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Thursday 26th of May 2022
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The Manifestations of Virtue in the Family

She is not in a position for man to fight with her and turn the house into a field for combat and struggle. Consider the following two excellent traditions in this regard: The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) has mentioned various detailed and important issues including the nature of woman's creation in his letter to Imam Hassan Mujtaba (Pbuh): Truly, a woman is like a bunch of scented flowers, not a source of physical power. [Vasa'il al-Shiia, v.20, p.168]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: Most residents of Heaven are from amongst the oppressed. God was aware of their weakness, so that is why He was merciful to them. Then it is incumbent upon men to obey Allah and treat women with kindness, patience, love and affection. In encounters with them, men must consider their physical and spiritual states to be a similar to bunch of scented flowers. Men should avoid going to extremes in oppressing women in any way since God who is the Creator of women has ordered men to fear Him in their dealings with women. And man must entertain God's maid in his house with all possible material and spiritual benefits. This delicate interpretation about women which shows God's especial mercy and consideration for woman has come in a very important tradition regarding the marriage of Adam and Eve in Vasa'il al-Shiia. [v.20, p.13, Al-Bayt Publications].
However, a woman must remember that a man has to suffer many hardships to run the affairs of the house. He has to worry about providing for proper housing, clothing and food for the comfort of his wife and children; things which cannot be provided for except by suffering many hardships, working, traveling and encountering various people. Thus, when the man comes home the woman should kindly receive him, take care of him with pleasant conduct and give in to his natural desires. She should welcome her life partner and fill the atmosphere of the house with the good scent of her proper behavior and smile at him thanking him for his hard work. She should attract his love. Then justice, piety, good conduct, a proper attitude, smiling, showing satisfaction, maintaining the peace, and proper entertaining are all considered to be good acts. These must be mutually embarked upon by both sexes so that their joint life is filled with these blessings. The proper treatment of a husband by his wife and that of a husband for his household constitutes a very important section of Shiite traditions being amazingly large in number.
The contents of these divine traditions are also amazing. The oppression of anyone of any other, even in the slightest amount, is not justified and the oppressor must know a terrible punishment awaits him. A man does not own his wife so that he can implement any plan he desires. And a woman in respect to her husband is not free to do as she wishes. Allah, the Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) and the Infallible Imams have designated duties for every woman and her husband. The couple may only interact with each other within that framework of duties. It is oppressive to act outside the divine limits and human, moral responsibilities and such actions have reactions in this world and the Hereafter.
A very important tradition on the authority of the Prophet (Pbuh) concerns a wife oppressing her husband and vice-versa which are satanic acts not associated with nobility. It is really important to pay close attention to it. "Neither the prayers nor any of the good deeds of a woman who bothers her husband will be accepted by God, unless she changes her ways, becomes an assistant to him and pleases him. That annoying woman should know that in case she continues to bother him, she shall be the first person to enter Hell even though she spends her entire life fasting, saying night prayers and frees slaves in the way of God. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Such punishment exists for a man if he bothers his wife or oppresses her [Vasa'il, v.20, p.160, Al-i-Bayt Press]. Such men or women should know that God has announced his hatred of oppressors in the Holy Quran and has expelled them from his circle of love. But God loveth not those who do wrong.[Al-i-Imran 3:57]
Men and women should note that oppression is not just physical, but mean looks, paying no attention and not giving in to one’s spouse, bad behavior, being vulgar, swearing and belittling are all cases of oppression, too. The woman who oppresses her husband and the man who oppresses his wife are not true Muslims. They have left the circle of guidance and are wading in the marsh of deviation.
Nay, but the transgressors are in manifest error.[Holy Quran: Luqman 31:11]
The Prophet (Pbuh) stated: There are seven mountain passes between Heaven and a servant of Allah: The easiest one is death. Annas asked the Prophet (Pbuh) which was the most difficult for the servant. He replied: Standing in front of Allah (on the Day of Judgment) while the oppressed ones are clinging to the oppressor's collar. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.5, p.596]
The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) said: The evil provisions for the Hereafter consist of oppressing God's servants. Oppression unsteadies one's steps, deprives one of blessings and wipes out whole nations. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.5, pp.595-6]
I swear to Allah that if seven countries were given to me so that I would commit a sin by taking the husk of a barley seed from an ant's mouth, I would not do so. The Prophet (Pbuh) has prohibited men from eating whatever is being transported by the mouth and feet of an ant. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Avoid oppression: Verily it is the darkness on the Day of Judgment. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.5, p.599-600]
A man said to the Prophet (Pbuh) that he would like to among the guided ones on the Day of Judgment. Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: Any type of oppression is infidelity and he who beats his innocent servant is an unbeliever. [Ibid]

