited the questions only from the letters that have details in order to not lengthen the book . We have not ignored the similar questions for sometimes they have different answers that are of further advantage .

I want to say something very important to the readers before they start reading this book . Let them imagine they are inside a pharmacy , which contains many different kinds of drugs . Readers know well that all the drugs are not meant as treatment for one person; instead ,

each person gets a drug according to his disease for which he went to the doctor and then to the pharmacy .

In the same way , this book is like a pharmacy containing different intellectual and educational drugs for different levels and different problems . A reader , who reads this book , has to take from it what satisfies his need . If an idea does not please him , let him not deny it nor deny the book for this very idea may please another whose problem is cured by it . One should rather place himself in the shoes of the one who has sent us the question and then ponder on our answer with an Islamic realistic eye to see whether it cures or distresses him !

One example is our position towards �temporary marriage� and �polygamy . � Perhaps there may be someone who does not like or denies it , but if he puts himself in the situation of the one whose cure is �temporary marriage� in order to not become involved in adultery or other unlawful things , then he will agree with us indulgently . At the same time , I disagree with the conduct of one who practices temporary marriage or marries a second wife while he suffers from no problem requiring that solution .

One who suffers pain in his stomach , for example , does not have to use the drug of one who suffers pain in his nose . Rather , if he does that

, he may harm himself or he will get no benefit from the drug because he did not put a suitable thing in its suitable place .

Hence , wisdom is the basis of success and happiness in life . Allah says , (�and whoever is granted wisdom , he indeed is given a great good) . [12]

I pray to Allah to grant us success to do whatever He pleases and likes and to make our afterlife better than our worldly life by virtue of Muhammad al-Mustafa (s) and his progeny , the best of the human beings .

17 , Rabee�ul Awwal , 1421 AH , the anniversary of the birth of the master of the Prophets , Muhammad bin Abdullah (s)

Holy Qom

Abdul Adheem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani

Chapter One : What the youth need

Question 1

What qualities do you think a good Muslim youth should have to be successful ?

The answer : I think he or she should possess the following qualities :

1 . Sincerely believing in Allah and completely relying on Him

2 . Being able to control and lead himself

3 . Always looking for progress and success within what Allah has permitted

4 . Driving fear away from inside him

5 . Being magnanimous and patient

6 . Not belittling himself

7 . Observing the Islamic principles and dealing with people accordingly

8 . Making use of every blessing Allah has given to him

9 . Caring for his health and the right of his body over him

10 . Not being excessive in eating and drinking

11 . Not leaving himself without money that he often needs

12 . Serving other people

as much as possible

13 . Not being confused when someone disagrees with him concerning his true belief , for people , throughout history , are different

14 . Liking to undertake and carry out responsibilities

15 . Being frank and honest and not beating around the bush

16 . Not delaying in doing good

17 . Reading useful books that will benefit him

18 . Making friends with good people

19 . Not thinking of gaining the content of every one around him , because this requires hypocrisy

20 . Avoiding disputes and idle talks

21 . Not mocking others

22 . Mentioning the good deeds and fine qualities of others

23 . Criticizing himself and watching his deeds

24 . Persuading himself that he is able to do what is required

25 . Thanking Allah for every blessing

26 . Not being like a tool in the hands of others

27 . Knowing his position in life well

28 . Showing his opinion with evidence when needed

29 . Looking at his listeners when talking with them

30 . Being more a listener than a speaker

31 . Participating in the meetings of joy considering their etiquette and the meetings of consolation considering their etiquette

32 . Offering presents to those who have given him presents on occasions

33 . Believing that he is important in life and has a value in the existence

34 . Not involving himself in bad doings , and when this happens , he has to repent , pray to Allah to forgive him , and try to restore his morale

35 . Not living idly and not wasting his time


. Looking forward to the future and trying to achieve it sincerely

37 . Arming himself with good deeds to receive the death that he shall meet inevitably

38 . Not spending his life unmarried

39 . Reciting the Qur'an and supplications with understanding and reflection

40 . Sparing something of his moneys for emergencies

41 . Not being satisfied with a certain limit of success and stop going forward

42 . Pardoning those who do wrong to him

43 . Strengthening his relations with his kin and being dutiful to his family

44 . Ordering his life , relations and all his affairs

Question 2

How can I make use of my age and youth ? When I see the others (old people) who did nothing worthwhile in life and wasted , during their youth , their times in nonsensical and absurd things that did not provide them with a good future , I become more determined and tell myself �I do not want to be like them� . But I do not know what to do or how I should begin and what the causes of failure are . Please show me the way !

The answer : There are three main factors that waste one�s time , age , and good opportunities , and consequently they throw man into the afterlife empty-handed save with regret .

The first factor is the individual himself through :

1 . living nervously

2 . being busy with trivial and unnecessary things

3 . living irregularly without organizing his times and works

4 . procrastination and laziness

5 . curiosity and interfering in

others� affairs

6 . having poor information about the necessary issues of life

7 . loneliness and little association with the society

8 . hesitation and not being determined in taking decisions

9 . not planning for the future

The second factor is the individual and the others around him through :

1 . long idle meetings

2 . guests that come with no appointment

3 . speaking on the telephone for a long time on trivial and unimportant matters

4 . unreasonable requests of others

5 . associating with aimless persons

6 . amusement programs , especially sitting for hours to watch TV serials and cinema movies

The third factor is accidents , like :

1 . illness

2 . traffic accidents

3 . losing things such as money , books , and other things

Dear brother , you should be aware of these things that deprive you of your time and ease , and you should not engage in these behaviors . On the other hand , you should read the life histories of the great and successful people . You will learn how to make use of your time , how to build your life and future , and then you will make your family and other people proud of you . The thing more important than all that is that you will please Allah and He will please you when you will meet Him lonely and then He will grant you the eternal bliss . This is the right way and all else is loss and torment .

Question 3

I am a young man . I have been

involved in a great sin . Feeling sin on the one hand and my weak determination before my lust on the other hand have made me desperate of the forgiveness of Allah , and I feel that I will definitely be in Hell . At the same time , I fear that I am not right in this opinion . Would you please guide me to the right solution ?

The answer : Confess your sin before Allah and pray to Him to help you with a real repentance ! You do not need to ask for forgiveness with a difficult language or eloquent words . Speak easily and spontaneously and say what is inside your heart in any way you can , for Allah knows what is in one�s heart even before it comes to his tongue .

Know well that despairing of the forgiveness of Allah is a sin even greater than the sin you were originally involved in , because despair opens the door wider before you to commit all sins and it is this that will get you into Hell and not your first sin ! Therefore , Islam has considered despairing of Allah�s mercy as the greatest of sins . It is this that Satan , the first enemy of man , wants for you on the Day of Resurrection .

O young man , fill your heart with a big hope of getting the forgiveness of Allah and try determinedly not to commit the sin again ! When you commit a sin

, you should hasten immediately to Allah and ask Him to forgive you . You should never cut your relation with Allah in any case . If you go east or west , you shall not find a god like your Lord , Whom you disobey but He , although able to punish you at once , grants you a respite and says that He loves those who ask Him for forgiveness , loves the repentant , and loves those who purify themselves . Besides , He loves to reward you with His Paradise if you turn to Him sincerely .

O young man , whatever you may have done to disobey Allah , you are still not a polytheist . Allah has made incumbent on Himself to forgive everything other than polytheism . Let the Satan not delay you in seeking forgiveness and make you lose the opportunity , for you do not know when you shall die . You may die at the moment of your procrastination and then you will have wasted the opportunity and lost the eternal happiness .

When you decide to return to Allah , do not forget that the crux of repentance is feeling regretful for what you have committed , determining to give up that sin forever , giving the dues of people back to them , and offering the missed obligations as much as possible ! Abide by this sincerely and you will find that the pleasure of lawful things is sweeter than the pleasure of unlawful things


Question 4

I am a teenager from a religious family . I have a friend who is corrupt , but I am very fond of him . I do not know what to do !

The answer : Use your love towards him as a means of advising him and saving him by taking him towards guidance ! It has been narrated in a Prophetic tradition that guiding one person is better than the worldly life and all it contains .

Do not forget that love is good when it reaps goodness and it is a means of deviation when it transfers bad morals from your friend to you ! A rational person is one who thinks of the outcome of things and then considers the actual situation � what is important and what is more important .

Try to be more reasonable than sentimental because if emotion overpowers you in the important situations , it will destroy you and then convey you to Hell ! Of course , this is not what you want nor can bear .

Question 5

I know well that lying is one of the vices , but I practice it easily in small or great situations . I do not know how to get rid of it . Please guide me , may Allah reward you with good !

The answer : Every action may change into a habit whether it is good or bad . Lying has become a habit to you and so , although it will be difficult , you have to defeat this

habit by being very careful for a period of time until it changes into its opposite , which is truthfulness .

First , repent and ask Allah to forgive you this sin before death surprises you and then you would go to the painful punishment that Allah has prepared for the liars .

Second , be alone with yourself , ponder on the reasons that have led you to this vice and try to finish off those causes in order to get rid of the result .

Third , compare the advantages of truthfulness and the harms of lying on every side � family , society and individually ! For example , you can read some books in this concern and then the motives of straightness will be able to treat your case .

Fourth , accustom yourself to do good deeds such as reading religious books , pondering on the hereafter , helping the needy , being dutiful to parents , and teaching others what you have learnt of religion !

Fifth , always remember the tradition , �A believer does not feel the pleasure of faith in his heart , until he gives up lying , whether it is done seriously or jokingly . �

Sixth , think that if your lying is uncovered before others , which it undoubtedly will be , then what will your situation be ? How will you meet with that embarrassment ?

Seventh , know well that a liar has no dignity near people and near his relatives ! Do you want to be

worthless near people ?

I hope , with these practical points , that you are able to rid yourself of a feature that you know well to be one of the worst vices .

Question 6

I am thirty years old . Pain and illnesses have done to my body what they have not done to old people�s bodies . I have become tired of doctors and drugs . I have become desperate of everything , even supplications and vows though I respect religion and the ulama . I am very angry due to my state and always ask myself why Allah has afflicted me with these distresses that have made me suspect my religious beliefs and become nervous at any excitement . I hope with your help that I may be happy in life with my wife and children who suffer with me .

The answer : The Iranian magazine Ittila�at Ilmi , vol . 23 , seventh year has quoted from the magazine (Reader�s Digest , Feb . 1993) a scientific study emphasizing that most bodily illnesses are results of psychological disorders . According to this fact , man causes himself bodily illnesses if he does not care for his psychological health .

The study adds , �For example , cancer and tuberculosis attack complaining and desperate persons . Peptic ulcer attacks persons who pant for high positions . Arthritis and chronic inflammations are the shares of rigorous persons whose hearts are full of hatred against others and who do not pardon or forgive others . Headache attacks

those who keep their anger inside them .

Psychological disorders , like anger , fear , and distress , exhaust precious powers of the mind and the body and then psychological fatigue , pains , and illnesses come instead . �

The study adds , �Self-confidence and not letting fear and being upset overcome oneself make man carry out his daily activities in a way that delights his heart and comforts his mind . With comfort and hearty relief , man�s body enjoys safety and healthiness . In fact , even a broken bone recovers earlier if one�s mind is peaceful and his heart is calm and satisfied . �

The author of this scientific study says , �Man , for the sake of his bodily health , must free himself from the complex of failure and defeat . If he imprisons himself in this complex or he fails to free himself from it , he will face problems , pains , and illnesses such as asthma , headache , and nasal sinuses inflammation . �

Dear brother , what I want to tell you is that what we all need to do is take care of our health . Let us achieve it and recommend others to it so that our minds and bodies enjoy peacefulness and safety because �a sound mind is in a sound body� . Islamic traditions have indicated these solutions and emphasized that the healthiness of the body is the result of the healthiness of mentality . Islam was the first to show the

scientific method of keeping psychological and physical health .

This study , which has been preceded by the Islamic theory , emphasizes the Islamic instructions by recommending the following :

1. Assure yourself every day that you are sound and safe because this self-suggestion prevents you from feeling weak or submitting to illness !

2. Try to live normally and do not be greedy and do not pant for this life so that you become involved in some situations out of greediness ! Doing so exhausts your intellectual , psychological , and physical powers .

3. Assign to yourself some times for rest , relaxation , and harmless amusement !

4. Believe in Allah sincerely so that you feel the warmth of this faith inside your heart , and this will make feel comfortable and delighted whenever you mention Allah and worship Him !

5. Tell yourself everyday that you are better than you were yesterday and actually be so lest your conscience says to you : away ! O you , self-deceiver !

If you adhere to these five recommendations after perceiving the medical fact mentioned above , you will be delighted and psychologically cheerful and this is what brings you physical healthiness and fruitful activity .

You should know that distrusting the true religious beliefs is itself a cause of psychological diseases that cause bodily diseases . At the same time when that scientific study and the sayings of many western psychologists declare that faith in Allah has a great role in curing psychological troubles and bodily diseases , it does

not fit a Muslim to let the Satan or his followers in the society whisper evil to him and play with his mind .

It is narrated that the Prophet (s) has said , �I wonder at a believer why he becomes angry at illness ! If he knows what benefit he receives because of illness , he would wish to remain ill until he meets his Lord . �[13]

Of course , this is if the illness is chronic and doctors cannot cure it or the ailing believer is unable to pay for the treatment .

Dear brother , I hope you will return to your religious beliefs and strengthen your morale by them in order to not fail in this trial because then you would lose this life and the afterlife together . You should know well that losing this life and its pleasures is easier to you than losing the eternal Paradise where there will be no pain , no disease , no old age , and no death .

Question 7

My elder brother commits major sins . He dares to beat my father who is an old man . We do not know how he has become like that when we are a religious family and nobody else from amongst us is like this elder brother .

The answer : There are some reasons behind this phenomenon . The most important one of them is negligence in the upbringing of this brother from his childhood and not watching him whenever he went out of the house

and when he associated with bad friends .

Some families may be excused because of being busy with their living affairs or because of the poor cultural level of the parents or the absence of the master of the family as if when the father is in prison for example . The result is that a serious deviation happens to one of the family members .

Advice usually does not have any effect after the deviation roots deeply inside that person . The severity of that deviant person against the adviser is another result of deviation .

Nevertheless , despairing of reforming this deviant one is not permissible . It compels you to keep on advising him gently and kindly and trying to keep him away from his bad friends by sending some good persons to make friends with him and to busy him with lawful amusement . The troubles of these attempts are less than the troubles of leaving him alone as he is bound to commit more sins .

Question 8

How can I smile when I do not feel happy or delighted inside myself ? I want to be active and not sad and idle . Would you please tell me how I could arrive at this aim ?

The answer : First , let your conscience be satisfied and at ease because this is the thing that makes you smile and feel real cheerfulness ! This comes from believing in Allah and following what He has revealed to His Messenger (s) and what the Infallible Imams (s)

have declared . They have declared that believing in Allah , contentment , and avoiding greediness brings man mental relief and being satisfied with one�s fate increases and solidifies that relief .

If you obtain this relief through these religious beliefs , problems and troubles will not deprive you of your smile and you will not worry at all . Allah the Almighty says , (And be not infirm , and be not grieving , and you shall have the upper hand if you are believers) . [14]

Religion has declared that serving people , helping the needy and fulfilling the rights of one�s family cause the relief of one�s conscience .

Looking at the green nature , pondering on the stars , listening to the singing of birds , and listening to good maxims make man happy and delighted . When man achieves some success in one of his aims , he feels the ecstasy of triumph which affects his activities and a smile appears on his face .

Islam has encouraged all that because it is the religion of activeness , vigor , progress , and production and not of laziness , worry , boredom or grief .

As for crying for fear of Allah in the heart of night , crying for the wronged saints on the sad historical occasions , doctors and psychologists have proved many advantages and said that if man knew the advantages of crying , he would throw drugs away .

Thus , the comprehensiveness of our great Islamic religion and its perfect verdicts

have been proven just because it is from a Great , Wise , One , Unique and Eternal God .

Dear brother , with all that , you will reach your aim . May Allah be with you . Do not forget your smile and do not let it fade or leave your face !

Question 9

Where does tiredness of the body come from ? Most of the time I feel sluggish and I do not know how to restore my vigor and energy . Would you please guide me to a solution ?

The answer : Tiredness of body , inactiveness , and feeling weak are results of two factors :

The first is a bodily factor . It includes insufficient or intermittent sleeping , anemia , little or big proportion of iron in the blood , influenza , and others . The treatments of these conditions are done by a doctor and the recovery is from Allah the Almighty .

The second is a psychological factor . It includes many things such as fear of future , worry , shocks of divorce , traffic accidents , big financial losses , being insulted before others , thinking of previous failures , and thinking of high ambition while worrying about one�s actual inability . All these psychological troubles cause physical exhaustion and fatigue and the cure is to submit to Allah and His fate in the cases where man has no power or choice .

As for the mistakes of man himself , the cure is obtained by repenting and asking

Allah for pardon and forgiveness .

It would be better for one to give people�s rights back to them so that his conscience becomes relieved; besides that , he must organize his time according to the religious obligations and activities of life .

Here , I draw your attention to an important point : if you want to know the cause of your fatigue , whether it is physical or psychological , see if it disappears or lessens after sleeping or if it continues . If the first case holds , most often the cause of your fatigue is physical , and if it is the second , most often the cause is psychological . If man watches himself well , he will know from what he suffers , whether physical or psychological troubles .

Question 10

Please teach me the way to success and tell me how I can attain happiness ! I am a young man . I would like to see myself in the best position in this life and in the afterlife . What is the way to that ? Everyone has an opinion , but I , because of my young age , do not know which opinion is the best .

The answer : The way to a successful life begins with you . The beginning is the self , which if you change , Allah will help you reach success and happiness , but if you leave it to do as it pleases , you will never reach whatever it is you dream

of .

Therefore , I would like to guide you to the following :

1 . Discover yourself ! In this life you can be great and your mention will be recorded in the list of the great if you can only discover your own talents and abilities .

2 . When you assign an aim to yourself , know that you not only need accurate thinking , but you also need a strong spirit and high determination to help you reach the advanced steps in the way of success . The source of this strong spirit and high determination is the true belief that connects you with Allah the Almighty , intellectually and practically . To get this source , you have to recite the Qur'an deeply and ponderingly and have to worship Allah in the heart of the night and offer night prayers .

3 . To keep your success safe from plagues , you have to be aware of the plagues . They are the following :

a . Bad friends

b . Imagining oneself to be ill

c . Putting off the work of today until tomorrow

d . Convincing oneself to retreat from doing good deeds

e . Not acquiring new information that concerns oneself

Question 11

My dreams are nightmares . Would you please show me a cure to my bad predicament before my youth wastes away ?

The answer : Some dreams � as psychologists have proven � are a reflection of one�s psychological worry during wakefulness . To cure yourself , you have to follow the following points :


. Purify your daily activities from unlawful things and if something unlawful takes place , purify it by asking Allah for forgiveness !

2 . Be satisfied with what Allah has given you of wealth , beauty , health and the like !

3 . Perform ablution (wudu�) before sleeping and recite a portion of the Holy Qur'an , and when you lie in your bed , think of what you have recited or try to sleep while thinking good thoughts !

4 . Be certain that those who have been happy in their lives have faced problems too and that their lives are not free from troubles now , but they are well aware that worry is a problem much greater than those problems . So why would they increase their troubles by worrying when they need to decrease them ?

5 . Remind yourself of your good actions and successful deeds and do not think of your failures and shortcomings ! Every one has bright pages in his life and even the successful and great people are not free from defects . Dear young man , set out in the way towards Allah the Almighty and rely on Him !

Question 12

I am a teacher in a secondary school . I see too many students imitating western fashions in their clothing . What is the reason for this difficulty and what is the solution ?

The answer : There are many reasons :

1 . Unawareness of the attractive Islamic examples that are the best alternatives to imported foreign examples


. The spread of western cultures and fashions in our countries via the media (films , posters , ideas , and advertisements) , which we call �cultural colonialism� or �intellectual subordination�

3 . The weak Islamic media and the inability to give a beautiful picture about the Muslim youth as Allah , the Wise Creator , has willed

4 . The weak school programs , which are devoid of the true intellectual gist of religion (Religious lessons are taught in schools in a shallow and boring way because most of the teachers of these lessons are officials and not people of a religious vocation . Therefore , there is no motive for the teachers to teach the pupils religion sincerely . )

5 . The family sphere at home , which may contain many things that are contrary to the instructions of Islam (This has a great effect on students in leading them to imitate foreign fashions and bad examples and to be busy with trivial hobbies . )

The solution to this problem is for everyone � individuals , families , and societies � to act in a manner opposite to these reasons . They all have to make their efforts together to guide these youth and to show them the harms of imitating the foreigners . We can warn our youth of imitating the foreigners by quoting the statistics that the foreign newspapers have published about the crimes , problems , griefs , and the high numbers of suicides in the western countries .

Question 13

I am a

student who is about to join the university . I am confused as to what I should specialize in . As you are more aware of the needs of society than I am , please guide me to the right vocation and I will be grateful .

The answer : There is no doubt that if man distributes his powers among several points and aims , his concentration weakens , and then he does not get the best result in each of his aims; rather he gets the optimal result if he concentrates all his powers on one aim within certain points .

I believe in specialization and my advice to you is that you have to make a decision and choose the field nearest to your inclination and ability and the nearest to the needs of your society . Then you should concentrate all your powers in achieving the best result . Do not forget to rely on Allah and pray to Him to assist you because real success is in His hand .

But since you ask me to advise you as to the most important fields of specialization , I consider the humanities , especially psychology and sociology , to be of great importance , especially when supported by accurate studies in the Islamic books of these concerns . Specialization in commercial fields and economics is also of great importance , as well as studying in the Hawza , [15] after completing your university study , which is of even greater importance . See what

your real desire is and then choose it . Rely on Allah and make your life , study , and future for the sake of Him so that if you die at the beginning of the way , the middle , or at the end , you will gain His paradise . Is there any profit greater than this ?

Question 14

Frankly , I say that I suffer from the complex of meanness . What is a practical treatment to save me from it and from its bad effects ?

The answer : First , you should recognize the cause so that the treatment can be easy . Here are some of the main causes of this complex :

1 . Either you are imagining it or others are making you imagine it

2 . Repeated failures in life and not achieving an aim that was once in your mind

For the cure , we suggest the following :

1 . Try to achieve success in your life to strengthen your morale and then you can aim for another success and a bigger step !

2 . Read some books regarding this topic in order to achieve some success !

3 . Seize any opportunity to prove your personality in a lawful way; I do not mean that you seize others� opportunities or show off by doing good .

4 . Persuade yourself that you are a successful person by the assistance of Allah !

5 . Do not forget to make your intentions sincere and just for the sake of Allah when doing good

deeds , because this is the moral secret of everlasting success and progress .

Question 15

Please advise me how to bear the difficulties of life ! I feel like I am about to perish .

The answer : Imagining oneself as about to perish is in itself the beginning of perishment . First , keep this thought away from your mind and then ask yourself if you will not bear the difficulties , then what would you do ! Do you have a better alternative ?

Ponder on this question and be certain that life is difficult for all people , but the difficulties differ from one person to another . Now read the following advices :

1 . You should know that the worldly life has been full of difficulties since our father Adam (s) and will be until the last one of his children . The Wise Creator has determined life to be difficult for man so that he may think of the afterlife that he has been created for . Without being tried , man will not be given the eternal blessings of the afterlife .

2 . Read the biographies of the patient and great people and see how they passed the difficulties of life to live in the bliss of Paradise and their names were not forgotten throughout the ages !

3 . Make friends with those possessing a great deal of patience and tolerance .

4 . Practice sportive exercises in the morning or at any other time of the day !

5 . Rely on Allah

and believe that He is the strongest supporter for those who rely on Him !

6 . Ponder over the Qur�anic verses and the traditions of the Prophet (s) and Ahlul Bayt (s) that discuss �patience� for they have undoubtedly taught us what makes us happy !

For example , Imam al-Baqir (s) has said , �When Ali bin al-Husayn (Imam Zaynul Aabideen , the father of Imam al-Baqir) was about to die , he embraced me and said , �O my son , I recommend you to what my father had recommended to me when he was about to die and he said that his father had recommended him to; O my son , be patient with the truth even if it is bitter ! �[16]

We must submit to the truth and its requirements . Abu Abdullah (Imam as-Sadiq) (s) has said , �Whoever keeps to the firmest handhold will be safe . �

The narrator asked , �What is it (the firmest handhold) ? �

He said , �Submission . �[17]

Someone asked Imam as-Sadiq (s) , �With what is a believer known as a believer ? �

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �With submission to Allah and being satisfied with what he gets of pleasure and displeasure . �[18]

Question 16

I like to be quiet and always smiling because I hate sullen people who burst into anger and frown their eyebrows until their eyes come out and their faces redden . But unfortunately , I am not truly as I would like to be . Frankly , I am

one of those whom I do not like , as some poet has said , �I like good people but I am not from them . � Please , guide me to the way of patience and controlling my furious anger so that I may be like those I admire and I may like myself .

The answer : It is necessary for you to be aware of the problem that provokes your nerves in order to avoid it and keep yourself away from its effects . When you face this problem , try at first to recognize its causes and then try your best to avoid it . For example , someone may become angry at something and the cause may be the heat or that he has not taken a bath for a few days . If he takes off some of his clothes or if he takes a bath or pours cool water over his body , he may not become angry or excited with every trivial excitement .

It is said that using sweet perfumes eases one�s nerves , especially the perfumes of rose , jasmine and tea rose . An angry man should associate with the beauty of nature , ponder on the sky , the sea , mountains , and trees , and lie for sometime between the kind laps of nature . He should work only to the extent his body can tolerate and should not overburden himself with what exhausts him . He must be moderate in eating and

not overload his stomach .

Dear brother , I advise you to practice sportive exercises in the morning , at least the Swedish exercises . Do not forget the mention of Allah in any case , and especially when being angry . You should remember the anger of Allah towards you . You should know that Islam considers anger as a soldier of the Satan . Therefore , an angry one is the one who carries this soldier on his back and protects him . Do you want to be like that ? Certainly not ! Then smile even if your smile is not real !

Question 17

How can I become skilled , or develop a high morale and liveliness , when my father , who is an ordinary man , frustrates my wish to continue my higher studies and asks me to work with him in the market .

The answer : Researches and experiments have proven that creative people have a high morale and a high self-confidence that cannot be shaken . It is they who have not wanted their first experiments to succeed and instead have prepared themselves to receive failure first for they have prepared themselves to snatch success from failure without submitting to failure . A creative man is he who offers his productivity and tries his best to develop it continuously until he reaches the top .

It is said that Edison , before testing the bamboo cane to discover the electronic light , had tested 256 things but without success . When

he was asked why he had not given up his attempts in those many experiments , he said , �I have not failed , but with my experiments , I have come to know 256 things� .

This high spirit , which sees failure as a discovery and a means of learning something new , is worthier of success and worthier of being honored throughout history .

In order to continue on the path to your aim :

First , think deeply of your aim and the ways that will get you to it !

Second , discuss what you think with reasonable people in order to discover the defects of your opinion and then decide correctly , without pride .

Third , do not ignore difficulties , for they are a part of the way to success and a motive that strengthens the will of successful people .

Fourth , seize any opportunity to strengthen your hope in success . And the best of opportunities is connection with Allah the Almighty . An Indonesian proverb reads , �Unless you raise your hand to the heaven , it shall not raise from the earth . �

Fifth , when vitality comes to you and your heart become delighted with work , keep to your project firmly and do not let this opportunity go in vain in useless doings .

But as for your father , with respect and calmness , you can understand one another . You can also send him some respectable persons to try to convince him . It would be

better that he should not know that they are sent by you .

On the other hand , you can explain to him the future of your ambition and explain to him its advantages according to the way of his thinking in life . For example , if he is interested in the financial matters , you can say to him that when you become a doctorate , you will establish a scientific foundation or a clinic whose income will be more than you can earn by working in the market as an ordinary worker . Tell him that a reasonable person always looks forward to the far future and tolerates the difficulties of the present for that .

Question 18

I am a confused young man . I do not know what to do , where to go , what aim I should choose in my life , and what I shall be in my future . In other words , I am lost and aimless . I think of myself as created in vain . I do not think that there is someone who can save me from this state . I have written to you only because one of my friends asked me to do that , although I am desperate even of your solutions .

The answer : It is not important that you become satisfied with what I tell you , but what is important is that you must prevent despair from overcoming you . Now , read my answer and then do as

your mind tells you !

Dear brother , people , in life , can be divided into four kinds :

1 . One who is clear to himself and to others

2 . One who is clear to himself but unclear to others

3 . One who is unclear to himself but clear to others

4 . One who is unclear to himself and to others

People of the first kind are good and successful people . They know themselves and their inward and outward powers and talents . They know their aims in life . They live naturally and others know them to be so , especially their close fellows . Therefore , the others neither suspect them nor do they fear any evil from hem .

People of the second kind are those with whom it is difficult to deal . There are some things inside them that they do not uncover to the others; therefore , the others live with them in difficultly . Many confusions and troubles happen when dealing with them .

People of the third kind are those who do not know what they do , where they are , how they move , and where they will end . They are unsuccessful in life and the others see them to be so clearly .

People of the fourth kind are introverted people . They are neither clear to themselves nor are they clear to others .

You should determine to be from the people of the first kind , who know themselves and whom people know clearly .

Your despair is the source of your distress and the cause of your perishment . In history , there were many people whose distresses were greater than yours and who were nearer than you to perishment , but in one moment they defeated their despair and restored morale and confidence and Allah accepted their repentances and purified them .

Dear brother , tell me Whom you have disobeyed !

You have disobeyed Allah . Allah Himself says to you : I clear your past . Come and do good from this moment !

Allah the Almighty loves you if you repent to Him . He assists you so you can be successful in the rest of your life . Then what is this despair for ?

Allah says , (O you who believe ! answer (the call of) Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life) . [19]

Dear brother , in responding to the call of Allah and His messenger there is your life . Come and cure yourself by associating with sincere , faithful , and pious people of understanding . Try to explain your state to them and tell them everything about yourself , after being certain that they will keep your secrets ! Surely , they will guide you to the right way in which you will find your happiness .

It is necessary to prepare yourself to accept the advices of others . Let us suppose that you want the pleasures of this life and you do not think of

the afterlife . Well , does this worldly aim not require you to accept some things that you do not like or get rid of some habits that may be difficult in the beginning ?

Look at others who are proud , self-deceived , or who do not care for others , or those who do not take care of cleanliness , or whose mouths smell unpleasant�look at tens of those who consider themselves benevolent but , in fact , they are deviant and misleading . Do you not dislike such persons and hate their conducts ?

In order to not be like them and in order to not be disliked by people , try to show your advisors your acceptance of their advice and your readiness to accept constructive criticism as a first step towards the way of happiness .

I invite you to save yourself so that you shall be in Paradise , in which are found every blessing and pleasure . Do you know that many desperate people have deserved to be in Paradise at the last hours of their lives when they drove despair away from them and gained the wide mercy of their Lord ?

Why should you not be one of them ? The Paradise of Allah has opened its gates for you to dwell in it and to forget all your pains . Is it not reasonable and wise to approach your eternal happiness ? It is a determination of a moment that gives you happiness in your life and after your

life when you will be resurrected .

Question 19

Narcotics�the beast that kills man and destroys families and society . They have spread everywhere and their target is our youth . Colonialism , Zionism , and their secret gangs in our countries are behind this .

We want you to discuss this dangerous subject . I am twenty years old . My sister has died because of an injection (of narcotics) , my father is in prison because of narcotics trade , and my elder brother is a drug addict . My mother suffers from all these distresses , and I am angry about everything . About the future , I do not know what to say .

The answer : O dear brother , may Allah assist your heart and help your mother with patience ! I pray to Allah to make your future better than your past , to guide your brother , forgive your sister , and reform your father .

It is clear to all that drug addiction is one of the most dangerous problems in a society . It has great and terrible effects on individuals and society , especially the psychological , physical , and economical harms . And the most important thing is the severe punishment of Allah that begins from the first moment of death and the night of burial . We do not think that the problems of narcotics can be solved only by legislating laws or rules or imposing severe punishments; rather , we must make an effort to ascertain

the psychological and social motives that make the youth use narcotics and then try to find a comprehensive cure for this problem .

Good education , keeping the youth away from bad friends , showing them the dangers of narcotics and explaining their destructive effects , spreading religious teachings , and caring deeply for psychological and physical health will have great results in saving the youth from this plague , for protection is better than cure .

Parents have to know the reasons that make the youth liable to fall in the plague of narcotics . Here are the most important reasons :

1 . The inclination of the youth to look for pleasures and amusements , especially with the absence of a good Islamic education

2 . The wish to imitate others and to break the traditions of the family and the society . Especially when the youth are mistreated at home , they are bound to look for bad friends .

3 . Incorrect propagandas and wrong ideas that narcotics traders promote

4 . Imitating bad friends and being under their pressure

We say that the best resolution lies in protection . The most important ways of protection are the following :

1 . Making people understand the dangers of narcotics via the media and through cultural and educational programs in order to avoid them

2 . Showing documental films about the lives of drug addicts to show their distress and wretchedness

3 . Keeping children and teenagers away from the bad habits of adults , like smoking for example , and this

is the beginning of the way

4 . Encouraging programs of amusement for the youth and encouraging the youth to establish local meetings and organizations

5 . Improving the cultural , social , economical , and physical levels of the youth

6 . Fighting against narcotics trade by all possible means

7 . Encouraging scientific researches that help in solving this problem

As for the cure , after being involved in this problem , there are some points :

1 . Medical cure : it depends on the kind of narcotics , the person himself , and his age . A person can be saved from the effects of narcotics by undergoing treatment to remove the effects gradually .

2 . Psychological cure : it aims at strengthening one�s spirit and morale so that he may be able to stand against the problems he faces , and it helps him to solve them so that he may not look for wrong paths . This cure concentrates on strengthening one�s morals and forcing oneself to participate in the treatment .

3 . Social cure : it aims at establishing social organizations or projects to help drug addicts become liberated from narcotics . This cure concentrates on the social environment in which drug addicts live and which has a great effect on making one go towards or away from narcotics . Encouraging one towards social association and mixing causes him to believe in the values of the society he lives in and keeps him away from deviation . [20]

Question 20

I am a young man studying

in the first stages of the university . My father says that all happiness lies in studying until I obtain a doctorate degree and then I shall earn lots of money . He is not at all concerned about my religious affairs . He does not ask me about my prayer , fasting , or faith at all . I know that his mindset is incorrect , but I cannot say the truth to him . What should I do ?

The answer : You should study and learn so you can be high in this life as your father wishes . If he sees you do so , he will not deny your prayer , fasting , or faith . The Holy Qur'an says , (And seek , by means of what Allah has given you , the future abode , and do not neglect your portion of this world) . [21]

Do not give your father an excuse to persecute you in your religion as long as you can do both studying and performing your religious obligations . If there is a suitable occasion , try to explain to your father the meaning of this tradition when once Imam Ali (s) was asked about goodness and he replied , �Goodness is not to have much money and many children , but goodness is to have much knowledge , to be magnanimous , and to be proud among the people of worshipping your Lord . �[22]

If you see your father deny your religion , even though

you should do what he wants from you , do not submit to him because there is �no obedience to a creature if it means disobeying the Creator� . [23]

In any case , you should be very polite in dealing with your father for Allah has ordered in His Book to worship Him first and to be dutiful and kind to parents second . You may , with Islamic morals , guide your father and save him from his moral poverty; and thus good morals are the best means to achieve success after success .

I have nothing more to say about your father and his likes except to offer this tradition of the Prophet (s) when he once looked at some children and said , �Woe unto the children of the last time (on earth) from their fathers ! � It was said , �O messenger of Allah , from their polytheist fathers ? � The Prophet (s) said , �No , from their faithful fathers . They do not teach them anything of obligations , and if their children learn , they prevent them and they become satisfied with them for little material things of the worldly life . I am free from them and they are free from me . �[24]

Question 21

As you know , youthfulness is a great power that is full of vigor and activity . If we do not use it in a constructive way , it will explode to destroy what others have constructed of advantageous establishments . Most

of us live idly and sleep more than required . We go out of our homes just to waste time in trivial things or boyish adventures . I hope that you can explain to us the correct way to use this great power in a manner that will please Allah and will benefit people , our society , and ourselves .

The answer : You know that when a driver loses control of his car , he throws himself and others into a bloody disaster . Do you know what prevents him from this disaster ?

They are his knowledge of the art of driving and his will . Two things : one is knowledge and the other is will .

The same can be said about a young man who puts himself in a situation without knowledge or will . He will involve himself in a disaster the end of which is failure and fruitlessness .

Physical power and activeness is a Divine blessing that Allah has given to man in his youth to help him build the basis for his future ease , for a day when his power will weaken , his activeness will disappear , and diseases will attack him , and then the knowledge , wealth , position , family , friends and followers he has spared from his youth will benefit him .

You ask how to make use of the blessings of youth . It is a good and important question regarding building one�s future . The answers , as we said ,

are useful knowledge and will . The first is a light that luminates one�s way and the other is a force that controls one�s power and prevents it from deviation and the occurrence of disasters .

The youth are in need of peace and not violence . This is the best fruit (patience) and patience is the best fruit of knowledge .

Imam Ali (s) has said , �Good patience is a proof of abundant knowledge . �[25]

The youth have to seek out knowledge and sciences that will benefit them . They should not throw themselves into the laps of bad people from this material life because then they would become slaves in the circle of untruth .

Imam as-Sadiq (s) says , �I do not like (to see) a young man from you unless he is in one of two sates : either a teacher or a learner . If he does not do so , he wastes; if he wastes , he loses; if he loses , he is sinful; and if he is sinful , he will be in Hell , I swear by Him Who has sent Muhammad with the truth . �

The youth should seize opportunities to learn means of developing their powers in order to establish the first bases of future success . Who are the failed people in life but those who did not learn during their youth ?

Then , what is the required knowledge ?

It is to begin learning the Islamic beliefs , the legal laws , and the moral

principles . Our scholars have written very good books about these three fields which you can read or ask one of the virtuous ulama to discuss , or you can attend the lectures that are held in mosques , religious centers , houses , and the like .

Please , ponder on this word in which Imam Ali (s) has described pious people by saying , �The Creator has become so great before their eyes , and therefore , everything else has become so trivial before them . �

If the youth learn the beliefs of Islam , legal laws , and morals , and reach the degree of piety in their faith , they will never pant after the material life or fight for its transient pleasures . They will never feel sorry if they miss one of its pleasures . They will never make troubles for this and that . They will never think of destruction or violence as a solution if fate deprives them of a blessing or prevents them from reaching it .

Dear brother , in order to walk in this upright way , you have to do the following :

1 . Know yourself well , promise yourself to be sincere in achieving happiness , and watch your fancy lest it troubles your sincerity . Nevertheless , you may fall into the trap of fancy , but in this case hasten to get out of it by repenting and asking Allah to forgive you . Then review the causes of your fall and

be careful that they are not repeated .

2 . Fill your mind with knowledge and true historical views ! Let your first source be the Holy Qur'an , which has explained everything , and keep away from the Satan and his followers !

3 . Be steadfast before difficulties and be patient in any case !

4 . Open your heart to your high goal , for you have been created for Paradise !

5 . Make your personality respectable and try to have positive effects on others !

6 . Keep a thick curtain between you and material , reactionary , shallow , anarchic , selfish , and submissive ideas !

7 . Take the Qur�anic intellect , as been interpreted by the Prophet (s) , Ahlul Bayt (s) , and the virtuous ulama , to be the example of your intellect and conduct !

8 . Read a lot about religious culture and concentrate on what you read !

9 . Organize your time , order your daily tasks , and write down your appointments in your pocket notebook !

10 . Trust in your own abilities and talents and complete them by cooperating with the abilities and talents of others who are like you in belief !

11 . Learn how to speak appropriately with people and have influence over them !

12 . Carry out the needs of whoever may ask you for help , and do not remind him of your favor to him someday !

13 . Be ascetic in life ! Do not wish for what there is in

other people�s hands of wealth and beauty !

14 . Find a job that brings lawful livelihood !

15 . Hate idleness and laziness because Allah hates them , especially for the youth !

16 . Take care of your physical and psychological health and do not ignore your share of amusement !

17 . Get married early and always advise the youth to do so !

18 . Do not stop at a certain limit in your good ambition because the way towards Paradise is open before you !

19 . Be calm and plan for your future while thinking of good deeds and good rewards !

20 . Do not forget the remembrance of Allah , supplication , and the love of those who have showed us the way to deliverance who are the Prophet (s) and his progeny first , and second all those who have followed them ! [26]

Question 22

We , at home , are not ruled by the Sharia . Lawful and unlawful rulings are disregarded , especially on Fridays when the whole family gathers together and my brothers� wives come . Every one shakes hands with each other . They exchange jokes and loud laughter while the wives are in their domestic clothes without veils as if they are all mahram . [27]

As for my father and mother , they do not speak out to repair this state , which , undoubtedly , must displease the Lord of the worlds .

I do not know whether my speaking to them will have any influence or if they

will just mock and scorn me ! I am confused . Would you please guide me to a situation that will please Allah the Almighty ?

The answer : As for them , they have turned in the disobedience of Allah; but as for you , you should either forbid them if you think that your speech will have any influence over them , even after some time , and then never mind if they mock you , for the prophets also have been mocked but they said their words and had great influences later on , or if you think that there is no benefit at all or that they may greatly harm you besides mocking , then you have to do one of two things for the family�s sake : either sit with them a little without participating in their unlawful behavior , or get out and leave their meeting .

Dear faithful brother , if you feel that you are strange among people , you should know well that you are close to Allah , and Allah is better than people !

Question 23

I am a sad young man . I live with worry and boredom . Sometimes , I tell myself that I am a mistake in this existence . Why have I come ? Who has brought me ? And why does no one respond to my opinions ?

The answer : You should change your way of thinking and life by doing various things :

1 . Busy yourself with something like walking in

the garden , for example !

2 . Relax in a calm place , even if for a few minutes !

3 . Observe the beautiful scenes of nature and ponder on the greatness of their Creator !

4 . Practice swimming or some other sportive exercises !

5 . Read some comic books or whatever else you think befits your state !

6 . Assign an hour everyday for supplication , with reflection on the meaning of your supplication , and let this hour be after midnight or before sunshine !

7 . Go out with your good friends !

8 . Go visit your relatives !

9 . Write the letters B and G in a little notebook and try , from the moment you awake , to watch yourself . When you commit a bad deed , Allah forbid , place a mark under the letter B , and whenever you perform a good deed , place a mark under the letter G . This personal vigilance will make you delighted with your good deeds and then you will decide to increase what pleases you and decrease what displeases you .

Try to form some resolutions :

1 . Decide to be humble in your life ! Do you know that without humbleness , the clouds , the seas , the trees , the plants , and the flowers would not give us delight or pleasure ?

2 . Love knowledge and scholars , for knowledge is light , and without scholars , life would be dark !

3 . Be pious ! Do

not approach sins for sinners expose themselves while unaware !

4 . Always smile even if your smile is not real in the beginning !

5 . Love goodness ! Love was and is still the greatest excuse of a good life . Why do we not love what enlivens us ? Are religion and faith not based on the love of good and the purity of heart ?

When you decide to be humble , to love knowledge and scholars , to refrain from unlawful things , to smile at people , and to love goodness , surely you will be happy because you will then know the purpose of your existence .

Do not ignore the prayer with full concentration ! If your heart is not awake while offering the prayer , your prayer will just be a series of meaningless movements . The heart is the greatest airport in your existence , so let the plane of faith land in it safely ! The heart is a way to Allah; if you put other than Allah in it , it will get you nowhere .

You have to reach , with your attentive heart , a state where you feel what you say when you raise your hands and read this supplication , �O my Lord , to You I offer my existence which is from You . �

After these steps , you will reach a degree where you will say in your supplication as Imam Ali (s) has said , �O my Lord , it is

enough honor for me to be Your slave and enough pride for me that You are my Lord . O my Lord , You are as I like , so make me as You like ! �

Dear young man , your existence is not a mistake of any one . It is the gift of Allah , the One and Only . I hope you can , by the assistance of Allah , victoriously and happily resist your melancholy and leave behind your pains and boredom . When you win , please guide the people of melancholy with you because rescuing them is a good and great deed .

Question 24

I have a friend who is psychologically confused and absent-minded . I do not know how I can help him . I suffer a lot for his state . Would you please help me save him ?

The answer : First of all , I want to tell you that I am pleased to see your love for your friend and your concern to save him . You have a quality that Allah loves for the believers to have . I suggest that in order to save your friend , after relying on Allah and asking His assistance , you should do the following :

1 . Be gentle and kind to him that he may trust you !

2 . Try , by means of his relatives , to discover his actual problem !

3 . To make him trust in you , tell him about similar conditions that

you have treated or read about and their treatments !

4 . Explain to him the harms of disobedience and the merits of obedience of Allah the Almighty . Perhaps he is melancholy because of remorse for committing a hidden sin . If it is so , ask him to repent and pray to Allah to forgive him , because one who repents of his sin becomes as pure as at the moment when he was born .

5 . Inspire in him the spirit of hope , aim , and activeness !

6 . Arrange , with your friends , a trip and take him with you and skillfully try to make him participate in group activities and amusements !

Question 25

Most youth suffer from idleness , which is the source of corruption , melancholy , and boredom . What is the way to get out of this impasse ?

The answer :

The case , in its first point , is connected with the economic state of countries and this is not in our hands . As for the remaining points , they are connected with the culture of the youth . In this concern , we say :

1 . Everything can be subjected to man�s will if he only knows how to do that .

2 . The youth have to create opportunities of work by themselves to the extent that the law will permit them . This requires them to be acquainted with the law .

3 . The youth have to reject laziness , extra sleeping , and

living based on their desires .

4 . They have to know the disadvantages of idleness and leisure for they bring man meanness , cause him to become involved in unlawful things , and lead him to failure in life .

5 . A young man should know that life is a responsibility . First , he should be responsible for himself and then for his close relatives .

6 . Man should be humble and not disdain to accept a lawful job with the excuse that it is an ordinary job or it does no befit his position or rank . Many are the people who have become wealthy whereas they were poor at the beginning of their lives; and many are the people who have become presidents and high chiefs whereas their beginnings were simple .

7 . Creativity is a quality of successful people . Let the youth try to create jobs by which they will be prosperous and live well .

8 . Thinking , reading , activeness , joyful spirit , optimism , satisfaction , supplication , and praying are among the main qualities that prepare for opportunities of work and then free time will be occupied and idleness will be treated .

Question 26

What would you suggest to cure my quick anger and emotion , which is called �stress� by psychologists ?

The answer : I am answering you with a full conviction that if you follow the answer , you will get the result; otherwise , you will remain as you are . The cure

is a mixture of moral and practical matters . You should do the following :

1 . Recite the fact of submission to Allah so that your heart feels peaceful with the mention of Allah the Almighty and then you will see the things that provoke you as simple and easy !

2 . Always be (legally) pure !

3 . Do not commit any sin !

4 . Keep away from anything that provokes your nerves !

5 . Always keep your tongue busy with the remembrance of Allah and especially with certain glorifications like �La hawla wala quwwata illa billah al-alliy al-adheem (there is no power save in Allah , the Exalted , the Great)� and �Astaghfirullah (I pray to Allah to forgive me)� .

6 . Drink cold water whenever you are provoked , pour some on your head , and say salawat (peace and blessings be upon Muhammad and his progeny) .

7 . Go to an open place to breathe fresh air and to look as far as you can .

8 . Be totally indifferent to the thing that causes your anger ! Tell yourself that you are more precious than that and so it does not behoove you to exhaust your power and harm yourself !

Question 27

My mother and father disagree with each other over everything , no matter how big or small , and we , the children , become upset whenever their quarrels begin . We are afraid and worried about the future of our family . The question is : what should we

do ?

The answer :

When your parents are at peace , talk to them about the negative effects of quarrel , which may destroy everyone�s future . But when they are quarreling , you have to be tolerant and indifferent towards what happens as long as there are no dangerous events . When you become impatient , go to a different place; for example , to another room or to the yard . When they begin quarreling , try to play a cassette of Qur'anic recitation or decide to exchange jokes amongst each other to stop their quarreling by laughter .

It is necessary for you to know that this state , although it is dangerous for your future if it continues , can be solved if you undertake your responsibility as adult children in the house and as alternatives to the parents who are sunken in the fire of rage and selfishness . Do not worry , you will soon grow and live independently away from them . In order to not be like your parents , you should take lessons from their state , for as Imam Ali (s) has said , �a reasonable one is he who takes lessons from the experiments of others . �

Question 28

The memories of my childhood and the problems of my family that led to the physical abuse and then to the divorce of my father and mother and the misfortunes that followed distress me . I do not know how to forget them . Whenever I remember them

, I become so distressed that I lose my composure and I faint . There is no doubt that these things exhaust man�s strength and abilities , which he needs for success in his future . Would you please tell me how to be rid of this state ?

The answer : One of the most important bases of raising children is the relationship between parents , which is based on love , respect , mutual understanding , and cooperation . It gives children spiritual and mental stability , and this is what you have lost in your childhood . However , this does not mean that you should apply to your life what happened to your parents . Every one has an independent will and his punishment near Allah does not have anything to do with others� punishments . If you agree with me on this belief , which is a fact in our true religion , you should do the following :

1 . Seize any opportunity to build your personality and gain the factors of success in your life !

2 . Consider any success in your life as possible of being repeated and reproduced and do not stop after a certain point or satisfy yourself with what you have achieved !

3 . Know well that man , whatever bitter memories may distress him or press on his nerves , is able to pass over them on condition that he trusts in his mental abilities and relies on his Lord .

4 . Do not allow

negative memories to overcome your heart ! Try to omit them from your memory ! Whenever they attack you , busy yourself with reciting the Holy Qur'an , reciting supplications , reading good books , and remembering your nice memories , or leave your place , perform ablution , and walk and ponder over nature , the sky and its stars , the sea and its wonders , the trees and their fruits , the flowers and their fragrances�

5 . Read books that will help you build a faithful personality and learn the ways that the believers succeeded , and read about the great people in history ! You will find that most of them have undergone in their childhood different family and social sufferings like orphanhood , homelessness , and injustice . Kerbala[28] of Imam Husayn (s) gave us great lessons which were completed by Imam Husayn�s sister , Zaynab , who inspired the spirit of resistance in the orphans and captives until she turned the apparently victorious into the real defeated . On the other hand , successful discoveries and inventions have come after many failed experiments . Then , shake off the dust of your memories and extort from your parents� failure your success !

Question 29

Could you please explain to me the reasons for a young person�s becoming corrupt and failed in life ? My sister and I are close in age . I am thirty years old and she is twenty-eight years old , but in regards to faith , there

is a great difference between us , even though our father and mother (may Allah have mercy on them) were very faithful . Please , tell me how to save my sister from what harms our reputation and family honor !

The answer : Deviation from the right path begins when man feels that he is in not in need of anyone besides himself and when there he has no wise advisor . A young man or a young woman begin to establish relationships that may slowly lead him/her to serious problems because one�s conduct develops via the relationships surrounding him , then his feeling of independence and his desire to be different from others grow , and he begins to prove his personality through resistance and mutiny . Here , parents and relatives should know that regret would be useless !

From the first moment that a youth feels that he is not in need of anyone else , there must be an advisor there to guide him to the right way . But , after he is snatched away from his kind nurturing family by bad persons , reforming him will be very difficult , except in special cases , and will require great efforts .

Social studies confirm that the disregard of parents , whether willingly or unwillingly , towards this fact is the basis of motivating children to go towards corruption . The methods used by parents or guardians in dealing with children (i . e . , whether they grant children full freedom

, treat them dictatorially , or treat them moderately) have the main role in forming the future conducts of children . Unfortunately , parents are negligent of their children in the initial stages of their lives , and then the children face problems when they grow up because they were trained to walk towards corruption and deviation . It is not right to give children full freedom or treat them dictatorially . To be safe from educational obstacles , one should treat his children moderately . This is what we ask those who are responsible for the future of children to do .

Moderation , which is the Islamic method in dealing with everything , means caring for both the material and moral needs together . Providing clothes , food , shelter , and a superior education do not mean achieving moderation as some believers think , but it is also necessary to add moral education , religious teachings , and good manners .

O dear sister who is worried about the honor of her family , the case of your sister , who has become different from the rest of the members of the family , is a result of a previous negligence of those who were in charge of the family when your sister began associating with bad girls and watching films and reading books and magazines that led girls away from veil , abstinence , and faith .

All this is in regards to before the problem occurs , but after it happens , I

advise you to do the following :

1 . Bring her good cassettes , films , and books and ask some good friends to try guiding her !

2 . Do not distress yourself at all because some relatives of the Prophet (s) and of the infallible imams (s) have followed the Satan , but Allah has said to His kind Messenger , (Surely you cannot guide whom you love , but Allah guides whom He pleases) . [29]

3 . Do not cut your relation with her , because this would make her deviate even more !

4 . Let her see in you the example of the Islamic morals ! You should show her your love for her and help her in her affairs so that she may come closer to you and be influenced by your faith and morals !

Question 30

I am a young girl . I want to begin my life safe from obstacles . You know well that the mistakes in marital , family , and social relations are too many . How can we avoid falling into them ?

The answer : There are four factors that lead one to fall into mistakes . The first is a psychological factor . It is when man follows his desire and loves himself , his kin , friends , party , or country in a way that his love does not submit to the Islamic values declared in the Holy Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunna .

The cure , here , is achieved by submitting this psychological

factor to the true wisdom of religion . Submission to the will of Allah and relying on Him in the lawful way of living cause the psychological factor to become defeated .

The second is a material factor that concerns the physical condition of body . It is clear that some mistakes occur due to some pressure caused by a pain that man cannot tolerate and so he does what he would not do if he were sound and healthy . Weather , noise , and fatigue are also among the material factors .

The cure lies in treating the diseases and getting rid of what troubles one�s body and annoys his nerves .

The third is an intellectual factor , which concerns the shallow cultural level or the kind of culture that one receives . One must get his intellects and cultures from honest sources in order to not become involved in mistakes due to ignorance or wrong information .

The fourth is an environmental factor . Bad friends in the street and school or an unreligious family cause one to fall into mistakes .

As long as one is influenced by these factors , he will fall into mistakes and as long as he keeps away from them , he will remain safe .

Dear sister , you should follow the practical steps first by knowing Allah and being sincere to Him without flattering anyone . You should care much for your bodily health , think correctly , and then choose good persons to be your friends .

Question 31


have a friend , who does not dislike religion but he finds it difficult to adhere to during his university study . When I invite him to religion , he says , �I think it is better to spend my youth in studying until I attain a high degree in the medical field . When I graduate , open a clinic , get married , and arrange my material life in all sides , I shall begin thinking of my afterlife and keeping to religion . � I hope that you will guide him and those like him to the right path with what is easy for the youth .

The answer : All of the religious teachings are easy because Allah , Who is aware of what benefits us and what harms us , has said in the Qur'an , (Allah desires ease for you , and He does not desire for you difficulty) . [30]

Dear ambitious brother , the problem has two dimensions :

The first is understanding this easy religion , about which the Prophet (s) often said proudly , �I have been sent with an easy and lenient Sharia� . Many people and many scholars do not know the truth of this religion and the way of following its teachings .

The second dimension is disregarding the true meanings of �easy� and �difficult� , which leads to mixing them up . Some people , for example , think that refraining from unlawful looking (at women) is difficult; therefore , they look because they consider

that to be easier , but they do not know that this looking throws them into lustful imaginations when alone and then they fall into sin in different ways that weaken their concentration in study and work . Then the matter continues to get them to major sins and then problems fall on them one after the other . Their sufferings continue until they meet actual difficulties; whereas if they , from the very beginning , refrain from unlawful looking and do not consider it as a difficulty , they will not become involved in these difficulties , which they thought would be easy .

In this case , knowing religion correctly is the best way to practically distinguish between ease and difficulty . With this knowledge man can avoid difficulty and enjoy ease and then the way will become clear for him to achieve his material aims successfully . This is what religious people who act with reason and ambition experience . They have proven that there is no objection between true religion and modern science . In fact , the true religion complements modern science when it is used in its right place . There are many scientists in medicine , engineering , electronics , etc . who have put their abilities and talents at the service of injustice and corruption and harmed millions of people everywhere . However , if they were religious , they would have put their abilities in the way of justice and goodness , and so the societies would

be safe from them , and people would pray to Allah to have mercy upon them , and besides that they would be happy in the afterlife .