A Virtuous Countenance
Believing men and women have especial characteristics which are manifested in their lives, cause enjoyment in life and the appearance of a new, pure generation. These characteristics cause them to be prosperous in the Hereafter.
The believers, men and women, are the protectors, one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour His mercy: for God is Exalted in power, Wise.[Holy Quran: Tauba 9:71]
From many verses about believers, I think this one alone is enough to learn about their physical and spiritual attributes. Once such men and women establish a joint life, their mutual life will be filled with light, sincerity, goodness, blessings, truth and honesty. In this type of life, the man is an ideal man and the woman is an ideal woman, too. Also their life is a good life, and they are prosperous in this world and the Hereafter. The late Majlesi said: There were people whose wife and children would tell them to avoid earning illegal property when they left the house to go to work. We can tolerate hunger and difficulty but cannot tolerate the punishment of the Resurrection Day.
Truly, what virtue is greater than patience and tolerating hardships so as to protect one's self against the punishment on the Last Day. I, myself, saw a great man who sometimes would prohibit his family from buying the things they wanted in a convincing tone. He would promise to fulfill their needs at a later date when business was good. His wife and children would submit to his request and did not bother him. Family life abounded with peace and quiet, divinity and enlightenment. Khadijah the Great (the Prophet's wife) was a woman who patiently bore the hardships during her noble husband's times of difficulty. She shared in his sufferings and sorrows, and lived with the Prophet (Pbuh) in such a way that after her death he would ask God to be merciful to her whenever he remembered her and tears would flow from his eyes. At the beginning of their marriage, she devoted her great and rare wealth of those days to the Prophet's movement. The Prophet (Pbuh) gradually spent that wealth to relieve the problem of the needy and to aid God's movement: finally nothing remained of the wealth. Near the end of her life she lived with her husband in a humble house without too many furnishings. She lived in hardship and the only thing she said to her husband in those difficult days was during the last moments of her life. With tears in her eyes she asked him if God was satisfied with her. The angel entrusted with revelations descended from Heaven and asked the Prophet (Pbuh) to give his best regards to Khadijah and announce God's satisfaction with her. Khadijah became really happy and said to the Prophet (Pbuh) that life and death were now very sweet for her. Fatimah Zahra was only four years old at the time. When she felt the absence of her mother at home, she asked her kind father where her mother was, and the Prophet (Pbuh) answered that she was with the angels. Verily, a believing woman whose faith is manifested in her actions and behavior is an angel-like creature and a source of satisfaction for God and a spring of virtues and perfection.

An Instructive Story
My maternal grandmother and grandfather lived with each other for almost seventy years in peace and quiet, honesty and with faith and morality. Till the end of their lives, they never forgot the following: to lovingly perform the obligatory and recommended Islamic duties; to perform the night prayers; to recite the Quran; to make pilgrimages to the Saints; to hold religious meetings; to entertain guests; to solve others' problems; to visit relatives and to attend the congregational prayers.
My paternal grandfather and grandmother lived with each other in the same way (maybe even more devotedly) for more than fifty years. As is inevitable for everyone, my grandmother passed away near the midday call to prayers early in Muharram, the month of mourning for the Master of the Oppressed Imam Husayn while my grandfather was in perfect health. The children and the relatives were about to write announcements for her mourning ceremonies after burying her. But my grandfather told them not to do so since he was going to pass away the next night after the Isha (night) prayer. He asked them to wait until then and hold just one mourning ceremony. Everybody got worried but he pacified them.
No one could believe him, but the next night after finishing his prayer he spoke to God saying: O' God, you have promised to attend to the call of the needy and now that I am traveling to the Hereafter, please help me since I am in need. Then he recited some holy words and passed away next to his prayer mat. They buried both of my grandparents in the same grave. I saw him in a dream one night and asked him where they were. He said that he and his wife stayed where they were buried for three days, and then they were taken to the Master of the Martyrs Husayn (Pbuh). Then he said they now have a pleasant life in the divine atmosphere of Purgatory.

An Amazing Event
I became really fond of religious life, the mosques and religious ceremonies during my childhood and adolescence after witnessing my father's religious states of mind and his encounters with men of letters, mosques and religious ceremonies. During the era of the ungodly rule (the Shah's regime), a percentage of the people, especially the youth, were corrupt. Going to religious centers and my interaction with clergymen was very beneficial for me and the development of my spirit. Based on the background that I received from the family, the mosque and the religious clergy, I was attracted towards the religious centers in Qum at the age of sixteen in the year 1963 AD. There, I naturally had more encounters with religious knowledge and the men of the cloth. I had the opportunity to visit with many outstanding successful men during my studies of Islamic sciences.
I do not remember whom I heard this amazing story from, but the story is very interesting and educational showing the mental and spiritual states of a woman when her existence is combined with faith, good deeds and morality. That noble man told me: The Gohar Shad. Mosque next to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (Pbuh) is one of the most widely frequented mosques on the earth where thousands of prayers and pilgrimages are performed each day. And tens of classes for teaching Islamic sciences and training religious clergy are held there. The founder of this mosque was an educated, wise, chaste and noble woman. Before building the mosque, she ordered the architect and those in charge to place water and hay along the path of the animals who were to carry the building materials to the mosque. This was so that none of the animals would have to carry any load while hungry or thirsty, since it is not accepted by God and one's conscience. And their owners did not have the right to beat the animals.
The work schedule had to be clearly defined, the workers had to be treated with compassion and kindness and their wages had to be paid according to their efforts. When they needed to be admonished, it had to be done so in a gentle tone and no one's feelings were to be hurt. The surrounding houses had to be purchased according to their current market prices, since a place of worship was to be built and a center for pilgrimage as well as a school for the discussion of divine sciences. The lady admonished everyone not to oppress any man or animal in the least amount, since that would lessen the value of the work done.
The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) said in Nahj ul-Balaghah: Truly, you are all responsible for pieces of land and the animals.
Lady Gohar Shad used to visit the mosque to check the progress of the work and issue the necessary orders. Gohar Shad was the wife of Shahrukh Mirza and the daughter-in-law of Taymor Gurkany. By chance, during one of these visits one of the workers saw her face and fell in love with her, but he did not dare express his feelings since the condition seemed dangerous. This affection was a ridiculous affair, but that naive worker did not understand these things and fell ill. From the daily mosque work report Lady Gohar Shad became informed of his illness: he lived with his mother in a half-ruined house. She went to visit him. In a weak state, the poor man was pale and waning out of his love for her. After she asked about his health and insisted on finding out the reason for his illness, his mother, who was even more naive then the son, divulged the secret.
Lady Gohar Shad complained to the mother about the young worker without getting angry or using her high social status. Then she told his mother that she was ready to marry him after having separated from her husband, but he must first give her nuptial gift being forty days and nights of worshipping God and prayer in the prayer niche of the semi-built mosque. She was aware of the result of such an effort, but the young fellow accepted her proposal and out of his love and excitement he prayed there for a few d days. However, his state of mind changed with God's favor and Imam Reza's attention. After the forty days had passed, Gohar Shad sent a messenger to him to inquire about his health. He told the messenger that if he only knew the pleasure of abstaining from pleasure, he would never call carnal desires pleasure. I heard a passer-by say that wine will get pure when it stays in glasses for forty days. (A poem)
By profitting from belief in God, paying attention to the Hereafter, having good attitudes and proper behavior, we can make our home a place for the manifestation of humane, divine and spiritual virtues. This is not too difficult, and if God helps one he can easily walk on this path, although it may be most difficult for others.

The Principles of Spirituality in the Family
Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one
another in sin and rancour: Fear God: [Holy Quran: Maida 5:3]

Spiritual Blessings
Many blessings have been bestowed upon man by God to live a pure life, and only God knows the value of these blessings. Some of these blessings left for us are the intellect, the Quran, Prophethood, Imamat, religious scholars and the literature on practical, moral and religious issues. We will briefly discuss the meaning of each of these blessings for the readers' information.