Why does your friend think that it is difficult to adhere to religion and study in the university while he and we see , nowadays , religious young men studying in the European universities ? Then , how about the universities in our own (Islamic) countries ?

I fear for this university student the dangers of his reasoning , so I would like to draw his attention to the tradition narrated from Imam al-Baqir (s) when he said , �This world is a market , in which some people profit and others lose . � Let this brother see from which people he wants to be ! Let him too ponder on this saying of Allah , (And say : Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Messenger and the believers) . [31]

Question 32

I know that contentment is the cause of psychological ease and the way to attain happiness , but the question is : how can I be from the people of satisfaction and contentment ?

The answer : 1 . Thank Allah for every blessing especially for those that others do not have !

2 . Do not yearn for the pleasures that other people have !

3 . When someone criticizes you , accept his criticism and do not stickle or deny it while you know your state well ! I do not mean that

you should acknowledge whatever people tell you even if it is not true , but I mean that you have to accustom yourself to accept criticism from others and not to attack the advisors . The very acceptance of criticism and gratitude to a criticizer is a high moral value . In other words , you have to accustom yourself to accept criticism while indifferent to whether or not it is true because this is a civil feature and a practical invitation to reject violence and dictatorship which are the causes of most of our misfortunes .

4 . Take lessons from your mistakes !

5 . Adapt yourself to every problem you face ! Accommodation is a successful way to get rid of problems or to limit their destructive effects .

6 . Try to be truthful to yourself and kind to others , for a double-faced person is unsuccessful !

7 . Offer your love , kindness , and help to even those who do not offer such things to you !

8 . Always think of what you shall ultimately meet , whether willingly or unwillingly ! I mean death and the afterlife because death divides man into two parts : one part remains in the earth until the Day of Resurrection , and the other part is sent to Heaven until the hour of Punishment .

9 . Know well that the heart is a sacred sanctum; if you visit it at night and asked its Lord for your needs , He orders His angels : �Give

him ! It is I , Who have promised him , and it is I , Who carry out My promise . Have I not said , (And when My servants ask you concerning Me , then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls on Me , so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way) . [32]

10 . Be certain and do not forget that if man possessed the entire earth , he would be greedy to possess the heaven too , but when death comes , he finds himself with neither the earth nor the heaven ! Then , for what is this greediness ?

11 . Always , remember the advantages of contentment and the disadvantages of greed !

12 . To acquire these qualities , read about them in books and associate with those who have these qualities in their conducts !

With these points , I hope that you will arrive at your aim; and do not forget me in your prayers !

Question 33

I suffer from suddenly becoming excited and angry . Please tell me , when I am angry , which way should I follow : should I suppress my anger or should I cast it on the ones who have caused it by shouting at and abusing them ? Can you suggest to me a third alternative ? I do not like the second way , though I follow it , and as for

the first way , I fear that pangs may cause me to have heart failure or an apoplexy , and I do not want to die or become paralyzed . Please , show me the right way !

The answer : Up until twenty years ago , psychologists thought that it was better for man�s physical health for him to cast his anger on others instead of suppressing it and suffering from its destructive psychological and physical effects . But nowadays , this theory has become weak before the evidences of the scientists who believe that worry , psychological turmoil , spite , and internal contradictions between mind and desires cause physical diseases and especially heart failure whether man suppresses his anger or casts it onto others . However , scientists do not deny the fatal effect of the suppression of anger .

But Islam has a third way . It is by following these steps :

1 . Change your position or place when you become angry and excited by sitting if you are standing , standing if you are sitting , or leaving the place for another open place and breathing as deeply as possible while raising and lowering the hands slowly !

2 . Think of the greatness of Allah and His ability to punish criminals and of His patience and forgiveness if they repent and do good !

3 . If you can drive out your anger from yourself through a shout or some tears shed in private , it would be better for you .


. Look forward to the reward of Allah and think of the good end that Allah has promised the patient !

5 . Impartially study the problem that has caused you to become angry , and even if the cause isn�t yours , confess your mistake and turn back to your reason . This will comfort you because sincerity is the way to deliverance !

6 . In your study of your anger and melancholy , ask yourself the following questions and reflect deeply on the answers :

Is the matter so important that it justifies all this suffering ?

Does the problem disappear with anger , anxiety , or pain ?

Is your personality more important or responding to anger and taking revenge ?

Does the one whom you become angry at and abuse have no dignity that he would defend himself by quarreling or does he suppress himself and suffer from pain like yours ? Is this the cure ?

Dear Muslim young man , put these points before you now and walk in your new way; it is a happy way .

Question 34

In my family , I have a nephew who has been psychologically shocked . Most of the time , he is silent and he likes to be alone . He speaks or reacts little in family meetings . His father says that he was not like that before . Please , tell us how we should deal with him and save him !

The answer : Melancholy , silence , introversion , and absent-mindedness are psychological diseases that

begin with real reasons and then grow with illusions and imaginations . They are diseases of the societies that are subject to psychological shocks and material competitions . One who is afflicted may not understand the dangers of such diseases , but others can perceive the dangers in him through signs such as :

1. Feeling continuous fatigue

2. Low productivity if he is a worker or low comprehension if he is a student

3. Insomnia

4. Pains in the stomach , the back , and muscles

5. Pessimism

6. Passing judgments based on assumptions , emotions , and anger

7. Feeling guilty

8. Tending to be alone

9. Being confused and hesitant

10. Keeping silent

As a cure , family members should , if they see these signs , do the following :

1 . They should be aware of the problem of this afflicted one and what he feels so hat he may declare what he suffers . If he does not declare his suffering , they should try , through indirect means , to identify his mental pain .

2 . If he begins to declare his sufferings , they should attend to him by listening to him so that he perceives they are responsive to and care for him .

3 . They should suggest some new works for him to do .

4 . They should take him , after receiving his permission , to a specialist doctor .

5 . They should take him to parks and the like for amusement .

6 . They should try to give him hope and self-confidence by respecting him

, offering him presents , and being friendly with him .

7 . They should engage him in certain things and involve him in some works that he would gradually do willingly .

8 . They should make him associate with a religious scholar who has a luminous spirit and bright morals .

Question 35

I have a religious brother , but he is too fanatic in his religiousness . With his behaviors , he does more wrong to religion than good . I am a victim of his extreme behaviors . I have committed a major sin , but instead of getting good advice from him , he chided , threatened , and insulted me . Therefore , pride carried me off to sin until I committed more sins , though I knew that I was mistaken . Now , where there is no relation between him and me , I feel regretful before Allah the Almighty , but I cannot give up the sins that I have become accustomed to . I want you to guide me to a way that I can save myself before my death comes . I have had enough of all this stubbornness and pride . I also want you to advise those like my brother , who are fanatic under the name of religion , in order to not be a cause for the youth to deviate and turn away from religion . By Allah , our religion is the best of religions if we follow it as it is .


answer : Dear young man , O you with pure nature , allow me , first , to say a word to your brother that has been said by the guardian of religion , the master of the pious , the example of the faithful , Imam Ali (s) . It has The answer : you want and the proper guidance for your brother and his like .

�Those who do not commit sins and have been gifted with safety (from sins) should have pity on sinners and other disobedient people . Gratefulness should be mostly their indulgence and it should prevent them from finding faults with others . So what about the backbiter who blames his brother and finds fault with him ? Does he not remember that Allah has concealed the sins which he committed while they were bigger than his brother's sins pointed out by him ? How can he vilify him about his sins when he himself has committed one like it ? Even if he has not committed a similar sin he must have committed bigger ones . By Allah , even if he did not commit big sins but he committed only small sins , his exposing the sins of people is itself a big sin . O slave of Allah , do not be quick in exposing anyone's sin for he may be forgiven for it , and do not feel yourself safe even for a small sin because you may be punished for it . Therefore , every

one of you who comes to know the faults of others should not expose them in view of what he knows about his own faults , and he should remain busy in thanks that he has been saved from what others have been afflicted with� . [33]

As for you dear brother , your despair of being able to get out of the circle of sins is itself a great sin . First , I want you to cast your despair away and pay attention to the rest of your life , which may be a year , a month , a week , a day , some minutes , or more or less . Allah , the Aware of what there is in the hearts , knows ! In private , be sincere to yourself and think attentively that if you die while disobedient , will Allah accept your excuse for staying sinful ?

You had better come back to your abilities that you have ignored because of your obstinacy to your brother and because of his mistake towards you . Activate these abilities and be active with them ! Offer to those who consider themselves religious whereas religion is free from them a true example of religion and a beautiful picture of a religious man !

In this book and other books of ours and in those of other good scholars , you can find what lights your way . Get up ! Paradise , with its eternal life and pleasures , is waiting for the

pure repentant . If you turn to Allah sincerely with your repentance , you will find Him the best Helper Who will help you get out of the sins , which you think difficult to do .

Dear brother , know well that it is the Satan , who casts in your heart weakness and despair to make you follow him and remain in his camp that marches towards Hell . Do you want to accompany him to the Fire and the severe torment ?

I pray to Allah to protect you and me from the Satan and the Fire . As for your situation with your brother , I ask you to delete the picture in your mind about him . Go and make up with him ! This high morale gets you closer to Allah and suppresses your self to not take you towards evil . Be certain that with this behavior , great blessings from the Heaven will refresh your life , and this is my hope for you .

Question 36

I was one of the Mujahideen who fought in the way of Allah . Defeats and disagreements led me to the life of refugees . My family members were killed in the ill-fated Iraq . I was in a failed marriage that ended with divorce . I have a little daughter who kept crying during our emigration . I have become nervous . I cannot tolerate hearing any loud sound . Whenever I remember the misfortunes I have met with in my life ,

I feel the way to a normal life and comfortable mentality is closed for me . Sometimes I think of suicide , but because of my daughter , I have not committed this unlawful murder . I do not know what to do . I can tolerate neither people nor myself . Where shall I go ? I do not know !

The answer : Dear brother , man�s life is composed of hours; in some of them , he is glad , and in others he is distressed . In the first case , he should thank Allah for the blessings and in the second case , he must be patient and busy himself with supplicating to Allah instead of sinking into worry and melancholy because of disappointment . When man remembers the painful events that have happened to him , he should hasten to delete them from his mind , but he should take lessons from them so that they should not happen again . If it is the will of Allah , man must submit and be satisfied and content with what Allah has determined .

Dear brother , thinking negatively and sinking into the bitter past can destroy your future , which may be free of bitterness . This gloomy thinking exposes your spiritual and mental health to dangers , which , surely , you do not want .

You ask me how to overcome this destructive thinking and save yourself from the floods of negative ideas that keep you away from constructive thinking

for a better future .

I say :

First , think of your hidden abilities and talents , because man is a spring of powers , and at any time , he can decide to get something out of this spring !

Second , do not think that you have reached a closed way and that there is no solution for you except to be buried under the piles of misfortunes , bitter memories , and fatal pangs , because such thinking means despairing of the mercy of Allah . Perhaps , this thinking may be the very cause of your feeling that the way is closed before you .

Third , while alone , sit and remember your successful and good deeds in life ! Ponder on the bright pages of your life , for no one is free from such pages ! If you do not remember anything of that , it is enough for you to remember the blessing of breathing you have now . Thank Allah and rely on Him to use this blessing in gaining a success that may recompense what has gone !

Fourth , diagnose your state and know your position due to your ambition ! Instead of remorse , blaming yourself , and repeating desperate interrogative words like (why , when , how , if�) , diagnose the points of your weakness and determine to change them into points of strength , and instead of blaming others , perform your actual duties , and use your physical and spiritual powers in this

way ! In order to have good deeds , avoid the bad deed of destroying yourself or others !

Fifth , if it is necessary to talk to others about the misfortunes you have faced , find someone who is able to understand your sufferings and gives you a spiritual cure by relieving words . Do this , especially if you feel that not talking about your sufferings brings you another complex !

Sixth , if your problem is something like sin , know well that Allah has opened the door of repentance before sinners and said , (Surely Allah loves those who turn to Him) . [34] Hasten to the shadow of His love , for Allah is sufficient for His servant when he turns to Him !

Seventh , improve your thinking and get new information about what you need in your life , because knowledge is a light that luminates one�s way and takes him to a better condition ! Thus was the Prophet (s) , who was the most aware among all of the creatures in existence . He often supplicated to Allah by saying , �My Lord ! Increase my knowledge� . Continuing a search for knowledge is necessary to help man out of his psychological distresses and bitter memories .

Eighth , forget the bitter past , pardon whoever has done you wrong , expect your reward from Allah tomorrow (on the Day of Resurrection) , and ask Him to forgive you if you are mistaken or unjust while unaware of this !

Pardoning and leniency make your life easy and relieve your heart , so why do you not pardon those with whom you have disagreed ?

The Prophet (s) has said , �Whoever casts spite out of his heart , Allah increases his livelihood . � Livelihood here is more encompassing than material and moral blessings .

Dear brother , it is a big mistake to trouble our lives and cause pain to those around us in our family or workplace because of the sufferings of our past or because of spite towards others .

Come on ! Let us cast hatred , spite , and our failed experiments out of ourselves and live the rest of our lives peacefully and happily !

Dear brother , be merciful to the remaining hours of your age and do not burn them in the fire of your nervousness ! Throw those painful scenes and sad memories away ! You cannot change them , for they have already happened and are out of your control ! However , you can change yourself for what remains of your future because it has not happened yet . Your future is still under your control and the change begins from the present , which is this moment and not a moment later !

Ninth , not all people are bad . Get married again and be more particular in choosing your wife ! Tell her frankly about your past and that you have determined to lead a good and honest life ! Tell her that you are

looking for a helper with whom to spend your life , with love and mercy , and this is also the right of your innocent child !

Tenth , adhere to supplication and pondering over the words of the Ahlul Bayt (s) , for mentioning Allah according to the way of those whom Allah has purified from uncleanness relieves the heart . Then , you will drive the evil whispering of the Satan and your bad thoughts of suicide , which will throw you into the eternal Fire , away from your self . Patience with the problems of this life is much easier than patience with the fire of Hell . The first patience is possible and it leads you to Paradise and the eternal bliss , while the second is bitterer than bitterness and it keeps you in the eternal torment of Fire .

Eleventh , be certain that (Surely with difficulty is ease . Surely with difficulty is ease) . [35] This repetition of the verse emphasize that distresses have ends .

Imam Ali (s) said to Qayss bin Sa�d , who had come to him from Egypt , �O Qayss , distresses have ends that they must get to . A reasonable one must be patient with them until they end , because suffering from them when they come increases them . �[36]

Twelfth , always think of the reward you will get for your patience when you will come to Allah alone ! Will the patient not enter into Paradise without reckoning ?

Question 37


have a friend who is lustful . Once , he asked me how he should suppress his lust lest he should become involved in even more sins . I told him , �I do not know , but I shall bring you an answer that benefits you inshallah . �

O Sheikh , would you please explain to him and those like him what can save them from these dangers ? I myself know that , in general , many young men secretly practice different kinds of unlawful lusts without thinking of their destructive ends .

The answer : The sexual lust is one of the most dangerous lusts in man . This does not mean that Islam wants to suppress or extinguish it . Islam has a moderate method in guiding this lust towards the aim that it has been created for , which is marriage and then reproduction in order to keep the existence of humankind continuous on the earth . Without this great aim , there would be no need for this lust to be created by Allah the Almighty and consequently there would be no continuance of life for man at all . The sexual lust is planted in man for the sake of this noble purpose .

As for your friend , his case may be irregular; therefore , he should :

1 . visit a specialist doctor .

2 . avoid looking at what excites his lust .

3 . always remember the terrible end of unlawfulness and its perishing consequences .

4 . know the

value of himself as a human being and that he is not a beast and should know that panting after lusts degrades him .

5 . prepare himself to get married at the first opportunity and without difficult material conditions and if he cannot , he should practice temporary marriage , but not make it as his basic aim .

6 . practice sports that fit his wish and physical abilities .

7 . starve himself (by fasting , for example) because hunger weakens lust , whereas food nourishes it .

8 . ponder on the following Qur�anic verses and act according to them , (But there came after them an evil generation , who neglected prayers and followed lusts , so they will meet perdition . Save him who shall repent and believe and do right . Those will enter the Garden , and they will not be wronged in aught . Gardens of Eden , which the Beneficent hath promised to His slaves in the unseen . Lo ! His promise is ever sure of fulfillment . They shall not hear therein any vain discourse , but only Peace , and they shall have their sustenance therein morning and evening . This is the Garden which We cause the devout among Our bondmen to inherit) . [37]

Question 38

I frankly say that we , the young men of nowadays , see , hear , and understand the sexual matters that our fathers might have understood when they became thirty years old , and simply somehow . In this

age , everything excites . The means of practicing sex , in most countries , are available even to children . What is the view of Islam concerning satisfying this pressing lust that our fathers do not understand ?

The answer : We understand this feeling with all its details , and there is no shyness in religion . Thank you for your daring question and your search for the view of Islam about this important subject .

The natural inclination between man and woman has deep roots and is connected with the creation of man and woman , because Allah has made it as a bridge for the life of humankind to continue by reproduction on the earth . On the other hand , if this inclination is not satisfied , excited nerves become tired , and this is a continuous torture for both man and woman .

Looking , laughing , flirting , gestures , and soft tones excite and move the fiery sexual lust and cause torture for both the excited and the exciter . Every one understands this fact .

Such excitements make some husbands unsatisfied with their wives , and this leads to divorce and the destruction of families . The same is said about some wives who look at men , who are more handsome than their husbands , for the sake of pleasure and lust .

This is in our societies that are aloof from their Islam , but as for the western societies and their cultures of libertinism , sexual inclination has

had an ardent color for the past century and then has developed into a scientific method through profound researches and studies in the fields of education and psychological medicine .

There is no doubt that politicians and businessmen , who have great capitals in the world , have played their malicious roles in exploiting the sexual lusts to bind peoples and societies and draw them towards their financial benefits .

Islam has its own view towards this natural instinct and its unique method in responding to it . Islam has established teachings and principles to achieve a balanced conduct in satisfying the sexual instinct and to arrive at the best method , which protects man from deviation and problems that can destroy families and their happiness .

Islam does not suppress the sexual lust , but it rectifies it and offers it to be satisfied with the best educational manners to save the entity of family from dissolution and destruction . A good family that follows Islam produces good children , who stand against the corruptions surrounding them in society .

Islam does not neglect the requirements of the sexual instinct , but instead Islam makes it submissive to man instead of subjecting man to the Satan and degrading his dignity and honor to make him as a worthless beast .

O young men , whoever submits to his lusts without limits is not free but is in fact a slave to his lusts . Free people are those who control their lusts that they could satisfy in any way

but they do not do so .

Imam Ali (s) said , �Whoever leaves lusts is free . �

He also said , �The worst enemies of man are his anger and lust . Whoever controls them is exalted and he reaches his aims . �

Since woman , as a whole , is beauty and excitement in her voice and doings , Islam has ordered her not to show her beauty , not to soften her voice , and not to do exciting gestures except for her husband .

We read in the Qur'an that Allah the Almighty has forbidden the Prophet�s wives from talking to foreigners with exciting tones that might move their lusts and then those with diseased hearts might covet them .

(O wives of the Prophet ! you are not like any other of the women; If you will be on your guard , then be not soft in (your) speech , lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; but speak a good word) . [38]

Softening in speech , exciting gestures , joking , and jesting or any thing that is lawful only between a wife and her husband or a woman and her mahram , are not lawful to take place between a woman and a foreign man[39] in order to not be as the beginning towards something else .

The Qur'an also teaches us the manners of family and social relations between men and women in this way , (And when you ask of them (the wives of the Prophet) anything ,

ask it of them from behind a curtain . That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts) . [40]

These are the Islamic facts that the Muslims must pay attention to , but the reality that the society lives in is something else; and the question of the youth shows they are looking for an Islamic resolution according to the actual reality of the society .

Here , we advise of the following :

1 . Early marriage; and if it is not possible due to a reasonable excuse , a young man should be patient and should fast , but if the lust overcomes him and he fears committing sin , he should practice temporary marriage until Allah makes him able to marry in eternal marriage .

2 . Fathers and mothers have to understand these facts and comprehend the sexual needs of the youth in the lawful way; otherwise , parents unknowingly throw their children into corruption , and hence they will be punished on the Day of Resurrection with two punishments; one for prohibiting a lawful thing and the other for causing the youth to become involved in sin .

Question 39

What is the situation of Islam towards masturbation ? Some youths say that doctors think it has no harm .

The answer : Not all of what doctors say is true . There are other doctors that say the opposite . What is important to us is what our Wise Creator says . He is more aware of His creatures . Islam , which is

the speech of Allah , is clear in its verdicts . The Prophet (s) and his progeny have prohibited it .

Masturbation is a filthy doing . Some traditions have called it as �adultery with oneself� . It does not fit the dignity of a respectable man . The clearest evidence on its ugliness is that the doer feels disgust with himself after finishing this act .

Islam does not prohibit a thing unless it has a great harm . In this concern , masturbation weakens the sexual ability at the time when it is needed in marriage . This weakness appears in the sudden ejaculation or that the penis does not stand erect during making love , and this mortifies sexual pleasure and kills marital happiness , which , consequently excites the nerves of the wife and the husband and then their lives enter into the tunnel of problems and troubles .

Doctors think that one of the causes for itching in the genitals and the area around them is masturbation . This makes one who practices masturbation rub his genitals even before others . Among the harms of this bad habit are leanness , headache , sudden exhaustion , and fatigue .

These harms cause a dangerous psychological state that leads one to worry , melancholy , loneliness , and complexes , which are the factors of final failure .

Incidentally , I remember that in 1984 in India , Bombay , a young man from the Arab Gulf countries committed suicide by throwing himself from the window

of a hotel , and the reason , as it was said , was that he became angry at his sexual failure (and that his sword could not stretch in his bitter sexual fighting) with an Indian prostitute . He took a knife , cut his genitals , and threw himself into Hell and the evil destination !

I do not think that colonialists , the producers of sex films , and the doctors , who are bound by these circles , want something for the youth besides this failure and collapse !

Dear young man , do you understand now why Islam has prohibited this bad habit ?

The Prophet (s) has said , �He who makes love with his hand is cursed . �[41]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said , �There are three persons , whom Allah will not talk to , look at , or purify and who will get painful torment on the Day of Resurrection; one who plucks out his white hairs (shaves his beard) , one who makes love with himself (practices masturbation) , and one who is sodomized on . �[42]

We must mention here that the prohibition of masturbation does not concern males only , but females also are not permitted to practice it .

How great the situation of Imam Ali (s) was towards someone who had been accused of practicing masturbation ! Imam Ali (s) would beat him on his hand until it turned red and them he would make him marry by giving him money from the treasury . [43]


brother , I feel that you wish you were in an Islamic state which was ruled by someone like Imam Ali (s) who would marry you from the revenue of the treasury that was specified for the welfare of the Muslims !

I say : take me with you in your wishes ! Ali and his Islamic state remain as two orphaned examples on the page of history !

Question 40

I am a young man . I want to get married according to the Sunna of Allah and His messenger (s) . I do not want to be involved in the unlawful relations that are customary in our society , which follows the corrupt cultures of the West in all fields . However , the obstacles before me are many : my family , who says that I am still young and that I have to complete my university studies and find a job before all , besides the expensive dowries and high costs of weddings that young men like me cannot bear .

The difficulties for a lawful marriage cause many youths to become involved in sin , which is easier and hidden from the eyes of parents , who are the main cause for the sins by placing obstacles before lawfulness and opening the door of unlawfulness .

I , who cannot lawfully get married to the girl I want , can commit sin with her if I want , but I fear Allah . Do others fear Allah too ?

This problem , as you know ,

causes psychological complexes , makes the youth absent-minded in their studies , and unable to comprehend knowledge because of their being busy thinking of lusts and being away from religion and obligations , and consequently they fall into family troubles , moral scandals and� Then , what is the solution ?

The answer : Dear faithful brother , what you suffer is a part of the tragedy that has afflicted our society in all fields . Concerning the matter of marriage and the indifference of parents towards it , the tragedy is something disgraceful .

The solution is not something easy because the war is general against all the umma . Globalization with its technical tools via the internet and satellites has entered into the closed rooms and most parents do not know what these tools do to their sons and daughters; in fact they cannot believe or imagine the dangers !

Our misfortune is not one . Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea because of the evil that people have done . Great corruption has become evident due to refraining from getting married to good and faithful persons as Islam wishes .

I do not want to offer theoretical solutions to you or others like you . The reality is painful and just words are unsatisfactory . There are some solutions in both frames of protection and cure .

As for protection , first , try to overlook sexual incitements such as unveiled girls in the streets , films , magazines , and books concerning stories

of love and lusts ! And second , practice fasting for the sake of Allah and busy yourself with studying , reading , practicing sports , and planning for your future !

As for cure , if you cannot bear it , you are to practice temporary marriage according to the legal limits that have been explained by the religious authorities in their books of jurisprudence , besides the moral limits that the pure nature imposes on the faithful youth like you .

Let young men and young women be certain that Islam has not left its followers to fend for themselves in times of crisis . Islam has given us successful solutions for both protection and cure , always and forever . Islam has wisdom in every verdict , and it does not say anything in vain . Far be it from Allah , the Aware , the Wise to reveal a religion without wisdom and then order people to follow it so they will all be in Hell ! Allah is more Exalted than vanity and injustice .

Question 41

What is the viewpoint of Islam about the love between a young man and a young woman before the legal agreement of marriage , where they exchange their feelings via the telephone and letters or by going together to the park for example � of course without any touching with the hand or body ? Some (religious) people say that this is lawful as long as it is as the initial step towards marriage . What do

you think about the matter ?

The answer : In the steps that precede marriage , it is sufficient to obtain information from relatives first , and then , as a second step , have a public meeting with family and without gestures or words that may excite lust . There is no objection if a young man looks at a young woman without her veil when there is a serious intention of marriage . But , if a young man intends to be deceitful just to get pleasure , the company and the meeting will be unlawful . It has been noticed in the cases of love between the youth in our present age that they are of the second kind , in which love relation continues until it reaches touching of the hands and body , because after the premises mentioned in the questions , lust overcomes both the young man and the young woman until they sleep together to satisfy their furious lust . Then , the young man goes to look for another victim and so on . As experience has proven , girls who are deceived by the words of love become the losers at the end .

The Islamic Sharia has prohibited these premises because it knows the consequences , which we witness in real life . Also Islam prohibits these things in order to protect the dignity of young women and to close the door before the youth who try to take advantage of the honor of young women and

then leave them to look for a second victim to deceive and then a third , and so on� !

I do not think that Islam agrees with the present day love relations at all . Religious men and women have to be absolutely careful , for a reasonable person is one who takes lessons from the experiences of others .

Question 42

I am a young man at the beginning of adulthood . I suffer from a fierce pressure of lust . As you know , Islam encourages early marriage lest the youth commit sins and disobediences in this critical age , but I do not know how I should venture into my future and from what point I should begin . Please , explain to me what I should understand in this age , and I have determined to get married Inshallah .

The answer : Dear brother , there are some things I would like to advise you of :

1 . You should know that you are about to establish a joint life that has new concepts and manners . It is mixed with sweetness and bitterness , but its sweetness prevails if you choose the partner of your life according to reasonable steps , and its bitterness prevails if you choose due to the passion of lust and sentimental motives . Therefore , Islam teaches us , �If you want to get married , ask Allah for proper guidance and determination , and then offer two-rak�as prayer , and raise your hands and say ,

�O Allah , I want to get married . Prepare for me from the women the best of them in shape and morals , the most chaste , the best in keeping my honor and wealth , the most beautiful , and the most productive . �[44] Thus , you encompass your desires and your religious values and spiritual honesty .

2 . Know well that a new life , which is connected with your fate , is worth reading about before falling into its problems .

It is necessary for those who want to get married to read one book , at least , about the matters they will face at the time of marriage because after marriage , time is spent on sentimental relations , and then the joint life would be based on ignorance of the basis of happiness; therefore problems after problems will take place that may destroy the real pleasure of marriage which is happiness , calmness , love , and joy .

3 . Try not to be rash in getting married ! Make all preparations and secure your material ability as much as possible for the traditional requirements , but within the limits of reason ! Beware of wasting or thinking of play and amusement in the wedding , because a marriage that begins with unlawful things will not have a good end because Allah will not bless it , and the Satan does not have any blessings to give !

Question 43

I am from a poor family; therefore , I cannot

think of marriage at any time in the near future . What shall I do with my pressing lust ? I am religious , and I do not want to become polluted with the sins that invite me towards them everyday . Please , give me a scientific solution , for theories neither nourish nor do they release one from hunger !

The answer : The Prophet (s) has said , �O youth , whoever of you is able to get married , let him get married , for it is better to protect his eyes from unlawful looking and his genitals from sins; and whoever is unable , let him fast , because fasting is as a protection to him (stops his lust) . �[45]

Based on this Prophetic tradition , I say , dear brother , there is no way before you except to either get married or to fast . There are two kinds of marriage . One is permanent marriage , which is required firstly and lastly . I advise you to this kind of marriage in spite of your financial difficulties . Look for a young woman who accepts your weak financial condition and tell her : Allah has promised to enrich us with His favor after marriage . Let us believe in Him and His promise and rely on Him . He has said in His Book , (And marry those among you who are single and those who are virtuous among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they

are needy , Allah will enrich them out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving , Knowing) . [46]

Once , a young man from the Prophet�s companions came to the Prophet (s) and said to him , �My mother and I have had nothing at all for lunch today . � He expected that the Prophet (s) would give him something , but the Prophet (s) said to him ,

�Get married ! �

The young man thought that the Prophet (s) did not hear him properly , so he said again , �O messenger of Allah , I have had nothing even for lunch today . How can I get married ? �

The Prophet (s) said again , �Get married ! �

The young man repeated his saying and the Prophet (s) said to him , �Get married ! �

The young man was astonished that the Prophet (s) did not give him anything , though the generous Prophet (s) would give his clothes and food even to his enemies .

The young man went back to his mother and told her what the Prophet (s) had said .

The mother said , �Surely , the Prophet (s) sees a wisdom in that . � She asked for her son�s permission to ask for their neighbor�s hand . He agreed and the girl came to her husband�s house so simply and with no cost that the wedding was on the same day .

The young man thought to himself that he could not leave his wife with no means of livelihood

. Therefore , he went out of the town to collect some firewood . He sold the firewood for two dirhams . He bought some food with one dirham and saved the other to buy an axe . When he had collected four dirhams , he could afford to buy an axe to cut firewood with , in order to not hurt his hands with thorns .

After some days , he could afford to buy a camel to carry the firewood on to the market . Every morning , he went to the desert to collect firewood with his axe and then carried it on his camel to the market to sell it . On the fortieth day of his marriage , the Prophet (s) saw him in Medina leading his camel . The Prophet (s) asked him about the camel . The young man told the Prophet (s) his story . The Prophet (s) said to him , �Did I not tell you to get married ? � Later on , this young man became one of the wealthiest people of Medina . [47]

Dear brother , do not fear poverty , because fearing poverty will keep you in it ! Rely on Allah sincerely and try your best to find how the promise of Allah will shine in your joint life with your wife !

However , if you cannot get married and your lust is furious as you say , you can extinguish it through fasting and worshipping . If this cannot extinguish your

lust , you have to practice the last solution : temporary marriage , which Allah has made lawful but some ignorant people have prohibited and therefore , they have involved themselves and their followers in adultery and psychological complexes that result from suppressing this instinct .

Temporary marriage , if you obtain the acceptance of the other side (a divorced woman or a widow) , is a preferable solution in certain cases . Do not trouble yourself since Allah has permitted this thing ! The wording of the agreement of this type of marriage , after agreeing with the other side on the dowry and the period of marriage , is that she should say first (I marry myself to you on the specified dowry and for the specified period) and then you reply by saying (I agree) . Then , you both have to adhere to the legal conditions of this marriage . The most important condition is that she must , after the period of your temporary marriage ends , undergo the idda[48] and then divorce between you takes place automatically . You can remarry again if you want but with agreeing on another period and dowry . The idda of temporary marriage is the passing of two menstruation cycles if the woman intends to get married with another man , but with the same man , there is no need for the idda . I advise you not to let a child be formed , because it will be your legal child and

then you must undertake its rights as your and her child , and hence , this requires you , due to morals , to get married in a permanent marriage and live happily .

Question 44

I am a young woman at the university and I observe the veil . I notice certain things in my classmates that are closer to unlawfulness than to lawfulness . Some of them justify their relations with young men in the university as they will be their future husbands . It is clear that they deceive themselves with this speech . Many of them are in love with some youths and then after some time they decide to be in love with others according to their youthful fancies . Frankly , I say that the Satan whispers to me in these environments and he is about to defeat me . I do not know how to match my religion with the pressing physical needs in such an exciting environment ! Would you please suggest a solution for me ? It is worth mentioning that there are many other girls like myself but they are too shy to express themselves .

The answer : I will begin answering from the end of your question and say : dear sister , shyness is the strongest fort that protects chastity . A girl is precious due to her chastity , gravity , shyness , and veil . If these noble qualities are lost , the value of a girl is lost and she becomes a

worthless thing even in the eyes of deceitful men . Who can accept that the partner of his life should be a girl whom the hands of other men have touched or whose charms their suspicious eyes have seen ?

This thought is stronger in faithful men who have jealousy and dignity . Allah has honored woman , given her a high position , protected her with veil , and planted in her shyness to resist those who consider her as a cheap good . The corruption , which has spread everywhere and which has been planned by Zionism and its followers , has deprived girls of their shyness and made them the main source of deviation , family problems , and spouse troubles .

Woman has been preferred to man with ninety-nine portions of pleasure but Allah has granted shyness to her , as it has been mentioned in a tradition narrated from Imam as-Sadiq (s) . The media and the satellite TV stations , which resist the religion of Allah and fight moral values , have deprived woman of her shyness and then she has become excited , destroying the tranquility of families and bringing them numerous problems . Is it right for Muslim girls to cause this torment and destruction for the lives of young men and the lives of married men and married women ?

When a university girl , from whom it is supposed that her scientific level will prevent her from doing wrong , puts off her veil and uncovers her charms

, she does wrong against herself , people , and families . When she excites men�s lusts and attracts their hearts towards her , they cannot get her or they feel shy to approach her and tell the truth; therefore , their wishes and desires accumulate inside themselves , and later on their relations with their wives and children become strangled and then disagreements and quarrels take place that may end in divorce and the loss of children as often happens .

Let this unveiled girl , who does such wrongs to families , not forget that one day when she gets married to live tranquilly with her husband and children , another girl will come to influence her husband�s reason and emotions and will bring her life storms of problems . It has been mentioned in traditions , �As you condemn (others) you are condemned (by others) . � And this is what the imperialists want when they spread debauchery , shameful fashions , nightclubs , ballrooms , and immoral songs .

Let these girls also not forget that they do wrong towards knowledge when they excite lust in the university and school by busying the youths� senses and their own senses and direct the attentions towards unlawful things , and then minds and hearts will have no inclination towards knowledge and its deep matters . Therefore , most university graduates are without good abilities .

Unveiledness , displaying of charms , and distracting hearts with immoralities � whether by young men or young women � are

considered to be a great crime against man , family , society , religion , knowledge , and progress .

What do you think the punishment of this great crime will be on the Day of Resurrection ?

The Prophet (s) of this umma , which has become detached from its religion , answers this question with his tears . Let every girl and woman who belongs to this religion ponder over the following tradition .

Imam Ali (s) has said , �Once , Fatima and I went to the messenger of Allah (s) and found him crying bitterly . I asked , �O messenger of Allah , may my father and mother be sacrificed for you ! What makes you cry ? �

He said , �O Ali , on the night (of ascension) when I was ascended to the Heaven , I saw some women from my community in great torment . I denied their affair . I cried when I saw the severe torment they suffered . I saw a woman hanging by her hair while her brain was boiling . I saw another one hanging by her tongue while boiling fluid was poured onto her back . I saw another woman hanging by her breasts and another one eating her own flesh while the fire was lit under her . I saw another one with her legs and hands tied together while snakes and scorpions were set against her . I saw a blind , deaf , and dumb woman in a coffin of fire

while her brain came out of her nose and her body was cut because of leprosy . I saw a woman hung by her legs in an oven of fire . I saw a woman who was cutting her flesh from behind and in front of her with scissors of fire . I saw a woman with her face and hands being burned while she was eating her intestines . I saw a woman with a head of a pig and a body of a donkey suffering a million kinds of torments . I saw a woman who was like a dog while fire entered into her back and came out of her mouth while the angels beat her head and body with bats of fire . �

Fatima (s) said , �O dear father , would you please tell me what those women have done so that Allah has placed them in such torments ? �

The Prophet (s) said , �Dear daughter , as for the one who was hanging by her hair , she did not cover her hair before men (in the worldly life) . The one who was hanging by her tongue hurt her husband . The one who was hanging by her breasts refrained from sleeping with her husband . The one who was hanging by her legs went out of her house without her husband�s permission . The one who ate her own flesh adorned herself for men other than her husband . The one whose hands and legs were

tied together and snakes and scorpions were set against her was dirty (in the worldly life) with filthy clothes and she did not make ablution after janabah[49] and menstruation , did not cleanse herself , and paid no attention to her prayers . The one who was blind , deaf , and dumb gave birth to children out of adultery and ascribed them to her husband . The one who cut her flesh with scissors of fire offered herself to men . The one whose face and body were burned while eating her intestines was a pimp . The one whose head resembled that of a pig and her body resembled that of a donkey was a talebearer and liar . The one who was like a dog and fire entered from her back and came out of her mouth was a singer , weeper , and envier . �

Then Imam Ali (s) said commenting on the Prophet�s speech , �Woe unto a woman who makes her husband angry and blessed is she who makes her husband pleased with her . �[50]

Following the Islamic rulings and good morals , reviving one�s conscience , and thinking of death and the punishment on the Day of Resurrection are motivations to keep women , men , families , and societies safe from many dangers and corruptions .

Dear sister , what you see at the university , in material societies , in bad films , in the street , at the shores , or in any other place is

to test your will and your faith in your religion . The value of a man becomes higher when being tried by difficulties in these areas . So you should be patient , stick to your studies , and continue on the way to success so that you will taste the sweetness of patience and straightforwardness throughout your life for Allah will not waste the reward of the patient .

This is what you notice in this tradition reported from Imam as-Sadiq (s) , though it addresses males but it concerns women too . Imam as-Sadiq (s) says , �Whoever looks at a woman and raises his sight towards the sky or closes his eyes , his sight will not come back to him until Allah will marry him to houris . �[51]

The tradition can be read in this way �whoever looks at a young man and raises her sight towards the sky or closes her eyes her sight will not come back to her until Allah will marry her to immortal youths (who remain young) . �

Of course , this will be in Paradise , which one sets out towards from the first night in the grave , but the results of that before death are comfort and peace of the heart that bring good and respect in this life whenever you remember your purity and strong will .

If we suppose that there is a faithful young woman who cannot put a moral veil between her and the young men around her , and she

wants , in order to keep some things more important , to have an honest relationship with a faithful young man who can be her husband in the future , then she can agree with him to a temporary marriage agreement where they both can recite its specific formula and then they would be better satisfied with talking with each other , without being alone or sleeping together . In other words , lawful relations should be bound by a legal agreement within their pressing needs and without going farther than that , for a virgin girl may open her eyes to find that she has lost the most precious thing she has and then she will live with black memories , sadly and melancholy !

Because this possibility may also happen to a virgin girl in a temporary marriage , most of our jurisprudents have prohibited it strongly . Therefore , I do not advise you to do a temporary marriage unless you fear falling into sin , in which case some of our jurisprudents have permitted it .

Question 45

Our neighbor has a fifteen-year old daughter . She used to send me love songs and invited me to friendship and even to�

Whenever I turned away from her , she would increase seducing me in irresistible ways . At last , what was bound to happen happened and continued until �marriage� took place without a legal agreement of marriage . Now , she is regretful and so am I . Definitely , our families will not

agree on our marriage if we tell them the truth because they will say that our ages do not fit the responsibility of marriage . I do not know where our secret relationship will lead us or what we will become ! Please , judge our case and we will be grateful !

The answer : Since the beginning , you have stepped into the way of the Satan . The first thing that you must do is pray to Allah to forgive you your great sins , which will affect your life if you do not hasten to repent sincerely and suffer real regret . Nevertheless , your memories will still keep the ugly pictures of your sin to sting your consciences from time to time . This is first .

Second , you have to establish an agreement of temporary marriage secretly and decrease your meetings except at the time of need .

Third , you should prepare for the procedures of continuous marriage gradually and in a wise way that will not bring you troubles from your families .

Fourth , you should always think of this bad experiment and the outcome of sin and know that it obliterates moral happiness and mental tranquility . Others have to take a lesson from this vice .

Fifth , pray to Allah to forgive you whenever you remember your sin and ask Him to protect your offspring from the same sin and its like !

Question 46

In Islam , early marriage is preferred , but life nowadays does not assure

the opportunity of early marriage . The marital life does not begin except after finishing university study , getting a job , and then saving enough money . This means that one becomes more than thirty years old . And this also means that the youth suffer from sexual lust and the wish to satisfy this lust for more than fifteen years . Some of the youth practice this lust during these years and then get married after practical experiments , and others remain patient while the effects of suppression and deprivation appear on them . I do not know how to accord the opinion of Islam , which is the right opinion without any doubt , with the reality and its requirements and obstacles !

The answer : Dear brother or dear sister , your question shows the depth of the plot that the imperialists have planned against our Islamic community through imposing a system of living that is quite far from our religion and culture .

Our religion has become deserted and the culture of corrupters has controlled the behaviors of most Muslims . The Prophet (s) has said , �O people , Gabriel has revealed to me from the Kind , the Wise that virgins are like fruits on trees . If the fruits ripen but are not picked , they will be damaged by the sun and become scattered by the wind . So are virgins . If they become adults , there will be no treatment for them except to get married;

otherwise , they will not be safe from corruption because they are human�[52] . Then , are the youth safe from the waves of corruption ?

In spite of that , it is possible to achieve early marriage to avoid slipping into corruption . This is done after the satisfaction of both sides , the young man and the young woman , away from competing over unnecessary things and ceremonies that are full of excess and pride .

The Prophet (s) has said , �Whenever a young man gets married at early age , the Satan vociferates , �Woe unto him ! Woe unto him ! He has preserved two thirds of his religion from me ! � Let one fear Allah in the remaining third ! �[53]

Responsibility lies with the clergy , writers , teachers , and instructors to guide society (fathers and mothers) to the Islamic values in facilitating and hastening marriage after explaining the principles of life and the marital responsibilities to the youth .

The matter should be explained with all its dangerous dimensions , especially the destructive effects on individuals , health , family , society , and religion when young men and young women are prevented from early marriage . What is known by all about the secret corruption of most teenagers of nowadays is just a small part of those destructive effects .

Let all efforts be directed towards opening a lawful way in order to prevent secret , unlawful relations . Islam has shown the lawful way by facilitating marriage and

making young spouses understand their joint responsibilities . If we suppose that permanent marriage is not possible and the choice remains between unlawful relations behind curtains , or suppressing the sexual lust and causing physical and psychological diseases , or secret relations authorized by an agreement of temporary marriage , definitely the last choice is preferred . With this kind of relation , the two young spouses can continue their individual lives until they graduate , get jobs , and prepare themselves for the requirements of permanent marriage . However , if someone can clear his way with fasting and worshipping without practicing temporary marriage , it will be better .

I hope that we all can understand these Islamic solutions and dare with them to get out of our crises and change the ways of the Western life , which are foreign to Muslims .

Question 47

I have a handsome friend who is twenty-two years old . He has had love relations with more than thirty girls since he became an adult , as he claims . Of course , they do not know that . He exchanges love affairs with each of them and promises to marry them in the future . He might even practice something unlawful with them; I am not sure , but I would not put that past him . He tells me that he , via the telephone , makes friends with them , deceives them , and then laughs at their naiveties . When he satisfies his desires ,

he fabricates an excuse to move on to his new quarry ! He describes girls as an amusement and they are like toys in his hand .

I have advised him to give up these prohibited acts , but he often invites me to join his deceitful table saying : we have to enjoy our lives ! !

Sometimes , he lifts the telephone and lets me hear the voice of a girl who has been deceived by his words of love . When I see this , I become so angry at the naivety of our girls . I myself know some of them who are from noble and honorable families , but I fear that troubles may happen if I tell their families about this .

O Sheikh , please tell me how to deal with this friend so that Allah may be pleased with me and that my conscience may be at ease , and also tell how to protect the honor of our girls from such beastly human beings !

The answer : Dear faithful brother , may Allah bless your protectiveness ! As for your friend , though he really is not a friend , you should ask him : how would you like to see a young man do with your sisters or nieces the same thing that you do with the daughters of other people ? In the future , when you get married and have daughters , and when your daughters grow up and become teenagers , how would you feel

if you saw a young man doing with your daughters as you do with the girls of your society today ?

Continue guiding him with the aid of clergymen and religious people , and do not let him play with the honors of people and Muslim girls ! Be certain that the girls will thank you , even later on , and thank whoever tries to protect their reputations .

As for those girls whom you know , send them unsigned letters in which you advise them due to religion and protectiveness . Tell them that they are being deceived by one who deceives other girls at the same time .

I have a word to say to the oblivious fathers and mothers of these girls : awake from torpor and loss ! Where are your conscience and jealousy ? Where are your honor and magnanimity ? Where are your dignity and morality ? Why have you sunk into the pleasures of this world to the degree of vice and scandal ? Do you not see death , the grave , and torment ? Are there no graveyards in your town to visit and from which to take lessons from the people in the graves and ponder on their states under the ground ?

Alas for the loss of good morals !

O our Lord , we seek Your protection from misleading fancies and from following the mirage of the Satan . O Allah , awake us from the torpor of ignorance and take us peacefully to the eternal abode

near You !

Question 48

I want to get married , but I want you to advise me . How should I move to a life that I have not known before ?

The answer : Dear young man , marriage is a great and important decision in one�s life . When a reasonable man decides to take such an important decision , he has to think deeply and wisely .

Dear brother , first , you have to prepare for all the requirements of marriage , and then do not act , when choosing the partner of your life , as if you are buying something from a store . This is also said to a young woman when choosing the partner of her life . You have to be very precise in choosing the qualities of your future wife in order to be happy and successful and to win the good end .

It is mentioned that one day a young man , whose name was Ibrahim al-Karkhi , asked Imam as-Sadiq (s) a question like yours . Imam as-Sadiq (s) said to him , �See where you will put yourself , who you will make a partner in your wealth , and to whom you will reveal your religion and secrets��[54]

In another tradition , Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said , �Woman is like a necklace . See what necklace you put on ! �[55]

Then , advance to take the other steps and beware of aiming at just beauty or wealth , because these two things may disappear

by accidents , which will not tell you before they take place . If you do not concentrate your choice on faith and morals , you will face a dark fate .

Do not misunderstand me and think that Islam does not pay attention to beauty and wealth , but Islam warns of making them the priority when choosing one�s wife (or husband) . The Prophet (s) has said , �From the happiness of a Muslim man is�a beautiful woman who is religious . �[56] He has also said , �A Muslim man does not profit from anything , after Islam , better than a Muslim woman , who pleases him when he looks at her , obeys him when he orders her , and is devoted to him in keeping her honor and his wealth when he is absent . �[57]

Outward beauty may give pleasure , but religious and moral beauty gives more pleasure . Therefore , it is mentioned that one day a man asked Imam Hasan (s) , �To whom should I marry my daughter ? � Imam Hasan (s) said to him , �Marry her to a pious man , because if he loves her , he will honor her , and if he hates her , he will not do wrong towards her . �[58]

The beauty of morals and piety defeats the crises that throw marital life into melancholy . O dear young man who are about to get married , you have to read about these principles and values and

then rely on Allah . We would like to say to you and to your wife : congratulations on your marriage !

Question 49

I am a young man in the university from a wealthy family . I have all the means of luxury , and , of course , most of them are unlawful . In my fight between reason and lust , I do not know how to make reason defeat lust . Would you please guide me to the right way ?

The answer : First , strengthen your determination with sincere repentance to Allah , and then watch yourself according to the following method , which I have quoted from what Allama at-Tabataba�iy , the author of Tafsir al-Mizan , had written to a young man like you :

�First , in the morning , when you wake up , determine not to do anything that does not please Allah ! Think well before deciding to do anything whether or not it benefits you in this life and afterlife ! If it pleases Allah , do it; otherwise , leave it , regardless of whether or not you like it .

Second , do so until you go to bed at night , and then think of all you have done in the day , one by one . Thank Allah for your good deeds and pray to Him to forgive your bad deeds !

Third , continue doing this for several days . You may feel tired at the beginning , but then , it will

gradually become easier for you and you will enjoy it morally and spiritually . Of course , the body follows the soul in comfort .

Fourth , before sleeping , perform wudu� and recite the following suras : al-Hadeed (57) , al-Hashr (59) , as-Saff (61) , al-Jum�ah (62) and al-Taghabun (64) . If you cannot , you should recite al-Hashr only . With this action , you shall find that the pleasure of lawful things is sweeter than the pleasure of unlawful things . Then , you will laugh at those who pant after unlawful pleasures , and feel sorry for them and the mirage they walk in towards Hell . �

In the following tradition , Imam Ali (s) mentions the qualities of the faithful and pious people , who follow sound reason and walk in the right path . Imam Ali (s) says ,

�A faithful one is truthful in the worldly life , with an insightful heart . He keeps to the (moral) limits . He is a vessel of knowledge , with perfect thinking . He is generous , good-hearted , patient , and openhanded . He spends liberally . He is charitable , honey-tongued , and smiling . He ponders much , sleeps little , and laughs little . He is with good manners , free from greediness , and away from fancy . He is ascetic in this life . He looks forward to the afterlife . He likes guests . He is merciful to the orphans . He is kind

to the young . He has regard for the old . He helps the needy , visits the sick , and escorts the dead . He respects the holiness of the Qur'an , prays to the Lord , cries for sins , enjoins right , forbids wrong , eats little , drinks little , moves with politeness , speaks with advice , and preaches kindly . He does not fear any except Allah and expects no one save Him . He is busy in thanking and praising Allah . He is neither negligent nor is he proud . He is not proud of the properties of the worldly life . He is busy thinking of his own defects away from the defects of others . Prayer is the delight of his eyes . Fasting is his job and occupation . Truthfulness is his habit . Gratefulness is his ship . Reason is his captain . Piety is his food . The worldly life is his prison . Patience is his home . The night and day are his capital . Paradise is his abode . The Qur'an is his speech . Muhammad is his intercessor and Allah the Almighty is his entertainer . �[59]

Question 50

I am a young man . I want to get married , but I fear that I may fall into the same predicament my brother fell in . In the beginning , his wife had good morals , but later on , her morals became bad . Many problems occurred between

them until they became a bad example in the family . I do not know how to convince myself and pass over my difficult psychological state to get married and live happily !

The answer : Dear brother , with the scenes you have seen , your worry is very natural . However , you should be certain that problems are not always repeated because each person has his own independent personality if he has a will . Your will is stronger in the stage of youth , and you can take lessons from your brother�s experience . Instead of being desperate about this experiment , you can read about the successful experiments of millions of people who have gotten married and lived happily . In order to attain this happiness , you should read books about the happy marital life to learn the qualities of a good wife who can help you lead a happy life . Do not place in your mind an imaginary picture of an infallible girl who has no defect , because first , you yourself are not so , and second , there is no such a girl in this world at all . Yes , such a girl is in Paradise and her name is �Houri� .

When you determine to get married inshallah , please make note of the following points :

1 . Man acquires most of his habits from the environment he lives in . Therefore , we have to excuse others as we would like others to

excuse us .

2 . Some disagreements that result from the differences in knowledge , beauty , health , and lineage do not harm marital happiness . This is like the differences between day and night or between the four seasons for example . One complements the other so that life continues with ultimate wisdom . Spouses , who want their life to continue happily , have to think in this way about their differences that are beyond their wills .

3 . As for acquired habits that harm the marital relation , spouses have to try their best to get rid of them and to not be indifferent towards them .

Question 51

I have a friend who is good in all aspects . He is kind and our relationship is very good , but he has a bad quality that makes me turn away from him while I do not want that . I cannot speak out frankly to him about this bad deed which he often commits . I am confused as to how to tell him about it . This bad quality is called by the Holy Qur'an as treason of the eyes .

Yes ! My friend knows well that looking at foreign women (not mahram) is unlawful , and when it is repeated , it changes into an arrow in his eye , heart , and soul . However , he looks at women stealthily and from the corners of his eyes . He casts his eyes and then looks again . What is

bitterer than that is that when he visits me (at home) or when I go out with him to visit our friends (in their houses) , he does not cast his eyes down towards the ground in the manner of faithful people , but he raises his head and looks here and there without caring that maybe the door of a room is open or that it might have mistakenly been opened by a child , and then his eyes come across women and honors . How often this thing has happened ! He looked (at women) , lowered his head and then he looked again (from under his eyes) . He did not refrain from doing this !

I do not want to cut my relationship with him , and at the same time , I do not wish to continue my friendship with him much longer while he does this thing repeatedly . If I can learn the solution due to religion and reason , the problem will end . Would you please guide me to the most effective way to reform him ?

The answer : If you can end your embarrassment by reminding him of the values and morals of the believers and the pious , you should do so without hesitation , otherwise you have to write your thoughts in a letter with a disguised handwriting . Then , you should send the letter by post without any sign indicating it is from you so that Allah may make this way the

solution that pleases you and saves him from his plight .

Man , sometimes , becomes accustomed to a bad quality , and then it becomes difficult to remove it from him in a short period of time . Therefore , you should try to advise him , in the same way , after some time if you find that he has not changed .

Write to him , in your letters , about the values he believes in and warn him of the evil end of continuing this bad quality . Mention to him the torment of the treason of the eyes on the Day of Resurrection . Speak , in your letters , to his conscience and tell him that his personality will become degraded before his friends if he continues this bad behavior .

This is what you should tell him in your unsigned letters , but what I want to say to him and to those like him in the following lines is :

Dear brother , what would your situation be if one of your friends looked at your wife , daughter , or sister , etc ?

What would your situation be if someone said to you angrily and violently before others : do you not feel shame to look at my wife ? !

What would your situation be if your close friends turned away from you and you were exposed before all ?

Imagine that your bad quality was in others besides you ! Would you not become angry with them and try to

advise them ? And if they did not refrain , would you not cut your relation with them ? But before all that , remember this saying of one of the poets :

�Do not forbid (others) from a behavior while you practice it ,

It is a great shame if you do it . �

Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (s) has said , �It suffices you as politeness that you do not do what you dislikes others to do . �

Here , I invite this friend to ponder on the traditions of these infallible ones who want good for him .

The Prophet (s) said , �(Unlawful) looking is an arrow from the Satan�s . Whoever avoids it for fear of Allah , Allah gives him faith , the sweetness of which he can feel in his heart . �[60]

He also said , �Whoever fills his eyes with unlawfulness , Allah will fill them with nails of fire on the Day of Resurrection . �

Ameerul Mo�mineen (Imam Ali) (s) said , �Beware of treason , because it is the worst of disobedience . A traitor will be tortured in Fire for his treason . �[61]

He also said , �He , who sets his eyes free , tires out his mind . He , whose looks follow one after another , his sighs continue . �[62]

Question 52

We have heard before that boys molested girls in the streets and via the telephone , but nowadays we see the opposite . My only son , whom I wish to study at the

university and graduate with a high degree , is chased by the ringer of the telephone , which rings five , six , or seven times every day even at the times of rest , though the caller (girl) neither speaks nor does she refrain even after all my abuses . I asked my son if he had a relation with some girl and he denied it . I am sure he was truthful . We agreed that he would pick up the telephone and attract her so that we might know who she was . The telephone rang and my son lifted the telephone . I came near him to hear . She said softly , �I have admired you and my life is like hell without you . I only want your love . Do you appreciate love ? �

My son , whose face reddened and whose voice hesitated , said to her , �Alright ! But , how can I see you ? What is your name and address ? �

When she felt assured , she introduced herself . She was the daughter of our neighbor , with whom we had no relation at all .

I am astonished at fathers and mothers that they do not watch their children . Where have shyness and abstinence gone ? Where are religion and protectiveness ? Is this the value of a Muslim girl ? Please , tell me , is there no conscience bearing purity and dignity ?

The answer : In this question ,

there is a complete answer for him who has a heart or lends his ear with full intelligence .

Yes ! The problem set forth in this painful question reveals the educational looseness and religious weakness . The crisis is knocking at the doors , if it has not already entered some houses !

I know many who suffer from these bad things that have come to us via foreign movies . Bitterer than this are some Arabic movies that have played a great corruptive role since the fifties . The satellite TV stations in our countries are still showing these movies whereas their actors are being burnt in the fire of Hell .

Alas ! A Muslim country , Muslim artists , and great monies from the treasury of the Muslims are spent in disobeying Allah and taking Islam away from the life of the Muslims for generations after generations !

The curse of Allah be on the first one who has established the basis of injustice , corruption , and deviation among the Muslims and on the last one of his followers !

Those fathers who are careless as to the honor of their daughters are often victims of those misleading films and media . Then , what do you expect their daughters to be ?

As for the cure of this problem , I think it lies in talking with the family of the girl to marry her early , because when a ripe apple is not picked , it will decay and fall to the ground ,

and then it is trodden on or is eaten by animals . So is a (lover) girl . She should be married; otherwise , she will be like the fallen apple .

This is not understood by most parents in this bad age . The reason is that they have driven religion away from their lives .

Dear sister , as for your son , you have to speak to him frankly . If he can continue his studies without thinking of the other sex , this is better for him , but if he suffers from the pressure of incitements , he would be better off getting married to devote himself to his study; otherwise , he will neither succeed in his study nor will he be in a good psychological and physical health .

Yes ! It is somehow difficult to compromise between study and the requirements of marriage , but this will be easy with a strong will , a will of the men who defeat difficulties and conduct their marriages contentedly with simple procedures and avoid high and expensive costs .

Let the reasonable one put the advantages of this kind of marriage in a scale , and the disadvantages of the pressing lust in another scale , and then follow what his reason and religion guide him to .

Question 53

I am a young woman from a religious family and all my interests are religious , thanks be to Allah ! I have a friend in school who often sits with me , but she

is not religious . All the time , she is interested in news of singers , athletes , issues of teenagers , molestations , and exchanging letters with young men , though she is still too young . She is sixteen years old . Would you please warn the youth , fathers , and mothers with the necessary Islamic advices ? Many thanks for your interest in guiding us to what will make us happy in this life and the afterlife .

The answer : Thank you very much O daughter of faith and abstinence ! Your feelings to save your friend and your care for your religion show your true upbringing . I hope that you continue on this path until you arrive at the eternal bliss .

The problem you have mentioned is a fact from the bitter reality that fathers and mothers try to ignore , thinking that they can cover the behaviors of those teenage girls . I think that indifference towards such girls encourages them to continue in corruption and covering up this concern is stupidity because such girls are exposed before others and scandal moves from mouth to mouth .

Let me say frankly that the problem firstly belongs to fathers and mothers , for they , in bringing up their children away from religion and love , have thrown the children into the way of corruption , and then when the tragedy takes place , they hurry to look for solutions but they will not find any even if they shed

tears of sorrow and regret .

If only those fathers and mothers , who have turned their backs on religion and slept on the pillow of irresponsibility and have failed to satisfy their children with love and sympathy , would read the sayings of even Western scholars .

Dr . Raymond Page says , �The first picture a child draws in his mind about Allah comes out of his relation with his parents . Also , the first concept that comes to his mind about obedience , forgiveness , and straightforwardness is connected strongly with the behavior of his family�parents may not have a suitable opportunity to educate their child and develop his thinking , so they have to introduce Allah to their children in the best way with strong determination , will , and watchfulness . In this concern , they can depend on two good sources : religion and nature . �[63]

Dear daughter , as for your situation towards your deviant friend :

First , deal with her as if she is sick , and she really is sick but she does not know . A sick one needs care , and you , with your faith , morals , and patience , can offer her religious advice and talk to her with the language of nature and conscience . You should tell her that the purpose of her existence is to arrive at the pleasures of Paradise . Islam does not prohibit the pleasures of this life provided that they are obtained lawfully .

Second ,

if she can get married , you can arrange the procedures of this by consulting with other religious women who understand such matters .

Third , when advising and warning her , depend on the frightening aspects of Islamic teachings � I mean what concerns death : the pressing of grave , its loneliness , and darkness for those who disobey Allah . It is mentioned in traditions that �he , who fears Fire , avoids unlawful things� . Tell her that Allah the Almighty will stand man in the difficulties and horrors of the Day of Resurrection to punish him for all his doings . Allah says in the Qur'an , (Surely , the hearing , the sight , and the heart , all of these , shall be questioned about that) . [64]

There are many stories that affect one�s conscience that you can use to guide her to the right path and surely you will be rewarded by Allah .

Stories of accidents in our present time show that most of those who die are unsuspecting youths . Death is a sudden visitor and defeating comer . Isn�t it ?

Finally , if she does not listen to you and you find that she may influence you or do wrong to your good reputation , you have to cut your relation with her bravely and without any kind of courtesy for �a strong believer is better than a weak believer , � as the Prophet (s) has said .

Question 54

I am a twenty year-old girl .

I live on my nerves to a degree that I have no confidence in my abilities to lead a happy life . Our house is like a wrestling ring full of crying and shouting amongst my sisters and brothers . We do not agree with each other on most things . We stand against each other in every situation and always frown at each other . None of us respects the other . All of us know that this is bad morale , but we do not know how and why we have been so ! What is the way to change our state ? Please , do you have a solution to our complicated problem ?

The answer : Disagreement between people is somewhat natural because each of them thinks independently and consciously . However , if this independence does not submit to moral teachings , it gets to what you now see in your house , which is similar to a jungle or a zoo . It is too natural that this state makes you live on your nerves and causes failure to all , you being one of them .

The reason often is because of :

1. The lack of a religious atmosphere in the house , such as recitation of the Qur'an , supplications , religious meetings , and reading Islamic and historical books

2. Carelessness of parents to plant love and spirit of cooperation in their children

3. The feeling of children that there is no justice or fairness in dealing with them (by


4. Excessive interference in their affairs which makes them accustomed to laziness and dependence , whereas children should be taught to be self-confident to solve their problems and to achieve their needs

5. Wishing and looking forward to what is not possible except by hard toils

6. Narrowness of the house and the lack of requirements that are common between the members of the family

The way to deliverance is in the following steps :

1. A strained person should relax .

2. He should be away from the place of disagreement or quarrel when it is beginning .

3. He should associate with good neighbors , make friends with good persons , and visit them from time to time .

4. He should go for lawful amusement and spend some time in watching beautiful scenes of nature .

5. He should mention Allah , recite the Qur'an and supplications , and read good books .

6. He should read some comic books when feeling tired or exhausted , because how often it is that a quarrel melts away because of a joke or a laugh .

Here , I mention a situation that once happened in front of me in the home of one of my relatives . We were in the sitting room and the remote control of the TV was in my hand . Whenever a sound of singing or music appeared , I changed the channel or I muted the sound . At that time , one of the boys asked me about the view of Islam about music and I

replied to him that it was unlawful . He argued with me and I explained to him the many harms of listening to music . He argued with me again . His father became angry at him . Then , before his father could increase his insults towards him , I directed the remote control towards the father�s mouth as a way of turning the sound down ! I made him laugh and then they all laughed with him . It was a moment of delight and joy instead of being a moment of quarrel and disagreement . After that , I explained in greater detail about music and its harms .

Question 55

Would you please tell me how to save myself from worry , distraction , absent-mindedness , and forgetfulness ? I will be grateful to you .

The answer : Here are twenty points; if you follow them , I myself will be grateful to you :

1. Wake up early enough to give yourself sufficient time to go about your appointments or tasks without hurrying !

2. Have a good breakfast and do not eat in a rush !

3. Do not put off the work of today until tomorrow , for every day has its work !

4. Make friends with those who do not live in psychological troubles !

5. Assign a time everyday to , while in solitude , ponder over moral matters and worships and think deeply about The answer : to these questions : Where have I come from ? What am I now

? Where shall I go after death ?

6. Everyday , practice some physical exercises even if it is for just half an hour !

7. Thank Allah for the blessings you have and do not exaggerate your problems !

8. Write down what you want to do everyday !

9. Before talking , think deeply about the consequences of your talks !

10. Give your body some relaxation and rest and practice swimming !

11. Breathe as deeply as possible !

12. Do not worry about what you cannot get !

13. Live your life truly and think of your state and your surroundings !

14. Laugh little , and when you cry , cry much ! Let your laughter and cries be for the delight of your heart and the comfort of your nerves .

15. Do not eat more than your needs !

16. Do not promise anyone that which you cannot fulfill , and when you make promises , say �Inshallah� !

17. Do not feel shy to say : �I am sorry , I cannot�I do not know� when you really cannot or do not know !

18. Be a good listener most of the time , and when you talk , talk as little as necessary to convey the concept you want to declare ! Try to make your speech eloquent and nice !

19. Read and look for political , scientific , and cultural news as much as you possibly can !

20. Think of Paradise and its pleasures and bliss and imagine that you will stay in it forever , but always

remember that you pay its price (in cash) at the present !

Question 56

My father is always angry with us at home , but he is very good with others elsewhere . How do you explain this duality ?

The answer : This feature stems from his dissatisfaction with himself and his marital life . This means that he had hoped for something in his life but he was disappointed , whether with himself or with his family . This matter causes a great pressure on his heart , mentality , and nerves . Whenever he remembers his ambition , his nerves become tense and he becomes upset , and because he is so , he becomes angry at anything even if it is trivial . Therefore , he pours his anger on the ones closest to him because he knows that they will not leave him , whereas others would turn away from him if he were angry with them . He pours his anger on those in the house lest he lose his friends outside the house .

Man , in his nature , likes good morals; therefore , by his good manners with others , he tries to cover his failure , which continues to sting him . Anyway , whatever the reason is , I recommend you to be patient with him , bear his behavior , and treat him with respect because he is psychologically sick and a sick one needs a lot of care . If it is possible , you should

try to help him in achieving his ambition , if it is lawful , and then he will become calm and you will all be at ease .

Question 57

For quite some time , my mother has become a sharp criticizer . She cannot bear to see a bit of wrong in anyone . In this state , she has become a point of tittle-tattle and the source of family disagreements . My friends do not visit me because of her . We do not dare to speak up frankly against her , especially since she became angry with my sister who tried to do that once . We do not know how to deal with her . She is correct in her criticism of others , but we do not want to become involved in troubles because most people nowadays do not accept criticism , much less that of my mother�s which is without courtesy and is sharp and stinging . We hope to benefit from your opinion in this concern .

The answer : Old people often suffer from weak nerves; therefore , they cannot bear things that annoy them . If they are religious , sins and disobediences make them angry; if they are not , things that are contrary to their thinking and desires make them angry; if they are sick , loud sounds and noises make them angry�and so on .

As for your mother , one of these reasons leads her to such criticism that causes troubles . As a cure ,

I suggest :

1. You have to keep her away from what may excite her nerves , and thus , nothing that leads her to criticism will take place before her .

2. You can tell the persons that meet her often to not do anything that will excite her criticism and nerves .

3. You have to excuse her and think of her as if she were psychologically sick and realize that she needs your care , tolerance , and patience .

4. Let most of her food be that which is cold in its nature , such as yogurt , fruits , vegetables , and the like .

5. You have to look for some person who will have influence over her through friendship and wisdom , for however much a man is fanatic , he may change and become more moderate due to a friendship .

6. You have to take her to meetings where preaching takes place . You can agree with the preacher to talk about what may reform her thinking . The preacher may discuss three main points :

First , making mistakes is natural in man�s life . Man is neither an angel nor a beast; he is some of this and some of that . The Prophets , who were sent to reform people , were ordered to be kind to them .

Incidentally , it is mentioned that one day the screens were removed from the sight of one of the Prophets for sometime . Whenever he saw unlawful acts inside people�s homes ,

he damned them and prayed to Allah to afflict them with torment . Allah revealed to him , �I am more aware of them than you are and I am worthier of damning and torturing them than you are , but My mercy has preceded my wrath . I have sent you to them in order to invite them to My mercy and not to invoke My wrath against them� .

Talking about the Divine Mercy may cure cases of extremism and censure in people like your mother , as talking about the Divine Torment may cure cases of excess in committing sins .

Second , enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong should be in a kind and acceptable way; otherwise it itself becomes wrong .

A good preacher is he who explains to people like your mother that criticism must be offered in a frame of courtesy , smile , wisdom and attractiveness; otherwise its purpose is not realized , and then the problem becomes complicated and this is a mistake worse than the first mistake .

Third , the conducts of the Prophet (s) and the infallible Imams (s) in dealing with wrongdoers should be mentioned to her . Allah has said , (Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation , and reason with them in the best manner) . [65]

Regarding these points , I want to say that advising , enjoining the right , and forbidding the wrong are required because they are religious obligations , moral necessities , social

needs , and civil behaviors . However , wisdom , good manners , and the skill of argumentation are required in this concern . He , who does not possess these three means , would be better off in keeping silent because he may complicate the situation and spoil the purpose of criticism . Islam does not want an archer without a bow or a scholar without knowledge .

Question 58

As you know , melancholy is the disease of this age . Psychological clinics are full of sick persons whom melancholy has thrown out of the circle of life .

I have a melancholy , introvert father . He is forty years old but he seems to be seventy years old . This matter has troubled our family life . I am fifteen years old but I do not know the reasons that have made my father so . Does Islam have solutions that can be depended on to save such sick people ? Would you please answer in details , because there are many people like me who wait for this answer ?

The answer : Islam has solutions for everything . It has declared the cure of melancholy and its like and emphasized , before that , on prevention . Here , I summarize The answer : in five points :

First , the traditions of the Prophet (s) and the infallible Imams (s) have referred to �melancholy� as �grief� and �distress� . They have warned the Muslims of it by saying , �He , whose grief

increases , his body becomes sick� , �Grief is half of senility� , and �Grief is the disease of mentality� .

Boredom , distemper , lack of appetite for food , physical and psychological weaknesses , insomnia , instability , absentmindedness , pessimism , fatigue , feeling of guilt , inactivity , not feeling joy in the beautiful scenes of nature or other material pleasures , neglecting one�s health , and paying no attention to life , which are qualities found in melancholy people , have been mentioned in the traditions with certain expressions .

Second , there is a close relationship between melancholy and the culture of the individual and that of the society . Some religious and social cultures lead to melancholy through their tragic literary works , sad music , and crying as it is widespread in the Eastern countries . As for the Western societies , the culture of disengagement from family connections leads one towards melancholy when he finds himself alone with no one to participate with him in his joys and sorrows . Therefore , we find that suicide rates are on an increase in the Western countries , which do not care for family connections , while in Japan , where family relations and connections are strong , the ratio of suicide is very low , whereas religious and rural societies are the least afflicted with melancholy and acts of suicide .

As for religious societies , it is so because religion prohibits suicide and considers it as a crime of

murder , whose recompense is being in Hell forever . Moreover , religion satisfies man�s sentiments and his spiritual needs , which give him a power to adapt himself to changes and stimulates in him positive motives that resist melancholy .

Third , the reasons for melancholy must be understood . These reasons are not the same for all people . Each one is different from the other . For example , the reason for melancholy of someone may be the lack of love and sympathy and for another may be the accumulation of psychological pains , remorse after committing a sin , disappointment , the death of a lover , emigration and being away from one�s family and relatives , a great financial loss , or poverty and neediness .

Fourth , what is the successful cure for this disease ?

Modern psychological clinics have depended , in curing this disease , on the tranquilizing tablets of Valume or other gladdening drugs , while some other clinics prefer electrical shocks . All these cures are rejected by the Islamic clinic , which depends on prevention initially and then on cure . [66]

For curing this disease , Islam prescribes the following :

1 . Take a bath with cool water , and especially pour it over the head; Imam Ali (s) says , �Whoever has grief that he is unable to identify , let him wash his head . �[67]

2 . Wash the clothes and remove bad smells , which means cleanliness in general; Imam Ali (s) says ,

�Washing one�s clothes takes away grief and sorrow . �[68]

3 . Mention Allah a lot , especially by saying �there is no power save in Allah�; the Prophet (s) says , �saying �there is no power save in Allah� has a cure for ninety-nine illnesses , the least of which is grief . �[69] Imam as-Sadiq (s) says , �If griefs increases , you should mention �there is no power save in Allah . ��[70]

4 . Eat grapes , as mentioned in the traditions of the Prophet (s) and the infallible imams (s) . [71]

Fifth , protection is the most important way to prevent melancholy and introversion . Islam has established constructive teachings to prevent any negative state that may destroy man�s comfort and happiness . Islam first establishes belief inside man and then strengthens that faith inside him to reach a degree where he becomes certain of the wisdom of Allah and becomes satisfied with the fate Allah has determined .

The Prophet (s) says , �Allah , with His wisdom and favor , has made comfort and joy in certainty and satisfaction , and made grief and sorrow in suspicion and dissatisfaction . �[72]

A real believer sees the causes of melancholy trivial especially when he recites this Qur�anic verse , (it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it) . [73]

A real believer does not envy others because he knows that �envy eats faith as fire eats firewood� . Imam Ali (s) says , �I have not

seen an unjust one who is more similar to the wronged than one who envies : continuous panting , upset heart , and endless sorrow . �[74] A real believer dose not look for the material pleasures of this life because he has read the Islamic concept about this worldly life as �it deceives , destroys , and passes away . �[75]

A real believer has to submit to the saying of Imam as-Sadiq (s) , �Loving the worldly life causes grief and sorrow , and abstaining from it causes comfort of the heart and the body . �[76]

A real believer does not pant after the lust that is in the back of his mind and refrains from pondering over it because he has read the warning of the Prophet (s) , �A lust of a moment may bring a long sorrow� . [77]

Hence , a real believer protects himself lest he fall into melancholy . This is the vigilance of faith that leads to protection and safety from melancholy and its like .

Dear brother , you have to read this answer to your father and tell him :

1. Believe in Allah and work with the hope of arriving at the bliss of Paradise because this makes man patient with the difficulties of life !

2. Be active and do not be lazy !

3. Not committing a mistake is not a reason for great pride; rather , great pride lies in getting out of the mistake .

4. Dear father , stand on your feet to light your

way and the way of others because an inverted candle does not light !

5. Have you pondered on flowers and smelt their fragrances ? If there are no flowers in life , the scenes of beauty will be incomplete !

6. Happiness is a gift from Allah . Why do you not raise your hands towards the Heaven to receive this gift ?

Finally , tell him frankly that worry , upset , fear and melancholy take him away from Allah; therefore , he has to do remembrance of Allah and be close to Him to be free from all those psychological diseases ! Tell him : Come on ! Forget the past and change your state and our state for the best by the assistance of Allah !

Question 59

Weakness of faith and beliefs has become widespread in our age . Our aged fathers and mothers say that faith in the past was stronger . Do you think it is possible to spread faith nowadays alongside this great corruption and means of deviation which have entered everywhere , even inside our homes via the TV , video , and internet ?

The answer : When one knows that believing in Allah brings tranquility and ease to the heart , which in return cause success and happiness , one�s life becomes pleasant and happy .

When one sincerely and definitely believes that Allah protects and assists him , and when he knows that belief in Allah invites him to mention Allah and that the words of remembrance bring tranquility to

his heart , which is the basis of every success , then he knows the worth of religion and keeps away from corruption . He will ask himself : if living under the shadow of faith makes me , my family , and my society happy and makes love and cooperation spread amongst us , then why should I choose to live under the opposite shadow ?

Yes ! Being religious in the irreligious atmosphere that is widespread is difficult . A religious person faces contempt and insults and suffers much in resisting them and continuing on the straight path . He feels pain and sorrow for the deviants and scorners . However , he becomes more resistant whenever he wins a fight , and this is what delights him and encourages him to continue on the straight path , especially when he remembers the blessings , pleasures , and rewards he will have in Paradise .

When one plants a seed into soil , it does not grow and bear fruits except after much care . Such is said about the sperm . When a father puts his sperm into the womb of the mother , a healthy child is not produced except after attending to all conditions .

A seed needs care and patience , and a sperm also requires care and patience . Does not a believer also need patience so that his faith will bear fruits ? However , his faith bears fruits every day in this life in one way or another .


say the same thing concerning your child . His heart will not open for faith except after efforts , patience , and care .

Parents are responsible for planting faith in their children�s hearts through making friends with them , showing them love and kindness , kissing them , embracing them , playing with them , listening to their speech , and explaining to them what is right and what is wrong . Parents will harvest what they sow in their children . If there is any mistake , parents should blame no one but themselves .

If these facts and their advantages are known , obstacles in the way of true faith can be removed by man himself . Then , he will dislike anything that takes him away from these facts and their advantages . A real believer does not let the television , video , or internet � if they are means of corruption and vices that may weaken his faith and lead him to the path of wretchedness and grief � destroy his future or his children�s future .

Is it acceptable for a reasonable person to leave his children , who he loves more than himself , in the middle of diseases that will afflict their souls and bodies and lead them to the fire of Hell ?

Hence , parents have to plant religion in their children from their early years in a wise and successful way lest they deviate later on .

The pure nature in children remains pure if parents undertake their

responsibility from the first day . Nature was and is still the object , on which prophets , reformers , and all good people depend in their tasks of reform . Without the divine nature in man , no one can take people from the darkness of deviation into the light of faith . It is a great mistake to be desperate of guiding people . If the prophets and the saints were desperate , faith would never move to people after them . Whatever corruption prevails , it disappears because it is the falsehood that vanishes when the truth comes . Let us bear the mission of the truth and trust in the assistance of Allah . It is the test by which the faithful are tried .

The injustice and corruption we see in our time are not exclusive to our age only . The ancient ages had worse than this as we read in the Qur'an and the books of history , but Allah always supports His faithful people . In fact , our age is better than most of the past ages in many ways such as the spread of faith and faithful people all over the world , the establishment of mosques , Islamic centers , libraries , and presses , and also the increase of religious people and clergymen . Hence , despair has no place inside the souls of faithful people who carry out their legal duties and who whenever they rely on Allah , Allah supplies them with

courage and power with which they defeat the means of corruption and deviation and use this power and courage in guiding people and reforming defects .

Although we acknowledge the corruption that has appeared in the land and sea because of corruptive means , which are the modern hands of corrupt people and enemies of religion , we do not acknowledge the impossibility of reform and education , and we do not give in . Man has to act sincerely and then Allah will support him to achieve success . If we are sincere to Allah , we plant guidance firmly in our children�s hearts , and then we carry out our legal duty for which Allah rewards us . Allah says , (And nothing devolves on us but a clear deliverance (of the message)) . [78]

Question 60

My mother always acts opposite to my father�s wishes . She always likes to change the decoration of the house , the furniture , and the like . In fact , she likes to change the house itself , the car , and so on .

This matter has become a cause of daily quarrels between my father and mother . We have been victims of these clamors . We are tired of this state . Would you please show us a solution to this problem ? We will be grateful !

The answer : It is necessary , before showing our practical suggestions , to emphasize that solving some problems is done by adapting oneself to them until time puts

ends to them . It is important for a person to protect himself from being affected by the harms of a problem until it disappears . This is the patience that Islam has recommended and for which Allah has promised a reward .

As for the solutions to such a problem , they are of two kinds : the first kind is directed to the cause of the problem (that is your father and mother here) and the other is directed to those affected by the problem in the house (that is you and those with you) .

As for the first kind , we would like to say to parents that a joint life requires carrying out the desires of the partner , if it has no harm . And even if it is a harmful desire , it should be compared with the harms of selfishness and insistence of one�s opinion , and then the less harmful of the two is preferred . On the other hand , the one who wants to change , or not to change , the decoration has to show his/her motives and convince the other partner as long as the matter concerns him/her too . This one has to declare the advantages of his/her idea and the disadvantages if it is not carried out , while keeping in mind that these advantages or disadvantages concern all of the members of the family .

This method of concern for the beliefs of others produces mutual respect between them , strengthens family

relations , and increases their closeness and love to each other . This leads to an increase in the level of success in study and work , and consequently it brings happiness .

As for the second kind , I recommend you to discuss the matter with your mother instead of resisting her or ignoring her desires . Try to discuss with her the disadvantages of continuous changes (of decorations and furniture) , which can cause fatigue and illness .

Moreover , you have to keep her interested in some thing else in order to not do what will disturb the members of the family . Also you have to convince your father to permit some required changes from time to time , as long as they are without excess or waste .

Question 61

We are seven brothers and sisters . Our father and mother are religious and we are like them . Praise be to Allah ! A few days ago , I was listening to a lecture by one of the ulama , in which he divided people into four classifications :

Some are religious in their youth and they continue so until the end of their lives . These are the happiest of people .

Some are dissolute in their youth and then they are guided until the end of their lives . These people are happy , but less than the first ones .

Some are religious in their youth but then they become dissolute and spend their lives in debauchery and deviations . These are the

losers .

Some are dissolute from the beginning until the end of their lives . These are wretched and the worst of losers .

It is a nice speech , but how can I preserve my and my brothers� and sisters� religiousness so we can be from the first kind and not let the Satan deprive us of our religion ?

The answer : Blessed be you and blessed be your parents who have fed you with faith and guidance !

Know that you are among those on whom Allah prides Himself before the angels and says to them , �Look at my slave ! He has abstained from his lust for the sake of Me . �[79]

It is sufficient for you that Allah is proud of you . Continue on your way to get the eternal bliss of Paradise !

I remember a family I was acquainted with in Denmark in 1991 AD . They had emigrated from Iran fifty years ago , and they still continued their religiousness there . The father told me that he , his wives , and children continually offered the Night Prayer . This conduct , in the midst of corruption in Denmark , is quite difficult to attain . Blessed be they and their likes everywhere !

The practical way of continuing in righteousness , about which you asked , is being continuously supplied with intellectual and spiritual energy besides being careful not to let the self slip here or there , through the following lights :

The first light is that you have

to remember , always , these traditions with the questions that follow them :

1 . The Prophet (s) said , �Any young man who abstains from this life and its pleasures for the sake of Allah , and spends his youth in obeying (worshipping) Allah , Allah will give him a reward of seventy-two veracious persons� . [80]

Do you want to prevent yourself from this great reward ?

2 . The Prophet (s) said , �The most beloved one to Allah the Almighty is a handsome young man who devotes his youth and beauty to the obedience of Allah . Of such a young man the Beneficent is proud before His angels and says : this is My real slave . �

Do you want to prevent yourself from this pride of the Beneficent ?

3 . The Prophet (s) says , �Allah loves the young man who spends his youth in obeying Him . �

Do you want to prevent yourself from this love ?

4 . The Prophet (s) says , �The preference of a young man who worships Allah in his youth to an old man who worships after he becomes old is like the preference of the prophets to the rest of people . �

Do you want to prevent yourself from this preference ? Certainly not !

With these motives , you can continue in your religiousness . Do not follow the steps of the Satan , do not approach them , and do not think of them even out of curiosity because this may incite you

to a dangerous slip . In the first instance , the Satan invites to unlawful things by means of curiosity , and then after sometime , he invites you and says : �all right , pray to Allah to forgive you after your sin ! Does Allah not forgive all sins ? � In these deceitful ways , the Satan induces man and then laughs at him .

The second light is that you have to read about the qualities of the pious . Imam Ali (s) has mentioned these qualities to his Companion Humam in one of his speeches . It is one of the most wonderful educational speeches , which is full of spirituality , encouragement , and energy towards righteousness . [81]

The third light is , besides regular worships , to hasten to do good deeds ! Carrying out the needs of people and helping the poor and needy keep one firm in faith and certainty and this is the best thing Allah wants from His good people . Contrary to what some people believe , that religiousness and worshipping are realized in complete isolation , Islam believes �the best people are those who are the best to people and sincerest to all Muslims . �[82]

The fourth light is to know righteousness has a special spirit that survives with the following items : �Knowing Allah and being humble before him , continuous pondering over the greatness of Allah , asking Allah for forgiveness , sincerity , abstinence , giving up bad habits ,

asceticism , jurisprudence , reason , prudence , giving the rights of people back to them , keeping silent , supplication , and abstaining from the unlawful looking� . [83]

You have to establish these qualities inside your soul to continue in the straight path .

The fifth light is , if you commit a sin , you have to immediately repent and pray to Allah to forgive you . You should well know that Allah loves young men who repent . In fact , there is nothing more beloved to Allah than a young man who repents , and nothing is more odious to Him than a man who becomes old while he still commits sins indifferently .

Finally , I pray to Allah to make you continue in your faith and not to let the blame of others weaken your determination . It is mentioned in the traditions that one day Prophet Abraham (s) saw a white hair in his beard and said , �Praise be to Allah , the Lord of the worlds , Who has made me live till now while I have not disobeyed Him a bit . �[84]

Question 62

The death of my lover , who has left this world after a severe and painful struggle with cancer , has hurt me too much . I have been melancholy and desperate of life after the death of one of my friends . In your opinion , what are the reasons for this horrible disease ?

The answer : It is said that the Greek

doctor (Galen) two thousand years ago was the first one who tried to ascertain the relation between cancer and the qualities that cause man to become afflicted with this malignant disease .

In a research by some British doctors in 1802 A . D . , this question was posed , �Is there a relationship between man�s morals and natures and this malignant disease ? �

In 1864 , Doctor Walter H . Walsh wrote in his response to the previous question , �Sensitive persons , who suffer from spiritual pressures , prepare for themselves a ground for cancer . �

Thirteen years later , Doctor Grendon presented his theory by saying , �Worry and griefs have a great effect in afflicting one with cancer . �

In 1870 , Doctor Sir J . Pajet wrote , �Despair and lack of hope help cancer to grow . There is no doubt that melancholy is the most serious cause of this disease . �

After some years , Doctor Penny Brhn performed some experiments and classified the patients of cancer into three classes :

1 . Those who help others , but no one helps them or appreciates their efforts .

2 . Those who find it difficult to reject needy people , and thus they become sad for not being able to satisfy the needs of people who ask them for help .

3 . Those who feel meanness and do not have self-confidence .

Scientific centers conclude that failure in marital life , losing one�s job , insolvency , heavy debts , and

the like bring man worry and psychological upset and pave the way for cancer . However , it is not necessary that these things will definitely cause cancer , but in most cases , it is so .

Many times , one becomes afflicted with cancer because of a defect in his defensive cells from childhood , as Doctor Jung thinks . He adds that one who is psychologically suppressed in his childhood has a fertile ground for cancer .

The American doctor Lawarene Le Shan , who is a specialist in cancer , says , �We must know what we want in life , and then we can carry out what we want with a strong will and determination . This requires us to know how to live healthily and enjoy our bodily powers to achieve what we want in life�cancer destroys life; therefore , we must learn how to protect ourselves from it . Then , let us avoid all that paves the way for cancer . �

Consequently , what are the means of protection ?

1. Let us learn self-confidence . When the body and the soul become strong with self-confidence , they give one the ability to resist diseases .

2. Let us be kind and friendly because a man�s soul is thirsty for cordiality .

3. Let us assign certain times for (lawful) amusement .

4. Let us toil for good aims and not waste our ages in trivialities .

5. Let us regard our feelings and the feelings of those around us . This is a

bridge to mutual understanding .

6. Let us busy ourselves with what we like and stick to it .

7. Let us have good food , avoid too much oil , and eat a lot of vegetables and fruits .

8. Let us not ignore vitamins and minerals in our meals .

9. Let us have good morals , be merry and sportive , and submit to the Merciful Creator in all our affairs .

10. Let us hold religious meetings and participate in the meetings of others , whether meetings of joy or sorrow , because social relations take man out of fatal isolation .

Finally , O our Lord , we seek your protection from any disease�O You , Whose name is a remedy and Whose mention is a healing , send as many blessings on Muhammad and his progeny as there are diseases and remedies , recover our patients , and have mercy on our dead; You are able to do whatever You like !

Question 63

O sheikh , I am complaining about my life; my nerves are below zero and I am very worried about my end .

The answer : Dear brother , my reflections have taught me that the reason behind 90% of the cases of anger in people of all levels is disappointment in their ambitions and wishes . The opposite is true too . Most of the people who are interested in life are those who either have not been disappointed , have no hopes tickling their emotions , or they have believed in Allah

sincerely and submitted to Him in everything , and so Allah has granted them satisfaction with everything , and this is the true submission , which is the essence of Islam . Thus , I know how faith has lofty values and how Islam has many solutions for angry faces and furious souls . So we have to hasten towards the solutions of Islam before anger burns what remains of faith in us .

As a remedy , I suggest to you four things :

1 . Prostration : it is the placing of the most honorable position of the body (forehead) on the soil . Do you know why ? It is because one who prostrates himself ascends to the higher positions of Heaven with his loftiest spiritual beliefs .

2 . You should know that if your moral sense is suspended , your five senses would never get you to the bliss of Paradise .

3 . People are free . They choose either Paradise or Hell by themselves . The decision is yours .

4 . Visit the graves , ponder on their inhabitants , and remember that their ambitions have ended with their ends . Take lessons from them and return to your life to make your end good !

Question 64

The idle youth waste their time in sleeping too much . They sleep with no alarm clock . What is the solution for such people ?

The answer : They should read the following verses of poetry and come to a decision :

�O you , who sleep

too much and are indifferent ,

too much sleeping brings regret .

In the grave , when you enter into it ,

there will be a long sleep after death ,

and a bed of sins or good deeds you have done

will wait for you there . �

The holy traditions warn of too much sleeping . The Prophet (s) said , �Beware of too much sleeping , because it leaves its friend poor on the Day of Resurrection . �

Imam al-Baqir (s) said in a Qudsi[85] tradition that Prophet Moses (s) had said , �O my Lord , which of Your people is the most odious to You ? Allah said , �Carrion (sleeping) in the night and idle in the day . �

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �Allah hates much sleeping and much idleness . � He also said , �Much sleeping wastes religion and life . �

The youth should create jobs for themselves or spend their spare time in reading and acquiring good information and memorizing the suras of the Holy Qur'an because the Qur'an lights the heart and life . Whoever learns in his youth will make use of his knowledge when he grows up . The old learn nothing if they missed leaning in their youth .

Islam has not left the need of sleeping to man without directing it with special manners that give man a comfortable sleep and make him active in getting up . Here are some of these manners to be observed before going to bed :

1. Man should go to bed

after cleansing himself from sweat and unpleasant smells .

2. He should perform wudu� .

3. He should go to the W . C . and relieve himself .

4. He should recite some Qur�anic verses and some supplications , especially the sura of Ikhlas (112) or al-Hashr (59) or at-Takathur (102) or all of them , and say what the Prophet (s) used to say , �O my Lord , if You take my soul in my sleep , forgive it , and if You set it free , keep it safe as You keep Your good people . �

5. He should not sleep on his face and abdomen because it is the sleep of the Satan and is harmful to the self and body . The believers sleep on their backs or right sides except if there is an excuse .

6. When lying , instead of thinking of what is of no benefit , Islam invites man to criticize himself on what he has done during his day . Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �When you go to your bed , think of what you have done in your day and remember that you will die and will be resurrected to be punished . �

7. Huthayfa narrated , �When the Prophet (s) went to bed , he said , �In Your name O Allah , I die and live� and when he awoke , he said , �Praise be to Allah , Who enlivened us after he has made us die , and to Him is

the resurrection . �

Dear brother , go to bed early and avoid evenings full of play and amusement , and awake early to find all good before you; good health , livelihood , activity , and vitality . The moment you awaken from your sleep , you will understand what you have read in the previous lines about the disadvantages of too much sleeping and about the manners of sleeping . If you understand this , you will awake at the required time . Recite this supplication before you sleep to awake at the time you want : �O my Lord , do not make me forget Your mention , do not make me feel safe from Your affliction , and do not make me one of the indifferent ! �

Chapter Two : Husbands And Wives : sharing lives and seeking happiness

Question 65

What is the opinion of Islam about singing and dancing in wedding ceremonies ? The opinions of people are contrary; some say it is lawful while others say it is unlawful .

The answer : In Islam , they are unlawful . The Prophet (s) has said , �Allah has sent me as mercy to people , and to eradicate musicals , pipes , and the habits of the pre-Islamic era (jahiliyyah) . �[86] It is because play , amusement , and singing do not meet with the aims of mercy , worship , and closeness to Allah .

Jurisprudents have agreed that during the night of the wedding , singing poetry with good and polite meanings is lawful , especially if it has praises of

the Prophet (s) and his progeny . Some jurisprudents have permitted classical and quiet dancing , which is not mixed (between men and women) and which does not excite lust .

This exception (in permitting singing and dancing) is limited to weddings . Abu Baseer narrated , �Once , I asked Abu Abdullah (Imam as-Sadiq) (s) about the income of a songstress (the money she gains for singing) and he said , �It is unlawful for one , to whom men come , but there is no problem for the one , who is invited to weddings . �[87]

The wisdom in this exception is that Islam has made a distinction between marriage and adultery . Since adultery is done without the presence of people , Islam has intended for marriage to be performed openly and with attractive sound so that people can recognize this new marital relation between these two persons .

Many arguments have taken place between jurisprudents about the new methods in the world of singing and music . Many of them have considered singing and music unlawful because they cause many bad consequences . From the instruments of music and amusement , which incite lust , unlawful behaviors begin besides the bad poetry used in songs and the mixing between men and women until major sins are committed . Then , no excuse will remain for the angels to attend and bless that marriage .

Those who try to close their eyes to these unlawful doings under demonstrations of istihsan (approval) and assent have ignored

that Islam wants weddings to be performed in spiritual and moral spheres fitting the principles of Islam and not the desires of the disease-hearted people who imitate the corruptive methods of the West .

We disagree with using instruments of amusements to turn weddings , which are acts of worship , to a stage of unlawful doings and behaviors . We reject the inviting of the Satan and the preventing of the angels to attend this honorable occasion .

The believers , who desire to be free from bad deeds until the Day of Resurrection , should avoid all that is performed by bad and disobedient people in their weddings , and thus they will be kept away from those upon whom Allah has brought His wrath .

Let us think about it in this way : would any of our infallible Imams (s) attend a wedding in which singing and dancing were practiced if he were invited to it ?

If we suppose that we are in the age of the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (s) and he is amongst us now , what will he think about our behaviors in the wedding ?

Come ! Let us make this faith in the unseen and our love for the Ahlul Bayt (s) the criterion of our behaviors on the occasions of joy so that Allah may bless these occasions for us .

We hope that the believers adhere to the limits of Islam and do not follow the Satan who wants them to fall in his traps and lose the

blessings of weddings , which are from the Sunna of the Prophet (s) and the recommendable acts that are semi-obligatory .

Question 66

The gold ring has become the symbol of correlation between spouses , while in the Sharia it is unlawful for men to put on gold . Is there any exception concerning wedding bands ?

The answer : There is no exception . A Muslim man has to test his faith in this critical position � whether he should obey his God or his desire .

Then , for what is all this insistence on a ring of gold ? If the golden color is inevitable before people and cameras , the ring could be gilded for this purpose .

In our opinion , it would be better for the wife to put on a silver ring with a stone of carnelian on her husband�s right pinkie while reciting blessings and peace on Muhammad (s) and his progeny and hoping that love will continue between them until they leave this world with a good end .

Question 67

What is the opinion of Islam about the period between the engagement and the wedding ? Some people make the period too long and some make it short . Both have advantages and disadvantages .

The answer : The length of the period depends on the circumstances of the spouses . However , there are some manners that must be observed during this period :

1 . Hearty love , intellectual closeness , and mutual visits between the families of the two spouses to better know each other and to strengthen the relations between them are recommended .

2 . They should avoid all that may

hurt this blessed relation; offensive words , insults , and bad behaviors that cause hatred must be avoided . If some of this takes place accidentally from any of the spouses , they should apologize , excuse each other , and determine not to do that mistake again .

3 . The spouses should read books about marital relations to learn the principles , rights , and manners of marriage .

4 . They should not mistrust each other or argue over every matter .

5 . The wife should learn how to manage the affairs of her new house and should convince herself of her new responsibilities . The husband also has to undertake his new responsibilities outside the house and inside the house in helping his wife as much as he possibly can .

6 . During this period , the spouses should avoid doing what should be done on the night of wedding !

7 . It is better to make this period short .

8 . They should take care of cleaning their bodies and getting rid of unpleasant smells , especially the smell of the mouth by brushing the teeth five times before every prayer , or at least three times , before and after sleeping , and after lunch . They should use perfumes because the Prophet (s) always used perfume and he had recommended his Umma to also use it , except for women who should not use perfume except for their husbands or their mahrams in order to not incite the lusts of

others .

Question 68

I am afraid of the unknown and worried about the future . I feel inward turmoil and psychological instability . Can I find a remedy in religion before my marital life comes to an end ?

The answer : The present makes the future . If you manage your present according to good foundations , you will build for yourself a happy future . There is no excuse for your fear if you determine and rely on Allah Who says , (And (as for) those who strive hard for Us , We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good) . [88]

Starting now , you have to spend every hour of your day in a way that pleases Allah , where if you think about your yesterdays (after your determination) , you will be delighted , and this delight is the future that will make you proud of the right method you have determined to follow .

Dear brother , try to forget your painful past , your defects , and all of what hurts you psychologically ! Set out towards Allah , Who grants success to whoever relies on Him , and submit to Him , and then , do not worry about any grief or distress concerning this life !

As for your marital life , you and your wife should read a lot to help you plan for a good and peaceful life .

Does he who wants to establish a successful company not

read about all that concerns this aim ?

You and your wife are two partners , who want to establish a happy life; therefore , you should read about all that concerns this aim .

When you follow this way , you will find in front of you your future clear and pleasant Inshallah .

Question 69

High and excessive dowries have become a sort of competition between people and a cause of pride and boast in the meetings of women . And this is the reason that prevents the youth from getting married , and therefore , corruption spreads and the number of spinsters increases . The worst of the matter is that girls lose more because of the excessive dowries whereas parents do not feel their sufferings , and then when girls do something against their parents� will , the girls themselves are blamed and not the parents . The question is : what is the solution to this dangerous social problem ?

The answer : A Muslim society that turns away from the true Islam strays into troubles and problems forever , unless it turns back to religion sincerely . This is the responsibility of all as the Prophet (s) says , �All of you are guardians and all of you are responsible for your subjects . �

Flagrant , material manifestations like high dowries and external beauty have overwhelmed the lives of Muslims to the extent of absence of morals and principles . At the same time , troubles , problems , and enmities have filled their

lives .

Islam has openly prohibited excessive dowries . The Prophet (s) said , �Do not exaggerate dowries of women , lest enmity comes out ! �[89] When we correlate this saying with the saying of Allah in the Qur'an , (Surely the Satan is your enemy , so take him for an enemy) , [90] we conclude that exaggerating dowries is something pleasing to the Satan and thus is not a good deed . The Muslim family that accepts dowry as a means of happiness for their daughters actually brings them enmity and unhappiness by exaggerating that dowry .

The Prophet (s) says , �The best women of my umma are those of prettiest faces and smallest dowries . �[91]

In my opinion , �with prettiest faces� means happy mien and bloom and not physical beauty as many people think . There are many women with pretty faces who are sullen and gloomy; therefore , they would not be the best of women even if their dowries were small .

Certainly it is not this that the Prophet (s) has meant by �pretty faces� . Far be it from him to wrong the women who have not been created with pretty faces ! Therefore , we are certain that the Prophet (s) has meant the moral beauty that gives woman happy mien , bloom , activeness , and high spirits , and these things are the most important factors of happiness in the marital life . When these qualities come together with a small dowry , a woman

will be beautiful and one of the best women even if she lacks material beauty . The Prophetic traditions confirm what we have said . The Prophet (s) said , �Whoever marries a woman just for her wealth , Allah will subject him to the wealth . Whoever marries a woman just for her beauty , he will see in her what he dislikes . But , whoever marries a woman for her faith , Allah will gather for him all that he likes in her . �

This is sufficient evidence to destruct the ignorant concepts of the material civilization and restore the religious concepts to people . Whoever turns away from this right path , will be an easy prey for devils from the humans and the jinn .

Question 70

Some people exaggerate the dowries of their daughters to assure themselves of one of two things : first , that the husband will be unable to divorce his wife , and second , if the husband does divorce his wife , she will get enough money that she can live without troubles . Are these motives justifiable whereas they are contrary to the Prophet�s opinion ?

The answer : Excessive dowries change marriage into a trade made for material motives , whereas easy and small dowries bring spouses closer to each other from moral and humane motives . In the first case , marriage is carried out with the mentality of traders , and then a woman is considered as any kind of goods . In

the second case , marriage is carried out according to morals and values , and the woman�s actual value is realized .

We can close our eyes and say that a wise man does not say anything unless it has wisdom and benefit , that we may know some of it and not know most of it . This is for an ordinary wise man , then how about the wise Prophet (s) , who did not say anything except that it came from the Wisest One of all ? !

Yes ! The Prophet (s) said , �It is from the good fortune of woman that her engagement is made easy , her dowry is made easy , and her pregnancy is made easy . �[92]

What people imagine then is definitely not true because first , they are not more aware than the Prophet (s) , and second , when someone wants to divorce his wife , he does that either due to his shortcoming and injustice or due to other justifiable reasons . If he is unjust to his wife , he will leave her alone without divorcing her in order to force her to give up her dowry , and then she will accept divorce without getting a bit of her dowry; otherwise she will suffer until the end of her life , and in this case her dowry will be of no use to her at all . But if the husband is not neglectful of his wife�s rights , people will consider

the wife to be mistaken and erroneous . Will she be happy with her dowry when people consider her so ? Will someone come to marry her after her reputation becomes tainted , and it is said that she has mistreated her first husband ? I think that no one would marry her except if he looks for wealth and lust , and these things do not make a happy marriage and a good life .

Third , why , at the beginning of marriage , which is a sacred and heavenly supported relation , does the family of the girl , who is about to be a wife , think of the guarantees of divorce ? Does pessimism not kill the spirit of delight and joy of the ceremonies of marriage ?

I think that the high ratio of divorce in our countries is due to the materialistic view , commercial thinking , and pessimistic spirit surrounding marriages from the start .

Thus , many people throw themselves and their daughters into what they would like to escape from because they mistrust what their great Prophet (s) has said to them .

At the same time , while Islam recommends low dowries , it recommends Muslims to not marry their daughters except to religious and honest persons . There is no guarantee better than faith and morals to prevent the occurrence of divorce and injustice after divorce , if it takes place , due to legal excuses .

If the husband is religious , he will fear Allah and

refrain from acting unjustly towards his wife , and if he has good morals and treats his wife fairly and kindly , he will not divorce her if she is similar to him in faith and morals . Therefore , a high dowry is of no importance here .

If the wife deserves to be divorced and the husband is faithful but he cannot afford to pay the dowry because of need , the wife will remain suspended until she submits to a divorce without the dowry that she has looked forward to .

Would that these people ponder on this Verse , (And give women their dowries as a free gift , but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it , then take it and enjoy it with right good cheer) . [93]

Here , there are three questions :

1 . What does �free gift� mean ?

It is the gift that a husband gives with his own free will to his wife that is called a �dowry� .

2 . What does �but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it� mean ?

It means that the wife can give that gift back to her husband with her own free will .

3 . What does �then take it and enjoy it with right good cheer� mean ?

It is the fruit that comes out of the love that is founded by the mutual exchanging of gifts between the spouses where they enjoy it blissfully .


, the purpose of the dowry is to achieve true love that will not shake before the problems of life or the mistakes that often happen between spouses . If the dowry is given from a husband unwillingly , shall he love his wife sincerely ?

Certainly not ! The Prophet (s) said , �Be lenient in dowries , because a man may give a dowry to a woman (wife) but it may be as a cause of hatred in his heart against her . �[94]

The Prophet (s) also said , �The best of dowries is the easiest of them . �[95]

Imam Ali (s) said , �Do not exaggerate in women�s dowries , lest enmity comes out ! �[96]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , ��As for the evil omen of woman , it is her high dowry and disobedience of her husband . �[97]

You will notice that a high dowry of a wife is compared , in an evil omen , with disobedience of her husband .

From that , we note that the excessive dowry is as an evil omen in marriage and a cause of disagreement and divorce , unlike what people think . I ask : can ignorance succeed before the fact that Islam has already announced ?

Question 71

People pay a lot of attention to the difference in age between a husband and a wife . Would you please show me the recommended amount of this difference according to Islam and what the other qualities are that must be paid attention to before the agreement

of marriage ?

The answer : We have not found any verdict in Islam concerning this matter . When we study the lives of the leaders of Islam , we find that the difference in the ages of the spouses is in different extents . Sometimes a wife is older and sometimes a husband is older . Lady Khadeeja , the mother of Lady Fatima (s) , was married to the Prophet (s) while she was fifteen years older than him , whereas Imam Ali (s) was married to Lady Fatima (s) while he was ten years older than her .

The same is said about the other faithful men and women in the history of Islam . We have not read that they paid much attention , in their marriages , to the matter of age , but rather , they paid attention to other important qualities (of the other spouse) according to the following order :

1 . religiousness and faith

2 . good morals

3 . good family

These are the qualities according to which the believers are considered equivalent to each other . The Prophet (s) says , �The believers are equivalent to each other . �[98]

From these three main qualities , the following qualities ramify :

1. intelligence , knowledge , and social manners

2. intellectual and cultural equivalence

3. physical health and freedom from hereditary diseases

4. sufficient income to at least cover the necessary expenses

5. acceptable outward beauty but not at the expense of moral beauty

6. proportionality of bodies as customary

It is customary nowadays that spouses should be

nearer in age according to the idea that cultural equivalence results from studying in the modern schools , which means that both are somehow close in age . Equivalence is not achieved when a young woman is a graduate of a secondary school while the young man has been a graduate of a university for ten years , which makes the difference in age between them over seventeen years . Therefore , there is no cultural and intellectual equivalence and accordingly marriage with this extent of difference in ages is not advisable .

Custom has another conception in this field that differences in age form a ground for marital disagreements because interests and hobbies of different generations always cause clashes .

A third conception says that differences in age make one of the spouses maturer than the other due to experiences and this is another cause that leads to conflicts in opinions and situations , which makes spouses disagree with each other .

Another traditional conception is that the difference in age means that the older spouse may die long before the other , and especially if the wife is still young , she will become a widow after the death of her husband and may remain alone .

We agree with these four customary conceptions , but not absolutely . There are many exceptional cases in which the marital life is of utmost happiness and pleasure in spite of the age difference between the spouses .

What is important in equivalence is the educational equivalence and mental maturity ,

which leads to good behavior , kindness , humbleness , and rapport .

If the main qualities we have mentioned are found in a husband and a wife , they will live happily; otherwise , there will be no happiness even if the spouses are of the same age .

Question 72

What are the qualities of an ideal father and an ideal mother ?

The answer : An ideal father is one who :

1 . undertakes his responsibility well to create a good marital and family life with humane atmospheres .

2 . brings his family lawful livelihood without a bit of unlawful .

3 . respects his wife as a human being who is equal to him in rights and duties , as Allah has said , (O people ! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord , Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two , many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah , by Whom you demand one of another (your rights) , and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you) . [99]

4 . cares for the intellectual , moral , and material needs of his children and is generous to them as much as possible .

An ideal mother is one who :

1 . understands her role as a mother who has the most important position in educating children and feeding them with love and sentiment and teaching them the meanings of goodness , benevolence

, and the afterlife .

2 . undertakes her responsibility well and does not lose her patience or give up her task , which is like the task of the prophets and apostles .

3 . repels evil with that which is best .

4 . prefers the comfort of her husband and children to her own ease and comfort when there is a conflict between comforts .

5 . always feels satisfied and content .

6 . distributes her smiles of sincerity , satisfaction , and hope of success and progress among all members of her family .

7 . does not remind her husband of the work she does inside the house .

8 . does not uncover the defects of her husband before others and does not reveal the secrets of their life .

9 . looks forward to the reward of the afterlife , pleasure of Allah , and the bliss of Paradise , which Allah has put under her feet if she devotes her intentions sincerely to Allah in this life .

Here , someone may question : why have you decreased the qualities and responsibilities of a father and increased those of a mother ? This is not fair , O sheikh !

I say : if the wife has these ideal qualities , her husband will be affected by her and then she will be a practical teacher for her husband too . Then , the famous saying �behind every great man , there is a woman� will become true .

When we reach this fact , we find

that it is inevitable to emphasize the great role of mothers in preparing our daughters in the best way to undertake their important roles in achieving the happiness of the society , the progress of the umma , and the guidance of the men and the youth .

To see this fact , you can ponder on the reasons behind the wretchedness of society , the underdevelopment of the umma , and the deviation of men and the youth . You shall find heedless wives , bad women , and deviate girls at the head of these reasons .

Therefore , it has been mentioned in traditions that wealth and women are the most dangerous weapons of the Satan in seducing man and deviating him from truth , justice , and goodness and removing him from the moral paradise of this life and from the real Paradise in the afterlife , in which the pious live in comfort and luxury forever .

History has proved this in the past and in the present . Woman has corrupted and still corrupts whatever is around her if she is corrupted . Even the sincere believers have been felled by corruptive women if they became heedless for a moment .

Thus , responsibility is very heavy for a good mother , especially in bringing up her daughters . Therefore , Islam has made her position higher than the position of a good father . The Prophet (s) has ordered people to be kind to their mother three times more than to their

father .

If this becomes clear to you , you shall know the secret behind the plans of colonialists that aim at corrupting daughters and making mothers ignorant , because after that , colonialists can seize the wealth of our countries easily , for they shall not find before them save semi-men .

I have to declare something that is very bitter for every heart that wishes for the exaltedness of Islam and the happiness of man and society . It is that some women who are considered to be religious whereas faith has never entered their hearts have played a dangerous role in disrupting the Islamic unity , drawing the believers into disagreements and setting the fire of sedition among them .

This is clear evidence showing women�s ability of destruction even if they don the dress of religion .

Yes ! If a woman has such a great ability of bad influence even over religious people , it is reasonable and wise that much attention should be paid to this great ability in order to direct it towards construction rather than destruction .

Thus , we find that a faithful woman and ideal mother is a more important factor of construction and happiness in life than a faithful man and ideal father .

Question 73

What is the philosophy of motherhood ? What is the relation of woman to society with both positive and negative aspects ? Can motherhood be one of the factors that contribute to building a good and faithful nation that can resist corruption and tyranny ?


answer : Once , I heard Ayatollah Muhammad Taqqi al-Mudarrisi say in one of his lectures , �If you want a good society , you have to look for a good mother , because if you find society sinking under the pressures of corruption and loss , you should know well that all these evils shall reach mothers . A mother is not only a school , but she is also the life , origin , and essence of man� .

In order to treat the problem from its roots , you have to turn to the mother and try to treat the problems that the mother suffers from , and then , you will know the reasons behind the deviation of society . Looking for another place to cure the social diseases will be nothing save a temporary tranquilizer that soon disappears and then the pains of the diseases will come back again . �

About the philosophy of motherhood and the qualities of an ideal mother , he says , �Before all , man has to ask himself : has he come to this life to enjoy its pleasures and live for a certain period and then he dies and everything finishes , or has he come to play a role and undertake a responsibility ? If the second conception is true , then what is the responsibility of this man ? �

To answer this question , I say : the greatest responsibility that man undertakes in this life is the good upbringing of his

children . A mother who understands this responsibility knows well that all the affairs of this life are minor before her responsibility for her children�

An ideal mother makes her children be among the people of Paradise and tries her best to carry out this goal . She makes them love Allah and fear the punishment of the afterlife�

Things like these are not realized unless a woman pays a lot of attention to other things that are considered as bases to attain these goals . A woman does not become a good mother except when she becomes a good wife . As a man has to look for a good woman to marry , a woman does not have to accept save a good man to be her husband . After marriage , she has to try her best to raise and educate her children in the best way . Also , she has to watch her husband especially concerning the source of his livelihood . A good wife does not allow her husband to bring money from anywhere , because she knows that unlawful money causes unlawful sperm , and a man who is created from an unlawful sperm is difficult to be reformed . �

We invite the ulama , thinkers , preachers , and pious people to take extensive care to spread the culture of motherhood in societies , especially amongst the rising generation of girls . Islam has paid a lot of attention to the position of girls in the house due to

her vital role in the future when she becomes a wife and mother .

The Prophet (s) said , �Whoever has a daughter and he brings her up well , educates her well , and is generous to her with what Allah has granted him , she will be as a fort and cover him from Fire . �[100]

In another tradition , the Prophet (s) declares that the right of a mother on her child is two times more than the right of a father . A child has been recommended to be kind to his father , while he has been recommended to be kind to his mother three times as much .