Intellect
Intellect means the power to understand, to theoretically distinguish between right and wrong and practically understand the difference between good and evil, and profit and loss. This unique blessing is equipped with the outer senses by which it can recognize the appearance of things. It is also equipped with spiritual senses by which it recognizes spiritual affairs such as will, love, hatred, hope and fear. And it uses each accordingly. In theoretical issues the intellect makes practical decisions. The illuminating activities of the intellect continue as long as it is the outstanding force in man; other forces being subject to it. However, should another force within man overpower the intellect, it becomes weak and man will deviate from the right path going to either extreme. This deviation towards either extreme in our life is the result of lust, anger, or greed overpowering the intellect. Letting loose the instincts and following lust, meeting with the sinful ones and disregarding realities are all factors which weaken and disable the heavenly force and angelic light of the intellect. Once the intellect is disabled, it is either too difficult or impossible to distinguish between right and wrong, and recognize spiritual realities. Then man deserves to be at a loss in this world and suffer retribution in the Hereafter, even if he mischievously gains a lot of financial property, or remains secure from apparent losses. [Adopted from an article in Al-Mizan, v.2, pp.447-450]
The directors of Hell say to those there: Didn't a Prophet come to you to inform you about your present situation? The inhabitants of Hell will say: Yes, but we denied him and God's laws. Then they will tell the directors of Hell: If we had listened to the call of God in the world and the invitation of the Prophet (Pbuh) and had thought about what we were doing in all daily affairs, then today we would not be the inhabitants of Hell: It is impossible to reason if there is no other power holding first place in one's being. If lust and satisfaction of one's lust does all the talking in you, the intellect will not be empowered to guide man. It was asked of Hazrat Sadiq: What is the intellect? He answered: It is something with which God is worshipped and heaven attained! [Bihar al-Anwar, v.1, p.131]
It was asked what did Muaviyah have? He said he had cunningness, wickedness and something which resembled the intellect but was not the intellect. What great blessings are bestowed upon the true servant of God and make him a buyer of Heaven? Amir al-Mumineen Ali (Pbuh) said: The will and high ambition of the intellect manifests itself in man through the abandoning of sins and reforming the apparent and hidden mistakes. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.6, p.419]
The enlightenment of these blessings is so great that Ali (Pbuh) said: Had God, the Almighty not forbade us from doing the unlawful acts, the intellect would forbid us from doing them. [Ibid]
Imam Ali's (Pbuh) opinion is that this spiritual faculty, the intellect, possesses great powers of understanding. In the noble book entitled Ghorar al-Hikam the Commander of the Faithful has been quoted as saying the following about the intellect: The intelligent person is one who can overcome his lust; not trade in the Hereafter for this world; rebel sagainst his carnal desires; obeys the Lord; and is in full command of himself at times of anger. The ethics of the intelligent ones is to have little lust and little ignorance. [Ghorar al-Hikam, Chapter on the intellect]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: All good is attained via the intellect and one who lacks intelligence lacks religion. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.158]
In many important traditions we can read that man's prosperity or punishment in the Hereafter depends upon his/her intelligence as it is the intellect which is the measure for responsibility and duties. It is incumbent upon man to use his intellect in order to face reality and recognize the difference between good and evil, and truth and falsehood. It is an unforgivable sin to not use the intellect. As the intellect is the lantern of truth, a divine prophet within and the essential element to distinguish truth from falsehood, and good from evil, it is incumbent upon the head of the household to protect the intellect from the inrush of lust, desires, instincts and corruption. He should use his intelligence and not let his intellect or that of his family become enslaved by carnal desires and excessive lust, since the loss of the intellect's control will pull man down from his rank as a human to the rank of an animal.
Therefore you should not associate with corrupt people, but rather associate with the lofty Islamic principles.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: The disciples asked Jesus whom they should associate with. Jesus replied: The ones whose encounter shall remind you of God, whose speech shall add to your knowledge and whose actions shall attract you to the Hereafter. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.147]
The fourth Imam said: Association with good-doers attracts man towards good deeds. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.78, p.141]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Association with credible, wise men shall direct you from five states to five other states:
1) from doubt to certainty; 2) from hypocrisy to sincerity ;3) from undue excitement to fear ;4) from haughtiness to humbleness ;5) from wickedness to benevolence [Bihar al-Anwar, v.74, p.189]
The Commander of the Faithful said: The gatherings of the evil-doers are not safe from catastrophes. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.2, p.63]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Avoid associating with the dead. They asked him who are the dead? He replied any rich person whose wealth has caused him to rebel. [Ibid]
Imam Ali (Pbuh) said: Avoid the evil-doers and associate with good people .[Ibid]
Guard yourselves and the family against lust and association with the evil-doers if you want your intellect to rule over you. Two of the widespread evils of today are the corrupt films and videos of the satellite channels. Watching such programs will corrupt the intellect, destroy morality, and wipe out humanity.