The best speech is that of Allah when He says , (And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years , he says : My Lord ! grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents , and that I may do good which pleases Thee and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to Thee , and surely I am of those who submit . These are they from whom We accept the best of what they have done and pass over their evil deeds

, among the dwellers of the garden; the promise of truth which they were promised) . [101]

Question 74

My husband travels too much , and the responsibility of the house and children has fallen on me . My back has broken due to this heavy responsibility; nevertheless , I have not received from him even a word of gratitude . What shall I do ?

The answer : Your husband has to change his job , if it is possible , or bring you a servant . You may teach your children the household affairs to help you or you may make friends with the neighbors according to the familiar , social way among good people . If all these solutions fail , you should continue in your present state and look forward to the reward of Allah that the future may be better than the past .

Dear sister , be patient for patience is an effective weapon . Imam Ali (s) said , �He , who rides in the boat of patience , arrives at the field of victory . �[102]

The husband , also , has to try his best to solve this problem . Islam does not permit the burdening of wives with heavy duties .

The Prophet (s) said , �Travel is a part of torment . Whenever one of you finishes his travel , let him hasten back to his family . �

If this husband does not change his severe behavior towards his wife , relatives have to advise him wisely , because supporting

the cause of a wronged one brings good in this life and the afterlife .

Question 75

My husband is unjustly undergoing a sentence of fifteen years in prison for a matter of the truth ! I live miserably with my child . My husband�s relatives do not take any care of me or my little son . Whenever I count the remaining period of my husband�s imprisonment , which is ten years , I feel I will die before the actual death comes . I have a friend who asked her husband to divorce her as soon as she knew that he had been sentenced to life imprisonment and then she went to live with a good husband . She often advises me to do the same . I am confused and do not know what to do . Would you please guide me to the right way so that I may follow it and keep myself away from the whispers of the Satan ?

The answer

Dear faithful sister , there is something called loyalty , whose light always shines in the stories of pious and dutiful people . Loyalty is an Islamic value , a human nature , and a moral jewel . One who has no loyalty lives with remorse his whole life and does not feel happy .

Yes ! There are some exceptions that Islam has permitted and specified within certain boundaries . I prefer that these exceptional cases should be dealt with in the agreement between the imprisoned husband and the expectant wife

. The husband who has entered prison after struggling to revive noble values in society , which has been deprived of these values , is able to make a decision to set his young wife free if she wishes to live away from the long wait . Nevertheless , I prefer that the faithful wife make a sacrifice for the sake of the values that her husband was thrown in prison for . Among these values are loyalty , patience , devotedness , and giving delight to her husband�s heart by visiting him continuously and making him feel that she is with him not only in ease but also in distress . Is life worth anything without values ?

In a word , Islamic values must always be taken as the motives of our situations . They must be the criteria of divorce or waiting . Allah says , (�then retain them with kindness or separate them with kindness) . [103] Kindness is among the values to which Islam has invited and which also include loyalty , patience , cooperation , and mutual understanding .

Question 76

How can poor families overcome their financial problems , since the requirements of life are greater than the income these families receive ?

The answer : Poverty is not a new problem for man . Islam has treated poverty with its wise verdicts and moral teachings and with supplications and with strengthening the moral aspects of man and family . We feel sorry for most Muslims who have virtually said to Islam

: stick to the limits of books and lectures and do not enter our practical life especially in our closed rooms ! ! Therefore , they have brought upon themselves different problems in their lives .

Society , with its poor and rich , has kept away from the wide mercy and abundant blessings of Allah . Whoever divorces piety , Heaven divorces him . Allah says , (And if the people of the towns had believed and guarded (against evil) We would certainly have opened up for them blessings from the heaven and the earth , but they rejected , so We overtook them for what they had earned) . [104] The poor commit some disobediences that bring them poverty and the rich commit some disobediences that bring them distresses , and thus poverty increases in the society . Imam Ali (s) has said , �There is no abundant blessing , unless there is a lost due beside it . �

Panting after the desires of this life , material pleasures , and lavish expenditures is failure to know the facts to which Allah has invited us .

From amongst the poetry ascribed to Imam Hasan (s) is the following verse :

�O people of a transient world ,

Adhering to an evanescent shadow is silliness . �

Observing this fact , the economical life of a family must be well organized . The husband , his wife , and the other qualified members of the family can manage the income of the family in the best way and spare

some of it for emergencies .

It is useful to quote here what I have read in the al-Wa�iy al-Islami magazine , vol . 414 : �Many problems happen to families because of disorganization of the income between the two spouses or the income does not cover their needs .

Nowadays , these problems have become more complicated because of the rise in prices , the high level of living , the change of life�s luxuries of yesterday into essential needs today , and the increasing number of population that leads to an increase in consumption .

The circumstances and the disagreements that emerge because of money and defects in managing the income and expenditures may be different from one family to another , but there are some important concerns such as the changes that affect the lives of the spouses are such that each of them will not have his/her own independent opinion about the financial matters . In fact , the opinion of the other side will be important , especially if the wife has a job and a personal income .

Some modern families suffer from serious financial problems , and some husbands may belittle the material needs , which may increase the disagreement between spouses .

But how can spouses face these financial crises ?

1 . Each spouse has to inform the other of his/her actual income so that they conduct all their affairs clearly and with fidelity .

2 . The spouses , together , have to specify the most important points of expenditure .

3 .

They have to agree that the income of the husband and the income of the wife become one to build the family and not to satisfy their personal wishes .

4 . They have to agree to balance their joint incomes so that nothing disturbs their expenditure .

5 . They must avoid participating in different projects and many installments in order to not be overwhelmed by the great expenses required from each of them .

6 . If one of them faces a financial problem , he/she has to frankly inform the other spouse so that they can make the necessary changes to their budget .

Each husband and wife should not place money and financial problems in the first position of their life , for the pillars of a happy family stand on mutual understanding and respect before all . Money alone does not bring happiness and tranquility , but it is a means to achieve the requirements of life . �

There are many Qur�anic verses and supplications to be recited to invoke Allah for livelihood . They are mentioned in the books of supplications . What I mention here is something that I myself have experienced . It is reciting the second and the third verses of the sura at-Talaq (65) , (�and whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah , He will make for him an outlet , and give him sustenance from whence he thinks not; and whoever trusts in Allah , He is sufficient for him; surely Allah attains His purpose; Allah

indeed has appointed a measure for everything) three times after every prayer , attentively and sincerely . [105]

Question 77

A while ago , I married a young woman . After the wedding , I discovered that she had some defects . I tried to be satisfied and patient with her defect , but I could not . At last , I decided to divorce her , but her brother began threatening me and caused me troubles . He is an evil person , and I hate troubles . Frankly , I say that I am not brave in evil or in resisting evil . I do not know what to do . I hope that you may guide me to a solution .

The answer : Legally , you have the right to divorce her , but humaneness requires you to live with her if her defect is not so serious . If you decide to divorce her , you have to be prudent towards her brother . Allah says , (And the servants of the Beneficent are they who walk on the earth in humbleness , and when the ignorant address them , they say : Peace ! )[106]

Also we find this solution in a tradition narrated from one of the Ahlul Bayt (s) , �If you keep silent before an ignorant person , you answer him fully and punish him painfully . �

You should follow this conduct if his harm towards you is through speech , but if you fear that he may do more

serious harm to you , you can send some notables to advise and threaten him implicitly . If he persists in his ignorance , you should try to move to another part of your country . If he continues harassing you , then you should lodge a complaint against him in court .

You should do so if there is no way before you except divorce , but if you can live with your wife , you should; otherwise , after agreeing with her , you can choose a second wife who can live with her without troubles .

Question 78

I have a friend whose wife is sick and she cannot satisfy his sexual desire . At the same time , she strongly refuses to let him marry another wife . She acts like she�ll die whenever he wants to discuss this subject with her , though he has the right to marry another wife even if his first wife is sound . Then , how about it when she is sick ?

I wonder at the selfishness and the unjust jealousy of such women towards their poor husbands ! My friend is always nervous because of his wife who is not ready to talk about polygamy . What do you suggest for a solution ? Should my friend continue living with his wife and remain without children , satisfied lust , or comfort or should he marry another one regardless of what will happen ?

The answer : This husband has the right to get married whether in

order to get children , to satisfy his sexual lust , or to relieve his strained nerves , but executing this right requires great wisdom in caring for the moral side . He , to the extent of his abilities , has to convince his wife and assure her that he will not leave her alone or ignore her if she agrees on his marriage to another wife , rather her agreement shall make him love and respect her more . He must carry out his promise to her after her agreement .

If this attempt does not succeed , he should send some wise relatives of hers to convince her and explain to her the divine verdict in this concern . They should explain to her that by preventing her husband from marrying another , she will bring upon herself the wrath of Allah that will lead her to the torment of the afterlife because , by doing so , she denies one of the verdicts of Allah and prohibits a lawful right of her husband on the one hand , and on the other hand , she may lead her husband to commit unlawful acts . In fact , her permission is not a condition for the validity of her husband�s second marriage , but it is just a moral requirement .

If this attempt does not succeed either , then the decision is up to the husband whether he wants to live with her and make sacrifices for her or if he wants to

get married to another , regardless of the consequences .

I myself know someone who went ahead and married another wife in spite of his wife�s threats , and then she submitted to the reality . However , I also know other people who married additional wives in spite of their wives� threats , and their wives did in fact carry out their threats and caused their husbands many troubles .

I do not know which type the wife of your friend will be ! I pray to Allah that she recovers her health and makes her husband happy , and I hope she will find pleasure in submitting to the verdict of Allah because nothing will be more useful to her than the verdicts of Allah , which surely have wisdom and advantages that may be unknown by man , for Allah is more aware than us .

Such women have to think of the pleasure of Allah and their ends in the afterlife . This life is transient and ages are too short however much they last ! Then , let these women do good deeds and leave good remembrances after them !

Question 79

The troubles between a wife and her husband�s relatives are among the problems that most often lead a marriage to divorce . It is seldom to find cordiality between a wife and her mother-in-law . My question is : how do you deal with this problem ?

The answer : There are some points that must be obtained before the troubles begin :

1. Spouses

, and their families as well , should have a good amount of comprehension , prudence , morals , and good faith , and this is what Islam emphasizes .

2. Spouses should try to keep away from the incentives of disagreement .

3. They should try to be independent in the abode and the domestic means .

4. They should refrain from spying on others in the family .

5. They should not reveal their secrets to others .

6. They should try to spread love among all by praising , thanking , and encouraging others .

However , if the problems begin , the following steps must be followed :

1. The problem must be belittled .

2. The problem must be limited only to the ones the problem relates to .

3. Others may give advice with lenient speech and smiles and some lectures about the afterlife , and they should avoid disputing . It would be better to mention some jokes to quiet the anger of the ones involved in the problem .

4. They should beware of suspecting and misunderstanding each other .

5. They should deal with the problem wisely and should humor the ones involved in the problem until the fire of the problem is extinguished .

Imam Ali (s) says , �Humor people and you will enjoy their brotherhood . Meet them with smiles and joy and you will kill their spites . �[107]

Question 80

What is the meaning of this verse (Men are the guardians of women)[108] ? Many men take it as an excuse to impose unjust control

on their women .

The answer : In managing the affairs of marital life , there must be one decision-maker; otherwise , the family will become divided and fall into parts . It is the same with companies , banks , and government departments . They have one head , who is called manager , minister , or president , to make decisions . This does not imply the permitting of despotism . A manager , a minister , or a president , in spite of his authority , has to consult with others and has to take counselors . Even the messenger of Allah (s) , who is the most perfect one among all human beings , has been ordered by Allah to consult with others by saying , (�and consult with them in the affair; so when you have decided , then place your trust in Allah) . [109]

In this verse , you see two orders : one of consulting and the other of determining . In the first order , there is a plural pronoun (consult with them) whereas in the other order there is a singular pronoun . It is understood that a final decision must be made by one person , and no more; otherwise , disagreement will not be settled by one decision . As we have said , a decision must be made after consulting with persons of common benefit and common fate . This means that guardianship should be for a decision-maker .

Here , we discuss the following

question : if guardianship is to be claimed by either the husband or the wife , which one of them is preferred ?

Islam prefers the husband over the wife for the following reasons :

1 . Man in most cases has a greater ability of administration , control over his nerves , courage , freedom in going out of home , dealing with people , and dealing with the affairs of life than a woman .

2 . If a woman works outdoors , she will be � in most cases � an easy game for hunters .

3 . Because the husband is the one who initially establishes the family and the wife is a newcomer to the family , man is worthier of making a decision on what he establishes . For example , if you establish a company and invite someone qualified to assist you in administrating the company , would you not keep the conclusive decisions to yourself though you may regard the position of the one you have invited as a partner with you in administration ?

4 . Because the husband undertakes the financial responsibility of the family , it is natural that guardianship is his right . This is clear in the Qur�anic verse (Men are the guardians of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property) . [110]

This matter , however , does not justify the unjust control of a man over his wife . Many men exploit their authorities

to achieve personal benefits . This does not mean that this authority is wrong , but rather it is wrong when the authorized men misuse this authority selfishly to achieve their personal benefits .

If a keeper of a mosque or a (Husayniyyah)[111] collects some money under the pretense of doing some religious projects , but he spends this money on his personal purposes , do we condemn the mosque , the Husayniyyah , and the religious projects or do we condemn that disloyal person ?

When Islam gave this guardianship to man , it ordered him to be fair , honest , and wise . If man is not so , then the wrong lies in man himself and not in the verdict of guardianship .

I do not think that there is a woman who refuses to be the wife of a man who is bound by the conditions of guardianship and its Islamic principles .

We ask : can a husband authorize his wife with this guardianship ?

The answer : Yes , he has the right to convey his right to his wife . Thus , Islam does not determine the despotism of men; rather , Islam organizes the administration of a happy marital life , and thus guardianship is a positive thing as long as the husband has positive qualities .

Question 81

I often hear from preachers that the person who arranges a marriage between a Muslim man and a Muslim woman will get a great reward . Once , I arranged a marriage between two

young persons , and now whenever a quarrel occurs between them , they blame me because I was the cause of their marriage . This has made me refrain from attempting again in this concern . What do you think I should do ?

The answer : The Prophet (s) has said , �He who marries his faithful brother to a woman who supports him and makes him feel happy and comfortable with her , Allah will marry him to a houri and will please him with the veracious ones of his relatives and brothers who love him and will make them pleased with him . �[112]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said , �Whoever marries a bachelor (to a woman) will be among those whom Allah will look at on the Day of Resurrection . �[113]

Islam has urged us to assist people in getting married . Islam does not urge anything unless it is to our advantage , giving us benefits in religion and rewards in the afterlife . But the approach to achieving this is important . The one who wants to arrange the marriage of two persons has to regard the qualities of the two persons and the extent to which they are near in ambitions and morals , and then he should tell them and their families that he is just an introducer . Then , those persons and their families must take the remaining steps . They should inquire accurately about each other and then agree on the details and conditions of marriage

. The introducer has to tell them that he should not be blamed since it is the spouses and their families who make the final decision . He should tell them that a mediator does not know the unseen , and if he knew the unseen , he would prevent the quarrels of the spouses or would not prepare their marriage at all .

According to these points , you have to continue doing good to gain rewards in the afterlife . Do not let the justifications of the persons who are unable to deal with each other correctly prevent you from doing good . Actual blame should be on them and not on the one who has intended to do good and serve others .

Question 82

I separated from my first husband because he was a drug addict , and for the past ten years , I have been married to a good man . He speaks little with me and pays more attention to his business . I wish we could sit together and discuss our interests , life affairs , educating our children , the news of the society and neighbors , or the like . Sometimes , I feel that I am full of speech but I do not find anyone beside me to whom I can talk . I tell my husband : please listen to me ! He says : I have no time , and my mind is not ready to listen . Would you please suggest a solution to

my problem ?

The answer : Dear sister , you have to understand that people are different in their natures but they are similar in other aspects . Your good husband is different from you in some aspect , but this does not mean that he hates you or hates to listen to your speech . Some aspects are hereditary , others are related with the zodiacs , some are acquired since childhood , and others are acquired because of the surrounding environment and pressing difficulties that man faces due to political , economical , or social reasons . These difficulties afflict all people , but they cause some melancholy , others handicaps , others madness , others failure and deviation , and others great success � and this kind is found the least in people .

Dear sister , I suggest that you should try to talk with your other relatives , such as your parents , brothers , sisters , daughters , or your trusted neighbors . If you do not succeed , then you should accept the reality because satisfaction is a treasure that does not end , as mentioned in the Islamic traditions . It has also been mentioned that keeping silent and speaking little are better .

Question 83

My wife used to take care of me (fifty percent of the time) , but ever since she gave birth to our child , she pays all her attention to the child as if she does not see her husband is also in the house

. I do not know how to deal with this situation without making her misunderstand that I may be jealous of my child .

The answer : This case results from a previous emotional void either in her father�s house or in your house . When her child was born , she tried to fill that void by excessive inclination towards him .

To repair the situation :

1 . Bring her some books about the rights of the husband and marital relations or some cassettes containing lectures about this subject !

2 . Do not resent and do not show her your anger at her action , but you should give her ample opportunity to return to her natural state !

3 . Organize some time for both of you to talk and assure her of your love to her !

4 . Let her see your love and attention for the child to make her feel that she is not the only one who loves the child !

5 . Continue this behavior and do not give up because the fruits will not come to you immediately , especially if her emotional void is deep and old !

6 . Send your friends� wives to her to talk to her about her required legal duties towards her husband , without making her feel that they have come specifically to discuss this matter !

Question 84

My wife used to always attend religious meetings , but now she is interested only in material pleasures . She always insists that we change the furniture or

I buy her clothes and other things that are beyond my financial ability . I talk to her about contentment , which I assume she has learnt about in those religious meetings , but she pays no attention . Once , I discussed this problem with a faithful man , and he advised me to prevent her from going to those meetings justifying that these meetings have become , in our present time , meetings of displaying fashions or discussing the matters of this material world . I did , but she became more obstinate and began disputing with me and threatened that she would go out in spite of me . Now , my life is full of problems with this wife . Would you please advise me what to do ?

The answer : Acknowledging the miserable reality is the first step in repairing it . What you have mentioned about the meetings that are clothed in religion hurts the heart of every protective believer , and at the head of these protective people are Muhammad (s) and his pure progeny (s) .

Really , some meetings not only do not educate our women , but they also destroy the efforts of education made by the sincere people . The Prophet (s) warned us when he said to his successor Imam Ali (s) , �O Ali , whoever obeys his wife , Allah will throw him into the Fire . � Imam Ali (s) asked , �What obedience ? � The Prophet (s) said ,

�He permits her to go to meetings , weddings , meetings of weepers , and to put on transparent clothes . �[114]

The solution I suggest comes through the following points (whether you follow all of them or some of them depends on your discretion in dealing with the problem and its concerns) :

First , after explaining to her your wife�s state , allow a wise woman to befriend your wife and advise your wife from the wisdom she has received from her Lord .

Second , you can hold religious meetings in your house , if possible , and entrust your wife with some suitable responsibility that will occupy her and allow her to feel her personality . If it is not possible , you can take her to certain meetings after previously arranging with the preacher to choose a suitable subject . For example , let him talk about the saying of the Prophet (s) , �There are three woman , who Allah frees from the torment of the grave and resurrects with Fatima az-Zahra� (s); a woman who is patient with the stinginess of her husband , a woman who is patient with the bad morals of her husband , and a woman who gives up her dowry to her husband . �

Third , you should follow calm ways to convince her , because the harms of anger , nervousness , and scolding are greater than their advantages . Perhaps a nice word , a nice gesture , a present , a smile ,

or a joke would treat many problems in a short amount of time .

Fourth , consider your financial ability and be realistic and sincere to the best of your abilities . If she wants a necessary thing and you are able to buy it for her , do so and do not be stingy for Allah grants kind people His expansive and lawful livelihood .

Fifth , you should try your best to improve your living conditions because remaining in poverty is something that religion does not accept .

Sixth , if these steps are of no use , you have to be patient and bear the problem until Allah determines what is best between you and your wife .

Seventh , if all of these attempts are useless , you would be better off threatening to divorce her , and then you can carry out a revocable divorce , because then you can return to her after she repents of her bad behaviors .

Question 85

What is the opinion of Islam about birth control and stopping procreation ? Some people in our family think that it is unlawful; therefore , they procreate in spite of their limited incomes , whereas others think that it is necessary to control birth though they are in a good economical state .

The answer : Basically , the Muslims should procreate and increase in number as it is understood from the Prophetic traditions . The Prophet (s) said , �Do you not know that I will be proud of you before nations on

the Day of Resurrection even of miscarried fetuses��[115] .

However , Islam has taken the different stages and circumstances of people into consideration . Economical conditions , narrow residences , difficulties of upbringing and educating , dangers of deviation from religion , and the problems of controlling people�s affairs in general are factors requiring birth control for some people , but they may not require other people to practice that .

This is understood from other traditions too . The Prophet (s) said , when predicting some things to take place in a time different from his time , �A time will come to people , in which the best of people will be� those of less children . �[116]

Imam Ali (s) said , �There are three things that are among the worst of calamities : big family , dominance of debts , and chronic diseases . �[117]

It is understood that a smaller family is better .

Imam Ali (s) also said , �(having) few children is one of the two eases . �[118]

We conclude that this matter (birth control) is permissible and is a personal decision according to the circumstances of a person himself . It is not possible to impose or not to impose the concept of birth control on someone except if it harms others seriously .

It is thus if there are no imperialist plans behind birth control; otherwise , not controlling birth is obligatory on condition that one can bring up and educate his children properly , lest they become an easy game for

the imperialists as mostly happens .

Question 86

My wife�s relatives interfere in the affairs of my marital life , and so they have made our life full of troubles .

As for my wife , she is divided between her relatives and me . Her heart is with me , but her courtesies are with them , and all the while , confusion hovers as a cloud over her head . I do not know how to save her and myself from her curious family !

The answer : You can send some wise people as mediators to persuade your wife�s relatives to stop their interferences , which may destroy the happiness of their daughter if they truly want her happiness . But before all , let us be realistic . Please , think of yourself ! Perhaps you practice a wrong behavior that needs to be repaired !

If you are certain about yourself , you should send mediators; otherwise , repair yourself and carry out these steps reasonably and with lenient morals :

1 . Explain your opinions to your wife and let her stand with you in this ordeal to avoid any dispute or quarrel with her family !

2 . Change your behavior towards her family and be lenient to them . Allah says , (Repel the evil deed with one which is better , then lo ! he , between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend) . [119]

3 . Let you and your wife be busy with

building your future , and do not listen to others� criticism and disputes as long as you understand each other and look forward to the pleasure of Allah .

4 . On some occasions , offer your wife�s relatives some presents to gain their love and to clear the old dregs from their hearts .

Question 87

In our building , we have a neighbor , whose wife is garrulous and he himself does not refrain from talking with the female neighbors and joking with them until their laughing becomes terribly loud , besides the disturbance they make in the corridors . What is the legal verdict of Islam on this bad behavior ?

The answer : This is impermissible in Islam according to these Qur�anic verses : (�then be not soft in (your) speech , lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word . And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore) . [120]

Talkativeness and nonsense often revolve around backbiting , telling tales , and revealing secrets that often cause problems between spouses , families , and neighbors; and especially problematic is the mutual joking and laughing between non-mahram men and women .

Allah the Almighty says , (And say to My servants (that) they speak that which is best; surely the Satan sows dissensions among them)[121] and (�and lower your voice; surely the most hateful of voices is braying of the asses) . [122]

From the recommendations of Prophet al-Khidhr (s) to

Prophet Moses (s) , Prophet Muhammad (s) quoted the following , �Do not be talkative and do not prattle , because talkativeness disgraces the ulama and reveals the defects of silly people ! �[123]

Imam Ali (s) said , �Do not talk to people about everything you hear because it is stupidity . �[124]

He also said , �A silence dressing you in dignity is better than a saying bringing you regret . �[125]

Question 88

My husband always repeats , �I am unable to manage the house and to educate the children . Do whatever you want and do not depend on me ! � This is not right , but I do not know how to correct his thinking .

The answer : It is very odd that the master of the family would declare his inability to manage his house , which he himself has established , or to educate one , two , or three children , whereas we find the heads of companies , foundations , and governments managing , in addition to their families , tens , hundreds , thousands , and millions of people .

What is the reason behind this difference ?

The reason lies in the following points , which are absent from an incapable person�s mind and present before the mind of a successful manager :

- First point : methodology

By this we mean recognizing the goals of marriage , procreation , and forming a family , on which basis the master of the family plans for the future of his children �

the future , which stems from him first and foremost . Does man , when he invites some guests , not think of the aim of his invitation and then plan how and what foods he will offer appropriate to their ranks and positions ? In the same way , concerning his family and children , he should specify aims and then think and plan accordingly to execute them .

- Second point : organizing

It means distributing the domestic duties in such a way that each member of the house knows his duty and also to ensure that the greater part of the duties will not fall on the shoulder of any one person while the others live without offering any help or feeling any responsibility .

The master of the family is the one who divides the household duties amongst the members of his family according to their ages and abilities; for example , one for sweeping , the other for cooking , the third for shopping , and so on . Allah says , (�and help one another in goodness and piety) . [126]

- Third point : coordination

Parents must agree on and settle many things between themselves so that each of them knows his duties , such as buying the school supplies of their children for example . If there is no prior arrangement between the parents , the father may buy the supplies and the mother may also buy them at the same time , or neither will buy them , and thus the

affairs of the children may become troubled at school .

Coordination , which is a part of organization , prevents the waste of time , abilities , and efforts and the confusion of the family members through different instructions in the house . Have you not seen Allah with your mind and heart through His great organization of the creatures and the coordination among them with the utmost accuracy ? If it were not so , all life would be in tumult .

- Fourth point : leadership

The master of the family , and especially the father , should touch the hearts of the members of his family through love to attract them towards his educational instructions , and this is one of the qualities of an understanding leader . It is a stage higher than household management . A successful leader is one who does not make others submit to his will by force , but he instead uses wisdom and prudence to convince them to submit . The leader who uses severity and violence will certainly produce severe , impolite , mutinous , and wicked offspring with weak personalities .

We do not deny the importance of using strictness and firmness in some occasions . A wise leader is aware of those occasions , and he knows how and when he should become strict and firm without making others feel that he has a power over them that may deprive them of their freedom and also without making them feel that responsible supervision is of no

importance . Leadership is the art of mixing many items , the most important of which are knowledge , wisdom , tact , and good practice .

- Fifth point : knowledge

The master of the family should know the actual value of these points in correlation to what Islam has legislated in its view towards the universe , life , man , and their legislative and moral concerns .

Finally , this husband should strengthen his morale by relying on Allah the Almighty . The nearest one who can help him in this matter is you , O wife . You can inspire in him the spirit of responsibility . You can encourage and praise him whenever he carries out something . You can tell him that the greatness of the famous personalities in history came about because they did not think of the difficulties in their achievements , but they instead thought of the great achievements they would get .

Question 89

What is the reason behind insomnia and lack of sleep , and what is the treatment ? If it is due to marital problems , it is enough to make one think of not getting married .

The answer : The main reasons behind this case are :

1. Physical pains

2. Problems pressing on one�s mind

3. Worry , especially about one�s job and future projects

4. Watching films of terror and libertinism

5. Reading books that incite lust and the nerves

6. Feeling guilt

7. Marital problems , as you have mentioned in your question

To treat yourself , you have to perform

the following steps :

1. Perform (wudu�) ritual ablution before going to bed !

2. Recite some suras of the Holy Qur�an especially the sura of al-Hashr (59) !

3. Pray to Allah to forgive you your every sin !

4. Make planned efforts according to the orders of Allah !

5. Believe sincerely that Allah manages all affairs and He is the Generous Giver !

6. Try to be outwardly and inwardly loyal and pure !

7. Be satisfied with what Allah has granted you of wealth and your marital life !

8. Be certain that this world is transient and man�s age is short !

9. Read about the problems of others and always thank Allah for His fate !

10. Tire your body out before going to bed with , for example , sports or reading !

Question 90

My husband has a weak and infirm personality . He does not manage the household affairs . He neither enjoins nor does he forbid the children . He pays no attention to their school education . How should I behave towards him in order to make him act according to his suitable position ?

The answer : This is the negative side of your husband�s personality , but surely he has some positive qualities too . Try to regard these qualities as well . But as for the negative side :

First , entrust him with some tasks even if he hesitates or refuses to do them !

Second , try to give him self-confidence . For example , you can say to him : I am sure

you can do this work .

Third , declare to him that you want him to be with a strong personality , and tell him that this is the wish of your children as well . Tell him that the responsibilities in marital life are common and divided according to Islamic teachings and the human nature !

Fourth , plan with your children to ask their father to interfere in their affairs and to discuss with them different issues . In other words , he should be involved in the family affairs in every way .

Fifth , if he does not change after these steps , you have to adapt yourself to his state and convince yourself that it is a good state , for every person has his own independent personality and private mentality .

Question 91

Once , a dispute took place between my wife and myself about managing our marital life and our children�s affairs . She accused me of insanity . This word , instead of making me angry , has made me ponder about myself � am I really as my wife said ?

Would you please show the connotation of sanity that I may understand my mentality for myself and change accordingly , or I may convince my wife that I am not as she says ?

The answer : I congratulate you for this liberal spirit and I wish there were more like you in our fanatic societies . The Prophet (s) , who was definitely and without a doubt on the path of

truth and guidance , invited the polytheists , who were on a definite path of deviation , to an open argumentation without fanaticism or omitting the argument of the other side before showing the truth . (And most surely we or you are on a right way or in manifest error) . [127]

See how the Prophet (s) made the matter of disagreement between him and the polytheists as though unresolved between guidance and deviation . Thus , he encouraged them to begin argumentation . However , in our societies , if two Muslims (or maybe two scholars) disagree , each one of them determines that he is in the truth and his opponent is in the falsehood and each one of them turns away from the other with enmity and grudge !

Dear brother , as for your question , you should be aware that sanity has some signs , most of which begin with the following DON�Ts :

1. Do not be inclined to violence , revenge , or transgressing against the rights of others !

2. Do not show off in your deeds !

3. Do not like despotism !

4. Do not lie !

5. Do not be lazy to spend your life idly with no aim or productivity !

6. Do not be greedy for what other people have or envy them !

7. Do not hate others , and do not fill your heart with grudge against your opponents or whoever does you wrong !

8. Do not be selfish and think yourself better than all others !

9. Do

not ignore religious beliefs throughout your life !

10. Do not disperse your mind , for then your concentration on your tasks will scatter here and there !

After that , you should feel stable in your mentality and behaviors before problems , look at life positively , become hopeful of your tomorrow , and promise those whom you are responsible for a happy future . Thus , you bring yourself and your family vitality , vigor , and constructive activity .

These signs will indicate to you that your inner complexes have disappeared , and then you will live with a pure nature that will repair the condition you live in , and then you will understand your goal in this life and the duties required from you .

Dear brother , with these points , you have to prove to your wife that you are sane and you love your family , and for the sake of your family , you are ready to tolerate all difficulties in order to continue towards your goal , regardless of whether you are in difficulty or ease .

I confirm here that your not being angry with your wife when she called you insane proves that you are mentally sound , and from this point on , you must set out towards a better sanity and mentality .

Question 92

I often become so angry that I burst out against whoever and whatever is around me . I confess that I am not happy with myself when I am angry with my wife

, my children , or others , but I do not know how to treat this psychological disease !

The answer : Dear brother , be sure that anger harms your health because you burn with it your physical powers and the cells of your brain and heart . You may also , because of anger , lose your family and job . Remember that most of the dead in our present time have died because of apoplexy after a case of anger and nervousness .

If you believe in this information , be sure that your case is curable and the key to the cure is in your willpower , which may be difficult to control in the beginning , but later on it will grow stronger until you will find it easy to control your anger and change your behavior .

Here are some points to help you cure yourself inshallah :

1 . When angry , try to orient your thinking and senses to something besides the subject that provokes your anger !

2 . Leave the place you are in when you become angry and walk to another , and do not come back to it except after forgetting the situation or when your anger disappears !

3 . Assign an hour or half an hour every day for practicing exercises , swimming , or breathing deeply ! It would be better for you to practice such exercises at the seashore .

4 . Teach yourself to be merry through smiling , joking , and mentioning pleasant events

and comments within the limits of politeness and honesty ! In other words , be good-humored , lovely , and attractive !

5 . Trust in the abilities of others , and do not think that they cannot achieve something !

6 . Choose some wise person with whom to discuss your sufferings , entrust him with your secrets , and consult him regarding your affairs !

7 . Always perform wudu� and mention Allah with your tongue and heart and remember that you are under His accurate watch !

Question 93

I was recently married , and I suffer from much psychological worry and turmoil , fearing that I may fail in my marriage and become a sad divorcee sitting in a corner of my father�s house like thousands of divorcees . Would you please help me solve my suffering before what I fear takes place though my husband is a good man ?

The answer : Dear sister , your problem shows that you lack self-confidence and your fears are not real . They are outcomes of scruple and imagination . Your worrying about your future with your husband may be a sufficient reason for you to fear as you do . To solve your problem , you have to get rid of its cause by following these steps without hesitation :

1 . You should think deeply about why you scorn and belittle yourself while you have been created with the divine dignity . Allah has granted you honor and virtue as a highly respected being , so it

is unjust for you to do away with your position and value .

2 . After discussing the matter with yourself , you will arrive at the critical result that you are precious , and then you will know that a precious one is she who tries her best to remain precious or become more precious . This requires you to offer to your husband whatever good you can offer . This will make you more attractive before your good husband .

3 . Seek refuge in Allah from the evil of the sneaking whisperer , who whispers into the hearts of mankind , of the jinn and of mankind !

4 . Read some books about the aspects of a successful wife and apply them to yourself , and then do not doubt your ability to continue living with your husband in a happy , joint life with your good offspring !

5 . Always take lessons from successful wives , and do not spend your time thinking of sad divorcees !

6 . Always , convince yourself that you are happy , successful , strong , and brave !

7 . Keep these advices before your eyes throughout your life !

Question 94

My friend is a shopkeeper . He said that there is a married woman often tried to seduce him . Many times he chided her but with no use . One day , she came to his shop and insisted for him to commit adultery with her , justifying that her husband paid no attention to her emotional

needs . Would you please talk about these dangerous corruptions and how to treat their causes ?

The answer : The Prophet (s) said , �The wrath of Allah is so great on a married woman who fills her eyes with other than her husband or one of her mahrams . If she does so , Allah will nullify all her deeds , and if she sleeps with other than her husband on her bed , Allah will definitely burn her in Fire after torturing her in the grave . �[128]

Dear brother , what is important is that your friend should overcome his desires and not fall into the trap of this adulteress , for then he would throw himself with her into the fire of Hell .

I would like to say to your friend and those like him what Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �Be abstinent from the women of people , and your women will be abstinent ! �[129]

Does his conscience accept that the honor of the women of his family should be violated ? If his answer is �NO� , let him beware of opening a way for his own honor to be violated .

This tested man and that enticing woman should ponder deeply on the sayings of the Prophet (s) narrated by Imam as-Sadiq (s) , �You have to be abstinent and avoid adultery�[130] and by Imam al-Baqir (s) , �There is no worship better near Allah than the abstinence of the abdomen (not to eat any unlawful thing) and genitals .


Let them , also , ponder on the great reward of the martyr who struggles for the sake of Allah ! It is less than the reward of one who is able to commit adultery but he abstains and forbears . We have been informed of such by Imam Ali (s) who added , �An abstinent is about to be as one of the angels . �[132]

Imam Ali (s) also said , �Satisfaction and suppressing the lust are the best of abstinence . �[133]

He said to Muhammad bin Abu Bakr when he appointed him as the wali of Egypt , �Know that the best of abstinence is piety in the religion of Allah and doing according to His orders . I recommend you of fearing Allah in secrecy and in openness��[134]

Dear young man , you should resist and not permit yourself to commit adultery because it is one of the major sins . Remember , when the Satan invites you towards adultery , Allah sees you as do your great Prophet (s) and infallible Imams (s) , who know your secrets every Thursday by the will of Allah , Who knows every secret . [135]

You should remember that sin has destructive effects and bad consequences that disgrace man in this life and bring him distresses and griefs .

Imam Ali (s) said , �He who hastens towards lusts , hastens towards plagues . �[136]

He also said , �Whoever enjoys himself by disobeying Allah , Allah afflicts him with meanness . �[137]

Imam al-Baqir (s) said , �No

disaster afflicts man except after a sin��[138]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �Allah the Almighty says : when he , who knows Me , disobeys Me , I will set up one , who does not know Me , over him . �[139]

This is in this life , but as for the afterlife , the Prophet (s) said , �He who shakes hands with a woman who is unlawful (non-mahram) for him will be afflicted with the wrath of Allah , and he who sleeps with a woman who is unlawful for him will be tied by a chain of fire with the Satan and they both will be thrown into Fire . �[140]

I would like to draw the attentions of the husbands who are indifferent to the sexual rights of their wives and also the husbands who are lenient towards their wives in allowing them to watch erotic films or in letting them go out without surveillance that they are partners in the crime of adultery their wives commit .

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �Allah has given woman patience of ten men , but if she is excited , the power of her lust becomes as of ten men . �[141]

The Prophet (s) ordered husbands by saying , �Wash your clothes , cut your hairs , use miswak (tooth cleanser � i . e . brush your teeth) , clean your bodies , and adorn yourselves ! The Israelites did not do that; therefore , their women committed adultery . �[142]

Adultery is not just a

moment of pleasure which ends with the act; rather , hundreds of problems come after it such as sudden death , which is the worst of them , illegitimate children , who form a main cause of crime in societies , and so on .

Question 95

My wife is sterile , and I love children very much . I do not want to die without leaving righteous descendents after me . I spoke with my wife about marrying a faithful girl who would be as her friend and assistant so that Allah may grant me good offspring , but she refused and was about to attack and kill me .

Several weeks passed until our relation was restored to its natural state . I then suggested to her that we might look for an orphan and adopt him as our son , if it was acceptable to her . She accepted , but I do not know whether she was sincere or she just accepted out of courtesy . Nevertheless , how should we go about finding an orphan ? How can we be sure that he is not illegitimate ?

The answer : In the first part of the problem , the wife should understand the truth and submit to the verdict of the Sharia , which is the verdict of Allah , Who has given man the right to marry two , three , or four wives (on condition that he will treat them all fairly and equally) in normal cases , then how about if

the first wife is in a state like that of your wife ?

Let this wife be sure that when Allah sees her submit to His judgment , He will grant her goodness that will make her happy in this life and in the afterlife . If her husband does get married , whether she agrees to it or not , let her beware of the whispering of the Satan , who is the bitterest enemy of man .

In the story of Sara , the wife of Prophet Abraham (s) , there is a big similarity to the story of this tried wife . Sara was sterile . Prophet Abraham (s) got married to Hagar . Sara became jealous of Hagar with the jealousy of unfaithful women . Therefore , Allah punished Sara by granting Hagar a good son whose name was Ishmael (s) , who was the forefather of our Prophet Muhammad (s) and the millions of sayyids throughout these past fourteen centuries after hijra , whereas Sara has gone without any mention .

As for the second part of the problem , if you agree on adopting an orphan , this will be a great deed if you carry out its conditions .

The Prophet (s) said , as narrated by Imam as-Sadiq (s) , �Whoever adopts an orphan until [the orphan] becomes secure from his needs , Allah will assure Paradise to him for it just as He assures Hell to the eater of an orphan�s property . �[143]

The Prophet (s) also said , �The

best of your houses is a house in which there is an orphan treated kindly , and the worst of your houses is a house in which there is an orphan treated badly . �[144]

He also said , �Whoever shares his food and drink with an orphan so that the orphan becomes secure from his needs will be in Paradise . �

As for the matter of looking for an orphan who is not illegitimate , this matter has its own method that requires personal efforts and great accuracy , and in some countries , certain official places can help you out . I pray to Allah to make you and your wife successful in doing good deeds .

Question 96

My wife is faithful and from a respectable family . Before marriage , we read together some books about marital life in the light of Islamic values . Now , we are about to enter into a new stage of our shared life : it is the stage of fatherhood and motherhood . Would you please show us what is required from us in this stage so that Allah may grant us a sound child mentally and physically ? I have read a tradition saying , �The unhappy one is made unhappy in his mother�s womb , and the happy one is made happy in his mother�s womb . �

The answer : Your question shows your purposeful culture in life and your association of Islam as a responsible mission . First , I would like to congratulate

you for this constructive culture and sincere association of your beliefs .

As for the answer , I would like to say that there are some previous procedures necessary before a sperm and an ovum should convene :

1 . Close relation and true love; you should have the utmost satisfaction and mental comfort with this relation !

2 . Lawful food; the unlawful bite , the bite whose legal due is not paid , and the bite , on which the name of Allah is not mentioned , have a great negative effect on the offspring .

3 . Suitable time (of making love); let your sleeping with your wife not be on the first day of the lunar months nor at the middle of them , nor in the nights of Eid ul-Adha (after the annual Hajj to Mecca) and Eid ul-Fitr (the end of Ramadan) , nor under a fruitful tree , nor before the sun directly , nor on the roof of the house nor in the night of travel .

4 . Praying to Allah to make the child sound

5 . Performing wudu� when sleeping together

But , after the creation of the fetus :

1 . Adhering to mutual love , eating lawful food , supplicating to Allah , and reciting the Qur'an

2 . Avoiding smoking

3 . Avoiding being angry and nervous

4 . Avoiding chemical drugs

5 . Performing wudu� throughout the period of pregnancy

6 . Eating spinach for it is rich in iron , eating dates for they plant patience in the spirit of the fetus

, eating quince for it gives the fetus good morals and strengthen its mind and brain , and eating pears , apples , and melons for they have an influence on the beauty , bloom , and complexion of the fetus

And , after birth :

1 . Reciting the azan in the child�s right ear and the iqama[145] in its left ear

2 . Suckling the child from the mother�s breast while the mother is in a good moral state , such as performing wudu� , sitting with the face towards the Kaaba , and smiling at the child when suckling

3 . Paying charity and aqeeqa (a sacrifice distributed amongst the poor as a sacrifice for the newborn baby)

4 . Choosing a nice name that has a good meaning , and there are no better names than those of our infallible leaders and their pure progeny . If there is an insistence on new names , they can be derived from Qur�anic or historical words . For females , there are names like Aala� , Asma� , Ayaat , Ru�ya , Fadak , Ghadeer , Hidayeh , etc . For males , there are names like Zahir , Zahid , Tahir , Sabir , Bassim , Shareef , etc .

As for the tradition you have mentioned , it has been narrated from the Prophet (s) in this way , �The unhappy one is he who is unhappy in his mother�s womb , and the happy one is he who is happy in his mother�s womb . �[146]


is the correct quotation of the tradition; the one you quoted implies a sense of compulsion , as if it has been pre-determined from the period of pregnancy whether a man will be happy or unhappy . Compulsion is rejected in Islam because it does not go well with its teachings that invite man to practice it by his own choice and will .

The phrase in the actual tradition means that happiness or unhappiness begin from the ground parents prepare for their child , from the moment the sperm and the ovum convene and throughout the period of pregnancy . This has been confirmed by modern scientific researches , which say that alcohol , smoking , narcotics , psychological turmoil , disturbing noises , and harmful meals have negative effects on the health and mentality of the fetus and will have bad effects on his behavior and life in the future .

Parents must not be satisfied with their care in only the above-mentioned stages , but they must continuously educate their children of virtuous concepts and good morals as a farmer does to the seed . He continuously waters , looks after , prunes , and protects it from blights . If he delays or is slack in any one of these activities , the fruits will be affected and his efforts will be lost .

Hence , Imam Ali (s) said to his son Imam Hasan (s) , �The heart of a youth is like an empty land; whatever is planted in it , [the

land] receives it . So , hasten towards good morals before your heart becomes hard and your mind becomes busy��[147]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �Educate your youth about the Hadith before the Murji�ites[148] deviate them ! �[149]

The Murji�ites were deviants in their beliefs . They were active among the Muslims at the time of Imam as-Sadiq (s) . This movement was like any movement that appears in our age , and every age , to close the way before the youth and turn them away from the guidance of Allah the Almighty . This often happens under the name of religion and guidance .

However , if man , from his early childhood and youth , learns the true religion , he will discover the falsehoods and will be safe from the deviants .

Question 97

My daughter-in-law is one of the laziest people ! She does not heed her responsibility as a human being let alone as a wife ! Even after eating food , which others cook and serve before her hands , she leaves without even picking up the leftovers on the table or the plates she eats in .

How strange this girl is ! She lacks a conscience , or so I think . She sees how tired her mother-in-law is , but she does not help her . I kept silent and did not talk to my son about this matter until I became impatient . Instead of reforming herself and accepting the truth , she became angry and stopped talking to us

. She has begun paying no attention to us .

I wonder at these strange types of youth from this generation . What would you advise me and my daughter-in-law and those amongst your readers who are like her ?

The answer : This girl and those like her are the results of bad education in the houses of their families . Bad cultures and some TV programs produce dependent and lazy people who do not feel any responsibility or any value of time and age . This is a general aspect of luxurious societies , which is not an aspect of good and faithful people .

True faith makes man active , generous , merry , loving , cordial , cooperative , and eager to do good whenever he can , and humanity makes man an attractive being with his behavior . If man loses these two elements , what value does he have then ?

In Islam , we have moral incentives that make us hurry to serve people and carry out their needs .

Once , the Prophet (s) suggested to his companions to build a bridge over a river to help the weak people cross . Some companions said they would build the bridge the next day . When they came the next day , they found the bridge was already built . They went to the Prophet (s) to tell him that . The Prophet (s) asked who had built the bridge and some people replied , �O messenger of Allah , we went before

them and built the bridge just for the reward of Allah . �

The Prophet (s) prayed to Allah for these companions for their actions and also for the other ones for their intention . Thus , faith led the believers to accomplish great achievements with which the Islamic civilization was formed . It is the civilization about which the scholars of the West and the East have said that it was the source of the modern sciences and the source of the positive aspects of the Western civilization .

This spirit that the great Prophet (s) had inspired into Muslims has died in most Muslims of nowadays . Some of them are lazy to such a degree that they are indifferent even to their personal affairs and what brings happiness to their marital life . However , this does not mean that it is not possible for that spirit to come back to them or for it to be revived in the souls again .

This is on the level of Islam , civilization , and life , but the same can also be said for individuals and their families .

As for the problem presented in the question , it can be treated through the following steps :

1 . Attract this young wife by showing her more respect and encouragement so that she can undertake some responsibilities without becoming angry .

2 . Give her some books that discuss concepts like cooperation , undertaking responsibilities , purposefulness , and the importance of winning the love of others in

the family by performing domestic affairs .

3 . Avoid forcing and scolding , whether implicitly or openly , for these things will lead her to resist .

4 . Your son (her husband) should teach her the Islamic teachings concerning the moral sides , part of which is the wife�s work in the house such as cooking , cleaning , and other things; though they are not obligatory like prayers and fasting , this work nevertheless is a moral duty that has a direct influence on the happiness of the marital life . She should know that intentional cooperation increases love , which is the basis of the marital life .

As there are certain duties and responsibilities incumbent on the husband , there are certain duties and responsibilities incumbent on the wife too . Without mutual cooperation , their life will be full of troubles and then it may reach a painful end .

5 . The husband should also help his wife by performing some household affairs whenever he has time and is ready , for he will be rewarded for that .

6 . The household affairs can be forced onto this wife in a clever way . For example , those who usually perform the daily affairs in the house may travel and leave this wife in the house so that she would be obliged to work in the house . I hope that she will not be cleverer than you like a certain lazy wife whose husband and mother-in-law planned to involve her in

the household responsibilities as follows :

The husband and his mother would compete for the broom; each of them would try to sweep so that the wife might feel shame and come take the broom from them and start sweeping herself . One day , she came to them and surprised them by saying to her husband coldly and with a soft voice : O dear , there is no need to dispute . One day you can sweep and the other day your mother can sweep .

After this witticism , I would like to recommend this dear wife and those like her of some things that have advantages and rewards for them :

1 . Work has a virtuous value that raises man to a high position and makes him respected and beloved .

2 . He who exerts himself becomes healthy , while the lazy ones are often sick . Work activates the circulation of blood , joints , and muscles while laziness does the opposite .

3 . Willpower is a power that works miracles . It must be used in constructive ways .

4 . Humbleness is a quality of those who sit on the top of the good life , so wherefore is this haughtiness , which throws man into the abyss of meanness ?

5 . Man must have practical experiences in his life . In life , there are many sudden events that a woman may fall into , and then she can rescue herself based on her knowledge from previous experiences .

6 .

In order for the difficulty of the household affairs to become easy for you and in order to get rid of your laziness , you should think of the rewards of the afterlife . The infallible Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (s) have narrated , �When a woman gives her husband a drink of water , it is better for her than the worships of a year spent in fasting during the day and praying in the night . For every drink she gives to her husband , Allah will build her a town in Paradise and forgive her sixty sins . �[150]

Question 98

The phenomenon of spinsterhood in Muslim countries is painful and full of grief . In Egypt for example , statistics confirm that there are three million and eight hundred thousand unmarried girls who are past thirty years in age .

Studies attribute this matter to the excessive dowries and high costs of marriage besides that there are a great number of girls who are afraid of marriage itself .

Ahmad Rif�at , a member of the Royal Society of Psychological Diseases in Britain , says that the reasons for spinsterhood are due to the competition between men and women in the field of work after the competition has been limited to men for many years . Woman now wants to prove her existence in the practical fields before she wants to participate with a man in marital life; therefore her marriage becomes delayed and marriage opportunities also decrease .

The Egyptian doctor Mahmood Abdurrahman ,

a specialist in psychological medicine , thinks that the reasons behind the delay in marriage are due to the conditions girls or their families make (such as excessive dowries , the number of rooms in the future house , the job of the husband , and even his shape) , and also the conditions men make (such as the age of the girl and a restriction that she must not have been engaged or married before) .

Dr . Muna Jad , the dean of the College of Kindergartens in Cairo , says that the problem appears due to contradictions in which the youth live that have placed the youth in a state of being torn apart and feeling unstable and unsafe . The youth live in an atmosphere of imaginary wealth like they see in some foreign films and serials . They wish to live in those societies , but unfortunately they only see the outward characteristics of those societies and not the actual characteristics there . They see the good things only and not the bad things of those societies .

Dr . Muna Jad mentions that the problems of the youth increase when they cannot get married at a suitable age . Disappointment and despair overcome them , and then they deny their society and all that is around them . In fact , some of them may commit crimes and sins because of that , and hence , they destroy themselves and all that is around them .

Your Eminence Sheikh al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani ,

regarding this information , what is your opinion about the phenomenon of spinsterhood ?

The answer : What these scholars have mentioned is true , but the researchers must study the hidden reasons for this phenomenon , which has never been a big problem in the history of Islam .

I ask : who attracts women to work in the common fields with men ? The problem originates from the minds that are separate from the Islamic mentality and have been educated with Western cultures and have come back to manage the life of the Muslims according to what those cultures inspired in them . Those cultures have all the means to make people Muslims by name only while they are very far from Islam in their behaviors of solving their psychological and social problems and their political and economical crises .

Foreign films and serials undoubtedly have a great and dangerous influence on the phenomenon of spinsterhood . The films that have been produced in Egypt are not any less in their bad influences on Muslim societies than those that have been produced in foreign studios . The Egyptian libertine films and serials have played a serious role in taking Muslims away from their Islamic values and in destroying their moral principles . These films still affect the Arabic societies and serve the imperialistic plots there . Excessive dowries , denial of polygamy , encouragement of women to prefer divorce and spinsterhood in some way or another , justification of sins and family treason , and emphasis

on the material aspects and indifference to the moral aspects in the marital life are Zionist goods that have been sold out to the public by the Egyptian films and serials . It is well-known that behind the cultural attack to corrupt the youth of the Islamic umma and to distribute the products of Zionist companies , like libertine films and other such things , are great foundations , abundant capitals , and hellish plans .

Of course , I am excluding the religious serials and good films that Egypt produces although , in comparison with the bad ones , they appear as withered flowers between huge thorns .

There is no doubt that spinsterhood has political , economical , and other reasons . The companies dealing with unlawful sex and its means are the first beneficiaries of deviations resulting from spinsterhood . The politicians of this material life and of sleepless nights also are beneficiaries , and they usually have authority over the media and culture . The reasons are interlaced and spinsterhood is one of the consequences of the great deviations of the umma .

As for the cure , it ought to be considered from four sides :

First , the state , which has the greatest abilities , can direct the culture of its people toward Islamic resolutions through schools , universities , and the media , especially through films and serials . It also has the ability to prevent economical foundations and establishments from exploiting spinsterhood by restricting employment of unmarried women in cabarets

, ballrooms , and studios of libertine films and in their commercial requirements .

Second , charitable organizations can play a great role in resolving the problem of spinsterhood by collecting charities from good people and giving them to the youth whose poverty prevents them from getting married . These organizations can also make use of the successful experiment of collective weddings , as do charitable organizations in some Islamic countries , where they arrange one party for the weddings of hundreds of couples .

Third , ulama and preachers play an important role in convincing society of the conception of the Sharia and the sunna of the Prophet (s) concerning the matter of polygamy and how a husband must be just to all of his wives equally . Explaining moral principles and emphasizing concepts like satisfaction , avoidance of selfishness and envy , contentment with the fate of Allah and His just determinations , regard for the afterlife , and management of worldly affairs according to reason and good morals will help the society do away with the problem of spinsterhood or limit it . What gives good news though is that when the temporary marriage (missyar) , that has begun to find its way among the Sunni , is practiced according to its moral conditions , it will limit spinsterhood and secret debauchery; and if the temporary marriage of the Shia is also practiced according to its legal conditions , it will solve a great part of the problem .

Fourth , psychologists can play a

great positive role in persuading society of the comprehensive resolutions of Islam if they first convince themselves of those resolutions and want , sincerely , to participate in resolving the problem .

Finally , I suggest forming a committee including notables of each of these four sides to study the problem in all its dimensions and then generate suitable solutions and cooperate in implementing these solutions .

Question 99

It has been mentioned in Prophetic traditions that marriage is half of religion and it protects men and women from slipping into sexual corruptions . However , in our present age , we find married men and married women practicing adultery as they like . Is this a defect in the tradition or what ?

What is strange is that some religious , married men are very lustful . How do you interpret this phenomenon ?

The answer : There are several reasons behind this kind of corruption of married persons :

1. Sexual impotence of one of the spouses

2. Excessive lustfulness

3. Leisure , recklessness , and wealth

4. A wish for variety , discovering and tasting different kinds of things

5. A wish for revenge , where , for example , one of the spouses may practice adultery to take revenge on the other because of a quarrel between them or something like that

6. Poverty and need , i . e . , a person may practice adultery to obtain some money

7. Dislike for the spouse because of unattractiveness or ignorance in practicing sexual intercourse

8. Seduction and slipping into adultery at a moment

of neglect

What is common between these reasons is a weakness in faith or the absence of faith . Therefore , we always insist on strengthening religious motives in man and continuing to instruct , remind , and warn him .

As for the excessive lust of religious people , the matter is different , because a religious person , if he really is religious , can satisfy his sexual lust with his wife; otherwise , religion permits him to marry another wife either in permanent marriage or temporary marriage within the legal conditions of each type of marriage .

If we suppose the opposite that it is the wife who wants to satisfy her sexual lust but her husband is unable to satisfy her (and this is very rare among religious women or may be impossible) , here , a religious wife should try to occupy herself with something else and soon her excitement will go out . However , if she cannot satisfy herself with this resolution forever , she has two choices : either to agree with her husband to separate and get married to another man who is able to satisfy her sexual lust , although it is not recommended , or to be patient and satisfied with her fate based on �the important thing and the Most Important , � and this is something praiseworthy .

It is thus if the lust is too strong and cannot be controlled except through these resolutions . But the advice that I would like to give to

spouses in religious families is that they , in order to not fall into sins , should lower their sights before the provocations in the television , magazines , and streets and avoid heavy meals , which excite their lust .

Allah says , (Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do , and tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts , and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent , and to draw their veils over their bosoms , and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers , or their sons or their husbands' sons , or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons , or their women , or their slaves , or male attendants who lack vigor , or children who know naught of women's nakedness . And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment . And turn unto Allah together , O believers , in order that you may succeed) . [151]

A religious man and a religious woman , even if they lower their gazes , may look at something unwillingly , and then their lust would become excited despite their wills . In this case , Islam has recommended the following :

�If someone of you sees a beautiful woman and he admires

her , let him go to sleep with his wife , because the pleasure is the same and what is got from sleeping with that woman is like what is got from sleeping with his wife . �[152]

Islam has forbidden women and girls from displaying their charms even inside the house before their brothers , uncles , and even their fathers . Imam Ali (s) narrates that one day a young man came to the Prophet (s) and asked him , �Should I ask my mother�s permission when I want to come in to her ? �

The Prophet (s) said to him , �Do you want to see her without clothes ? �

He said , �No , I do not . �

The Prophet (s) said , �Then , you should ask her permission . �

Then the young man asked , �Can my sister uncover her hair before me ? �

The Prophet (s) said , �No , she cannot . �

The young man asked , �Why ? �

The Prophet (s) said , �I fear for you that if she displays something of her charms before you , the Satan may provoke you . �[153]

We understand from this story that the Prophet (s) has perceived the power of lust in this young man , as in any other young man , and recommended that before such persons , charms must be covered to avoid excitement and sin .

One who observes social cases , marital treasons , sins , files of the courts , and the news of

the terrible events of sexual rapes , even against children , discovers how wide the gap is between Muslims and the warnings of the Qur'an and the Prophet (s) . If they were closer to the Qur'an and the Sunna , they would not live in quarrels , corruption , and disgrace .

Dear young men and young women , do not follow the steps of the Satan , because they will lead you to his traps . Fear Allah secretly and openly , and let jealousy , abstinence , and wariness be your dress ! Avoid scenes and situations that will incite your lusts to be safe from sins ! Occupy yourselves with work , sport , and worships to be close to Allah , the Giver of happiness !

Question 100

It is customary that young men go and propose to young women . It is considered ugly among people when young women go and propose to young men , whereas we find the Qur'an saying , (�and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet , if the Prophet desired to marry her- specially for you , not for the (rest of) believers) . [154]

My question is : which is right � what the Muslims did at the time of the Prophet (s) or what is customary in our present age ?

The answer : Customs , sometimes , control the affairs of people while people have no choice in it . The position of Islam in this concern is that the more important

thing has to be preferred to the important thing while preserving the benefits of people and moving gradually towards the teachings Islam has established .

Yes ! This Qur�anic verse is clear in this concern . Imam al-Baqir (s) narrates that once a woman from Medina came to the Prophet (s) and said , �O messenger of Allah , a woman does not go to engage a husband . I have been a widow for a long time and I have no child . Do you want me (to be your wife) ? I have given myself to you if you accept me��[155] .

This woman came to the Prophet (s) by herself and asked him to marry her , and the Prophet (s) neither chided her nor disapproved of her doing so . This means that this matter was natural in Islam . Besides , the Qur'an has mentioned this matter without any implication of ugliness . Khadeeja (s) herself asked the Prophet (s) to marry her , and she was the head lady of her time .

A proposal made by a virgin or a widow is not prohibited in the Sharia , but customs have their respected position if they do not oppose the Islamic values . In fact , in our present time , there does not have to be a contradiction between customs and the wishes of a girl when she finds a suitable husband . The potential husband can be informed secretly of the wish of the girl . If he accepts

, he can go and propose to the girl according to customs; otherwise , he should bury the matter and keep the secret forever . This is a trust and a traitor will be answerable on the Day of Resurrection . In this way , as I think , the two manners can be practiced together .

Question 101

I am a twenty-five year old girl . I have undergone an unsuccessful marriage that ended with divorce . My family prevents me from choosing my second marital life by myself . Legally , do they have the right to do that or am I free to choose my husband ?

The answer : Legally , you are free to choose the husband whom you think will be suitable for you , but you would be better off , in order to live free from family troubles , to agree with your family in any way you find will have an influence on them .

Always decide to avoid what causes quarrels in your life , because a life full of quarrels and nervousness is nearer to death than to life .

Man lives happily with his family and relatives when he behaves with them leniently , smilingly , and wisely . It is wrong when man thinks of attaining happiness through violence , nervousness , enmity , and hatred . Those who think so are but moving corpses until a certain day .

Support for your situation in convincing your family of your free will in choosing is a saying of

Imam as-Sadiq (s) . When he was asked a question similar to yours , he said , �She is worthier of herself . She can entrust a qualified one with her affairs if she likes after she has got married to a husband before . �[156]

Imam ar-Redha (s) has said , �The permission of a virgin (concerning marriage) is her keeping silence and the permission of a widow or divorcee is up to her . �[157]

And you should not forget that a family often prevents their daughter from choosing her husband by herself because they do not want her to be involved in another failure , for it is quite often that young girls and women are deceived by the nice words and shapes of men , and then when those men satisfy their desires with these women , they leave them to look for other victims . Therefore , Islam has emphasized the necessity of the interference of a father in the matter of marriage of a virgin because she has not had enough experience in this concern and she may be liable to be deceived more than divorcees or widows who have some experience in this matter .

Yes ! There is a special exception that if a virgin is rational and prudent , and her father is ignorant and cannot decide for the advantage of his daughter , Islam permits her to choose a suitable husband by herself even if her father objects to her choice .

Ibn Abbas reports that one day a

bondwoman came to the Prophet (s) and told him that her father had married her to somebody while she was unwilling and the Prophet (s) gave her the choice (either to accept her husband or to leave him) . [158]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �There is no problem in marrying a virgin if she agrees without her father�s permission . �[159]

In the light of this , our jurisprudents have given a fatwa that if a virgin�s guardian prevents her from getting married to a qualified man whom she wants , her guardian�s permission will be of no effect . [160]

Question 102

We have seen and heard about many accidents that have happened during wedding ceremonies and changed them into ceremonies of sorrows . Would you please guide us as to how we can avoid such bad accidents in order to make the ceremonies of joy the best moments in the lives of spouses ?

The answer : The ceremonies of marriage , especially those which take place during the night of wedding , are based on joyous traditions that leave sweet memories in man�s life . Therefore , spouses care a lot for these ceremonies . They take pictures to remain with them until the last days of their lives and to remind them of those special hours , which are different from any other hours of their life .

How nice are those moments and especially the influence left in spouses� hearts by the words of this supplication , which is read by the marriage official in

the midst of the songs of the relatives who gather around the bride and bridegroom :

�O Allah , bless their marriage , unite their hearts , make their offspring good and their life happy , send Your blessings on us and them ! O Allah , support whoever supports Your religion and disappoint whoever disappoints the Muslims ! O Allah , make them (these spouses) among those who support Your religion and the people of Your religion and make them successful in receiving Your contentment ! O Allah , satisfy our and their needs in this life and the afterlife by virtue of Muhammad and the pure progeny of Muhammad ! �

Such a beautiful scene from amongst all the scenes of life deserves the best efforts and cooperation of relatives so that these ceremonies are carried out with joy and delight in the best way . However , unfortunately , in some of these weddings , quarrels take place by some irresponsible persons that do away with the joy of the young spouses who will not experience this occasion again with the same pleasure .

Such quarrels take place due to ignorance , bad education , whims , drunkenness , mixing of sexes which provokes lusts , and making passes on others that leads to disputes and suspicions , and consequently many troubles are caused .

Blessings and happiness do not come to marriages that begin with unlawful acts or encourage opportunities to commit unlawful acts . Handicaps in newborn children and disagreements that lead to divorce

or griefs and distresses are the results of such unlawful actions during weddings . Exciting songs , transparent clothes that display women�s charms , bare faces with flagrant makeup before non-mahram men�all of these will extinguish the marital happiness sooner or later . Let people not think that it is harmless to celebrate the joys of a night or two in one year ! Everything has its enduring effects , and how often it is that a simple matter troubles the situation and frustrates a marriage whereas its beginning was simple and trivial .

Hence , since religion and its moral teachings are very important , we continuously insist on and invite all classes of society to revive themselves in a modern and attractive way and in a language that is understandable by the youth .

Besides all that , the wedding ceremonies should be carried out accurately . Supplications and charity to the poor should not be ignored because they ward off misfortunes .

Question 103

My husband has good characteristics , but nevertheless he also has some extreme bad conducts . I do not know how to advise him without causing his anger against me and throwing my marital life into troubles .

The answer : Dear sister , criticizing and advising are like surgical operations but are not conducted on the body; rather , they are done on the spirit and the soul . Therefore it is a very difficult operation requiring accuracy besides the following points :

1. Criticism must be preceded by love and a close

relationship on both sides because without these , criticism becomes more a cause of disagreement and reluctance between spouses .

2. You should begin your talk with him by praising his good characteristics and then proceed little by little to criticize his bad behaviors . Praising him will make him trust in your love for him and will strengthen his morale , and then you will find he will accept your criticism sincerely .

3. After professing his fault , you should encourage him and give him hope and confidence . For example , you could say to him �I think you are able to change� or �It is not like you to say �I cannot�� or �I trust in your will and I admire your personality� , etc .

4. You should not repeat criticisms on the same subject too often , because repetition causes obduracy and anger .

5. Sometimes it would be better to criticize indirectly such as , for example , by a hint , mentioning a tradition , mentioning a story that has something to do with the matter , or playing a cassette of a lecture discussing that specific problem .

6. Let your criticism be free of insult and mockery , because the goal is to reform and rescue and not to destroy or avenge .

7. You should ask him for his criticisms about you , and when he tells them , you should accept them and thank him . This will make it easier for him to accept your criticisms about him

, for humbleness brings humbleness .

8. You should limit your criticism to the matter of the fault itself and not generalize it to other sides of your husband�s personality .

9. Your criticism against your husband should be done when you are alone with him and not in the presence of anyone else . It has been mentioned in one of the traditions that �he who advises his brother secretly does him good , and he who advises his brother openly does him wrong . �

Here , I have to mention an advice aimed at myself first and then to this husband and those like him . It is a saying by the greatest of the wise and the master of the pious , Imam Ali (s) : �He who advises you , fears for you , does good to you , thinks of your ends , and reforms your defects , in obeying him lies your guidance and in disobeying him lies your corruption . �[161]

Imam Zaynol Aabideen (s) said , �The right of the one who asks you for advice on you is that you have to give him sincere advice and be kind and pitiful to him . And the right of the advisor on you is that you have to be lenient with him and listen to him carefully��[162] .

Question 104

My wife is often nervous and angry . She scolds my children for anything they do that she does not like . I fear for their education and future if she continues

in this state . In fact , I fear for my sincerity to her and the remainder of my life with her . What would you advise me to do ?

The answer : Anger , as stated in the traditions , is a soldier of the Satan and a flame of Fire like any other destructive means . If your wife continues in her state and you also lose your patience , you both will in fact arrive at the end that you fear , and the first losers will be your children except if the stepmother will act towards them as a sincere and real mother , and such stepmothers are few .

Hence , I advise this wife to be prudent and patient and I advise you also to be more patient and to give her enough opportunities to ponder on the outcome of anger , which has destructive results in the family . You also have to think about the outcome of your patience because a day will come where your wife will awake out of her errors , and then she will appreciate your patience and compensate you for your previous days with her . And a day will come to you when you will find your great reward near Allah , and then your eyes will be delighted on (the day when wealth and sons avail not (any man , except him who comes to Allah with a heart free (from evil)) . You must try to identify the reasons for

her anger and when you are able to remove the causes of her anger , you will be happy with her . You have to be patient with her , advise her , and pray to Allah for her .

Question 105

I have been married for six years now to a husband who speaks little with me . He always keeps silent . Would you please tell me how I can bring happiness to my marital life with this silent husband , though he provides me with all I need for living ? Sometimes the Satan whispers to me that my husband hates me . Am I normal ?

The answer : As spouses have to follow an appropriate program to run the economical affairs of their joint life , they also have to follow an appropriate program to achieve the most balanced sentiment possible , because when love becomes firm between a husband and a wife , it gives them tranquility , liveliness , and interest in their shared fate , and then little talking between them does not affect their life .

Dear sister , what is important is that you have to do your best to strengthen the love and the feeling of interest in your mutual fate with your husband . Do not let your husband�s silence deprive you of his love to you , because when love dries up , the train of your life will enter into a tunnel of problems that will lead to a bad end . I think that

talking little is not an excuse for you to throw your life into dangerous problems .

Your behaving lovingly towards him will defeat his hatred for you , if he has any hatred towards you . In fact , not every silence of a husband means that there is a hatred towards the wife . It may be a habit in the husband since his childhood . However , if it is a new habit , you can talk to him about it openly . Perhaps he may have suffered a psychological shock , and this can be cured by your wisdom or that of other wise people or specialists .

Question 106

I am overcome with despair for my marital life to proceed happily . This is because , as I think , of the difference between my husband and me in intellect , culture , and understanding affairs of living . I am a university graduate while he has not even finished elementary school . I have a scientific position while he is weak and he stammers when he wants to show what he intends to say . Therefore , I feel that we do not understand each other . Do you think that divorce will guarantee happiness for both of us ?

The answer : Dear sister , there are three choices before you :

The first : you may choose to be satisfied with the situation you are in and to not compare your life with the lives of others . This requires you , first

, to not think of others besides your husband , and second , you should try your best to make him understand what you understand . You should be aware that the basis of success in this life is sincerity in love and looking forward to the reward of Allah and the good end of patience .

The second : you may continue feeling dissatisfied and continue worrying about your life and relationship , which definitely means eliminating marital happiness .

The third , you may choose divorce , which is lawful but Allah hates it and His Throne shakes for it except when the joint life of spouses reaches a dead end .

If you ask me , I will not hesitate to advise you to follow the first way . Mutual understanding most of the time means submitting to the lawful wish of the husband and neglecting your personal wishes , but with making him feel that this is only for the love of Allah and for the continuity of a happy marital life .

Beware of being proud of the elements of preference you have , such as a university diploma and the like , because this is a way leading to a bad end and is a defect that does not befit a learned Muslim girl . Your intellect requires you to know that happiness is gained through morals and faith while university diplomas and scientific information alone do not produce happiness and ease .

Dear sister , I hope that you pay attention to this

fact before you are filled with regret . This is my opinion if the reason for your despair is as you have mentioned . However , if your husband is in a state that makes him unsuccessful and unfit for you , the solution will be to follow the third way . May Allah be with you !

Question 107

I am a mother of seven children . I suffer from physical troubles because I do too much work in the house that is beyond my ability . My husband is a hard-hearted man who does not appreciate my efforts and this increases my exhaustion . Would you please tell me what to do ?

The answer : Distributing tasks in the marital life should be done fairly and consensually . If you have children , they should be entrusted with some tasks according to their ages and abilities while instilling sincere motives inside them to do those tasks willingly and with interest .

This is what should be done , but when the opposite takes place , it means that there is a defect in someone�s mentality and this defect can be cured by a sound mentality .

Dear sister , what you suffer can be cured by patience while expecting your reward from Allah and showing love and respect towards your husband so that he may someday awake out of his severity towards you . Besides these steps , you should encourage him to attend the meetings of good ulama and scholars and listen to the speeches of

good preachers so that he may be affected by a word from those ulama and preachers and then he may be rescued from his injustice , for the true religion has brought man solutions to all problems if he believes in religion .

Question 108

Why am I so forgetful ? My wife is angry at my state , and my dignity does not permit for her to raise her voice against me . This is the focal point of our problems .

The answer : Forgetfulness has several causes , such as worry , problems that press on one�s nerves , psychological troubles , fright , melancholy , and sins , especially the hidden major sins . From among these reasons , there are also some diseases and accidents .

These things are like black clouds lying heavily on a man�s memory . In order to cure this case , you have to organize your life . For example , you should assign a certain time for sleeping , follow a healthy diet , practice sports , and strengthen your relation with Allah the Almighty by performing the obligations and avoiding all kinds of sins .

There are some tested things that strengthen one�s memory such as memorizing Qur�anic verses , always being with wudu� , reciting supplications , and avoiding quarreling with others .

Question 109

Between my wife and me there are several differences in intellect , physique , and wealth . These things often cause disagreements and quarrels between us . Sometimes , these quarrels break out before our children . We are well aware that these disagreements and quarrels have bad effects on the children�s mentality and education , but our violent anger is uncontrollable . How can we get rid of this state and live tranquilly to build the

future of our children ?

The answer : There is no doubt that religious beliefs , cultures , arts , traditions , and good habits have good effects on the manner of the relationship between spouses , their views on life , and their way of making use of the abilities they have . However , reason and wisdom lead us to the knowledge that these differences between spouses do not mandate disagreements and quarrels . In fact , a reasonable person should deal with these natural differences wisely . He should look at them from these five viewpoints :

First , these differences complement each other . The existence around us is composed of different elements , but they all complement each other in the best way . Spouses should not let their natural differences destroy the bridges of love and understanding between them .

Second , spouses should try their best to change the cultures and habits that Islam does not accept . How many habits and ideas have families planted into their children who grow up with them without pondering on whether they are right or wrong , and how many habits have the social milieu (school , friends , the media , etc . ) planted into children while these habits and ideas are far removed from the pure Islamic culture . Therefore , spouses should change the ideas and bad habits that trouble them .

Third , to make the mutual understanding between spouses easy and to decrease disagreements between them , each of

them should give the other side the right to show his\her opinion freely without suppressing or interrupting him\her before completing his\her speech and clarifying his\her opinion .

Fourth , we should know that the differences between people in general , and between spouses in particular , are trials that people are tried with . Instead of thinking of running away from these differences or sinking into melancholy and psychological distresses , we should know how to deal with this divine decree , which is inevitable . It is a trial for man in this life , and Allah will accordingly determine for him the reward and Paradise or the punishment and Hell . Therefore , let man think deeply of where he wants to be !

Fifth , life is too short to comprehend problems and troubles that are trivial . Hence , a reasonable person should overlook problems and live his life , which he does not know when it shall end , happily with good fame and honor .

The Prophet (s) has asked husbands to forgive their wives� mistakes even if they are seventy in one day . Once a man asked the Prophet (s) about a wife�s right on her husband and the Prophet (s) said , �He covers her body with clothes , satisfies her stomach with food , and forgives her if she commits mistakes . � The man asked , �How many times does he forgive her ? � The Prophet (s) said , �seventy times a day . �[163]

Question 110


husband is a rich , young man and because I am not from a rich family , the mother and the sisters of my husband gibe at me at every occasion and even before the guests sometimes . Would you please tell me what to do with this problem , which has begun to deprive me of my happiness with my husband , who does not defend me before them ?

The answer : Material poverty is not a defect; rather the defect lies in lack of morals . You are actually rich while they are the real poor ones . Your faith , good morals , and patience will make you defeat your problem and these are the strongest weapons in defeating unjust situations against yourself .

Dear sister , try to be a strong wife who seizes her success from the depths of her suffering to enjoy real happiness ! Even if your husband does not defend you , it does not mean that he agrees with his family�s being unjust towards you . He may not know the proper way of defending or he may think that his defending you shall complicate the problem further; therefore , he is trying to keep the stability of the family . Waiting for a suitable time of defending and in a wise way will be better .

Thus , you would be better off appreciating the situation of your husband and being more patient . Be sure that the right side will win at the end of any

crisis . Beware of pride when one day you shall feel your success , because pride then shall make you as blamable as those who gibe you today !

Besides that , you should try to be more humble and kind towards them , and especially to the ones who gibe you , so that they may feel ashamed and regretful when they are alone with their consciences and when they find your good morals and kindness in return for their bad doings . Do not hesitate , whenever the opportunity comes to you , to say good sayings with smiles to those who do you wrong that they may be more reasonable and stop their injustice towards you !

Question 111

Fifteen years have passed since I got married . These years have been like a countdown of the love between my husband and myself . What should I do to go back to the love that was between us at the beginning of our marriage ?

The answer : Sometimes the seed of love exists inside the spouses� hearts , but accidents of life and discovering the defects and deficiencies of each other throw some dust on that seed and prevent it from growing in the marital life .

If your husband suffers from this , as I believe , then following these steps may restore your love as it was :

First , love will blossom if spouses try to water it sincerely with positive acts and if they overlook the negative acts .

Second , the goal of

love is not controlling the beloved , possessing or monopolizing him as some women think . If love comes out of heart , it will undoubtedly enter into the other heart . Nothing will disturb it except selfishness and attempts to control the other , which has been referred to in traditions as �the jealousy of women� . In men , this jealousy is opposite to that of women , because when a man becomes jealous for his wife , he will protect her from bad men , whereas if a woman becomes jealous for her husband , she will practice mastery , possession , suspicion , and watching him . This will lead her husband to an aversion for her and then what she does not like will take place .

Third , do not expect much from your husband; for example , do not expect him to speak the same words of love that he used to speak during the period of engagement or the first days of marriage . If he forgets to offer you something that he used to offer on certain occasion , you should not be angry with him . You should know that these things do away with the love between you . Be discerning , easy , and humble because when a husband sees his wife is inflexible , often angry , and complicated , he will begin thinking of another wife or he will treat his wife likewise or he may submit to her unwillingly and then

no place for happiness will remain in these cases .

Fourth , do not blame your husband too much because too much blame hurts one�s dignity and causes disputes and quarrels , which destroy the marital relationship . Try to understand his circumstances , appreciate his efforts , and praise the positive sides of his personality , and then refer to what deserves to be blamed in a lenient way , implicitly and smilingly .

Question 112

Islam has emphasized much on pondering and thinking , as you know . I , like other people , have my own ambitions in my marital and family life in the midst of hundreds of obstacles and frustrations . Would you please show me practical steps based on the right thinking in order to solve these problems and push the obstacles out of my way ?

The answer : You should know that thinking , like breathing , is a vital operation for man . Just as you live through breathing , you enjoy the pleasures of life through thinking because you can defeat problems one after another without exhausting yourself , and then you can feel the ecstasy of victory .

Do not think that there exists a life without problems . The problems for a person who does not ponder and think keep accumulating until that person perishes while his accumulated problems remain .

The difference is that you , with the right thinking , feel , as you should , that you can conquer a problem and are ready to conquer

the next one , without thinking you will be defeated or will suffer until you die without achieving any success or gaining any benefit in your life .

As for the practical steps you have asked about , they are as follows :

1. Devote your heart to Allah the Almighty and ask Him for success !

2. Give charity as much as you possibly can to the poor without letting any human being know about it !

3. Explain the problem you face to yourself and try to understand it well !

4. Obtain as much information as you can to solve the problem !

5. Make a real estimation of your actual state !

6. Think of several solutions and consult with reasonable persons about your problem !

7. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of each one of those solutions , and then choose the best of them based on your actual abilities !

8. When thinking of a certain matter , do not occupy your mind with another one !

9. Concentrate all your abilities on solving your problems according to the level of their importance !

10. Before beginning (to solve the problem) , think well of the things you need for the solution !

11. Carry out each step in its time !

12. Let your wife participate with you in these steps and cooperate with her at all times !

Question 113

The state in my house is not as I would like . I am tired when I come back from my work , I find my wife tired of the housework and

my children let loose and noisy , I beat them but with no use , etc . I feel that my marital and family life is disorderly . I hope that you can guide me with what may illuminate my way and save my life from this disorderliness .

The answer : There are five educational facts you have to comprehend in order to get out of your troubles :

First , whereas when any one of us exhausts his powers in the problems of life and then looks for comfort in peace and quiet away from noises , children , on the contrary , feel pleasure and joy with disorderly movements and with making noises that annoy adults , though children do not mean to annoy others of course .

You expend your energies in working outside the house , but have you ever asked yourself where your child expends his energies ?

In the past , houses were big with wide yards where children would spend their energies while their noises and cries would not reach their parents� resting places . But nowadays , since houses are small with narrow yards , children should not be blamed for disturbing parents .

Second , a man , throughout the week , works outside the house while his wife works inside the house . On days off , the man likes to rest in the house after being tired outside it all week , whereas his wife likes to go out on her husband�s days off after being tired of

remaining in the corners of her house all week .

This difference , if it is not treated with leniency by the two spouses and especially the husband , may become a cause for disputes and quarrels that also bring pain and boredom , of which children pay the costs .

Here , it would be better for the two spouses , who are different in their wishes , to understand and agree with each other , and then they can teach their children how to understand each other and agree with each other when their wishes are different .

Third , beating children without certain rules and criteria encourages them to commit crimes and repeat the same act they were beaten for . Let us be very careful not to lead our children to commit crimes in their childhood and adulthood through excessive scolding or severe beating .

Fourth , the father may say something harsh to the mother in front of the children , and this word may leave bad effects on their mentality and life while he is unaware of where these effects may have come from . For example , one day the wife might cook some extra food and then the husband would shout at her loudly in front of the children , �you have not tasted poverty to know the value of my efforts and the money I bring you ! �

These words , which can be said in other ways and in private to the wife , can plant a fear of

the future inside the hearts of the children and cause them mental disturbance and anxiety of the unknown . There is no doubt that this matter will be an obstacle that stops the progress of the children�s learning and affects their efforts to build their futures besides the fact that it will make them desperate and absent-minded all their lives . All this leads to disorderliness in life .

Fifth , try not to tire yourself with work outside the house , for your duty towards your wife and children is not only to satisfy their material needs . Psychological , educational , and spiritual needs are also important . These aspects require you to sit with them , look after their different affairs , and make them feel that you love and pay a lot of attention to them . It is reported that Imam Hasan (s) said , �I wonder at how one who thinks of his foods does not think of his mentalities ! �

Dear brother , man is a compound of body and spirit , the material and immaterial , the outward and inward . The food he eats satisfies the two elements , but the spiritual side may be the most important . Therefore , you should assign a certain time for your family . You should sit with them , enter their life , play , laugh , and be indulgent with them . The happiness and delight that you will get in this side , you will not get

in the material side regardless of how much you tire yourself and regardless of what money and material needs you offer to your family .

Question 114

I want to be a successful wife . With what would you advise me to achieve my goal ? Of course , this is the feeling of all married women . I hope they will benefit from your apposite advices .

The answer : Thank you for your noble feelings , and as for The answer : First , assign an hour of your time every day to review and ponder over your qualities . Get rid of your bad qualities and strengthen the good ones . You should , first and foremost , get rid of the ones that invite you towards disobedience and sin because these will destroy your happiness and throw your life into torment .

Second , assign some hours for worship ! In order to make your worship fruitful , recite the Holy Qur�an meditatively and read some good Islamic books , especially those that concern your life directly .

Third , for the sake of the goal to which you aspire , you should observe the following values :

1. mutual understanding and using nice words and fine comments when talking with your husband

2. pardoning and overlooking trivial things

3. not following the husband and watching his goings and comings

4. caring for the cleanliness of the house and clothes and putting everything in its place especially that which belongs to the husband

5. using good perfumes and wearing nice clothes


showing love for him and for the life with him and for everything he likes if it pleases Allah

7. asking him about his worries and griefs and asking him to uncover to you whatever is in his heart if he wants to reveal it but without insisting on it or being angry if he refuses to reveal his secrets

8. being kind and humble in treating his relatives

9. relying on Allah in any case and not being angry or upset when facing difficulties

You should always remember that practicing these values will bear fruit if you behave naturally without pretence , though artificiality of manner is the beginning of learning .

Question 115

My husband was a rich man , but later on his wealth was lost in a terrible economical crisis . After that his morals , mentality , and conducts changed . His face became angry , and his tongue uttered bad words . He threatened anyone and anything at any excitement . Our house became like hell , and our relatives and people decreased their visits to us and some of them stopped visiting us at all . I cannot help him except through speech , which does not change or reform him . Please , what would you advise me to do in order to save him and my children from the effects of this crisis ?

The answer : In order to recover , your husband has to :

1 . believe in asceticism and subject himself to it . It has been mentioned in a

tradition that �he , who renounces the worldly pleasures , makes little of misfortunes� . Imam Ali (s) has said , �All asceticism is between two words in the Qur'an . Allah has said , (So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you , nor be exultant at what He has given you) . [164] He who does not grieve for the past nor becomes glad at the future practices asceticism from its two sides . �

2 . strengthen his belief in the will and fate of Allah . Imam as-Sajjad (s) is reported to have said , �O my Lord� delight my soul through Thy decree , expand my breast through the instances of Thy wisdom , give to me a trust through which I admit that Thy decree runs only to the best�� .

3 . ponder over the dimensions of this tradition narrated by Imam al-Baqir (s) , �whoever keeps people safe from his anger Allah will keep him safe from the torment of the Day of Resurrection . �[165] He who ponders on this tradition will not throw himself into the torment of the afterlife after getting out of the torment of this life in order to not lose both .

4 . know that the Giver is Allah and the Withholder is Allah too and know that a part of material losses belongs to man himself . Many times the losses come after having disobeyed Allah by lying , cheating , doing wrong , wasting , excessive misspending ,

and abstaining from giving the deserving people their legal dues . I do not ascribe these qualities to your husband , but I invite him to review the reasons of which he is aware and then try to reform himself first . If he truly reforms himself , Allah will grant him great livelihood again and abundantly .

Imam Zayn al-Aabideen (as-Sajjad) (s) said , �good saying increases one�s wealth , grows livelihood , delays death , makes one beloved to relatives , and enters him into Paradise . �[166]

6 . convince himself that losing wealth is much easier than losing one�s children or family and the loss of wealth is easier than the loss of health . Nothing is more precious than good morals and comfortable nerves , by which wealth and glory can be regained .

I pray to Allah to grant us a happy life with lawful wealth , even if it is little , and to keep us away from unlawful wealth , even if it is a lot , because it increases grief and distress and does away with the sweetness of living with loved ones and close relatives .

Question 116

What is the cure for sexual impotence , and what are its causes ? My wife has begun thinking of divorce because I am frigid and impotent .

The answer : There are many causes behind sexual impotence :

1. neurotic fatigue

2. addiction to alcohol , drugs , and smoking

3. practicing masturbation during the period before marriage

4. absent-mindedness

5. a defect in the testicles

6. practicing

excessive businesses and interests like trade , reading , watching films , and offering excessive individual worships

7. misunderstanding the woman�s sexual need or being indifferent to her need

8. the wife�s weak sexual culture or her lack of beauty or exciting body

9. certain kind of foods

As for the cure , each cause has its own particular cure . Before all , one who is sexually impotent must discern the cause of his case , and then he should try to cure it . Neurotic fatigue , for example , can be cured by strengthening one�s faith in Allah . It is not right to utilize tranquillizers because most of the time they leave dangerous effects on man�s health .

The following foods have great effects in strengthening the nerves : honey with ginger , pepper , saffron , the cooked head of a cow or sheep , beets cooked in milk , mulberries , bananas , eggs with onion , mutton , carrots , pears , grapes , liver , sweet pomegranates , and endives .

As for the cure for addiction , abstaining from its causes can cure it . There are certain methods to assist in this , the key of which is first and foremost the will and determination of the addict himself .

As for masturbation , if a person practices it excessively during his youth , it will be difficult for him to restore his sexual power quickly , unless if he begins practicing morning sports , climbing mountains , and taking cold baths


Some doctors think that those persons who have practiced masturbation deprive themselves of sexual pleasure in the marital relationship .

As for the rest of the causes , we say that a person should care for himself and cure his state before his problems grow and their complications destroy him .

The wife has to help her husband cure himself because the train of the marital life will not arrive at the stations of happiness and bliss without participation , cooperation , and mutual understanding .

As for thinking about divorce , it is a sign of selfishness and lack of morals , and this does not befit a Muslim woman except when the motives of divorce are legal , like when the husband neglects to cure himself while he is able to do it . Then , divorce is excusable and it is a just recompense for this husband .

Question 117

part 1

Is temporary marriage lawful or unlawful ? If it is lawful , then why do people dislike it ? And if it is unlawful , then why is it unlawful ? Would you please answer frankly ? Thanks a lot .

The answer : Permanent marriage is the basis for this answer . The sexual instinct is the strongest in man after the instinct of living . This instinct must be satisfied in the below-mentioned cases; otherwise , it will cause bad complications . Temporary marriage can be practiced under the following conditions :

1 . the inability to secure a permanent marriage because of financial difficulties or not

finding a qualified spouse

2 . the impossibility of making love with the wife because of her illness or something else

3 . traveling or being away from one�s homeland

Since the view of Islam of the needs of man is a real , curative , and purposeful view , Islam therefore has made temporary marriage lawful according to this clear Qur�anic verse , (And those of whom you seek content (by marrying them temporarily) , give unto them their portions as a duty . And there is no blame on you in what you do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done) . Lo ! Allah is ever Knower , Wise) . [167]

It suffices us to ponder on the two words �Knower , Wise� to see that there is a wisdom behind the lawfulness of temporary marriage in Islam , for Allah is aware of the actual need of man and He is wise in making things lawful or unlawful .

The end of the next verse confirms what we have said . The verse reads , (This is for him among you who fears to commit sin) . [168] He who fears to fall into sin because of his lust should practice temporary marriage though patience is better for one who can be patient .

The next two verses confirm this meaning where Allah shows His great mercy and accurate wisdom on the one hand , and on the other hand , He uncovers the mean goals of those who prohibit the lawful blessings of Allah


Allah says , (And Allah desires that He should turn to you (mercifully) , and those who follow (their) lusts desire that you should deviate (with) a great deviation . Allah desires that He should make light your burdens , and man is created weak) . [169]

Man has been created weak when it comes to his lusts and desires . It has been declared by the Creator , Who is aware of what benefits man and what corrupts him when He makes one thing lawful and prohibits another . Things are declared lawful to satisfy man�s weakness before those lusts and desires , and things are declared unlawful to protect him from what weakens him and destroy his happiness .

Umar bin al-Khattab has confirmed the lawfulness of temporary marriage at the time of the Prophet (s) when he prohibited it according to his personal opinion . He has announced , as mentioned in the sources of our Sunni brothers , �Two pleasures were permitted at the time of the messenger of Allah , but I prohibit them and will beat people for practicing them . �[170]

In our sources , his saying has been mentioned as the following : �Two pleasures were lawful at the time of the messenger of Allah , but I prohibit them and will punish for them . �[171]

Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari , the great companion of the Prophet , in the Sunni sources likewise , has said , �we practiced temporary marriage at the time of the Prophet (s) , of

Abu Bakr , and Umar , and then Umar prohibited it . �[172]

Imam Ali (s) has commented on Umar�s decision by saying , �If Umar had not prohibited temporary marriage , no one would have committed adultery except a scoundrel . �[173]

This is an accurate social analysis , which every researcher in sociology and psychology arrives at . Because of these proofs , the followers of Imam Ali (s) did not pay attention to Umar�s decision in order to not fall into adultery , wretchedness , and psychological and physical diseases of suppression , while most of those who heeded Umar�s decision and disliked practicing temporary marriage , whether from the Sunni or the Shia , fell into those sins and diseases . Consequently , the result of prohibiting and disliking temporary marriage is that the sexual lust forces some people to commit adultery and forces others to suppress their lust and face psychological diseases , except those whom Allah has protected and they are very few .

How odd it is to see that in Muslim societies , people do not consider adultery , ballrooms of the naked , scandals of the hotels , cabarets , and buildings in whose rooms are practiced all kinds of perversion as ugly while they consider temporary marriage , which Allah has made lawful and which Muslims have practiced during the time of the Prophet (s) , Abu Bakr , and a period of Umar�s caliphate and which the Muslims who disregarded Umar�s prohibition have practiced , as ugly


Who do you think is behind this silence or this encouragement of corruption and open debauchery ? Who is behind denying the lawful blessing that Allah has determined as a mercy for Muslims and as a protection from falling into sins ?

Is it not shameful recklessness and mockery at the Qur'an and the Sunna ? Who is responsible for that and who should defend the Qur'an and the Sunna ?

�It would be better for those who look for the welfare of man to have had freedom as ibn Umar has had . Ibn Umar often practiced temporary marriage . He was blamed for that . It was mentioned to him that his father (Umar bin al-Khattab) had prohibited it . He said , �I just have followed the saying of my father because he has said , �Two pleasures were lawful at the time of the Prophet (s) , but I prohibit them and punish for them . � I abide by his tradition and leave his own opinion to him . �

A lesson must be taken from this saying of ibn Umar . The Ulama should not emulate anyone having an opinion opposed to the Qur'an or the sayings of the Prophet (s) . Fanaticism should not lead them to turn their backs on the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet (s) , for they will spoil the general welfare and cause corruption . This does not befit any one , especially not the people of knowledge . If some people

of the Middle Ages were so , the people of this age , in which freedom of speech is of the highest value , must be far above such conducts .

part 2

They should not be like the judge Yahya bin Aktham , about whom Ibn Khillikan has cited in his book (Wafiyyat al-A�yan) some verses of poetry that were composed to censure the Abbasids for their employment of Yahya as their judge :

�I do not think oppression will end

as long as there is a ruler from the Abbasids for the umma .

They bring Yahya to run their politics ,

while Yahya is not a politician .

He determines punishment for adultery ,

while he considers a sodomite as not to be blamed . �

It has been reported that once al-Ma�moon (the Abbasid caliph) saw Yahya play with a beautiful young Turk boy , insert his hand between the boy�s clothes and body , and do other things to him saying , �Had you not been there , we would have been faithful . �

Then al-Ma�moon commented on this event by reciting :

�I wished I saw justice spread everywhere ,

but after my hope , I became desperate .

When shall the world and its people be good ,

while the judge of the judges of the Muslims commits sodomy ? �

Yahya was so bad and was infamous for committing sodomy . However , when al-Ma�moon announced that temporary marriage was lawful and addressed Umar by saying , �Who are you�to prohibit what the messenger of Allah has made lawful ? �

, Yahya bin Aktham resisted him (al-Ma�moon) and began roving in the countries to incite people against him and to criticize him because he had permitted what Umar had prohibited . This dullness and blind fanaticism lose sight of the general welfare , bring corruption , and deny the mission of Prophet Muhammad (s) as the last of missions , because belief in the last prophethood and last mission of Prophet Muhammad (s) means believing that it is a sufficient Sharia to rule human beings and to satisfy all their needs however much they and their lives change . Thus , the ulama should be like ibn Umar . They should not emulate just anything . They should give fatwas according to the Qur'an and the Sunna of the Prophet (s) , even if they have to oppose their fathers . They should not be like those who say , (We found our fathers on a course , and surely we are guided by their footsteps) . [174] The rulers of the Muslims should also be brave like al-Ma�moon for the sake of the general welfare . They should legislate laws according to the Qur'an and the Sunna , even if they contradict the laws of those who have preceded them . Thus , goodness will spread and corruption will be denied . �[175]

Hence , we have confidently confirmed our clear opinion :

1 . Temporary marriage is lawful according to the Qur�an and the Sunna and according to the confession of Umar that it was

lawful at the time of the Prophet (s) but it was he who had prohibited it . Perhaps , he might have meant to prohibit it during his rule only , and so it was a temporary prohibition . Then , for what is this insistence on following this prohibition while the Qur'an and the Sunna have declared the lawfulness of temporary marriage ? Is it to keep the doors of adultery wide open before furious lusts ?

Many faithful men and faithful women live suppressed between their natural lusts and the suffering of difficulties and pains in order for it to not be said that they have practiced temporary marriage ! Is this not ignorance that the believing men and women have been afflicted with ?

For us , the Shia , temporary marriage is lawful . Once , Imam al-Baqir (s) was asked about temporary marriage and he said , �Allah has made it lawful in His Book and through His prophet (s) . It is lawful until the Day of Resurrection . �[176] And this refutes the false sense of its unlawfulness .

2 . Temporary marriage is recommendable . It is reported that Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �It is recommended for a man to practice temporary marriage . I do not like for any man of you to leave this world without having practiced temporary marriage at least once . �[177] This also refutes the false impermissibility of temporary marriage .

To confirm the recommendations of temporary marriage , it has been narrated in

traditions that the fall of the drops of water with which one performs ghusl[178] after having slept with his wife in a temporary marriage is an excuse for his sins to be forgiven . It is also mentioned that Allah has prohibited alcohol for this Umma and has instead permitted temporary marriage . [179]

3 . The abuse of temporary marriage by some people is possible , but this does not justify prohibiting it or considering it ugly . Because there are many legal verdicts that people of weak faith can exploit for the sake of their bad personal benefits , is it right to annul these verdicts just because of this reason ? Certainly not ! These verdicts must be practiced according to their Islamic rules and morals to be lawful in the full sense of the word .

4 . As for the one who has a wife in a permanent marriage , it is hated for him to omit her rights for the sake of the wife of a temporary marriage . It may be unlawful in this case if temporary marriage causes him to neglect his wife of permanent marriage and usurp her rights .

Therefore , Imam ar-Redha (s) said , �It (temporary marriage) is absolutely lawful and permissible thing for one who is unable to get married . Let him protect himself through temporary marriage . If he is able to get married , it (temporary marriage) is permissible to him when he is absent from his permanent wife . �[180]

In short

, temporary marriage is legally and rationally permissible in all cases unless it leads to disregard for the permanent wife , which means ignoring her sexual rights .

Though temporary marriage is permissible , it is not appropriate for one to practice it excessively until he becomes famous for it among people . One should pay careful attention to the moral aspects . He should be moderate and avoid indecency .

Let us be realistic and not follow our fancies to establish verdicts against the verdicts of Allah . A pious one never does that . I ask the readers , who are protective of their religion , to follow what Allah and His messenger have permitted because we are in an age where adultery is desired by many people and where looking lustfully at girls and women by non-mahrams has become the adultery of the eye , which causes problems of another kind .

However , even with all these recommendations and confirmations of the lawfulness of temporary marriage , I do not invite people to practice it except those who are in dire need of it , and then they must follow the juristic and moral conditions of it .

Question 118

Is there a sexual culture in Islam ? In other words , does Islam teach its followers the practical way of practicing sexual intercourse between spouses ?

My question stems from a discussion with one of my friends who says that Islam is far above such trivial matters !

I think that the sexual culture , from which

several marital matters arise besides the safety of the offspring , is not considered trivial . What is your opinion about the subject ?

The answer : Islam has not ignored the issue of sexual education . In our traditions there are clear talks about this matter . Imam ar-Redha (s) said , �Do not make love with a woman except after you have played with her a good deal and have played with her breasts . When you do that , her lust will be excited and her organs will secrete , because her secretion begins from her breasts and her lust appears on her face��[181]

Imam Ali (s) said , �If one of you wants to sleep with his wife , let him not hurry (in satisfying his lust) because women have some needs (to be satisfied) . �[182]

The Prophet (s) said , �If someone of you makes love with his wife , let him not withdraw until she satisfies her need just as he likes her to satisfy his need . �[183]

There was a situation with one of the Prophet�s great companions , Uthman bin Madh�oon . Once , his wife came to the Prophet (s) and said to him , �O messenger of Allah , Uthman fasts during the day and offers worships all night . (It was a metonymy that he did not meet her sexual rights) . � The Prophet (s) went out angrily holding his shoes until he came to Uthman , who was offering prayers . Uthman finished his

prayers and then saw the Prophet (s) who said , �O Uthman , Allah has not sent me with monasticism , but He has sent me with an easy religion . I fast , offer prayers , and sleep with my wives . Whoever loves my nature let him follow my Sunna , and making love (lawfully) is from my Sunna . �[184]

The traditions reported from the Prophet (s) and Ahlul Bayt (s) show the necessity of separating the beds of boys and girls and for having everyone sleep in his/her own bed because contact between boys and girls incites the sexual lust and causes premature sexual ripeness .

The traditions also talk about the necessity of paying attention to the suitable age of kissing children . The Prophet (s) said , �When a girl becomes six years old , she should not be kissed by a man , and a boy should not be kissed by a woman if he exceeds sevens years old . �

The traditions emphasize the importance of knocking on the door and asking permission before entering the room of two spouses . The spouses also must be careful when sleeping together that no adult or child hears their sighs or other sounds .

Imam as-Sadiq (s) narrated that the Prophet (s) said , �I swear by Him in Whose hand my soul is that if a man makes love with his wife while there is an alert boy or girl in the house who sees them or hears their speaking or sighing

, he/she will not succeed at all . If it is a boy , he will become an adulterer , and if it is a girl , she will become an adulteress . �[185]

You notice that sexual education has been mentioned in the teachings of the Prophet (s) and the infallible Imams of Ahlul Bayt (s) but in polite words and purified phrases , away from indecorousness or incitement of one�s imagination as we find in the Western cultures and books of sex , whose destructive effects are more than their advantages . In fact , what is intended by those cultures are those very destructive effects .

Question 119

My father has taken another wife . My mother is angry with him , and I am confused between them . From one side and according to my belief , I see that Islam does not permit anything unless there is a benefit in it , and from another side and according to the reality , I have pity on my mother though I do not approve of her anxiety , which may be the reason that led my father to get married to another wife . Would you please guide me with which of these views I should adopt ?

I hope that you will give me a glance at the subject of polygamy and the problems that result from it . How can Islam , by permitting polygamy , want to solve problems whereas we find more problems in polygamy ?

The answer : As you said

, Islam does not permit anything unless there are advantages in it , but those advantages are not achieved except by studying the subject in a real and comprehensive way . If getting married to a second , third , or fourth wife is just to satisfy a sexual desire without other humane purposes , it will not achieve the sought after advantages besides the motive , which will languish after the sexual intercourse and will then be replaced by problems that will destroy everything even the pleasure of sex itself .

Islam is very wise in permitting polygamy , but as for the appropriate situations and times to practice it , they will only be realized by the man who has been brought up under the shadow of Islam itself , and the one who does not care for justice (in dealing with his wives) will face many difficulties and be in a critical situation .

The Prophet (s) said , �He , who has two wives but does not treat them equally concerning sentiment and financial affairs , will come on the Day of Resurrection handcuffed and bent over , and then he will enter into the Fire . �[186]

Following Islam according to practical conditions definitely solves all psychological and social problems , whether those of individuals or families . But following Islam according to one�s mood and worldly desires takes one to the forbidden division and complicates his problems .

An understanding Muslim woman would be better off submitting to the verdicts of the Sharia

to emerge from the trial successfully; otherwise , she will be resurrected with those who deny the Sunna of the Prophet (s) and the verdicts of Islam .

Just as envy is a bad quality that one should drive away from his heart and conducts , so is the jealousy of women . When a wife harms her husband by doing something wrong out of jealousy , she violates the moral and legal limits .

Imam Ali (s) said , �The jealousy of woman is unbelief and the jealousy of man is belief . �[187] Would a Muslim woman accept to bring herself unbelief ?

Imam al-Baqir (s) explained the above-mentioned tradition by saying , �The jealousy of women is envy and envy is the origin of unbelief . When women become jealous , they become angry , and when they become angry , they disbelieve except the faithful ones of them . �[188]

Dear sister , do not live in confusion . For what is this confusion ? Your father has chosen his way , and he is a part of you and you are a part of him . Your legal duty is clear . You have to be kind to both of your parents equally and with no difference , but with more help and respect for your mother because she is weaker and more tired as you say .

Give advice to your mother and father whenever you find a suitable opportunity . Tell them that a Muslim is one who submits to the verdicts of

Islam and does not obey his desires and his personal opinions instead of obeying Allah .

Question 120

My husband hates me because he wants male children from me , but Allah gives me females . What is my guilt in this ? Why are men so severe ? I hope that you do not misunderstand me . I want to express my suffering and show the ignorance of some husbands who ignore the wisdom of Allah in His people . I offer my question so that you may show my husband and those like him the viewpoint of Islam in this concern . Thanks a lot .

The answer : Dear patient sister , I appreciate your feelings and I do not misunderstand you . In fact , I agree with you on what you say . Men are severe , but just some of them or maybe most of them . As for your husband and his like , they are unaware of the following points :

1 . A husband should be happy with what Allah , Who knows the benefit of man , gives him . Let him read , for example , this saying of the Prophet (s) , �There is no house having girls in it except twelve blessings and mercies come down to it from Heaven every day . The visit of the angels to that house does not stop . They (the angels) write to the girls� father every day and night (the reward of) worships of a year . �[189]


. Doctors have proved that the semen of man determines the gender of the fetus , and the wife has nothing to do in this concern . She is just like a vessel , and the husband has to thank her because she protects his deposit in her vessel until she lays down this heavy burden . She suffers much pain and difficulties throughout the period of pregnancy .

Allah says in the Qur'an , (And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years , he says : My Lord ! grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents , and that I may do good which pleases Thee and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to Thee , and surely I am of those who submit) . [190] Thus , Allah appreciates the efforts of a woman; then why should the husband not appreciate them if he believes in Allah ?

3 . The roots of hating female children stem from the pre-Islamic era . A Muslim husband should protect himself from falling into the abyss of that age of ignorance .

4 . The Creator is Allah the Almighty and the husband should feel ashamed of himself

if his ignorance leads him to oppose his Creator .

5 . The vigor and vitality of the wife bring happiness to the marital life and make the husband recover his senses . A nice story in this concern has been mentioned by al-Jahidh in his book al-Bayan (p . 186) . He says ,

�Once , Abu Hamza ad-Dhabbiy left the tent of his wife and went to live with one of his neighbors when his wife gave birth to a girl . One day , he passed by his wife�s tent while she was playing with her daughter and singing ,

�what is the matter with Abu Hamza ,

that he does not come to us ?

He stays in the house next to us ,

angry that we don�t give birth to boys .

By Allah , it is not in our hands .

We just take what we are given .

And we are like the farm to the farmers ,

we grow what they have sowed in us ! �

Then Abu Hamza came into his wife�s tent and kissed his daughter�s head and her mother . �

6 . Nevertheless , to be given a male child , there are some scientific and religious ways and others of the unseen , which a man can follow without harming his poor wife .

It is reported that Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said , �Whoever wants a male child to be born , let him place his right hand on his wife�s navel on the right side (when making love) , recite the Sura

of al-Qadr (97) seven times , and then make love , and every day in the morning and evening he should recite (subhanallah : glory be to Allah) seventy times , (astaghfirullah : I ask Allah to forgive me) ten times , (subhanallah al-adheem : glory be to Allah the Great) nine times , and the tenth time he should say : (astaghfirullaha innallaha kaana ghaffara yursilis samaa�a �alaykum midrara wa yumdidkum bi �amwaalin wa baneena wa yaj�al lakum jannaatin wa yaj�al lakum anhaara : I ask Allah to forgive me because Allah (is the most Forgiving . He will send down upon you the cloud , pouring down abundance of rain , and help you with wealth and sons , and make for you gardens , and make for you rivers)[191]�) . [192]

Question 121

I am sterile and there is no hope for a cure for me . I want to know why I have been afflicted with this injustice , and what the guilt of my wife is that she will not have a child to call her �mama� all her life and be delighted like all other mothers !

O sheikh , please , excuse me for this question ! I do not object to the wisdom of my Lord , but the Satan whispers into my heart .

The answer : Dear brother , since you know that the Satan whispers to you , you must seek the protection of Allah against him . You have to submit to the Lord of the worlds

because He is aware of you , your wife , and millions of people like you . He is more aware of what benefits His people and what harms them . You do not know; perhaps when you are given a child , it may be born handicapped and then you and your wife will suffer difficulties and insomnia all your life , or when your child grows up , he may be a source of troubles to you and to your wife . Many accidents have happened in this life , any one of which is sufficient to give people big lessons . Many parents wished they had no child after being involved in great troubles because of him .

Then , why should you let the Satan affect your faith even a little ? Thus , you will lose your faith and this loss is bitterer than your not having a child .

You should believe in the wisdom of Allah sincerely , adhere to your faith and certainty , shut out the whispers of the Satan who destroys you through your passion , and say , when the Satan begins whispering to you , �Perhaps that I have not been given is better for me because my Lord is aware of the ends of things� and Allah is the Guardian of the believers .

Question 122

My wife is sick . In fact , she is handicapped , and I want to get married to another wife , but I am confused as to what the

consequences of doing this will be . I cannot tolerate living with her forever . Whenever I think of my state of continuing to live with my wife versus getting married to another one , I find so many difficulties gather in my heart , which seems like it is about to stop beating . Please , guide me to the right way , and may Allah reward you with goodness !

The answer : Dear brother , take it easy ! Let your mind think , and do not put dams of illusion before yourself ! Every problem has a solution by the will of Allah the Almighty . This world , with all its defects , has good people yet; otherwise , it would have sunk with its people .

Things are not dark , and life is not melancholy as the Satan shows it to you . You asked me to guide you to the right way , and I say that it begins from the following :

First , pray to Allah to guide you to the right path and to not allow you to follow your desires at all !

Second , consult with reasonable people about the steps you should take !

Third , treat your sick wife with kindness and mercifulness only whenever your circumstances allow you to do that !

Fourth , assure her that your marriage to another one does not mean that you will ignore her , and tell her that her cooperation in this matter will make you love and

respect her even more !

Fifth , in your dealings with her , be understanding and lenient in all situations and expect your reward from Allah , Who rewards good-doers , and the reward of whoever does good will not be lost !

Finally , if you decide to get married while your first wife is unwilling in spite of all the previous steps , and your second marriage has legal reasons , try to get married without letting her know in order to not increase her sickness . If temporary marriage can solve your problem , you may prefer it to a permanent marriage . And then if she finds out about you and becomes angry , you should not reply to her angrily or harm her for it has been mentioned in traditions that it is not a habit of generous people to avenge immediately .

Nevertheless , I think that you would be better off being patient if observing patience is possible for you .

Question 123

My husband was handicapped after a traffic accident . How can I continue living with him until the last of my life while I am still young ?

The answer : If the love between you is true , the matter is easy , but if the love is weak or you think selfishly , the matter is difficult .

Dear sister , I hope you accept reality because faithfulness and patience are much higher values than personal ambition , except if the husband does not appreciate this faithfulness and you cannot

be patient with him . In this case , you would be better off to ask him for a divorce , and if he does not divorce you , then you can go to the legal judge (the religious authority) to determine your situation .

The basis of a happy life is love and devotion . Try to live with this valuable reminder , which if lost for some reason or other , there will be no reason to make you continue your life with your husband except if you have a greater power of patience , sacrifice , and altruism and if you want the reward of the afterlife .

In general , you should deal with your problem wisely and prefer what is more important to any important thing . I pray to Allah for you .

Question 124

My question does not concern me . It is about how to deal with a husband or a wife who has qualities of nervousness , stupidity , ignorance , indifference , obscenity , or haughtiness but insists on adhering to these qualities and does not accept advices or think of reform .

The answer : I advise the people , who are afflicted with such spouses , to regard what they consider to be important things in the light of their benefits . Sometimes patience and silence are preferred because they are the best ways to defeat the problems that lie in the way of success as mentioned in one of the traditions �He is happy whose tongue is

silent and whose speech is little but meaningful� , whereas at other times divorce and separation must be preferred .

Question 125

What is the right behavior to adopt if one of the spouses is polite and high-minded but not religious and pays no attention to lawful or unlawful things , purity or impurity ?

The answer : If this does not cause a conflict , it will be better for them to live as two spouses and continue loving each other , hoping that Allah may guide the unreligious one to be religious and then they may live happily according to the principles of Islam . But if this attitude will cause a conflict between them , for example , if the husband forces his religious wife to take off her veil before his friends or to serve drinks for his guests or to give up prayers and fasting , first , he must be advised either directly or indirectly by other persons . If this is useless , then the rupture of relations should be followed . Sometimes , the rupture of relations is in the form of a separation to force the other side to reform himself/herself and sometimes in the form of divorce . It is better that these stages should be carried out under the supervision of a religious and wise family counselor . The objective is not to give up the religious obligations , for no obedience to a creature is worth disobeying the Creator . What is the value of the

creature for whom man disobeys his Exalted Lord ?

A religious wife has to take the Pharaoh�s wife as her example , as has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an , and a religious husband has to notice the example of Prophet Lot towards his wife . Man will withstand if he looks forward to the happiness of the afterlife , for this life with all its sweetness , which is mixed with the bitterness of problems , is evanescent and not eternal . Sudden death often happens in our present age . Do you not see how our youths are surprised by death and swallowed by graves without a prior notice ? Being caught up in the pleasures of this life , which may be for a short time , is followed by deprivation of eternal pleasures in the bliss of Paradise , which Allah has prepared for the pious .

Question 126

I have a young friend whose husband is very old . Sometimes , she asks me : what is a suitable conduct that meets the rights of the husband in order to please Allah ? Then what are the rights of this young wife with a great ambition on her husband ? What will her fate be after the death of such an old husband ? I am not able to answer my friend�s questions except in general points , which are not sufficient . Would you please say what could persuade her and those like her ? Thanks .