Quran
The Quran is a divine book, being the light of guidance and the cure for the soul of moral evils; a guide towards better life; a remembrance of God; and an interpreter of realities and an organizers of the affairs. It is a source of guidance and a producer of knowledge and wisdom; a cure for hard-heartedness; the straight path; the criteria to distinguish truth from falsehood; the statement of high moral issues and the manifestation of the life of the good and the pure; and God's final say in this world and the Hereafter. Both men and women are equally responsible and duty-bound to this unique divine blessing. This duty is to learn the Quran and acting accordingly in all facets of life.
Indifference to God's book is a great sin. The Quran is God's letter to his servants : The servants are obliged to respond to this letter by being adorned by the right belief through their hearts, enacting out their morals via their souls and turning to good deeds via their bodies. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Seek refuge in the Quran when you are attacked by vices as the darkness of the night attacks you. And repel the attack by enacting out the orders of the Quran in your life and do not let your lives be darkened by the rule of wickedness. The Quran is a mediation whose mediation is accepted at God's threshold and whose complaint is also accepted. Whoever lets the Quran lead him or her shall attain Heaven through its blessing. And whoever is indifferent to God's book is heading towards Hell. The Quran is the reason for and a guide towards the best path. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.92, p.17]
The Commander of the Faithful said: The Quran is the best remembrance, and courage and spiritual enlightenment are attained with it. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.8, pp.67-69]
Imam Sadiq said: Whose does not recognize the truth from the Holy Quran, does not avoid sedition. [Ibid]
Ali (Pbuh) said: In fact, the book of God the Glorious, and the Almighty contains the best stories in the most fluent speech and the most beneficial admonishment. [Ibid]
In fact, the remedy for the worst ailments being unbelief, hypocrisy, and deviation is in the Quran. [Nahj ul-Balaghah, Sermon 176]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: The Quran is wealth and there is no wealth other than it and there is no poverty after it. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.92, p.19]
Imam Sadiq said: A believer deserves not to die until he learns the Quran and teaches it. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.92, p.189]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: The best of you is one who learns the Quran and teaches it. Thus, considering these very important traditions, one can more clearly see the heavy responsibility of the head of the household. He must learn the Quran, and provide the means for his family members to learn it. Then they can all act according to it. Their living atmosphere will be cleansed from impurities and be adorned with good deeds and characters. And the house and the family will be a sample of Heaven. It will be a house in which there is no oppression or animosity; one filled with piety and purity; an atmosphere of security and comfort, truth and honesty, righteousness and trust. A house whose members are followers of the Quran will attain mental and intellectual development from the blessings of the Quran. An intellect which follows the Holy Quran is an angelic intellect; it is the essential ingredient for Heaven and the Hereafter, and its profit is the worship of God and the achievement of the eternal Heaven.

Prophethood
The Prophets are guides for men towards the straight path, invitors to the unity of God, and the expressors of physical and spiritual reality. They invite us to worship God, and they admonish us not to worship the ungodly. They show men the way to live a good life, to be adorned with virtue and to be cleansed from iniquity. The invitation of the Prophets is inviting us to God. Accepting their invitation will result in the revival of spiritual life. Regarding the Prophethood of the honorable Prophet, Ali (Pbuh) has said: He came to guide the servants of God away from the worship of idols to God's worship, and away from obeying Satan to obeying God. [Nahj ul-Balaghah, Sermon 147]
The Prophet (Pbuh) was appointed to recite the verses of God for the development of the people, the cleansing of their souls from impurities, and for teaching the Quran and wisdom. He uprose to take the people out of darkness, and to help them enter a region of light. He came into the arena of life to command us to do good deeds. Admonish us against evil acts; to allow us to use lawful and clean goods; to forbid evilness; and to lift off the burden of forced cultures; and to open the satanic neckbands. Those who believe in him, respect and honor him, help him and obey His Quran shall prosper.[A Summary of Verses on Prophethood in the Holy Quran]
The Prophets came to bring God's final say so that tomorrow on the Day of Judgment the deviated ones could not say that if they had a Prophet, they would not have been deviated. God the Kind has made the acts, the statements and the morality of the Prophets necessary for all the people. And has made the Prophets a model to follow. Among the behaviors of the Prophets, we can mention the use of perfume, having a happy face, cleanliness, liking women, establishing prayer, uprising for the rights of the believers, kindness and generosity. The Prophets have invited the people to piety, purity, trustworthiness, honesty, bravery, loyalty, righteousness, truth, kindness, mercy and good deeds; and have admonished them against committing any evil acts and having a bad temper. In the Hereafter they are the criteria for action. The condition of the people will be measured based upon their condition. If there is sufficient coordination between them and the Prophets, they will be saved, else they deserve punishment.

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