The answer : First ,

we should say that she has married willingly . She has not been forced to accept an old man as her husband . If it is so , she has to accept the consequences of her choice and be a good wife to her husband without comparing him to young husbands . The first one to compare and perish , and cause others to perish with him , was Iblis , and Allah has warned us of following him .

As for death , people�s ages are in the hand of Allah . How often it is that young people die and old people participate in their funerals ! Let us suppose that her husband dies as others die , whether she is young or old at the time . Then , she has to do as widows do . She must wait for a new prospective husband or become patient as most widows or as spinsters do who accept reality and adapt themselves to its requirements . This kind of marriage does not mandate worrying about the future or being melancholy . A polite and religious old man is better than a reckless young man .

The important thing is submission to fate and then to behave according to the Islamic morals . Satisfaction , as stated in the traditions , is a treasure that has no end , and contentment is a rest that discontented people will not taste .

Question 127

I live with my husband in emigration . He is very kind and does not

deprive me of my rights as a wife . I am proud of him and of the sound children Allah has given me through him . Praise be to Allah . However , being in a state of emigration away from my relatives and country troubles me . I have been deprived of my relatives and country because of my husband who is one of the political oppositionists to the state . This matter causes me continuous worry . I do not know how to convince myself of the reality around me while my heart is aching with memories and longing for my country . I fear that my state may affect my relationship with my husband . Please , show me a solution to my case and accept my thanks !

The answer : Dear sister ,

First , thank Allah for the faithful , mujahid[193] husband you have ! Those who have such qualities are few . As a part of thanking Allah , you should continue being patient with the difficulties of emigration and requirements of jihad . You should always remember that Allah has promised the mujahidin great reward and virtue , and they will enter Paradise without any reckoning .

Second , man has the ability to adapt himself to all environments . He can grow accustomed to whatever is around him , but it is culture and willpower that lead him to either happiness or wretchedness . Try your best to strengthen your willpower and culture but in a way that pleases

Allah the Almighty !

Third , you may read the biographies of those who have preceded us in faith , emigration , and jihad for the sake of Allah , for history has great , useful , and inspiring lessons !

Fourth , you should be certain that life is unstable . It does not remain as it is; a wind brings the tide and another brings the ebb , and Allah has the power to do anything at any moment .

Fifth , you should read a lot about the decree of Fate , because believing in this great concept cures many of our psychological and material problems .

Sixth , you should put your griefs and ambition in the frame of your marital life and darling children and make their happiness be the first and last goal in your life . It is this that will benefit you in this life and the afterlife . Let other matters and that which concerns other people be in the second and third degree . Do not mix up what is more important and what is important , because preferring the second one to the first will make you fail .

Seventh , you should know that the problems in the present age have spread in all countries , and your mother country is different now from what it was in the days of your memories . Conducts , morals , new generations , imported cultures , the types of economical and social relations , and whatever else you can imagine

have become different and have changed since your emigration . It is not right , in evaluation , to dream of life in the past criteria and then walk behind their mirage .

Eighth , in your spare time , you should occupy yourself with social relations with your neighbors and with families who are in the same situation as you . The feeling of emigration disappears when man mixes with people of identical sufferings .

Ninth , you can assign yourself a mission to work for , according to your circumstances and intellectual level . Being busy with a certain goal closes the gaps of tiredness and exhaustion and brings one closer to success .

Tenth , you should always remember that life is short and a reasonable person is he who takes advantage of it to choose the best fruits before he misses the boat . Many are those who have emigrated and lived with their faith and then died (while in emigration) and will be in Paradise; whereas , if they had remained in their countries , they may have been among the people of Hell . How often it is that living in the motherland country for some believers , and even for those who have lost their faith , is bitter and difficult while it is not so after emigration .

Question 128

In our family there is a divorcee , and amongst our relatives there is a widow besides three spinsters . I see this state as irregular , though it is as a

result of our society�s ignorance of Islam , which they construe as just praying , fasting , and some other traditional rituals . They have turned their backs on the verdicts of Islam concerning polygamy , temporary marriage , facilitating marriage , and avoiding the habits from the time of ignorance . Would you please show us the verdict of Islam towards the situations of these women ?

The answer : The phenomenon of the large numbers of divorcees , widows , and spinsters is universal . In our Muslim societies , it is supposed that this painful phenomenon would be limited if we followed all the principles of Islam without preferring one to another as we like , but , unfortunately , most of the Muslims have missed this way !

Islam is clear in its position towards this phenomenon . We can notice this through the following points :

First , Islam places certain conditions and limits for divorce , which cannot be executed easily .

Second , when a divorce takes place , Islam gives the option to a divorcee to remarry and not remain single .

Third , Islam has legislated the laws of polygamy and temporary marriage within conditions of justice and morality .

Fourth , Islam has facilitated the procedures for marriage with no strictness or difficulty .

Fifth , Islam has recommended people to treat these women with the utmost politeness , kindness , and respect and to feel and care for their sufferings . Islam has promised a great reward for this .

Sixth ,

wealthy people should establish centers and foundations to employ these women in works befitting their abilities , such as sewing , nursing , cooking , weaving , handiworks and the like , and then the products should be sold , and the profits should be given to the workers themselves , to help the orphans , to cure the sick , or to establish other charitable foundations .

Question 129

I was an unveiled girl at the university . I fed on the worldly cultures until I became self-conceited and thus killed my chance for happiness . One young man after another would come asking for my hand , but I kept refusing , wishing for the knight of my dreams to come , but he never did , or he might have been one of those who came but I could not discover him because of the mirage of my illusions and the facade of my wishes . Thus , I missed the boat of marriage and now I am one of the millions of spinsters . I regret , but uselessly . I have repented to Allah of what I have committed against myself . I do not know where I shall be after my death . I hope that girls and their parents might take a lesson from my case and refrain from complicating the conditions of marriage when a religious , high-minded young man comes asking for the girl�s hand . How long does man plan on living that he complicates this life

for himself ? Our Islam , the religion of ease , has emphasized religiousness and morality when selecting spouses because it sees in them a sure guaranty to achieve the rest of the conditions of happiness , which are just branches of these two conditions .

After this foreword , my question is to ask for instructions for what remains of the life of a spinster who regrets being unjust to herself . Would you please answer me ?

The answer : Dear sister , may Allah bless you ! I pray to Allah to make your present and future better than your past and to recompense you for what you have missed with the best of that for what you wish as a reward from Him for your repentance , change , and loving heart that wishes goodness for others . I pray for you sincerely that you may defeat the obstacles in your way , and Allah will be with you in this life and in the afterlife if you are with Him .

I have read in your letter bitter sufferings and I feel sorry for your state . May Allah help your heart and damn that culture which has killed your happiness . I join my supplication and the hope and call of your supplication to warn Muslim girls of this predicament before they fall into the same error into which you fell .

Yes , there is no happiness save in going back to the pure culture of Islam . It truly is the

culture of ease and bliss .

My instructions to you are as follows :

1. You should build your afterlife with every good deed .

2. You should spend your time with satisfying the needs of the believing women and guiding them to good and righteousness .

3. You should spend the rest of your life in spreading religion by every wise means , for example by publishing books , collecting donations for charitable projects , and the like .

4. Try to learn literary writing and giving speeches and practice them for the sake of Allah only and not to show off !

5. Always ask Allah to forgive you !

6. Adorn yourself with Islamic morals in every case !

Question 130

My husband asked me to agree to his marriage with another wife in a temporary marriage , but I refused . However , when I pondered on the verdict of the Sharia in permitting temporary marriage , my mind and senses guided me to agree and encourage him to do so . I asked myself : this woman�s husband has died , but her sexual lust has not died . Then , how should she satisfy it ? Unlawfully or by suppressing it or by lawful temporary marriage ?

There is no doubt that the third choice is the right one , which Islam has legislated . However , Umar bin al-Khattab prohibited it , and it was his personal opinion and for a certain period , as I think . If temporary marriage was not prohibited (by Umar) and if

this prohibition did not last for the following ages , the doors of adultery would not have been opened to society . It is mentioned in traditions narrated from the Ahlul Bayt (s) that if temporary marriage was not prohibited , no one would commit adultery except scoundrels . No noble man will go towards adultery while the door of lawful temporary marriage is open to him . This door has been opened by the Wise Creator , Who is more aware of the truth of man and the requirements of his lust than anyone else .

Yes ! This was my thought when I gave my husband my permission to marry that widow , but after that , he did me wrong . He went too far and exceeded the limits in practicing temporary marriage until he started ignoring me . He did not even think of the family�s needs .

I am still satisfied with the verdict of our great Sharia and will not allow myself or others to deny or suspect this verdict , but I hope that you can give some advice to men who are like my husband . Is this my fair reward ? Has Allah not said , (Is the reward of goodness aught but goodness) ? [194] Please , excuse me for lengthening my speech and thank you for answering me .

The answer : Dear faithful sister , it is mentioned in one of the traditions that �do not put wisdom near other than its people for you will

wrong it , and do not prevent it from its people for you will wrong them� .

Dear sister , your situation results from your kindness and religious understanding , but your mistake is that you have put this wisdom near other than its people for whom it was intended . A man like your husband , whether you do him good or not , will carry out what he wants and will cover his actions with religion if he pretends to be religious; otherwise he will commit his wrong in an irreligious way , paying attention to nothing .

The problem lies neither in the verdict of the Sharia nor in your good situation , which pleases Allah , but the problem lies in your guilty husband . Be certain that Allah will not waste your reward because He is just and you are benevolent and patient . Besides , you will get your reward for your feelings towards that widow . May Allah bless you and make you succeed in your life and afterlife .

Question 131

My friend and his wife , after spending two years in the West , came to their country to visit their families and friends . The shameful clothes of this wife , the exciting colors on her face , and the perfumes she sprinkled on herself inside and outside the house attracted the attentions of all . When she sat with the women , she showed off and became proud to such a degree that she made them laugh at

her shape .

Unfortunately , she is from a religious family . She had not been so before she emigrated to the West . All her family disputed with her , but she faced them with pride and haughtiness and spoke to them impudently and with no Islamic morals . The least of her words to them was �you are still reactionary� .

It is said that her husband fears to resist her; therefore , he lets her alone lest she fall into sin as has happened to many women in those countries , which support the independence of women from the economical side and that paves the way for them to go wherever they like .

What is the obligatory way to deal with such a wife , especially when her husband is weak before her ?

The answer : This phenomenon results from previous causes . The most important cause is a weak religious education in beliefs and morals . It was obligatory on her family to plant the facts of religion inside her and to teach her the realities of this world and its deceiving faces .

If this woman is submitted to psychologists , they , unanimously , will say that she suffers from an inferiority complex and she , with her behavior , wants to repair her defect and solve her complex according to her illusory imagination .

Since this wife is insolent and throws her silly words impudently , I think it would be better for her husband to treat her with wisdom and good

exhortation , but whenever it is possible , he should dispute with her in a wise manner to achieve a good result . But , if it is possible that this may lead her to be stubborn or to fall into sin , it would be better then to be patient with her until Allah will bring forth the fruit of the wise efforts and good exhortation .

It is important in dealing with women like her , that have been dazzled with the West and have collapsed in fancies , to pay careful attention to politeness and to the Islamic morals when repelling evil with good in order to limit their stubbornness and to prevent their fall .

The husband of this wife must not neglect her case , especially not her emotional satisfaction . Let him permit her to wear any kind of clothes she likes as long as it is inside his house . He should prove his love for her in every possible manner . At the same time , he should speak to her frankly that her behavior , which displeases Allah , disgusts him and shakes his love for her . Does any lover like to disgust her beloved and shake his love for her ? This husband should realize that the shameless behavior of his wife makes other men covet her and visualize her in their laps . Does this please a husband with jealousy and a wife with abstinence and conscience ?

This is besides other problems that she may

face from men who she may excite and who may unexpectedly rape her . As for the problems of the grave , the afterlife , and the torment of Fire , the matter is very difficult and the talk is very long !

I hope that this Muslim woman and those like her are criticized with attention to the previous points and with emphasis also on another important point and that is to explain the disadvantages of displaying a woman�s charms before foreign men . Some examples from Western societies can be shown besides showing stories of western girls who have been guided and have believed in Islam and kept to the veil and abstinence .

Here , as an example and to encourage our girls , I would like to mention the story of a Danish woman who was the wife of a young Shiite man from Lebanon . He told me that his wife had become a Shiite Muslim and resigned from her job , from which she gained a lot of money . She made spreading the teachings of Islam her honorable job . She said that she did not want to see Muslim girls and women fall into what the Western girls and women had fallen into .

She always read Islamic books and after reading them , she would give them to other girls for the sake of Allah and to guide those girls to Islam and to its high humane teachings . [195]

He said about his active wife that she offered prayers

a lot and she was very devoted to her religion and veil . Whenever she met a Muslim woman who was a deviate or inclined to the Western way of life , she would enjoin her to do good deeds and forbid her from doing bad deeds saying , �we have known the emptiness of our material civilization and given it up and become proud of Islam . Why are you so dazzled by what we have tried and desisted from ? �

Indeed , this Danish woman is a source of pride . There are millions like her in the Western countries . Allah has made them as a proof for our women and girls who are emigrants in those countries and for those in our Muslim countries who imitate the western fashions and way of life . Thus , Allah gives them His full proof lest they will have an excuse against Him on the Day of Resurrection , the day of painful torment .

I ask this young woman , who is captured by her fancy and who calls her family reactionary , to ponder over the words of Imam Ali (s) when he said , �Shyness and abstinence are from the qualities of faith , the natures of the free , and the aspects of the pious . �[196]

Is the bondage to lusts and desires considered freedom or the belief in Allah the Almighty and obeisance to Him ?

Question 132

part 1

I imitate (follow) a religious authority (mujtahid)[197] that I have chosen by my will

after I have read his Islamic thoughts , which comply with the present age . There are millions who imitate him all over the world .

My wife agreed to marry me even though she knew about this matter (my choice of mujtahid) . But now , a year after our marriage , she asks for me to either imitate the mujtahid she imitates or for me to divorce her . Before this request , we used to discuss the matter a lot . I did not imagine that someday it would deserve to be discussed to this extent or that it would be a cause for wasting our time and annoying our nerves besides that it might be a cause for divorce !

In the beginning , I paid no attention to her request . I heard from one of her relatives that she had known , since the beginning of our marriage , about my imitating this mujtahid but she had said that she would be able to make me change . Now , after her attempts have failed , she comes to me asking me to divorce her .

I am confused and indignant at the same time . I am confused as to what I should prefer; should I submit to this stickling wife who asks for an illegal and inhumane thing or should I submit to the destruction of my marital life and the wealth I have spent in establishing this life ?

I am indignant too because I thought that religion was a

means of happiness and mental comfort for man , but why do those who ascribe to themselves religion and call themselves ulama throw their ignorant followers into fanaticism ? By doing so , they distort the truth of religion and the fame of the good ulama and mujtahids and destroy the happiness of man . Why do the honorable religious authorities and scholars not deny these calamities , which deal deathblows ?

I heard about such a matter that happened or caused marital disagreements , but I did not expect that it would happen to me .

Why do some speakers stress the disagreements and political disputes between some religious authorities and leaders while praising their own leaders and exalting them to the level of infallibility and charismata ? Why do they think that no one is good besides them and that those who do not adopt their opinions are deviates and misled ?

For what is this extremism ? Whereto do these persons want us to get with their narrow-mindedness ? Has the time not come yet for our authorities to fight these mockeries , which are practiced under the pretence of supporting the religious authorities themselves ? I apologize for violating the decorum of politeness . Please , excuse me if I was somewhat harsh in my speech ! There is no power save in Allah , the Exalted , the Great .

The answer : Dear brother , I find you right , wronged , and calling for reform . These are the qualities of one

who does not leave the true religion just because the pretenders have practically left it .

May Allah bless your faith , certainty , and taqleed . [198] I pray to Allah to bless your marriage and your patience too . Allah always blesses the intentions of the sincere people because He has promised that He will not waste the reward of good doers .

Dear brother , this problem is one of the results of entering into the world of politics without having an immunity of piety in the heart . The manifestations of piety that do not come from the heart are too many ! The philosophy of these manifestations is that man is to be tried and then he either becomes more faithful or he perishes along the way . Without being tried , man shall not attain the high degrees of Paradise nor shall he be thrown into the abyss of Hell . May Allah protect you , us , and all the Muslims from the flame of Hell and the moaning of its inhabitants .

You should know that when piety abides in the heart , immunity , which resists the prevailing of envy , fanaticism , injustice , oppression , superiority complex , and the omitting of others from the religious and social stations of activities , will be born .

I wish that those people would at least once in their lives ponder over the speech of Imam Ali (s) about the qualities of the pious people . Piety , as the

master of the pious Imam Ali (s) explained to his companion Humam who flew high towards his lofty goal longing for Paradise and fearing the Fire , is the required immunity for every true Shia . If anyone finds this piety inside him , let him enter any field to which his legal duty guides him , whether the field of culture , trade , politics , war , family , sitting in loneliness , or at the table of negotiations . However , this piety has disappeared from the lives of many people in our present age and so their lives have entered into the darkness of injustice; sometimes it is the injustice of the husband to his wife , the wife to her husband , the parents to their children , the members of the family to each other , or the neighbor to his neighbor and sometimes it is the injustice of the government to its people , the people to their leaders , or countries to each other , and so forth . I ask : can he , who is unjust to others , defeat injustice ?

There are many Qur�anic verses and prophetic traditions that have warned Muslims of injustice . The Prophet (s) said , �Beware of injustice , for it is the darkness of the Day of Resurrection ! �[199]

About party spirits the Prophet (s) said , �He who is fanatic fanaticizes will take off the noose of faith from his neck . �[200]

In some books I have

written about denying fanaticism and disagreements , especially concerning the religious authorities . The most important thing that I have written criticizing this phenomenon and giving curative alternatives you can read in my book (Stories and Ideas from the moralities of Clergymen) . In more than 700 pages of the book you will find important instructions about this concern that you and your wife can both benefit from . You can also refer to our books in general where we have tried to treat this destructive disease through Qur�anic verses and the instructions of the Prophet (s) and Ahlul Bayt (s) . I pray to Allah to make us succeed in treating our intellectual , mental , familial , and social diseases or in limiting them .

(He said : O my people ! have you considered if I have a clear proof from my Lord and He has given me a goodly sustenance from Himself , and I do not desire that in opposition to you I should betake myself to that which I forbid you : I desire nothing but reform so far as I am able , and with none but Allah is the direction of my affair to a right issue; on Him do I rely and to Him do I turn) . [201]

The reform that all disputers feign has certain morals and principles , the head of which is piety as Imam Ali (s) said in one of his traditions . [202] With true piety and by knowing its criteria ,

man can understand the limits of truth and falsehood in all cases .

Imam Ali (s) said , �Does it please you that you are from the triumphant party of Allah ? Fear Allah the Almighty and do good in all your affairs , because Allah is with those who guard against evil and those who do good (to others) . �[203]

The Prophet (s) recommended Abu Tharr by saying , �O Abu Tharr , in working with piety be more careful than your care for work . �[204]

However , we find that most of the fanatics who feign religiousness are enthusiastic in their actions but inattentive in their positions with regards to piety and to what the Holy Qur'an has said , (Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil)) . [205]

Dear faithful brother , be pious and let your worships and situations be sincere to Allah to receive His great contentment !

Politics , presidency , fame , praises , and lifting pictures without piety or the acceptance of Allah are but mirages leading to perishment .

part 2

I know some persons who expended their efforts in boyish disputes and quarrels that turned the happiness of some spouses into unhappiness and began spreading rumors against whoever disagreed with them in thought until they set the fire of disagreements and quarrels . However , some of them changed their positions after they realized that the facts could not be seen in the dust of the quarrels and the smoke of disagreements .

I hope that those who come

after us will take a lesson from this historic period , whose bad deeds have eaten away its good deeds . I hope they will not intrude on each other and kill their powers and abilities over trivial things . Let us heed this advice from our pure leaders of Ahlul Bayt (s) who said , �Strive and make every effort ! If you do not do so , then do not disobey . Whoever builds and does not tear down , his building will rise even if it is simple , and whoever builds and tears down , his building will not rise . �[206]

I wonder at the followers of different religious authorities who defy death in their disputes !

These authorities differ in opinions because they are mujtahids , and the legal duty of any mujtahid is to stick to his own opinion; otherwise he will be an imitator of other than himself . However , the blame is on the followers; why do they dispute , on which basis do they quarrel , and by what right do they exchange names against the names of the mujtahids !

We are proud of all of our mujtahids , and we tell the world that we believe in freedom of opinion and our evidence of that is the multiplicity of opinions of our mujtahids . Is it not wrong for the followers to deform this shining face of the freedom of Ijtihad[207] in our Hawzas ? [208]

You can see in the following one of the situations

when our mujtahids disagree in opinion and how nicely they deal with each other . One of the great ulama[209] , who has written many books and accompanied many mujtahids in Iran , told me that in the beginning of the year 1962 AD , and before the uprising of Khurdad[210] took place in Iran , when Imam Khomeini (may Allah have mercy on him) began increasing his criticism against the extinct regime of the Shah , the great ayatollah al-Akhond al-Hamadani thought that the position of Imam Khomeini would not serve the goal that Imam Khomeini intended; therefore , he sent Sheikh Abdurraheem , the teller of this story , to Imam Khomeini to tell him word by word : �Al-Akhond al-Hamadani sends you his greetings and says to you , �O Abu Tharr , slowly , slowly ! ��

Sheikh Abdurraheem said , �I went to the meeting where Imam Khomeini was giving his lecture . After he finished his lecture , I went out after him and waited for him to be alone so I could deliver the oral message to him , without allowing it to fall into the trap of spies or being heard by any of his attendants because the message was special . I followed him until he stopped near the tomb of the late mujtahid ayatollah Sayyid al-Buroojerdi to recite the sura of al-Fatiha for him . I seized the opportunity , approached him , and told him the phrase as it was , no more no less

. Imam Khomeini replied to me saying , �Send him my greetings and say to him : O Salman , rise , rise ! �

Dear reader , notice how these mujtahids respected each other . Al-Akhond al-Hamadani addressed Imam Khomeini as �Abu Tharr� because Imam Khomeini was revolutionary in his actions like Abu Tharr was and did not submit to injustice and deviation . Imam Khomeini addressed al-Akhond al-Hamadani in his reply as �O Salman ! � He compared him to Salman al-Farsi in his steadfastness , devotedness , and asceticism . Both Abu Tharr and Salman were great companions of the Prophet (s); they might have been different in their situations but with no enmity to each other , rather each of them had his own opinions according to the area of his legal duty . In the same way , those who bore the similitudes of Abu Tharr and Salman sent each other highly polite messages within the morals of Islam although they were different in analyzing the situations and different in their opinions .

At the same time when you see our mujtahids have the morals of the first companions , you see those who pretend to be their followers have the morals of other than them .

Is this the right line of Islam , which Imam Khomeini and other mujtahids wanted and made great efforts throughout their lives to serve ?

Yes , there are mistakes , but they are distributed amongst all . No one can be proud that he is free

from mistakes or defects . No one is infallible . Since it is so , let each side keep silent ! They should not provoke each other or criticize each other baselessly , for ultimately the two sides would lose .

Therefore , each one should act according to the mujtahid whom Islamic freedom has permitted to be imitated and followed . Let the youths undertake legal responsibility with all its moral dimensions . This is the method we impart in our instructions , as we have received from the Holy Qur'an , the conducts of the Prophet (s) and his guiding progeny (s) , the events of history , and our experiences in this age .

Acting according to this method requires some important steps :

1. Acquiring knowledge and information by continuously reciting the Qur'an and reading its interpretation , reading traditions and their meanings , and reading good books published by this Islamic school

2. Heartily concentrating on achieving the good end

3. Watching one�s deeds to serve that very goal

4. Respecting others even if they are dissenters

5. Observing equanimity , solidity , morality and gravity

6. Being certain of the truthfulness or falseness of any news that comes to one�s ear

7. Improving one�s mental and intellectual abilities and all the means leading to Islamic goals , and this requires paying attention to these listed steps and also avoiding selfishness and dictatorship

8. Being courageous in taking decisions to change what one has accustomed himself to

9. Complying oneself with news events and being aware of contemporary issues

10. Always praying

to Allah for success and being humble to the truth

Dear brother , with these points in mind , I hope your wife will return to her reason . If she is sincere to her religion , she should ask the mujtahid whom she imitates to give her a fatwa . I am sure that he will deny her situation , and ask her to be reasonable and live in peace with her husband .

Question 133

My husband is a heavy smoker . The place in which he smokes is like a chimney . Everything in our house has the smell of cigarettes . Thus far , my children and I have not even felt the smell of perfumes . Doctors say that the harms of smoking are more dangerous to those around the smoker than to the smoker himself . My husband knows well how much we suffer from his smoking , but he often says that his willpower does not help him in giving up smoking . What would you say to me , to him , and to those who suffer like us ?

The answer : One�s will becomes strong if he strengthens his culture , which is mixed with piety and caution for the ends . When we read that medical researches and actual experiments have proved smoking to have serious harms for the smoker and for others , we become certain that a smoker is a victim of his desire and his saying that his will is weak is but a justification

for his submitting to his desire .

I know a man who smoked for 40 years and then he gave up smoking , and his son smoked for 20 years and then he gave it up . I also know an old man who smoked up until 25 years ago , but then he gave up smoking . When smokers say they have weak wills and determinations , they just uncover the control of their desires over them . I say that because I myself have suffered from the harms of smoking in my larynx because smokers would not abstain from smoking in the meetings where I ascended the minbar to give speeches . I still suffer from this harm and ask Allah to forgive those who have caused me to suffer .

The fact is that cigarette smoking , which is the worst thing Muslims have adapted in their lives , cannot be justified by any rational reason , especially when it causes harms to others and violates their right of breathing pure air .

Therefore , most jurisprudents consider smoking unlawful on the basis of its �harm and harming� , and even if some jurisprudents are lenient to smoking addicts in permitting them to harm themselves , they do not permit them to harm others . The atmosphere is for all , and keeping it safe is obligatory on them . A permitted smoker has to smoke in a place where he shall not harm others .

Hence , it is required of every religious person who

smokes to ponder over his act from the legal aspect and the aspect of the moral principles associated with it .

This is in general , but as for this sister and her question about her smoking husband , I would like to present to her a story of a clever wife that she may benefit from this successful experience .

Once , a wife of a smoker said to her husband , �Every day you spend a dinar to buy two packets of cigarettes . Would I also not have the right to take a dinar from our expenditures every day if I were a smoker ? �

Her husband agreed , and based on this logical evidence , she took a dinar every day . She saved them until there were 358 dinars after a year . Then she called her husband to the yard . She brought the money with a match in her hand to show her husband that she wanted to burn the money .

Her husband cried out , �Have you lost your mind ? Do you want to prove the saying of Imam Ali (s) that �women have deficient minds� ? �

The wife said , �Do you see any signs that I have lost my mind ? �

He said , �Is there a sign clearer than setting fire to these dinars ? �

She said , �It is my money and I could have burnt it every day like you but I collected them in order to not lose more than one match

and in order to not burn with them my health and the health of those living with me who have the right to breathe pure oxygen . And since you take the word of Imam Ali (s) as an excuse , let me tell you that Imam Ali (s) , the great leader and the generous man , was far above to mean with his wise words what you and your like interpret , O my dear husband ! �

Being defeated before this clear , practical proof of his wife , the husband opened his mind and submitted to the inevitable truth . His intelligent wife went on to say , �Imam Ali (s) was afflicted with a woman who was used as a means to fight him by some men who called themselves companions . Imam Ali (s) gave a speech on this occasion , and said those words to reduce the influence of their plot . In this speech , Imam Ali (s) said about those men , �O semi men and no men ! �

The faithful women understood what Imam Ali (s) meant by these words , and therefore , they did not object to him or ask him about his intention because it was so clear . In fact , those women supported him in all situations and they remained sincere to him and defended him even after his bloody martyrdom when his soul ascended to the Kingdom of Allah and to His great contentment . �[211]

With these words this wife

was able to make her husband stop playing with the meanings of the words of the infallible imams (s) and to make him give up smoking .

The husband was enlightened by the intelligence of his wife and her good analysis of religion and history . Therefore , he made his decision to immediately give up smoking .

Soon , his wife decided to give him that money as a gift for his willpower and as a reward for his humbleness .

Dear sister , this is an experiment from which you and others in your position can benefit . I hope that husbands may take lesson before they meet intelligent wives , for the facts show that when some women know the truth of religion , they definitely become more reasonable than men .

Question 134

I divorced my wife twenty years ago . Recently , my daughter , who is married , asked me why I divorced her mother . I was confused as to how to answer her . After she repeatedly insisted , I told her that one day I saw her mother commit adultery with my friend who used to visit me in the house . I beat him severely until he fled from me , and then I immediately divorced her mother . I am regretful that I uncovered this secret to my daughter . Am I sinful before Allah and mistaken in my frank answer , for her mother may have repented after that ?

The answer : You would have been better off

to cover the sin of your wife , for Allah is the Coverer of defects . By your frank answer , you have placed a thick wall between your daughter and her mother who might have repented (God willing) , and furthermore , you have made your daughter live with worry about her reputation and suffer continuous psychological suffering , fearing that her mother might be exposed one day . This is a kind of injustice . You could have covered the matter if you had answered wisely .

A Muslim must prefer the principle of covering and being indifferent of others� defects , except when there is a greater advantage like in reforming or warning . In some traditions , it has been narrated that whoever covers the defects of others Allah will cover him .

As for marital treason , it may happen to anyone besides you; therefore , its causes must be known to prevent the tragedy and its bad consequences from occurring . Being unveiled , incitements , ballrooms , cinemas , movies , and videos , for example , are among the most important causes for committing this sin . Besides this , when some husbands bring their friends to their houses and their wives participate in those meetings with poor veiling , exciting laughter , speaking softly followed by suspicious looks and desires of touching , traitors and traitresses (curse be upon them and upon whoever paves the way for treason) are encouraged to commit their great sin when the simple-minded

husband is absent .

What is the guilt of the innocent daughter who lives away from her mother and father ? When this daughter grows up , she looks for the reasons why she has been deprived of the warmth of her parents .

Why do people not think of the consequences of their violating the Islamic Sharia ?

Yes , for these reasons , Islam has prohibited such preliminaries and imposed the veil , abstinence , and modesty on Muslims .

Question 135

My wife and some of my relatives believe in magic , jugglery , and the like . I did not believe in this and I would often say to them that they lived in superstitions . However , a little time ago , I began coming nearer to their beliefs when I saw some signs and heard some stories . What is the view of Islam regarding this matter , to which some Muslim families and communities and even some western people pay a great deal of attention , to a degree that they associate their unhappiness and wretchedness or happiness and success to it ?

The answer : Magic and its likes , such as divination , jugglery , conjuration , and employing the jinn for bad purposes , are prohibited in Islam because they are based on lying , cheating , ill-gotten moneys , and neglecting reason and religion . There is no doubt that magic has an external influence on some people of weak , diseased hearts and much illusion . Allah says ,

(�they taught men sorcery� and from these two (angels) people learn that by which they cause division between man and wife; but they injure thereby no one save by Allah's permission) . [212]

The wisdom of prohibiting magic is that when Allah the Almighty created man , He honored him with reason and invited him to use reason to build his life according to its guidance , whereas magic and other things like it contradict the high divine goal and make man and society live in ignorance and illusion away from the truth and the real facts .

Islam has contended against magic and declared that a magician must be killed if he does not repent . The money gained from magic is unlawful . Teaching magic , learning it , and taking wages for it are all unlawful . [213]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �He , who learns something of magic whether little or much , disbelieves��[214]

Imam Ali (s) said , �A diviner is like a fortune-teller , and a fortune-teller is like a magician , and a magician is like an unbeliever , and the unbeliever will be in Fire . �[215]

If magic and its likes had no harmful effects , Islam would not have prohibited them . We do not say that magic has no effects , but one must seek the protection of Allah the Almighty from magic and its bad effects . Allah says in His Book , (So when they cast down , Musa (Moses) said to them : What you

have brought is magic; surely Allah will make it naught; surely Allah does not make the work of mischief-makers to thrive . And Allah will show the truth to be the truth by His words , though the guilty may be averse (to it)) . [216]

This verse and what happened to Prophet Moses (s) with the magicians shows that magic was practiced by the followers of the Devils , but Allah curbed it so that its influence would not reach those who believed and relied on Allah sincerely such as Prophet Moses (s) and the believers whom the influence of magic and jugglery did not affect .

We conclude that when man believes in Allah with sincerity and certainty , magic and its like will not have any influence over him . If magic was able to have influence over anyone , the devils from the human beings and the jinn would do to the believers whatever they liked; however , we find the believers stronger than them , and , moreover , they are able to even annul the effects of magic on others by reciting some Qur�anic verses and certain supplications , through which they strengthen the spirit of a bewitched one and help him overcome the magic and the magician .

Dear brother , herein , I recommend you , your wife , your relatives , and whoever else experiences these fears with the following :

1. Connect yourselves to Allah sincerely , abide by the legal obligations , refrain from unlawful things , always

be pure and always busy yourselves with the remembrance of Allah ! Thus , you will protect yourselves from the evil whisperings of the Satan , from magic , and from every evil doing of man and the Devils .

2. Keep these ideas away from your minds as if they do not exist ! Thinking of these matters in itself prepares the ground for such illusions and makes the soul fertile to receive misfortunes .

3. Try to keep away from enmities and from those who would use unlawful means to harm you !

4. Beware of those who deal with what are called �unusual sciences� , for they look forward to your money before they think of your treatment !

5. Always recite the Holy Qur'an and the supplications of Ahlul Bayt (s) inside your houses , and especially the ziyara of al-Jami�a al-Kabira , the ziyara of Ashura , the tradition of al-Kisa� , the Verse of al-Kursi (2 : 255) five times , and �astaghfirullah� (I ask Allah to forgive me) seventy times !

Question 136

I am a mother of three girls and two boys . This is the production of twenty years of my marriage , which my husband openly describes as being a bad choice . He says that he stays with me just for the sake of the children . He does not feel any love towards me as his wife . He is sad and nervous . He insinuates that he wants to get married to a girl that matches his ambition


Now , after my hopeless attempts , I have become like him . I do not feel a deep love for him . I have lost my patience . I do not know what my fate or the fate of my children will be . I cry when I am alone . Does my crying solve my problem or could you show me a solution that would take me near happiness and success with my husband ?

The answer : To have a happy marital life , one should think deeply before getting married . One should think of the culture , ambition , wishes , and morals of the other person to whom one wants to get married . Without that , life will be full of troubles and sufferings as you suffer now . This is the problem of most of those who get married just to satisfy their lusts; they do not think of what will happen when the lust extinguishes and children come .

Now , let us think of a solution on the basis of �something is better than nothing . � We suggest that you should :

1 . care for yourself by using adornments , perfumes , attractive clothes , and nice (unaffected) words even at ordinary times .

2 . care for whatever he is interested in , because this is the key to get to his heart .

3 . read more about Islamic culture in general , the Holy Qur'an , and supplications because knowledge relieves the heart and guides

to the right way .

4 . show love to him and to your children and pay careful attention to the sacred instinct of motherhood so that he may understand that you are ready to tolerate every difficulty for the sake of the happiness of the family , of which you and your husband are two inseparable parts .

5 . be smiling and ease the atmosphere in the house with jokes and delightful comments . You should not say that what he has done to you has killed this spirit in you and beware of being desperate !

6 . not scold him if he insinuates that he wants to get married to a second wife because he will be more stubborn until he achieves what he wants just to avenge his personality .

7 . Lastly , supposing he does achieve his second marriage , you should continue acting according to the aforementioned points as if no difficult matter has happened . In other words , you should convince yourself with the reality . Between you and the other woman , who has the right to live her marital life with your husband , there are certain rights and duties that have been determined by the wise Islamic Sharia . Therefore , do not let the Satan throw you into jealousy against the verdicts of Islam , for then you would destroy your religion and lose your life and afterlife . Life is too short and temporary and it is not worth being selfish or wasting time

in troubles .

You should realize that when it is difficult for some men to be alone with their wives , either because they have old children or too many guests come too often or the like , they begin thinking of another marriage for some reasons , the first of which is to satisfy their sexual lusts . I do not know whether your husband or your circumstances in the house are like this or not . The assessment is up to you .

Besides all this , I have a word to say to your husband and I hope he will read it with his mind and not with his desires . I would like to say :

Dear brother , I do not doubt that you look forward to a happy and easy life for there is no reasonable person on earth who wants the opposite , not even the scoundrels ! Then , try to ponder on your state through answering the following questions :

1 . How will you benefit if you destroy your life and get married to another wife ? Will your conscience leave you free to be happy with the second wife while you have destroyed the first one ?

2 . What will you lose if you remain with your wife and children and stay satisfied with your fate ?

3 . Suppose that you get married to another wife , will you be able to treat your two wives equally and fairly ?

After this , I invite you both to think

of the following principles and agree , according to them , on what brings you happiness .

1 . Be certain that Allah does not determine anything unless it has an advantage for man that most of the time is hidden to him , and when it appears to him , he thanks Allah for not fulfilling his wish , which he had wished for but was not granted .

2 . This world and its pleasures are transient and man�s age is too short for him to achieve all his wishes . How many young people are there upon whom accidents come unexpectedly and cut the rope of their hopes and wishes !

3 . The value of man is in his good deeds that lead him to Paradise , which has the everlasting bliss that no eye has ever seen , no ear heard , and no mind imagined .

4 . It is great for a man to leave behind him after his death a nice picture about himself . This nice picture is contingent on one�s good morals and his respecting others� rights , which makes others pray to Allah to reward him with good . Will the soul have a pleasure greater than this ?

Question 137

I would like to build my family on sound bases according to Islamic teachings . What is the guiding principle to achieve this goal ?

The answer : First , you should know the features of a good family and those of a bad family , and then you can

decide which of the respective features to follow .

The features of a good family are as follows :

1 . The absence or fewness of controversies between the members of the family , especially between the husband and the wife

2 . The parents� being as a successful example for their children through their conducts and thoughts

3 . Observance of religious occasions , both the happy and sorrowful ones , and also of family occasions , like birthdays , as much as possible

4 . Exchanging visits with good people and especially with relatives

5 . Communal meetings with interactive discussions , jokes , and narrations of amusing incidents

6 . Satisfaction of the material needs of all family members such as clothes , food , shelter , and others , besides the moral needs like love , sympathy , care , respect , and the like

The features of a bad family are as follows :

1 . Always or often criticizing and disparaging each other and not respecting or encouraging each other

2 . Looking at problems from a pessimistic view , as if they are not experiments from which success can be derived

3 . Excessively watching others and suspecting every behavior of the family members

4 . The dictatorship of the responsible member in the family and his autocracy in making all decisions

5 . Cold relationship between the husband and the wife , while the children live in separation and with bad relations

6 . Not reciprocating visits with relatives and other people

Of course , you may not find a family with

all the ideal qualities , but you should try your best to raise the moral level of your family to be as near the ideal qualities as possible . When you find a good family , try to become acquainted with it and cooperate together to reach the required level of sound social relations . Beware of being ideal theoretically because reality has its own area that is narrower than in theories .

Generally speaking , to achieve your goal , you should try to achieve the following four points as Imam Ali (s) said , �There are four things that bring happiness to man : a good wife , dutiful children , good friends , and living in one�s own country . �[217]

Question 138

Noisiness , quarrels , and idle talking prevail in our family life . There is no moment of tranquility that allows us to rest and think quietly . The flame of disputation burns at everything and at every moment in our house . I can say that there is no ordinary word said in our house unless hundreds of words burst after it like splinters everywhere , and that does not even include the quarrels between the families of our relatives . Would you please show us the reasons and solutions for this destructive phenomenon ?

The answer : First and foremost , let each one of your family members and relatives remember that his life is short , then how would it be if he spends it in quarreling and brings himself

senility and death before time ? Let them remember too that happiness comes in the boat of discernment , tranquility , delightfulness , and reasonability . Happiness does not approach a person or a family leading a disorderly life . If one loves his life , health , and happiness , surely he will not involve himself in troubles and idle disputations . I do not think that there is someone who knows this fact and does not abide by its conditions !

In order to avoid disputations and quarrels , each person who lives in this house should bear in mind the following points :

1 . The house is a place of tranquility and peace of mind

2 . When disputations and arguments begin , the more reasonable one from both sides is he who keeps silent , regardless of whatever the other side encroaches upon him

3 . The subjects of disputations or the situations that take place during quarrels should not be revealed to those outside the house or to those who are not present when the quarrels take place

4 . One should be satisfied and not pine for the blessings others have

5 . One should be aware of the mentalities and the ways of thinking of others before dealing with them

6 . One should avoid violence

7 . One should avoid any differentiating in dealings with others when there is no excuse

8 . The Qur'an and other supplications should be recited in the house , and on different occasions , religious meetings about Ahlul Bayt

(s) should be held

9 . Gifts should be offered on occasions of joy

10 . One should constantly be mentioning words praising Allah , such as (la ilaha illallah-there is no god but Allah) , (la hawla wela quwwata illabillah-there is no power save in Allah) , (alhamdu lillah-praise be to Allah) , (astaghfirullah-I ask Allah to forgive me) , (aamantu billah-I have believed in Allah) , (tawakkaltu alallah-I have relied on Allah) , (ya Allah- O Allah) , (ya raheem- O Merciful) , (ya haleem- O Clement) , (ya ghafoor- O Forgiver) , etc .

What may prevent family quarrels is if children heed the following points in regards to their parents :

1 . They should respect their parents and not raise their voices before them .

2 . They should acknowledge the fact that their parents do not wish anything for them save goodness and success .

3 . They should be patient with their parents whenever the parents unintentionally make a mistake , especially since we know that because of the pressures of life , parents may sometimes do unwelcome things towards their children but they definitely do not intend to harm them .

4 . They should provide their parents with financial assistance before they declare their need , and then they should not remind them of that as a favor to them .

5 . They should not ask their parents for what they cannot provide , especially when it comes to buying some things .

6 . They should greet them courteously and always ask about

their health .

7 . They should try their best to treat them when they are ill .

8 . They should provide them with all of what they need in the house .

As for the behaviors of parents towards their children , they are as follows :

1 . They should care a great deal for the religious education and modern scientific learning of their children .

2 . They should praise their children in the presence of others .

3 . They should satisfy all their needs as much as they possibly can .

4 . They should treat them with love , kindness , mercy , and smiles .

5 . They should be friends with them .

6 . They should not beat them except when it becomes necessary in order to educate them .

7 . They should not insult them in the presence of others .

8 . They should give them some pocket money .

9 . They should buy them good books and encourage them to read more and more .

10 . They should watch their relations with others .

11 . They should teach them Islamic teachings and the true beliefs .

12 . They should accompany them to picnics and travel with them if it is possible .

13 . They should encourage them to learn swimming , archery , and handicrafts .

14 . They should marry them to suitable spouses at the suitable time .

Question 139

We are quarrelsome spouses . We love each other , but we do not know why we quarrel , and over very trivial

things too . After that , we sit crying and then come to an agreement with each other . After sometime , we return to another quarrel . Our marital life is ridiculous , is it not ? Sometimes I think of divorce , but then I regret and ask Allah to forgive me . I am confused , my wife is confused , and so are our children .

The answer : The most important factor in solving marital problems is for the spouses themselves to be determined to solve their problems . Without their intention and determination , they will not arrive at any solution at all . As for divorce , it is not the first nor is it the second solution , but it is the last of the last of solutions . Statistics have proven that those who hurry towards divorce , even in their new marriages their problems remain with them . You should be certain that unstudied divorce is not a suitable solution; rather , it will be a cause for bigger problems .

The best solution lies in following these instructions :

1 . One should be quiet and have calm nerves . This is done by turning to Allah and remembering that man will be afflicted with the wrath of Allah if he submits to his fancy and desires . One should go to religious centers , talk with religious scholars and ethicists , and call to mind the horrible terrors of the afterlife . These things will have

a great effect on man in encouraging him to find a suitable solution and carry it out .

2 . One should be fair in disagreements . This is an important factor that leads to a solution . Both disagreeing sides have to pay close attention to this moral value that will lead them to the truth .

3 . One should have an actual understanding of things; this means that spouses should know that life is not free from problems , disagreements , and differences of taste . Therefore , each one has to ignore the wrong the other side has done to him .

4 . Disagreement in itself does not cause problems; rather , it is made by the methods each of the disagreeing sides takes in dealing with the disagreement . Hence , good and reasonable methods should be taken whenever there is a disagreement .

5 . Let us learn how to listen to whoever disagrees with us ! This principle helps the disagreeing spouses reduce the intensity of their disagreements , and they may , after that , discover that they have disagreed over a trivial thing .

6 . Whenever we discover our fault and become certain that the other side is right , we must accept the truth and apologize and then discuss the details little by little .

7 . Whatever the disagreement , alienation , and separation , spouses must not give up the joint duties and responsibilities that keep the family sound and safe , especially not those concerning their

children . The experiences of quarrelsome spouses , who adhered to their joint responsibilities in spite of their disagreements , have proven that they , after a short time , agreed with each other and picked the sweet fruits of happiness and felicity .

8 . Spouses should take sufficient time for thinking , for this helps to solve problems . Each one of the disagreeing spouses should sit privately , reviewing himself to discover his own mistakes and determining to repair his faults .

9 . Spouses should not keep problems in mind except when trying to find a solution for it .

10 . They should try to limit the problems and not relate these problems to previous ones , because limiting the problems helps to find easy solutions and achieve a happy marital life . Let us always remember that willpower and determination are the keys to these solutions and instructions . And on Allah let the believers rely !

Question 140

My wife does not visit our relatives or my friends� wives , because she dislikes visiting them without taking presents with her to give them . Unfortunately , the presents she thinks of are not cheap , and my financial state does not allow me to buy such presents . What would you suggest ?

The answer : This kind of thinking results from the influence of worldly cultures , which have prevailed over the life of people and made them forget their religious culture . The worldly life always exhausts people , separates them from

each other , and deprives them of their happiness and joy . It was so and is still so , but people still do not take lessons .

Islam has emphasized the necessity of interconnection with relatives and good friends . As for presents , they are recommendable because they deepen the interrelations and bring the hearts closer to each other . However , it is not right to give up necessities and social obligations just for luxuries .

It is not necessary for a present to be materially expensive , because a present has its moral meaning . A brave one , who will get a great reward from Allah , is he who breaks the idol of ignorance resting inside the souls and tries with high confidence to derive a good principle by giving a greater moral value to a present than its material value . A visit with smiles and nice words and some chocolates for the children is much better near Allah than a visit with carrying presents that overburden the backs , exhaust the selves , and empty the pockets ! Rather it will have no reward from Allah because the gift was bought just for pride and showing off .

In a word , our society is in terrible need of a moral and cultural revolution to overturn many thoughts , one of which is �either to go with expensive presents or give up interrelations and mutual visits completely . �

Chapter Three : Children are tomorrow�s adults

Question 141

How should we educate our child and feed him with religious

teachings , moral values , social principles , and historical lessons ? Could you suggest a practical and successful method ?

The answer : There are still fathers and mothers like those of the past who at bedtime tell their children nice stories with useful meanings and in a wonderful manner of telling . Many of those meaningful stories have educated children with sound concepts , and when they became old , they still remembered them and took sufficient lessons from them .

In our present age , we should not ignore the sincere efforts of those who spread modern Islamic information through audio and video cassettes , CDs , magazines , and books . May Allah reward them with the best of good .

It is wrong to think that a child does not understand or comprehend what we mean or that he does not benefit from our stories . The Islamic experts , based on the traditions of Ahlul Bayt (s) and different experiments , have discovered that a child is able to comprehend the meanings of others� words from the fourth month in his mother�s womb . Therefore , traditions recommend mothers to recite the Holy Qur'an during the period of pregnancy and after giving birth even if it is through audio cassettes because a child responds and reacts to the Qur�anic inspirations , which have an influence on his mentality , morals and behaviors when he grows up . Similarly , the azan and iqama are recited in the two ears of a newborn

child .

Thus , a meaningful story with good moral and social contents leaves a constructive effect on the personality of a child in the present and future .

From among the necessities of education at this stage is buying some books for the child that fit his intellectual level , and it does not matter if he tears them , because after tearing the tenth book , for example , he will make friends with the eleventh book . He will keep it safe and read it . Here you can win his friendship with books throughout his life , and the loss of tearing ten books in comparison with this winning is not so important .

Parents can read to their child from the storybooks of children , and they will thus kill two birds with one stone , because the child will like books and benefit from the contents of the stories at the same time . I suggest that you hang this statement on the most noticeable wall in the house : �a good book should be read several times , discussed several times , and relied on throughout one�s life . �

Question 142

I am often confused as to how to deal with my children . In this age , in which corruption has spread everywhere , I do not know which way I should follow in educating them , especially those among them who are teenagers . I am very careful for them and precise in watching them because I am afraid that

they may do some things secretly that may displease the Lord . Their father is opposite to me and this causes disagreements and disputes between us many times . He says that my way will lead them to deviation while I think that his way in not watching them will be responsible for their deviation if one day it happens-Allah forbid ! What do you think , Your Eminence ?

The answer : Moderation in everything is the aspect of the umma that Islam wants us to adopt . We are people of a religion that permits neither waste nor excess . It announces clearly that (And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you) . [218]

Dear sister , if you are excessive in the educating of your children , please read carefully what I quote here from a letter written by a twenty year old young man to his mother complaining of his state to her for she has been excessive in watching him . He says :

�I like to choose my concerns by myself . I like if you would permit me to try life . I like to travel by myself . I like to�

But you always say to me : if an accident happens to you , then what ? If some misfortune afflicts you , then what ? If�

You still want to catch my hand and take

me with you wherever you like . My opinion and thought have no value in your judgment .

You say to me : What if you fall into an accident ? Or you are involved in a trap ? Or you commit a sin ? Or you become corrupted� ?

O mother , everyday you repeat these words many times instead of guiding me with what I should do in order to not fall into an accident or become involved in a trap or commit a sin or slip into corruption ! !

O mother , now I am twenty years old , but I have no will . Do you know why ?

It is because of your excessive fears; you have killed confidence inside me . You have prevented me from learning self-confidence in taking decisions because you always made decisions for me . Perhaps , you wished to sit beside me on the chair in my classroom fearing that I might make mistakes in my school lessons !

O mother , today I am unsuccessful in my social relations . Between myself and those of the same age , there is a big difference in mentality . They say to me : O weak , fearful , pampered , coward�

Yes , I really am so . I fear all . I trust in no one . I have no hope for the future . Today , I am unable to even choose my university specialization or my future job .

O mother , I like to do many

things , but your �NO� makes me give up everything . With this �NO� you have closed my way . I think if you could breathe for me , you would� ! �

Dear sister , with the aforementioned lines , I do not want to say that you are mistaken in watching your children , but I want to say that too many warnings that exceed reasonable limits will have the exact opposite effect from what you want .

By the way , it is said that one day a father saw his son on the front edge of the house�s roof and ordered him to go back lest he should fall down . The son went back a few steps , but the father , out of his fear for his son , ordered him to go back further and the son went back a few more steps . The father was still worried and ordered his son to go back even more until the son fell down from the other side . The father hit his head crying : O my son !

It is necessary for parents to know that each age has its own particular moralities that should be acknowledged within the general topic of morals in Islam . Let us not complicate our children and then cause them to appear abnormal among people ! At the same time , we should not let them be so free to do whatever they like as if they have no religion and forsake the best

of the heavenly religions .

You would be better off in allowing your children to advance in their lives , but with teaching them virtues and warning them of vices and their ends .

When you detect some deviation in them , you must suppress your anger and be calm and give them advice in a wise way . You should know that Allah has opened the door of repentance to His people , especially to the youth , and He knows they are weak . Hence , you should not suspect them and not be severe to them because this will take them away from religion and make them resist and go astray .

Besides all this , you should discuss the matter with your husband if he is lacking in his relation to the children . You should sit together and formulate wise methods of dealing with your children because they represent you before others and will replace you after your death . See how you want others to regard you !

Question 143

Would you please do us a favor by showing the stages of the cultural growth of children in the light of the Islamic view ?

The answer : There are four stages :

First , the stage of suckling , which begins from birth and lasts until the child becomes a year and a half . In this period , the child receives his cultural growth through his attempts of success and failure . The mother must undertake her basic role in this important stage because

the child is a deposit of Allah in her hand . If she does not help him to begin his life with the name of Allah , he will get to the Satan and the responsibility will be on her .

Second , the stage of childhood , which is composed of two periods : the first one begins after the year and a half of suckling up until the age of seven and the second period begins from the seventh year up until the twelfth .

The child learns in the first period � until the seventh year of his age � words , concepts , morals , and habits by watching and imitating . Therefore , those who are responsible for educating the child must pay close attention to this opportunity of teaching the child good morals and habits . These morals and habits can be noticed when the child imitates his father or mother in some of his plays such as the way of their speaking , gaits , and looking .

In the second period � until the twelfth year � the child begins analyzing meanings to comprehend bigger things . However , the family still has an effective role on his growth , but it is less than that of the first period because , in this age , the child is connected with school and classmates , and therefore , his presence among his family becomes less than before , and on the other hand , his mind opens for other things


In this period , the child looks for a role model . It is very important for parents to either be good examples or find their child a good example to imitate . The sociopsychological studies have showed that most of the deviate youth and criminal men were , in this period , receiving their deviate and criminal lessons from their bad role models . Let parents beware that their children not take their role models , in this period from seven to twelve , from films or other programs that they watch .

Third , the stage of adolescence , which is from the twelfth until the eighteenth year . This is the most critical stage of growth that the Prophet (s) has described as �a kind of madness� and Imam Ali (s) has said , �It is intoxication� .

The physical changes that take place in this stage are :

1 . Quick growth; some changes take place in the outer shape of a man in this stage that cause a teenager to often look at himself in the mirror and ponder long over his new shape .

2 . Change in the tone of a teenager�s voice to becoming rough and hoarse

3 . Growth of the sexual lust; if a teenager is not instructed with the lawful and the unlawful concerning the matter of sex , he will become involved in sin .

The psychological changes are :

1 . Excitement and nervousness

2 . Secret thinking and pondering over what will happen

3 . Feeling independent

The changes in the

practical field :

1 . Mutiny and objection

2 . Taking occasional and sudden decisions without premeditation

3 . Acting and then thinking

4 . Taking famous persons as examples

5 . Not accepting the supervision of others; a teenager does not tolerate the direct ordering or forbidding from his parents .

6 . The desire of venturing and showing one�s personality

In this stage , the influence of parents on the youth weakens while the influence of the street , school , and the outside becomes strong . If parents spend the previous stages with their child in the correct way , they can easily , in this stage , connect their child with mosques , Islamic foundations , good scholars , and faithful friends to help them pass this stage without troubles; otherwise , the hands of the devils will snatch him to educate him with the culture of the people of Hell .

Fourth , the stage of youth , which begins after the eighteenth year when the storm of adolescence gradually calms down . Now , a young person begins his/her practical thinking of his/her scientific and professional future and thinks of choosing a spouse . This responsible state continues and becomes stronger after marriage and parenthood . Due to past and present cultural spheres , discernment and serious thinking emerge in one�s personality . The general social spheres and the cultural establishments surrounding man have a great effect on forming his personality .

Question 144

I am a university graduate . I am married and have children . I have

read books on education by non-Islamic authors . Would you please show me the educational dimensions in Islam so that I can compare what I have read with what you will deign ?

The answer : First , I would like to invite you to read what our virtuous scholars have written in this field . They have written useful studies , and some of them have completed what others have written . Here , I am just noting for you some important bullet points followed by summaries . I would like to say : educating man with the perfect Islamic teachings requires paying great attention to all dimensions , beginning with the first moment when the sperm and the ovum convene , such as being in a state of purity , choosing a suitable night and a suitable hour (for sleeping together) , being mentally calm , reciting supplications , beginning with the name of Allah , and seeking His protection from the Satan as detailed in certain religious books . As for after birth , there are four dimensions that must be kept in mind :

1 . Bodily dimension

Great attention must be paid to the course of food , cleanliness , times of rest , and treatments of diseases before the rise of complications; otherwise , a child will be nervous and gradually become sick , introverted , and lacking in self-confidence .

2 . Moral dimension

It means the ability to act according to the moral values . Without this ability , man�s actions will

be away from the virtuous , moral values .

3 . Social dimension

If a child is introverted or aggressive , it means he has had a weak social education and must then be taught the principles of social relations with others , such as respecting others , dealing with them peaceably , and not violating their rights .

4 . Mental and intellectual dimension

This is a very important factor in educating a child and finding in him an open , delightful , and balanced mentality , because man�s knowledge and wide range of information enable him to comprehend different affairs .

The ground of these dimensions is formed in the stage of childhood if attention is paid to the aforementioned points . I hope that you will benefit more from what the virtuous scholars have detailed in their books about this matter .

Question 145

I think educating children is one of the most difficult tasks in this time period , when we are surrounded with the cultural attacks of imperialism and corruption , when poverty and our worries about the futures of our children have increased , and likewise when the different diseases of this age have increased . All of this has made us exhausted in life . I think we are in a time where we have lost sight of the right way because of the many suspicious ways . Do you agree with me on this ?

The answer : We confess that education in the past ages was much easier than it is in our present

age due to some real reasons and facts . With this confession , we do not aim to submit to the negative sides of those reasons , but rather , we aim to understand them in order to undertake the legal responsibilities towards preventing their dangers . Here we would like to refer to these facts :

The first fact is technological development and the penetration of material means into man�s life , such as the television , telephone , video , computer , internet , fax , and different films , which enter houses and closed rooms via satellites .

The second fact is the increase and ease of the means of interrelations and communications between people , which make information and cultures intermingle with each other .

The third is the variety of people�s needs and their dissatisfaction with certain things . In other words , they are busy with fashions besides their desires to possess all that is new .

The fourth is the activities connected with the adventitious facts that have entered the lives of individuals and families and are followed by cultures and interests of the same kind .

The fifth is the prevalence of information , or what is called �the information explosion . � As soon as one understands a piece of news or an information , hundreds of news and information come to him to exhaust his mind , and then he cannot conceive which one is the most important or , in fact , he cannot distinguish between the important and

the more important ones .

The sixth is the differences between tastes and tacts concerning the new things and facts mentioned above and their consequences . These differences cause disagreements , quarrels , and different problems that instigate in man a state of abandonment , resistance , and mutiny , even in intellectual and religious matters as is clear from the conducts of the youths of nowadays .

These facts are features of the globalization the universal arrogants offered to the nations at the beginning of the year 2000 to let them enter a third millennium full of moral corruption , perversion , and the diseaseful consequences that lead to mistrust of the beliefs , deviation , class-war , and social disassembly .

In our present age , man , due to these facts , suffers mental and physical exhaustion . He has no morale or power to communicate with his children or discuss with them their affairs and problems . This has a bad influence on the educational and sentimental affairs inside his family and on the private relations with his wife . Therefore , man has to know his time and its facts as carefully as he can , besides knowing his religion and the goal of his existence in the earth . Thus , he will be able to choose the way to success and be safe from becoming involved in the trap of imperialism . If we do not analyze things in the correct way , others will dissolve us with their ill analyses


Question 146

After having our first child by the will of Allah the Almighty , an argument took place between my wife and me about how the personality of a child is formed . Would you please give us an answer to settle our argument ?

The answer : The personality of a child is built through the following factors :

1 . The natural faith in the true religion of Allah; a child , regardless of whoever and whatever he may turn out to be , is born with the divine nature that is the true Islam . Allah has said , (Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam) . [219] However , it is the parents who make their children either Jews , Christians , or Magi based on their own beliefs . So deviation begins with external factors , the first of which is the parents� beliefs and conducts .

2 . The intellectual and practical level of parents; however developed in intellect and conducts they are , their child will be similar to them .

3 . The relationship between the parents and the child; if it is close , full of love and care , the child�s personality and mentality will be shaped in a way that will help him to be successful in the future .

4 . Orderliness , mannerliness , discipline , and cleanliness; the child grows accustomed to these items from his environment , and they become parts of his future personality .

5 . The wise administration of the family; many

sufferings inside the house are caused by a weak administration of family affairs . The father or the mother , or both , must have the ability of leadership to administrate every affair concerning the family in order to help the family arrive at the shore of happiness and ease . Leadership is not dictatorship , but rather , it is the art of winning hearts and attracting them to the right opinion .

Question 147

From where do children receive their culture ? Is it from their parents , TV programs , or school programs ? This was the subject of a discussion that recently took place in a family meeting . Most of us said that TV programs were the first source from which a child obtains his culture and conducts . Do you have anything else with which to advise us ? Thanks .

The answer : The child begins receiving his culture from the first moment when he begins to feel whatever is happening around him inside the house . Thus , the parents are the first source of the culture by which the child is influenced and with which he grows up . His first step begins with the blind imitation of every movement , gesture , and word of his parents , especially the mother and then the father , and then the others in the family and the children of the same age whether in the house , street , school , TV , or illustrated magazines .

Allama Sayyid Hadi al-Mudarrisi

says , �Man is not only the son of his class � as Marx says � but he is the son of his culture , education , and environment before all . �[220]

The experiments of educationists have proven that the child receives from the one around him all his gestures and words and even his gait , way of eating , etc . They say that man is a creature who acts according to nature and is sociable by influence . The kind of culture around him enables him to change continuously , whether positively or negatively , until the last moment of his life .

TV programs are one of the most important sources of injecting cultures into a child , but it is not more important than the culture of the parents , except if their culture is to throw the child towards those programs to feed on them all the time .

Question 148

What is your opinion about the plays of children and with what do you advise parents to play with their children ?

The answer : Man is a sociable being by nature , but if he does not protect himself with a sound culture , he will turn into a sick member of society , and his personality is shaped according to the culture he receives and the social role he plays . This matter begins with childhood . If a man receives during his childhood a sound culture and sound social senses , he will be ready to enjoy success; otherwise

, he will be liable to deviation .

Educationists say that childhood is a third of one�s normal age . If the needs of a child are satisfied and he is provided with useful toys and playthings , he will be more ready to undertake a successful role in society in the future . In the light of this theory , we present the following suggestions :

1 . Parents have to choose for their child useful playthings that have constructive and educational purposes and that can open his mind and help him mix in society successfully . We do not mean to totally prevent the child from playing alone , but let most of his play be of the kind that needs another child to play with; and however more players the play may require , the sense of sociability and communication with others will increase .

2 . There is no doubt that mental games are preferred in importance to physical games , but each have their undeniable importance and advantage in building a well-rounded personality of the child .

3 . Parents should know that however they conduct themselves , whether with good behaviors and nice words or with quarrels and bad words , will reflect on the child , especially when he is alone with his toys . He will behave according to what he has acquired from his parents because they are the closest ones who the child imitates and is influenced by . This state remains with the child , whether it is

good or bad , and others can discover the morals of the parents in the house through the behaviors of the child . Hence , parents must be careful regarding their behaviors with their child or in his presence because this will leave a great influence on his mentality .

4 . It is necessary to submit to the child�s desire in choosing the kind of toys for him , but if he chooses something that is harmful for him , he must be convinced wisely to choose better alternatives .

5 . Parents should keep the child away from plays and games of violence , especially computer games such as wrestling , karate , and the like .

6 . Providing the child with different kinds of useful toys and games is very important for him .

Question 149

I would like to know the motives for my child�s acting nervous and violent . He rebels against my advices and does the opposite of what I ask him to do .

The answer : First , when your child rebels , you have to think of these three questions : when , why , and how . When you are able to identify when this state begins , why it begins , and how , then you will recognize the motives that make him resist and rebel against you . Most likely , you will find that it is you who should be blamed for that . If it is in fact so , then you must change your manner

of advising him .

Second , sometimes your intention is good when advising , but your manner of advising is not right . You should know that it is wisdom to choose effective ways and manners of giving advice because sometimes the manner is better than the advice itself .

Third , the kinds of foods you often have in your house , and especially canned foods and other products that come to us from foreign countries , may have a negative effect on the nerves , cause excitement , and increase the temperature of blood . It is necessary to follow , in our foods , a culture derived from our Islamic values .

Fourth , watching violent films has a very bad influence on children�s mentalities . Children learn from such films mutiny , resistance , and other bad behaviors that do not befit a Muslim .

Question 150

My daughter is seventeen years old . She pays no attention to prayers . I hate forcing her to offer prayers against her will , but at the same time I cannot bear to have her give up prayers . Moreover , she does not care for her veil . With what would you advise me to make her abide by these religious obligations ?

The answer : First , please , excuse me to say that you have come late !

Second , you should offer prayers in her presence without making her think that you do it intentionally , and after your prayers , supplicate to Allah for her

. Mention her name and pray to Allah to make her successful in her life ! This will gradually make her love prayers , and whenever she achieves success or gains some good , tell her that this is because of the blessing of supplication after prayers !

Third , you should buy her some Islamic books , especially those concerning the importance of prayers and veil and their meanings and constructive influences in life . Bring her audio and video cassettes and CDs to create a religious atmosphere in the house for her !

Fourth , ask her to remind you of the time of azan ! By this you will make her , somehow , care for prayer and you will pave the way for her to accept this sacred obligation . On some occasions , you should mention to her the advantages of veiling and show her the opinions of the Qur'an and the Prophetic traditions about it .

Fifth , if she is not affected after practicing these steps for sometime , you should discuss with her why she does not offer prayers and why she does not care for her veil . Try to answer her questions quietly , logically , kindly , and attractively !

Sixth , when , someday , she does offer the prayer , thank her and encourage her ! Tell her : dear daughter , I see a light on your face . This light will illuminate your way towards the perfect happiness if you keep up your prayers

thoughtfully and longingly !

Finally , you should know that this role is not limited to you alone . You have to encourage your wife and other religious women in the family to participate in it . If it is possible , you can bind her to friendship with some religious girls .

Question 151

I have three quarrelsome children . They quarrel at everything with each other and with other children too . I do not know how to deal with this problem , which is about to destroy my nerves !

The answer : The most important causes of such a case , as I think , are :

1 . The participation of the children in the same things , such as the same toy , the same meal , and the same clothes; this causes competition and quarreling amongst them

2 . Showing love to a certain child and depriving the other

3 . The smallness of the house or the room of the children

4 . When children watch quarrels , whether in the house , the street , the school , or in films .

Treating this problem requires dealing with the causes besides continually advising in a quiet and lenient manner . In addition , you may embrace the children in the same way and kiss them from time to time because this will plant sympathy inside them and make the solution of the problem easier and faster inshallah .

I suggest that , on some occasions , you buy a box of chocolates , for example ,

and give it to your children to distribute it among other children so that they may learn the spirit of gift-giving and altruism and thus the case of quarreling to seize others� possessions will decrease or disappear .

Question 152

What should we do to make a child give up playing with others� things ?

The answer : The following steps are sufficient for this aim :

1 . Let others not play with his things .

2 . You should teach him about the rights of others and how to regard their possessions through stories and instructions in accordance with the level of his understanding .

3 . When your child takes others� things , you should immediately return those things to their owners and make the child participate in it himself in order for him to keep in mind how to respect others� possessions .

4 . When the child gives up playing with others� things , you should reward him and declare to him that the reward is for his amiable situation of not playing with others� things .

Question 153

I suffer , in educating my children , from a problem that may destroy all my efforts . The problem is that my wife does not coordinate her efforts with me . For example , I ask my daughter not to buy toys for boys , but after a few days , I find my wife buying those toys for her . I encourage my older son to choose the profession of medicine , while my wife encourages him to choose engineering because her father is an engineer . Do these contradictions not corrupt the education of our children ? Does it not create a duality that wastes our efforts and makes the children complain to their parents


Your Eminence , would you please guide me how I can get rid of this suffering by giving a suitable solution to this problem ?

The answer : A concordant family is the family whose members manage their affairs together with good faith , mutual trust , and hopefulness . The children of such a family will graduate with good mentality , high self-confidence , and hopefulness in life . They will have enough motives of progress to help them pass any difficulties in their ways .

Dear brother , if you ponder on this fact and sit with your wife to discuss all its dimensions , you will agree on coordination , cooperation , and interchanging opinions regarding the educational and future affairs of your children .

If you want your suffering to not cause you problems one after another , you should hasten to cure it . Your wife is the closest one to you and she has the right to participate with you in educating your children , for children are not the possessions of just one of the parents . It would be better for you both to sit together and agree on the same strategic aims in educating your children and then you can agree on suitable manners to carry out those aims . When there is any disagreement between you and your partner in life , you must avoid despotism and quarreling in the presence of the children . You can discuss your different affairs in a closed room and away from

the children , even when you discuss nice matters quietly !

You should keep in mind that your children have the right to give their opinions on the matters that concern them , especially those concerning their future , when they are fit to choose . Their opinions and legal wishes must be requested so that they feel the freedom of choosing and discussing in a sphere of consultation full of love and sincerity . This is one of the necessities of good education , which has unfortunately disappeared from the conducts of most people .

Question 154

My children are not the same in most of their qualities , and this makes me and those who are in contact with them love some of them more than the others . Sometimes , I feel remorse; what is the guilt of this child who receives less love and sympathy than the others just because of the difference in beauty and sweet-tonguedness ? Would you please guide me to the right , because , as you know , this is a problem of many people ?

The answer : There is no doubt that each child has a special position inside his parents� hearts and also in the house , school , and society . It is because of the qualities each child has and his/her educational manners that parents and others differentiate . An only child has a different position from one who has siblings . Likewise does the only male child among some sisters . A clever child

is often preferred to a dull one . But , when admiring a certain child , one should be fair in dealing with all . He should show love and kindness to all of his children equally; otherwise , unfairness causes envy of the pampered child . Hence , parents should be careful in dealing with their children to get balanced relations among all . And , in order to not wrong the clever child when he and the dull one are treated equally , you should make the dull one understand that your greater care for the clever one is just because of his qualifications and efforts and make him understand that when he himself makes an effort to improve himself , he will deserve more care too . The matter will be different if the difference between the children is natural . For example , if one of the children is handicapped from birth . In this case , the handicapped one should be treated with more care than the others due to the mercy that Islam has made incumbent upon us and in order to avoid the psychological effects that may affect the children .

Here , I must mention two necessities :

First , we must think of the punishment in the afterlife if we harm a child or deprive him of his rights that are obligatory on parents or those who are responsible for him to fulfill .

Second , we must think humanely towards a deprived child .

I hope that in the

future we can learn how to keep ourselves safe from the remorse that stems from the bad education of our children and its negative effects .

Question 155

How can I make my child more serious in his study ? Do you have any way with which I can help him out of his laziness in learning ? I hope that you will guide me in this matter that decides the future of my only child .

The answer : There are two factors stimulating one towards what is required and taking laziness and languor away from him . The first one is the internal motive and the second is the external goal .

A motive is the mental and intellectual state from which one receives nourishment . A goal is the external attractiveness of the aim in one�s eye and mind .

In order to be successful in leading your son towards a good future that pleases Allah and that is respected among people , you should create for him a motive and assign to him an important goal . This requires concentrating on the following points :

1 . You should take out of his mind the example he follows in his laziness and unwillingness to study , and explain to him the harms of imitating an ignorant example . At the same time , you should mention to him a good example and explain to him the advantages of following it .

2 . Whenever he changes his conduct and tries to turn towards a good example , you

should reward him and repeatedly encourage him . Some experts of modern education advise of limited and reasonable punishments if a child continues imitating an ignorant example . Islam also advises of this matter according to the requirements of the situation and the decision of a wise educational leader .

3 . You should educate your son with any means he likes . For example , if he likes watching films , you can bring him good cultural films , and if he likes games , you can bring him mental games .

In general , you should create cultural spheres in your house by , for example , bringing books and attractive meaningful magazines , inviting scholars and learned people to your house to discuss cultural and intellectual questions , and talking about different educational issues .

Question 156

My elder son does not respect me , and the younger one has begun imitating him in that for some time now , though I think that I have not failed in satisfying any of their rights . What do you think the reason is ?

The answer : Whenever the father shows his love to his children in different ways and on different occasions , they respect and regard him more , except if there are special defects in the children�s mentalities the blame of which does not lie with the father .

The father is the first factor in forming the type of relationship between him and his children . The father who does not allow his son to

talk freely and declare what is in his mind should not expect his son to respect him from the moment he begins opening his eyes to life .

The father who treats his child coercively , shouts at him , insults him , or maybe even slaps him if he is a little late in carrying out his orders will destroy every excuse for making his child respect him .

The father who treats his children unequally and does not show them the same love and respect should accept the fact that they will not respect him because he himself has not respected them .

The father who allows his children to revel in every bad culture and suspicious friendships and is indifferent to any bad habit they adopt will not find in them what will please him .

Dear brother , as long as you have not neglected your children�s rights , perhaps there are other reasons behind their not respecting you . From among these reasons is that your children may be teenagers . This is a temporary state that often disappears between the age of twenty-five and thirty . If your child is older than this age , his conduct towards you may be because he has thoughts opposite to yours .

Anyhow , I would advise every father to not make himself as a military officer , his house as a military barrack , and his children as his soldiers ! Fathers should , from the very beginning , plant love into their children�s hearts and

educate them in a way that makes them feel they have independent personalities in the house and in life .

The moral teachings and values Islam has issued are sufficient to make man perfect , but it is the duty of fathers , mothers , and children to adhere to these teachings in order to protect themselves from any educational disease that may trouble their family life . Surely , prevention is better than cure but most people are indifferent .

Question 157

What is the influence of television and computer games on our children ? Some people say they are good because they keep children away from bad deeds , but others mention the harms of these devices of which no house is empty . What is your opinion about the subject ?

The answer : My opinion is in accordance with the second one as Dr . Hamid al-Mutayri has detailed in al-Furqan Magazine , vol . 121 , saying the following :

�Many educationists think that watching the TV too much often causes dullness in children and watching the TV for long periods makes children see many bad things such as immodest pictures and scenes that they should not see in such a stage of age . The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends making children under two years not watch the TV and the reasons behind that are many . Here are some of them :

1 . Watching TV means wasting the opportunity of reaction and association between the child and the rest of the members of

the family . The child who sits before the television for a long time does not read , write , argue with others , or play well with those around him .

2 . The TV means laziness in full . He who watches TV needs little concentration and attention , and perhaps this is the reason that has made the TV so amusing .

3 . Watching TV lessens the child�s attention span , because one who gets used to watching TV moves from one channel to another continuously and thus cannot fix on the same subject . This matter affects the opportunity of learning and makes listening to the teacher carefully very difficult .

4 . We should know that the TV broadcasts destructive messages that cannot be avoided easily . For example , the rate of the scenes that have sexual gestures and hints , which the ordinary spectators see in a year , is nearly fourteen thousand scenes , and the commercial advertisements we watch in a year are more than eighteen thousand . This is besides the scenes of violence , which different programs are full of . As a result , we can say that the TV may be a dangerous factor leading towards corruption and violence .

To cure this problem , Mr . William Baniet , a previous American minister of education , presents the following solutions :

1 . Legislating certain laws on what is possible for children to watch with assigning a suitable time for that; some suggest that the

time of watching TV should be after the times of reading and doing homework .

2 . Consolidating these laws by putting near the TV where it can always be noticed a sheet having special instructions concerning watching TV

3 . Choosing useful programs that are possible for children to watch and suitable for their ages

4 . Offering alternatives when decreasing the period of watching TV , which means busying the children with other activities instead of watching TV

5 . We ourselves must be good examples to our children . It is not reasonable that we warn our children of watching TV while we ourselves spend long hours watching it .

We should take lessons from the results that have come out of TV programs up until now . They are too bad . However , the results will be opposite if the programs are meaningful and in the light of Islamic values as a source of education .

Question 158

My son has bad friends . Would you please guide me with how I can make him leave them ? Should I do that with violence or is there another way ?

The answer : You can offer him alternatives by acquainting him with good friends from among your friends� sons . You may do that by suggesting and agreeing with those fathers on a group trip to a summer camp , for example , or a travel to the holy shrines or something like that to allow him to make friends with these good kids . It is better

that you not tell him about the purpose of this step . Besides , you yourself should make him your friend . The transcendence we find in most fathers before their children is not acceptable . The father can be the best friend of his son . He can teach him his experiences , talk with him about his past , and direct him towards the future tactfully , kindly , and wisely .

It is necessary for the father who is concerned for his son�s future to appreciate his son , praise him , respect him , encourage him to always strengthen his self-confidence , and enable him to deal with those around him in an acceptable social manner .

Question 159

How do we deal with the child who does not collect his toys and return them to their proper places after he is done playing with them ? This tires me out in addition to my work in serving food , washing clothes , and sweeping the house .

The answer : You can follow these suggestions or some of them according to your need :

First , before your child begins playing , you should remind him that one of the conditions for his playing is that he has to collect the toys after he has finished playing with them .

Second , if he does not abide by this condition and leaves his toys scattered everywhere , you can prevent him from something he likes as a kind of punishment until he carries out that condition

. If he returns to his bad habit , you can return to punishment , and so on until he starts to follow what is required from him .

Third , in times other than his playtime , you can tell him some tales having concepts of discipline and orderliness . You can tell him that a lovely child and a successful man are the ones who undertake their responsibilities , care for their things , protect them , and put everything in its place .

Fourth , at the end of his playing , you may help him a little and then begin a competition with him of who can collect the most toys .

Fifth , you can assign to him an independent room where if he does not collect his toys there , it will not matter . However , from time to time , you should arrange his room so that he does not grow accustomed to disorderliness .

Question 160

My son is fifteen years old . Now , he is different from how he was before . He used to be quiet and well mannered , but now he is very mutinous . He refuses to be advised and turns his back on me whenever I ask him for something . I do not know why he has suddenly become like this .

The answer : Your son is now passing through the stage of moving from childhood to youth . Physically and mentally , he is undergoing changes of cells and reactions of hormones

. He is at the threshold of a new stage , where he will like to know about what he has not known before . Things around him are new for him . He does not like to deal with them as before when he was a child . Now , he considers himself an adult . Socially , people , friends , the media , and all that he sees in the street affect him . Intellectually , he looks for the proofs of everything that has been said before about beliefs and ideas . Questioning in this transitional stage is natural for him . If parents scold or shout at him in their manners of guiding , he will slip into deviation and then into the major deviation , especially if he falls into the traps of bad friends .

It is necessary for parents to be accurate and careful in dealing with children in this new state , regardless of whether they are boys or girls . It is a temporary state that just needs wisdom and great care , and then both , you and your children , will be comfortable .

Question 161

I am a teacher . I find that some of my students are envious of their classmates . I try my best to remove this bad feature from them but with no use . I can say that this feature is present even in my children in the house , and I do not know how to control it .


answer : Envy has many causes such as :

1 . The discrimination in parents� treatment of their children; showing love to some children and depriving the others of it is an educational error that is widespread among families . This discrimination may lead the children to even commit crimes against the parents , the newborn child , or people outside the house . Wisdom requires parents to show love to their children equally in order to not shed tears of regret later on .

2 . The natural gifts in individuals like beauty , neatness , tactfulness , and the like; here a wise teacher and a kind father should not prefer one (student or child) to another according to inexcusable sentiment and love . Preference is right when someone makes efforts to be successful and the teacher intends by that to draw the attentions of the others that whoever makes efforts to be successful will be preferred , and thus , preference is just a result of efforts and success .

3 . Praising someone before his mates without justification; when one is praised before his mates , the reasons behind that praise , such as personal efforts , success , and the like , should be declared to make his mates understand that praise is a fruit deserved by whoever does good .

4 . A teacher or a father should explain moral concepts and stories about the outcomes of enviers and then ask the listeners to give their opinions about envy and after that advise

and warn them of envy .

5 . It is good for a teacher sometimes to ask his students to write articles on envy and assign a prize for the best of them . Doing this leads them to read and ponder more over what they suffer from , and consequently , they try to rid themselves of this bad feature .

Parents have to prepare the mentality of their last child to respond to the coming of their new child . They should plant love inside their child for his coming brother or sister so that he can be delighted when it is born , and this will remove envy from him .

Question 162

What are the causes of envy among children and what are the solutions ?

The answer : There are many causes that prepare the ground for this bad quality . Here are some of them :

1 . Moral defects in the family , such as the lack of indulgence , not pardoning one another , watching each other suspiciously , and the like

2 . The parents� disagreements and quarrels

3 . Discrimination amongst the children

4 . Natural differences between the children themselves , like cleverness , beauty , good speaking , activeness , etc .

5 . Siding with one of the children against the other when they quarrel without listening or being certain about who is actually guilty

As for the solutions , they are :

1 . Holding family meetings from time to time to discuss the matters that often cause quarrels , and the children

should be given a full opportunity to talk freely while being listened to carefully and respectfully

2 . In spite of all the quarrels between the children , the parents should deal with all of them equally and fairly

3 . Making efforts to end every quarrel between the children from its very beginning

4 . Avoiding discrimination; the parents should accept their children as they are and not make them feel that their parents love or care for a certain one of them more than the others

5 . It is very important too that parents should adapt themselves to the natural rate of envy in their children , and at the same time that they explain to their children the harms of envy , they should not , by their actions , encourage it to increase in them

Question 163

My son is lazy and does not like his lessons . How should I deal with him ?

The answer : 1 . He has not found a motive that makes him love studying . Such a motive must be created in him by explaining to him the advantages of knowledge either by you or by others . You can talk to him about the great scientists , scholars , and inventors and explain to him how they have gained the respect of people and will gain the high degrees in Paradise .

2 . He must be taught the right ways of learning and understanding the lessons .

3 . The actual reasons for his hating studying must be identified .

He may be harmed by his classmates or mistreated by his teachers or something else .

4 . He should not be blamed too much , because this will make him more obdurate and obstinate .

5 . Laziness sometimes is symptomatic and it would be better to see a doctor too .

6 . If there are around him family problems or marital disagreements , you should try to determine them because such problems are the main reasons that cause laziness and boredom , and they are the key to every evil .

Question 164

I have just one child , and I have prayed to Allah for so long to grant me her . Therefore , I am very concerned to educate her as Allah the Almighty wants . Would you please explain to me the most important bases of education ? I will be very grateful .

The answer : Islam has divided the education of children into three stages .

The first stage begins from birth and lasts until the seventh year . In this stage , the child should taste the full meaning of freedom . He should be free to do whatever he likes except if he wants to do something that may harm him , and then he should be prevented in a way that his dignity is not harmed and his freedom is not restrained .

The second stage is from the seventh until the fourteenth year . In this stage , the child should be taught useful knowledge especially the beliefs , juristic principles

, morals , and contemporary sciences .

The third stage begins after the fourteenth year where the parents by now should have prepared him to be as their friend and as an independent person . However , in this age , the parents should help him in the field of life and teach him good lessons from their experiences .

This is in general , but as for the conduct required from you as a mother towards her daughter , I would like to draw your attention to the following points :

1 . You should teach your daughter good habits and morals .

2 . You should strengthen in her the motives of goodness , knowledge , and longing for Paradise .

3 . Let her see in you the exact practical example of what you tell her !

4 . Let yourself be so close to her to the extent that she can speak frankly to you about anything that is in her mind !

5 . You should plant in her self-confidence and teach her to not be satisfied with a certain level of success ! Always tell her : �High determination is from faith� . [221]

6 . You should continue reading books concerning your goal !

Question 165

What do you think about beating children ? Do you think it is one of the successful ways of education ?

The answer : Most people prefer beating and neglect using kind and persuasive words . I think that those who beat the children are in greater need of education than the children

who are beaten . Children do not perceive the mistakes they commit nor do they understand the cause for being beaten .

Hence , the beater is worthier of being punished according to the very principle he follows in beating the child .

We should know that the child who is insulted and who suffers the pain of beating will not give up the thing for which he is beaten; rather , he will continue doing it secretly or will learn how to beat and practice beating another child or he will hide inside himself his hatred against the beater until a day when he will show his hatred to restore his dignity due to his childish understanding . The children that are deterred by beating are very few . Therefore , it is not right to utilize beating as a successful educational means , except according to the limits of necessity as studied by a wise educator .

Question 166

My child is quick-tempered , quarrelsome , and aggressive . He asks for some things at inappropriate times . He wants to possess whatever he likes , and sometimes he seizes others� things and holds them whiningly and stiffly . I feel ashamed before others because of him . Would you please give me a solution ?

The answer : Anger is a kind of excitement inside man that appears through his words and gestures . Excitement has external incentives at some times and internal ones at other times .

In fact , the power of angriness is a good

defensive instinct in the life of man and nations that Allah has created in man to help him be in certain situations brave , valiant , and heroic . However , it is like other instincts . If it is not guided in the way of goodness , reform , and piety , it will move in the opposite direction and destroy the noble values .

There is a saying that courage and full-heartedness are among the hereditary aspects , and so are anger and quick-temperedness .

As for anger in children , educationists say that it begins in the third year and decreases when the child becomes five and a half years old . Children learn anger and nervousness from their parents and the persons around them in the house , kindergarten , or school . Children also learn that from some exciting films . They imitate what they see in those films thinking it is a condition for them to be accepted by society or to prove their personalities and existence among their fellows . Thus , they feel the pleasure of pride and importance .

Regardless of the age differences of those who show their anger , the common thing between all kinds of anger is that the angry person places himself at the center of all things and becomes utterly selfish when he wants something , which could be his or others� , and he then disagrees with others .

On the other hand , an angry child provokes his parents� anger and then his

desire to defend his pleasure and aim increases in him . In this wrong way , angriness deepens in the child while his parents and relatives do not feel it .

To cure this state , one should not reciprocate the angry child with anger . When the child becomes angry , parents should not be angry with him , because in order to put out the fire , one needs to pour water on it and not add fuel !

Besides , you should make the child understand that the pleasure of proving his personality and existence among others is not gained through anger or forcefully seizing things but is instead gained through love and cordiality .

At the same time , the parents should not submit to the unreasonable desires of the child . Submission to all his desires makes him ask for anything at anytime and deepens in him obduracy and obstinacy , and then he does not care whether his parents are able to meet his requests or not . In fact , excessive pampering makes the child ask for everything and with no limits . Of course , he becomes angry if he faces a limit that he has not faced before . Hence , the parents may be , most of the time , the cause in making the child grow accustomed to asking for everything because they meet all his requests in order to avoid his insistence , as they think , but the fact that is not known to them

is that their child will now ask for new things again and again .

Yes , if parents are able to buy for their child what he sees in the hands of others and wants , they should do so; otherwise , they should be patient enough to tolerate their child�s angriness and insistence .

Question 167

Each one of my children has his own special characteristics and ambitions . How should I deal with them in the house ? I love them from the depths of my heart , but I am too arbitrary with them , and I fear that it will affect their futures . I do not know whether I am right or wrong in my way of dealing with them !

The answer : Dear brother , I have read wonderful educational statements of an Iranian writer called Muhammad Taqi Ma�soomi . I translate them here with my additions in reply to your question . The author says ,

1 . If you want your children to live psychologically and mentally in safety and soundness , you should avoid quarreling in their presence .

2 . If you want your children to not be obstinate , you should not always reject their requests , insult them , or shout at them before others .

3 . If you want your children to listen to you , you should listen to them carefully and respectfully .

4 . If you want your children to not get used to bad morals and nervousness , you should not treat them with

rude , superior orders and strict instructions .

5 . If you want your children to not feel desperate or disappointed , you should not scold them with severe words when they fail to achieve success in something .

6 . If you want your children to not mistrust you , you should not promise them what you cannot fulfill .

7 . If you want to strengthen your children�s self-confidence , you should praise them for their good deeds and reward them with some gifts .

8 . If you want your children to obey you , you should not scold them or insist that they obey you .

9 . If you want your children to be successful in the future , you should be a good example for them in orderliness , planning , and deliberation .

10 . If you want your children to not be slack in speaking and talking to you , you should smile at them whenever they want to speak and show them that you will listen carefully to them when they want to talk .

11 . If you want to help your children in studying their lessons , you should not do that without consulting someone who specializes in school affairs .

12 . If you want to guide your children out of their troubles , you should listen to their questions carefully and react to their sufferings .

13 . If your children are weak in their studies and you want to help them , you should not blame them with words like

�failure� , �weak� , �dull� , �stupid , � etc .

14 . If you want your children to not be defeated by despair and to not submit to failure when disappointed , you should assure them that bitter events pass away quickly .

Finally , dear brother , you should not lose your patience and be desperate because life is full of difficulties and memories . You should write down on its pages what pleases you and what will make your family remember you after your death with good thoughts and prayers . [222]

Question 168

How can I sow the love of religion in my children so that they will adhere to it up to the last moment of their lives ?

The answer : There is no doubt that the true religion of Islam has intellectual and practical teachings that feed man with a sound sustenance and make him happy in all fields of life . Since it is so , then the importance of religion in man�s life makes it obligatory on him to make every effort to arrive at religion . Allah has said , (O you who believe ! save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones) . [223]

Now , what should we do to sow the seed of religiousness in our children and to assure their adhering to it throughout their lives ?

It is very important for fathers and mothers to know that children are born with a certain nature , but the environments they live in

take them away from that nature . And there is no difference between home , school , and the street .

Watching the environment and purifying it from cultural poisons is the first step in the educational task . After that , you can make your children memorize the Qur'an , Hadith , or some religious oratorios and anthems according to their ages and incorporate that into their daily affairs; for example , when they want to go to bed , you can teach them to recite some Qur�anic verses and some supplications . You can say to them that these verses and supplications will make them sleep comfortably and they will see nice dreams and on the Day of Resurrection their reward will be great , or when they have their examinations , you can teach them to give alms and recite certain Qur�anic verses and certain supplications so that Allah may grant them success . You can also prepare some religious competitions for them and give prizes to the winners . Besides this , you should continuously take them to religious meetings .

Religious stories have great influences on planting Islamic concepts in children�s minds , especially the stories of the prophets and imams (s) and the stories of Paradise and its pleasures . Children must be taken to religious meetings and given a role there , such as distributing sweets , arranging books and the copies of the Qur'an , or the like .

You have to protect your children with spiritual relations and strengthen

religious values in them before they reach adolescence or adulthood , because this stage is the stage of physical , psychological , mental , and intellectual changes . If their foundation is solid and firm , they will not be defeated by suspicions , and they will pass the stage of adolescence soundly and successfully .

Question 169

Once , one of my friends told me that his daughter had left his house , and it was said that she had been a prostitute . He asked me if Islam permitted him to wipe off this disgrace by killing her .

The answer : Ask your friend to review himself first whether he has been wrong in his conducts towards his daughter that led her to practice this sin !

I know someone whose two daughters have openly been prostitutes . When I asked one of his relatives about the family circumstances of the two girls , he confirmed to me that their father was a drunkard . I said that the offspring coming out of drinking would not be better than that !

I hope that your friend is not of this kind ! On the other hand , when some fathers see a mistake or a suspicious behavior in their children , they begin inquiring suspiciously , and then they treat the guilt as if it is true . They begin insulting their children , beating them , and demeaning them in the presence of others . And consequently , if that child has not committed that guilt

, he will then commit it defiantly .

This way of education has led many youths astray because they think : as long as our parents suspect us , then let us be as they suspect ! They begin looking for bad friends , bad films , narcotics , or the like . Thus , they begin the journey of deviation . Therefore , the first thing that leads the youth to go astray is the kind of conduct displayed by parents towards their children , whereas parents can protect their children by following another manner in dealing with them : it is the manner of the holy Prophet (s) , about whom Allah the Almighty has said , (Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently , and had you been rough , hard hearted , they would certainly have dispersed from around you) . [224] Leniency , mercifulness , and kindness are basic elements of the successful manners of education and guidance . Unfortunately , most Muslims have given up these elements , and therefore , Allah has not blessed their lives !

Sometimes , youth are led astray by the habits of the masters of the family themselves . For example , you find a father forbidding his son from smoking while he himself smokes , or forbidding him from watching bad films while he himself watches them , and , on some occasions , talking about his past youth and how he spent his nights watching bad

films or going with his friends to the cinema . Or you may find a mother talking about the past days of her unveiledness or showing photos of herself while unveiled , whereas she now asks her daughter to veil herself without criticizing her own past behaviors or feeling sorry for it . This duality in the parents� personalities will be planted in their children�s personalities .

Let us first watch ourselves to make sure that we are not unknowingly the cause of our children�s deviation .

Regarding permission for killing one�s daughter after the guilt has been proven , it is to be determined by the religious authority (marji� at-Taqlid) who the father imitates . Let this father ask his authority about the matter . However , I think that there is no one who will permit him to kill his daughter . There is a certain punishment for adultery , but that is carried out only when it is possible and justifiable . We wish he would guide her with leniency , love , and kindness and forgive her for what she has committed , for surely Allah loves those who repent and purify themselves .

Question 170

My son is a drug addict . He has troubled us with problems that we never imagined would someday occur with him . What is the cure ? What is the required conduct we should follow with him that pleases Allah ? And how can we raise our heads before people ? !

The answer : It is supposed that

you could have managed his affairs before this fall . However , since the calamity has already taken place , the first possible solution is to adapt yourselves to it , but this is not the cure for addiction as you may think . However , what doctors suggest can be tried .

As for dealing with a drug addict , it differs from one to another . Sometimes , it would be better to deal with a drug addict kindly , and sometimes severity is required so that others are not encouraged to walk in the same way . In general , you have to be wise and moderate in dealing with your addicted son , for it is the closest way to righteousness and the reward of Allah .

A manner of suppression or severance does not solve the problem at all; rather , it complicates it . A reasonable person is he who acts according to the reality and limits the area of the calamity that has afflicted him and tries his best to not let others fall . Islam has taught us that �a believer is not stung from the same hole twice� .

Question 171

I have four children . I am retired and I cannot tolerate seeing their mistakes . Would you please advise me as to how to deal with them when they make mistakes ?

The answer : The mistakes may be intentional or may not be , as when they are committed because of the lack of full experience or immaturity

. A successful father has to distinguish between these two kinds of mistakes and react accordingly . In any case , the father should strengthen his children�s personalities by injecting knowledge and intellect in them on every occasion and should make his children understand the consequences of committing mistakes and the suffering of regret . The father should instruct his children in a lenient way full of love and kindness and away from coercion and compulsion . The father has to make friends with his children to gain their love , and then his advices will have a good influence on them .

If you want this , you have to be lenient in dealing with your children . You must give the mistaken one an opportunity to reflect and review his situation and must not attack him severely and indeliberately , for then you will cause him to respond in the same way , turn his back on you , and hate you forever . You should keep in mind that the mentality of the youth is like glass , which if broken , one will have to face many difficulties to mend . Therefore , it is very necessary for you to follow wise manners in advising and criticizing your children . When you want to make them understand that they have committed a mistake , you should talk with them leniently about the harms of mistakes and sins and teach them ways of giving up or avoiding mistakes and sins and the advantages

of that . With such a quiet method of blaming , you will make them understand their responsibilities , and they will then give up erring .

If you follow these important points for a short period , you shall not find yourself in need of being angry at your children when they commit mistakes , especially when you remember that Allah becomes angry at you if you commit a sin intentionally , and He forgives you if you repent sincerely . Let your morals towards your children be like the morals of Allah towards sinners in both cases !

Question 172

Would you please guide me as to what are the most important manners I need in educating my children ? I am very concerned to make them good believers following the true Islam and serving the society . I want to be proud of them in this world and in the afterworld .

The answer : May Allah bless you for this high determination . I pray to Allah to make you successful in achieving your goal and it is not difficult for Him . However , this task has some conditions , such as the following :

1 . You have to read about the details you will need in the religious books of education because they will open the doors for your ambition .

2 . You have to consult with someone regarding the educational questions and cooperate with him in the tasks that require more than one person .

3 . You should try to discover in

your children their distinguished talents and then try to direct them in a way that pleases Allah the Almighty .

4 . You have to always show your love to your children and regard their wills , and when your will conflicts with theirs , you have to discuss the matter leniently with them , determine the important and the more important things , and then agree with them on the best possible solution .

5 . Smiles and cheerfulness have a great influence on man�s success and happiness . Try your best to plant these things in your children , and the best artist is he who wipes away a child�s tear to draw a smile and delight on his countenance .

Question 173

Western and eastern scholars have written many books and detailed studies on education , and Islamic scholars have also written much on this subject . Would you please give us a summary of the Islamic opinion in this concern ?

The answer : In spite of what has been said about education by scholars , whether concurring or conflicting , I think that what the Prophet (s) and his progeny (s) have said is the most correct because they are connected , in their sayings , with the Aware Creator , the Lord of the Worlds , Who has sent to us His prophets to purify and teach us . It is the Islamic education that is derived from the Holy Qur'an and the sayings and actions of the Prophet (s) and his progeny .


says , (Even as We have sent among you a Messenger from among you who recites to you Our communications and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the wisdom and teaches you that which you did not know) . [225]

Imam Ali (s) , the master of the eloquent , the leader of the intellect , and the pioneer of the pious , showed the goal of the prophets� missions by saying , �And sent to them His prophets , one after the other , to take from them the covenant of His nature , remind them of His forgotten blessings , argue against them with delivering the missions , and move the hidden secrets of minds�� . [226]

Allah has created man for an exalted goal and He knows what He has created . He knows what benefits His creatures and makes them happy and what harms them and makes them wretched . Allah has created man from a spirit , then clothed him with the body , placed in him the will , and granted him the blessing of freedom to choose on his own one of two things : either good or evil .

Allah the Almighty says , (Have We not given him two eyes , and a tongue and two lips , and pointed out to him the two conspicuous ways ? )[227]

Allah also says , (Surely We have shown him the way : he may be thankful or unthankful) . [228]

The task of the prophets , imams , sincere clergymen

, and all the followers of this straight path comes to form the conduct of man and guide him to the path of goodness . However , if man , after that , wants evil for himself , he himself is to be blamed . Allah says , (Say : Every one acts according to his manner; but your Lord best knows who is best guided in the path) . [229]

This care clearly shows that Allah loves man , has dignified him , and prefers him to most of His creatures . But , has man been sincere to this honor and preference ?

Proofs and evidences show that man , as Allah has described him , is unjust and ignorant , except those who believe in Allah and have been granted knowledge . Allah has elevated such people to confirm that He rewards man for what he chooses for himself; if he follows the path of guidance , he will live happily in this world and be rewarded with the bliss of Paradise in the afterlife , but if he goes astray , he will live wretchedly in this life and be rewarded with the Fire of Hell . There will be degrees and differences among the people of Paradise and the people of Hell according to their level of guidance or deviation .

Allah says , (And the soul and Him Who made it perfect . Then He inspired it to understand what is right and wrong for it . He will indeed be successful

who purifies it , and he will indeed fail who corrupts it) . [230]

And this is from the theophanies of the wisdom , justice , and power of Allah in man�s life before he is created , in the womb , and after birth .

If parents and educationists care greatly for children , the children will grow positively and their hidden powers will take their courses in the right paths .

Imam Zaynol Aabidin (s) says in his supplication , �O Allah , support me in bringing them up , educating them , being dutiful to them� . �

Imam as-Sadiq (s) said , �Everyone is born on the Divine Nature , but his parents make him either a Jew , Christian , or a magus . �[231]

Parents should know that their child , when born , is pure and innocent in nature , such is (the nature made by Allah in which He has made men) . [232] Let the parents be careful in how they deal with this pure nature !

In other words , a child is like gold and silver . A skillful goldsmith is able to mold any of these metals in the best way .

Please ponder on the questions and answers in this chapter about educating the children who will be , after a few years , masters of their own families and of society , and then see what kind of masters you want !

Question 174

How can I make my children love reading so that books and knowledge can be an

important part of their interests in life ?

The answer : First , you should make your children find this interest in you . It means that you should read books before them , bring good books home with you , care for new cultural publications such as religious and scientific books or magazines , and let them notice this clearly in you .

Second , you should tell your children about what you have read and talk to them about the facts , wonders , and attractive tales you have read .

Third , when you reply to their questions , you may refer to books to obtain the answers to their questions , and , at the same time , tell them that they can learn many things by referring to books .

Fourth , you can take your children to the library to see scenes of great volumes in order so that books can take roots in their minds . At the same time , you can talk to them about the great advantages of those books and their roles in achieving the happiness of man and society , and how the authors have strived day and night to present those books to their readers to illuminate their ways towards goodness and happiness .

Fifth , when your children finish reading a book , you can ask them to tell you what they have understood from that book , and you may encourage them by offering them some gifts .

This is if you yourself are interested in

reading; otherwise , you can talk to them about the advantages of reading books and show them that you are very sorry because , for certain reasons , you have had no opportunity to read books and you do not want your children to be sorry like yourself in the future .

Question 175

My fourteen-year-old son likes listening to songs , watching foreign films , and imitating western fashions . Besides , he is lazy in performing his religious obligations . How should I deal with him ?

The answer : Man often , especially in the transitional period from childhood to youth , becomes involved in some slips and sins . Perhaps he does not intend to commit them willingly , but because of the Satan�s incitement , he goes towards those prohibited things just for a change , out of curiosity , or as a new experiment .

If you follow the three steps mentioned below , you will be successful in guiding your son and rescuing him from the swamp of sins; otherwise , you will make him continue his sins if you follow the wrong manner of dealing with him .

To behave wisely , you should tolerate your son�s mistakes in this stage of his life because they will come to an end . You should remember that Allah is merciful to His people and He forgives their sins .

Here are the three steps :

First , you have to make friends with him and show him your love and kindness . You can go

out with him to buy for him what he needs of clothes and other things . Always smile at him , and consult with him on some affairs with which you entrust him . Continue doing this until you become certain that he trusts you and begins obeying you sincerely .

Second , you have to prepare for him some alternatives , such as religious oratorios instead of songs and Islamic films instead of foreign films . Talk to him about the harms of imitating westerners . Tell him that nowadays many western people have begun imitating Islamic conducts because they find in them gravity , purity , and high morals .

Third , you have to take him with you to the mosque , to religious meetings , and to the meetings of the ulama . You have to acquaint him with good youth so he can befriend them .

Question 176

My son , who is fourteen years old , is too opinionated . He argues over every subject I discuss with him to the extent that sometimes I feel I dislike him , whereas he was not like this before .

The answer : This state is one of the results of adolescence and it will continue in your son until the age of eighteen or after that . You should tolerate him in this period . When you order him to do something or forbid him from something you have to justify your ordering or forbidding with logical reasons . You should not expect him to

respond to you immediately . You should leave him free if he is not somehow harming himself or destroying his future . You should give him enough time to ponder over your advices .

In this way , you will win him over in the long range . When he becomes an adult , he will appreciate your wise manner of treating him during his adolescence . Your advices and instructions to him will remain as good lessons in his life with which he can treat his own children correctly in the future .

Question 177

My sons are wicked . Whenever they go out in the street , they cause troubles to the neighbors and passers-by . Would you please instruct me with how to deal with them ? I have been ashamed of myself for being their father .

The answer : These phenomena often arise due to previous reasons and previous neglect in educating the children . Now , it is too difficult for the children to change in a short time . However , following these points can help you to decrease the problem :

1 . You should talk to them about the religious and worldly rights of people , relate to them some stories , and bring them some social films and cassettes of religious lectures about the subject .

2 . You should tell them that evil will return to its doer someday , and surely Allah will punish the wrongdoer .

3 . You can ask some notable persons to advise them in a

wise way . They may make friends with them gradually through presents , invitations , and picnics to guide them little by little .

4 . You have to apologize to whosoever your children may have harmed and pray to Allah to forgive you for being negligent in educating your children .

5 . You may arrange with some good boys in your neighborhood to befriend your children and contact them most of the time .

Question 178

My child has grown accustomed to lying . He fabricates news as if they are true . Would you please give me a solution to save him from this vice ?

The answer : Lying has some reasons . One who lies aims for one of the following :

1 . to harm or take revenge on some persons whom he hates or with whom he is angry

2 . to escape punishment

3 . to show off

There is a kind of lying resulting from imagination , which is the most usual among children . The reason behind lying is sometimes because of TV and bad films , sometimes because of the strained atmosphere in the family , and other times because of the influence of friends who practice lying .

To treat this problem first you have to remove its causes and then teach the child the advantages of being truthful and the disadvantages of lying . In all of this , you should speak with your child respectfully and leniently . You may read some books of ethics about the subject and then mention

it to him through stories and attractive statements . You should beware of being severe to him or beating him because this will lead him to be obstinate and obdurate for he will then try to prove that he has a personality that cannot be defeated by beating .

To treat this problem you yourself have to be truthful to him and not let him find any kind of lying in you at all . If you lie and he discovers that , you should either apologize to him or explain the reasons that led you to lie in a persuasive manner .

Question 179

Whenever my child commits a mistake , I beat him a lot , but he still repeats his mistake obstinately though he suffers the bitter pain of beating and cries . I then punish him more severely than before , and he intentionally commits the mistake again and with more obstinacy , all the while looking at me as if to let me know that he does it intentionally . I do not know how to deal with him ! Sometimes I fear that I will not be able to control my nerves when I beat him and I may cause him a permanent handicap in his body , and this will cause me great remorse besides the punishment of my Lord . Would you please tell me what I should do with him and with myself ?

The answer : By beating him , you implant the mistakes in him more deeply .

Extra beating and punishing do not lead the child to aught but greater obdurateness or physical hindrances and psychological complexes because the child , in return for being beaten and insulted , will defend his dignity and personality with all the physical and mental powers he has . His obduracy will continue until all his powers run out .

Do you want this ? Certainly not ! However , if you do not control your nerves , you may realize that which you fear , and then regret shall neither restore your child�s soundness nor inspire the soul in him again . Therefore , you should not destroy your child�s personality , dignity , and powers . The mistake he commits , whatever it may be , is less harmful than the harms you cause him . A mistake may disappear by advices or by the passing of time , but the physical and mental damage cannot be treated by advices or by the passing of time .

Besides , severe beating is not lawful in the Islamic Sharia . You have to keep this legal matter and the aforementioned fact in mind to give up your wrong manner of dealing with your child . You can follow another manner in educating him that is closer to the Sharia , reason , and peace of mind .

I remember a story of a young man who beat his father until he was about to die at his hands . One day I asked my father , �Why does

he do so to his father ? � My father said , �He is just reaping what he sowed ! He used to always beat his son when he was a child and did not think that some day things would change , that he would be weak and his son would grow stronger and avenge himself on his father in the light of the scenes he had kept in mind since childhood . �

You should give up angriness , severity , and beating . You should adopt the qualities of the true believers as Imam Ali (s) has said , �The believers are easy and lenient� . [233]

Dear brother , I would ask you to write down this saying (of Imam Ali) and hang it on every wall of your house so you can remember it whenever you become angry . I would also ask all those who disagree with others to hang this holy tradition before their eyes lest they follow the steps of the Satan when they are in disagreement .

Question 180

My husband is quick-tempered . He does not tolerate the noises and mistakes of our children; therefore , he does not treat them but with beating and severe punishments . He is like a military officer , our house is like a camp , and our children are like powerless soldiers . As for me , I am worried about the future of our unlucky family . I want you to write to these fathers about the harms of severity and

beating the children that they may decide to live quietly and comfortably . What is the value of a life in such tension ?

The answer : One of the fathers� problems is that they have not learned their religion concerning education and the rights of the family . They think they possess the necks of their wives and the lives of their children . Children are deposits that Allah has entrusted parents with , and women are humans having rights and duties just as men have .

The state of this father , as an example , is very dangerous , and he will be blamed and punished severely for it on the Day of Resurrection . The least danger of this state is that the children who graduate from this �military camp , � will be quarrelsome , severe , and violent against people and even against their wives and children . The guilt of this is the father�s , and he will receive the curses of people as well .

Beating is one of the widespread wrongs of education . Islam has prohibited beating except in some exceptional cases . Beating should be utilized for discipline only and within the following guidelines :

1 . A child should not be insulted and blamed; rather it is his wrongdoing that is to be criticized .

2 . Parents should be certain of whether or not their child deserves punishment , according to whether or not the wrong was committed intentionally .

3 . Before beating , parents should make

their child understand the harms of his wrongdoing .

4 . Parents should choose a suitable place , suitable quantity , and suitable means for punishment .

5 . Before being punished , the child should know the reason for his punishment .

6 . After punishing the child , parents should deal with him as normal , with love and mercy .

7 . Punishment should be carried out secretly and not in the presence of others , and this will be more fruitful and positive .

Question 181

My son is about to be an adult . I fear for him that perhaps he shall be corrupted , sinful , or shall have suspicious relations with girls . Would you please show me the successful manner of dealing with him before such a calamity will afflict him and me ?

The answer : You should know , first , that a young man always looks for whatever makes him delighted , joyful , and pleased . Some of the things that cause joy and pleasure are lawful and some are unlawful . It is your duty to show him which of them are lawful and which are not . But , if you prevent him from his ambition , you will lead him to either suppression and psychological complexes or to practicing sins secretly with complexes as well . Then , you will involve him and yourself in the calamity from which you want to escape .

The only way of a sound education , in which the youth are guided

to a happy moral and material life , is to let one live naturally without depriving him of the good blessings Allah has given to His people .

Once , I admired one believer brother who lived in a Western country for saying to his adult son in my presence , �My son , keep yourself safe and beware not to slip into the traps of the western girls ! �

His son replied frankly , �They are very beautiful , and they themselves follow me . What shall I do if I cannot be patient ? �

The father said , �Then , you can practice temporary marriage legally , but do not commit sin ! �

The youth , in the age of adulthood and some years after that , must face the facts of life . If you want to protect your son , you should understand the new facts of life nowadays and make him understand them with love , kindness , and leniency but not violence or severity .

Have you ever experienced for yourself when you visit a country for the first time ? What would you do in the first days where you know nothing about its places , streets , people , or laws ? Would you not be cautious and , at the same time , be eager to know everything until you actually did learn some things and then you could set out confidently ? There is no doubt that you would thank whoever helped you and showed you the

ways there truthfully and respectfully . Wouldn�t you ?

Your young son lives in the same case when he opens his eyes to face the new facts of adulthood and the period after it . He looks for whoever can help him but with kindness , love , truthfulness , and respect . I am sure that he will thank you sincerely if you are that loving and merciful friend who will help and guide him to pass the way of adolescence . You may remember when you yourself were in this stage of life !

Question 182

Why do our children stand still in their places and disobey us when we ask them for something ? What is the cause of their mutiny , obdurateness , and disobedience ?

The answer : You should not think that the cause of this phenomenon is only one cause . In fact , there are many causes . For example :

1 . The child may not know the purpose of the thing requested from him . Here , parents can show him the purpose and instruct him in a language that he can understand .

2 . He may think that the thing requested is not important , and so the importance of the thing should be declared to him .

3 . He may not know how to carry out the thing requested , and here he can be taught the way .

4 . He may not know which is of greater priority when two things are requested from him . Here

, parents should explain to him what his priorities are .

5 . He may think that he shall not be punished when he rebels and shall not be rewarded when he obeys . Here , parents should make him understand that there is a suitable punishment and reward .

6 . He may not be able to carry out the thing requested from him . Here , parents should not burden him with what he cannot do .

7 . The means required to carry out the things requested from him may not be available to him .

Question 183

My child , who is two years old , insists on his independence in food . He does not accept for me to feed him . This causes him to dirty himself and his surroundings , and sometimes he scatters the food on the carpets where the colors of food cannot be removed from them . When I take the vessel of food away from him , he cries , resists , and refuses to eat at all . I do not know whether or not I should allow him to dirty everything . I am confused as to how to deal with him .

The answer : Dear sister , take life easy and adapt yourself to such matters ! Do not trouble yourself and do not make your child angry ! Let him feel his freedom because it is more important than his food . Let him build his personality on the principles of independence and self-confidence because

these are the bases of his future . In a word , you should leave him free and not tire your nerves and his because you are in dire need of calm nerves to face the difficulties of life !

You have to put these advantages in a scale and dirty clothes , carpets , and other things in another scale and then see which of them you prefer .

There is no doubt that you will prefer the advantages of freedom , independence , and tranquility , and this is undoubtedly the right choice .

During meals , you can humor your child in any way that will make him cooperate . For example , after one , two , or three spoonfuls of food that he pours on himself , you can offer him the rest while playing with him by imitating the sound of a car , train , motorcycle , bird , or anything else .

I myself have been successful with my son �Muhammad Jawad� in this way . I would bring a spoonful of food close to his mouth and imitate the sound of the door when knocked . I would say , �Knock , Knock ! � , and my son would reply , �Who is at the door ? � I would say , �Please open ! I am the bread and egg . � My son would then say while opening his mouth , �Come in please ! � Then I would put the food into his mouth .

In this

way , one should play with his child and behave like him as the Prophet (s) has recommended us to do in his educational traditions .

It is a stage that will come to an end when the child grows older and becomes more reasonable while the concepts of freedom , independence , self-confidence , respect , love , and kindness are deeply rooted inside him , whereas the clothes and carpets that became dirty can be cleaned , and even if they cannot be cleaned , they have no great value when compared to the essential concepts of building the future personality of the child .

Indeed , if parents care for these bases of building their children�s personalities , they will produce wonderful fruits by them . However , most people think just of the present and ignore the distant future . For their temporary comfort , they destroy the real ease for themselves and for their children who are tomorrow�s adults .

Question 184

I would like to ask for prompt educational recommendations with which you may help me deal with my seven-year-old son . With my regards .

The answer : 1 . You should discover the hobbies and interests of your child and see which of them attracts him more so that you can direct him rightly .

2 . You should explain to your child all the affairs concerning him and how he should behave when at home , in the school , on the street , or at other places .

3 . You have

to consult with him on issues concerning him .

4 . You have to let him do certain things by himself because this will make him self-confident and help him discover his own abilities .

5 . The child should be given his due freedom within the possible activities of the family .

6 . When explaining to the child an idea or a matter that concerns him , you should use an easy language and understandable examples derived from his daily life .

7 . At the same time when you are serious in dealing with your child , you have to be lenient to him too .

8 . The child�s being angry , escaping from school , and practicing aggressive acts show that he suffers from a psychological problem . Therefore , instead of beating or scolding him , which will make him mutinous and obdurate , you should identify the cause behind his psychological problem or problems . Being patient and wise in your dealing and talking with him will be the shortest way to get to his heart and then solve his problems radically and constructively .

Question 185

I am a teacher of the Holy Qur'an in a mosque . I give short lectures on religious education and manage some programs on certain Islamic occasions . I have read some books on education . I would like you to show me , and those like me , what you consider to be fundamental in the education of the new generation according to the Islamic values in

which we believe .

The answer : I thank you for your trusting in me in this concern . As for your question , here are some teachings that we have derived from the Islamic values according to the views of the Ahlul Bayt (s) :

1 . Religious education should be carried out in an attractive manner with clear examples , nice stories , and meaningful gestures of the face and the hands . Such a manner will have a great influence on the new generation and will help to plant and retain these ideas in their minds throughout their lives .

2 . You should follow everything you say to your listeners so that they will find in you the practical example and will thus be certain that the religious teachings can be applied .

3 . You yourself should believe in what you say to your listeners .

4 . You should try to discover what things your listeners like and , through those things , get to their hearts . In this way , you can establish the religious concepts in them .

5 . On every occasion , you should try to make them love Allah . Show them the greatness of Allah , His mercy , favor , and love for us . Show them that the cause of some of our problems is due to our ignorance , and the cause of some others is due to our enemies . In general , these problems are tests by which Allah tries our faith and

will in this life .

6 . Punishing , insulting , and ignoring deprive religious teachings of their spirit .

7 . Using puzzles and confusing questions is a good manner in teaching that activates the students� minds and attracts their attentions to the lectures . However , it would be better to choose questions whose themes concern the practical affairs of life .

8 . Graduality , systematicness , and unhurriedness in speaking are important factors in teaching and explaining themes and ideas .

9 . Quoting from the stories of the prophets and from the lives of Prophet Muhammad (s) and the infallible imams (s) is very important in teaching .

10 . You should praise and appreciate the good features and deeds of your listeners .

11 . You should keep your gravity and calmness and not resist an idea put forth by one of your students just because he is a student .

12 . You have to watch for any change in the conducts of your students and always pay attention to their affairs .

13 . You have to make use of modern equipments , such as computer , internet , films , and recorders , to develop educational methods . It is good to allow the students to work with these equipments by themselves .

14 . You should not ask them for fees . You should be satisfied with your sincerity to Allah for He , Who will assure your reward in the afterlife , will assure your livelihood in this life from where you do

not expect it .

Question 186

My brother and his wife work in some offices . Their three children are brought up by a foreign maid in their home . She is very fanatic . She sticks to her own habits and traditions . I have another elder brother who sends his children to an Indian school , which is thought to be a suspicious missionary school . My family has objected to the actions of both of my brothers and explained to them the dangers of these matters , but they do not change their situations . One claims that English lessons will bring a good future , and the other says that his salary will not meet their needs if his wife remains at home without a job . This state of my brother reminds me of a wise saying I once heard in one of your lectures , �How ignorant man is ! He spends his health to get money and then he spends his money to get health ! �

The answer : This problem has specific causes and consequences . As for the causes , they are :

1 . The foreign cultures and values that have replaced our Islamic culture and values; your brother and his wife , as an example , have taken those cultures and values from school , university , and the media , which are supported by big companies and centers of finance and trade in general and which determine the way of living for people everywhere .

2 .

The absence of the goal of the afterlife from the lives of such people; they do not care with which face they will meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection .

3 . The preference of material interests to moral and religious interests .

As for the consequences , they will result in a bad education of the children . A child who grows up away from morals will be as a curse on his parents who will ultimately spend all their wealth , which they have exerted themselves to collect , on his problems and troubles . It will suffice for such people to read about the horrible accidents published in newspapers and magazines everyday . Such accidents are not committed by religious persons who are educated by religious families .

The dangerous influence of a foreign governess on the future of the growing generation is like the influence of the satellite stations that play with the minds of parents and children according to the will of their managers , who are away from Allah .

I have read an article in al-Ra�iy al-Aam Kuwaiti Newspaper[234] saying :

�I wonder how our children will be in this century ! Will the satellite stations control them ? Or will the networks of the internet direct their conducts ? Will our children learn morals and values from those shining satellites ?

We fathers have been busy away from them either in looking for a job to increase our incomes or in building a new house , whereas mothers also have become busy

running here and there to meet the unending requirements of schools from the kindergarten until the university .

If the father and mother are busy�it is not an excuse . Where is the role of the grandfather and grandmother in teaching our children our true morals and habits ?

Where is the role of the mosque and the public meetings in planting values and completing the role of the home ?

Where is the role of the teacher and the educationist ? I think his name alone is �teacher� while his role is limited to just giving lectures , and thanks to the programs of the Ministry of Education and the modern methods of teaching� !

Yes ! We have been in a merry-go-round that does not stop at all ! Is it the rule of life ? Or it is we who have made this our way of life ?

A cry from the heart of a father to every father and everyone in charge : Save our children ! �

This is the disease and with it is the call ! But as for the solution , it lies in a harmonious expedition to find the Islamic understanding with its active spirit and attractive method for the man of this age . The responsibility of this expedition falls upon all due to the call of the Prophet (s) : �Each one of you is a guardian and each one of you is responsible for his subjects� .

The government with all its bodies must set about to undertake the great

task of deliverance . Clergymen , speakers , imams of the mosques , teachers of schools and universities , and officials of the media also have great roles in this task .

The task begins by inviting the experts and specialists of each one of these classes to a meeting where this subject will be discussed thoroughly , and then the meeting should present its reports to executive authorities in the government , in the centers of teaching and education , and in the religious establishments .

All the factors that make people desist from religion must be avoided , such as unjustifiable disagreements , manifestations of underdevelopment , and presentations of the religion in old methods; otherwise , the disaster will sit heavily on every family . A poet says ,

�Let him whose neighbor�s beard is shaved

pour water on his beard . �

It is related that Imam Ali (s) has said , �How many are the examples , but how little is the taking of lessons from them ! �

I would like to invite these two brothers and those like them to know the real value of children , to know the role of intellect and culture in determining their futures , and to know how much love and kindness children need from their parents to live straightforwardly and confidently . If they know the real value of their children , they will not leave them with those who will inject poisons into them . Their example is like the one who draws in darkness and

then laughs at his drawing when he looks at it in the light . Except , I fear he will cry bitterly instead of laughing at himself !

It is reported that once a man came with his son to the Prophet (s) and asked him , �What is the right of my son on me ? �

The Prophet (s) said to him , �You should give him a good name , bring him up with good morals , and educate him well . �[235]

O Muslims , have you named your children with good names , brought them up righteously , and educated them well ?

Question 187

My daughter chews on her nails and she is often absent-minded . What are the causes of this and what is the solution ?

The answer : This bad habit shows that either she is worried or she is overstressed in thinking about something that she is hesitant to determine or she suffers from something that she wants to conceal .

You should know the harms of chewing on one�s nails with the teeth . The microbes stick to the tongue and sneak into the body , the stomach , and the intestines and cause troubles and diseases to the digestive system . You should also know that this bad habit shows to others your daughter�s mental state that she wants to hide , and this is a sign of weakness in personality .

The mother has to befriend her daughter until she reveals to her what is hidden in her heart and

shares her personal problems . Then , the mother should try to find successful solutions and give effective advices to her daughter .

Question 188

The train of our present age has entered into a tunnel of corruption of all kinds . This is because of the satellite stations that appear on television in every house , every room , and every hall . These satellite stations have destroyed the minds , the families , and the youth and have turned morals upside-down . On top of this , globalization and internet multiply these distresses . We do not know how to deal with these terrible dangers !

Do the clergymen have any practical and civilizational projects in mind to face this destructive monster ?

The answer : I have read such a thing in a project presented by the religious authority Great Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad ash-Shirazi , but I could not obtain the Arabic copy that was published in 1415 AH . However , I will translate for you some selections from the Persian copy that have recently been published under the title �What Do We Do With The Satellite Stations ? �

Ayatollah ash-Shirazi says ,

1 . The Islamic Conference Organization must ask the United Nations Organization to prevent the corruptive western satellite stations from being broadcasted into the Islamic countries because they affect the morals of our societies .

2 . In order to force the Muslim governments to execute this task , we should make use of different media , Human Rights organizations , and international laws


3 . Public pressure on governments in peaceful ways and by different classes of the society should transpire .

4 . Participation of all of the foundations and establishments in society , like the cultural centers , religious societies , political parties , and all local and national blocs , is required to achieve this goal .

5 . Exposing the companies that produce corruptive films and distribute them among all peoples is very necessary in this concern . Those companies belong to Zionism , the Mafia , freemasonry , and whomever their agents may be in the Islamic countries .

6 . Preachers and good authors and journalists should be encouraged to spread the religious and humane cultures among people and to warn them against becoming involved in corruption .

7 . Protests , marches , and demonstrations should be organized without destroying or attacking anything but rather acting according to the saying of Imam Ali (s) , �The messenger of Allah has ordered us to meet sinners with gloomy faces . �[236]

8 . Protective programs should be created in the mosques , houses , and libraries .

9 . TV and radio stations should be established only to be run by religious people .

10 . Serious and practical thinking should be employed by charitable committees and governmental departments to solve the problems of the youth concerning career , residence , marriage , and sports .

11 . Good morals and virtues should be emphasized in society , and many lectures on piety and the good end should be given

regularly .

12 . The ulama and preachers should pay great attention to these matters and regard them seriously because they concern the religion , beliefs , morals , family , nation , and high position of man in general .

13 . Muslim experts have to devise an electronic means to block the corruptive satellite stations .

14 . Alternative satellite stations for Muslims should be established and attractive Islamic films with high technology should be produced . Such stations can be established by cooperation between the governments and the private sectors , investors , scientists , scholars , and technicians .

I would like to say in addition to that : the religious authorities should issue fatwas in this concern and the ulama , preachers , wealthy people , and the religious youth should found committees to implement those fatwas and suggestions .

Question 189

I am a teacher in an intermediate school . The girls whom I teach are in the stage of adolescence , the stage that determines the coming stages of their lives . Would you please tell me how and in what way I should talk with my students so that they will be influenced by my advices ?

The answer : First , I would like to pray to Allah for you and everyone who is sincere like you . Your question shows your feeling of responsibility and love towards others� welfare . As for the answer , here are some points :

1 . You should think deeply about the subject you want to explain

to your students .

2 . You should make use of nice words and in attractive phrases with a voice full of love , kindness , and sympathy .

3 . When your students are in a state where they do not want to hear preaching and advising , you should stop advising them until a suitable opportunity arises where they can perceive the goal of your speech , except if you are so eloquent that you can treat their state and make them accept your advices and instructions .

4 . Let them find in you a practical example of all that you say to them , and let them feel in you truthfulness and sincerity .

5 . When they talk , you should be a good listener and not interrupt them .

6 . You should strengthen your friendship with them and through that you will assure the effectiveness of your advices on them .

Through these points , and with an easy and calm manner , you can have a great influence on them . Since you are a teacher , these manners are not limited to giving advices in the school only , but you can also follow them with your children if you are a mother , and you can make use of them in society for the sake of Allah and in the way of goodness and benevolence .

Question 190

How can we face the mutinous conduct of juveniles and prevent them from making friends with deviants outside the house ?

The answer : A youthful

person likes for his parents to stop regarding him as they did during childhood . If parents change their view towards him , the relations between them will be normal; otherwise , he will behave in a way that will not please his parents . He may not mean by his mutinous behavior anything else than to prove to his parents that he has passed the stage of childhood and that they have to stop considering him as a child .

This matter forms the basis of the behavioral contradiction between the young and the old . Parents , before their children arrive at this critical stage , should make them understand the concept of adulthood , which is reason , equanimity , and discipline . For example , some youths may think that smoking , shouting loudly , haughtiness , accompanying older youths , and returning home late are the signs of adulthood and independence !

If parents notice these incorrect concepts and try to correct them in their children�s minds before they reach the stage of adolescence , they will clear the way for mutual understanding between them and their children after that stage . But , by being ignorant and indifferent to this , they should not wonder if their obedient children turn upside-down and become mutinous , obstinate , and disobedient .

A mistake may have a prior cause and that cause may lead to one mistake after another . However , standing against the youth is just a mistake resulting from the prior

cause .

For example , it is wrong when parents treat their children unequally by preferring their daughters to their sons or vice versa or when they punish their children immediately as soon as they commit a mistake without having warned or advised them before . Parents may abuse their children and call them names because of some defects in the children such as unattractiveness , weakness in study , or a handicap . Some parents may call their children bad names full of hatred and suspicion , such as �liar� , �stupid� , �donkey� , etc . These names and those manners are the first steps in making the youth rebel against Islamic values and their parents . Thus , in fact , parents themselves are the ones who lead their children to be undutiful towards them and to turn their backs on religion as well .

It is very important for parents to show sincere love for their children . They should make their children feel their care by being merry , active , and careful towards their children at home . They should sit with their children , talk about and discuss different subjects with them , and consult with them on their affairs . When the children�s opinions are right , they should be praised , and when their opinions are wrong , they should be taught the right in a pleasant manner that does not demean them or degrade their personalities before others . This conduct can protect the youth from becoming

mutinous , going astray , and befriending deviants .

Question 191

My son used to be very religious . He used to offer his prayers in the mosque and recite the Qur'an and other books of supplications . But when he became twenty years old , he changed little by little , and now finally , he has given up these rituals and mocks at them . How do you justify this case , and why has he become like this ? Do you have any suggestions to save him ?

The answer : If actions of worship are done out of understanding and satisfaction , they will not die away . Rather , they will take one to the highest degrees of nearness to Allah the Almighty , to spiritual and material happiness , and then to the eternal bliss of Paradise .

However , as for the opposite effect that appears in your son , it shows that his practicing of worships was without any apprehension of their essence . Before the age of twenty , circumstances might have taken him towards prayers , the mosque , the Qur'an , and supplications , and then at the age of twenty , other circumstances might have taken him towards the opposite side . Usually man slips into bad spheres through bad friends .

If the worships of your son were done with understanding and apprehension of the real meaning and goal of worship , he would influence those with whom he correlated and would guide them towards the right

path and so would earn more reward for his afterlife , but since he was not so , he failed in the test and went towards the opposite direction .

I think reforming him will not be difficult . The one who can reform him should be wise in dealing with and advising him and should discuss the matter with him in a proper way . You have to look for someone with these qualities to associate , in a clever way , with your son .

Question 192

There is no doubt that we , due to the effects of foreign cultures , unknowingly live with educational fallacies . Would you please point out the most important of these ?

The answer : Yes , there are many widespread errors that people do not notice , not even educationists . Here are some of them :

1 . It is wrong to believe that education means habituating the child to a certain behavior without making him understand the goal of that behavior .

2 . It is also wrong to think that the best education is the one that subdues and subjects the child to the parents� will .

3 . It is wrong to think that the correct education is manifested by the apparent behaviors without paying attention to the inward purity .

4 . It is wrong to prevent a child from undertaking some tasks that befit his age and powers because if he does not become acquainted with difficulties , he will not be successful in undertaking his actual

responsibilities in life .

5 . It is a popular fallacy that when a child falls to the ground or collides with the wall and feels pain or cries , his parents hasten to him blaming the ground or the wall , and , in order to calm him , they beat the ground or the wall with their hands as a kind of punishment .

Here , the child learns false justification , unreality , and blaming of things instead of being shown the truth to recognize his actual mistake that caused him to fall to the ground or collide with the wall . If he is shown this fact , he will know how to avoid the same mistake again and will know that life means seriousness and not mockery .

6 . It is wrong when a child falls to the ground for others around him to hasten to lift him from the ground . Thus , he learns dependency and loses the sense of independency and self-confidence .

7 . It is wrong to frighten and threaten a child , and the worst of that is to frighten him by illusions or imaginary ghosts . For example , parents will describe to their child a monster coming from the darkness , or they will imitate a sound and tell the child it is the voice of the jinn , etc . In this way , parents make their child weak , cowardly , and illusive . Parents may mean , by frightening their child in

this incorrect way , to calm him and make him stop crying , but they ignore the bad effects that will linger in the child�s mentality throughout his life . This is a crime that is unknowingly committed against the child .

8 . Some people say bad and severe words full of debasement and humiliation to a lazy or an introvert child . This is another crime committed against a child suffering from a temporary psychological trouble that can be better solved by some lenient words , a warm kiss , or an embrace full of love and kindness .

In fact , the child who is tense at home , unsuccessful in school , and strained in society reveals the defects of his family or the deprivation his family has imposed on him . This is what educationists and psychologists notice in the personalities of the parents and close relatives of that child . Therefore , we find among the educational principles in Islam that it is prohibited to call one another by bad nicknames . Parents and others are not permitted to call the child with bad names that demean and humiliate him . Unfortunately , this is widespread in our Muslim societies !

We hear many bad words from the old when they call the young as if they were calling beasts ! What would you expect from the young after that ?

What is odd is that the old punish the young when they hear them uttering the same words they have learned from

the old themselves ! Children become confused before the contradictions of the old . On the one hand , they find their parents using such words , and on the other hand , they are punished when they themselves use these words . Children think that if these words are bad , then why do the adults use them , and if these words are good , then why are they punished for using them . It is not odd when we realize these parents , whom we call adults , have acquired this wrong education from other preceding adults , whether at home , in society , in school , or from the media . So , the problem is deeper than deep !

Question 193

I am a father and a teacher in a school . Would you please show me the causes of the good and bad phenomena I find in children ? With great thanks .

The answer : There are correlations between the methods of education used and their consequences . Parents and those in charge of education should realize this fact . For example , on the negative side , the child who often hears criticism learns to criticize bitterly . The child who lives among enmities learns spites and grudges . The child who is often punished without being taught what he should or should not do learns injustice and aggression . The child who lives with fears learns cowardice . The child who lives with excessive kindness and pity learns

humility and regression . The child who is often mocked at learns to live with a weak personality .

On the positive side , we find the child who is often encouraged learns self-confidence . The child who is accepted by others learns to love them . The child who is given knowledge learns purposefulness in life . The child who lives under cooperation learns generosity and liberality . The child who is treated truthfully and fairly learns truthfulness and sincerity . The child who is treated with love and kindness learns that life is beautiful . The child who is taught to bear sufferings becomes patient in life .

Since you are a father and a teacher in a school , your responsibility increases before Allah and the people . I hope that you live among your family with comfort and satisfaction with what Allah has given you . Thus , you will teach your children and your pupils how they can live without troubles . This is a firm basis in education . Paying attention to this basis and other bases of the task of education is a continuous necessity that will bring for you the delight of your heart with your children , your future , and the future of your religion and society . If you are successful in this life , you will be successful in your afterlife too .

Is the worldly life not the farm of the afterlife ? Be careful of what you should plant in your children and the

children of other people in the school , and you and we both shall see what you and they will harvest . And tomorrow is near for those who wait; therefore , take lessons , O you who have eyes ! Dear teacher , may Allah make you successful in making pious people !

Question 194

My daughter is nineteen years old . My problem with her is that I cannot tolerate her arguing with me , though I know that she is right most of the time , but I still contend with her proudly . I remember her childhood and my efforts for her until she reached this age . I do not know how to persuade myself that she has become an adult . Now , she is not a child that I can impose my opinion on her .

The answer : This feature is a result of some or all of the following reasons :

1 . Each one belittling the other

2 . Not comprehending the development of man and life

3 . Being proud and haughty

4 . Being impatient and intolerant because of the difficulties that affect one�s nerves

5 . Not knowing the subjects of discussions and disputes

6 . Having an inferiority complex that leads to stubbornness and confrontation

7 . The difference of intellects and cultures between the two generations

As for the solution , you should realize that your daughter has an independent personality in her understanding and existence , and this should make you proud and delighted . In order to realize that

man is a developing creature , you yourself have to develop by reading continuously and by learning new ideas and news to enlighten yourself with that knowledge that concerns your life and your role as a mother who is still responsible in life .

Besides this , you have to have good manners as much as you possibly can in order to be the example that your daughter will imitate . You should know that your daughter is a part of you; what makes you happy makes her happy , and what makes her sad makes you sad . You should look at her through yourself , for you are the mother who gives all favors to her daughter , and she is the daughter who will be a mother some day and will then , practically , understand your favors and appreciate your efforts . Consequently , she must respect you and be dutiful to you if she wants her daughter , in the future , to respect her and be dutiful to her .

The problem between you and your daughter is the opposition between your ego and her ego . As long as you are still within the circle of your ego , you should not expect her to love you from the depths of her ego because selfish people often clash with each other while altruists harmonize with each other . So you have to be altruistic and give up selfishness .

When you change , your daughter will change her behaviors towards you

. But if she does not change , you have to continue your new manner of dealing with her , expecting Allah the Almighty to reward you and , as a part of this reward , Allah may rouse your daughter�s conscience and she may then change for the better inshallah .

Here , I would like to give the following advices to your daughter :

1 . You have to be humble; the sun with all its greatness becomes humble and sends its light and warmth to the little earth and makes it fresh and lively . We , also , are required to be humble and to descend from our pride to the warmth of life . Beware of pride , because the first eclipse of one�s soul is when he sees himself only .

2 . You should regard the dignity and position of your mother in your heart , because your daughter may do to you tomorrow what you are doing to your mother today !

3 . You should try to make your mother understand your opinions in a way that is full of love and respect .

Question 195

My husband often promises my children to buy them some presents , take them to the park , or something of that nature , but then he does not carry out his promises either because he is busy or because of an indifference I have noticed in him since we were married . I have been patient with him , but regarding the children , they

are learning from him the bad habit of breaking promises . Would you please tell me how to deal with this problem ?

The answer : The moral negativities in persons� conducts cause many problems and pave the way for other negativities to come . However , Islam has treated these negativities with its great teachings concerning education , self-purification , and good deeds , but people , for the sake of their caprices and material pleasures , often harm themselves .

From among these teachings is the saying of Allah in this Qur�anic verse , (�and fulfill the promise; surely (every) promise shall be questioned about) , [237] and the saying of Imam al-Kadhim (s) , �If you promise children (of something) , carry out your promise because they see that you are the givers of their livelihood . Allah does not become angry for anything like He does for women and children . �[238]

Muslim jurisprudents say that carrying out promises is obligatory and breaking them is unlawful . Rather , the traditions have considered breaking promises as one of the signs of hypocrites .

We also find a strong warning in this tradition reported from Imam as-Sadiq (s) : �The promise of a believer to his brother (believer) is a vow having no expiation . He who breaks his promise begins opposing Allah and becomes liable to His wrath , for Allah has said , (O you who believe ! why do you say that which you do not do . It is most hateful to

Allah that you should say that which you do not do)[239] . �[240]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) has also said , �Do not promise your brother of anything that you cannot carry out ! �[241]

I hope that your husband and those like him will ponder over these moral teachings in order to become happy by them and make you all happy with him .

Question 196

My three-year-old son asks too much about anything that he notices or that comes to his mind . Sometimes , his many questions make me bored and angry to the degree that I chide him severely or sometimes hit him on his back to make him stop questioning . Of course , this behavior is not right , but life has become so tiresome that I lose my patience and become irritable at once . I would be so grateful if you would offer your instructions in this concern .

The answer : Your son has the right to discover everything unknown to him . He wants a satisfactory answer to every question that comes to his mind . This is a sign of sound mentality and intelligence . Your behavior , which you confess is not right , suppresses his intelligence and does away with his activeness , and this is a great wrong against him . You have to remember this whenever your boredom leads you to that wrong behavior . That is first .

Second , you should pave the way for him to learn because knowledge will bring both you and

him goodness , glory , and happiness .

Imam as-Sajjad (s) said , �and as for the right of child , you should know that he is from you and he belongs to you in this life with his good or evil , and you are responsible for whatever you entrust him with (whatever you teach him or make him to be) . �[242]

Third , consider yourself in his position; if you were to ask one who was more aware than you but he chided you and insulted you , what would you feel inside yourself ? How would your situation and love be towards him ?

Fourth , you should know that children have a great ability to learn , and when they learn useful things , they will lead good futures . Imam Ali (s) said , �He who does not learn in childhood will not progress when an adult . �

Dear brother , this blessing requires you to thank Allah by caring greatly for your son and being patient with him , because you are the closest one to him .

This is your golden opportunity to plant in your son moral concepts and the meanings of piety , wisdom , honor , and freedom , and then he shall enter into life from the correct and wide-open gate; otherwise , he shall enter into life from other gates unknown to you . In the first case , you will be delighted with his good education , and whenever you find him successful , you

will be even more delighted . But , in the second case , you will be ashamed of him in society .

Fifth , when you respond to your son�s questions patiently , you assume a role like the role of the prophets and apostles in teaching man . Are you aware of this high position ? !

Sixth , when your son asks an unexpected question and you do not know The answer : at that moment , you can apologize to him leniently and tell him in a language he understands that you do not know The answer : but you will bring him The answer : later on .

Seventh , in your circumstances with your son , you should remember that the best fruits are those that absorb the most amount of the sun�s light . Ask yourself , are you the sun for your son ?

Question 197

My son is a teenager . He does not care for the cleanliness or arrangement of his room . He does not put things , such as books and clothes , in their places . Sometimes , he sleeps in his clothes that he wears when he goes out and sometimes even with his shoes . Everything about his behaviors is overcome by absolute disorderliness . I go to his room and arrange it properly , but after a short time the situation becomes as it was before . I am tired of his state , and I fear that he will remain so all his life


The answer : I do not think that all the blame is on this young man . There might have been prior incidents in the family from where he has acquired this disorderliness .

He might have been so in his childhood . You should review that period to ascertain from where he has originally learned this disorderliness . He might have learned it from the manners of his parents or brothers , or from school , or from the environment he lived in and then he took that with him when he entered his youth .

Sometimes , parents do not teach their children how to undertake responsibility . A pampered child , who is given everything without making any effort , remains the same when he becomes a young man . He expects others to serve him as before . It is not right for a mother to say : �do not let my son be tired� , �I fear for him� , �let him rest� , �I serve him� , etc .

This way of education makes a child grow accustomed to irresponsibility , and when he grows older , he will not be able to manage his affairs , arrange his things , or organize his life , and this is the very failure .

The cause of disorderliness of the youth often stems from the kind of education they receive from their parents during childhood . So parents should not let their sentiments and excessive love for their children give them such a result

later on .

Parents should teach their child that they will not undertake his responsibilities for him . Everyone has his own existence and duties in life . Cooperation is necessary , but it does not mean being lazy and burdening others with one�s own duties and tasks because this is an injustice and does not befit one with dignity and honor .

One of the reasons behind disorderliness in a young man�s life may be his discontent with his state for making him bored and aimless . Such a young man may be angry at something and so his disorderliness is a means of showing his anger and obstinacy to make others feel his suffering . Sometimes , the cause may be the state of adolescence and the change of instincts from which one suffers during the period of adulthood .

What is required in all these cases is as follows :

1 . You should explain to your son the advantages of orderliness and its important effect on success and happiness in life .

2 . You should inspire in him the spirit of undertaking responsibilities and encourage him with nice words of thanks and appreciation whenever he achieves something by himself .

3 . You should not make yourself his deputy; rather , you should assist him in the task that he has to carry out . You can help him to carry out his duties , but little by little you should leave him alone to do his duties by himself .

4 . You should teach him

how to carry out some deeds and actions as a supervisor , without interfering in his achievement of them .

5 . Let the things demanded from him vary and be free from monotony . You should not ask him to do things insistingly or by threatening , shouting or begging .

6 . You should not let him grow accustomed to stipulate certain things when you ask him to do something .

7 . You should not punish him if he does not do what he promises to do .

8 . You should be a practical example for him in all that you want from him , whether in orderliness , cleanliness , discipline , or any other good habits .

Question 198

My son talks with his friends on the telephone for an hour sometimes . He does not pay attention to the cost of it at all . He neither lets others use the telephone nor does he leave the line free for someone who may need to call us for something necessary . He does not think of the time that he wastes in nonsense and repeated talks of trivial things mostly . What should I do with him ? I would like you to advise him and those like him and guide me to a solution for dealing with him .

The answer : First , I would like to ask you to be patient with him . Do not try to interrupt his calls with his friends by unplugging the telephone line as some fathers

do , because this insult will leave a bad effect on him , and you shall pay the price !

Second , do not make him feel that you are spying on his calls !

Third , you can explain to him the negativities of busying the telephone for a long time and wasting the rights of the other members of the family in making or receiving telephone calls .

Fourth , you can give him some advices derived from the teachings of Islam , such as �when one�s mind is perfect , his speech becomes little� , �the best of speech is that which is little but full in meaning� , etc .

Question 199

Someone who is unable to educate his children may say , �What is the importance of education ? Let us leave our children to be educated by the media , the schools , and the streets according to the requirements of the present age , for man is the son of his age . � What do you think about this opinion ?

The answer : I would say to such a person :

1 . Your child is a divine blessing in your hand; if you neglect him , he will be a curse on you and on everyone having relations with you . Education is of the utmost importance , and it is not achieved properly if the people in charge (especially the parents) do not know its principles and successful manners .

2 . �Your first child is a complete educational map to your

other children�if you educate him properly , he will relieve you from half of your efforts in educating your other children . �[243] �As you do not allow your children to go into water before you teach them the principles of swimming , do not allow them to go into the sea of life before you teach them the principles of dealing with others . �[244]

3 . Let your attitude towards education be : �the crying of your children today while you laugh and educate them properly is better than your crying tomorrow for their bad education and their laughing at their distresses� because �lenience at its time is like strictness at its time; both are required in education� . [245]

4 . Your children are your wealth in the future . The more you care for them today , the more fruits you will gain from them tomorrow , and the more you neglect them today , the more you shall suffer from their troubles and problems tomorrow .

5 . Your children will be an evil over you in this life and torment in the afterlife if you do not educate them well .

After all this , would you say that education is not important ?

Question 200

My children do not eat the useful food I serve at home . They like the foods of the restaurants , chocolates , and sweets . This harms their healths . What would you suggest for me to do ?

The answer : In general , our societies have incorrect

alimentary cultures . Even what mothers serve at home lacks the required elements of nutrition . Moneys and efforts are spent for the taste and pleasure of food in their mouths . Most people do not care how useful or harmful to their bodies the food that they eat is .

As for eating in restaurants , it is reprehensible , as in the Islamic traditions and as some ulama think . They consider it as eating in the roads or some other sort of suspicious eating . I think that this is not absolutely right , because there are restaurants whose owners care for the legal and health aspects . Besides , eating in restaurants cannot be said to be eating in the roads .

However , it is not recommended to have meals at restaurants often and always , as is customary in our present societies and (lazy) families .

You should read books about serving healthy foods and consult with a specialist doctor to determine the proper diet for the family . You would be better off using a lot of legumes in your foods besides vegetable oils , especially olive oil .

You should replace chocolates and sweets with fresh fruits . Vegetables should always be eaten with the meals . Nuts , such as pistachios , hazelnuts , and almonds , are important for the body besides honey and milk , which are among the basic elements of food for the family .

You should follow attractive manners in inviting your children to the meals

served at home . Explaining the advantages and disadvantages of foods has a great effect on children and makes them decide whether or not to accept those foods . Parents can play an important role in attracting their children towards the home-cooked foods when they themselves eat these foods . Of course , children always imitate their parents .

One should eat food only when he feels hungry , and he should not eat excessively more than his need . Allah says , ( . . . eat and drink and be not extravagant)[246] , and the Prophet (s) said , �we are a people , who do not eat until we feel hungry , and when we eat , we do not satiate ourselves (we do not eat excessively) . �



The best things with which I would like to end my book are the supplication of Imam Ali bin al-Husayn Zaynol Aabideen (s) for his parents and his supplication for his children . In these supplications , Imam Zaynol Aabideen (s) has comprehensively shown the principles of moral and material education together . He has emphasized the importance of the relationship between the progenies and generations connected with each other in the light of the principles of the true religion of Islam . These principles are to be believed in the hearts and applied in the conducts . Let us read these unique themes ponderingly and reverently .

His supplication for his parents

O Allah , bless Muhammad , Thy slave and Thy messenger , and his household , the pure , and single them out for the best of Thy blessings , Thy mercy , Thy benedictions , and Thy peace ! And single out my parents , O Allah , with honor near Thee and blessings from Thee , O most Merciful of the merciful !

O Allah , bless Muhammad and his household , and inspire me with the knowledge of everything incumbent upon me towards them , and gather within me the knowledge of all that completely ! Then make me act in accordance with what Thou hast inspired me and give me the success to put into practice the knowledge Thou hast shown to me , lest I fail to act according to something Thou hast taught me or my limbs feel too heavy to perform

that which Thou hast inspired me !

O Allah , bless Muhammad and his progeny , as Thou hast honored us through him , and bless Muhammad and his progeny , as Thou hast made our rights incumbent upon the creatures because of him ! O Allah , make me fear my parents , as the fear of a tyrannical sovereign , and let me be devoted to them , with the devotion of a compassionate mother ! Make my obedience and devotion to them more gladdening to my eyes than sleep to the drowsy , and more refreshing to my chest than drink to the thirsty , so that I may prefer their inclination to my inclination , set their satisfaction before my satisfaction , make much of their devotion to me though it be little , and make little of my devotion to them though it be great .

O Allah , lower before them my voice , make agreeable to them my words , make mild before them my temper , make tender towards them my heart , and make me their kind companion and their loving friend !

O Allah , thank them for raising me , reward them for honoring me , and guard them as they guarded me in my infancy ! O Allah , whatever harm has touched them from me , detested thing has reached them from me , or a right of theirs that has been neglected by me , make it as forgiveness for their sins , and

exaltations in their degrees , and addition to their good deeds ! O Thou , Who change evil deeds into manifold good deeds !

O Allah , whatever saying through which they have transgressed against me , or action through which they have been immoderate to me , or a right of mine which they have wasted , or an obligation towards me in which they have fallen short , I grant it to them and bestow it upon them , and I beseech Thee to remove from them its ill consequence , for I do not accuse them concerning myself , or find them slow in their devotion toward me , or dislike the way they have attended to my affairs , my Lord ! They have more incumbent rights on me , and precedence in favor on me that is greater than that I should settle accounts with justice or repay them with equivalents .

Where then , O my Lord , would be their long occupation with bringing me up ? Where would be the hardship of their toil in taking care of me ? Where would be the stinting of themselves to provide me with plenty ? How far ! I can never discharge their right on me , or fulfill my obligations towards them , or accomplish the duty of serving them .

O Allah , bless Muhammad and his household and help me , O the Best of those Who are asked for help ! Give me success , O the Most

Guiding of those whom we beseech ! Place me not among the people of undutifulness to fathers and mothers on the day when every soul will be repaid for what it has earned , and they shall not be wronged .

O Allah , bless Muhammad , his household and his progeny and single out my parents with the best of which Thou hast singled out the fathers and mothers of Thy faithful servants , O Most Merciful of the merciful !

O Allah , let me not forget to remember them after my prayers , at every time throughout my night , and in each of the hours of my day !

O Allah , bless Muhammad and his household , and forgive me through my supplication for my parents , and forgive them through their devotion to me with unfailing forgiveness , and be well pleased with them through my intercession for them with resolute good pleasedness , and make them reach through Thy generosity the abodes of safety ! O Allah , if Thy forgiveness reaches them first , make them my intercessors , and if Thy forgiveness reaches me first , make me their intercessor , so that we may gather together through Thy gentleness in the house of Thy generosity and the place of Thy forgiveness and mercy ! Verily Thou art the Possessor of the abounding bounty and the ancient favor , and Thou art the Most Merciful of the merciful !

His supplication for his children

O Allah , be kind to me through allowing the

survival of my children , and setting them right for me , and allowing me to enjoy them ! O my Lord , make long their lives for me , increase their terms , bring up the smallest for me , strengthen the weakest for me , rectify for me their bodies , their faiths , and their morals , make them well in their souls , their limbs , and everything that concerns me of their affair , and pour out for me and upon my hand their provisions ! Make them pious , fearing , insightful , hearing , and obedient to Thee , loving and well-disposed to Thy guardians , and stubbornly resistant and full of hate toward all Thy enemies ! Amen !

O Allah , through them strengthen my arm , straighten my burdened back , multiply my number , adorn my presence , keep alive my mention , suffice me when I am away , help me in my needs , and make them loving towards me , affectionate , approaching , upright , and obedient and never disobedient , undutiful , opposed , or offensive ! Help me in their upbringing , their education , and my devotion to them , give me among them from Thyself male children , make that a good for me , and make them a help for me in that which I ask from Thee ! Protect me and my progeny from the accursed Satan , for Thou hast created us , commanded

us , and forbidden us , and made us wish the reward of what Thou hast commanded and fear its punishment , and assigned to us an enemy who schemes against us , gave him an authority over us in a way that Thou didst not give us authority over him , allowed him to dwell in our chests and let him run in our blood vessels; he is not heedless when we are heedless , he does not forget when we forget , he makes us feel secure from Thy punishment and fills us with fear of other than Thee . If we are about to commit an indecency , he encourages us to do so , and if we are about to perform a righteous doing , he holds us back from it . He incites us to desires , and sets up for us doubts . If he promises us , he lies , and if he raises our hopes , he fails to fulfill them . If Thou dost not turn his trickery away from us , he will misguide us , and if Thou dost not protect us from his corruption , he will cause us to slip .

O Allah , so defeat his authority over us through Thy authority , so that Thou holdest him back from us through our abundant supplication to Thee and we leave his trickery and rise up among those preserved by Thee from sin !

O Allah , grant me my every request , accomplish

for me my needs , withhold not from me Thy response when Thou hast made Thyself accountable for it to me , veil not my supplication from Thyself , when Thou hast commanded me to make it , and be kind to me through everything that will set me right in this world and the afterworld , in everything that I remember or forget , display or conceal , make public or keep secret ! In all of this , place me through my asking Thee among those who set things right , those who are answered favorably when they request from Thee and from whom is not withheld when they put their trust in Thee , those accustomed to seek refuge in Thee , those who profit through trading with Thee , those granted sanctuary through Thy might , those given lawful provision in plenty from Thy boundless bounty through Thy munificence and generosity , those who reach exaltation after abasement through Thee , those granted sanctuary from wrong through Thy justice , those released from affliction through Thy mercy , those delivered from need after poverty through Thy riches , those preserved from sins , slips , and offenses through reverential fear of Thee , those successful in goodness , right conduct , and propriety through obeying Thee , those walled off from sins through Thy power , the abstainers from every act of disobedience toward Thee , the dwellers in Thy neighborhood !

O Allah , give us all of that through Thy

bestowal of success and Thy mercy , grant us refuge from the chastisement of the burning , and give to all the Muslim men and Muslim women , and all the faithful men and faithful women , the like of what I have asked for myself and my children , in the immediacy of this world and the deferment of the afterworld ! Verily Thou art the Near , the Responder , the All-hearing , the All-knowing , the Pardoner , the Forgiving , the Clement , the Merciful ! And give to us in this world good , and in the hereafter good , and protect us from the chastisement of the Fire .

The Author

He emigrated from Bahrain in 1974 AD to the Hawza of Holy Najaf to study the religious sciences while he was thirteen years old . He learned at the hand of the great ulama , the teachers of the Hawza and the famous religious authorities who gave him their legal trust , permission , and authority . He traveled to carry out Islamic missionary tasks in Kenya , India , Syria , some Arab countries in the Gulf area , Spain , Denmark , Sweden , and England . He propagated Islam through orations , writings , and teachings . He had many Islamic activities and important experiments in this field , which he has referred to in his books that have been available in Islamic libraries since 1978 AD . Here are some of his books : (Haqa�iq lil-Ta�ammul;

facts for meditation) , (Al-Hysayn , Madrasat al-Ajyal; al-Husayn , the school of generations) , (Risalat at-Ta�aluf wel Ukhuwwa; the mission of cordiality and brotherhood) , (al-Ilm wel Ulama� fil Kitab wes Sunna; knowledge and the ulama in the Book and the Sunna) , (Ahkamuk fil Bilad al-Ajnabiyya; your verdicts in the foreign countries) , (Ulama� al-Bahrain , Duroos wa Ibar; the ulama of Bahrain , lessons and examples) , (Moujaz fi as-Safar wez-Ziyara; a summary on travel and visit) , (Hatta Tahya al-Muqaddasat; in order that sacreds revive) , (Muthakkarat ash-Sheikh Buhlool; the memories of Sheikh Buhlool) , (Ayatollah al-Ha�iry , al-Muhajir fi Sabeelillah; Ayatollah al-Ha�iry , the emigrant for the sake of Allah) , (Arba�oon Hadithan; forty traditions) , (Ithnata Ashrata Aynan; twelve springs) , (Falah az-Za�ireen; the success of the visitors) , (Qisas wa Khawatir min Akhlaqiyyat ulama� ad-Deen; stories and memories from the moralities of the clergymen) , (Hiwar bayna al-Hajj wash-Shabab; a dialogue between the hajji and the youth) , (Kalimaat min Noor; words of light) , (Mi�raj as-Sa�imeen; the ascent of the fasters) , (Min Akhlaq al-imam al-Husay; from the morals of Imam Husayn) and this book (li Mustaqbalin Afdhal; for a better future) , besides some other books that are being published .

The author has followed in his writings the manner of inviting to the Islamic unity , avoiding disagreements and narrow-mindedness , and caring greatly for the moral education . Therefore , his writings are full of advice and sermons in a mild and moderate style .



[1] Qur'an , 80 : 24 .

[2] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 1 p . 50 trd . (tradition) 8 .

[3] Qur'an , 62 : 2-3 .

[4] Qur'an , 23 : 99-100 .

[5] Qur'an , 25 : 27 .

[6] Qur'an , 17 : 36 .

[7] Qur'an , 16 : 97 .

[8] Ghurar al-Hikam , 689 .

[9] Qur'an , 28 : 83 .

[10] Qur'an , 13 : 11 .

[11] Qur'an , 53 : 39-42 .

[12] Qur'an , 2 : 269 .

[13] Biharul al-Anwar , vol . 81 p . 210 .

[14] Qur'an , 3 : 139 .

[15] Hawza is a theological college where students can specialize in Islamic law , philosophy , theology , and logic .

[16] Wassa�il ash-Shia : Jihad an-Nafs , chap . 19 trd . 3 .

[17] Biharul Anwar , vol . 2 p . 204 .

[18] Al-Kafi , vol . 2 p . 63 .

[19] Qur'an , 8 : 24 .

[20] Quoted from an article by Sayyid Ibrahim al-Musawi , published in Al-Shaheed newspaper , vol . 654 Tehran .

[21] Qur'an , 28 : 77 .

[22] Nahjol Balagha , short maxim .

[23] (Do not obey anyone if he orders you to disobey the Creator) a Prophetic tradition .

[24] Jami�ul Akhbar , p . 285 .

[25] Ghurar al-Hikam , vol . 2 p . 385 .

[26] Refer to the details of these titles in (The Secrets of Success in your Personality) by Ahmad al-Mulla .

[27] Mahram is one�s kin who it is not lawful to get married to .

[28] Kerbala is a place

in Iraq where Imam Husayn (s) was martyred on the famous day of Aashura .

[29] Qur'an , 28 : 56 .

[30] Qur'an , 2 : 185 .

[31] Qur'an , 9 : 105 .

[32] Qur'an , 2 : 186 .

[33] Sharh Nahjol Balagha by Muhammad Abda , vol . 2 p . 23 .

[34] Qur'an , 2 : 222 .

[35] Qur'an , 94 : 5-6 .

[36] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 78 p . 79 .

[37] Qur'an , 59 : 63 .

[38] Qur'an , 33 : 32 .

[39] Foreign man here means man that is not (mahram) to a woman; and the mahram person is he with whom it is unlawful to get married .

[40] Qur'an , 33 : 53 .

[41] Mustadrak al-Wassa�il , vol . 2 p . 570 .

[42] Al-Hikam adh-Dhahira , p . 30 .

[43] Wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 18 p . 574 , vol . 14 p . 267 .

[44] Said by Imam ar-Redha (s) , as in Wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 79 .

[45] Mustadrak Wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 2 p . 531 .

[46] Qur'an , 24 : 32 .

[47] Quoted from �Crises and their Solutions� by Imam ash-Shirazi , p . 16 .

[48] The period of abstention from sexual relations imposed on a widow or a divorced woman , or a woman whose marriage has been annulled before re-marrying .

[49] The state of major ritual impurity that is caused by marital intercourse .

[50] Uyoon Akhbar ar-Redha , vol . 2 p . 65 .

[51] Rawdhat

al-Muttaqeen , vol . 8 p . 538 .

[52] Rawdhat al-Muttaqeen , vol . 8 p . 112 .

[53] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 103 p . 221 .

[54] Wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 14 , Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 103 p . 232 .

[55] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 103 p . 232 .

[56] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 103 p . 217 .

[57] Ibid . , p . 235 .

[58] Makarim al-Akhlaq , p . 204 .

[59] Jami� al-Akhbar , p . 215 .

[60] Bihar al-Anear , vol . 104 p . 38 .

[61] Mustadrak al-Wassa�il , vol . 2 p . 506 .

[62] Jami� al-Akhbar , p . 245 .

[63] The secret of Success in your Personality , p . 243 .

[64] Qur'an , 17 : 36 .

[65] Qur'an , 16 : 125 .

[66] Quoted from (Islam and psychological health) by Ahmad al-Qabbantchi .

[67] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 76 p . 84 .

[68] Ibid .

[69] Ibid . , vol . 74 p . 88 .

[70] Ibid . , vol . 76 p . 323 .

[71] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 67 p . 323 .

[72] Ibid . , vol . 77 p . 61 .

[73] Qur'an , 4 : 19 .

[74] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 73 p . 256 .

[75] From a short letter by Imam Ali (s) to Mo�awiya .

[76] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 78 p . 240 .

[77] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 77 p . 82 .

[78] Qur'an , 36 : 17


[79] A prophetic tradition .

[80] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 5 . p . 9 .

[81] Refer to Nahjol Balagha , the speech of �the Pious� .

[82] Quoted from traditions mentioned in Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 6 p . 20-21 .

[83] Contents of Prophetic traditions .

[84] A tradition narrated from Imam al-Baqir (s) in Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 5 p . 9 as quoted from Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 12 p . 8 .

[85] Qudsi tradition (Hadith Qudsi) is a class of traditions that give words spoken by Allah as distinguished from the Prophetic traditions that give the words spoken by the Prophet (s) . The words of Allah in the Qudsi traditions are different from the Qur'an that was revealed through Gabriel .

[86] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 71 p . 250 .

[87] Wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 12 p . 84 .

[88] Qur'an , 29 : 69 .

[89] Makarim al-Akhlaq , p . 123 , Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 103 p . 351 .

[90] Qur'an , 35 : 6 .

[91] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 103 p . 237 .

[92] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 4 p . 279 .

[93] Qur'an , 4 : 4 .

[94] Wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 15 p . 11 .

[95] Ibid .

[96] Wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 15 p . 11 . `

[97] Ibid .

[98] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 49 .

[99] Qur'an , 4 : 1 .

[100] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 1 p . 74 .

[101] Qur'an ,

46 : 15-16 .

[102] Al-Hikam az-Zahira , p . 265 .

[103] Qur'an , 65 : 2 .

[104] Qur'an , 7 : 96 .

[105] Refer to a story about this verse under the title (This is the true gold) in our book Qissas wa Khawatir (stories and ideas) .

[106] Qur'an , 25 : 63 .

[107] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 3 p . 240 .

[108] Qur'an , 4 : 34 .

[109] Qur'an , 3 : 159 .

[110] Qur'an , 4 : 34 .

[111] Husayniyyah is a place like the mosque where certain ceremonies are held on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (s) and on other religious occasions .

[112] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 4 p . 275-276 .

[113] Ibid .

[114] Kitab al-Mawa�idh , p . 27 .

[115] Furoo� al-Kafi , vol . 5 p . 334 .

[116] Kanzol Ummal , vol . 16 p . 287 .

[117] Ghurar al-Hikam , p . 364 .

[118] Nahjol Balagha , p . 153 .

[119] Qur'an , 41 : 34 .

[120] Qur'an , 33 : 32-33 .

[121] Qur'an , 17 : 53 .

[122] Qur'an , 31 : 19 .

[123] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 8 p . 439 .

[124] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 8 p . 443 .

[125] Ibid .

[126] Qur'an , 5 : 2 .

[127] Qur'an , 34 : 24 .

[128] Al-Hadith , vol . 3 p . 142 .

[129] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 6 p . 359 .

[130] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 5 p . 554 .


[131] Ibid . , vol

. 2 p . 80 .

[132] Nahjol Balagha , short maxims , 474 .

[133] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 6 p . 364 .

[134] Ibid .

[135] As in Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 23 p . 345 , Basa�ir ad-Darajat , p . 426 .

[136] Ghurar al-Hikam , 666 .

[137] Ibid . , 686 .

[138] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 2 p . 269 .

[139] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 11 p . 242 .

[140] Al-Hikam al-Dhahira , p . 302 .

[141] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 5 p . 338 .

[142] Nahjol Fasaha , p . 72 trad . 377 .

[143] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 75 p . 4 .

[144] Al-Hikam az-Zahira an an-Nabiy wa Itratihi at-Tahira , p . 212 .

[145] Iqama is a certain wording recited at the beginning of prayers .

[146] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 5 p . 9 .

[147] Nahjol Balagha , his letter to his son Imam al-Hasan (s) .

[148] A politico-religious movement in early Islam .

[149] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 15 p . 196 .

[150] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 123 .

[151] Qur'an , 24 : 30-31 .

[152] Rawdhat al-Muttaqeen , vol . 8 p . 245 , the tradition is narrated from the Prophet (s) .

[153] Da�a�im al-Islam , vol . 2 p . 220 .

[154] Qur'an , 33 : 50 .

[155] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 5 p . 568 .

[156] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 201 .

[157] Ibid . , p . 206 .

[158] Sunan of

Ibn Maja , vol . 1 p . 603 .

[159] Rawdhatul Muttaqeen , vol . 14 p . 214 .

[160] Urwatul Wuthqa , chap . Awliya� al-Aqd .

[161] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 10 p . 57 .

[162] Ibid .

[163] Makarim al-Akhlaq , p . 216 .

[164] Qur'an , 57 : 23 .

[165] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 2 p . 305 .

[166] Al-Amali by as-Sadooq , the first tradition .

[167] Qur'an , 4 : 24 .

[168] Qur'an , 4 : 25 .

[169] Qur'an , 4 : 27-28 .

[170] Kanzol Ummal , vol . 16 p . 521 .

[171] Tafsir Majma� al-Bayan , vol . 3 p . 32 .

[172] Kanzol Ummal , vol . 16 p . 523 .

[173] Tafsir Majma� al-Bayan , vol . 3 p . 32 .

[174] Qur'an , 43 : 22 .

[175] Islam is the way of Happiness and Peace , by Sheikh Muhammad al-Khalisi , p . 186-188 .

[176] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 5 p . 449 .

[177] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 103 p . 305 .

[178] Ghusl is ritual ablution required after making love or having a wet dream .

[179] Safeenat al-Najat , chap . MATA�A .

[180] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 5 p . 45 , Wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 449 .

[181] Mustadrak wassa�il ash-Shia , vol . 2 p . 545 .

[182] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 83 .

[183] Kanzol Ummal , vol . 16 p . 344 .

[184] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p .

74 .

[185] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 94 .

[186] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 4 p . 291 .

[187] Nahjol Balagha , short maxims .

[188] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 14 p . 110 .

[189] Jami� al-Akhbar , p . 285 .

[190] Qur'an , 46 : 15 .

[191] Qur'an , 71 : 10-12 .

[192] Jami� al-Akhbar , p . 281 .

[193] Mujahid is the one who fights for the sake of Allah .

[194] Qur'an , 55 : 60 .

[195] In my every travel to Denmark , I would bring with me some Islamic books and present them to her as gifts through her faithful husband .

[196] Sharh Ghurar al-Hikam , vol . 2 p . 584 .

[197] Mujtahid is a person accepted in Shiism as an authority on the interpretation of Islamic law .

[198] Taqleed is the imitating of a religious authority in practicing the obligations and verdicts of religion .

[199] Jami� al-Akhbar , p . 426 .

[200] Ibid . , 461 .

[201] Qur'an , 11 : 88 .

[202] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 70 p . 284 .

[203] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 10 p . 619 .

[204] Ibid . , p . 632 , quoted from Kanzol Ummal , vol . 10 p . 619 .

[205] Qur'an , 5 : 27 .

[206] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 70 p . 286 .

[207] Ijtihad is the ability of deriving legal verdicts from religious texts .

[208] Hawza is a theological college , where students can specialize in Islamic law , philosophy ,

theology , and logic .

[209] He is Sheikh Dr . Abdurraheem Bekhshayishi .

[210] Khurdad is the third month in the Iranian calendar .

[211] For example , read in the book (Bright Historical Images) p . 113 the story of the faithful woman Sawda bint Imara al-Hamadaniyya when arguing with Mo�awiyya to defend Imam Ali (s) .

[212] Qur'an , 2 : 102 .

[213] Some jurisprudents say that learning magic and teaching it for the sake of resisting it is possible , but they emphasize that those who learn magic must be pious so that their piety will prevent them from using magic for other purposes .

[214] Mizan al-Hikma , vol . 4 p . 408 .

[215] Ibid .

[216] Qur'an , 10 : 81-82 .

[217] Jami� al-Akhbar , p . 285 .

[218] Qur'an , 2 : 143 .

[219] Qur'an , 3 : 19 .

[220] Brief Ways towards Glory , book no . 16 p . 7 .

[221] A Prophetic tradition .

[222] Iranian Hamshahri Newspaper , vol . 2001 .

[223] Qur'an , 66 : 6 .

[224] Qur'an , 3 : 159 .

[225] Qur'an , 2 : 151 .

[226] Nahjol Balagha , sermon 1 .

[227] Qur'an , 90 : 8-10 .

[228] Qur'an , 76 : 3 .

[229] Qur'an , 17 : 84 .

[230] Qur'an , 91 : 7-10 .

[231] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 2 p . 87 .

[232] Qur'an , 30 : 30 .

[233] Jami� al-Akhbar , p . 217 .

[234] In Safar , 1421 AH .

[235] Wassa'il ash-Shia , vol . 15 p . 124 .

[236] Wassa'il

ash-Shia , vol . 11 p . 413 .

[237] Qur'an , 17 : 34 .

[238] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 104 p . 72 .

[239] Qur'an , 61 : 2-3 .

[240] Usool al-Kafi , vol . 2 p . 364 .

[241] Bihar al-Anwar , vol . 78 p . 250 .

[242] Makarim al-Akhlaq , p . 232 .

[243] Turuq Mukhtasara ila al-Majd (short ways to glory) by Allama Sayyid Hadi al-Mudarrisi , vol . 16 p . 6 .

[244] Ibid . , p . 7 .

[245] Turuq Mukhtasara ila al-Majd by Allama Sayyid Hadi al-Mudarrisi , vol . 16 p . 26 .

[246] Qur'an , 7 : 31

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